As we enter 2015, at Back to Eden Group we have been in significant reflection regarding who we are and why we are here. At times like this, our foundation words or core values seem even more important than they were when we first began. You will find them in our tag line on our home page and they are in order for a reason:
Relationship – First and most important is our direct and personal relationship with God, the Creator of the universe and secondly with each other. Our picture here is Adam and Eve, before the fall, walking with God in the cool of the day.
Stewardship – Both of these relationships must be cared for, nurtured and grown through honesty, transparency and truthfulness. This extends to everything we are entrusted with.
Dominion – Simply put, if we get the first two right, we will grow in dominion and authority in everything we do. Of course, dominion must always be walked out in humility.
We remain committed more than ever to live our lives guided by these core values and look forward to continue to interact with all of you who connect with us through this blog, Facebook, email, chat and in person. We intend to emphasize the positive dimensions of these values in this process but of course will often need to point out obvious issues in the culture around us.
As an example, in recent weeks Katherine has been in dialogue with several folks regarding the importance of hearing God for ourselves without depending on prophets as mediators to do it for us. This is all about “growing up into Him who is the head” and is what a healthy relationship with God should look like. Unfortunately, modern Christendom, especially in the West, is rife with dependence on mediators. What follows is a synthesis of multiple recent conversations on this topic. May you have a fruitful and prosperous 2015! Enjoy…..
Yes it’s true, we have all heard some wonderful speakers! I personally have heard many teachings and prophetic words on the process of the death of a vision and how the vessel is tested by fire… many teachings by many different ministers through the last 30 years. Some of the present day prophets like to present the ancient dealings of God with his people as some new revelation. They have marketed it as a ‘Prophetic word of God for the body of Christ’ as if this somehow validifies their office as prophet.
Moses, Abraham, Joseph, Daniel and Esther did not have a prophetic word from a man or woman before they were sent into the years of testing! The A.P.E.’s (Apostolic Prophetic Executives) of our times have crafted this teaching to promote their doctrine and try to empower their hierarchical ministries and mediator role. It’s not a new principle at all. It’s biblical that we are tested and tried as we see in the life of them all. The meaning of ‘The word of the Lord’ in scripture is a universe apart from what the A.P.E.’s have declared it is. They are saying their words are equal to the word of the Lord when it is not so in full. They have a very small level of revelation and as we all can plainly see, they have but a mixture of light and darkness.
Jesus suffered that he might learn obedience and for the joy that was ahead of him. There’s the blueprint of heaven right there. But do we need a 5 fold minister to tell us this? Would a brother or sister in our gathering be just as legitimate an exhortation? Or do we demand a king or a prophet to stroke our egos?
No matter how hard we may try (as a truly sincere person with wonderful motives, kindness and love) to produce a duck, we will still only have human babies. Why? Because the DNA we carry is of human origin. No matter how hard the Constantine church ministry model proclaimed prophets and apostles try to produce the true biblical prophetic office they will still only create a counterfeit. Why? Because the DNA of a biblical N.T. prophet is of heavenly origin and does not function in full capacity within heretical boundaries. Heaven will only overshadow the Father’s DNA not man’s (see Mary when she conceived… by the way she was in the interim period of Jesus forthcoming to change all of history including the temple of her day). So no matter how wonderfully these kind, sincere orators speak and tickle the soul they are not producing a mature bride for Christ. They cannot because they are building on sand. Their model of prophetic ministry is not biblical and cannot produce the fruit heaven is looking for.
The past 50 years in Charismatic/Pentecostal circles have been a one man show…. (Old Testament prophetic model). Idolatry is the root of it all. We shall have no other God’s before the Lord. The present prophetic ministry model is idolatrous plain and simple. It exalts self. What is the fruit? The followers who receive their ‘words’ are consumed with self importance or grandiose ideas of being lifted up above others. These words still produce a self awareness instead of Holy Spirit dependence and mature relationship with God. The peddlers themselves display arrogance and pride and lack in morals and ethics. You will know them by their fruits.
We do not put the level of importance on this present prophetic ministry model that many choose to. It is not a focus in our lives. We do not believe the proclaimed prophets and apostles in Christendom today measure up to the biblical standard (for the most part) nor do their ‘wonderful words’ which their followers wave around like tarot cards. This model which many follow is a religious belief only which of course they have a right to.
Nowhere does the Bible instruct us to line up for exhortation/prophetic words but the body is to exhort and prophesy/encourage one to another. Furthermore, this was done in circular Hebraic fashion meaning taking turns preferring one another. Also, those in covenant community tested the utterance that was brought forth. The prophets were instantly held into account for the protection of the body. (1 Cor 14:29)
We do not listen to anyone who markets themselves as prophets or apostles, it’s not the nature or character of Jesus. He made that clear when he overthrew the tables in the temple courts.
I trust you the reader are not offended by my forthrightness but we have walked for decades believing with strong conviction that God is more interested in our personal transformation than stroking our souls. Our God is a jealous God who will not share his glory with anyone, not even his servants the prophets! He is only interested in our worshipping and putting our trust in Him alone. Personal relationship.
Again it’s back to the timeline of the history of the church. At our time in history we are being required to respond to God’s fathering function in our lives, both spiritual and natural, not insisting on the mothering heart of God. Sadly the people of God would rather be mothered and get a personal word to live by than live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
In short, it is Idolatry and we need to repent.
Do we really need a special religious caste of men and women to tell us the words of God? No! ‘There is one mediator between God and man, Christ Jesus’ 1 Tim 2:5 We need the body together, all participating in community, small or great. This is our conviction.
In conclusion, know it is the body’s words of encouragement (Yes, yours too!) that are more valuable to me than any of the five fold ministries and transient, fly by night prophets. This is because you are sharing your life and choosing to be in some level of personal relationship where we commit to getting to know one another, where we are humbling ourselves one unto another. These prophets have not and cannot do not this because their man-made model keeps them moving. Therefore, because it is our conviction that they walk contrary to the scriptural blueprint for the offices they proclaim to hold, we do not take in their substance to our lives. They are not accountable for one word of their prophecies because they do not adhere to Jesus model of community. Their father is Constantine not Jesus.
You are reading the words of someone who has walked with many of these people. However, one does not need to know them personally to see they are not following the scriptural prophetic protocols or blueprint. I know how they live and do their business. I am speaking to you from earned authority. More importantly they move across a false gridline that is man’s best attempt at building his own kingdom.
Our own testimony is what will overcome the devil, not the teachings and prophecies that we may carry around. It’s your personal overcoming, your own earned authority that comes through day by day walking in godliness, character and persevering in obedience, all to experience Jesus’ presence. Our eyes are to be fixed on Jesus. He is the author writing the story with us! Everything else, including grandiose prophetic words fade in comparison to His light. God made us so that we walk with Him and experience personal interaction. What more could we dream of?
Let us go after our spiritual birthright and gain our inheritance, the purpose for which we have been brought to the earth, through patience and perseverance having faith that God is able to work……..according to the measure of His mighty power we allow to work in us! We will not experience this if we remain on the teat of a lie that speaks to us saying God has chosen a few choice ones to hear his voice! We are all invited to ‘Come up here!’ (Rev 4:1). I’m going to grow up and go up! Continually….. how about you?
Our God is not cheap is he? He is so costly, more costly than gold and precious stones and He said that if we sought Him and His truths with all our hearts (study, search, pray) we would find Him. It’s all about relationship directly with Him, not prophetic words or our importance. In doing so, we get our legitimacy and value from knowing Jesus and walking with Him through this life.
So…and in relationship or a community setting, lets prophesy one to another to build ourselves up in the faith!!!