The Battle

We all have had a lot of teaching concerning spiritual warfare. Much has been useful and much has little bearing on things. The spiritual realm is real and the warfare and activity in that realm heavily affects the earth realm and more specifically the hearts, attitudes, thoughts and longings of men.

We all battle things in our regions and yet it seems at times, we don’t know if we are gaining ground or losing it. We also don’t know exactly what we should be pursuing in a practical way to confront demonic forces. First, let me say demonic forces work through openings in men by way of influences, misdirection, partial truth, lies and a host of subtle voices. These forces are real and the outcome of their actions is felt by culture.

I have taught about all the demonic strongholds, how to do deliverance ministry in depth in our many different schools of ministry. I have had to confront witches in other nations, stared a witchdoctor down to stop human sacrifice, and broke curses off of people that in the American Church we won’t even agree could exist. I recently put together the two main spirits almost everyone is dealing with over regions and territories. I taught this in our night of intercession for our state and this blog will be the first time it will be public.

The obvious main spirit we all know is the religious spirit. It could also be called the spirit of anti-Christ, yet many spirits qualify for this title as the word ‘anti’ means ‘in place of’. Many things are taking the place of Christ but the religious spirit is an organized spirit to replace relationship with obligations, grace with law, and replace freedom with bondages to man-made doctrines.  Most of us can see a religious spirit a long way off. We have combatted this spirit for some time as Kingdom focused apostolic people, yet it seems we still struggle. The reason is this spirit is only the holding bin for those held captive by a different named spirit that captures peoples desire for spirituality.

This second spirit is also at work and it is the spirit of Nicolaitan that Jesus spoke of in Rev. 2:15. Now not many know of this spirit, but it works in partnership with the religious spirit and is the one feeding converts to religious systems. You see this spirit can be traced back to Acts 6:5and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch”. He was a pagan then converted to Judaism, then finally to Christianity. But the mixture of belief he carried is the same mixture of a Nicolaitan spirit. It is a blend of paganism, being under law and worldliness that does not have an absolute belief system of truth. In other words, truth is not the driving force but more likely past experiences, and a more open interpretation of scripture shape the follower. It holds no sanctification process, no finished holiness , nor a emphasis of change required. In other words, nothing is really expected or demanded of those participating. It breeds a noncommitment and an attitude that I’m fine the way I am and the way culture is. Yet the meaning of the name Nicolaitan means “to conquer or overcome the people.” It creates a ruling class of leaders who form a hierarchy over people instead of being equal to them.

Jesus spoke to the church of Ephesus. A church that is not growing but only sustained. (More on this in a few paragraphs). They despised the false apostles emerging and could discern them as false. (Rev.2:2) They had patience and labored faithfully holding fast. (Vs. 3) But they were rebuked for not doing the first works. (Vs. 5) But in verse 6, Jesus stated they hated the deeds of the Nicolaitans. The word ‘deeds’ speaks of the works and the word “deeds” is associated many times concerning things that make for weak faith.  It is doing things on your own strength and ability and not by the spirit of God. I think these things describes much of the apostolic church today.

In Rev. 2:12-17, He addresses the church that is a heretic. Specifically, in verse 15, He told them they hold fast to the doctrine of the Nicolaitans. They refuse to be corrected or even consider the possibility of their mixture with the world. In other words, this was the source of the deeds talked about a few verses prior. Now its time to begin to connect things up.

First, let me say the spirit of religion reinforces the Nicolaitan spirit as that’s where the converts come from. The Nicolaitan spirit points to the religious spirit to help hold the converts. The religious spirit is spiritually dead, holding captive. The Nicolaitan spirit captures those seeking spiritual understanding and holds them captive. The Nicolaitan spirit creates the religious spirit. The religious spirit brings the law and traditions to a more advance stage. Without addressing the Nicolaitan spirit, we will never conquer the religious spirit. So how do we do that?

There are six areas the Nicolaitan spirit operates through and are easily seen working in the souls of men daily. Here are the six problems associated with the Nicolaitan spirit and what it works through. Sin, lack of Disciplines, dead works, church decline, the natural mind and false spirituality. These all work at capturing the totality of a person’s spiritual being and desires. Paul saw the problems the Church would have to face and wrote specific letters to address each problem and brought forth answers. He left a way of stopping the religious spirit by stopping the source, the spirit of Nicolaitans.

Here are the six letters (books) addressing the six problems:

  1. The letter to the Romans is the answer to the problem of sin.
  2. The two Corinthian letters are the answer to lack of disciplines.
  3. Galatians provides the answer to dead works.
  4. Ephesians is the answer to church decline.
  5. Philippians is the answer to the natural mind.
  6. Colossians is the answer to false spirituality.

We probably look at the list and know people who fit some of these to a tee. Combating the spirit of Nicolaitan is addressing these six issues in people’s lives. The answers for these six problems are found in each of these corresponding books. Now this is becoming a key to a practical way of preaching, teaching and confronting. These six areas are both capturing people and eventually holding them captive. Simply find which of the six problems are going on in a person life, read the book associated and minister the answers! Still not convinced? Let’s look at one more place.

Look at the seven churches in Revelation; we can easily see six of the churches had issues that were addressed. Each had come to the full and a decision point moment. Each was confronted to repent. All six had different issues and was presented as unable to continue a healthy path until an issue was resolved. They were examples of these 6 problems become mature in a body and how because of certain things being done people felt they were in right standing with God. That’s the spirit of Nicolaitan for sure. So, looking at a couple we see the church of Ephesus fits to a tee. That’s the church in decline losing first love and not doing first works. The church with Jezebel teaching in it and having a platform, fits false spirituality. I’m not going to give you the entire list laid out, but challenge you to do your own study and see how each fit. John, like Paul saw the outcome of the spirit of Nicolaitans working on the churches and saw the opportunity for repentance before the religious spirit could hold a grip. This gives hope to all gatherings of the body of Christ that they are not in a hopeless place but can shift and change.  Examine your own life first. Examine your own minsitry second. Then begin to minister to people with understanding and save them from the Nicolaitan spirit and let’s defeat the religious spirit. It’s time we begin to fight, not as one beating the air, but in a strategic and practical manner.

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“The ACTS of the Apostles”

The Lord recently spoke to me about the book of Acts, specifically the title. He said “You’re about to see the acts of the apostles.”This had my attention and He said “True apostles are going to do true acts.” As I thought on it, I was reminded of how we define the apostolic and affirm many who are not true apostles. Looking at our current definition and comparing it to the early apostles, there is very little real similarity, at least in America. We have little suffering for the Gospel, or if there is, it is just life. No confrontations of government leaders. No imprisonment. No giving away of abundant finances. Few confrontations with demonic strongholds, or moral issues, or occultism, no teaching all night, or travailing in prayer with no agenda but for Christ to be formed, etc. We seem to do things from a distance within an arm’s length environment. I was just at a conference and the statement was given in a teaching setting that perhaps in America, we are living in a pre-Christian era as we have not seen true apostolic Kingdom Christianity fully formed in our nation and it is yet to come.

The Lord recently sent me on a journey. It was not a prophetic act but a redemptive act to close a gate of hades and open a new era over a region in the United States. He told me this is the acts of the apostles coming. They will be bringing forth the new that God desires and paying little attention to the past and even the controlling forces. I am not going to get into the significance of what I did but God told me He would give me a sign that the cleansing of the land has begun. I saw a green tarnished brass marker become polished clean and like new before my eyes. A real sign and wonder! Where are the signs and the wonders of the acts of the apostles? I tell you it is not running a ‘church’ like a pastor would and calling yourself an apostle.

I have started another book to address all of these things. The apostolic is not about list fulfillment but about living life in apostolic grace. It is seeing, living, and approaching things so differently it may seem odd to everyone. If we are in a type of pre- New Testament Christianity, then doesn’t that mean the apostles will be more on the outside of the status quo instead of being grafted into what is currently happening through our Christian ‘productions’? Maybe I’m the only one tired of all the confusion and devaluing of this grace over the last twenty years.

True apostles don’t need the accolades of men or men’s approval. They do demand order. They do expect action. They desire oneness. They refuse false doctrine. They speak truth that redefines. They will risk everything to advance. They are sought after for affirmation but many times their voice is not welcome. They are rejected for revelation. They are more prophetic than most prophets and they are always seeing a larger vision, working with greater clarity and perceiving with accuracy. They don’t have time for foolish things as these things are childish to them. They don’t build networks but build Christ. They don’t manage ‘churches’ but raise sons. They are pioneers more than revivalists.

The “Acts of the Apostles” is not a history book but a lifestyle book. Read it and see the interaction of the five fold grace gifts. See how the apostles advanced The Church by the endangerment of their reputation risking all as they died to gain Christ. It’s a book of how the character and nature of Christ was formed in the apostles to be formed in the Body to release the Ecclesia. It is a book of sending not gathering and hoarding. It is about infiltration into culture to change pockets of people, not gathering masses to convince them. They are Master builders of God’s expression through His Son. Isn’t it time for the “Acts of the Apostles” again?

Loving Righteousness / Hating Iniquity…. Qualified for the Oil of Gladness

As God’s created beings and as His begotten sons and daughters, we have such a privilege of being in right standing with the Father through the Son. As sons and daughters, we were “begotten” while all other beings were “created”. We were begotten to rule and reign within His Marvelous Kingdom.
Hebrews 1:8 (KJV 1900) — 8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.

Now we all know a lot about righteousness and being in right standing with God. We know we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. We know we started this journey into righteousness when we were born again. But we also make assumptions that we have it in fullness which is far from being correct. The fullness is attainable but not just automatic. I have come to find that as iniquity is confronted with righteousness, then righteousness takes hold and expands into the areas where iniquity was once found. The above verse says the scepter of righteousness is the scepter of the kingdom and this scepter of righteousness is how the kingdom governs and rules. The supreme rule is not done through an anointing but through righteousness. So, righteousness is actually where authority comes from and also how the kingdom rule is expressed. Why do we not see so much more authority moving things and shifting things? The very next verse in Hebrews gives us an amazing clue.

Hebrews 1:9 (KJV 1900) — 9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

The word for loved (righteousness) Agapeo means ‘to welcome, be fond of, to be pleased’. The word for hate (iniquity) means ‘to detest, to dislike strongly to the point of being hostile’. It goes so far as ‘to reject and disown what is evil’. So, two questions now come: do we really love righteousness? Do we really detest iniquity?

If we love something we:
 cherish it
 value it
 prioritize it
 make room for it
 make time for it
If we hate something we:
 Refuse to walk in sin or transgression and iniquity
 Despise it in our heart
 We work against it
 We help others to avoid it
 We free people from it

So, do we honestly get up in the morning and say, “I really love my righteousness today, I honor it, cherish it, value it and esteem it? I’m prioritizing it and making room for it in my life today. And boy do I hate iniquity! I really despise what it does to people and will take action against it today. I want nothing to do with it and want to free others from it.” Now is that really our attitude?
Hate and love is both an attitude and an action. The attitude comes first and then the action will follow. Because Jesus hated iniquity and loved righteousness, He could DESTROY the works of the devil! Our love of righteousness and hatred of evil will increase by two means:
(1) By experiencing greater intimacy and oneness with the Lord Jesus who loved righteousness and hated iniquity
(2) By growing in love and compassion for our brethren and those whose lives are being destroyed by sin.

Psalm 94:16 (KJV 1900) — 16 Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? Or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?

Now the outcome is to be anointed with oil of gladness. Gladness means ‘an extreme joy, to rejoicing exceedingly’. This gladness is part of the Body of Christ’s inheritance. The oil of gladness is for those who will pass the test of loving righteousness and hating iniquity. The level to which you love righteousness must register in the measure to which you hate iniquity….it is an equal exchange. In other words, love and hate walk together. For love to be powerful, there must be a dimension of hate. But the qualifier of the anointing of the oil of gladness it is to hate iniquity and love righteousness, it’s not automatic. This oil of gladness was nothing less than the Holy Spirit. It was the fullness of the Holy Spirit coming upon sons and daughters. It was an anointing of sacred Presence!

John 16:5–11 (KJV 1900) — 5 But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? 6 But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

Hebrews 1:9 says Jesus was anointed above His fellows. Who are the fellows, the disciples? The word “fellows” means ‘sharers, or companions’. In other words, this is anyone who truly knew Him and walked with Him. (Proper attitude and proper actions). This means that if we just didn’t receive righteousness as a provision but truly engaged into it with corresponding actions we too could experience greater and greater degrees of the Holy Spirit upon us. He wants us to share in this joy of the Holy Spirit’s gift living in us!

So do you really, I mean really, love righteousness? Then when you get up in the morning, decide with a conscious decision to engage in that righteousness and begin to make the same conscious decision to hate and despise iniquity. Iniquity is running rampant in the Body because we don’t truly love our righteousness. My prayer for you is that a new anointing will come upon you, an anointing you have never experienced yet. An anointing reserved for a select group, those who love righteousness and hate iniquity. That His anointing will bring a smearing of gladness upon you.

Iniquity Affecting Awakening

I have been looking at why the awakening that so many are contending for is seemingly delayed. Also, why is there reluctance to fully receive the Kingdom of God, apostles, prophets, creative music, and all the other things God is emphasizing in this hour? A recent sharing I did on Facebook from another site was interesting in the varied comments on the topic. It was revealing of the iniquities we have in the Church. Today I inform you of part of the battle and I warn you not to contribute to the problem.
The reason so many things seem delayed is because of what people believe. The root of unbelief is iniquity which is twisted thinking or wrong thinking or lawlessness. It believes something in error that needs to have repentance. A wrong belief can cause the fruit of lawlessness or having your own belief system to interpret what you think to be true. This can even lead to being in self-deceived states and becoming unrighteous. Lawlessness is the outcome of iniquity and it can be defined as being unrighteous.

2 Corinthians 3: 16-18 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

2 Corinthians 4:4 (KJV 1900) — 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

The veil that is to be taken away is iniquity. It blinds the mind or removes illumination, choosing to believe in error. Many are living in the reality of seeing the Glory of God in things around them, but the clear majority, even though participating in some great meetings, are still not seeing the glory of God. The reason is the veils of iniquity that have not been removed neither from understanding nor from their spiritual senses. Iniquity is not just a single iniquity but can be many different types of iniquities.
• Interpretation of truth
• How you view your position
• How you receive the Word of God
• How you perceive your assignment in the earth
• If you’re received or feel rejected
• How you understand any topic God is highlighting in this hour.
The main iniquities are working strongly against what God is emphasizing in this hour and what God is emphasizing is the truth needed to remove the iniquity. Iniquity is not just an overall veiling but there are degrees of iniquity. We get saved living in iniquity and acting upon it as sin. Sin is forgiven but iniquity is purged with mercy and truth. A person can get saved or be saved a long time in the Body of Christ and still be filled with iniquity. It is just being acted out in the Church and not in the world. These iniquities can be a vast number and all affecting many different things. Iniquity’s outcome is spiritual death. It can be all consuming and even rob strength from you.

Psalm 31:9–10 (KJV 1900) — 9 Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: Mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly. 10 For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: My strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed.

Iniquity is the distortion of God’s message over time and then passed to future generations. Iniquity is the place we process our thoughts to come to conclusions. Iniquity can even cause a righteous person to fall away believing they are fine with a mixture of the world thus creating a self-deceived state.
Righteousness is tied to the throne of God, while iniquity is tied to a principality trying to pervert or twist thinking to separate a person from God’s design for them. Righteousness is an attribute of the Lord that aligns everything up with the Kingdom of God. Righteousness of God contains within itself a powerful force that continually judges iniquity and fights against it to align everything with God.
Righteousness opens our way into heaven’s abundance and pulls everything connected with the Kingdom of heaven and all that it holds. This is because righteousness is intimately tied to the glory of God; because they go hand in hand, manifesting them simultaneously. So, righteousness and iniquity are in a constant pull or battle with ultimately iniquity battling against God’s glory!

The righteousness of God will remove iniquity from our being. The glory of God immerses us in everything God is and comes to the degree of righteousness is present. Glory requires holiness and righteousness produces holiness which draws God’s glory. The Glory burns and destroys everything that separates us from God. To achieve our sanctification, iniquity must be identified and eliminated.

Isaiah 60:1–5 (KJV 1900) — 1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, And the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. 2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And gross darkness the people: But the LORD shall arise upon thee, And his glory shall be seen upon thee. 3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, And kings to the brightness of thy rising. 4 Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: All they gather themselves together, they come to thee: Thy sons shall come from far, And thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. 5 Then thou shalt see, and flow together, And thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; Because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, The forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.

This verse is actually all God is emphasizing in this hour. This light is your righteousness that draws the glory of God. This glory can only manifest itself when righteousness has begun its transforming power in a child of God. It is the drawing of spiritual sons and daughters and kings for cultural transformation.

In this hour, true apostolic teaching releases revelation and is confronting iniquity and purging mindsets. The Apostles did not just give knowledge but actually brought people into relationship with Christ, their righteousness. Today we have so many meetings transferring knowledge but not confronting iniquity. When you are confronted with whether you are righteous or not, you must examine your life and this allows the Holy Spirit to sift you. Why are apostles not received in this hour? Because people want their iniquities!

2 Timothy 2:19 (KJV 1900) — 19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

Here is a simple iniquity we all participate in. We pray “in Jesus’ Name” not realizing we are doing it as an official representative of that Name. It is not an ending to a prayer; we simply tag it at the end. It is calling on all that Name represents to come and perform that which we just stated. When we pray a simple prayer over a meal, do we really need all of heaven to bless our food? It actually is the beginning of the invitation of Christ to come and unite with your spirit to accomplish together what you just prayed. If there is iniquity within you in an area, God cannot unite with you in that area.
Isaiah 59:2–4 (KJV 1900) — 2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, And your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. 3 For your hands are defiled with blood, And your fingers with iniquity; Your lips have spoken lies, Your tongue hath muttered perverseness. 4 None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: They trust in vanity, and speak lies; They conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.

It is a heart decision to give up iniquity and embrace truth – thus repentance. Repentance is not spoken of in the Church very often. We believe our knowledge of God is taking care of repentance. But there must be repentance – not in general but specifically confronting each area of iniquity. The response of righteousness will create greater degrees of righteousness. Again, we take the scripture that we are righteous in Christ as finished work. This is true after we have gone through a process creating righteousness. Again, this is another iniquity of removing a process to get the final results. Righteousness will bring holiness and holiness will reveal the glory of God.
Read the account of the Emmaus Road in Luke 24:25-32. Both groups were slow of heart and needed their eyes opened. These were Jesus’ own disciples. Even after all the time He invested, they still were not convinced. Jesus removed the iniquity of His disciples in a certain area by bringing truth that produced righteousness. Once the iniquity was removed, they returned and told everyone. It produced a true cultural awakening revealing God’s glory. I hope I’ve challenged you to search your hearts and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the places of assumptions you might have formed..

Pioneers and Forerunners #2 – Graces of Vision

In my last blog, I spoke of the difference between pioneers and forerunners. Again, I received several good responses. I want to expand that blog since it has helped many people to understand what they are going through. It has also shown me the need to gather the pioneers to get mutual encouragement. I believe most of our conferences are for the forerunners.
Now looking again at pioneers and forerunners, we see that the pioneer is a visionary. They must see afar off and have a sense of direction. The apostolic and prophet graces fall directly into the category of pioneer. They are both visionary and bring new concepts of the future and new paths of spiritual travel. This is not to say there aren’t some pioneers in the other graces of pastor, teacher, and evangelist moving as well. It is just their numbers are very few.
Both apostles and prophets pioneer through the second heavens and make a new path to experience God in the throne room. They confront powers, principalities and oppositions of both demonic and men as they open new ways of seeing and strategy. They have an expectation after all the investment and spiritual work, that the forerunners and settlers will maintain the path and engage into the new discoveries. Both gifts are experiencing frustrations in this hour as they are not fully received nor are the pathways they have opened being received. Mainly pioneers are receiving the revelation from other pioneers. A secondary frustration is what has been opened in the purest form is then shifted or changed by man’s opinions or for man’s own gain. The capitalization of building a person’s own ministry on another’s revelation is doing much damage to many in the Body of Christ. It’s taking advantage of those who have labored in secret and giving them no honor, recognition, or placement in the Body of Christ.
Today we have seen new concepts of the truth being taught by very gifted teachers. These revelatory teachers are not gathering large followings nor settling as teaching centers, but are more transient teachers who are seeding the Body of Christ with revelatory truth. These teachers hang out with apostles and prophets and engage in conversations that are both revelatory and doctrinally sound. They are mature teachers and have deepened their teaching gift with ever increasing revelation.
But primarily, the teaching gift is in the forerunner ministry. They are stationary to grow and establish the Body of Christ. This type of teacher is not so much pursuing revelation to add to their teaching arsenal but is teaching more of the foundations to firmly settle the Body of Christ. They work with Pastors who are in the forerunner category settling people in faith. For the pastor who is frustrated with the constant need to settle people but wants to bring new revelation, they should probably look at their other graces and see if they might be more prophetic and need to shift into the area of pioneering.
It is very easy to see the pastoral grace is a forerunner or a settler type of ministry. The evangelist is there as well building the base of people by expanding the ministry with new converts to the Kingdom. Most pastors are forever consumed with the personal problems and life journeys that people are going through. But the gifting of the prophet and apostle can benefit them greatly. They bring vision and strategy to the people of God pulling them out of their focus on their problems and onto a Kingdom destiny. People who engage in a vision higher than themselves generally see their problems as small and allow them to fade away in their importance. Pastors are in more need of true apostles to give them strategy and bring the Kingdom. True apostles come to partner with and not take over or have them join a network. The days of networks are coming to an end and the time of divine alignments by relationships is upon us. Since I dissolved the network I had years ago, (I had about 80 ministers in it) it became very freeing to not build a structure but to build leaders. I know a lot of people but not everyone I know has been integrated into my network because it does not exist!
So, the understanding of pioneers and forerunners is critical to understand how to function and how to place and value certain things. Take prophecy: there are varying degrees of prophecy. Some is very directive and others are encouraging. The most important words to shift direction on are the prophetic words of prophets and apostles. Other words may be more for the forerunners of places that are establishing the Body of Christ and encourages many. Teaching can be both foundational and revelatory. Revelatory teaching opens vast areas to expand as foundations. Assignments. Many new territories take both apostolic and prophet grace to open while at other times, it’s simply taking what is already established and adding to it.
If we look at the book of Acts, we see the both the pioneering spirit and the forerunner spirit. The first 11 chapters are about the Church in Jerusalem and how it functioned as a forerunner. There were new concepts of taking care of social injustice and new ways of living life in relationship with God. Healing, miracles, and the supernatural are all shown as different from the religious structures. Foundations were laid to build a future upon, based on the fresh revelation of Christ. Acts 12 unfolds as the transitional chapter. Its prophetic symbolism is vast. Peter is locked in prison. Look at it like this; Peter is not locked in prison but the revelation that Peter carried is imprisoned. The Church is praying and crying out for Peter to be released. They are praying for what Peter is carrying to be released. A cry for more revelation. Revelation is released and revelation comes out of prison. Revelation enters a city and it finds a praying Ecclesia! Remember, Peter played a key role of saying Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God. Peter spoke after Pentecost and explained what was happening. Acts 13 onward is about the pioneers and the expansion of the Kingdom. We see the revelation they received dictated the course they were to go. New territories and new revelation came. Yes, we need the forerunners establishing, but we also need them connected to the pioneers to sustain the new territories they are attaining.

Pioneering or Forerunning

Today as I got up, I started thinking on the life I have had of pioneering or forerunning. I used to think they were the same but after this morning’s reflections; I’ve concluded they are two completely different things.

When you are forerunning, you are announcing to a large group of people who are willing to follow you. Most forerunners have very large or sustainable congregations or larger groups of people already following them. The forerunner is only announcing to a group of people what has already been discovered. Generally, the forerunner is declaring revelation that has already been uncovered but is now finally ready to be received. The forerunner is not alone but has other forerunners to draw strength from. The forerunner looks extremely successful, supposedly has new revelation, numbers of followers, and enough funds to do the work. They seem to get great honor being a forerunner and are greatly appreciated for what they are doing.

Pioneering is different. You are blazing a new trail that has not yet been discovered. It’s a lot harder work because the resources of people are not there and finances are generally really stretched. Pioneers see destiny afar off and are dreamers of a better way. They are removing the obstacles off the path so the forerunners can function. The pioneer walks a pretty lonely road as there are not many around them to draw strength from. Unlike the forerunner who draws strength from followers, the pioneer must draw strength from the vision and destiny. The number of these trail blazers is low, there are not enough funds, and overall, they appear to be unsuccessful. No one wants to come down the blazed trail until it’s been completed. By then, the pioneer has moved on to the next assignment, never settling. They seem to get little honor and are unappreciated or unnoticed being a pioneer.

Over the years, I have been a pioneer desiring to be a forerunner. In all honesty, the forerunner’s followers are hungry to receive the new path, making it easier to do the work of ministry. It’s been a great journey discovering the unknown as I’ve lived a revelatory life but equally frustrating to see what is now a 5 or even 10 year old revelation for me, to be new for the forerunners. In the same moment, it is equally rewarding to know the path you cut was the right path. Yet you come back to the new path in front of you and you wonder again, will the forerunners find this new path or just settle on the path they are on. We experienced the exact same moves of God others have over the last 20 years, but God said “You can stay here and camp or you can let go of it and go deeper”. I chose the deeper while the majority camped.

Combating Leviathan to Bring Light to Iowa

In my last blog, I exposed the Leviathan principality that is working in Iowa. (See past blog) Since the posting, many people have contacted me from other states saying they are combating the same exact things. Many have decided to follow my blog to find answers for their regions. I want to begin to address a strategic plan of spiritual warfare against the demonic forces that we encounter.
How do we fight against an unseen enemy and how do we determine the results? In the past, I have seen many so called prophetic acts that engaged a lot of activity but had little to no results. I do believe in prophetic acts, but only if they are very divinely inspired and prayed into and not a fleeting thought in the moment. I don’t see New Testament apostles doing prophetic acts but actual acts. That’s why the book is called The “Acts” of the Apostles. They were real men sent by God to do real acts of God to display His Kingdom in society. They did not depend on numbers to engage demonic forces but relied strictly on the spiritual authority they had been given. Success was not dependent on everyone agreeing or even understanding. It was based on them hearing God’s voice clearly and obeying. We are to pull down strongholds. You don’t pull strongholds down as an individual but with a group of people. This is an action of a group of people who demolish a fortress brick by brick until there is nothing left that remains. This, to me is the first step in strategy, finding the group of warriors.
We also need to find apostles and prophets. I’m not talking about those who want to be or who might be called, but commissioned apostles appointed by Christ, not men and assumptions. These will only be the ones carrying true authority to deal with deep things in the second heaven. They will know the time and moment to step into the heavens and begin to make the shifts. We also must have Christ appointed prophets as well. Ones who declare the true word of God, speaking what must be said. All apostles require and need prophets and all prophets require and need apostles. I have come to a conclusion over time that unless these divine Christ appointed relationships are in place, the strategy of God will not be fully known. If these relationships do not exist, then there is improper alignment, rebellion, or they are not truly called to operate in the grace of these two callings. These giftings will reveal the true word of God over regions and allow that word to be documented so that the Church can war with it. It becomes the spiritual roadmap that reveals the future and causes hope to arise and faith to be activated. The Biblical pattern in the book of Acts shows that when a principality was operating in a region, then Apostolic/Prophetic teams were sent into an area. They understood the culture and the demonic influences behind the people’s belief systems. They began to confront the principality by confronting what people believed. This is probably the primary way of defeating demonic oppression and deception. This occurs until a divine moment of time, confronting each head of Leviathan and weakening the overall principality. We need apostolic / prophetic teams to not just do meetings but go into regions and occupy for a season until breakthrough begins to happen.
Prayer is a key strategic point. There must be prayer over God’s people and decrees over demons plaguing God’s people. Prayer that seeks the heart of God to cause a person’s own heart to be changed. Prayers that communicate the burden we are carrying so God can adjust that burden. Prayer is what maintains and protects God’s people. But prayer alone will not bring changes so much in culture as tarrying to hear God’s plans and strategies is needed. This is more key than anything. In the past when we confronted principalities, we prayed for God’s people, interceded for the lost, made decrees and did lots and lots of deliverance over the people under the demonic oppression. We taught truth and held a Kingdom standard. The prayer room or prayer time was a key time because it allowed us to move into the spiritual realm as a contending group. It was not so much the act of prayer but what it allowed to be produced in us as a corporate Body. It was not just a few of us on the journey of prayer but all of us together. After all, we ALL were on assignment so everything we did, we did together. This was key because it caused our hearts to be knit in His purpose as all of us experienced and heard the same things. We also could hear each other’s heart and understood each other’s hearts. There was as much said and spoken in the prayer gathering as there was in our main meetings. The prayer meeting would set the stage for what God would then form in our main meetings. Without the time in the prayer gathering, a person would be at a disadvantage in understanding the overall direction as things unfolded.
All things will contribute to the weakening of demonic oppression. Healing, winning souls, deliverance, etc., all weaken evil influences. These things are very important, but if the Church is needing awakened, then these things will be hard to set into motion. People will only change how they function after they change what they value. So we must teach and teach and teach as people are perishing for lack of Kingdom knowledge. This has been and currently is the season of revelatory teachers needed. What they are forming is the people of God activated and functioning in real authority.
Now let me give a warning. What seems to happen when we start talking of principalities is there are a lot of ideas and Godly intentions, but little of it fits into an overall plan and strategy to take demonic opposition out of the way. Also, it seems that people can get very fixated on the demonic and not on the Lord thus even empowering demonic forces with their faith. All the good ideas will contribute to the overall success possibly, but they can also distract the Church as it divides people into different groups and passions with no real overall Kingdom plan or agenda unfolding. It can be said these initiatives are Kingdom but are they strategic, playing into an overall Kingdom plan of God? I have seen this in our state with some things that can appear to be a good initiative but don’t have a long-term goal or plan that continues. People can walk away feeling good about what they accomplished but when all is said and done, there was little to no impact. We must be sure we are hearing God and to know the application of what we hear. We must know how our initiatives fit into a larger plan.
The main thing is that we have grown accustomed to life as it is. Human nature is already non-confrontational. The deception we live with is thinking we have already arrived or that things are not really that bad. This mindset needs addressed first. We can’t have change unless we are discontent with the status quo. But there will come a moment of in time, divinely led and inspired, when a corporate group pf people are gathered and in faith will confront Leviathan head on and cut the heads off it. These people will then stand in faith afterwards not giving any ground in the spiritual realm back. This will literally shift the heavens and the atmosphere over a region. It takes time to defeat Principalities. We see Paul weakening many demonic forces over time. This is like a giant chess match being played out with the ultimate prize being a true sovereign move of God unfolding. It is the removing of what is detrimental to allow the light of God to shine into men’s hearts.
We truly need a divine sovereign move of God. Every meeting becomes another key step. Another step in the unfolding plan of God dominion and alignment of hearts. Every person is seen as a possible key to contributing to Kingdom advancement. The mindset is to advance. Advance in gatherings, advance seeing God in lives, advance seeing Kingdom people touching society and seeing that touch influence culture.