March 18, '11 2:57 PM
By Regner Capener
Howdy, Howdy, Howdy!
During the last three weeks or so, Della has been experiencing increasing pain in her jaw from what turns out to be an abscessed tooth. She’s been having dental work done, and our dentist, Dr. James Stevens, has been giving her antibiotics to bring down the infection. The antibiotics have not worked adequately and yesterday, with the pain at an absolute crescendo, Jim opened it up and irrigated the area within the tooth.
Della said that when the infection began to flush out it smelled worse than the sewer. The stuff coming out of her mouth was incredibly rank. When the irrigation procedure was finished it had made a huge difference in her pain level. There’s still more work to be done (and expected to be completed over the next few weeks), but the reason I’m sharing this is because of something the Holy Spirit spoke to Della as she experienced the smell of the poison coming out of her mouth.
“This is a picture of a situation that exists in the Body of Christ right now,” Della heard the Holy Spirit say.“So many Christians have death in their mouth. The words that they speak towards one another, or towards leaders throughout the Body with whom they disagree, or towards those who embrace doctrines they either don’t understand or feel are heretical, are nothing short of excrement in my ears and in my sight. They are a stench to me!”
No kidding! There are fistfuls of believers who think nothing of blasting this movement or that movement, speaking all manner of evil against leaders and preachers with whom they disagree. Somehow they’ve anointed themselves to be the arbiters of what truth is and what heresy is. All you have to do is go into any search engine online and type in the name of some prominent evangelist, prophet or leader and you wind up getting links to scores of posts which delight in roasting that person.
Just as an example, in my last Coffee Break I mentioned the fact that we have partnered with Kenneth Copeland and Jesse Duplantis (among others) in their ministry efforts over the past few years. From some of the unbelievably hateful responses I received, you’d have thought we were partnering with Satan. The word that came to Della in that dental chair could not have been more accurate or timelier (and she was totally unaware at the time of the email responses I’d been receiving).The Holy Spirit finished His Word to Della with the following:
“Just as you have needed your mouth to be flushed and irrigated in order to be cleaned of the infection and poison, so does the Body of Christ also need its mouth flushed and irrigated. The words that come forth out of the mouths of Christians must reflect the life, the health, the healing and the wholeness that is in Christ Jesus and not the hate and venom that comes from the Accuser of the Brethren. That infection and contamination can never be a part of the speech of My people if they expect to be the solution to the sin, sickness and death in the world.”
That word could not have been more graphic! It was a perfect illustration. Let me share a quick personal experience for clarity and we’ll move on.
I was just thinking back to an experience Della and I had some years ago when the Lord first began to emphasize to us the need to alter the way we speak of other believers and leaders in the Body of Christ – and especially those with whom we vehemently disagree. Della happened to be traveling in the southeast doing her jewelry shows. In a hotel one night listening to a preacher on TV for just a few minutes – one with whom we often disagreed – the Lord said to her, “I want you to sow a $1,000 seed into that ministry.”She immediately began to argue with the Lord about it, but He made it abundantly clear that we were to do this.
She called me on the phone and told me what the Lord was saying and I began to sputter, “But, but, but … this guy isn’t …” and I never got to finish what I wanted to say. I began arguing with the Lord that this particular preacher wasn’t a man of integrity when it came to finances. Wow! Did I ever feel His disapproval! He simply said to me, “I trust him, and that’s all that matters.”Yikes! Got the message!!Brother, did I ever!
We sowed that seed as soon as it was possible. The Lord honored our obedience and multiplied it back to us many times over. He also taught us to shut up when it came to speaking out against preachers with whom we had issues and leave the judging to Him. You see, we judge by outward appearances, by what we hear and see and think we know; but the Lord judges them by their heart, by their obedience to Him and what He has commanded them specifically. That’s what counts in His sight.
We don’t get a vote in the matter, and we don’t get to decide whether folks are pleasing the Lord or not. We don’t get to criticize them. That’s not our privilege. God frequently calls flawed men and women to His service. He is the one who qualifies and justifies those whom He calls. What we do get to do – and are so commanded – is to pray for them and intercede on their behalf.
Della’s experience was a fresh reminder that the Body of Christ needs to be warned on this subject. Otherwise they are touching the anointing (and the anointed) of the Lord – and He has issued strong warnings against those who do! There are personal consequences folks don’t even want to think about.
The way the book of Jeremiah opens up makes it apparent that Jeremiah was pretty young when the Lord first called him to be a prophet. God’s instruction to him to “Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak” was of particular interest to me because of my earlier experiences with angels, and the fact that Jesus had appeared to me at age seven and called me.
When he was first introduced to me, he wasn’t anything like I had envisioned. My mental image of Jeremiah stemmed from his being frail and pretty thin following his having been pulled from the mire in the dungeon in the days of the king, Zedekiah, where he was close to starving to death. You wouldn’t call him muscular, but he sure was fit and in great physical condition. My guess was that he stood roughly 5’10” in height.
My questions to Jeremiah began with the subject of his very youthful call by the Lord.“You were obviously surprised when you heard the Lord call you. Did you see Him? Did He appear to you in person? Or did you just hear His voice in your being?”
“I was about your age,” he answered.“In those days, people didn’t see angels very often but God has a way of speaking into you so clearly that no one could ever mistake Him for anyone else. That’s the way I heard Him.”
“You are basically saying the same thing that Abraham said to me when I asked him a similar question,” I responded.“His answer to me was that ‘when you’ve heard the voice of God, there is no other voice.’”
“That’s right,” he said, nodding his head.“There are many voices in the world, and many sounds, but when a person hears the voice of God, it isn’t a voice anyone – Satan included – can counterfeit. There is absolute authority when He speaks. There is a sound to His voice unlike any other. There is complete peace. Once you’ve heard Him no one will ever convince you otherwise.
“I’m sure Satan would like to copy Him as much as possible, but there is no peace in his voice – no peace, whatever! And, his voice lacks authority. Deception is his major tactic, but if you are paying attention to the sound of his voice, you quickly realize who is speaking.”
“When the Lord first began to give you His Word to deliver to the nation and to the kings, you were still young like me, weren’t you?” I asked.
“Yes. And that was why He told me that I would go to whomever He sent me, and that I was to speak boldly whatever He instructed. When I first went into the streets of Jerusalem to declare His Word, He used my young age as an illustration of what He was saying to the nation. My size and age became a visible sign to them of His Word.”
Jeremiah continued.“You, my young friend, are being prepared and groomed by the Lord to deliver His Word. Though that day is not yet, there is a time appointed for you by Father God to deliver His Word to the nation, and to many leaders. A day will come when you will speak to kings, to governors, to leaders in all walks of life and at every level of society. God will have prepared His Word in you in such a way that you will be His Word.”
Jeremiah’s statement was something that would become embedded in the core of my being, and a Word that Holy Spirit would later confirm again and again.
I am reminded of how in the years since that Word would be executed in me.My first experience came when I was given the opportunity to lay hands on the native King of the Solomon Islands. That followed a few years later when I was sent to deliver a prophetic word to the governor of Alaska – a word, incidentally, which the governor received and which altered the course of affairs for the whole state as well as shaking up Alaska’s political world. Not long thereafter I was instructed to pour oil upon and commission a young woman to become the City Manager in place of a corrupt predecessor in Barrow, Alaska. That took place seven months before the corrupt manager was indicted and removed from office.
And those are but a few of the events that have followed as the Word of the Lord has been being built and established in me. And it continues to this day.
Throughout the years I’ve heard Jeremiah often referred to as “the weeping prophet.”That certainly was not the way that he came across to me in our conversation, although I could perhaps get a sense of why some folks would think that as we continued talking.
“One of the things that is true today in your world, as much as it was in my time, is the fact that the priests and prophets (you don’t call them that – you use over-generalized terms like “pastor” or “evangelist” or “missionary”) of your age fall into the same traps that they did in my day. As the Word of the Lord is being revealed throughout the years and truths lost throughout the centuries are being restored to God’s people, those in places of leadership tend to fear what they perceive as change or alteration to what they’ve preached.
“I’m sure that you’ve heard the phrase “comfortable gospel” or “comfort zone” growing up in church. If you remember some of the prophecies the Lord gave to me concerning Israel’s spiritual leaders, you’ll remember this:
“For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.”
“The covetousness spoken of by the Lord isn’t necessarily referring to money or possessions. It applies to the positions of authority and influence. When these “covetous” leaders hear something that could take away from their places of power, they tend to quiet the mouths of those who would speak or share something contrary to their traditional and often “comfortable” doctrines – teachings that won’t disturb the status quo and cause people to begin seeking after something besides that which they offer.”
Jeremiah continued, “You, my young friend, are going to encounter this in the years to come. The Lord will reveal things to you that you must share with God’s people – truths that have not been taught or emphasized, and truths that are critical to their spiritual growth and understanding of their relationship to Him. You will encounter opposition from many leaders and people regarded as “elders.”Just as God said to me, ‘Be not afraid of their faces, for I am with thee to deliver thee,’ I’m saying the same thing to you. Do not – under any circumstances – allow the intimidation of those in high places to alter or influence the Word that Father God gives you to speak. Deliver it exactly as He says whether people like it or not.”
It was a sobering but critically important message for me to consider and hang on to. To some of those of you who read this it may seem like a pretty stern message to give to someone not yet ten years of age, but it was a strong Word from the Lord that was permanently etched in my spirit from that moment on. I had good reason to remember that instruction many years later when I stood before a group of pastors and church leaders whom I loved and respected and rebuked them with Jeremiah’s words for not teaching and preaching the truth of the message of deliverance from evil spirits.
(They had been preaching that once a person is ‘saved’ he is automatically free from evil spirits. There is nothing automatic about it. We’ve been given the authority as believers to kick out demons, but if we don’t exercise that authority we’ll never be completely free!)
True to the Word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah, these leaders fought against me and ordered that I was not to even enter any of their churches. Also true to the Word of the Lord, He was with me to deliver me and some years later, the senior pastor in this group repented and asked for my forgiveness. Every one of their churches ultimately began preaching the message of deliverance.
My conversation with Jeremiah ended on the subject that had colored my imagination of him as frail and weak.
“You remember,” I queried, “how during the reign of Zedekiah some of the captains and elders of the people got the king’s permission to throw you into prison, and then into a muddy pit to let you die? You were there long enough that your body became so weak and frail they finally had to haul you out with dirty old rags because your flesh would have ripped apart had they used coarse ropes.Did you ever feel like the Lord had gone back on His Word to deliver you during the days or weeks you struggled to stay alive?”
“Never,” he responded.“It never crossed my mind. I knew this was just part of my journey as a prophet to a rebellious nation. The nation as a large part had rejected God’s leadership and had gone chasing after false gods that would allow them to live as they pleased. Sure, there were many people who followed after the Law of Moses and the traditions of the Elders but as Isaiah before me had mourned, God was sick of their burnt offerings and sacrifices. They had become meaningless traditions – religious practices without life or significance.
“You can expect persecution, imprisonment, slander, false accusations and terrible treatment at the hands of those who reject the Word of the Lord – especially when they are afraid of the people they serve and fear for the loss of their status and position.God had never failed to deliver me in the past. I had no reason to think He was suddenly going to forsake His promises me.”
“How did you cope with the long darkness and the ick of the mud for so long?” I asked.
“You can’t even think about it,” he answered.“If you do you’ll be constantly in torment. The answer to that kind of predicament is to focus on the Lord and to remember what His promises are to you. Another thing you can do – and should do – is to sing praises to the Lord. Keep your focus on Him no matter how long it takes. He will deliver you as He has promised.”
Jeremiah’s counsel to me was etched indelibly in my spirit and in my subconscious. Throughout all the years of ministry since, his words and his instruction have been triggered in my memory whenever events have turned against me because of the Word of the Lord.
Two prophets remained yet for me to visit, and I was anxious to meet them. My conversations with Isaiah and Jeremiah had been both uplifting and encouraging – really important, in fact – and I was excited to have the opportunity to talk to Ezekiel and Daniel.
Next: HEAVEN XIII: Ezekiel.
A shaking is going on the midst of God’s people! Jesus is coming back for a Bride without spot or wrinkle. It is imperative that we as His people yield to the fire of the Holy Spirit and the purification processes He is bringing us to. The fire is not for our destruction, it is to get rid of the bondages that keep us from reaching His destiny for us!
Blessings on you!
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