For relevant background information to Joyner's explanations in "God's
Ultimate Plan", see Ernie
Gruen's 233-page public rebuke of Mike Bickle, Bob Jones, etc., from
January 1990, reproduced in PDF file at the following outside URL: http://www.banner.org.uk/kcp/kcp-gruen.html.
This rebuke does contain specific complaints against Bob Jones that coincides
with our rebuke, which was made public in 1999 and which concerned a Dec
31, 1997 false prophecy of Bob Jones and Rick Joyner's appalling handling
of the 'fruit' of this prophecy. The irresponsible practice of prophesying
disasterous events that do not come to pass, is a complaint of this old
rebuke, with specifics as to Bob Jones (see C. Sensationalist Prophecies
of Impending Calamities, under section VI, page 117). This old rebuke had
been unavailable until year 2002 or so when Tricia Tillin made it available
on her website, Cross and Word.
by Rick Joyner
All Scripture references NAS unless otherwise indicated.
Repent therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;
And that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you,
Whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time (Acts 3:19-20).
The first two chapters in the Bible and then the last two make a complete story. Everything between those four chapters deals with one essential subject—restoring man and the creation to the place from which they have fallen. The process by which the Lord accomplishes this restoration is called redemption. Understanding redemption is fundamental to understanding all that God has done, is doing, or will do on the earth, from the fall until the earth is fully restored.
THE NEW CREATION
In the midst of God's great and epic plan to redeem His fallen creation, He determined to take what the enemy intended for evil and turn it into an even greater good. Those who participate with Him in His plan of redemption He has enabled to become a "new creation," which greatly transcends the original creation. We may think that there would be nothing more wonderful than to have the kind of relationship to God that Adam had before the fall, or that Moses had, who frequently talked with the Lord face to face. Who has not envied the disciples who walked with Jesus when He was on this earth? However, the Lord Jesus told His disciples that it was actually better for them if He departed this life so that the Holy Spirit could come to live in them. By this He stated that the gift of the Holy Spirit was actually to be esteemed above walking with Jesus when He was manifested as a man.
Through the new creation the gap between the spiritual and natural realms has been bridged. Men who are flesh can actually become partakers of the divine nature through Christ. Though we walk on the earth, we can be seated with Him in the heavenly places. In the original, uncorrupted creation God walked with man and had fellowship with him. In the new creation, God has come to live in man, calling us to be His eternal dwelling place. This is a much higher calling. Instead of death returning us to the dust, which was the curse upon the original creation, death is the gateway through which we enter heaven to live with Him eternally.
Every Christian has the power of the One who created the universe living within him. We also have the One who knows all things and controls all things living within us. The comprehension of this must be one of the greatest marvels from the angels in heaven to the demons in hell. Why would God so esteem men to choose us to be His temple? This may be even harder for us who are a part of the fallen race to understand, knowing our own corruption and tendency toward evil. Even so, once we who deserve it so little come to this understanding, we appreciate it even more. Those who are forgiven much will love much.
How many of us, if we knew that all of our best friends, who we had poured our whole life into for over three years, were going to desert us and even deny that they knew us, would still earnestly desire to have a last meal with them? After all that the Lord put into preparing the twelve, only one of them would be found at the base of the cross, standing with Him in His time of greatest need. Yet, the Lord never gave up on the others, and He never condemned them for failing Him so. The-Bible is not a story about men who sought God, but about the way that God has sought men. Through all of the rebellion and rebuffs that men have given to Him, He has never given up on us. That is His nature, and it must also be ours if we are to be in unity with Him.
If we are going to be in unity with the Lord in His plan of redemption, we must learn to look past the failures of one another. Since the first century, the history of great men of God has far too often been that of great exploits only to be followed by a great fall at the end. The leaders of almost every great move of God have ended up persecuting the movements that followed them. There has hardly been an exception to this. The great men of Scripture often endured many failures, but ended in triumph. Since then it has too often been that leaders have many great successes, only to end in tragic defeat and delusion. One primary reason for this is probably found in the way we treat our fallen brethren. Rather than extending grace and mercy, the way that the Lord did, we often condemn them to a spiritual graveyard and have nothing else to do with them. Is this the example that the Lord left to us?
WHY HE IS RETURNING
When the Lord returns to "restore all things" He will come with a rod of iron to swiftly punish those who do not obey. However, this is obviously not the time when He has come to restore all things, because He has not yet returned. Sin is not swiftly punished, but rather rewarded. Satan is the ruler of this present evil age and he does reward those who bow down to him, that is, who will live according to his ways. This is the age and the environment when the Lord is choosing those who will be a part of His "new creation," who will be members of His own household and reign with Him. This is the highest calling in the creation and their worship and obedience must be proven. Adam lived in a perfect world but still chose to disobey. Those of the new creation will have lived in a dark and evil world that rewards sin, but will have chosen to obey against all of the pressures and influences of this evil age.
Jesus was "the last Adam" (see I Corinthians 15:45). As Adam began the first race of men, Jesus also began a new race, a spiritual one. This new race transforms men from the first creation into a new race that is far greater than the first. However, the purpose of the new creation is the redemption of the first creation. We must never forget that the Lord fully intends to "restore all things," which is the reason for His return. If He did not intend to restore the earth He would have just snatched us away to heaven and then destroyed the earth. He is coming back, and bringing us with Him, to rule over it until the restoration is complete.
When Jesus saw what was wrong with the world, He did not condemn it—it was already condemned; He laid down His life for it. It is likewise the nature of those who are united to Him to lay down their lives to help restore those who are the slaves of this evil age. He knows that we will not be fully successful until He returns. One reason that He did not just snatch us away to heaven as soon as we committed our lives to follow Him was for our sake—to learn and to prove our devotion to Him and His purposes.
THE BOB JONES SAGA
When the chronicles of heaven are read on that great Judgment Day, I am convinced that Bob Jones, a prophet from Independence, Missouri, will be honored as one who helped greatly to prepare the last day ministry of the church. From one end of the earth to the other I have met people who claim that a word from Bob Jones changed their life, or set them on the course to the ministry they are now in. But like the apostle Peter, Bob's life has been a course of extraordinary spiritual accomplishments, followed by humiliating mistakes. Both his accomplishments and his mistakes are important for us to understand if we are to be prepared for what is coming.
Right after the Lord said to Peter, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 16:17), the Lord gave him the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Then the very next thing that He said to Peter was, "Get behind Me, Satan!" (verse 23). Right after Peter received a word straight from the Father, he received one straight from the enemy. Even though Peter would fall hard at times, he would get up and keep going. Therefore, even after his mistakes, the Lord did not take the keys to the kingdom away from him. In spite of his flaws, Peter, who would get out of the boat to walk on water, was the disciple most likely to use the keys to open the doors.
With Bob Jones we have a similar dilemma. You cannot be around Bob very long without realizing that he is receiving revelation straight from the Father. Like Peter, he has also succumbed to some of the enemy's most destructive traps. Even so, Bob keeps getting back up, dusts himself off, and like the "Energizer Bunny," he keeps going, and going, and going.
KEY TO THE KINGDOM
Bob obviously does have some of the keys to the kingdom. He walks in a spiritual realm that is in many ways unlike anyone I have ever met. It is real and it is God. However, Bob does not just have some of the keys to the kingdom—he represents one of them. He will be either a stepping stone or stumbling block to the kind of prophetic authority that we must have to accomplish our mission in the last days.
God does not tempt us, but He does test us. His tests are given for the purpose of qualifying us for promotions to the next grade, to give us more spiritual authority. Bob Jones is a test that many of us will have to pass before we can go on. Others may not have to pass the test with Bob Jones, but they will be given similar vessels, or situations, that they will have to learn to properly deal with before they, too, can go further.
Is this biblical? Yes. This is the same kind of test that the Galatians had to pass to receive Paul (see Galatians 4:13-14). This is not to imply that Bob Jones is on the level of Paul the apostle, but the Lord often makes His vessels a test that will separate those who really love the truth from those who judge by appearances. Jonah was also such a vessel, as were many of the other prophets in Scripture. We now esteem Isaiah, but how many of us would have identified ourselves with a prophet who went around naked for three and a half years? How many of us would have asked John the Baptist over for Sunday dinner? Would you have wanted to live next door to Hosea and his harlot wife? How many of us, had we been those with great religious influence, would really have been open to listen to a carpenter from Nazareth? In fact, almost all of God's vessels will be a major test for the flesh, and those who trust in the arm of the flesh will not pass this test.
Bob Jones' prophetic revelation is the most extraordinary I have ever witnessed. His prophetic gifts are of true biblical stature. A number of times Bob has told me the names of people that I was going to meet, and many other details about them. He has told me details about meetings which I was going to attend months, and in one case, years before they were even scheduled. He has called me to tell me the dream or vision that I had, and then interpreted it. He prophesied the birth of our third child two years before, including the day she would be born and her weight, accurately. Twice he has told me of visitations from the Lord that I was to receive, and the commission that was coming with it, along with the time and place that it would happen. I have heard him prophesy a number of national and international events, and natural disasters, with astonishing detail and accuracy. I have not personally witnessed the authority over demons, or the gifts of healings and miracles, following any other person like they do Bob. This is not to say that they don't, but I have not witnessed it.
Even more important than the signs that follow his life is that when Bob comes to a church or city almost every person he encounters is left functioning on a higher spiritual level. He stirs up the gifts in others. He does it in such a way that imparts faith in God, not just His gifts. He will patiently spend hours a day ministering to individuals, not distinguishing between the high and the lowly, the famous or the infamous. The love of God so exudes from him that he makes everyone feel like the most important person in the world. Children adore him like he does them. He can spend a few minutes with a child and impart such a zeal for God that it can carry them for years above the turbulence of youth.
Like many prophetic people, Bob has been deeply wounded by rejection and misunderstanding. At times he has allowed the rejection to turn into bitterness, and bitterness will always defile. Bitterness is spiritual madness. For a time Bob allowed bitterness to drive him to what he himself called "spiritual insanity." The greater the anointing and spiritual authority that one walks in, the greater the potential fall and deception that they can suffer if they give themselves over to sin. Bob fell to some of the lowest levels of deception and sin. To his credit, he asked me to tell the whole story without holding anything back, knowing that it could further hurt his ministry or reputation, but being even more concerned that it could help save others from falling to the same traps.
In the late 1980s, Bob Jones and the Kansas City Fellowship came under one of the most ruthless attacks of the accuser I have ever witnessed. As is the case with most "attackers," their accuser was hiding serious sin in his own life. Bob knew it, and other prophetic people knew. Even so, the leaders of KCF (now Metro Vineyard Fellowship), determined to use this trial to humble themselves before God to seek more of His grace. They did not defend themselves against the slander and false accusations, but rather searched the accusations for any degree of truth so that they could publicly repent of them. When years later the sins of their accuser were publicly revealed, the Metro Vineyard church did not gloat, but the leaders and the people wept in sincere remorse at the fall of a brother, knowing that many more Christians would be wounded. After hearing this I heard one man remark, "There really are some true Christians in the church!"
In the heat of the attack, Bob was disciplined for some of the mistakes that he had made, and his tendency to be too loose in both sharing and applying sensitive prophetic information. Bob accepted this relatively well until he felt that no one had properly defended him against the false accusations and slander. His rejection turned to bitterness and resentment. Defilement soon followed. Bob then began to rationalize that if his accuser could get away with adultery, with seemingly no repercussions, he could mess around a little and get away with it. Darkness then overtook him like a flood. He even used his extraordinary prophetic gifts to manipulate a mother and daughter that he was counseling. Serious sexual misconduct followed. Though it stopped short of adultery, in Bob's own words, what was done was no less serious, and a woman and her daughter had been deeply wounded.
THE DELUSIONS OF POWER
Months before his fall Bob had called me asking for help. He had prayed for a spirit of lust to be broken off of a well-known evangelist, but he had done this without permission from the Lord. In Bob's words, when he did this it "jumped on" him, and he could not shake it. I had witnessed Bob cast out many powerful demons that others could not handle. I just could not imagine any demon staying around him for very long, so I brushed off his request for help. Several times over the next few months Bob called me for help, and each time I tried to encourage him that no demon could stay close to him long. The next time I saw Bob I was shocked by the power of the spirit I saw oppressing him. I did not want to make the same mistake that he had by trying to take authority over something that powerful alone, so I found Mahesh Chavda, and we prayed together for it to be broken off of him. It departed and Bob changed before our eyes.
When it later surfaced just how far Bob had fallen into sexual misconduct, I was grieved over how I had let him down when he had cried out for help. I had been overly awed by Bob's gifts and spiritual authority over demons. Since then I have come to understand that the greater the anointing, the greater the blind spots can also be. Even the greatest man of God is fallible, and if we ever think that we cannot fall we have probably already begun to.
I was not the only one to make a mistake with Bob during this time, or after it. There have been reactions and over-reactions, but in those trying times I was surprised that the situation was handled as well as it was. Even so, a number of us were shown last December that until the situation with Bob Jones was properly resolved, which includes his full restoration to his proper place in the church, we ourselves would go no further. In many ways, the lessons learned from this whole situation are essential for us to understand before the Lord can endorse us with any more anointing or authority.
What Bob did was inexcusable, and he cannot shift the blame to anyone else for his own sins. God does not forgive excuses; He forgives sins. In Bob's own words he fell into the depths of spiritual delusion and carnal corruption. He does not want to hide it, but rather wants to use it as an example to help prevent others from making the same mistakes. This is both very noble, and very important. One reason why the Lord has placed Bob as a test to many is that he represents the condition of not only many prophetic people, but to some degree, the church as a whole. By learning how to heal, restore, and protect Bob we will learn what it will take to heal, restore, and protect multitudes who have fallen to different aspects of the same problems.
GOD'S PRIMARY BUSINESS
After King David fell into sin with Bathsheba, Scripture says that all of Israel went astray and followed after Absalom. For the people of Israel it was probably very hard for them to believe that someone who had fallen into such debauchery could still be anointed. However, the Lord was not surprised by what happened. He knew what was in David's heart when He called him. He knew that it was going to happen when He made him the king. He used David before the fall, and after it.
Our God is in the redemption business. That is His primary work on this earth at this time. Yet we who have been the recipients of His great grace often have the most difficulty in extending it to others. We must get this right if we are going to properly represent Him on this earth.
THE HIGHEST CALLING
When all of Israel went astray and followed after Absalom, Zadok, the high priest, picked up the ark and followed David. He followed him at the risk of not only his ministry, but his life. Even if they were to survive, it appeared very unlikely that David would be restored to the throne. At best, those who followed him would probably spend the rest of their lives living in caves and holes in the ground, as they had when being pursued by King Saul. Even so, Zadok was more faithful to the anointing than he was to political expediency, or even his own welfare. He knew that, regardless of David's great sin, the anointing was still on him. Zadok simply followed God regardless of the cost.
God rewarded Zadok's courage and faithfulness with one of the greatest blessings recorded in the Scriptures. He was promised that his sons would minister to the Lord personally (see Ezekiel 40:46 and 44:15-16), essentially saying that they would be the closest to the Lord. When the Jews declared to Jesus that they were the sons of Abraham, He replied that if they were the sons of Abraham they would do the deeds of Abraham. Likewise, those who are the true sons of Zadok are those who do the deeds of Zadok. The true sons of Zadok are those who will follow the anointing regardless of the risk. They are the ones who will be the closest to the Lord and serve Him personally.
As Paul Cain declared in one of his most prophetic messages of the last few years, we will all have to choose between the anointing and respectability. Passing the test—that we can rise above spiritual politics to be faithful to what is right—is one of the most important tests that anyone called to walk in spiritual authority must pass. Will we, like King Saul, make our decisions based on the pressures of the people or the political consequences? Or will we, like King David, rise above the pressures of the people and the circumstances of this world, to always seek the Lord's will first? A great demarcation always comes to the leadership of the church based on this one issue.
Those who are not directly confronted with the Bob Jones test will be confronted by similar people or circumstances that will test their hearts on this same issue. Ultimately, every individual, church, movement and many cities will have to pass this test before they will be endorsed with the anointing that will be required by those who will be a part of the last day ministry of the church.
RESTORATION IS NOT OPTIONAL
Galatians 6:1 (NKJV) states, "If a man is overtaken in ANY TRESPASS, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted." Regardless of how personally distasteful someone's sin may be to us, we are not given the choice as to whether we will restore them or not, or we ourselves will be in jeopardy of falling to the same temptations. There is not a single one of us who stands to any degree except for the grace of God. If we cannot restore our fallen brothers and sisters, how can we preach redemption, reconciliation and forgiveness to the world?
After his fall, King David rose to much greater heights of spiritual authority and prophetic revelation. So has Bob Jones. So can Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart and many others who have been tripped up by the enemy, or have been carried away with their own lusts. It is just as possible for the accuser who rose up against Bob and the Kansas City Fellowship to be restored and rise to an even greater level of spiritual authority. The Lord loves everyone of them. If we are in unity with Him should we not be desiring and seeking this for our fallen brothers?
Those who are forgiven much, love much. God loves all men and sincerely desires for all to be saved. All that the enemy meant for evil the Lord intends to use as testimonies of His power of redemption. Strangely, Christians seem to now have more trouble forgiving each other than the heathen do. We must believe in the Lord's power of redemption before the world is going to believe us. These men, and the multitude of others who have fallen to various traps of the enemy, even "any trespass," must be restored, or we will continue to be subject to the same temptations.
Restoring is more than just forgiving. We can apologize to these fallen brothers or sisters to appease our consciences, but that is not enough to pass the test. They must be restored. This does not imply in any way that the biblical standards of integrity should be compromised, or that a process that insures restoration should not be implemented. Even so, we must do whatever it takes for the fallen to be fully restored. Our Father does not want any of His children left in the ditch by their brothers and sisters. That is not the only reason why we are required to restore those who have fallen. It is only through the process of restoration that we will learn where the gates of hell are, and how to shut them. The gates of hell are the places that the enemy is using to gain access into the world, the church, and our own lives.
At our spring conference, I publicly acknowledged the failures in my relationship to Bob Jones. I also brought him to the platform to briefly share what was on his heart in order to publicly acknowledge that I receive Bob and his ministry. However, I can only do this for myself and the ministry that I have been made a steward over. I did at the time what I felt I needed to do to make things right with my brother, and to be obedient to the Lord. I am thankful that the Lord confirmed it afterwards in a way that would make it hard for me to now doubt it. Even so, as Francis Frangipane likes to say, "We seldom pass God's tests with a perfect score." I do not presume that I am doing everything perfectly, or maybe even very well, but even the fumbling steps that we made have resulted in an unprecedented grace being released on us. When a few friends and I invited Bob Jones to Moravian Falls to view a fulfillment to one of his own prophecies, and we had a time of reconciliation and acknowledging his ministry to us, the heavens opened and we experienced the grace and presence of God in many ways which transcends anything I have ever experienced before. When we brought Bob to the conference and acknowledged his place with us, the conference went to a level that we have not experienced before.
At each of our conferences the Lord has given me more encouragement about the spiritual condition of the people attending. One of the greatest encouragements yet was the response of the people to Bob, who gave him the longest standing ovation that I think I have ever seen. If we receive a prophet in the name of a prophet we will receive a prophet's reward. If we receive a prophet as anything less, we will receive that much less. The whole church is about to be in an increasingly desperate need of the prophetic ministry. To get there we are going to have to accept many, and very possibly most, people in a condition that is less than most of us would desire. They will need healing and restoration. It will not be easy, but the reward will be worth it.
At MorningStar we have been blessed beyond our dreams by the quality of prophetic ministries that we have been sent, and that are being raised up in our midst. The rewards of this have been far beyond our expectations. For some reason, when we received Bob Jones, the rewards seemed to multiply. Since then, not only our meetings, but our daily lives have been filled with awe and wonder at the great things the Lord is doing. The prophetic people here almost uniformly go to a new level of hearing from God whenever Bob comes to town. Dreams, visions and visitations increase dramatically. But even more wonderful than all of that, the manifest presence of the Lord increases. Instead of just going from meeting to meeting, we are going from encounter to encounter with the Son of God. The love for Jesus is growing in His people here. I have never experi enced the kind of worship that we have been having lately, and it is because of the genuine love for the Lord that is growing in His people.
This kind of outpouring does not come with any man, including Bob Jones. It does come with the prophetic ministry. All of the ministries are an aspect of the Lord's own ministry and Person in our midst. As we receive them we receive Him. The prophetic ministry is used to testify of the heart and mind of God in our present circumstances, which makes us more aware of the "presence" of the Lord. That is why Paul exhorted the Corinthians to, "Desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy" (I Corinthians 14:1). Miracles will draw you to the hand of God, but true prophecy will draw you to His face. "The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy" (Revelation 19:10).
Even so, prophecy has usually come in the most unseemly packages, just as the Lord Himself came in a form that would separate those who loved the anointing more than they loved respectability. Respectability with men is almost always the price that we must pay for the anointing, and those who love the approval of men will not pay it.
There is also another price that must be paid if we want the reward of a true prophetic ministry—troubles, tribulations and persecution. Satan knows very well that when the bride is ready, his time is short. The prophetic ministry has an important role to play in preparing a pure and spotless bride fit for the King. That is why the Lord gives specific warnings about doing His prophets harm. This is not out of favoritism for the prophets, but because He knows that the enemy will always try to incite people to harm the prophets. Just as John the Baptist had to be sent to prepare the way for the Lord the first time He came, the prophetic ministry is essential for preparing for His return, and for preparing His bride. The enemy seems to know this even better than the church, and will release a massive onslaught against the prophetic everywhere it arises.
The prophetic ministry will also be a threat to those who have established their authority or influence over the people through counterfeit spiritual authority, or who have sin in their life. The prophetic ministry will expose sin, and as we should have learned well over the last decade, those who are hiding sin will often become attackers. The prophetic, which does have the power to expose things that may have otherwise remained hidden, will usually be the target of these attacks. Psychologists call this presenting a bold exterior to hide corruption on the inside. Jesus called them "whitewashed graves" that looked good on the outside but were full of death inside. You will almost always find that those who most viciously attack others are those who likewise have the most to hide.
A TEST WITH TWO SIDES
These attacks are allowed by God as a test for the prophetic. By his own admission, Bob failed this test badly. First he took the wounds and turned inward with rejection. Then he turned outward and became bitter, often railing and accusing his friends that he felt had let him down, or authorities who had to discipline him. The test of the prophetic goes both ways. They must also pass the test that they have become to others. Many prophetic people will fail this test, but that does not mean that they are finished. As Francis also once said, "You don't really fail God's tests, you just keep taking them until you pass."
THE UNHOLY WAR
Presently there is a war going on between the pastoral and prophetic ministries. Pastors are claiming that the prophets have almost killed their ministries, and prophets are claiming that pastors are always trying to destroy their ministries. As is usually the case, there is truth to both sides. However, neither will come into their rightful place, or be able to bring the church into her place, without each other, along with all of the ministries given for the equipping of the church.
As the Lord told Bobby Conner, one reason that the general anointing level is so low in the church is that the Lord had to take the swords out of our hands because we were using them on each other more than on the enemy. In general, we are in a time like that of King Saul, when the Lord allowed the Philistines to take all of the weapons away from Israel, and even required the Israelites to pay the Philistines to sharpen their farming tools. Until an authority with the nature of David arises, He cannot trust His people with the divinely powerful weapons because we are more prone to use them on each other than on the enemy.
Bob Jones, like the prophetic ministry in general, and much like the church in general, has some extraordinary gifts. He also has some deep, unhealed wounds that must be healed. Bob has been a faithful friend, and one of the greatest helps to me, my family, and my ministry. I would want to see him fully restored if for no other reason than that, but I have far greater reasons. I believe that he also represents in an important way what it will take to see a true prophetic ministry released to the church, and a church that walks in true spiritual authority released to the world.
I have been warned by good friends that Bob has the potential to cause great embarrassment and harm to my ministry. I have never been ignorant of that possibility. I know, and he knows, that he still has rejection and some bitterness in his life. Though he is making progress and overcoming it, as long as it remains, there is great potential for another fall. I sincerely appreciate the concern of my friends, but I am trying very hard not to be concerned about either my reputation or my ministry, but simply doing the will of God. My standing before the Judge will not be based on how many books I distribute. The true food of every true ministry is to do the will of the One who has sent him.
It is part of my calling to help restore the prophetic ministry to the church. I know that I am but one of many, and do not in any way consider myself to be the most important. I simply want to be faithful to my calling. That requires me to be faithful to Bob for as long as he at least tries to be faithful to God. It requires me to welcome many others who are wounded, rejected and bitter. It requires me to take all of the persecution and accusation that constantly follows those who are now trying to walk in a prophetic calling. I personally am very glad to do it, and think that the rewards of helping this ministry far outweigh the problems.
FAIRNESS OR GRACE?
Bob became discouraged because he did not see his accuser, who was hiding serious sin in his own life, exposed. The Lord intended to expose the accuser, but not until He had finished the work that He wanted to do in Bob. God's timing often offends our own sense of justice or fairness. This was Jonah's problem. He did not want to look like a false prophet. But almost every true prophet looked like a false prophet in his own time. It was the false prophets who were much more prone to be generally accepted.
God's purpose is not bound up in our reputation, and we should all be thankful that He is not trying to be just or fair, but rather merciful. To be truly prophetic requires that, if we know that we are known by God and sent by Him, it really must not matter what anyone else thinks of us. If we are going to be a prophetic people, and help restore a prophetic church, we must have the constitution of Elijah, who could even stand before the king and say, "As the LORD, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand . . ." (I Kings 17:1). By this Elijah was saying, "I am not standing in front of you, Ahab. You're just a man. I stand before the living God. I live my life before God, not men." Until we have this attitude, we will not be free to either love men properly, or speak the truth to them without compromise, both of which are required of true prophetic ministry.
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