Teaching #1: A Man Full of Power by the Spirit of the LORD
Have you ever had an encounter with a Prophet of God? Many men have gone away impressed when encountering a Prophet, but the same could be said of Simon the Sorcerer (Acts 8:9-11). Sometimes what the man says even comes to pass, but the same could be said of the damsel possessed by a spirit of divination in Acts 16:16-18. She was possessed by a devil! All that really matters is if the Prophet is turning people from their sins and from the wickedness of their doings (Jer. 23:18-22).
“For who hath stood in the counsel of the LORD, and hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his word, and heard it?...I have not sent these Prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.” – Jer. 23:18-22
Have you ever heard a Pastor preaching by the power of God? Passion does not equal power. Passionate preachers these days can stir up congregations into a frenzy of celebration, all the while they are powerless to turn the people from their sins. Sadly, the people go out of the building the same way that they came in, except with a little more hypocrisy and a little less sadness. Maybe the people need more sadness! A godly sorrow over sin.
“Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” - James 4:8-10
“For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” – 2 Cor. 7:10
The world doesn’t need more happiness (Lk. 6:25)! From Heaven’s perspective, the world needs a lot more sadness (Lk. 6:21). “Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.” (Eccl. 7:3). A little hellfire preaching on repentance would make a house of hypocrites a lot less happy (Rev. 1:7). “It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.” (Eccl. 7:5). So it was when the hypocritical Jews of ancient times encountered true Prophets. They would get rebuked! God cannot tolerate the stench of hypocrisy, and neither can the Prophets. In fact, this is the remarkable difference when encountering a true Prophet.
“But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.” - Micah 3:8
Have you ever had an encounter with the power of the Spirit of the LORD? If you find yourself sitting under preaching that is full of the mighty power of the Spirit of the LORD, then you are going to be hearing about the judgment of God against transgressors and sinners, and this will lead hell-bound sinners to a place of godly sorrow and repentance (Micah 3:8). To put things in perspective: If you sat through a service and you weren’t reproved, and you learned nothing about sin, righteousness, and judgment, then you can be sure that you were listening to a Preacher that is void of the Holy Spirit of God (John 16:8).
“And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:” - John 16:8
If the word preached comes with penetrating power upon the human conscience, sinners will be moved to repent and get right with God through faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Prov. 9:10). By this means sinners will feel their need for a Savior (Rom. 7:7-14)! However, false Prophets are cunningly employed by the devil to give impenitent sinners a false peace by forcing them to claim the promises of salvation without the power and victory they provide over sin (Ezek. 13:22-23; Rom. 6:1-7).
“Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life: Therefore ye shall see no more vanity, nor divine divinations: for I will deliver my people out of your hand: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.” - Eze 13:22-23
This is the real need of the hour: Deliverance from false Prophets! There are too many to count. Week after week, millions of souls flock to God-forsaken Churches to hear preaching from God-forsaken false Prophets! The earth rings with the sound of their voices on Sunday as they cry to God for a visitation of the Holy Spirit, while the King of Heaven looks down with disdain, saying, “I will even forsake you” (Jer. 23:31-34). The unsuspecting people don’t know it, and even if it was told to them they wouldn’t believe it, because truth is silenced when heretics take the stage in doomed generations (Ezek. 14:1-9, Isa. 66:4, 2 Thess. 2:11-12, Jer. 23:39-40).
“Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” - Gal 4:16