You know, I find it interesting how little tolerance that many Christians have towards deliverance ministers. Even non-believers often have more tolerance when a deliverance minister is unable to get a demon out, or can’t seem to help a person! Some Christians look at deliverance ministers who are getting started, and point out all of their flaws or shortcomings, but ignore all of the real and genuine fruit that is coming forth from their ministry (people being set free, healed, etc.). Every minister is going to have shortcomings when starting out, regardless of what type of ministry they are involved in! It’s almost as if the non-believers have more common sense and mercy than the believer does.
I was even reading the other day about how the medical community would cause many deaths in their ventures to heal people of various sicknesses and physical infirmities. They would do all sorts of crazy things, and it would end up costing people their lives! At least the mistakes that deliverance ministers usually make aren’t costing people their lives, and can be undone when the person sees a more experienced and knowledgeable minister who can bring the person into freedom and healing that Christ has for them.
Why are Christians so tolerant for the mistakes made (and are still being made) in the medical community, yet they criticize even the smallest failures of a ministry that God is using to bring healing and deliverance to His children? Are non-believers more sensible than believers at things like this? At least the non-believer looks at a person who’s been healed of a serious ailment, and they overlook the failures that the minister has made where he was unable to help other people with the same condition. Is it true that the Christian community kills their wounded by criticizing the mistakes made by anybody starting out in the healing, prophetic, or deliverance ministries (while overlooking the fruit that is coming forward)?
I heard a pastor once say from the pulpit that we should never listen to a prophet who gives a false prophecy. While this may sound good on the surface, a statement like this is something the Jezebel spirit has been promoting in the body of Christ. Somebody who says such a thing has no real experience or knowledge of the prophetic ministry. Do you honestly expect prophetic ministers to be 100% accurate and flawless when starting out, while other ministries and professions (medical, etc.) have much room to make mistakes and still grow and be accepted? Anybody who starts out in the prophetic ministry is likely going to make some mistakes. While a person can have a strong prophetic gifting, it is important to learn how to discern the voice of God, without interference from our flesh. It is quite possible to receive a message from God, but have our flesh to twist or distort the message. Anybody who desires to operate in the prophetic ministry must learn how to recognize and properly walk in their gifting, just as in any other ministry.
When somebody says, “So and so gave a false prophecy that never came true, so we know that they are not a true prophet” what it does is sets up a zero tolerance for mistakes made by anybody getting started in the area of the prophetic. Who in their right mind would dare step out and give a prophecy, if they run the risk of having their entire ministry discredited for the rest of their life? That puts an enormous fear upon a person who’s just getting started and learning how to hear God’s voice. The spirit of Jezebel is very aggressive against true prophetic ministry, and would love to use fear to keep people scared stiff from ever coming forth with a prophecy. Should a person go unchecked in their prophetic utterances? Not at all, as a matter of fact we are told that the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets, and to let one prophecy and the rest can judge (see 1 Corinthians 14:29-32). Why does the Bible give us this passage for our guidance? Because prophets, especially those starting out with their gifting, are liable to make mistakes and think that something was from God, when their flesh was twisting or tainting their message that God was trying to give them.
I think of when Oral Roberts started the healing ministry movement, how they say that every single denomination (including pentecostal!) would come up against him! What he was doing was foreign to them. I shouldn’t have been foreign to them, had they been feasting on the Word of God (which is loaded with the healing message). But no, they were stuck in their own traditions, and rejected anything that did not fit into their traditional way of thinking. This is the same thing that happens towards many deliverance ministers today; because their bringing something to the table which the church has rejected for so long, it’s as if they are put under microscopes to see if there are flaws to be found. But try to point out the flaws in these Christian’s lives, and what’s the first thing you hear? “But nobody’s perfect! We’re all growing!”
It’s no wonder the non-believers look at us and consider us hypocrites who kill their wounded!
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to say that mistakes and failures should run ramped in our midst. If God has called us to be a prophet, then we need to learn and grow in our gifting, and come to know when something is of God, or if something is of the flesh. If God has called us to be deliverance ministers, then we need to do our best to learn and understand the various bondages that are affecting people today, and minister the best we can with what God has given us. If God’s called us to be a teacher, then we need to learn and be the best teacher that God’s called us to be. If God’s called us to be an accountant, then we need to do our best and consider our work as if it were done unto the Lord. But we also need to be tolerant towards our brothers and sisters when they are doing their best, but make mistakes as they are growing and learning (just as we all do!).