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The Prophet's Crucible
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Where is Preaching

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   Romans 10:13-15 "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?---"

Preaching is distinctive from teaching. Preaching under the anointing of the Holy spirit brings conviction of sin, it moves people, its the piercing, dividing, and discerning sword! Preaching may not always be well received, in fact, it can cause divisions- but in doing so it should divide the dark from the light, divide the believer from the unbeliever,  divide the truth from error, divide sin from righteousness.

Paul wrote that the preaching of the cross is foolishness to those who perish, but to us who are saved, it is the power of God, and, that by the foolishness of preaching it pleased God to save them that believed. ( 1 Corinthians 1:18-21) It is preaching of the cross, which represents putting to death the sinful nature. This involves conviction and repentance.

Peter preached in Acts 2, and the scripture says the crowd was "pricked in their hearts, and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, men and brethren, what shall we do? " Peter answered and told them they needed to repent. In fact, he told them they would receive the gift of the Holy Ghost after they repented. Peter went on to testify and exhort, "save yourselves from this untoward (corrupt) generation." Later he preached again, "repent ye therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord"- (Acts 3:19). When John the Baptist preached, he preached, "repent"- "bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the tree, therefore every tree which bringeth forth not good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire" -(Matthew 3:8-10)

When Jesus preached the sermon on the Mount, he preached probably the most well balanced sermon ever, seasoned with grace and mercy, expounding the deeper truths of God, and at the end he preached a clear message of repentance. Beware of false prophets, you need to bring forth fruits of repentance, or, like John before him had preached, every tree not bringing forth good fruit is cut down and csast into the fire. And dont think everyone who says ":Lord, Lord" or does wonderful works in his name will enter into the kingdom of heaven, but only they who do the fathers will shall enter heaven- (Matthew 7).

Unfortunately the sermon on the mount (Matthew 5-7) has become a watered down wishy-washy feel good message, and repentance is rarely even mentioned at all!

Today we have so little true preaching but a lot of "teaching". Bible study after bible study in a classroom setting. Teaching gives had knowledge, but whats head knowledge without heart knowledge? What good is head knowledge if theres no change in the life brought about by the Spirit through preaching? The two go hand in hand. One seasons the other. Both are necessary.

Teaching is good, but just as Jesus spoke of salt; salt is good, but what good is ti if it has lost its saltiness? Its good for nothing but to be cast out! Trampled under foot!

Its not that the messages being taught are bad- its the way they are taught. If its taught in the flesh, as the dead letter, as knowledge or information- all it will be to the hearers is head knowledge,- nice bible stories no different from myths!

Oh, some will argue that Gods word will not return void (Isaiah 55:11) so it doesnt matter how its taught. To an extent, the word will convict individuals who hear---but by and large, show me a church where the scriptures are taught in the flesh, in deadness, and Ill show you an unregenerate and luke warm congregation. Yet show me a church where the word is preached in power under the anointing and guidance of the Holy Spirit, and Ill show you a church filled with righteousness, having direction and following Gods will! Not to mention miracles and signs. Now were not to be following after signs, but signs should be following after us.

This is why its imperative we let the Holy Spirit have control and send preachers under His anointing. He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment (John :8) and will guide you into all truth, and show you things to come- (John 16:13)~ that the voice of the prophet be heard once again in the land calling souls to repentance and piercing the heart with the Word of Life!

When Jesus finished his Sermon on the Mount, the people were astonished at his doctrine because he taught as one having authority, and not as the scribes. His Word was with power. When Jesus and The Apostles preached, things happened. Signs followed, miracles took place, the sick were healed, demons were cast out- in other words, lives were changed! If none of this is happening, what good is Teaching? What good is it to know the Scriptures in our heads if we do not do what they say? Its fruitless. It will be cut down and cast out, as the Sardis church in Revelation 3, having a name it lived but was dead.

We need to have the power of the Holy Spirit in our preaching or it is in vain. The flesh profits nothing, it is the Sprit that brings life. Let all ministers pray this to be. Let there be a balance of preaching and teaching, one complimenting the other so the hearers are edified and fed a balanced meal. Lord help us be obedient to your will!

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