I don’t remember when I first saw Brother Brown. It had to be in 1972, I guess. I know when I met him later on my own.
I was working in my brother’s business in Port Hueneme, CA in 1974. My brother had a fledgling leather shop in a strip-type shopping center. Brother Brown popped inside the door and started looking around. To be honest at that time, not many black folks came in, as the leather work and apparel was a sort of 60’s and 70’s counter-cultural fashion trend among white youth.
Brother Brown was a black fundamentalist, Pentecostal-type preacher.
< Brother Brown. He sure liked to wear this blue suede tuxedo when he preached. I have never seen one before…or after… He looked good in it though. He was never fashion impaired.
He introduced himself and immediately got down to business, and produced a poster hand-out with a picture of an opening in a cloudy sky. Somewhat like the picture above…
The caption on the paper said that “Jesus was Coming Soon,” and Brother Brown added that, Jesus had spoken to him and gave him this “sign in the sky” to confirm that His Return was imminent, as depicted, with the open sky through the clouds.
He then asked for a donation to get his message out…
I don’t remember giving him any money. But we did fellowship on some things. He was quite, the character. He couldn’t preach much… He just didn’t have much of a gift… But he had a lot of zeal. The early 19th century revivalists, such as Charles Finney, and the Western and Cane Ridge Revival preachers, would call him an “exhorter.” There is nothing wrong with just being an exhorter.
A lot of preachers and ministers that I have heard, in my lifetime, do not qualify for that!… to be an Exhorter!
What “exhorters” do best, is to stir up the faith of the people listening to them…
Well, you certainly can’t say that for a lot of ministers, or preachers, today.
The people listening to such a lot of preachers are not… “stirred up.” Instead, these people are slumbering. The Bible calls them “dull of hearing.” Then, it could just be the… “dull preaching.” You can always tell who these folks are. Many of them go to sleep during a preaching service. I can’t blame them altogether. The preaching is not anointed… It is not anything… just words. Dead words.
Ho-hum…”Dead preaching”…always makes for a slumbering people…G’night.
Yep,…you can preach from the Bible all you wish… and nearly ALL ministers do….
Unless, however, the Spirit of God is accompanying your remarks, they are just empty,….dead…. words.
That is not my language…
…that is Paul the Apostle’s. For that matter, they are Jesus’ words too. Jesus said, “It is the Spirit that quickens (gives life), the flesh (or that which generates from the natural mind) profits nothing (is dead).” Jesus added that, “the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.” (John 6:63). Paul elaborated on this point, that I am making, when he told the Corinthian church that, “And my speech and my preaching were not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power. That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:4-5 KJV2000).
Yep, when you actually hear someone speak with the “anointing of the Holy Spirit,” or as the old timers declared, “from on high,” then…you are TO SOMETHING…
Sometimes, this “anointing” is going to be inspired enough to make a lot of folks… UNCOMFORTABLE … Which is totally opposite of the picture, above, of the couple slumbering…in relative COMFORT!
The reason that folks would be uncomfortable, is that, …that, it is the mission of the Holy Spirit, “to reprove…of sin, in regard to righteousness, and…judgment.”
Believe me, I know from experience in Gospel meetings, that if the Holy Spirit is “reproving,” …you won’t be sitting in the back of the pew, all toasty and comfortable, when the first “yawn” hits you…. NO… You will find yourself on the edge of your seat… You will find yourself in a “quasi-state,” ….of either wanting to get out of the seat and leave, or find yourself willing, but unable to get out of your seat, as the next words maybe just the words that will expose the truth about…yourself…!
And, if you love the truth; want the “real and the right,” THEN, YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS THOSE NEXT WORDS!
A CASE IN POINT….
…IN NAZARETH: At first moment, Jesus was preparing to quote from Isaiah 61 (see left), the next moment practically, that we pick up this event (see right), the congregants were trying to kill Jesus, by pushing him along and over a cliff… Whew!
The folks listening must have been made pretty uncomfortable, on that Sabbath Day, by Jesus declaring that “the Spirit of the Lord…has anointed me…to Preach the Gospel.”
So uncomfortable, as my point is, that THEY WANTED TO KILL HIM!
Yep. A real “anointing” will inspire the Devil in folks to resist, reject, marginalize, and then, want to destroy it. Now, you may understand why you don’t see such any such anointing in modern preaching:…it is very discomfiting to the natural mind, and there is a real price to pay for such an inspiration and anointing!
In another discourse that is recorded in the Gospel of John, Jesus was speaking in the synagogue in Capernaum, the site of some of his greatest ministry. In this account, from chapter 6, verse 26 through verse 65, Jesus spoke “words of this life,” or “living words.”
When Jesus got done, a lot of folks were very uncomfortable: they had got PAST the “quasi-state,” of being under conviction… by the Holy Spirit. John the Elder writes, “from that time, many of his disciples went back, AND WALKED NO MORE WITH HIM.” We understand from other Gospel texts, that Jesus had an entourage of about fifty people or more. Several of this retinue were women. There were no doubt, some disciples also in the synagogue at Capernaum, from the time that Jesus did so many healings there before, see the Gospel of Luke, chapter 4:31-41, and the Gospel of Matthew 9:2-7, especially verse 8.
From John the Elder’s account, several disciples of Jesus’ own entourage, and several of those disciples in Capernaum, well,…they just got offended… They didn’t like what the Spirit of God was saying in Jesus.
It is a hard thing to like, what the Spirit of God is inspiring someone to say, when you just don’t have enough FAITH to get past the natural reasoning, or carnal thinking of those who were hearing, that Jesus indeed, was the “living manna.”
It appears that Jesus said this intentionally, to “winnow” the ranks, or to qualify those following him. Jesus discerned that his words may be a little much, even for his twelve selected disciples…so he asked them…“Will you also go away?”…
Then Peter, explained something “out loud” to Jesus, answering, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You… have the words of eternal life. And we do believe, and are of an certainty, that you are the Mashiach (Christ),…”
So herein, is the difference between dead words of uninspired, but perhaps, well-meaning preachers, and living words that inspire… eternal life, or the Holy Spirit springing up within you in joy, in response to your faith.
Which words then… would you want to hear?
Empty words and platitudes that do not reprove or offend…
or, words that shock, surprise, inspire, and rejuvenate your living faith?
My Father’s Ministry…
My father was a very anointed preacher. He would preach “under the anointing.”
He could preach under the anointing for a couple of hours or more, depending on how heavy the anointing was.
I have had people tell me that heard him in his heyday, say that, there was no one else like him. He had this gift consistently then. I have heard others say that they longed for that day again, when they could… hear …again… the Word of God, from my father’s ministry.
Yep,…you can preach from the Bible all you wish… and nearly ALL ministers do….
Unless, however, the Spirit of God is accompanying your remarks, well, frankly, and according to God’s recorded Word, it is NOT the Gospel that Jesus nearly got thrown over a cliff for…
NO, I don’t think you find that, “hearing the Anointed Word,” at all nowadays.
I heard one minister speak from an anointing only once in my lifetime besides my father and mother. I don’t remember his name. I heard him in San Jose, CA in 1971. He was just a young man. He didn’t know what had hit him, ….but it was the anointing. The congregation followed intently his every word and their faith was energized and lifted up. The very next night I went back to hear him speak again. I was eager to hear more. But he was no longer the “mighty man.” He was in his flesh trying to get the same inspiration as the night before. He tried so hard and looked so desperate. His locks were shorn like Samson.
I have went from the East Coast of the United States, to the West Coast of the United States, literally, looking to HEAR,… for any such, “anointed” Word.
I have traveled from the Northern United States, to the South Eastern United States, literally again, from Ohio to South Carolina. There was no “corner” on “anointed preaching” to be found.
The Bible uses very much the same language.
In Amos 8:11-12, it reads thus: “Behold, the days come, says the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD. And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.”
Yep. I have, literally, fulfilled that scripture firsthand.
You see, when Amos prophesied this, well in advance of what God was going to do, there were STILL prophets being SENT to the polity of Israel and Judah.
Then one day, the prophets started to appear less and less. Indeed, the last prophet that God sent, was Malachi.
Then, after Malachi was gone…the famine started…
There was NO prophet sent to Israel, for over four hundred years… until John the Baptist appeared, just as Malachi predicted in a “dual-prophecy” in Malachi, chapter 4.
There was a big void… There was no “hearing anymore of the Word of the Lord.”
Bible scholars and exegesists have a clever term for this period of over four hundred years, as a way to rationalize things. They call this, the Intertestamental Period.
By doing so, they are validating this period of a “famine for the hearing of God’s Word.”
In this void, the Jewish rabbins got busy. They started to get their Scriptures organized, and composited. The Hellenist Jews got even busier, they formed the Septuagint. The Septuagint is the Old Testament, translated into Greek, from Hebrew. The Septuagint became the “authorized version” of sorts, when Jesus referred to it, from a Palestinian and Aramaic Targum. The scripture quotations that you read in your English translations of Old Testament scriptures in the Synoptic Gospels, do not come from Masoretic Hebrew, they are from the Septuagint!
As just stated, this famine lasted to the time of John the Baptist, just as Malachi said.
By the time that John the Baptist was imprisoned, Jesus was then preaching…and there was little lack of… “hearing the Word of the Lord.”
This was then extended to the Twelve Apostles, when Jesus left the scene. They preached for about another generation…the true Word of the Lord…
However, after they passed away, John the Apostle being the last…then this “dual-prophecy” kicked in again. Another “famine for the hearing of the Word of the Lord” commenced. Into this void, of an actual and active “Word of the Lord… being heard,” there came a flurry of activity to fill it. The New Testament was formed, and composited, and was canonized. Then, after a bit, it was withheld from what the Catholic “Clergy” called the hearers supposedly, the “laity.” This made the famine even worse, as not only was there no “hearing of the Word of the Lord,”…
…there was NO READING OF THE RECORDED WORD OF THE LORD as well!…
You see, more than a few prophecies are dual in nature. Practically, all of the Olivet Discourse prophecies are “dual-prophecies.” If you haven’t heard of this before, you should buy my first book, as I explain many such prophecies in detail, in such a context.
In a dual prophecy, there is an initial fulfillment, and then…an exhaustive fulfillment.
Space does not allow me to do much more explanation of this, except to state, that this prophecy of Amos, is a dual-prophecy.
It had its initial fulfillment in the Intertestamental Period.
It has its exhaustive fulfillment RIGHT NOW… and this is no 400+ year plus period… it has been going on for over 1900 years, except for some revival and renewal inspired preaching which also fulfilled other prophecies.
You see, a famine, is not a complete dearth, it is a shortage, or in some cases, an extreme shortage or scarcity. They are still some folks eating, even in an active famine event such as what occurs in Africa. Many charities, many of them in the United States, do what they can to alleviate such a famine. But, it is still a famine, or shortage.
AS A RESULT, I am convinced… at the present time… especially since 1967, we are in a Famine for the Word of the LORD.
Smith Wigglesworth used to preach that, “One word from God can change a nation.”
Obviously, this kind of word has to be divinely inspired. When God anoints and sends his Word, like He did many times in the Old Testament when calling a prophet and giving that prophet a burden of the Word of the LORD, then things can happen!
Jonah’s preaching to the city of Nineveh is such an example.
The word that God sent Jonah (though, the second time…Jonah 3:1) with was so inspired and anointed that the whole city of Nineveh repented.
The people repented. The King of Nineveh repented. From the least to the greatest, they all put sackcloth and ashes on to signify this repentance. The King of Nineveh covered himself in ashes. They fasted. The King even commanded the animals to be covered in sackcloth…Talk about “leaving nothing to chance”…
The King of Nineveh believed that with such a penance, that perhaps that GOD would “turn and relent.”
God had to change His mind about destroying Nineveh. Nineveh was spared.
Yes, one Word, or one Divinely inspired, anointed, Word changed Nineveh.
Where is this kind of Word today?
Well, there is a famine for it…
When God finally selects someone, according to His purpose and fulfillment exhaustively of this prophecy from Amos, and commissions and sends them, then the famine will cease.
Thanks for reading.
Copyrighted, Joseph Spickard, 2017. All rights reserved. Any reproduction of this intellectual property without prior permission from the author is prohibited.