“My stance. I want to be very clear”. By Pastor Todd Coconato
Whenever a public person, especially a modern preacher, even slightly indicates something with regard to his/her stance on a hot-button issue, many people will automatically rush to judgment, put words in their mouths, or assume something that is simply untrue.
I often hear people tell me, “pastor you don’t need to explain yourself” and I understand and agree for the most part, however, they don’t see the thousands of emails and communications we are getting each week. They also are not in my shoes. So when I see a question or series of questions many times, I realize there is some level of confusion about an issue, and confusion can often breed contention or even worse, as people often see things from their perspective and through their own experiences. Confusion has started wars that were unnecessary.
My heart is for God and you. I take my role as a shepherd very seriously.
Leaders are held to a higher standard biblically. One of the most difficult things about my role is when I have to take a stand that goes against the narrative or current popular opinion. I receive all kinds of responses—friendly and not-so-friendly. However, I must obey God.
I have promised not to do any further shows or broadcasts about the issue of the prophetic unless it needed to be discussed. This article is simply to clarify my actual stance and also close the gap on any falsehoods and misconceptions that some might have related to the subject matter.
1 John 5:21
“Little children, keep yourselves from idols”
Today, I want to be very clear about my personal stance on this area of where I see challenges in our movement and why, in my opinion, it’s important we all course correct here from a Biblical standpoint.
1. Idolatry. The Bible is clear we are not to have or make idols of man. There is only one God. We as humans tend to be prone to make idols. We saw this repeatedly in ancient Israel and it is still prevalent today. To newer believers or those who are not as in tune with what the Bible actually says, it can be a real trap. I have seen over the course of the last few years as many people are making idols of man in the area of the prophetic community. It’s almost like the followers of the Grateful Dead. Very loyal and will follow anywhere—Following some of these people from event to event and leaning on their every word as if it’s the Bible. That can be dangerous. They also do this with pastors by the way. And others. It’s all wrong. Any true pastor or true prophet should be leading their followers to God and not act as a Christian celebrity or as if they are the sole person who can hear from God for everyone else. I believe in prophecy, and believe there are real prophets. My advice is to test the spirits and also make sure that what is being said bears witness in your spirit and is in line with the word of God. Make sure not to make an idol out of any person. This is important.
2. My sheep hear my voice. The Bible is clear that believers should be able to hear the voice of the Lord for themselves. While hearing from true prophets is important, it’s also very important we have our own prayer life and can understand and recognize the voice of the Lord speaking to us. The Holy Spirit gives us wisdom and discernment in our daily faith walk. We all need discernment, especially in this late hour. I often talk about how we are navigating through a “spiritual minefield” right now. All leaders in the church should be teaching and equipping their followers how to hear from the Lord themselves. Newer believers again are more prone to being abused in this area as they often have less confidence about if they can hear for themselves. The Bible says, “in the mouth of two or more witnesses, my word shall be established”. This is very important. Confirmation will help us navigate when we are unsure if something is of the Lord. It shouldn’t be one person telling us what God wants to speak to us. This is a way that God has set up a system of checks and balances around us. It’s in that agreement and confirmation that we can feel much more confident that a word is in fact from God.
3. Prophecy on-demand. Many people are seeking a fresh word. While this is not a bad thing, 1 & 2 need to be applied while in this process. Many people come to me and ask me for a word. I can only give them what God gives me! I can’t make something up, just to please them, and many times I get nothing at that moment. Sometimes I do. We have to be real and authentic. This can be very dangerous if we speak from our flesh here as people hang on to these words and make huge life decisions based on them. Most words from God come from a place of fear and trembling. A good, and healthy fear I mean, one that you know it’s from God. What an honor that God uses a prophetic voice to speak His heart. When a prophetic voice receives a word, they deliver it in obedience to God. It will never go against the Bible. It will also not change the Bible. If either of those things happens, it’s a false word. As I mentioned above, it should also bear witness in your heart, as you as a believer in Christ, are filled with the Holy Spirit. We must always ask the Holy Spirit, “is this you”? He will answer.
4. Q-type words. Many Christians have fallen into the belief that the “Q” movement is real and that President Trump is currently the president and that the military is currently running our country. This is not happening, and trust me, if I’m wrong, I would not only repent to you all, but I would be rejoicing with you. But, as I have investigated extensively and also prayed a very long time and very hard about this, I don’t believe that these things are true. Here is the challenge—many prophetic words sound almost identical to Q. Be cautious of this. The message can be rebranded and repacked as a “prophecy”. We as the Body of Christ need to be wise and understand that our credibility is on the line here. The world is watching. We can’t fall into this trap of the enemy to try and discredit the church.
5. Don’t touch my anointed. Many people are using the scripture which says, “touch not my anointed”. I believe in this scripture and the Bible is absolutely true. However, this can’t be used as an excuse not to correct false statements and false doctrine. It has grieved my heart to see some prominent individuals who are known as prophets to be saying bizarre and unbiblical things in the name of prophecy. Please, ask yourselves if what some of these people are saying is from God. Rollercoasters in heaven…jello mountains…again, we have to remember, the world is watching us. Let’s stick to whatever is “pure, Holy” and scriptural! Otherwise, again, we simply lose credibility!
I am not against one person. I love people.
I also am not questioning anyone’s salvation, as that is up to God.
We can look for their fruit and also ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom and guidance on who is real.
I will not be naming names or going to war with anyone. I’m not a gangster. I am a pastor who loves you all. I am trying to simplify and stand for truth in a very difficult situation.
My motive is the protection of the Saints and the credibility of the church. I do think we need to course correct and I do think we need to stop making idols and enunciate specific gifts and get back to the main mission…souls! Doctrinally sound…biblical…Christianity.
Anyone who had gained a significant amount of influence or followers must take that responsibility very seriously and be true to your calling and God’s word.
We can’t be pulled into saying things to appease our audience or following that are untrue. We can’t become focused on money or fame in any way. That will not last as God gives and takes away. We must fear God and be about His business. This is HIS ministry, not ours! This isn’t a time to attack one another nor is it a time for back-and-forth slandering.
God is using this situation to purify His bride and get us planted on a firm foundation—Jesus Christ and His word! We need to be focused on the Great Commission. The enemy would much rather us be about the Great Division! Be mindful of this.
So, hopefully, this clears things up on my stance.
I rarely feel the need to speak so bluntly, but we need to get away from the weirdness and get back to the word and truth. I believe in prophecy and I am not against anyone in particular. All I can do is provide the truth according to the word of God and each individual must take this to the Lord themselves and have the revelation from the Holy Spirit.
If you are a prophet and you are reading this, I definitely am not against you. I have many dear friends who are prophets whom I love and respect. I am not questioning your sincerity, but rather taking my own advice and making sure I, just as I have written above, am in alignment with God’s word. I have made my own mistakes over the years, and am thankful for accountability and transparency who loved me and cared enough about me to share the truth so that I could make the needed changes and get into God’s perfect will. We don’t want to see your ministry discredited or hurt in any way. We love you. I love you. God loves you.
Please write me with any questions at Todd.Coconato@RLCUS.org
—Pastor Todd Coconato