Posts Tagged ‘theology’

Daniel’s Words

The clearest picture we have of a satanic principality ruling over a nation is found in the ninth and tenth chapters of the book of Daniel. These chapter’s describe what happened after the Prophet Daniel set himself to fast and pray until he received revelation concerning the prophetic future of the nation of Israel (which was being held captive by the nation of Persia).

Daniel’s Season of Prayer & Fasting:

After twenty-one days of seeking the Lord, an angel approached Daniel and explained why it took so long for his prayers to be answered. The angel comes to respond to Daniel’s heart, “Fear not, Daniel; for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand… thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days; but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia” (Dan. 10:12-13).

  1. Notice, the angel was sent to answer Daniel’s prayer on the first day of his fast, but he was hindered in his journey by the prince of the kingdom of Persia.
  2. Notice also the mention of the word “prince” in this verse. Both times they are translated from the Hebrew “sar”, which means a chief ruler, leader or commander over an army.

Since the earthly ruler of Persia could not hinder an angel from completing his assignment, and the chief prince Michael is commonly known to be an angel of the highest order, the term “prince of Persia” must refer to the satanic ruler of the spiritual kingdom of darkness that operated over the physical nation of Persia.

Princes & Principalities:

There are principalities that rule in the realm of the spirit over cities, regions, nations and governments. Some of these spiritual powers are good, and some are evil. Revelation 12:7 tells us, “And there was a war in heaven (ouranos – the abode of God, also the spirit realm); Michael and his angels fought against the dragon (satan); and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not…” Angelic forces are doing battle in the heavenly realm even as you read this, fighting one another to gain control over the regions of the earth.

A messenger angel was dispatched to bring Daniel revelation from God concerning the prophetic future of the nation of Israel; but he did not possess enough power or authority to break through the forces of darkness that were controlling the spiritual regions above Persia. Michael is one of the chief princes of heaven. Everytime you find him mentioned in Scripture, he is doing battle with the spiritual forces of darkness. So, Michael was sent to engage the forces of darkness and to open up a highway for the lesser angel to pass through and deliver God’s message to Daniel. The last part of verse thirteen says, “…I remained there with the kings of Persia”, indicating that the messenger angel was restricted by the forces of darkness until Michael set him free, allowing him to resume his journey.

Then, after he delivered his message, the angel said, “…and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia; and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come” (Dan. 10:20). The angel had to fight his way back out of the earthly kingdom by doing battle, once again, with the satanic principality that ruled over Persia.

Daniel’s Words:

It’s important for us to realize that Daniel’s prayers were the catalyst that released the angelic forces of God to break the stronghold the prince of darkness had over the nation of Persia. Once the satanic principality was broken, the earthly kingdom of Persia was finished as a world power. History tells us that the kingdom of Greece rose to greatness in 334 B.C. and destroyed the Persian empire. The prince of Grecia, which refers to the satanic principality that governed over the Grecian Empire, empowered Alexander the Great and his armies to conquer much of the world.

Dominion Reality:

I have heard the critics speak negatively about the theology of dominions, but this story clearly indicates the power and authority that angelic principalities have over nations and regions of the earth. It also tells us the important role that our prayers have in releasing the forces of God to break the devil’s stronghold. The angel told Daniel, “… I am come for thy words”. In other words, Daniel’s prayers were the active agent that precipitated a change in the heavenly realm over Persia.

In Matthew 6:10, Jesus told us to pray, “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (“ouranos” – the dwelling place of God, and the abode of angels). God’s will is not automatically worked in the earth or in your life; it must be prayed through. Today, I encourage you to begin to value your words in prayer. Don’t let them fall upon the ground without expecting something… see spiritually and engage your faith to believe that angels are ready to lift your needs into the sphere of God’s hearing.

Its possible that your neighbor, your city or an entire nation is counting on your words!

Value Your Anointing!

“Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us – Eternal Life. These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.” (1 Jn. 2:24-27)

Allowing the knowledge of God to abide in you, is more than just theology or Church Doctrine being understood. Our minds are incredible in so many ways. God has given us the capacity to process facts, but spiritual truth requires spiritual discernment… an anointing of the Holy Spirit. The anointing is an abiding Presence of the Holy Spirit that offers influence (Exousia or authority) and power (dunamis or dynamic impact). Those benefits go beyond the natural realities of our five senses. We have by way of the anointing, a supernatural ability to see, hear and move in the spiritual realm. The Apostle John is trying to help us understand the value of this anointing, as we process Eternal Life.

1st) We need to Experience Eternal Life…

The Anointing within us is designed to turn spiritual knowledge into fellowship with the Father and the Son. This is fellowship in the Glory of God at its best! When we are saved, we are transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of Light; whereby our lives are no longer held by the power of sin, but the anointing of the Holy Spirit. It is a process, recognizing the influence of our new abiding “Helper” (Holy Spirit); but it is also, an awesome and powerful freedom that allows Eternal Life to be released into all of our decisions. Its by the anointing that we know spiritual truth and have power to overcome the enemies of our soul (Isa. 10:27)(1 Jn. 2:20 & 27). If you desire to see deliverance and breakthrough in your life, then you must value the anointing! Even Jesus was aware of the impact the anointing carried upon His life and ministry. He said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, for He has anointed Me…” (Lk. 4:18).

2nd) We must Hold On to Eternal Life…

The Apostle John warns us that many are trying to deceive and lie about the truth of God. They are jealous or intimidated by the life they see in the Believer and aim to discredit the Child of God, because they walk in rebellion to a Biblical world view. There are so many hostile environments in our world, that it requires us to value the anointing above any other influence in life. We must have a fresh anointing abiding within us to build ourselves up and carry a bold testimony of God’s goodness and power in our lives. Without question, trouble is always knocking at our door and we cannot give in or make room for the enemy’s lies or perversions. We give no place to the Devil… by standing firm against his schemes (Eph. 6:11-13), his approaches (Jms. 4:7) and his accusations (Rev. 12:10-11). It is the anointing that destroys the demonic strongholds and offers freedom in the midst of spiritual battles (2 Cor 10:3-6)(Acts 10:38). We must value the anointing if we want to continue to receive the blessings of Eternal Life… in ourselves and for those within our reach.

3rd) We are called to Advance Eternal Life…

Believer’s are called to become Ambassadors for the Message of Eternal Life. We are like the mouthpiece of God, flesh and bone, but anointed with the Word of Hope. Our declaration is that God has set His love upon the world and lifted up His own Son in the place of the sinful. We cry out with trembling voices, “Be reconciled to God!” Because He made Him, who knew no sin; to become sin for us, so that we might become His righteousness, by the pure blood shed at the cross (2 Cor 5:19-21). We must value the anointing of the Holy Spirit, because it is not about the eloquence of our preaching or the depth of our experience. It’s all about the One who abides in us, speaks through us and empowers the message… so that it is “good news”. As Kingdom Agents we advance Eternal Life with the anointing, through the anointing and by the anointing. Jesus said, “All authority, and all power has been given unto Me, therefore go… preach, teach and disciple the nations of the Earth… and I will be with you!” (Mt. 28:18-20 -my paraphrase).

That is the anointing defined… “I will be with you – I will be upon you – I will abide in you and live through you!” Why would you have no need of a teacher? “For He that is in you is greater than he that is in the world.” (1 Jn. 4:4)

Keep Your Worldview Biblical

We can be taken “captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ” (Colossians 2:8).

If we don’t really believe the Truth of God and live it, then our witness will be confusing and misleading. Most of us go through life without recognizing that our personal worldviews have been deeply affected by the world. Through a wide variety of influences, the secularization of America has created a warped view of history, morality, science and the origins of life. It affects our thinking more than we realize. When we choose to leave our worldview to chance, we will be taken captive by hollow and deceptive philosophies that depend on human reasoning not on Christ.

1. What is a Worldview?

A worldview is the lense from which we view reality and make sense of life and the world. It’s the basis of our thinking… our ideology, philosophy, theology or belief system.

For example, a 2 year-old believes she is the center of her world, a secular humanist believes that the material world is all that exists, and a Buddhist believes he can be liberated from suffering by self-purification.

Whether conscious or subconscious, every person has some type of worldview. A personal worldview is a combination of all we believe to be true, and what we believe becomes the driving force behind emotions, decisions and actions. Therefore, it affects our response to every area of life: from philosophy to science, theology and economics, law, politics, art and social order — everything.

2. What’s a Biblical Worldview?

A biblical worldview is based on the infallible Word of God. When we believe the Bible is entirely true, then it becomes the foundation of everything we say and do.

Someone with a Biblical worldview believes their primary reason for existence is to please God.

3. How does a Biblical Worldview get Diluted?

Here is the big problem. Non biblical ideas don’t just sit in a book somewhere waiting for people to examine them. They bombard us constantly everyday through societal relationships and media, like television, music and movies. We  have become a media crazed society.

For example, most Christians would agree with 1 Thessalonians 4:3 and other Scriptures that command us to avoid sexual immorality, but how often do Christians fall into  sexual sin? Is it simply because they are weak when tempted, or did it begin much earlier, with the seductive lies from TV or movies?

4. Why does a Biblical Worldview Matter?

Because we live in a selfish, fallen world! The ideas and philosophies that govern its behavior appeal to the desires of our flesh. Our minds kinda work like a computer… our programming tends to function based on what information has been received. We often end up believing things that we have not really thought through. Without even knowing it, our lives can be shaped by the things we see and melted or conformed to the patterns of cultural norms, rather than Biblical Truth.

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17)

However, by diligently learning, applying and trusting God’s Truths in every area of our lives — whether it’s going to a movie, communicating with our family or working at the office — we can begin to develop a deep Biblical faith that will stand against the unrelenting tide of our culture’s non biblical ideas. If we capture and embrace God’s perspective on reality and trust it with unwavering faith, then we begin to make the right decisions and find oueselves equipped for every good work. In the end, its these decisions and actions that reveal our witness for Christ. We must fight to keep a Biblical Worldview.

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Rom 12:2)

Harps and Bowls

Singing and praying have always gone hand in hand, but usually not at the exact same time. I remember the first time I heard a person sing in the spirit. It was not in a different language, it was in my own language, but it almost took my breath away. I will never forget as the whole congregation soaked in the song about the power and majesty of the Lord, sung by a person who had never sung a special or played an instrument.

It was a New Song:

We were not even listening to the voice, but rather the spirit and the sense of spiritual depth in their words. I have since learned that singing in the spirit, is simply about allowing our spirit to sing, regardless of our prayer life, prayer language or prayer history. The sound of the New Song is not about wrapping your mind around a language at all, but releasing a flow of sound and thoughts from the Heavenly Realms. Its a mingling of our knowledge of God, our sense of His timing at the moment and a desperate leaning that is allowed to come from inside of our hearts through song. It takes little or no thought of the others in the room, because it has its focus on God’s intent.

 ”Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood. Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,  and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth.” (Rev 5:8-10)

It Carries a Unique Sound:

Notice these 4 living creatures and the 24 Elders. Each have two things, a harp and a bowl. The harp is a symbol of praise and the bowl is a symbol of prayer. Then a very unusual phrase enters the text. It says, “They sang a new song…” a unique sound came forth, individual and yet in harmony with one another and with the moment.

Harps and bowls are unique emblems that are designed to merge into a unique sound. In this passage, they are not just about praise and worship and praying, they are about a unity of sound and focused expression. It was about singing their prayer to the Lord from their heart of hearts, their spirit.

This “New Song”; God describes in Scripture (Ps 33:2-3), is more than just a series of musical notes or a skillful use of instruments. The songs that others have written, perfected and arranged are wonderful, but God seems to lean into the sound from our heart. He is interested in something fresh, new, spontaneous and winsome. Our spirit has a love language that only we can release to God. It can be motivated and anointed by the Holy Spirit, yet it will always be our own unique sound.

To A Unique Person:

In the passage above there is a scroll in the right hand of God the Father. No one is worthy to take it and open it. John; the Beloved Apostle, begins to weep. Immediately one of the Elders gets up off his throne and says to John, “Do not weep, there is One who is worthy.”

Jesus steps up and takes the scroll and there you have it. The essential focus of the moment was the Lamb who was worthy, because He had redeemed all who were there by His own blood. Jesus is the unique person, worthy to open the scroll. Its all about Him!

An Appropriate Sound: 

How is this possible? How can this many different people sing a new song spontaneously? This is where we begin to understand the harps and bowls ministry to the Lord. God loves music, but He is looking for music that is appropriate in its context. In the above moment, where the Worthy Lamb of God is stepping forward to receive the scroll and open it for all the world to see… the sound needs to be appropriate. It needs to fit the season and occasion.

The Ministry of the Heart:

Its a unique and appropriate sound, because it is the ministry of the heart not the intellectual perception of the mind. God wants it sung loud and clear so that all might know that He has captured our hearts. Doctrines are fine and theology is helpful, but the Christian Faith is all about the romance of the heart… “God so loved the world, that He gave us His Son…” (Jn 3:16). And now as we come to recognize this incredible gift, we give Him our hearts. What we must never forget is that God responds when our heart begins to sing the New Song in the Congregation of the Redeemed.

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