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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Breaking Yokes Part I.



Breaking Yokes - Part I.

Today we will begin another series on getting our thoughts in line with what the Holy Word says. Like the other study on Breaking Free (See May postings) this one also has forty parts and we will look at five each day for our Bible Study until we come to the conclusion.

"Fasting" is about "abstaining" from something. In our case, we are Abstaining or GIVING UP wrong ways of thinking. This is not a "Fast" in the traditional sense where we abstain from food and drink for a period of time- but a "Fast" where we will abstain from having these negative thoughts while the Holy Word and Holy Spirit speaks to us on these issues. So; as you find your mind wandering over to the "negative trail" then with purpose! we will stop our thoughts as they come up and replace them with this study. This is how yokes are broken!

Too often, we make things harder and much more complicated than they really are. Jesus said, "Take My yoke upon you, for My yoke is easy and My burden is light." He did the heavy lifting. Now our job is to 'enter into His rest', by believing what He has already done for us.


1. I can't...

Today's thought that we are fasting from is simply: "I can't..."
There are so many things that we think we CAN'T do.


I can't change. I can't believe that. I can't go on. I can't make it. I can't forgive. I can't recover. I can't get it done. I can't find a job. I can't find a spouse. I can't go back to college. I can't pay the bills. I can't figure this out...and the list could go on and on.

Believe me, this MENTALITY and ATTITUDE, sets us up to fail, to quit, and to live a negative existence. It is a poisonous thought that we must no longer eat or drink of.

From TODAY ON...we're replacing this thought with: "I can".

Philippians 4:13 says: I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHICH STRENGTHENS ME.

There's a saying that goes: "if you think you CAN or you think you CAN'T, you're right." Either way, you're right, because as a man thinks, so is he (Proverbs 23:7).

The Spirit of God lives in you. You CAN do what HE CAN do in you. 1 John 4:17 "As He is, so are we in this world."

A. Think it: "I can"

B. Say it: "I can".

C. Meditate on Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me!"

D. Give up the thought that there is anything you CAN'T do. GET IT OUT OF YOUR VOCABULARY. Stop yourself every time you feel like saying it OR correct yourself if you do say it.


 
2. I don't have enough

We have embarked upon a journey who's time has come. I have never been more excited and expectant about anything I have been a part of. Stay with me and watch what God will do in your life.

Fasting is very popular, but 'fasting from wrong thinking' is unprecedented - until now. This journey will take us to a place that dieting and abstaining from food, could never get us.

We have fasted from the thought: "I can't". Victory or Defeat in life is determined by what will control the decision making process of your life... and your decisions are determined by your thought life.

When you THINK: CAN'T, you will live: CAN'T. We are going to live: CAN! I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me! Today we are fasting from the thought that says: "I don't have enough".

Now follow me here...

This is a mindset, an attitude that says, "I don't have enough money. I don't have enough time. I don't have enough friends. I don't have enough experience. I don't have enough education..."

This thought is an invisible fence that keeps you in the backyard of lack and deficiency.

Our God calls Himself: El Shaddai - the God of more than enough! We have more than enough of God living inside of us- Let us not think "not enough" anymore. Lets think: More than enough.

In 1 Kings, there was more than enough for Elijah and the widow.
In Exodus, there was more than enough for the children of Israel, every day.

In John 6, there was more than enough bread left over, after Jesus fed the 5000.

In Mark 5, there was more than enough anointing to heal Jairus, the woman with the issue of blood, and the people that were sitting by.

Think this: I always have enough, because Philippians 4:19 says, God shall supply ALL my needs, according to His riches.

Say it: I always have enough. My God is more than enough. He will open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing that there will not be room enough to receive.

He gives back to me, good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over!

Sow a seed: Share what you are learning. Not only does sowing a seed change someone else's life. But it reinforces your new THOUGHT system, that YOU DO HAVE ENOUGH!


 
3. I'm overwhelmed

Feeling overwhelmed? Today's fast from wrong thinking is for you! Were fasting today from the thought: "I'm overwhelmed". And the thoughts that go with it: "This will take forever. I've got too much to do. This is too much for me to take. There isn't enough time. I can't take it anymore." 

These thoughts have to go! Today! How?

First, everything you see in this world was created in 6 days. God is in the business of getting things done, and getting them done fast. EXPECT HIS HELP TODAY. You can't do it alone.

Most people don't understand what Jesus meant when He said, "Take My yoke upon you..."

A yoke is a harness or instrument placed upon TWO oxen. It causes them to plow together, so that when one gets weak or OVERWHELMED, he can continue to be pulled by the other. When we feel overwhelmed we need to TAKE HIS YOKE. That means: He is attached to us, and will help carry the load. Of course, He ends up doing most of the carrying, so:

Cast your cares upon Him. He will care for you. (1 Peter 5:7.) How? Be honest. Tell him what's wrong (what's up). Ask Him to carry it for you. Believe that He will.

See yourself attached to Him (yoked to Him). He holds you up.

Begin to believe that you can handle anything. BELIEVE THIS TODAY. You can handle anything. Mark 9:23 "All things are possible for those who believe."

Think it. I can handle anything today, because I am yoked to Jesus.

Say it. I can handle anything today, because I am yoked to Jesus.

I want you to realize something. We're developing a habit. We're forming the habit of ABSTAINING from negative thinking. When the thought comes back, you can go back to that day's lesson. Go over it again, and again.

There a few things that I can honestly say I know are from God. This is one of them. If we will fast from these thoughts daily, we will have lasting change in our lives. We are raising up an army of people who will think right, therefore live right!

Success or failure in life is created by how you think. Proverbs 23:7 (you'll see me quote this countless times), "As a man thinks, so is he". You are NOT GOING TO FAIL. You are the head and not the tail!


 
4. Tragedy and Suffering 

It is important we keep our eye on the ball. We are fasting (abstaining from, GIVING UP) wrong ways of thinking. That means there are certain mindsets and beliefs in our heads, that we have to eliminate. They are toxic and poisonous to the victorious life we desire to live. To keep thinking the same things, and expect our lives to change, is absurd. 

Today's thought that we're fasting from has to do with tragedy and suffering. When something bad happens it's easy for fear to creep in, and to think we are open game or sitting ducks for Satan or twisted people to strike at any time.

It's wrong to think: Something bad might happen to me or my family.

DO NOT open the door to the expectation of evil. Your mind may argue with this, but that's why we're going to fast from this thought. Of course, WE MUST have compassion, prayer, and practical support for those who have suffered, but we cannot allow what has happened to create our expectations.

Job CONTINUALLY THOUGHT something bad might happen to his family. And then it did. He said, "What I have feared has come upon me". (Job 3:25)

Lets take this thought captive. How?

BELIEVE God's promise: Psalm 91:10 - No evil shall befall me, nor shall any plague come near my tent. (Evil can't get close to you, harm can't get through the door. He ordered His angels to guard you wherever you go.)

THINK within yourself: "No weapon formed against me shall prosper" (Isaiah 54:17).

FILL your mind and heart with this, over and over today, until it starts coming out of your mouth.

KNOW that God brings His Word to pass, when we believe it. Jeremiah 1:12 says "I am watching over My word to perform it."

EXPECT something good to happen to you and your family.



5. I'm so worried

Fasting from these thoughts is developing a HABIT of RIGHT THINKING. Not only are we overcoming each individual thought; but, as we are consistent at this, we will reverse the tendency of thinking negatively into thinking positively. This is how we change from the inside out! Proverbs 23:7 "As a man thinks within, so is he." 

Today, we are fasting from the thought: "I'm so worried."

Worry not only has the power to weigh us down and depress us, but it also chokes out the Word of God that is sown in our heart. The key to fasting from this thought, is to realize that worry is a habit. The more you do it, the more you become addicted to it. People try to comfort themselves with worry, and yet it has the exact opposite effect. We'll break that habit, by fasting from the thought: "I'm so worried." How?

1. First, you have to RECOGNIZE that worry does NO GOOD. Jesus said in Matthew 6:27-29, "Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are."

2. Worry hurts. It produces burdens and sickness. Proverbs 12:25 says "Worry weighs a person down." When you know something is hurting you, you'll usually stop doing it.

3. Since worry is "thinking about things that are wrong", start thinking about all the things that are right in your life. Psalm 103:1-5 "...forget not one of His benefits, who pardons your iniquities, heals your diseases, redeems your life from destruction, crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion, and satisfies your years with good things...".

4. Treat worry as a SIGNAL to pray. Turn it around. Use worry as a weapon. It's telling you to pray! Philippians 4:6-7 "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God's peace..."

5. Focus on God's purpose for your life. (to win souls, to serve others, to be a blessing, etc.) Matthew 6:25 "That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life- whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn't life more than food, and your body more than clothing?"

6. TAKE A LOOK OUTSIDE ...notice Jesus said, "look at the birds," "look at the lilies of the field," and "look at the grass" He wants us to look outside and notice His care over creation. YOU ARE THE CROWN OF HIS CREATION. Expect His CARE TODAY!

THOUGHTS are more POWERFUL then all of the Enemy's demons combined! Think right, live right! and Have a worry-free day! Amen?



Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Deborah the Judge



"Awake, Deborahs, Awake!

Intimacy with God is the highest purpose for which we were created, but are we REALLY seeking His highest purpose for our lives? If we really understood God's love and heart for us, we'd be making radical choices to be with Him more than any other activity in life! If we had a revelation of His true jealousy to have uninterrupted time with us, we'd turn the world upside down like His disciples did!

But instead, we've been lulled to sleep or are enamored with the trinkets of life while missing the real treasures of God. Many believers are experiencing "Hope deferred makes the heart sick," so they're leaving the Church because they have no passion, no purpose, no power, and no sense of His presence, but they have no secret life in God either! Will it take a crisis to bring us into an intimate relationship with Jesus?


What was it about Deborah that caught His gaze?


Her uncompromising dedication moved the very heart of God and He changed the very heart of Deborah. She spent SO much time in the temple in prayer and worship that she was dripping with oil. Because of that, she could hear the Lord's voice clearly, operate with keen discernment for the times and seasons she faced as well as her daily decisions with the people, and when the call to battle came, she was absolutely ready!

Deborah was being prepared for battle in the secret place! This is where the true victory lies in communing with Him one-on-one. That is our place of safety and truth!

It is time to stop talking about intimacy with God - it's time to REALLY do it!


Who Was Deborah?


Imagine a teenage girl being elected as a type of Pope and single-handedly tearing down all the walls of division between Catholics and Protestants. Hard to even fathom that possibility isn't it? Now imagine a middle-aged, gray-haired, Jewish housewife and mother being raised up over 3,000 years ago to lead Israel in one of the most improbable military victories of history!

Allow me to introduce to you our unlikely candidate and heroine of the faith: Deborah.

I have heard very little being taught about her. I always hear about Gideon, Samuel and some of the other judges, but when I studied Deborah, I fell in love with her. Deborah is very unique and a little controversial because she was a woman who held the highest executive office in the land of Canaan, or Israel, at the time.

An ancient Joan of Arc, Deborah appears in the sacred annals of Israel's history as the nation's fourth judge, the third woman prophetess (after Miriam and Rachel) and a deliverer of God's people. Deborah was in a class of her own; her leadership role was unprecedented and unparalleled! She was a woman who led a nation to victory against all odds. And she did this in a patriarchal era where there was no precedent for women leaders.


Cycles of Israel's Rebellion and Deliverance


The whole book of Judges covered approximately 325 years. After the Israelites entered the Promised Land, Joshua and the elders died and the 12 tribes of Israel were separated in the land of Canaan. The tragic pattern of the Book of Judges is this: the people went into rebellion - they worshiped other gods and intermarried into pagan tribes.

The Lord brought judgment against them. They cried out to God for deliverance. The Lord would raise up a judge, there would be a battle, Israel would be delivered and peace would be on the land for a season. After the judge died, the people went back to rebellion and the Lord once again brought heavy oppression. This cycle happened six different times!

Gwen Shaw accurately pens in her book, "Deborah and Jael":

"Their homes were raided and ransacked, their crops plundered, their maidens raped, their fathers mocked and their sons murdered. People could not walk in the highways anymore. They were locked up in their homes, and some even had to forsake their lands and dwellings because the enemy took possession of them. They lived in caves and dens. Their sheep and goats were stolen from them; their harvests were carried off as soon as they were reaped. They lost their olives, dates, figs, grapes, wheat, barley, and their pomegranates. This left them hungry, destitute, and desperate. They throw God out of their schools, laws, their hearts and lives, claiming they don't need Him. But when they are in trouble, they wonder where He is, and why He didn't save them and prevent tragedy."

The Lord is so jealous for each one of us to love Him and know Him. When we start to move away from Him, He allows evil kings to oppress us. The Word tells us that God is the one who appoints evil kings and magistrates, but He also raises up the godly judges and kings!

Deborah was the fourth judge, and for the first 20 years of her 40-year reign, the nation was oppressed by one of history's most powerful and cruel Canaanite kings: Jabin, and his cunning military commander, Sisera (see Judges 4:1-4).


Deborah Captured the Gaze of God


What is astounding is that the Lord raised up a woman to deliver a nation! What is especially surprising is that it happened in the Middle East thousands of years ago! Deborah was not only a wife, mother, intercessor and prophetess, but also a judge and a national deliverer. This is not a bad resume for a middle-aged woman living in that oppressive Middle Eastern culture.

Against great odds, God used her powerfully. Deborah broke outside of her culture, but she wasn't in rebellion, she was in obedience - to her God. She was used radically and set her people free, and the people loved her. It's a wonderful story of faith in God, and it champions men and women partnering together in a war to save their nation from great oppression.

When we read about this radical prophetess and judge, it expands our theology of women being allowed to lead governmentally. But I really feel that God is raising up a company of end-time Deborahs. There is great global shaking that has only begun, and the Lord is calling not only the men, but also the women of God! The Lord is saying:

"Wake up, Deborah, be a part of the army of the Lord!"

God's eyes are searching to and fro over the earth looking for a heart that is fully His (see 2 Chronicles 16:9).

What caught His gaze when He came to Deborah? Was it the uncompromising fire of holiness, an unwavering faith, or an unrelenting love that set her apart? Was it something about the integrity of her character, the other worldliness of her wisdom, and the richness of her kindness which bred confidence in both men and women?

There are two root words for "consecrate" in Hebrew: naver (separating from) and kadesh (separating unto). Deborah, like the other champions of the faith, was separated from the world and unto God. She did nothing on her own but spoke just what the Father taught her. This is where the true victory lies in listening to Him.


Deborah's Resume'


We tend to think of multi-tasking as a 21st century phenomenon, but Deborah was functioning in five major roles - Intercessor, Judge, Prophetess, Mother of Israel, Deliverer/Military Strategist. Let's review them:


1. Intercessor


Many scholars believe that one of Deborah's roles before becoming judge was being a "lamp lighter" in the temple. In the Bible, oil is often a symbol for the Holy Spirit. Deborah was married to Lapidoth, whose name means to shine, lamp, flame, burning lamp, lightening, torch. Isn't it interesting? He, too, was a lamp that had oil!

Deborah was a keeper of the oil and light, gingerly tending the lamps. This shows us that she was a woman who was passionately spending long hours dwelling in the temple. She was a woman of prayer and of worship. She lived between two villages - Ramah and Bethel - in Ephraim, which means the valley of fruitfulness. Biblical names often have profound prophetic meanings.

The ancient village of Ramah was known to be the seat of high adultery. Bethel was known as the house of the Lord with open Heavens, where Jacob had his ladder experience in Genesis 28. She stood in the gap, interceding between the seat of high idolatry and pagan worship and the house of Bethel with its open Heavens.

Now the imagery becomes a little clearer: Deborah was raised up by God to intercede against idolatry (Ramah). She wanted to turn the hearts of the children of Israel back to the house of God (Bethel) to inherit a double portion of fruit (Ephraim).

Deborah's relationship with the Lord was very precious and intensely intimate. I believe that in those twenty years of captivity, Deborah stood in the gap and interceded to change the course of Israel. God promised Abraham, in Genesis 18, that He would save a nation for the sake of ten righteous men. I believe that the righteous prayers of Deborah availed much!

She worshiped and had a deep intercessory life with God. She would go into the temple and fill the lamps with oil and ask God for revelation for people around her in great darkness. She was prepared in this secret place as she stood in the gap in radical intercession for her people and her nation. She would hear from God and would bring down great wisdom and counsel. She spent long hours in the temple. This dedication moved the very heart of God and changed the very heart of Deborah. He led, she followed. She led, Israel followed.

Oftentimes we have the misunderstanding that worship is merely the thirty-minute time slot before the sermon when we sing songs of devotion to God. This is part of worship. But doing small things with great love unto Him is living a life of worship. Deborah was a worshiper who loved the oil of the lamps - Holy Spirit.

We need to be like Deborah, a people of prayer. Sincere and passionate prayer is the key to unlock our relationship with Almighty God. Many struggle with praying because they feel that their intercession is not much more than empty cries to an invisible God who seems so distant. We think that our prayers bounce off the ceiling and back to us unheard and unanswered. But, Beloved, God loves communing with you! He promises that He will hear you and answer! It takes only a few seconds of a face-to-face encounter with God to change the course of human history for you, your city, or your nation.

In fact, communing with God is the highest purpose for which you were created! "This is eternal life, to know Me" (John 17:3, paraphrased). Our hunger for God is what fuels our prayer life. When His presence is our passion and our hunger is for His heart, we can approach the throne of God boldly with the confidence that our Father loves our prayers; but having this first love is so important.

For Deborah, intercession was a dialogue in which He began to download strategic war plans, blue prints from Heaven, and keys to open doors that no man can shut and shut doors that no man can open (see Isaiah 22:22). How else could she wisely judge so many civil cases with the Israelites?


2. Judge


Ehud was the third judge of Israel. After his death, Israel was without a strong leader and once again fell into idolatry and sexual perversion. They were desperately in need of godly leadership. It was the role of the judge to hear and resolve the disputes of the people, but they also attempted to keep the nation from idolatry (see Exodus 18:20; Judges 2:17), they taught God's Word (see Exodus 18:20; Judges 2:17), and they interceded for their people (see Deuteronomy 9:18-20, 25-29; Deuteronomy 10:10).

The Scripture tells us that judges were raised up by God to that office (see Judges 2:16). All the judges before and after Deborah were men. So Deborah must have walked in quite an unusual and unique grace to be chosen as both the natural and spiritual leader of Israel. The Word says that she was a judge for 40 years. She held her court sitting under the palm tree, which represents righteousness.

In ancient Israeli culture, there was not the separation of church and state that now exists in our governmental infrastructures. To be appointed as the judge over a nation was equivalent to also being established as the spiritual head over the country. Great responsibility came with great authority. She took care of the civil disputes of men, women and children. We aren't just talking about the local judge down at your courthouse. We are talking about the executive leader over the whole nation of Israel. She was leading Israel (see Judges 4:4-5).


3. Prophetess


Deborah operated in a heavenly dimension of a spirit of wisdom and revelation. It was almost as if God had supernaturally implanted a divine compass in her, always guiding her to Him. She walked in such dependence upon every move of the Omnipotent One. The judging that Deborah did so well might have been because of her gift as a prophetess. She would have been able to make wise decisions if she saw well in the Spirit. Although it isn't certain, many theologians feel that Deborah was from the tribe of Issachar, which means that she knew the times and the seasons. Samuel was the only other judge also listed as a prophet.

In "Matthew Henry's Commentary," he writes:

"She was a woman of illuminations, or of splendors, one extraordinarily known and wise, and so came to be eminent and illustrious. She was intimately acquainted with God, she was a prophetess, and one that instructed others in divine knowledge by the inspiration of the Spirit of God, and had gifts of wisdom, to which she attained not in an ordinary way; she heard words of God, and she probably saw visions of the Almighty. She was totally devoted to Israel. After Jehovah, Israel was her first love."

Deborah means "bee" or "wasp" or "queen bee." She was one who would set things in order and bring honey, but also bring the sting of a bee when necessary. A basic principle in spiritual warfare is that our level of attack against the devil must be intimately related to our level of authority and intimacy in our relationship with God.

Deborah was one who received fresh mandates from Heaven, and though she knew how evil the oppression of King Jabin was, she also knew that with God anything was possible! Something in Deborah knew how to pull on the resources of Heaven, stand in the counsels of the Lord (see Jeremiah 23) and open her mouth and let Him fill it (see Psalm 81:10).


4. Mother of Israel


What made this woman a mother of Israel? Deborah loved well. The Lord must have peered over the balcony of Heaven, looked through the lattice of time and watched the way that she so tenderly stopped for the one. Imagine facing the seemingly unending line of people all needing a touch of Heaven. I imagine her tired eyes stretched out on the faces of His creation as she felt the ache in their hearts for God. They had come so far, how could they leave empty-handed? The eleven other dispersed tribes of Israel walked for miles and literally risked their lives on the dangerous highways as they pushed through to hear from God, through Deborah's voice.

"The highways were deserted, and the travelers walked along the byways. Village life ceased, it ceased in Israel, until I, Deborah, arose, arose a mother in Israel. They chose new gods; then there was war in the gates..." Judges 5:6-8

I believe that Deborah could hear the groans of the Israelites who were oppressed for 20 years and feel the pounding pain in God's heart over His peoples sin and oppression. I believe that it was her ability to hear His heartbeat that allowed her to save a nation in a day. Deborah ruled with the sword of a prophet but the staff of a shepherd - she truly loved God's people. She always led well. She led by loving.


5. Deliverer/Military Strategist


Deborah was more than a judge; she was used to deliver Israel from the second longest captivity. As a prophetess and military strategist, she called the nation to war. She was a military strategist who not only wielded the hand of God but also operated with the heart of God. You see, Deborah was a deliverer! She loved the people and they loved her. She delivered them from a great enemy.

The Lord literally dropped a clear prophetic word to summon Barak, the Israeli commander, to rally the rag-tag troops for battle against insurmountable odds. The Hebrews had no weapons - none. They had all been confiscated by the Canaanites.

The famous historian, Josepheus, writes about the enemy force:

"Under the command of his general, Sisera, he had 300,000 footmen, 10,000 horsemen and 900 hundred chariots of iron. These chariots not only controlled the highways and roads of the land, they could be driven through an army of men and with the swords in their wheels, they could cut off the legs of the strongest and bravest of soldiers. They were feared, as tanks are today. The people of Israel had no answer to such deadly weapons of mass destruction, forged in the bowels of hell."

God showed her revelations of how to win the battle. Seeing in the heavens and moving with prophetic proclamations, she released the warrior angels of the Lord to fight ancient demonic principalities. She knew the enemy's schemes and helped to empower the war in the heavens, destroying the enemy. She brought holy reversal to the evil plans. In her moment of crisis, she decreed the Word of the Lord, and creation bowed to her command. Her prayers and military governmental leadership shifted the course of history and saved the nation of Israel. When the city gates were at war, Deborah, a mother of Israel who was willing to lay down her life for her God and country, arose.


God's Word Brings a Shift in Roles


Deborah sent for Barak and told him the Lord commanded him to take 10,000 men of Naphtali and lead them to Mount Tabor. There the Lord would lure Sisera, the commander of Jabin's army, with his chariots and troops, to the Kishon River and would put him into his hands. Barak was a military commander of Israel. He was a man of war, but he lacked courage.

"Barak said to her, 'If you will go with me, I will go! But if you don't go, I won't go!'

"'Very well,' Deborah said, 'I will go with you, but because of the way you are going about this, the honor will not be yours for the Lord will hand Sisera over to a woman'" (paraphrased, see Judges 4:9).

He was dealing with heavy oppression and he did not have the faith to go. He needed Deborah to be his salvation or he would not have gotten into place for his calling. How many of you are willing to be Deborah's to help to put the Barak's in place governmentally?

So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh where he summoned Zebulun and Naphtali. Ten thousand men followed them. You see, she gave a prophetic word and it started to launch, shift and change not only Barak's and Israel's destiny, but also her own destiny. It shifted her out of sitting under the palm tree and lighting the lamps in the tabernacle. Suddenly she was getting on a horse and was thrust onto the front lines of the battle.


Revival and War Are Running Mates


When we are dealing with this great oppression in the land, when we are crying out for revival, we need to understand that revival and war lock hands. Revival and war are running mates. Our intercession and our prayers tip the bowls of justice from Heaven and fire falls down. When you are crying out for freedom and breakthrough, you are tipping the bowls in Heaven that contain justice. So on one hand, we want to see a mighty outpouring of God to set people free, but when you are crying out desperate prayers of revival and visitation, you are also crying out for God's justice to come.

Out of their brokenness, they needed a miracle. With 10,000 soldiers, they were going on a suicide mission. But Deborah stood as a prophetic symbol; a signpost as a woman who was weak, but she had the word of God! She had a history of going in and lighting the lamps. She had a history of hearing the voice of God in the secret place. So suddenly, when the hour came for her to literally go into war like a Joan of Arc, she was ready. She was in the place to say yes because she knew the voice of her God. She knew she had the living word of her Lord, and 10,000 men believed her enough to risk their lives, too.

We are in a season of great warfare, but in the midst of it, will you be like a Deborah where you can hear God's voice and give radical mandates to men, women and children for such an hour as this?

Do you love the Lord so much that when you hear the cries of the suffering and oppressed around you, you will volunteer to be a mother to a suffering world?

Is there a cry in you that says, "I am willing to stand against sexual perversion, sin, adultery, abortion and any other amoral activity? I am willing to stand in the house of prayer with angels ascending and descending. I will be a woman who will stand in the gap and go before God and cry out in intercession."

The journey of Deborah is a testimony of the power of just ONE life fully set apart for God. May her song be an invitation to you that a revolution can begin - with one person.


Let Us Pray


Lord, we need more than a revival. We need a revolution of epic proportion! Lord, we need the Kingdom of God to break in with the resurrection power of life! This is a call of war! This is a call from each of us to say that we want to hear the voice of God from the secret place. Lord, we want to make a fresh holy covenant with You. We want to move as holy revolutionists, but we want to move with purity and humility, love and grace. We want to be ones that will come out of the secret place and wrestle with a holy desperation and go to the place of war. We are the women of God. Use us as is Your Will. It is in Your Name: Jesus we pray. Amen and Amen.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Glass Bottles and Bath Soaks


Glass Bottles and Bath Soaks

I confess! I am a glass bottle junkie.

I absolutely abhor plastic bottles and consider them to be a blight on humanity. I am equally not fond of drinking out of a plastic cup or bottle. In this day and age when it is becoming increasingly harder and harder to find anything packaged in actual glass I find myself actively seeking out glass bottles that are visually interesting and hoarding them like a squirrel preserving nuts for winter.

The problem then becomes what to do with all of those visually interesting glass containers that I just had to have.


Solution: Homemade Bath Soaks

I came by the idea when my daughter gave me a recipe for a Mimosa Cocktail- which turned out to be a beverage that I love! and have to have upon occasion {all things in moderation; as you know} for Sunday brunch. However; champagne doesn't have a very long shelf life once you've opened the bottle and really! who likes a flat cocktail?

The same holds true for Wine Spritzers. Unless you are drinking them on a daily basis then you end up with a collection of half full bottles of flat wine looking pretty sad sitting the the back of your refrigerator. Sure, sure. You say that you are saving them with the intention of adding them to some exotic recipe that you downloaded off of the Internet but really? If you are honest you'll admit that you are also saving your money for all of the exotic spices you have to have to go with the exotic recipe that you downloaded off of the Internet and in the meanwhile all of those half full bottles of wine are staring at you every time you open the refrigerator door.

So; here is what you are going to do. Scrap the exotic recipe that probably won't taste near as good as it looks and use the money you have been saving to buy more visually interesting glass bottles. To which you will add the following recipe.


Red Wine and Champagne Bath Soak

Simply add your red wine or your champagne or a combination of both to your glass bottle.

Pour a glass (or more) of red wine or champagne (or both) into your running bath. Soak for 20 minutes. Feel decadent.

Don't worry. Unless you filled the tub up with red wine it isn't going to stain your skin.

Info!

The polyphenols in red wine are incredible antioxidants and the tartaric acid in champagne lightens skin and helps reduce discoloration and fine lines. Both red wine and champagne are also great for cleansing pores and then reducing their appearance.

So never again will you have to throw out that flat champagne or wine that’s sat alone in the back of the fridge. Now, you can bathe in it. Genius!


Simple Mimosa (for those interested)

Ingredients

1/2 oz triple sec (or) grenadine

1 1/2 oz cold pineapple (or) orange juice

3 1/2 oz chilled Champagne

pineapple (or) orange slice for garnish


Preparation

1.Build the ingredients in the order given in a Champagne flute.

2.Garnish with the pineapple or orange slice.

3. Enjoy!



Beauty for Ashes

Isaiah 61:1-3 (NIV)

The Year of the Lord’s Favor

1 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,

2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,

3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Study of Angels Part II



A Study in Angels: Part II.

The Creation of the Angels:


The angels were created sometime during creation week, after Genesis 1:1. They were not in existence prior to that. It is most likely the angels were created early-on, as they were apparently observers of the work of creation.

Psalm 148

1 Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise him in the heights.

2 Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts.

3 Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light.

4 Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens.

5 Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created.

6 He hath also stablished them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass.

7 Praise the LORD from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps:

8 Fire, and hail; snow, and vapours; stormy wind fulfilling his word:

9 Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars:

10 Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl:

11 Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth:

12 Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children:

13 Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven.

14 He also exalteth the horn of his people, the praise of all his saints; even of the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the LORD.


The association of the angels with the stars suggests that the angels were created one by one, and each named, as the stars are all named, "He determines the number of the stars, he gives to all of them their names." (Psalm 147:4)

God questioned Job about his knowledge of the creation, "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements --surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God [bene elohim, the angels] shouted for joy?" (Job 38:4-7)

The angels belong to ranks and orders, but they are not related to one another, that is they are not a connected race as we are. The Letter to the Hebrews tells us that salvation is not offered to the angels but is reserved for the human family, for the descendants of Adam.

"...we see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for every one. For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through suffering. For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified have all one origin. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, "I will proclaim thy name to my brethren, in the midst of the congregation I will praise thee." And again, "I will put my trust in him." And again, "Here am I, and the children God has given me." Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same nature, that through death he might destroy him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage. For surely it is not with angels that he is concerned but with the descendants of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brethren in every respect, so that he might become a merciful  and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make expiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered and been tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted. (Hebrews 2:9-18)



The Inhabitants Of The Spiritual Realm:


Most of modern science pays little heed to anything that exists in the spiritual realm. In the first place, the scientific method limits scientific investigation to the physical world. The prevailing secular scientific world view today is that of naturalism, or scientism. Naturalism holds that only the physical world is relevant. God if He exists at all, He plays no role in the day by day running of the universe. At most, God could be a "First Cause," but if so, we do not need God to explain anything to us after the Big Bang begins. Or, many say that the material world is all there is, so-called spiritual truth either does not exist or has no relevance to the world of science. These views are radically different in comparison to a Biblical world-view. The physical world is only half of the creation, and the invisible half of creation is the more permanent and substantial than the physical world. In many ways the material world is a world of shadows. Not only did God design the universe, He constructed it in minute detail over a period of time and then set it all in motion. Furthermore, without His moment by moment sustaining power the very atoms themselves would fly apart and the universe would go up in smoke. This is clear from statements such as Hebrews 1:1-4.

Ultimately, all energy and power and life come into the physical world from the unseen spiritual world as the source, even though we do not know how to formulate scientific laws to describe the interactions between these two realms. Since science is bounded by many intrinsic limitations, the responsibility for our failure to be fully-informed and educated concerning the dual realms of creation should probably be laid at the door of the church. God's people are given the task of explaining to the world those areas of knowledge that depend upon divine revelation, subjects that are, by nature, out-of-bounds for science.

The amazing fact which the Scripture clearly declares, but which thousands of Christians have failed to see, is that God has designed that his church should be a kind of government on earth undergirding visible governments. This would make possible a climate of benevolent law and order, the rule of justice and peace, and would hold in restraint the wild forces of tyranny, anarchy and murder.  (See Matt. 5:13,14; Phil. 2:14,15; 1 Tim. 2:1,2.)

Whenever the church has approached the biblical pattern, righteous conditions have begun to prevail. And when it has turned from this divine pattern to rely on secondary forces it has become proud, rich and tyrannical, or worldly, weak and despised by all.

According to the Bible, there are two levels of creation: one physical and one (the more important) spiritual. The two realms---the material and the spiritual---were "tightly coupled" before the fall and though there is still coupling between these realms it is less than it was in former times. Both spiritual and material domains of reality have become flawed, subsequent to creation, and active evil is present in both realms.

Scientific observations of the physical world have been, are now, and will be, affected by happenings in the spiritual world. Although we may not see the causes, the effects will be there. The fall of man is accompanied by a "curse" on nature described in Genesis 3:

And to Adam he [God} said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, `You shall not eat of it,' cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth to you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

The effect of the curse is to reduce the fecundity, resilience and vitality of nature allowing "opportunistic" thorns and thistles and weeds to compete more successfully with crops and fruits useful to men and animals.

Additional "curses" which are consequences of human evil are described as the Biblical account unfolds. For example God spoke to Cain, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength; you shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth." (Genesis 4:11-12)

Adam's sin cost him his position as Manager and Steward over the earth. God had granted this to Adam at the time of his creation,

Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth." So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth. (Genesis 1:26-28)

Man's lost dominion is described in the opening chapters of Hebrews. There Jesus Christ is presented as the Federal head of a new race of men who will place man back again in the position of dominion over creation:

"For it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. It has been testified somewhere, 'What is man that thou art mindful of him, or the son of man, that thou carest for him? Thou didst make him [man] for a little while lower than the angels, thou hast crowned him with glory and honor, putting everything in subjection under his [man's] feet.' Now in putting everything in subjection to him, [man] he left nothing outside his control. As it is, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him [man]. But we see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for every one. For it was fitting that he, [Jesus] for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through suffering."
 (Hebrews 2:5-10).

Verse five contains a hidden and important clue about who governs the universe. The age which is to come is not ruled by the angels, the author says. The implication is that the age we live in, is ruled by the angels (acting on God's behalf).

Some fascinating themes are introduced by this observation. It raises immediately the question, What is meant by the world to come? It can mean:

(1) life after death,

(2) the future kingdom of Christ on earth (the millennium) 

(3) the new heavens and the new earth.

Since almost nothing is said in Hebrews about life after death (9:27), (1) can be dismissed without further development for it is obviously not what he refers to in the phrase about which we are speaking. That limiting phrase probably looks back to 1:11-12 which emphasizes the changes which the material creation will experience. Paul, in Ephesians 2:7, speaks of "coming ages,"  The two which Scripture continually names are the restored Davidic kingdom (the millennium) and the new heavens and the new earth. In several places Scripture describes the new heavens and earth as lasting forever, intimating It would be the last age yet to come. But the word world (Gk okoumene) in 2:5 refers not to the cosmos, but to the inhabited earth, and this would strongly suggest the writer has in mind (2), the kingdom of Christ on earth.  "the age of the Messiah in which the messianic promises and prophecies of old find their fulfillment."

It is surely to this that Jesus refers in Matthew 19:28, 'Truly, I say to you, in the new world palingenesia, 'restoration'], when the Son of man shall sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel'

Several passages in Hebrews (6:5 and 12:22-24) suggest that this kingdom is in some sense already available to those who live by faith. Perhaps, we should see this new age to come as spiritually arrived, yet physically still to come.

"A reference to the new heavens and new earth seems likely in view of the mention of judgment in Matthew 19:28, for sin will have no place in the new creation. Also Israel will  play a distinctive role among the nations, for then 'the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever' (Rev 11:15 KJV).

(See Deuteronomy 32:8)

When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance When he separated the children of men, He set the bounds of the peoples According to the number of the angels of God.

Daniel 10:21 and 12:1 speak of Michael as 'the great prince' who champions the people of Israel. This concept would explain why the fallen angel called Satan is referred to as 'the god of this world' and is permitted his control until the Lord returns and the new age begins and the curse is lifted from nature. Then, too, the devil will be bound and cast into a bottomless pit for a thousand years (Rev 20:2-3).

"This background seems to give special meaning to the quotation from Psalm 8 which the writer of Hebrews now invokes. David's psalm is a wondering reaction to the majesty of the night sky as it reveals the power and wisdom of God and forces the question, What part do puny human beings play in such a universe? The answer is that we were made a little lower than the angels, but then crowned with glory and honor, and everything has been put under our feet. This is a direct reference to Genesis 1:26: Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."

Here is glory and honor (made in the image and likeness of God) and authority and power (ruling over all the earth). Some commentators take the 'made a little lower than the angels' in a temporal sense, 'made for a little while,' to imply that human existence in this space-time continuum is only for a brief lifetime, and then we are freed to live the life of eternity. Whichever way the phrase is read, it is clear that our intended destiny was one of power and authority over all the conditions and life of earth. If this was our commission from the moment of creation, what light it sheds on our responsibility to care for this planet and its creatures! We were not given dominion so the earth and the animals should serve us; rather, we are given authority to develop them to the fullest extent intended by the fruitful mind of the Creator. We are to serve them by thorough knowledge and loving care, in the form of servant-leadership which the Lord himself manifested when he came.

There are many things "fallen humans" cannot control: the weather, the seasons, the instincts of animals, the tides, our own passions, international events, natural disasters, and on and on. The increasing pollution of the planet, the spread of famines and wars, the toll taken by drugs, accidents and disease, all tell the story of a lost destiny...


YET THERE IS "ONE" WHO CAN AND DOES - JESUS




Let's Recap: Again... Who Are the Angels?


We need to know the difference between angels and men because there is much confusion in this area, reinforced by television and the movies. If you believe some of the things you see on television, you will think that when you die, you will become an angel. You're NOT an angel now, and you won't become an angel when you die.

Angels are supernatural beings created by God (Col.1:16) to be His messengers (Heb. 12:22; Ps. 68:17).

They are innumerable (Dan. 7:10; Ps. 68:17) and are ministering spirits to serve God and also men on God's behalf (Heb. 1:14).

They were the medium of revelation to the prophets  (II Kgs. 1:15; Dan 4:13-17, 8:15, 9:21; Zech 1:8).

Angels can protect us from harm (Ps. 91:11; Mt. 2:13). In the Scriptures, we will see numerous occasions where angels announce and forewarn, guide and instruct, guard and defend, minister in need, and are sent forth to perform God's judgment against His enemies.

They never draw attention to themselves, but always to God. They do not indwell men, but can take on a human, bodily form, appearing and disappearing when God allows (Gen. 32:1-2; Dan. 10:6; Rev. 10:1). However, even if supernatural, they are not to be worshipped (Col. 2:18, Rev. 19:10). Worship is reserved for God alone (Ex. 20:3).

Being supernatural, angels never die or get sick. Unlike humans, angels do not marry (Mt. 22:30; Mk.12:25). In fact, these previous passages state that when man, in his resurrected state, goes to heaven, he will not marry, as is the case with angels. These same verses caused some Bible interpreters to assume that if angels do not marry, then they are sexless. However, there is no Scripture in the Bible that says this. On the other hand, we we saw in the study on demons that according to  Jewish and Christian scholars, the nephilim, or giants, found in Gen. 6:1-4, are probably the offspring of fallen angels (male) and "daughters of men."  Therefore; one can safely assume that angels are all most definitely male as each and every time an angel appear to man as recorded in the Bible- they revealed themselves as a male and never as a female

Man is positioned a little lower than the angels in God's universal kingdom (Heb. 2:5-7).

Angels can make a choice, as did those angels who rebelled and fell from heaven, but then they are forever stuck in that choice because there is not salvation for angels, as with men, who have been given free will to choose.

Angels can call God Father, as men are able to do. They can assist the Church in her role to preach the Gospel, but they do not preach or share the Gospel because they cannot speak of what they have  experienced in the Heavenly Realm. On the other hand, angels worship God continually (Rev. 5:11-12).

Angels possess knowledge, but unlike God, they are not omniscient (Mk. 13:32). They are more powerful than men (II Thes. 1:7; II Pet. 2:11; Ps. 103:20) and can mete out God's judgment (Heb. 1:7; II Kgs. 19:35; I Chr. 21:16; Acts 12:22-23). Remember how the Angel of Death passed through Egypt and killed the firstborn of man and beast (Ex. 11) or destroyed 185,000 of Sennacherib's soldiers on the hills surrounding Jerusalem (II Kgs. 19:34-36).

Angels consistently appear in human form, with the exception of the seraphim (Isa. 6:2). Angels never appeared in subhuman form, as animals nor material objects. Though the angel of the Lord spoke out of fire and cloud and even caused a donkey to speak, he never identified himself with either. Moreover, it should be observed that there is no biblical record showing that an angel ever appeared to a wicked person or warned such a one of impending danger. This was reserved for the righteous, who were trying to walk in God's path and needed guidance or protection. Angels were always clothed and appeared as men, never as women or children, despite the artistic representations in history and on television programs.


There is an angelic hierarchical organization, including the archangel, angels, seraphim, cherubim, the Angel of the Lord, and guardian angels.

The archangel, who is chief of Heaven under God is Michael (Jude 9). Michael is identified with Israel (Dan. 12:1), and he is the prince of God's chosen people (Dan. 10:21). He will lead a future army that will battle Satan (Rev. 12:7-12) and accompanies Jesus in His Second Coming to earth (I Thes. 4:16), when He comes to Jerusalem to protect and save Israel.

Angels are on the next level.

The Second in Command in the angelic realm is the angel is Gabriel (God's hero), who is a messenger of Adonai (one of the names of God in Hebrew). He has a ministry of mercy and promise, appearing to men to proclaim God's purposes. For example, Gabriel gives a vision of the end times (Dan. 8:16) culminating with Yeshua (Jesus), the "Prince of princes" (Dan. 8:25; 9:21). He gave the message to Zecharias in the Temple in Jerusalem (Lk. 1:19) and was the messenger of the Annunciation to Mary (Lk. 1:26).

Other angels also bring messages for God and act to protect men on God's behalf.

Not all angels have wings, as is commonly thought; only the Seraphim and Cherubim have them. Let's look at both.


Cherubim And Seraphim


The third ranking after the angels, (described as authorities and powers in I Peter 3:22,) are Seraphim. In Hebrew, this means "burning ones" or nobles. They are positioned above the throne of God and have six wings. Their ministry is to praise the name and character of God by constantly glorifying God. God uses them to cleanse and purify His servants (Isa. 6:1-6).

On this level are also the Cherubim. They reside beside and below the throne of God (Ps. 80:1). They are very powerful and have wings, feet, and hands (Eze. 10). They guarded the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:24) and also "the Most Holy Place," the Holy of Holies, in the Temple of God in Jerusalem. Along with the angels, they give glory to God. Their likeness was found on the mercy seat in the wilderness tabernacle (Ex. 25:18) and also in Solomon's Temple.

In the Scriptures, there are over fifty references to" the Angel of the Lord", as distinct from "an angel of the Lord." Many of these definite references are references not of mere angelic beings, but to the Lord Himself. After all, God is God, so why can't He audibly and directly speak to someone or appear when and where He wants to?


Each visitation of God in the Bible is called a theophany.

It is a term that is used of any temporary, visible, or audible manifestation of God. It is to be distinguished from the permanent manifestation of God in Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus, the Messiah), which is called the Incarnation. Most examples are in the Hebrew Scriptures. The importance of a theophany always lies in its revelation of God, by what He does and says. An example of a theophany can be seen when "the angel of the Lord" gave aid and encouragement to Hagar (Gen. 16:7; 21:17). Another example is found in Genesis 18 where three men (angels) visited Abraham and Sarah and the spokesman was referred to as "the LORD" and acted in a supernatural manner. In Exodus, we see God referring to "My angel" (Ex. 23:20-23; 32:34) and "My Presence" (Ex. 33:14), walking with Moses and the Israelites, giving direct instruction and guidance.

In all cases, these theophanies brought about major events in God's plan and path to bring redemption to the world. They marked a turning point in history or sparked the innovation of some project with long-lasting consequences. Some Christian scholars suggest that these theophanies are pre-incarnate or post-incarnate appearances of Yeshua, noting that "the Angel of the Lord" is only mentioned in Scripture before and after Yeshua was here on earth.


Guardian angels are very real and very personal to each one of us.

The Psalmist says, "The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and delivers them" (Ps. 34:7). He also promises "He will give His angels charge of you to guard you in all your ways" (Ps. 91:11). There are numerous examples of guardian angels, e.g. an angel guarded Jacob during his twenty years in Haran and brought him safely home to Canaan (Gen. 32:24). An angel, accompanied by cloud and fire, defended Israel from Egypt during the Exodus (Ex. 14:19). David's thanksgiving psalm says, "Praise the Lord, you His angels, you mighty ones who do His bidding, who obey His Word" (Ps. 103:20). About children, Yeshua warned, "See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of My Father Who is in heaven" (Mt. 18:10).

Judaism teaches that every nation has a guardian angel or angels on assignment by God to either bless them or chastise them at God's order, depending on their behavior towards God and His will. In the book of Revelation, chapters 1-3, we encounter spiritual guardians or superintendents of the seven churches, who were intimately related to the lives of the churches, directing their attitudes and acts, and held responsible for them. They were not bishops or presbyteries, but angels.


Cherubim of the Old and New Testament:


In the hierarchy of the angels as revealed to us in Scripture, the greatest and mightiest are known as the "cherubim," among whom are the "Four Living Creatures." The King James Version of the Bible calls them "the four beasts" but this is a translation of the Greek, zoon, which means "living beings." They are remarkable creatures, first described for us in detail by the prophet Ezekiel at the time of the Babylonian captivity of the Jews in July 593 BC .

Isaiah may have seen these same great angels earlier in his vision recorded in Isaiah 6. The Hebrew word found in the latter passage is Seraphim, ("burning ones"), rather than Cherubim, thus many Bible scholars treat the Seraphim as a separate, but very high class of angels. Our common notion of "cherubs," as childlike harmless angels with tiny fluttering wings is very unbiblical.

Cherubim with whirling, flaming swords guarded the gate of access back into Eden after Adam and Eve were expelled, to keep them from eating of the Tree of Life in their fallen condition. In other words, they could not return to fellowship with God except by the way of the cross. Two figures of cherubim with outstretched arms covered the mercy seat which sat on the top of the Ark of the Covenant in the Tabernacle of Moses and later in the Temple of Solomon.


Four Mighty Angels Around The Throne:


The Four Living Creatures, the Cherubim, correspond one-to-one with the four Gospels with which the New Testament opens. Lion, ox, man, and eagle all symbolize various attributes of God in four-fold symmetry. Since the number "four" is symbolic of the world in scripture, we have in the four cherubim around the throne, a picture of God's government and concern for all aspects of the physical world, and the world-system which we call "human society." The lion corresponds to the Gospel of Matthew---here Jesus is seen as the Lion out of the tribe of Judah, the rightful king, depicting God's kingly sovereignty over Israel and the nations. The ox pictures for us servitude and sacrifice (Mark); The Cherubim's face, like that of a man, corresponds to Luke's Gospel and pictures divine intelligence; and the eagle symbolizes the lofty sovereignty and deity of the Son of God (John's Gospel). The four Gospels are also God's complete message to the descendants of Shem, Ham, Japheth, and to mankind in general, in the same order.  The "wheels" of Ezekiel (God's "chariot throne") appear to symbolize divine mobility, (the ability of God to observe, to move and to act, anywhere and at anytime, unrestricted by the limitations of the material world). The entire vision seems to picture for us God's government of human affairs and of nature.

Similarly, the cherubim, the highest class of the angels, are also described for us in detail by John the Apostle on the Isle of Patmos about 95 AD:

"At once I (John) was in the Spirit, and lo, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne! And he who sat there appeared like jasper and carnelian, and round the throne was a rainbow that looked like an emerald. Round the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clad in white garments, with golden crowns upon their heads. From the throne issue flashes of lightning, and voices and peals of thunder, and before the throne burn seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God; and before the throne there is as it were a sea of glass, like crystal.

"And round the throne on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes (depicting the omniscience of God) in front and behind: the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like a flying eagle. And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to sing, 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!' And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever; they cast their crowns before the throne, singing, 'Worthy are thou, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for thou didst create all things, and by thy will they existed and were created.'" (Revelation 4:2-11)


A Judaic View of Angels


The Hebrew word translated as angel is malakh ,which literally means messenger. In the Greek Septuagint, it was translated angelos, from which we get angels. Another Hebrew word translated as "angels" is kedoshim, translated "divine beings," "hosts," or "holy beings" (Ps. 89:8; Job 5:1).

The Torah is replete with occasions where angels appeared to the Patriarchs and great leaders and prophets of Israel with messages from God or acted on God's behalf. Angels were placed at the gates of Eden so that Adam and Eve could not re-enter (Gen. 3:24). Hagar spoke twice to an angel in the wilderness (Gen. 16:7; 21:17). Abraham spoke to angels who visited his tent and overheard Sarah's disbelief that she was finally going to have a son (Gen. 18:1-15). And, again Abraham had an encounter with the Angel of the Lord at the offering of Isaac on Mt. Moriah (Gen. 22:1-19). Lot was visited by two angels when they came to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19:1-29). Jacob, in his vision in Bethel, saw angels ascending and descending a ladder to and from heaven (Gen. 28:10-22). He also wrestled with an angel of God until He received his blessing (Gen. 32:24-32). The Angel of the Lord appeared to Moses in the burning bush (Ex. 3:2). The Angel of the Lord protected the Israelites from the pursuit of Pharaoh (Ex. 14:19) and chastised them for disobeying God's instructions to destroy the altars of the inhabitants of Canaan (Jud. 2:1-5). God sent an angel to oppose Balaam, and his donkey is the one who saw the angel and stopped in the road (Num. 22:21-41). Joshua was given a message from God by one calling himself the "commander of the army of the Lord" (Josh. 5:13-15).

In the story of Gideon, he speaks to God and also to His angel (Jud. 6:11-22). An angel appeared to the wife of Manoah and told her that she, even though sterile, would conceive and bear a son, who was Samson (Jud. 13). An angel came to destroy Jerusalem because David had disobeyed the Lord, but David took responsibility for his sin and the consequences (II Sam. 24:16-17: I Chr. 21:14-17). An angel of the Lord annihilated 185,000 men in the army of Sennacherib on the hills surrounding Jerusalem (II Kgs. 19:34-36). An angel provided food to Elijah under the juniper tree when he fled to Horeb (I Kgs. 19:5-11). In the lion's den, an angel protected Daniel (Dan. 6:22). An angel joined Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace, and they were spared from injury or death (Dan. 3:25). Finally, Zechariah was given messages from the Lord by an angel in his visions (Zech. 2:3; 3:1-2; 4:1).

In the Newer Testament, angels are equally as active. While Zechariah went into the Temple to burn the incense on the altar, the angel Gabriel appeared to the right of the altar to tell him that his wife Elizabeth would bear a son and his name was to be John (Lk. 1:11-20). Gabriel also visited Mary to tell her she was chosen to be the mother of Yeshua (Lk. 1:26-38). An angel appeared to Joseph in a dream to tell him of the conception and birth of Yeshua (Matt. 1:20; 1:13,19). The birth of Yeshua was heralded by a host of angels praising God (Lk. 2:9-14). After Yeshua's temptation in the desert, angels came and attended to him (Mt. 4:11). In the Garden of Gethsemane, an angel appeared to Yeshua to support Him (Lk. 22:43). At the Tomb, an angel rolled back the stone and spoke to the women telling them that Yeshua had risen (Mt. 28:2-5; Mk 16:5-7; Lk 24:23; Jn 20:12). Angels spoke to the disciples about the Ascension of the resurrected Yeshua from the Mt. of Olives to heaven and of His return (Acts 1:10-11;12:7-11). Peter and John, and then again Peter were freed from prison by an angel (Acts. 5:19).

An angel alerted Philip to go and speak to the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:26). An angel told Cornelius that God had heard his prayers and seen his generosity to the poor and that he was to bring Peter from Joppa who would tell him about God (Acts. 10:3-6). Paul was told by an angel not to fear Caesar and he would be safe (Acts 27:23-26). On Patmos, John, when receiving the Revelation, saw and heard from angels on numerous occasions.

The Holy Spirit is our Teacher and Guide, angels are not. Never pray to an angel, but only to God, Who may use an angel to minister to and for us. Angels are messengers of God, work in the natural realm, and can move circumstances in our favor. David thanked God for the help of angels: "Praise the Lord, you His angels, you mighty ones who do His bidding, who obey His Word. Praise the Lord, all His heavenly hosts, you His servants who do His will" (Ps. 103:20-21).

1. Our guardian angel can listen to our prayers and act on our words: "Therefore, the angels take man's word as being man's will" (Prov. 16:1).

2. We can also call upon God to send an angel to act on our behalf.

We see in Scripture where Abraham released an angel to perform God's will in his life (Gen. 24:1,4-7).
In II Kings 6, Elisha released angels to war against the king of Syria, and they did. Daniel prayed for help and an angel came to him and said, "Your words were heard, and I have come in response to them" (Dan. 10:12).

Nevertheless, be careful what you say, and be sure what you pray is in accordance with God's Word. We can also cause the angels to work against us: "Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the angels, 'My vow was a mistake.' Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands? Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore stand in awe of God" (Ecc. 5:6-7).



~ Angels And The Government Of The Universe ~


The Cherubim also seem to represent "God's Intelligence Agency" -- with their all-seeing eyes and ability to move quickly in all four directions. The number "four" indicates they have a central role in God's government of human society. The Four Living Creatures seem to represent the topmost level of the system of angels who fall into definite hierarchy and class structures hinted at in scripture.

The Apostle Paul says there are angelic principalities: (arche), powers (exousia), thrones (thronoi), dominions (kuriotes), and powers (dunamis).

Thus, there appear to be angels with power over a nation or a city or a planet or a star such as our sun. In addition to all manner of greater and lesser angels, the Mighty Archangel Michael, guardian of Israel, and the great messenger Gabriel are also named. (Only Michael, of all the angels, is actually called an archangel in scripture.)

Guardian angels watching over the lives of God's people are mentioned in the opening verses of the letter to the Hebrews, in the Psalms and in the Gospels. In the Book of the Revelation we are told of four angels who have charge over the "four winds that blow from the four corners of the earth." We also read of four fallen, now-bound, angels who are to be unloosed at the Euphrates River. The Greek word angelos and the Hebrew word malakh mean "messenger," but it is clear in the Bible that angels do much more than run errands and deliver telegrams for God.

Great and mighty angels will take charge in the unfolding of God's terrible judgments on the earth that are to come upon us at the end of the present age as described in the last book of the Bible. As mentioned earlier, angels seem to have control over the forces of nature and human events in their roles as instruments of God. This does not cause man to be a mere puppet, tossed, and buffeted about by the unseen activity of these mighty beings. However, the Bible emphasizes that we cannot understand what is happening in the world or in history without understanding the activity of God and of the angels.

Most of the angels are not named for us in the Bible.

Read: Revelation Chapter 8

"When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets." (Rev 8:1-2)

"...This word about silence reminds us of the prophet Habakkuk's cry, "The Lord is in his Holy Temple; let all the earth keep silence before him!" {Hab 2:20 KJV}. This silence comes as a dramatic contrast to the shouting of praise and the playing of harps that has been going on in heaven up to this point. Millions of angels, hosts of redeemed humans, and other heavenly creatures have been crying out before the throne of God, and singing praises to him. But now suddenly everything ceases. When the seventh seal is opened there is total silence. It is a most dramatic pause. It reminds one of that moment of silence just before the last great "Hallelujah!" in the Hallelujah Chorus of Handel's Messiah. This is the silence of mystery, a silence of intense anticipation of what is about to happen. Revelation communicates in a dramatic way the full and awesome authority of God. Everything must wait for his kingly move."

"That move begins, as this account tells us, with seven angels being given seven trumpets to sound. It is all part of the opening of the seventh seal. These are impressive angels indeed. We are told they are the angels "who stand before God." That calls to mind the story in Luke 1:19 of an angel sent to Joseph to tell him that Mary will be the mother of a child. The angel identifies himself as "Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God," ( Luke 1:19 NIV). These seven angels are probably archangels, and they are given an extremely important task in the sounding of these trumpets. They doubtless include Michael the archangel, who appears also in the book of Daniel. In fact, the apocryphal book of Enoch, an ancient book which is not part of our Bible, gives the names of all seven angels. They are Uriel, Raphael, Raguel, Michael, Sarakiel, Gabriel, and Phanuel. Notice, their names all end in "el," which is short for the name of God. These are "angels of God," powerful angels, who are given these trumpets to sound. (Angels of Doom)

When Jesus calmed the sea of Galilee during a ferocious storm, he evidently spoke to a local angel who had charge of the weather. The angel's response was immediate,

"And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he [Jesus] was asleep. And they [the disciples] went and woke him, saying, 'Save, Lord; we are perishing.' And he said to them, 'Why are you afraid, O men of little faith?' Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, 'What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?'" (Matthew 8:24-27)



THE Angel of the LORD


One special angel is "The Angel of the Lord" who makes a number of appearances in the Old Testament. These are believed by careful Bible scholars to be a theophanies, or appearances of the Son of God, prior to His incarnation and birth in Bethlehem.



~ The Armies of the Lord ~

The angelic host is under the direction of The Lord of Hosts (Yahweh Sabaoth), or the Lord of Armies. In the New Testament, Jesus heads up these military resources of the Godhead which include the angels, and eventually also the saints of God. (That would be you and me by the way) The active warfare in heaven between good and evil in the spiritual realm involves conflicts between fallen and unfallen angels as well as campaigns having to do with angelic interactions with human affairs. An interesting incident in 2 Kings 6 in the life of Elisha the prophet gives a behind-the-scenes glimpse at God's angelic armies. Alarmed at the ability of Elisha to warn the armies of Israel against impending attacks from the king of Syria, the latter attempted to capture Elisha when he was at Dothan. The sequence of events which follows clearly shows clearly the course of events is in reality controlled not by visible circumstances or "luck," or by Elisha's cleverness, but by the Lord working through angels:

"So he (the king of Syria) sent horses and chariots and a great army; and they came by night, and surrounded the city. When the servant of (Elisha) the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was round about the city. And the servant said, 'Alas my master! What shall we do?' Elisha said, 'Fear not, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them. Then Elisha prayed, and said, 'O LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes that he may see.' So the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw; and behold the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha. And when the Syrians came down against him, Elisha prayed to the LORD, and said, 'Strike this people, I pray thee with blindness.' So God struck them with blindness in accordance with the prayer of Elisha.

"And Elisha said to the Syrians, 'This is not the way, and this is not the city; follow me, and I will bring you to whom you seek.' And he led them to Samaria. As soon as they entered Samaria, Elisha said, 'O LORD, open the eyes of these men, that they may see.' So the LORD opened their eyes, and they saw' and lo, they were in the midst of Samaria. "When the king of Israel saw them he said to Elisha, 'My father, shall I slay them? Shall I slay them?' Elisha answered, 'You shall not slay them. Would you slay those whom you have taken captive with your sword and with your bow? Set bread and water before them; that they may eat and drink and go to their master.' So he prepared for them a great feast; and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away and they went to their master. And the Syrians came no more on raids into the land of Israel." (2 Kings 6:14-23)



Angels at War with one another


Another interesting illustration showing how angelic activity interrelates with human affairs is given for us in the Book of Daniel. Prayers by Daniel had reached the ears of God immediately (faster than the speed of light), but God's answer to these prayers, sent by angelic messenger, was delayed due to a mighty conflict between the messenger angel and evil angels who had charge of the affairs of nations around Israel:

"In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks. I ate no delicacies, no meat nor wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were ended. And in the twenty fourth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, that is the Tigris, I lifted up my eyes, and looked, and behold a man [an angel in human form] clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz: His body was like beryl, and his face like the appearance of lightning, and his eyes like flaming fire, his arms and his feet were like in color like burnished bronze, and the voice of his words like the noise of a multitude. And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great trembling fell upon them, and they fled to hide themselves. Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my radiant appearance was fearfully changed, and I retained no strength. Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then I fell on my face, in a deep sleep with my face toward the ground.

"And, behold, a hand touched me, and set me upon my hand and knees. And he [the angel] said to me, 'O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand up: for to you I have been sent.' And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood trembling. Then said he to me, 'Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard [by God], and I have come because of your words. But the prince [chief angel] of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty one days: but,  archangel] Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. Now I have come to make you understand what shall befall your people [Israel] in the latter days: for the vision applies to man days from now' And when he had spoken these words to me, I [Daniel] set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb.

"And, behold, one in the likeness of the sons of men [the angel] touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spoke, and said to him who stood before me, 'O my lord, by reason of the vision pains have come upon me, and I have retained no strength. How can the servant of my lord talk with my lord? For as for me, there remains no strength in me, nor is there breath left in me.' "Then one who had the appearance of a man came again and touched me, and strengthened me, and said, 'O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be to you, be strong, yes, be strong.' And when he had spoken to me, I was strengthened and said, 'Let my lord speak; for you have strengthened me. Then said he, 'Do you know where I have come from to you? And now will I return to fight with the [angelic] prince of Persia: and when I have gone forth, lo, the [angelic] prince of Greece will come. But I will show you that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is no one who stands with me in these things, but [the archangel] Michael your prince." (Daniel 10:2-21 KJV)

Daniel was in Babylon at the time of the experience described above. The great angel who visited him in person was probably Gabriel. He was dispatched by God to assist Daniel but delayed en route because of "fighting with the prince (angel) of Persia." The angel mentioned that after the warfare with the angel over Persia was ended then would come "the prince (high angel) of Greece." Here, we get a hint that angelic activity then taking place in the heavenlies---involving God's angels warring against the angel over Persia---was relevant to current events in Babylon. That is, the kingdom of Babylon had fallen already, Persia would soon fall as a great world power and then Greece would rise. The rise and fall of nations and kingdoms is thus linked to warfare among the angels at the highest levels. All of this warfare is of course under the sovereign direction of the Commander in Chief, Yahweh Sabaoth, the LORD of Hosts. We know from subsequent human history after Daniel's time that the angel over Greece, in the time of Alexander the Great who came to power thereafter, would be in ascendancy.



Angels work behind the Scenes of History


In Daniel, Chapter 12, the prophet records that the angel responsible for Israel, Michael, would "arise" [ascend in power] at the close of the latter days on behalf of God's people Israel. Associated with the rise of Michael would come the throwing down to earth of Satan and the "time of Jacob's trouble" spoken of by the prophet Jeremiah, "a time of trouble such as never has been since there was a nation till that time..."  (Daniel 12:1-3). Thus, angelic activity in heaven runs parallel with events on earth though it is difficult to establish a one-to-one correspondence between events transpiring in heaven and the timing of events on earth. Satan has not yet been cast out of heaven, but Jesus foresaw this future event clearly,

The seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!" And Jesus said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you; but rejoice that your names are written in heaven." (Luke 10:17-20)

The actual future day when Satan is excluded from heaven and confined to earth is described in the book of the Revelation, Chapter 12,

"Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they were defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world --he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Rejoice then, O heaven and you that dwell therein! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!" (7-12)


Four Horsemen


In Zechariah, Chapter 1, are recorded the dreams of the prophet in which he saw horses riding to the corners of the earth. These horses symbolize divine activity in human affairs as do the better-known "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" (Revelation, Chapter 6).

In the Book of the Revelation the attention of the reader is turned to events in heaven; then the scene switches back to events transpiring on earth in human history. As the Book of the Revelation unfolds, the two realms merge so that there is a closer connection ("closer coupling") between the two worlds.

This is the meaning of the word apocalypse ---> "unveiling."

Angels keep records and execute judgments for God (Ezekiel 8-9). In fact there are apparently angels whose sole work is to record human deeds in great detail. Ezekiel saw them as scribes with parchment, pens and ink, but in our era it is easier for us to imagine these angels as using some kind of advanced laptop computers. Angels, acting for God, reduced the mighty world-conqueror Nebuchadnezzar to seven years of psychotic wanderings to humble him so that he would come to see who was really running the universe (see Daniel 4).

Angels announce important events in scripture, such as the birth of Jesus, for example. Ordinarily when angels appear among men, they take on human form and may even be mistaken for ordinary men. Hence, the writer of the letter to the Hebrews tells us, "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." (Hebrews 13:2) The writer perhaps had in mind the visit of THE Angel of the LORD and two other angels to Abraham's tent on their way to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18). After a meal and a conversation (which included Abraham's petitions for the doomed cities), the two other angels departed. Upon arriving in Sodom, they were treated by the men of that city as if they were only handsome, desirable young men with whom the citizens of Sodom wished to entice into their immoral sexual activities. These angels rescued Lot, but Lot apparently remained in some doubt about the true identity of these visitors---were they ordinary men or somehow extraordinary? Some stories of angels appearing occasionally among us in our time seem to be well-founded. Angels evidently are able to take on human form from time to time.

In the Book of the Revelation, angels are frequently seen in dazzling appearances. The aged Apostle John, who had spent his youth traveling with Jesus as one of the apostles, and after that, six decades of godly ministry in daily fellowship with the living Lord, was nevertheless so overwhelmed by the splendor of the angels he saw in his visions that he was twice tempted to worship them---thinking they were actually the Lord in His risen splendor!



The Return of the Shekinah Glory
 


Ezekiel the prophet assigned to the Jewish remnant in the Babylonian exile, saw the shining presence of the Glory of God, the Shekinah ("the cloud," or "the glory") depart from the Temple in Jerusalem just prior to its destruction. This departure occurred in stages, see Ezekiel 3:12, 13; 8:4, 9:3, 10:4, 18; 11:22. This same glorious cloud, into which Jesus ascended from the Mount of Olives forty days after His resurrection, will come again, for scripture says His splendrous presence will return to open visibility before all men. After Messiah's return, the cloud will remain over the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, according to Isaiah. Ezekiel also describes the return of the Glory to Israel, as does Isaiah.
 

"Afterward he [an angel] brought me [Ezekiel] to the [Golden} gate, the gate facing east. And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the east; and the sound of his coming was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with his glory. And the vision I saw was like the vision which I had seen when he came to destroy the city, and like the vision which I had seen by the river Chebar; and I fell upon my face. As the glory of the LORD entered the temple by the gate facing east, the Spirit lifted me up, and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the LORD filled the temple. While the man [the angel] was standing beside me, I heard one speaking to me out of the temple; and he said to me, 'Son of man, this is the place of my throne and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the people of Israel for ever. And the house of Israel shall no more defile my holy name, neither they, nor their kings, by their harlotry, and by the dead bodies of their kings, by setting their threshold by my threshold and their doorposts beside my  doorposts, with only a wall between me and them. They have defiled my holy name by their abominations which they have committed, so I have consumed them in my anger. Now let them put away their idolatry and the dead bodies of their kings far from me, and I will dwell in their midst for ever.'" (Ezekiel 43:1-9)
 

Isaiah says,
 

"In that day the branch [a title of the Messiah] of the LORD shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land shall be the pride and glory of the survivors of Israel. And he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy, every one who has been recorded for life in Jerusalem, when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the bloodstains of Jerusalem from its midst by a spirit of judgment and by a spirit of burning. Then the LORD will create over the whole site of Mount Zion [the Temple Mount] and over her assemblies a cloud by day, and smoke and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory there will be a canopy and a pavilion. It will be for a shade by day from the heat, and for a refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain." (Isaiah 4:1-6)
 


An even more familiar passage is Isaiah 40:
 

"Comfort, yes comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the LORD's hand double for all her sins. A voice cries: 'In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.
 

"'And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.' A voice says, 'Cry!' And I said, 'What shall I cry?' All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the LORD blows upon it; surely the people is grass. The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand for ever. Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, 'Behold your God!' Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will feed his flock like a shepherd, he will gather the lambs in his arms, he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.'" (40:1-11)
 

On the basis of what is said in scripture, it is quite likely that more frequent manifestations of angels will be common among men in coming days as our world continues to collapse and the heavenly places break through into our realm of space and time. For example, the Book of the Revelation begins with a clear distinction between "things on earth" and "things in heaven"; but as the Revelation unfolds the invisible is made known to men on earth. Those days will not be a time for fear, if (and only if) one's life is entrusted into the hand of the Great Shepherd, but they will be terrible indeed for all those who continue in their unbelief. In the final days of this age we live in the unseen will break in upon mankind in overwhelming judgments against human evil, and against fallen angels.
 

God's New World order, His New Creation will be, at last, an answer to the most often prayed prayer in the Bible: Matthew 6:9-13

"Pray then like this: Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our debts, As we also have forgiven our debtors; And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from [the] evil [one]."

 
Concerning the end of our age, the prophet Joel has written,
 

"And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even upon the menservants and the maidservants, in those days, I will pour out my Spirit. And I will give portents in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. And it shall come to pass that all who call upon the name of the Lord shall be delivered..." (Joel 2:28-30)
 

Of the angels God says, "Who makes his angels winds, and his servants flames of fire..." Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation? (Hebrews 1:7,14)


Of all things written herein it is Important for the Reader to understand One Thing Clearly: When the "Restrainer" that is to say The Holy Spirit is removed from the Earth if (and only if) you have secured your place with Jesus- you have aligned your life with the Holy Spirit of God then the events that transpire in Revelation will not be on You.
 

In spite of my best efforts; these notes on the angels are brief and sketchy at best - the reader of this lecture is encouraged to become well acquainted with all of Scripture and to read classic Christian books on spiritual warfare, demonology and angelology to gain a better understanding of the role of good and fallen angels in creation.
 

Difficult though it is for us to grasp, the laws of physics are apparently not operative apart from the angels who are part of the management system of God's government of creation.
 

Just how angelic activity affects events in the physical world is not known to "science", nor is much revealed in the Bible.
 

Actual transfer of new energy from the spiritual dimension into the physical may not necessarily be involved most of the time when angels act - since such energy transfers would most likely appear to us to be violations of the laws of conservation of energy. Such violations do not occur as far as "science" can detect.

Another way of stating this is to say that God works within the laws of nature which He has established and most of the time does not circumvent these laws.
 

What a comfort it is to know that as we make our way through this life there are angels that accompany us, Angels that were designed to specifically come to your defense should the need arise. At any time in your life you can and may loose the angels to go before you to pave the way.
 

All these and more were made so that you could at some point in time become a member of God's Kingdom. Thank the Angels for their assistance and Praise God for their creation!



Thus concludes our study into the angelic realm.


                     
                            


                                                                 *



 

The most often ask question on the subject of "good angels" (vs) "the demonic" is this:

"What one thing will define rather the angel you are seeing, talking with etc. is good or evil"?
 

When asked the question "What is your name" a demon will most generally always give it's name with very little prompting on your part; pride being what it is and all that. Contrary to the movie genre coming out of Hollyweird these days - demons are not at all bashful with forthcoming information; though rather that information is reliable is highly questionable. Knowing their name does not grant one any "special" power over them as a means of casting them out. In fact; the name they do give is probably a lie - their master being the grand-daddy of all liars as we well know. But they will give you something in which to address them.

However! a ministering angel of God never will. No prompting, no begging on your part would have them to give up their name to you. God must be given the Glory in all things and they will always without fail defer to Him.

Anywho; it is a simple yet reliable test to determine of which you have come in contact with. When in doubt use it.
 


~ Selah ~
(Pause and Think On This)