A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

Showing posts with label Angels. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Angels. Show all posts

September 16, 2022

The Heavenly Realms Are Waging A Spiritual War! Are the Saints Ready to Engage?

Sometimes I honestly wonder if the Body of Christ understands the concept of the spiritual war that we are engaged in. Do we comprehend that Satan has an angelic force of battle-hardened warriors with thousands of years of experience? Do we grasp that he actually knows he's been defeated by the birth and death of Christ, but he also knows he's got nothing left to lose by waging all-out war against the saints until the time of his ultimate defeat? And what gives him that confidence that he can prolong this war across the heavenly realms?

All it takes to appreciate his arrogance is for us to look at the state of the world, and our own country, to know that the devil has no fear that the saints are a match for his evil and wicked purposes. He has struck at the foundations of God's holy principles and met very little resistance. He has been able to attack the sanctity of life; destroy the rule of law in an ordered society; and replace the worship of God, Himself, with idols of money, power and privilege. He's well aware that the saints have been given instructions to fight against him, and have even been given a suit of spiritual armor with which to battle. But how many Christians can tell you what that armor consists of, how to use it to fight, or even attempt to put it on? Until we stand up in our identity and our power, we will have an enemy who will continue to rage against the followers of Christ. 

If you have been following my blog since I began in 2011, then you have seen the direction the Lord has taken me and my various transitions ... from developing my Biblical worldview; to understanding that I am not to be a passive Christian waiting to go to Heaven, but rather am responsible for taking care of my physical and spiritual needs; through my awakening to my power, authority, and the Gospel of the Kingdom of God; to becoming a true disciple of Christ and doing what He did... fighting back against the kingdom of darkness and it's oppression [in both the physical and spiritual realms].

This concept that there is interaction between the spiritual and physical realms is a difficult position for Christians to accept. Most modern Christians don't see the unseen world from the same point of view as the ancient Biblical writers. Early Christians were familiar with the invisible world of the spiritual realm. They interacted with it! The prophets in the Old Testament continually gave witness as intermediaries between the spiritual and physical worlds for people who could not see. God opened the eyes of His prophets so they could see into the spiritual realm and explain what they saw to the people.  

Ezekiel saw wheels moving in unison. Isaiah saw "the Lord, high and exalted seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple." He also saw the angels that surrounded that majestic throne. Elisha was able to assist his servant to see into the spiritual realm during a frightening episode when their city was surrounded by an army of horses and chariots.  Elisha prayed, "Open his eyes, LORD, so that he may see." Then the LORD opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha (2 Kings 6:17). He actually saw the spiritual war taking place on the earth!

But it wasn't only the Old Testament Prophets and Patriarchs who had knowledge and experience of this interaction. Stephen described what he saw in the spiritual realm, just as he was about to be stoned to death: "Look," he said, "I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God" (Acts 7:54-56). Peter was released from prison by a spiritual intervention:  "Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. "Quick, get up!" he said, and the chains fell off Peter's wrists" (Acts 12:7). There was a spiritual battle going on over both Stephen and Peter in each of these instances, just as there was when Daniel prayed for 21 days during the reign of King Cyrus. As he prayed and fasted, he had a vision in which a messenger angel [assumed to be Gabriel] told him that God had heard his prayers, but he [the angel] had been held up because he was battling with "the prince of the kingdom of Persia" until, Michael, the archangel, had come to his rescue to help him defeat Satan's angelic army.

It must be understood that "the prince of the kingdom of Persia" denotes a high-ranking demonic angel who has been assigned by Satan to battle in the spiritual realm on behalf of Satan's interests in the nation of Persia. Michael is a "great captain" in the Lord's angelic army, assigned to protect the children of Israel. He is a warrior angel, fighting in the spiritual realms on behalf of all who belong to Christ. So, it is imperative, if we are to serve our Lord as He has purposed us to do, then we must recognize and acknowledge that there is an invisible world just as real as this physical one, and it comprises the spiritual realm. It was created just as certainly as this rock we live on. 

These two realms overlap and the fallen angels that aligned with Satan at their fall from Heaven have access to our realm [along with their forces], but we are not powerless to withstand them! We need to understand that we have access to Jesus and the power of God -- the same power that He used in His ministry on earth to deal with those collaborators with the Enemy. And He has given us His permission to call upon those powers (it is His Name that activates them!) to resist the devil and his schemes to oppress us. That is our Authority! And there is a Heavenly army consisting of legions of angels just waiting for us to engage in this war and ask the Lord to activate them!

These forces of the Enemy are in operation now at full speed; they know their time is running out and they aim to weaken the saints as they plan their final assault. We desperately need to understand and see the spiritual war we are involved in! We need to know --- I mean really know, deep in our spirit -- that there is a visible and invisible world that intersect, and we are in the middle of a cosmic conflict that has eternal implications. The souls of every man, woman, and child on this earth depends on us knowing that! And we need to know that the Enemy seeks to blind us, and convince us that this is not real, let alone Scriptural. And he has been winning on that front for quite awhile now. The state of misery that so many in the world are experiencing is proof of that.

So I can imagine that Satan is none too happy that more of us are waking up to the Biblical truth that Spiritual Warfare is part of our commission as the Body of Christ. Our eternal Victory has been won on the Cross for those of us who call Jesus our Savior.  But there are millions of lost souls who are in the cross hairs of the Enemy, and it is our calling to not only share our salvation story, but our purpose to advance the Kingdom of God on earth -- to occupy the territory we have been given until Jesus returns. With that, we can expect skirmishes, battles, and sometimes all-out war with the Adversary. And that means that we need to be more vigilant than ever to put on our full spiritual armor, as Paul advises in Ephesians 6. 

We need to understand that the armor is both defensive and offensive. We need not be afraid or timid, or go searching for the fight. We just need to stand firm in the knowledge that there is power in the Name of Jesus, and we have access to it and the authority to use it. If we could see into the spiritual realms, I believe we would see the battle formations in place; we would see the fierce fighting of the forces of Good and Evil. But we must recognize the part we play in this cosmic war; and it's going to take more than worship and praise, although those are mighty weapons for encouragement. But we've got to move beyond religious displays that are devoid of power [and which have no effect on the devil's armies], and we must engage with boldness ... in our speech, in our actions, and in prayer partnership with our personal angels, the angels assigned to our ministries, and the angels that preside over our nation to bring it back into heavenly alignment. And finally, we know that as the Lord of Hosts, Jesus is Commander of the heavenly armies and He will soon ride in judgment of the earth. Let us not sit idle in our spiritual power, but be suited up in our spiritual armor to become conquerors alongside Him in the heavenly realms. With the recognition that this is our reality, we can expect to see the victories that will allow us to fulfill our purpose on earth. And that is what God and Jesus desire for us! 

#spiritualwarfare #spiritualwar #angelichost #warinthespiritualrealms

1 Thessalonians 5:6   So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.




July 12, 2018

Why Did God Create Angels?

First of all, it is important to realize that angels exist and that they are an integral part of our Bible. Through a cursory examination of my own, I found at least 100 references to angels, and one source (Quora.com) reports that angels are mentioned 296 times throughout the Old and New Testaments.
     And I want to make it very clear from the beginning of this post that just because I am looking into the subject of angels and how God sees them, DOES NOT mean that I am worshiping them! I also discern a form of legalism whenever a term is developed to describe a belief that more rigid Christians do not want to consider, and in this case the term is "angelology". I know that this is a very common concern among many Christians, but I assure you that there are many of us who have the maturity of faith to look at a theme within the Bible and not be deceived.
    I also want to preface this post with the fact that I have recently attended a one-day conference with internationally recognized and ordained minister of the gospel, Joshua Mills. Joshua walks in the glory realm of God and his supernatural praise of God testifies of the unfathomable greatness of our Father in Heaven. This particular session was about angels and I was amazed at the information that is available to us in Scripture; information that is present to help us develop not only personal, but accurate and trustworthy beliefs about angels.
    To begin with, I want to establish a few DON'TS we can all agree on: we are not to worship Angels. We worship God, who is the Creator of Angels. Scripture makes this very clear: Let no one defraud you of your prize [your freedom in Christ and your salvation] by insisting on mock humility and the worship of angels, going into detail about visions [he claims] he has seen [to justify his authority], puffed up [in conceit] by his unspiritual mind (Colossians 2:18). The point here is not to discount visions one might have, but to ignore any encouragement to worship angels.
     We do not pray to the Angels. Revelation 8:3 tells us that Angels collect our prayers as they are directed to God and present them at the altar before His Throne: Then another angel with a gold incense burner came and stood at the altar. And a great amount of incense was given to him to mix with the prayers of God’s people as an offering on the gold altar before the throne. Again, we do not pray to Angels, but pray to God to release them to do the assignments He gives them to serve us. And before anyone disputes this statement, please read the next paragraph.
     And lastly, we do not serve the Angels. They serve us as Hebrews 1:14 declares: What role then, do the angels have? The angels are spirit-messengers sent by God to serve those who are going to be saved. The Aramaic translates this verse as “The angels are spirit-winds-of-ministry sent to minister to those destined to receive salvation.” The angels are glad to minister to us, for they see us “in Christ.” 
     Hopefully, this will reduce any doubts that I am pushing an agenda to worship angels. But just as I have shown you what we are not to do, I would now like to show what Scripture tells us about how we can relate to Angels. First, it is important to note that Angels 1) obey God and 2) obey His Word ... Bless the Lord, you His angels, You mighty ones who do His commandments, Obeying the voice of His word! (Psalm 103:20). So that should tell us that not only do Angels obey God's voice when He commands them, but when our voices [in prayer] invoke the Word of God, and Jesus's name, God releases them to fulfill our petition. Remember, they are sent to minister to us, the heirs of salvation.
     So read what Jesus says: I tell you the truth, everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, the Son of Man will also acknowledge in the presence of God’s angels (Luke 12:8). If we declare Jesus as our Lord and Savior, He endorses us in the midst of Heaven's angels. And how many angels are there in Heaven? The prophet Daniel had a vision of a thousand thousands attending God, and ten thousand times ten thousand standing before Him (Daniel 7:10). That's over 100 million angels! John heard the voices of thousands and millions of angels around the Throne (Revelation 5:11). And Luke reports that a multitude of the heavenly host (an angelic army) appeared at Christ's birth (Luke 2:13-14). I think it's safe to say that we Believers are known to untold numbers of angels in Heaven! 
     From just this small amount of information from Scripture, it should be clear that our prayers and our voicing the Word of God enable Angels to come to our assistance. Remember that our God is Immutable; He never changes His ways or character. He has set an order to His Creation, and the Angels are part of that orderly system. We only have to look at what the Angel told Daniel: "Since the first day that you set  your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them." And that wasn't the only time Daniel's life was affected by an angel... He had a powerful testimony before King Darius: My God sent his angel to shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, for I have been found innocent in His sight. And I have not wronged you, Your Majesty. The same holds true for us! Our prayers release Angels to do the assignments they were created for -- to serve us and protect us.
     We must give voice to God's Word through prayer and declaration! Remember, Hebrews 1:14 says that Angels are spirits sent by God to minister to us -- and they are activated by our prayers and declarations, in the Name of Jesus. So in what spheres of our personal lives can we expect to engage with angels? Like any good father, our Father in Heaven desires to protect us; deliver us from harm; and give us joy, peace, and prosperity.  Psalm 91:11-12 tells us that God will command His angels to protect and defend and guard us in all our ways; rescuing us from Satan's traps so that we don't stumble. There is even a hint that we each have guardian angels... Jesus says, in Matthew 18:10, See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven. 
     My mother-in-law praises God for saving my husband when he was a child. She was in a car line to pick him up from kindergarten and she saw Mark running towards her, excited to show her a paper in his hand. But the wind blew it out of his hand as he stepped behind a car, and he bent down to retrieve it.  The next thing she saw was the rear back-up lights of that vehicle, whose driver was unable to see Mark bent over. She said she screamed but nothing came out of her mouth, and she began to cry and pray because she knew he didn't have time to get out of the way. But through her tears, she said she saw something miraculous. It was like an invisible force lifted him up and placed him on the curb, out of harm's way. To this day, the only explanation that makes sense to her is that an angel protected him.
     Then there is the case of the Angels assigned to the various churches in the Book of Revelation. It is clear in Revelation, Chapters 2 and 3, that each church and ministry is assigned Angelic helpers to labor in their end-time work for God's Kingdom. I have heard some teachings that "angels of the churches" is referring to Pastors, but every translation I have read explains "angel" to mean "messenger/divine messenger". It makes perfect sense to me that God would assign His Angels as support-workers and helpers to accomplish His inspired visions and goals for a church. And we even see God sending an Angel to give holy revelations and directions, as when He sent an Angel to the evangelist, Philip. Instead of returning to Jerusalem with Peter and John, the Angel told Philip, Get up and go south to the road that runs from Jerusalem down to Gaza, where God had arranged for him to meet with the Ethiopian eunuch and preach Jesus. 
     I know this is a short and imprecise expository on the existence of angels and the roles they play in our lives. So, if I had to summarize this concept it would read like this: God loves us so much that He has commanded His created beings, the Angels, to minister to us; to protect us, to guide us, to comfort us -- to meet our every need according to what the Word says God desires for us. The sole duty of Angels is to follow the commands of God, and God loves to answer our prayers. They are an important part of His creative order and are valuable in the lives of God's children. 
     And remember the verse where Jesus stated that the little children had angels that protected them? Well in the parable of the rich man and the poor man, Lazarus, in Luke 16, it gives me great comfort to read that when Lazarus dies, it is angels that carry his spirit to Abraham's bosom (Paradise). So, it appears to me that angels attend to us throughout our lives here on earth. And, yes, we do not worship them, but instead worship our Father who has appointed them to minister to us. 
     The truth is, we modern Christians don't really know much about the spiritual realm where Angels reside. Because they are spirits rather than physical beings, we may well be unaware of their presence. But Scripture makes it very clear that they are real and they exist to serve us at the command of the Father. Our challenge is to learn how to activate their ministries through our prayers. Our faith in the Word of God -- spoken and declared -- can actively release the Angelic realm into our lives. All we have to do is believe what the Bible tells us. They are just waiting to minister to us! 

Psalm 103:19-22  The LORD has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all. 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. Praise the LORD, all His works. Everywhere in His dominion. Praise the LORD, my soul.


November 30, 2017

Come All Ye Angels!

     I am so blessed to be surrounded by such Godly friends who constantly inspire me with their hearts of faith!  And I recently had just a couple minutes of conversation with a good friend about one of my favorite subjects.... angels.  And then my husband, Mark, told me he was awake in the early morning hours today and while reading, he happened upon a 2014 article, titled How To Command Your Angels by Tom Brown.  I am fully aware that just reading that title will be enough to send some Christians into shock. But it was enough affirmation that perhaps this is a subject that we should discuss, and so began my research.
     First of all, I want to make it perfectly clear, I do not worship angels! And I am perfectly aware that each time [in the Bible] a man falls to his knees to worship the appearance of an angelic being, he is told, as in Revelation 19:10, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” So, I want to assure you that I take that mandate in Scripture very seriously.
     That being said, I am also very aware of the importance and purpose of angels in the Bible. And Scripture is clear about their status when it comes to both Jesus and man, so let's establish a few things first, according to the Bible.  As Believers, there should be no question that Jesus, as God, is the Creator of all things, including both man and angels.  That's a no-brainer.  Therefore we understand that He is superior to all things, right?  But we also need to understand, as put forth in Hebrews, Chapter Two, the following truth: But we see Him [who for a little while was made lower than the angels], namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
     For the short time that Jesus was on earth as a man, He was made a little lower than the angels. But that is not His reality today, as Chapter One tells us:  After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on High, having become as much superior to angels as the name He has inherited is more excellent than theirs. Jesus resumed His superior position when He ascended to Heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father.
     But what about our relationship with the angels?  Where do we fit into the hierarchy, and what is our connection to angelic beings?  I'm going to give you my rather unorthodox opinion, which I believe can be backed up by Scripture, and we will see where this theory goes...  We are made in the image of God [and are primarily spirit beings as Genesis 1:26 tells us], and we were given dominion over the earth.  I believe Scripture tells us that the angels were created before the Seventh Day:  Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them (Genesis 2:1)While the word "host" sometimes refers to God's army or military, here it signifies angels, and is confirmed in 1 Kings 22:19, I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left.  Yes, this could be the army of heaven, and if so, it is an army made up of angels.

     So, at this point of the story in the Bible, it appears to me that we were given dominion over the earth, and the angels served the Lord in Heaven. And I would say that being created in the image of the Father and the Son, we were a close second in authority.  But by Genesis 3, man has turned over dominion of earth to the devil, and lost that authority. But what of the angels? Were they ever given any authority?  First of all, I want to make clear that angels are not the chubby looking babies that resemble Cupid. Nor are they people who have died; the Bible clearly calls those beings Saints. One of the clearest descriptions of angels is found in Hebrews 1:14, Are not all the angels ministering spirits sent out [by God] to serve (accompany, protect) those who will inherit salvation? [Of course they are!]
     The primary job of angels is to do the bidding of God; to serve Him in various assignments.  Those assignments include our protection, our deliverance from danger, the worship of God in Heaven, and to minister to our needs. Some angels are Messengers; chief among them is Gabriel.  Others are Chief Princes; Michael is one. Still others are Divine Attendants, such as the Cherubim and Seraphim. Then there are those whom Timothy referred to as the Elect Angels; the Living Creatures as referenced in Ezekiel; and the Watchers whom Daniel mentioned.  But in the context of this article, I want to concentrate on the "ministering angels" mentioned in Hebrews 1, because they are specifically referred to in relation to us.  It seems that their job, according to all the references to them in the Bible is (1) to worship God (Isa. 6:3; Rev. 4:8); (2) to serve as messengers of God (Dan. 9:22; Luke 1:11, 26; 2:9; Rev. 1:1); (3) to serve as soldiers in spiritual combat (Dan. 10:13; Rev. 12:7); and (4) to serve as ministers to God’s people.
     At this time, I'm going to interject the controversy that is occurring in our theological discussions today.  There are those [like me] who discern that these ministering angels can be called into service by Believers; and then there are those Believers who interpret that as giving angels more authority than they have, and it can border on worshiping them.  But it is my humble opinion that it is not the angels who have the authority, but us, the Believer!
     You see, under the prior covenant with God, [and before the Cross], man had lost his authority.  But after the Cross, Jesus has been "crowned with glory and honor", so that the angels submit to Him and His name.  Scripture is very clear about this ... Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto Him (1 Peter 3:22) ... and That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth (Philippians 2:10). 
     Here is where we really need to see the Big Picture.  As I have put forward many times in the past, Believers need to recognize the power and authority given them by Jesus.  Not only were we given authority over all the power of the Enemy, but we were told that anything we asked in His Name, would be given us.  So when Jesus tells us in Matthew 18:18, Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven, it should be clear that we are binding the power of the devil and his demons, and we also have the authority to loose the resources of Heaven.  But how is that accomplished?

     Follow this line of reasoning ... Psalm 103:20 says, Bless the Lord, you His angels, You mighty ones who do His commandments, Obeying the voice of His word! By this, we should understand that angels in Heaven listen [and act] upon the VOICE of God's Word.  We know that the Bible is His Word, right? But unless we SPEAK the Word, no voice is given to It.  So, when Jesus spoke the Word during his temptation in the Wilderness, He was able to resist the devil, and afterwards, Scripture says, Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to Him.
     The same is true for us!  When we give voice to the Word of God, the angels in Heaven hear us, and are loosed to act upon the Word and carry it out in our lives!  You've heard the expression, "Just say the Word", right? Well, when we quote Scripture aloud during our prayers, it looses the angels to do the assignments and work they were created to do.  They have purpose and I believe they love working with us to see God's will done here on earth.
     Here's another way to look at it ... since Jesus announced that the Kingdom of Heaven "is at hand", and returned to His position in Heaven, we are regaining territory from the Enemy and coming into our own identity as His co-heirs. The full reality of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth will not be fulfilled until Jesus's Second Coming, but it is important to know that we, as Faithful Believers, have been given His power and authority to act in His stead until He returns.  And because we have been given the authority to use His Name to accomplish God's will, and the angels are subject to that Name, then we can loose them to help us do Kingdom work until Jesus returns.  And at that time, we will co-rule the world with Jesus.  And what does the Apostle Paul tell us in 1 Corinthians 6:3?  That we will not only judge the world, but also judge the angels!  
     In conclusion, I am clear about what Scripture says about angels and how they minister to us in our service to the Lord.  Only God is worthy of our worship and praise, but He has created angels to minister not only to Him in Heaven, but to us, here on earth to see His perfect will done.  And that's a partnership made in Heaven!

Nehemiah 9:6    You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and You preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships You.