Saturday, February 25, 2017

Revival in the age of Trump

This is the final post in my series on the spiritual powers that accompany the rise of Trump: part 1, part 2, part 3.

There has been much ado in certain Evangelical circles that Trump is a Cyrus-type. There were numerous articles that promoted Trump not merely  as God pick for the Presidency but also as an anointed spiritual leader1.  I have responded here on why Trump is not Cyrus. 

In this article I wish to convey that, even if Trump is Cyrus, it does not follow that his rise assures us of a great awakening. Great awakenings are not a consequence of electing the right politician, but of the church desperately seeking God as He moves in us to will and do His good pleasure(Philippians 2:13).

While Cyrus was indeed anointed in the sense of being set apart to be used by God, the historical record shows that Cyrus played virtually no spiritual role in the revival of Israel. He played an minimal but necessary secular role. 

We read in 1 Chronicles 36 that Cyrus gave the order that allowed the Israelites to return from exile. Without this the next steps of God's plan to restore Israel would not have happened as they did. Most of the muscle work and absolutely all of the spiritual muscle work, however,  was done by believers and members of the household of God.

In my first article in this series, I wrote about a great spiritual battle in Daniel 10 as the spiritual background to this series. In Daniel 10, we read an account of a great spiritual battle that occurred during the third year of Cyrus. Daniel spent his career in Babylon. It is in this context that we understand the reference frame for Cyrus's reign. Cyrus actually came to the throne in 552 BC. He conquered Babylon in 539 BC, so he could not have issued any decrees concerning Israel until 539 BC. The dating of the times of Cyrus in Scripture date from his conquest of Babylon. The great spiritual battle was triggered when Daniel sought God one day in 536 BC. God sent an answer immediately by means of an angel. This angel was detained by the "kings of Persia" for 21 days until Michael the archangel came to his rescue. These were not carnal kings but demonic princes.

These demonic princes were actively involved in the life of Persia during the reign of Cyrus. Cyrus was not actively involved in this battle in any role. His only connection to this battle is in his reign being used as a reference for dating this battle. Much has been made of Cyrus being God's anointed. Why did Cyrus fail to route these demons? In order to understand why Cyrus failed, we must understand that  the word translated "anointing" has a two-fold meaning. The first later of meaning is that God's anointed are set apart. Cyrus was certainly set apart for the work that God called him to do. The second layer of meaning is that anointing implied spiritual empowerment. Cyrus could not have this dimension of anointing with any regularity as he was not a part of the family of God.

The victory that was made possible through Cyrus decree would require the anointing that was on others who could access spiritual power from God to finish the task. These demonic princes that Cyrus failed to route  opposed Israel and resisted her restoration  in a battle that long outlasted Cyrus reign.

The battle to restore the national life of Israel was done through Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Zerubbabel reconstructed Israel's national and spiritual life. Daniel laid a prophetic foundation in spiritual warfare, Nehemiah rebuilt the wall, Ezra restored the spiritual life, and Zerubbabel rebuilt the temple.

Daniel was the major mover in spiritual warfare. I have previously written about the occult powers that accompany the rise of Trump; We, like Daniel, must engage in spiritual warfare to ward off these attacks. These demons will not go away because Trump is in the house anymore than they did because Cyrus was in his house. It is on God's people to route the enemy.

Like Nehemiah we must rebuild walls that protect the church from those who would attack her spiritually, and like Ezra we must restore the fundamental disciplines that keep her vital.

During  Zerubbabel's administration as Judah's provincial governor, the prophet Zechariah received a vision concerning Zerubbabel that is instructive concerning our need to trust in God rather than men.

And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep. And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof: And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof.  So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord? Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. - Zechariah 4:1-5

We are introduced to a seven-light lampstand that has pipes connecting it to two olive trees. The lampstand first appears in Exodus as a light that is in the holy place in the Temple. It represent light need to access the room adjacent to the holy of holies. The high Priest must pass through this room before going to the Most Holy Place where he annually administered atonement for Israel.

We also see these in  Revelation 2-3 where they represent the light of the Church. The lampstand lights our way to God. This lamp is empowered by pipes bring oil from the olive trees. Oil repeatedly represents the anointing of the Holy Spirit throughout Scripture; in this passage the olive trees are identified as the anointed of the "Lord of the earth."  The angel from God continues by instructing Zechariah on the necessity of the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it. - Zechariah 4:6-7
 The Lord, through the angel in the vision,  is instructing that it is not Zerubbabel's might as a ruler but through God's power that victory is attained. Zerubbabel, while a ruler, was neither sovereign nor powerful in terms of human power. Zerubbabel also types more closely to spiritual leaders of the Church of Christ than to secular political rulers. Zerubbabel does not prevail because of his power, but because of God's power. In 2 Chronicles 16:9 in a prophetic rebuke to Asa for trusting in human help over God's help, we are instructed that the "eyes of the Lord" roam the earth to show Himself strong to those who are faithful to Him.

Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto you. For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth. - Zechariah 4:8-10

The lamps are the eyes of the Lord which take of the anointing of the Holy Spirit and translate that into power for those who trust God. The ancients understood this to mean that God always has our back; He is always with us. The study of quantum mechanics adds richness to this meaning that allows modern readers to gain a richer understanding of these passages. In the double-slit experiment2 it has repeatedly been shown that particles of electrons behave like waves of energy when no one measures them. whenever a measuring device is introduced, they transform into particles. While human measurement is constrained by laws of science, God can conduct a classical measurement on a physical system that changes everything:

He can measure the weak, and they become strong.
...He can measure the poor, and they become rich.
......He can measure the sick, and they receive healing.
.........He can measure the losers, and they become more than conquerers

This is what the anointing does. If you are in Christ, then you are among the anointed  of the earth. Jesus said that if two or more agree on anything in my name, I will do it(Matthew 18:19).

Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof? And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth. - Zechariah 4:11-14

Let us seek God for renaissance, revival, and reformation. Let us not, in times where souls are robbed and raped, maimed and murdered, fall prostrate before the powerful with their power, position, privilege, and platforms. Let us trust in Christ the Creator, the firstborn of God's creation, by whose word all things consist. Let Him revive, redeem, and rebuild us. 

1 This is one of many articles to this effect.

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