I was touched by the ‘lies’ in art around us that becomes embedded in our minds. Satan as a treacherous horned and tailed demon bearing a pitchfork!
What we are led to believe – wrongly! What God has spoken into being IS as it was spoken into being!
e recently discussed:
“Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light” 2 Corinthians 11:14
Yet art has converted Lucifer’s essence to:
It was referenced that mortal eyes, upon seeing Lucifer would be tempted to believe him anyway because he was beyond any pinnacle of perfection humanity could achieve. He is supposed to be the prettiest ‘object’ in all of Existence.
What God has made, God has made! What is the single time EVER that God as always looked among Man and saw His Creation away from His Presence?
The biblical account of Noah begins in Genesis 6. Approximately 1,600 years had passed since the creation of Adam and Eve (Genesis 1:26–27). As the earth’s population exploded in number, it also exploded with evil. Long forgotten was the righteous sacrifice of Abel (Genesis 4:4) as “the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). Verses 11 and 12 say, “Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.” However, “Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord” (verse 8).
When Jesus described the events that will surround His second coming, He said, “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:26–27). Jesus was pointing out that, although the people of Noah’s day were totally depraved, they were not the least bit concerned about it. They were carrying on the events of their lives without a single thought of the judgment of God. Noah is described as “a preacher of righteousness” (2 Peter 2:5), meaning he had spent years warning his friends and neighbors what the Holy God was about to do. No one listened.
The depravity and ungodly lifestyles of the entire world at that time were enough to cause the Lord to “regret that He had made man” (Genesis 6:6). Many scholars believe that part of the need to destroy every human being except Noah and his family was the sin mentioned in Genesis 6:1–4, when “the Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them.” As evil reproduced and overtook the world, the most merciful act God could perform was to start over.
It is interesting that God allowed Noah nearly one hundred years to complete the building of the ark. Through all that time, God patiently waited (1 Peter 3:20). Scripture seems to imply that Noah preached to the people of that time about what was coming (Hebrews 11:7). They did not believe Noah and were content with their wickedness and idolatry. Their hearts were hard and their ears dull. No one repented, and no one cared to seek God.
Jesus said that the world will be much the same before He returns to set up His earthly kingdom (Matthew 25:31–33). He warned us to “be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” Second Timothy 3:1–4 gives us a clear picture of the state of the world before Jesus comes and most likely also describes the world in the days of Noah. That verse says, “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.” It is becoming increasingly obvious that, to understand what the world was like in the days of Noah, we only need to watch the evening news.
We are at the point of again describing written knowledge of Satan!
BUT… can’t have that running around, now can you?
Several groups that Christianity were interested in absorbing into their ranks mentioned that anything that beautiful honestly cannot be evil. If it is beautiful, then it is good and whole. Maybe misunderstood. OR… is it illusion? Since they also painted Lucifer as the ‘Prince of All Lies,’ the thought began to circulate that maybe this beauty, like some fairies or trolls or spirits, was just a clever way to distract mortal senses to the true nature of ‘the daemon.’ Thus, horns, a forked tongue and a tail.
As mentioned in other answers, the imagery and ideas surrounding Lucifer came from other cultures depicting the traditionally ‘evil spirits’ of realms thought to only be harmful to mortals and humanity in general. But there is actually no mention of Lucifer looking like that in the Bible.
There is a growing movement in the academic side of things to point out that Lucifer was never actually called out to be “Satan,” either. Due to the vague nature of translations it is thought that perhaps when referencing “The Fall,” they could instead have been mentioning “the fall of the angel was that of the morning star.” The argument points out that the wording could instead be talking of the literal morning star, not (as has been until now assumed) the Morning Star – Lucifer, prettiest of all the angels and God’s main lieutenant at the time. The argument goes on to claim that Lucifer is never really mentioned again directly. Satan may be another fallen angel, he could be Lucifer, or it could be any number of other creatures tempting Christ into defying God.
All in all, because it becomes a lot easier to explain that Lucifer was cast out of Heaven and now looks like a devilish spirit for failing to be humble to God. It cost him his beauty, his place next to the great “I Am” and forever placed him as the butt of all the jokes. It’s great for propaganda and storytelling sake (clear lines of Good and Evil, you got your betrayal from trusted sources, your envy and greed and pride to fuel the drama. Toss in a large helping of the conflict that leads to us being caught in the middle and the struggle is between those darker influences vs the purifying grace that is the religion and that makes humanity oh so very special… you get the picture) but if you take too close a look they start hemming and hawing and coming up with retcons to patch the holes. The Easter Bunny isn’t in the Bible, but he’s a sign of resurrection from several cultures that Christianity showed up for teaching and it happened that their holiday was in Spring, too. Christmas didn’t usually involve gift giving… but the Romans were already doing it around that time (as well as some unsavory things involving the flesh that got omitted), so why not?
It is an effective tool and one that’s inevitable to religion itself. Islam and Judaism have accepted (or fought over) these changes over time and their relatively shared history leads to a lot of debate and a tangled web to figure out, given the nature of what it could mean if what they have been taught is incorrect.
One thing that truly ‘bugs’ me are the ‘paintings’ of the netherworld and associated essences. Study!
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against PRINCIPALITIES, against POWERS , against the RULERS of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
The Apostle Paul, who wrote that sometimes “Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14).
Note that the Bible doesn’t say Satan is an angel of light; it says he only masquerades as an angel of light. In other words, sometimes Satan puts on a disguise (as it were), and makes it look like he actually stands for good instead of evil. When the devil offered to feed Jesus by turning rocks into bread, he was masquerading as one who wanted to do good–or as an angel of light (see Matthew 4:1-11).
But Satan is not an angel of good or of light; he is the opposite. Jesus said that Satan “was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). Satan will try to deceive us and make us think that his way is best–but it never is. Martin Luther rightly labeled him “the prince of darkness.” Don’t fall for his lies!
Yes, Satan is our foe–but never forget he will not win! By His cross and resurrection Christ has defeated Satan, and some day “the devil, who deceived them, (will be) thrown into the lake of burning sulfur … for ever and ever” (Revelation 20:10).
plural noun: principalities
1. A state ruled by a prince.
2.(In traditional Christian angelology) the fifth highest order of the ninefold celestial hierarchy.
plural noun: powers
1. The ability to do something or act in a particular way, especially as a faculty or quality.
“the power of speech”
synonyms: Ability, capacity, capability, potential, potentiality, faculty, property, competence, competency.
2. The capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events.
plural noun: Rulers
1. A person exercising government or dominion.
synonyms:leader, sovereign, monarch, potentate, crowned head, head of state; More
overlord, chief, chieftain, lord; dynast;
despot, dictator, tyrant, autocrat;
rare tetrarch, ethnarch, autarch
Another term for ruling ‘planet’.
This IS a topic that is so is misunderstood!
Let’s get down to the nitty gritty!
Lucifer wanted to overthrow God! This blows my mind!
Lucifer WAS created by God!!! Yet Lucifer sought The Throne!
1 Samuel 15:23
God hates rebellion! He hates the attitude of lawlessness it produces, as well as the crop of wicked fruit that results from it.
The prince of all rebellion is Satan the Devil, also known as “the sum of all moral impurities.” Though we do not see this demon physically, the influence of this arch-rebel permeates our society. We need not look far to see children rebelling against their parents, artists rebelling against the status quo, and fringe groups rebelling against the government.
Satan personifies rebellion. It was Lucifer’s rebellious action that saw him tossed out of heaven and renamed Satan, Adversary:
How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God [angels]; I will also sit [rule] on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north [God’s government]; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.” Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit. (Isaiah 14:12-15)
Lucifer, “Light Bringer,” rebelled against the laws of God, thus he rebelled against God Himself. Desiring independence from God’s legislation, he tried to depose God and become the sovereign ruler of the universe. Great chaos and destruction resulted among the heavenly bodies and on earth (Genesis 1:2) when God “cast [him] as a profane thing out of the mountain of God” (Ezekiel 28:16).
Because of his rebellion, we are today experiencing its evil fruit. Notice how Isaiah describes the reaction of people who will look back upon Satan’s career after God finally binds him forever in the Lake of Fire:
Those who see you will gaze at you, and consider you, saying, “Is this the man [Hebrew ish, male, individual, person] who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world as a wilderness and destroyed its cities, who did not open the house of his prisoners?” (Isaiah 14:16-17)
These people are describing the effects of Satan’s rule on this Earth now!
When God says, “By pride comes only contention,” He means that this kind of pride has not a single good fruit! Not even one! Lucifer’s pride brought him into contention with God, two-thirds of the angels, the demons who now submit to him and billions of deceived humans who do not resist him. Surely, the demons are a squabbling bunch held together only by Satan’s power and their united hatred of God and His children. This has occurred because they deceived themselves into thinking more of themselves than they ought, which perverted their judgment in other areas of life.
Wow! There is SO much to share! Again, I will state fact that stacks itself against God!
Again, I say “Be not decieved!”
Before we start down this line, let us understand the essences described that many are ignorant of:
Samael (Hebrew: סמאל) (also Sammael and Samil) is an archangel in Talmudic and post-Talmudic beliefs and stories, as well as Christian tradition and demonology.
Lucifer: A fallen Seraph, used to be one of the highest ranked heavenly Angel. Like every Seraph he had six wings. He is defined as the light bringer and as a seraph he was the Seraph of God’s music. He represents the morning star, and as the morning star he used to be the brightest and most beautiful amongst the Seraphim. After his fall he is now one of the most powerful among the Satans (adversaries).
Samael: When it’s about rank well Samael’s place was higher than the ḥayyot (” holy heavenly creatures”) and the Seraphim. He is a frightful looking angel with 12 wings. His height is so great, it takes five hundred years to cover a distance equal to it, from the crown of his head to the soles of his feet he is studded with glaring eyes. He is described as an accuser, seducer, and destroyer. He is the angel of death who takes the soul away from man. Samael resides in the seventh heaven, although he is declared to be the chief angel of the fifth heaven, the reason for this being the presence of the throne of glory in the seventh heaven. He is the commander of two million angels such as the chief of other Satans. He also became the consort of Lilith and created with her a host of demon children (Most notable among them is Asmodai).
The difference between their power and ranks is just enormous. Lucifer fell because of his strive to claim the highest seat among all Seraphs, this was further fuelled by his pride as the most brightest Seraph. Samael on other hand was an angel whose duty itself was of dark nature, in many ways he is similar to the angels Af (Anger) and Hemah (Wrath), for just like them he is an primal angel who God created to execute his will at any cost, due to the primal nature of his responsibility unlike Lucifer he is described to be as both good and evil.
While it’s quite clear that Lucifer is a fallen Angel, the status of Samael is more or less ambiguous in nature.
And if you go by various scriptures Lucifer you will realise that he isn’t exactly evil, yes he is depicted to possess pride (unnaturally high pride for a Seraph) but he can’t be described as evil. On other hand the descriptions about Samael clearly bear the testimony of his evil nature.
Their natures and aims can be best summarised as follows:
Okay! We have just broken the ground for what is.
1. Who is the father of all lies?
2. What was the first lie to be told?
3. Why do we lie? The answers are inestimable!
4. What is lied about?
Wow! A lot of ground to cover!
1. The first lies ever told were regarding his beauty and supposed power.
Satan then needed ‘the knights’ of the round table! That was not to be a war! It was to be The War!
Powers! He sought powers in Principalities above angel’s. In this Universe today, we have either a king/queen, president, head of state…in short a RULER. Placed above all. How does rule get ordered/organized/disseminated? Government – Governors, kings, heads of state, parliament, houses of representatives etc. It goes on! On the ‘local’ level – Military, Mayors, Police, Principals, Pastors, Teacers… We could go on. But, it is my hope that we are following closely.
Remember, Heaven is The blueprint of Earth.
The Divine Blue Print
Phillipians 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Philippi was a colony that was established by the Roman Empire as a strategic military centre.
The inhabitants were mostly soldiers who’d served their time in the Roman army and had been rewarded with full citizenship. Wherever this type of colony was founded, fragments of Roman tradition were evident. Roman dress was worn, Roman magistrates governed, the Latin tongue was spoken, and Roman morals were observed. Even to the ends of the Earth, the Romans remained unshakably Roman.
The word “conversation” comes from the Greek word “politeuma,” which literally means “commonwealth.” Goodspeed translates this scripture, “But the commonwealth to which we belong is in heaven” Moffat translates it, “But we are a colony of heaven.” What a privilege it is to have God state, through the mouth of the apostle Paul, that you and I literally are an outpost, a colony of heaven on Earth! What a tremendous dignity is given to us! We need to adhere to the understanding of that. We have a responsibility to follow the pattern that God has given us as a colony of heaven! Just as the Romans didn’t go into new areas and do their own thing, but were required to maintain the Roman tradition.
Colony of Heaven – A Spirit
A number of things about the Roman Empire were significant. One of these was the spirit that they had. “Spirit” is a characteristic that is conferred upon a people and moves through their hearts and lives. In the Old Testament God said to Moses, “I will take of the spirit that is upon you, and I will put the same upon them the leaders of the people” (Numbers 11:17). He also said “Take Joshua the son of Nun with you, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay your hand upon him, and you shall give some of your authority to him” (Numbers 27:18,20). When Moses laid his hands upon Joshua there was a conferral of spirit and he acquired some of the spiritual authority that had rested upon Moses.
You have probably observed that entire communities and locales are affected by certain spiritual characteristics. Some years ago, when we were in Europe ministering, we swung down through the area of Bastion in Belgium. There we experienced one of the heaviest oppressions I have ever felt. That entire area had been seized by a spirit of despair, oppression, and lack of dignity. The feeling of grime and oppression was noticeable while, just a few miles from Bastion, when we crossed the border into Holland, we saw paint, flowers, beautiful cobble stones and industriousness. The difference was astounding, a perfect example of how a spirit can take control of an entire country.
In the scripture here Paul develops a word picture, that every person in the ancient world understood, when he wrote “We are a colony of heaven.” He is referring to the spirit that had laid hold of the Roman people and culture. For all the sins they had become involved in, they still maintained an overwhelming spirit.
The Roman spirit was very distinctive. History records that during one certain battle, there was a powerful earthquake: The other armies were unnerved but the Roman soldiers never faltered because there was such a spirit of concentration and zeal upon them. They continued their task and pursued the battle through to victory, not heeding the surrounding circumstances.
Numbers 14:24 says, “But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land to possess it.”
The Bible says in two other places that Caleb and Joshua had “another spirit” that they heartedly abandoned themselves to God, that spirit laid hold of them and became part of their personalities.
When Jesus found the money changers desecrating the temple, the Bible says He used a whip made of cords to turn over their tables and drive them out. The disciples remembered afterwards these words from the Old Testament, “The zeal of your house has eaten me up,” or literally, “The jealousy of your house has consumed me.” This was not something Jesus had taken classes in, it was something that came from within. He had an overwhelming consumption for the things of God. When He saw the scene in the temple, there was a spontaneous outbreaking of indignation inside him that had been inspired from his wholehearted service to God.
This is a spiritual phenomenon, something that captures the heart and drives it to a full commitment. The apostle Paul is writing that you and I are a colony of heaven, that our citizenship is there. We are a commonwealth of heaven. God ought to be able to lay hold of us with the same spirit that men of old had. Our hearts should be filled with the same zeal that they had in the word of God.
Full of the Holy Ghost
The early church called this zeal being full of the Holy Ghost. We often talk of “being filled with the Holy Ghost and speaking in tongues,” but this is not the context which I am speaking of. The Book of Acts talks’ about men who have a spirit, which is a consuming passion for God – a wholeheartedness for God. There is something about their spirit that makes them stand out above their brethren. When the Apostles looked for men to serve God, they looked for those of whom it could be said, “they were men full of the Holy Ghost.” This is not referring to just anyone who has spoken in tongues. When the Sanhedrin saw the boldness of Peter and John they were beholding the spirit that they had. They took note that they had been with Jesus, and that they had the same spirit Jesus had.
There is more happening in a real Bible conference than words. There is a spirit there. That spiritual contagion is something that is “gonna get on you, get in you, and get a hold of you.” It’s going to turn you upside down, and if you’ll open your heart to it, it will make you a minister of God. You will become a flame of fire with a zeal that lays hold of God.
There is a Latin word for enthusiasm; entheos. It is a word that literally means “full of God.” Historically men full of God were men consumed with a whole hearted passion that emanated from them. When Paul says we are a “colony of heaven,” he’s saying that we ought to have some of the same spirit that Rome had. We ought to get hold of the God and the heaven of the Bible. There ought to be an excitement for God – a stirring in our souls. Something should move you for God beyond the ordinary. People ought to look at you and say, “I don’t know if he’s crazy or not, but something’s wrong with him!”
Woe to the day when people can only see a small difference between us and the world in which we live. If the only difference is that we carry a Bible that is usually so small nobody can see it, if all we are is. a little bit religious and go to church once in a while, that is not enough. They ought to be able to say about us, “There is something that’s burning inside them, that bums of heaven above. There is a consuming passion for God.” There should be something inside us that like the psalmist of old cries out, “Oh God my heart pants out to you as the hart pants out to the water brooks. Oh God satisfy my longing soul, let me know more of heaven above!” This ought to be the spirit that lays hold of our hearts. If we’re going to follow the pattern that brings a reproduction of heaven, it’s going to effect our life-style.
Citizenship and Sanctity
Rome had a dignity that was tied to being Roman. The Roman government would not allow the rights of a citizen to be violated any place on earth. It did not matter how far away from Rome they were, these colonies were representatives of Rome and Rome protected the sanctity of its persons. When Paul was being bound with thongs, (Acts 22:25-26) he asked the Roman centurion if it was lawful to scourge a man who was a Roman and uncondemned. When the centurion heard this, he told the commander, “Take care what you do, for this man is a Roman.” When the commander heard that, he went immediately to Paul and asked, “Are you a Roman?” When Paul answered, “Yes, I am a Roman,” it meant that there were rights that belonged to him as a citizen of Rome. They would not dare do to him what they would do to other prisoners because his citizenship gave him dignity. The institution of Rome existed only to serve the individual and the sanctity of persons was a most holy thing. This gives us some understanding of the honour, privilege, and responsibility Paul is talking about when he says, “We are a colony of heaven.”
Paul says in Acts 23:1, (Barkley translation), “I have lived as a citizen to God.” In Philippians 1:27 (Goodspeed translation) the apostle says, “Whatever happens, show yourselves citizens.” You and I are to live worthy of the honour that is ours as citizens and colonists of heaven. We need to live in light of that and bring lives in tune with that glorious principle because our lives are on display. Just as the Roman citizens never forgot that they belonged to Rome, Paul tells us that we must never forget that we are citizens of heaven. Our conduct must match our citizenship.
These are not light words. We’re talking about a pattern that began in heaven and reached down upon earth and touched Prescott, Arizona. It touched a congregation here and a congregation there and the principles of heaven were reproduced and people were transformed. There was a revival where bikers and hippies and drug addicts were changed. Heaven came’ down upon earth, and in the process of time workers were sent out as representatives of that colony. We are under heavenly authority to uphold a holy reputation. We can no longer say and do whatever we please. We can’t just go where we want to go because we are people like the soldiers of Rome, under orders, under authority, and we are marching in the light of that principle.
Paul wrote, “I am set for the defence of the gospel” (Philippians 1:17). He is saying, “I am posted like a soldier. I am not here to do what I feel like doing but I am under orders. I am under authority. I have gone out as a representative of heaven to establish another Colony.” When the Holy Ghost instigated a jail break in Acts 16, the doors were opened and the jailer feared that the prisoners were gone. He pulled his sword to kill himself, not because he had lost his prisoners, but because he had dishonoured the community of Rome. He thought he had lost what had been given into his trust. He was going to take his life because as a citizen of Rome he could not stand to dishonour the community.
When Mount Vesuvius erupted in Pompeii, a soldier manning his post was encased in lava by the volcanic tragedy. He stood watching the danger coming, but as a soldier of Rome he would not leave his post without being duly relieved. Centuries later, archaeologists have uncovered this for us as a picture of the loyalty to duty felt by a citizen of Rome.
We are soldiers of Jesus Christ. You and I are not sent out to be-bop around on planet earth doing whatever we please. We are a colony of heaven, and God has established us as his representatives. We are under orders to the army of God and we serve the colony of heaven.
Paul writes in Titus 1:11,12 about those, “who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake. One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are always liars, evil beasts, and lazy gluttons.”
These Cretians Paul spake of were a people whose tendency was to be non-disciplined. As he writes he describes the awful horror of an undisciplined people.
The changing of the guards in Buckingham Palace provides an interesting study in self control. These fellows in the tights and big beehive hats are trained to never flicker an eyelash. You can get in front of them and move back and forth but their eyes remain glued in one position by self discipline. Would to Gad that in the colony of heaven we could find believers who would lay hold of this wonderful truth. You and I, as a colony of heaven, have a responsibility to demonstrate that same self discipline, self control, and military bearing whatever culture or locale we are in.
When Paul writes in Acts 23, “I have lived as a citizen to God,” he is talking about something specific and powerful. He’s talking about the life he lived in keeping with who he was and what God had sent him to establish. We bear the weight of the Church of Jesus Christ as we go to re-establish a colony of heaven in the earth, and we have a standard to uphold.
The Roman people were the true treasure of the
Roman Empire. Paul understood this and tied this into the thought here. Because the people knew that they were special they bore themselves with dignity and pride in the days of their grandeur. The apostle uses this to bring to us the understanding that the true treasure of the church is her people. When people understand that they bear themselves differently.
In I Kings 13:33, Jeroboam did not turn from his evil way of making priests from every class of people. He consecrated whoever wished to became one of the priests of the high places. King Jeroboam had no respect for the holy things of God. He disdained holiness and consecrated men who had no excelling character traits. For this reason the Bible labels him an evil man.
We live in a day when there are few excelling character traits among the people of God. People are being exalted into places of ministry only because they have a little talent, or a little gift, or some word skills, or a little extra personality. God help us that we who God has laid his hand upon will not be common people. We must be those who will excel. Let it be said of us that we have lived a life-style that was in keeping with our citizenship that we lived in light of that privilege, responsibility and calling.
An outstanding Roman trait was their allegiance. Rome had a cause. That cause was to establish Roman rule, government, justice, and morals in colonies all over the world. They did this with great dedication. In the text that we read the thought is that we have a cause. We are a colony of heaven.
One of the most astonishing sagas ever played out in human history is the story of Masada. This is a desert fortress above the Dead Sea where nine hundred renegade Jews fled to escape Roman domination. This stronghold had a source of food and water that could have allowed them to hold out indefinitely, but they flaunted the Roman cause and Rome would not let these Jews live at any price. They built a mountain so they could literally walk up a ramp over to the top of the fortress. Rome conscripted ten thousand Jews. Ten thousand Roman soldiers camped in the desert around that mountain to keep them from escaping. It took a minimum of ten thousand gallons of water a day that had to be hauled twenty miles to that place. It was a monumental undertaking just to keep them alive, much less to assault that fortress! They did all this for nine hundred measly Jews who couldn’t hurt anybody, but they had dared to flaunt the Roman cause.
You and I have a cause. We should have at least as much commitment, excitement, and consecration as the soldiers of Rome had!
There was such an allegiance to the Roman emperors throughout the Empire that it became idolatry. In appreciation, they had artists create busts of the Roman emperor and the people venerated these men who brought them peace and prosperity and blessing. This appreciation soon turned into idolatry because people began worshipping them as gods. The people appreciated the tremendous cause of Rome. How much greater is our cause and our God?
In the Bible, there are a number of statements concerning cities. In ancient days a city’s location was picked for its proximity to a water supply. City founders looked for an easily defended place, near commercial trade routes. They didn’t have the technology to just build cities anyplace.
We traveled, one time, to the Middle East, to the city of Petra. Until about 1860, this city was lost to civilization. It is built in a canyon below what is known as Moses Spring. This body of water springs out of a dry desert and runs down the canyon floor. It is astounding that at one time perhaps half a million people lived in this isolated canyon, eighty miles south of Ammon Jordan. There were several reasons that this isolated spot was picked. It had an abundant supply of water, it was in the middle of an impregnable canyon (fifty men could hold off an entire army), and it was adjacent to what was called the King’s Highway (the trade routes to Africa, the Orient, and Arabia).
In the Middle East, for centuries, cities have been rebuilt on the ancient foundations of previous cities. Archaeologists can go to these ancient ruins and trace civilization for thousands of years. In many cases it might have seemed easier to build somewhere else, but the old location had qualities and traits that were greatly desirable and there was a reason those cities were built there in the first place. They were not just hung on that spot for sentimental reasons. The locations had been picked for critical qualities and traits. It is not an accident that we do things the way that we do.
Faithful to a Pattern
Faithfulness to a cause is one of the major marks of Christianity. Hebrews 3: 1-2 says, “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to him that hath appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.” The Apostle Paul says Moses was faithful in all his house and compared his faithfulness to Jesus’ faithfulness to the Father. He says these were faithful because there were others coming after them. For the testimony that should be spoken, they were faithful in all their house. Christianity is based on faithfulness to a cause. There are certain things that never change. God said to Moses, “See that you make these things after the pattern, upon the mount.” He did not say, to him, “See that you make these things after what you think is the pattern,” or, “What is your idea of the pattern.” God said, in most solemn tones, “You see that you make these things after the’ pattern that was shown you on the mount.” Some things never change. God was establishing something about eternal revelation. One of the things Paul was talking about when he said that we are a colony of heaven is this business of patterning.
I’ve had three calls this year from men who began to understand that their lives were a departure from the pattern. They were not living according to the Bible and the pattern of the rest of the fellowship. Suddenly, they were in an identity crisis. We are a colony of heaven; We can’t just run off on our own trip, but it is inherent upon us to discover what the word of God says concerning the pattern. We do not deviate from that pattern. We fulfil the pattern of the will of God in discipleship because we are a colony of heaven.
When we begin to take this as our responsibility we are changed. When God calls us a colony of heaven, He is talking about an allegiance not simply for an allegiance sake. He’s talking about an allegiance we have seen demonstrated and we know is fruitful. We have seen it produce first in Jerusalem and Rome and today in Prescott, Arizona and the world. We are not going to leave it for anyone else’s idea. The fruitfulness we see comes because we are working by God’s pattern. Would to God that he would reach down into our souls and make us to understand the significance of these simple words, “We are a colony of heaven.”
Gods Divine Plan
In Acts, 26:12 we discover more about God’s divine blue print. We find Paul before King Agrippa, telling about his conversion on the Damascus road. In the rehearsing of this scene, (which transformed his life and put him on the paths of evangelism), we have the Magna Carta of world evangelism. From this experience, he went on to blaze the trail and set the example for foreign missions. He came from this point, the great missionary evangelist and church planter we still admire today. Throughout the years of church history, this man has been studied as a pattern and we should look to his life to gather an understanding of the heavenly vision.
Acts 26:12 states, “Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, At midday, 0 king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them. which journeyed with me. And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the pricks. And I said Who are you Lord? And He said, I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise, and stand upon your feet: For I have appeared unto you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of these things which you have seen, and of those things of which I will appear unto you; Delivering you from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send you, to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they might receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. Whereupon, 0 King Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision, but showed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God and do works meet for repentance.”
Here is Paul’s heavenly vision, and ours as well, for you and I are very surely caught up into that same work. We fulfil our destiny as a movement by fulfilling that same calling and direction.
A Preaching Vision
This heavenly vision is a preaching vision. “We are not opposed to other kinds of ministries or people who are doing many good works; feeding the hungry, medical missions, schooling endeavours, educating the heathen, etc., but those things are not the main thrust of our commission. At the heart of the heavenly vision, is the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Jesus appeared to the apostle and said, “Paul, I’ve called you and my purpose is that you would be a minister and a witness to the world of my work and of my call.” The scripture records for us in Acts 9:20 that “Immediately, Paul preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God”. We are left with no doubt what the message he preached was. In II Timothy 4:1,2 the apostle said, “I charge you, therefore, before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”
In this fellowship we believe in preaching. That is what the apostle Paul was involved in. We are not talking about teaching, dialoguing, giving a discourse or seminar; we are talking about preaching. Preaching demands a verdict. When someone is through preaching, there is a responsibility placed upon the hearers to respond immediately.
In the book of Acts, when the apostles were filled with the Holy Ghost, immediately Peter stood up and delivered the message that God had given him. Wherever this gospel has gone, there have been men who were seized with a spirit of preaching. This heavenly vision is a preaching vision.
In the scripture we read, when Paul stood before King Agrippa, many translators and commentators record that Agrippa broke in and asked, “Paul do you think that with just a few words, you are going to convert me?” Yes! That is exactly what he believed! As Paul spoke forth the word of God, he expected that those words would be imbued with power and that something would happen to Agrippa’s heart. The Bible tells that something did happen and God moved this man.
Preaching Under Attack
Preaching is God’s great ordinance for the salvation men: Today there is a decline in the art of preaching. You and I live in a world when many other things are being done. Men such as you and I, who believe in old fashioned Holy Ghost, Hallelujah, fire-breathing, arm waving, foot-stomping preaching ‘are considered fanatics.
Several years ago, I read an article, The Perils of Persuasive Preaching. A man had wasted his time writing a whole article about people like our fellowship. He claimed that the Holy Spirit can only use truth, not emotion or zeal. Somehow, he felt, truth was supposed to be disassociated from emotion and zeal; supposed to bypass all the natural human tendencies and elements of the human personality and function out of cold dead theology. Well, I beg your pardon! You won’t find that in the word of God. Picture the apostle Paul before Agrippa. Do you think he was sitting there calmly with his hands folded in his lap saying, (in a mellow sing song) “O King Agrippa, there was a light that came from heaven and it struck me to the earth and I was greatly moved?” I think Paul was excited and stirred. He saw a man who was being drawn by the Holy Spirit. He saw a chance to preach the gospel to a king and I think he was waving his arms excitedly while he preached away.
The article went on to say that, “Many preachers use a familiar ‘machine gun’ pulpit pounding style of evangelistic preaching that tends to rev up the emotions, bypassing the intellect or the rational faculties. Also there is a widespread technique used by these people, of asking people to raise their hands, and come forward to be prayed for.” Heaven forbid! That boy had a problem! What disturbed him was that something began to happen down inside when real men of God began to preach that he didn’t like. Conviction began to grip people and God began to move.
The Bible tells us the parable of the wedding supper. A great King made a wedding supper for his son and sent out invitations. As with all important invitations, a reply was expected. The parable tells us that those who did not respond favourably or as the king expected, upset the king and put him in a great deal of turmoil. He gave an invitation and there was not a response. This leaves us with the understanding that it is an insult to the King of Kings and the’ Lord of Lords to refuse to respond to his invitation.
Preaching instructs the mind, it moves the will and it stirs the emotions. Someone has said, “Some people, have something to say and some folks have to say something, but a preacher has something to say and he must say it” That is a preacher! When a preacher is touched by God, something happens inside of him.’
History and Preaching
There are lessons we can learn from history. Wesley and Whitfield stood up and preached in a generation that knew only moral essays; innocent homilies, with empty platitudes attached to a text. Their voices, thrilling and emotion packed, fell on startled ears. “Men’s hearts awoke, to realize their hunger and their despair. They felt the first stirrings and throbbings of a new and divine life within.” Thank God! I’m glad that is written down. These were men who preached and who understood that the vision that Paul had was a preaching vision; not a cool dead theology, but something that burned down in the soul and moved a man’s heart.
One night, C. H. Spurgeon went into an auditorium where he was to speak, to test the acoustics. These were the days before audio systems such as we have today. As he stood there, in the front of the auditorium, unbeknown to him, there was a workman in the third balcony bending over a pew. As Spurgeon lifted up his voice and said, “Behold the Lamb of God,” conviction struck that workman. He went down on his knees and got saved on the spot. That is preaching! It moves through a man’s soul and makes “the word of God living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword; it pierces unto the dividing of the soul, spirit, bones and marrow.” When a preacher gets through, you know he’s had something to say. You can never be the same.
Someone said, “that Hinduism lives by its ritual, and social organization, Buddhism by meditation, Confucianism by a code of morals, but Christianity lives by the foolishness of preaching.”
A World Vision
There is something else I want you to see. This heavenly vision is a world vision. I’m not trying to persuade you to leave your pew and go running off to some place half cocked, but having said that we need to understand that God has given us a responsibility to the world.
A number of years ago, when Pastor Johnson and Pastor Houghton had both been saved about six months and still looked like they’d crawled out of the goodwill bin, we had a speaker from Mexico. He stirred us all about the great possibilities in Mexico. These two young men came to me as serious as can be. They said, “Pastor Mitchell, we believe that God is calling us to Mexico and we want to leave next week.” I said, “That is a wonderful idea. Do either of you speak Spanish?” That’s humorous, but I’ll tell you one thing; they had a right spirit. It was that same spirit, that same stirring and ability to be moved for a lost world that has caused both of them to be outstanding ministers of the gospel today.
In the text the Lord Jesus said to Paul, “I send you to the Gentiles.” “Gentiles” is a Greek word that means “the nations.” You’ll find it translated many times to mean “the heathen.” It literally means those nations that were not the nations of God, people who were known to be without God and without hope. There is a very profound truth here. Acts 26:20, tells us the apostle Paul went to Damascus, to Judea, then he went to the Gentiles preaching that they should repent and turn to God. When the apostle Paul encountered Jesus Christ he received a world vision.
In Mark 16:15, the Lord Jesus said to the disciples, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” These were their marching orders. Their commission has not been rescinded. It has never been changed. It has not been altered. It is as true today as it was the day that Jesus spoke it. “Go ye into all the world.”
The world they lived in was every bit as large as it is today. The inhabited world that they knew about seemed much larger, because they had none of the things that we have as tools put into our hands. They didn’t have any airplanes, trains, buses, cars, railroads, trucks, telephones, TV, airmail or printing presses. These men lived in a primitive world. Yet, Jesus said unto them, “Go you into all the world.” Have you ever thought about that?
Last November, Jack Harris, Mike Maston and I stood on the hillside where the apostle Thomas was martyred. It is said that as he preached the gospel to a wild Indian tribe they pierced him through with a spear. As we stood overlooking that city I could not help but think how far this man had come. It is so far that it staggers the mind. Remember, he had no airplanes, no modem means of transportation, none of the things we have. As we stood there, I could not help but reflect, that this man was travelling against immense odds and difficulties in obedience to the command of Jesus Christ.
We think it is a great task when we climb on one of those monstrous 747’s to go around the world and land in twenty or thirty hours, but think of Thomas! He’d have to travel for several months at the very least and possibly years, to come to that wild place on the east India coast. This man had a world vision. God stir us as we read this that we may understand the seriousness of what we are talking about. When the Lord Jesus said, “I send you to the nations,” He was talking about a fundamental principle of world evangelism. Make no mistake about it. God will not hear our clichés as we say, “Well, God, this is a job for others to do.” The responsibility rests upon everyone of us.
I’m not talking about running off on some wild-eyed tangent like Hank Houghton and Greg Johnson were about to do, but at least that same spirit could seize you tonight, until you be stirred inside and are willing to say “God, I’ll go if you make a way.”
In Revelations, the Lord Jesus Christ is described as he stands before the apostle John and His eyes are as a flame of fire. Piercing frightening eyes, eyes that look through you. He is not that sad homo looking wimp that is in so many Christian paintings. Jesus himself is looking into the hearts of men. As I saw in my mind’s eye that visage I thought to myself, “We are going to have to prove to him that you and I are not called to these places. One day we are going to have to stand before Him and all the surface things that we hide behind are going to be stripped away. Every single one of us is going to have to give, proof to him that we were not called to those places.” God’s heart beat is toward a dying world, his arm is laid bare toward world evangelism. Isaiah 32:20 says, “Blessed are you that sow beside all waters that send forth there the feet of the oxen and the ass.” Isaiah 28:6, “The Lord becomes a spirit of strength to those who turn the battle to the gate.” This is a world vision.
The Value of One Soul
There is an interesting article in the October “Readers Digest” about something that happened on Guam on June 13, 1944 during WW II to a man named Ensign Donald Brant. Brant was a navy pilot off of one of the aircraft carriers. As they were on a mission seeking to take Guam he was shot down by flak. The force of the air sucked him out of the cockpit of the plane, broke some ribs and injured one wrist very seriously. Half dazed, and only half awake, he drifted down into the ocean, just five hundred yards off shore from where the Japanese were entrenched. The battle was raging and five and a half inch guns were aimed at him. Snipers began to fire across the water at him, they were incensed and desperately trying to kill him, while his fighter group flew over to give whatever protection they could. Finally, they had to return to their ship and a submarine was called in. The submarine came and started to surface to retrieve him, but the shore batteries began to fire and they had to submerge again. They worked out a strategy; they would pass by with the periscope up and the downed pilot would lasso it with a piece of rope so they could drag him out to a safer place. Time and time again, the submarine tried to rescue him. He was sorely wounded and in great danger. With the Japanese firing, and lobbing shells at the submerged submarine, they were finally successful. They dragged Brant out, took him aboard, put him in the infirmary and the young man’s life was saved. A Japanese soldier on shore saw this entire thing.
He was killed, but his diary was found later. This statement was written in his diary; ‘”The American is very stupid, they risk a submarine for one man. I think they have very foolish minds.” As I read that, I thought, “Little did that soldier know that it was that quality about the American people that would defeat Japan. By God’s grace, they had been taught the sanctity of human life. It is a quality that was placed in America by the moving of the Holy Spirit. As I thought of that, I thought of those brave men, who had risked their lives again and again, to snatch one man from the water. How much more our Father in heaven who sent His Son to Calvary’s cross, for dying multitudes of men and women, must yearn for the salvation of lost men. Again and again He urges you and I, who are a part of the army of God, a rescue operation for the nations of the world. How much more must God yearn that you and I would see the value of human souls and that we would thrust ourselves outward and give ourselves to the rescuing of dying multitudes in the world.
A Royal Vision
This heavenly vision is a royal vision.’ I marvel at the working of a sovereign God, ruler of the heavens and the earth, and Jesus Christ, our King of Kings and Lord of Lords. That commission given to us is His, and he is sovereignly working on the earth.
In 1974, a young “wetback,” came into our congregation. A hippie passing through had witnessed to this Mexican and his Apache girlfriend. They both came to the church and responded to the altar call. The young girl split, but that young “wetback” stayed. His name is Cruz Guerrero. He stayed in Prescott for a few months and then went back into Mexico with Jack Harris. At that time we couldn’t see that the working of a sovereign God would one day send great revival in that nation of Mexico. As we sent Cruz to Nogales with Jack we never dreamed that throbbing powerful assemblies would rise up and that this young man would end up as a leader of the people of God in his nation. It was far beyond anything that we could foresee.
When I went into Australia in 1977, God set me up. I had no understanding of what was happening. I was simply responding to an invitation to preach at a convention there. As I stepped off the plane God struck me, as it were with a sledge hammer and made me to know that he had placed me there by His sovereign moving to respond to that need. I had resources and understanding in my ministry that I could direct into that nation toward evangelism and ministry. Little did I understand what God was going to do there. Australia is throbbing with revival and young men are in the ministry there today that are the fruit of that revival. God is a sovereign God.
When we went into Europe for the first time in 1978, we met a skinny, gangly teenager who barely spoke English well enough to communicate. Little did we know, that one day, Rudy Van Dierman would be a powerful leader in the nation of Holland.
In 1979, Jack Harris and I went into the Philippines for the first time. It was a heart rending experience, full of disappointments. Little did we understand that a sovereign God had guided our footsteps. “The steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord.” Today we are experiencing a move of God in that nation because of doors that were opened with that first heartbreaking trip.
In 1984, we had the privilege of standing in the nation of India; a nation that holds almost one-fourth of the worlds population. Not knowing what we were going to see Mike Maston, Larry Neville, Jack Harris and myself, were standing on the brink of destiny. God had placed within our hands the tools and the ability to affect that nation for eternity. He was opening the door. We are talking about a sovereign God, a king. This is a royal commission.
We are not discussing a program like “Amway.” We are not talking about some kind of sales seminar that helps us meet the public. We are talking about something that is ordained in heaven. The King of Kings and the Lord of Lords has called you and I to a royal vision.
I Am Jesus
Think of Paul’s words again. As the apostle recounts his encounter with the Lord Jesus and he says, “Who are you Lord?” The Lord replies, “I am Jesus.” The apostle Paul is dumbfounded. He is very religious (like some of you) and going in the wrong direction. When he encounters the King of Kings he asks “Well, who are you Lord?” You would have thought he would have known who he was. The Lord simply responds, “I am Jesus.” In Acts 9:15, the Lord says of Paul, “He is a chosen vessel unto me to bare my name before the Gentiles and Kings and the children of Israel.”
II Corinthians 5:20 states, “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ as though Christ did beseech you by us.” This gives us a proper perspective. If we are simply a part of a religious program, then we can discount a great deal of what we are doing. If we are simply a part of another man made denomination, we can simply write off much of what we are involved in as just a pretty good program. The girls sing well, the music is lively, the funny man who is getting old and bald is amusing to listen to, but we’ll take what we want and be on our way. However, if you’re in the presence of Jesus Christ, this puts all that is taking place in a proper perspective. This is not simply a religious activity, but God laying hold of our hearts. He demands sovereign attention and obedience.
II Timothy 1:9 says, “God hath saved us and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began …” I Timothy 1: 11 says, “Whereunto I am appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher of the Gentiles.” Verse 15 of the same chapter says “that the glorious gospel of the living God was committed to our trust. I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has enabled me, in that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry.” You see, this is a great commission. We are not talking about earthly things, we are talking about heavenly things.
God’s Greatest Calling
John Mott, was a well known missionary statesman. When President Coolidge asked him to serve as an ambassador to Japan, Mott replied, “Mr. President, since God called me to be an ambassador of His, my ears have been deaf to all other calls.”
Billy Graham tells that when the Standard Oil Company was looking for a man in the far-east, they chose a missionary to be their representative. They offered him ten thousand dollars. He turned it down. They offered twenty-five thousand dollars, and he turned it down. Fifty-thousand was turned down, too. Finally they asked, “What’s wrong?” He said, “Your price is alright, but your job is too small! God called me to be a missionary.”
I’m talking about a royal commission; a royal vision, about the Lord who has ordained us to carry His message. This is not a religious program, not an organization, or denomination, or a design of man. “I am not my own,” someone has said. “Seven hundred and fifty-million idle-worshipping people in India extract of me that which I have learned of God.” It is easy for you and I to just sit in church. We have peace in our country, good jobs, and homes. It is easy for us to forget the ramifications of what we’re really about, but this is a heavenly vision. God is going to stir a multitude of people and you’re never, ever, ever, going to be able to rest quietly without considering what I’ve written. There is no calling that is greater; no task that is more greatly to be reverenced, or sought. The apostle Paul said, “Let a man so account of us, as the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” I Corinthians 4:1,2.
Someone has asked, “What ever became of the twelve disciples?” Judas Iscariot, after betraying his Lord, hanged himself. John died a violent death. Tradition says he was boiled in oil. Peter was crucified head downward, during the persecution of Nero. Andrew died on a cross at Petra, a Grecian colony. James, the younger brother of the Saviour, was thrown from a pinnacle of the temple and then beaten to death with a club. Bartholomew was flayed alive in Annapolis, Armenia. James, the elder son of Zebedee, was beheaded in Jerusalem. Thomas, the doubter, was run through the body with a lance at Cormandalor, Madras, in the east of India. Philip was hanged against a pillar in Heappolis, Abyssinia. Matthew was slain by the sword in Ethiopia or Abyssinia. Thaddaeus was shot to death with arrows. Simon died on a cross in Persia, now Iran. Isn’t it simple to read and say, ‘Whatever became of the twelve disciples?’ Yet, when we begin to bring this into perspective, we realize that these men did not all die on the same day. One by one, each of them went their way and the news of their deaths travelled back. Each of them knew that to be an apostle of Jesus Christ was to pay with their life, sometimes a horrible and a public death of suffering.
What motivated these men? What caused Thomas to travel across the Babylonian peninsula into Iran, down through Pakistan and across the length and width of India to wind up on the southeast coast preaching to a savage, native tribe? I believe they understood that this is a royal vision to establish a colony of heaven. It was not simply a little religious discipling program that was inspired out of Jerusalem. I believe that something seized hold of them. These men saw that they were serving the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
The apostle Paul lifted up his voice to King Agrippa and he said, “I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision.”
There is a spirit that Paul is referring to. It is a spirit’ that came from heaven and was poured out on Earth; not simply on the Day of Pentecost, but clear back in the Old Testament. It is the spirit of whole-hearted service to God, that heart aflame for the things of eternity, that enthusiasm that grips your whole being. Oh God, give us people who will follow God’s divine plan to be a colony of heaven, who will live in one accord under authority. They’ll live with discipline, and self-control, taking on a military mind and realizing that they are not free to march to any drummer but the drummer who is in heaven. He has given us marching orders and they are clear to every soldier of Jesus Christ: We are set for the defence of the gospel. This is our calling in life: To be a people who will have an allegiance to the kingdom of heaven and will not deviate from the pattern, who will foolishly preach in all the world, the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In Northwest Orient Magazine, there was a story about the city of Raleigh, a lost colony named after Sir Walter Raleigh. Preceding Jamestown by twenty-two years, this colony was established on the coast of North Carolina. It was the home of Virginia Dare, the first child of English parentage born on the American continent. Due to England’s war with Spain, a supply ship scheduled to leave England for the colony on Roanoke Island in 1587 arrived more than two and a half years late. By then all 150 men, women, and children were gone. John Airenheart of the National Park Service’s Southeast Archaeological Centre said, “I suspect that the people just moved away. They were never heard of again.” I don’t know what happened to them – they were established there as a colony, there was an appointment set. England did not forget them, but perhaps, in the course of that two and a half years the ship was delayed, those people in the wilderness of Eastern America decided that no one cared. They could have survived if they had stayed where they were, but they left. They had probably heard before they left England that there were going to be some other colonies established in the north, and maybe they decided in bitterness that they were not understood or that their trust had been violated. Maybe they became afraid. Who knows what happened to them? Well never know, because they’re a lost colony. They were never heard from again. When the supply ship arrived two and a half years later, they found the place where they had been and the evidence that they were there, but they found no people. This man said, “I suspect they simply walked away.” With all their great potential as a colony of England they disappeared.
You and I are aliens on planet earth. This world is not our home. This is not our permanent dwelling place. We’re citizens of another land. We have been sent here on this planet as colonies of heaven, as representatives of our Saviour.
We’re set for the defence of the gospel, aliens in a hostile environment. This world will never be our friend. We will never be accepted. The moment you’re accepted by this world, you are no longer a citizen of heaven, you’re a defector. You are a betrayer. When this generation or society accepts your life-style, testimony, or religion, you’re a traitor, a lost colony. You are no longer a colony of heaven.
God has sent us into the world to establish a pattern, that which was shown us, as it were, upon the mount. This is an honour, and we are not free to devise our own scheme, or have a better idea. Think of this: God says to you and I, “You are a colony ‘Of heaven.” This gives us a great responsibility. That responsibility is to reproduce that commission from heaven given to and seen in our home churches, and to lay hold of God.
If we have not seen our church bear fruit, if there are no life-transforming testimonies, no dynamic transformations of life, then we have reason to question if we are a colony of heaven. We’ve seen the home churches in Prescott and other places reproduce assemblies. Who are you to feel that you have a better idea? This does not take from you the flexibility of spontaneously moving in the cultural distinctions you find yourself in, by the Spirit of God. But, there are some principles that never change, and those principles are the heavenly principles of reproduction that have to do with spirit, lifestyle, allegiance, preaching, world evangelism, and sovereignty.
We are products of a ‘blueprint’! As Man, we both Male/Female
“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 heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on 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 God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.” Genesis 1:26-28; 31 (ESV)
It almost seems this is unending! We are hopefully nearing an end.
In review, we attempt to describe Satan and pointed out how and why he is.
“You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering: The sardius, topaz, and diamond, Beryl, onyx, and jasper, Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes Was prepared for you on the day you were created. “You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you.”
Ezekiel 28:13–15 NKJV
Again, we see beauty upon beauty!
As a composer could you destroy a work that displays your genius? I ask this knowing that there is a deluge of comments!
BUT, very simply LOVE craves to be Love if that were so! Even with mortal that was Created in The Image of The Divine. The Earth was examined and there was a single family that held on to The Word of God! Yes! Admittedly, there was no His-story Book at that time, but there was knowledge of God.
One family ‘shared’ on, to no avail!
Some confuse God’s statement in Genesis 6:3 as describing the time it took Noah to build the Ark. It says:
And the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.”
However, these 120 years are a countdown to the Flood. In other words, mankind’s violence had reached its peak and God declared that 120 years was the “drop dead” date for mankind who is a mortal being (Genesis 6:3–7 ). From a quick look, these 120 years would seem to be the absolute maximum for the time given to build the Ark, but the Scriptures reveal much more allowing us to be more accurate.
For example, Noah was 500 years old when Japheth, the first of his sons, was born (Genesis 5:32 ). Yet Noah’s second son, Shem, had his first son two years after the Flood, when he was 100 ( Genesis 11:10). This means that Shem was 98 years old when the Flood came, and it also means that Shem was born when Noah was 502 years old. So for Noah to begin having children at 500 means that Japheth was indeed the older brother, as per Genesis 10:21, being born when Noah was 500. Ham is mentioned as the youngest of Noah (Genesis 9:24).
When God finally gave Noah instructions to build the Ark, it was not at the beginning of the 120 year countdown. God told Noah that he, his wife, and his three sons and their wives (Genesis 6:14–18) would go aboard the Ark at this same time.
Deducing that Shem was born 98 years before the Flood, it could be no more than this. But even more so, Ham hadn’t been born yet! If we were to assume the same time between Ham and Shem as between Japheth and Shem, then Ham could have been born around 96 years before the Flood.
Although the Bible is silent on the exact timing, it is reasonable to assume that some time elapsed for the three sons to grow up and find a wife. I would be most comfortable giving a range of anywhere from 20 to 40 years making Ham no less than 16 at his marriage.
The reason we take a stroll down this path is to underscore His-story. God is God and can be no other!
God said to Noah and his sons:
I am giving you my blessing. Have a lot of children and grandchildren, so people will live everywhere on this earth. All animals, birds, reptiles, and fish will be afraid of you. I have placed them under your control, and I have given them to you for food. From now on, you may eat them, as well as the green plants that you have always eaten. But life is in the blood, and you must not eat any meat that still has blood in it. I created humans to be like me, and I will punish any animal or person that takes a human life. If an animal kills someone, that animal must die. And if a person takes the life of another, that person must be put to death.
I want you and your descendants to have many children, so people will live everywhere on earth.
Again, God said to Noah and his sons:
I am going to make a solemn promise to you and to everyone who will live after you. This includes the birds and the animals that came out of the boat. I promise every living creature that the earth and those living on it will never again be destroyed by a flood.
The rainbow that I have put in the sky will be my sign to you and to every living creature on earth. It will remind you that I will keep this promise forever. When I send clouds over the earth, and a rainbow appears in the sky, I will remember my promise to you and to all other living creatures. Never again will I let floodwaters destroy all life. When I see the rainbow in the sky, I will always remember the promise that I have made to every living creature. The rainbow will be the sign of that solemn promise.
We can rest in this Word for:
“God is not man, that He should lie,
or a son of Man, that He should change His mind.
Has He said, and will He not do it?
Or has He spoken, and will He not fulfill it?”
This verse opens out to so very much, but we will remain focused on the matter at hand.
To be continued.