Thursday, March 30, 2017

False Hope

I am amazed at the number of Christians who have put their faith in President Trump to rescue America.

Tiberius was a relatively good Caesar, and a great general. Jesus did not prophesy that when Paul got to Rome, Tiberius would come to faith and establish the kingdom.

Pontius Pilate was a relatively good procurator. Jesus did not prophesy that he would be surrounded by prayerful people and becomes a leader in the kingdom of God.

Jesus praised the faith of the centurion who wanted his servant healed, but he did not prophesy that the centurion would become procurator over Jerusalem and establish the Kingdom of God there.

I have no confidence into Donald Trump.

I have no confidence in the Republican party.

I have no confidence in the Democratic party.

My confidence is in the victory that Jesus established by dying on the cross, rising from the dead and ascending into heaven.

My confidence is in the Holy Spirit moving in power when small groups of people live and proclaim the gospel in Jesus name.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Territory

In Christendom

All territory belonged to Jesus, because the emperor owned the land, and he belonged to Jesus. They churches role was to teach the emperor and his people how to be good Christians.

In Post-Christendom

Jesus has no territory. All territory belongs to the spiritual powers of evil. We need to win territory for Jesus one house at a time.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Faithful Presence

I have just completed David Fitch’s latest book called Faithful Presence. He has some great insights, so it is worth reading.

However, I have this nagging doubt that presence is not enough. Jesus was not just present, he made his home here on earth (tabernacled among us). He told his disciples to go and stay in a home in the place where he had sent them.

I believe that people going out to share the gospel must go and live in a place to have real impact. That is the theme of my book Being Church Were We Live.

So I was interested to hear David say in his discussion about the Benedict Option, that when he and some of his friends planted a church in Westmont, Chicago, they decided to live within six blocks. Six blocks is probably four too many, but living close together has contributed to the effectiveness of their community.

I am surprised that David did not push this a bit more in his book, as it seems to be important. As he says,

Faithful presence must be communal reality before it can infect the world.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

MIC (9) Tough Battle

The spirit of Manipulation and Intimidation for Control (MIC) is hard to beat. Elijah had God with him, but Jezebel outlasted him.

Elijah’s front-on challenge against Jezebel failed. He stirred up a mob to destroy the prophets of Baal, but Jezebel was able to force Elijah to flee in fear (1 Kings 19:1-3). She was still alive and influential when Elijah was taken up to heaven.

When Elijah recovered, God gave him a strategy that would undermine Jezebel more effectively destroy her influence, without the need for head-on confrontation. He anointed Elisha has his successor, Hazael King of Aram to weaken Ahab’s family and Jehu to destroy Jezebel (1 Kings 19:15-16).

This strategy took time.

Hazael did not becomes King of Aram until after Ahab and Elijah had died. After ruling for a dozen years, Ahab’s son Joram went to war with Hazael. He was defeated and his injuries eventually caused his death (2 Kings 8:28-29). After Jehu became King of Israel, Hazael overpowered Israel throughout its territory, as the Lord reduced its size (2 Kings 10:32). Hazael oppressed Israel through his reign (2 Kings 13:22).

A new generation of leaders had to emerge and replace the old leadership before Jezebel could be removed. The young men surrounding Jehu were the next generation of leaders. They had lost respect for Jezebel, so they were glad to support Jehu as King (2 Kings 9:12-13).

When Jehu approached Jezebel’s palace, some eunuchs threw her over the wall and she died when she hit the ground (2 Kings 9:32-33). They had been her loyal servants and political organisers, but they switched their allegiance to Jehu. Perhaps they had becomes disillusioned with her.

Jezebel gained authority when King Ahab and the other leaders of the nation gave her authority. She could not be destroyed until the people who had given her authority had changed their allegiance. This destroyed her corporate stronghold in Israel.

Jezebel’s influence extended beyond Israel into Judah. Jehoshaphat had been a good king, but his son Jehoram married a daughter of Ahab (probably Athaliah). He walked in the ways of Ahab. He brought evil to Judah (2 Kings 8:16-18).

When Jehu killed the king of Judah, his mother Athaliah tried to seize control of Judah. She organised for all the royal family to be killed. This was the same method as Jezebel had used against Naboth. She ruled Judah for six years (2 Kings 11:1-3).

Athaliah was foiled by her niece Jehosheba, who hid a baby son of the king with the high priest. When he was seven years old, Jehoida the priest crowned Joash as king organised for the military leaders in Jerusalem to protect him. When he entered the palace and took his place on the throne, Athaliah was killed. This brought the influence of Jezebel to an end. Joash reigned for forty years (2 Kings 11).

God’s strategy worked, but it took time, and the right people had to be in place. He used external player to destroy Jezebel’s power base.For example, Joash had to be hidden until the time was right. Jehosheba was an outsider, but she was ready to act.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

MIC (8) Victory for Christchurch

God has a strategy for dealing with this stronghold over Christchurch.  He will not attack it head on, as the casualties would be too great.  He will defeat it by working from the edges and demonstrating his grace by healing unbelievers who live there.  When God heals a person listening to the gospel, it is an act of grace, so the MIC spirit has no authority to obstruct the healing.  The unbeliever is not under the authority of church leaders, so they are not bound by their commitments.

Sharing the gospel with people who do not know the Lord and seeing them healed is the most effective witness to Jesus.  Healing prayer for unbelievers is the key to defeating the stronghold that controls Christchurch.

The gift of healing is primarily for unbelievers.  It is essential for confirm the power of the gospel.  One reason that the modern gospel is so ineffective is that the gift of healing has been shut up in the church.

People with a gift of healing should focus on praying for the lost.  Praying for Christians is often messy, because they have too much junk, and need to have faith.  It also provokes the MIC spirit unnecessarily.  Prayer for unbelievers will usually produce more fruit.

God is raising up an invisible army in Christchurch that will win back the city for him.  They will gather in small groups on the edge of the city, where they will not be noticed, either by the church, or the spiritual powers of evil. 

The MIC spirit is strongest at the centre of the city where political and religious power is focussed.  This makes the city centre a dangerous place to be.  Starting there would be a mistake.

These small groups of Christians will be totally committed to Jesus.  They will be drawn together by love for him and bound together by commitment to love each other.   They will be able to support each other through the struggles and storms that come.  They will stand together in Jesus while everything around them is shaken.

These followers of Jesus will have laid aside the things of the world that would encumber them.  They will live simply on what God provides. They will share everything with each other and the people around them.

The anointing of the Holy Spirit will be upon them.  As they follow his leading, he will release his gifts among them.  They will be mighty warriors in prayer and be able to deal with anything that arises.

These people will be prepared for distress and equipped for victory.

When they share the gospel, they will pray for the sick.  When people are healed the power of the gospel will be confirmed and the love of God manifested.  Many will come to faith in Jesus.

As their numbers grow, the leaders will move out and start new groups.  Lights will come on all over the place on the edge of the city.  As the groups multiply, they will move towards the centre of the city.  They will squeeze the MIC spirit from the outside, but because they are so many, they will be hard to attack.  Because small groups are united by love, there will be no use of manipulation or control, so the MIC spirit will struggle to get a foothold against them.


Centreless City

When this invisible army is in place, the spiritual, political and business powers entwined together at the centre of the city will be swept away by an economic crisis.  Those with authority will flee, because they are scared of the responsibility.  Power structures will collapse as their resources disappear.

God will build his kingdom from the edges, as the invisible army rises up.  This will be the time for the frontal attack.  Without political, religious and business powers to work through, the MIC spirit will be dramatically weakened.  It will not be strong enough to resist the invisible army.

The people of God will move into the centre of the city in the power of the spirit.  They will care for people who are struggling.  The gospel will advance in the power of the Spirit.  Many sick people will be healed.

God’s Kingdom will come in Christchurch and will shine as a prophetic light to the nations.  All the authority in this city will be submitted to Jesus and Christchurch will be filled with his glory.  The Lord’s presence will be so strong that his glory will be visible.



Monday, March 20, 2017

MIC (7) Corporate Stronghold

A corporate spiritual stronghold is put in place by civic or religious (sometimes both) submitting to a powerful evil spirit in the past, so it has to be broken by the current corporate leaders.  If the religious and civic leaders of Christchurch agreed to renounce the stronghold that is controlling their city it would lose its power.

However, this is unlikely to happen.  The religious and civic leaders of Christchurch will find it difficult to agree.  They would also have to commit to forgoing the use of manipulation, control and intimidation.  Some leaders who have relied on these tools for a long time would find it hard to function without them.  Fortunately, God had another way that he can defeat this stronghold.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

MIC (6) Protection

The key to protection from a corporate stronghold like
MIC (Manipulation and Intimidation for Control) is for two or three people in the organisation or church to stand together and resist the Jezebel spirit in unity.

The two or three must see.  They will see what the spirits are doing.  They will continue to submit to their leader, but in a different way.  They will do what their leader is asking them to do, but they will see the spirit behind his request and silently resist it.  They will submit to his requests, but not to the spirit behind them.  They will pray for their leader’s eyes to be opened, so he can see how the enemy is using him.

The two or three will agree.

Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.  For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them (Mat 18:19-20).

Where two or three people are gathered in Jesus name, he is there in the midst of them.  They can commit to supporting each other.  They will be united by love.


The two or three will agree to watch over each other, and if one is being attacked, they will resist it together.  They will agree that the MIC spirit has no right in their lives.  They will agree in commanding the spirit to stop harassing the one being attacked.


By submitting to each other, two or three people can create an island of safety within a dangerous organisation.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

MIC (5) Vulnerability

People who belong to an organisation in which the leaders (usually one leader) rely on manipulation, control and intimidation are vulnerable to the MIC spirit.  This is true regardless of whether the organisation is a business, a government agency, a church, the city council, or a club or society.

Any church where control and manipulation are at work is not safe, because the MIC spirit has authority to resist the name of Jesus and shut down the gift of healing.  We need to be alert,

Be alert and of sober mind.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith (1 Pet 5:8-9).

When the principalities and power have such a stronghold over a city, attacking them directly is unwise.  We need to be careful about confronting the MIC spirit (Manipulation and Intimidation for Control), because we may not have authority to deal with it, if civic and religious leaders have put it there.

In his book, “The Needless Casualties of War”, John Paul Jackson gives a number of examples of sincere Christians taking on spiritual power that they did not have authority to deal with.  Each one received a severe spiritual beating.

Jackson says that these spirits are hard to deal with because they operate in the second heaven, but that is wrong.  They are hard to defeat, because they have been given a place by people with political authority.

One young girl had seen a demonic principality sitting on the dome of the college administration building at the place where she had begun studying.  Within a week of engaging in warfare against the spirit, she was struck with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, and eventually had to leave her studies behind.

The management of the college had authority over it.  They had far more authority than the young girl.  They had given the spirit permission to be there, perhaps unwittingly.  To attend the college, the girl had to submit to the college management.  This put her under the authority of the spirit that controlled the college, so she was beaten up.

The city fathers and spiritual leaders in Christchurch have far more authority than ordinary Christians, no matter how strong their faith.  When Christians stand against the MIC spirit, the greater authority of the leaders who have given this spirit a stronghold in the city, nullifies their limited authority.  Civic and religious authority trumps the limited authority of ordinary Christians.

Friday, March 17, 2017

MIC (4) Mode of Operation

The MIC spirit operates in several different directions. (MIC is Manipulation and Intimidation for Control).

1. Leaders

The leader of the organisation or church can be deceived into using manipulation and control to get their vision fulfilled.  When they face opposition, they slip into intimidation to overcome it.  A leader can use their spiritual authority to intimidate people into following their guidance.  For example, they might warn the person that they will lose their “covering” if they reject their leader’s advice.  Usually it will be more subtle.

The leader’s vision is good, so they believe that the end justifies the means.  They get to build something for God, but he does not realise that he has unwittingly allowed the Jezebel spirit into the foundation of his work.  It will keep popping out to harm it.

Leaders will often get their way by sending subtle messages to the people opposing their vision.  These messages will often be delivered by loyal supporters.  For example, when a person is troublesome, the leader might say the right words to the right people, to ensure they are side-lined.  Or they can make sure that they do not knowing what is going on.

All leaders in Christchurch should look at themselves and ask if their control of people is opening the doors for the MIC spirit.  If it has been part of their life for a long time, they might not be able to see it and will need to ask a wise person who can see more clearly.  That person will not be a wise friend who only sees good in them.  It will more likely be that pesky wise person on the fringe who is often a nuisance, because they always ask annoying questions.

2. Loyal Supporters

The leader will have loyal supporters who back him.  They may see the manipulation and control, but will turn a blind eye to support the cause.  They will sometimes be able to dampen down the worst effects of the spirit of control and tone down the intimidation.

Obadiah was in charge of Ahab and Jezebel’s palace.  He managed to hide a hundred prophets in two caves.  Yet he still had to do Jezebel’s dirty work, and hunt down Elijah when he had prophesied the drought (1 Kings 18:3-5).

This is the dilemma faced by a close support of a leader under the influence of the MIC spirit.  They will often have to choose between loyalty to their leader and doing the right thing.

3. Members

The members of the organisation or church have to submit to their leader.  They must support the leader’s vision, or move out.  However, they do not get to flourish in their ministry.

There were a hundred prophets in the land in Ahab and Jezebel’s Israel.  However, they had to hide in caves.  Israel was in tumult so it needed prophets, but they were not effective, because they were shut away in caves. 

In an organisation or church where the MIC spirit has control, the gifts and ministries of many members will be stifled.  If they are used, they will be distorted to support the leader’s vision.  Many will be frustrated and feel like they are shut up in a cave.

4. Opposition

People who oppose the MIC spirit will be attacked.  These attacks can often be quite ruthless.  Elijah had to cross the Jordan and go into the dessert and hide, because Ahab and Jezebel were trying to kill him. People who oppose the MIC spirit will often find themselves shunted into the wilderness.

Jezebel stirred up scoundrels to speak lies against Naboth when he refused to hand his vineyard over to Ahab.  They accused him of hating God and the King.  The MIC spirit will often use gossip and lies against those who oppose the leader it controls.

5. Prophets

Wise prophets can expose the MIC spirit, but they should expect intense opposition.  When Jehoshaphat and Ahab got together to war against the king of Aram, the court prophets urged them on.  When Jehoshaphat asked for a real prophet, Ahab said there was one called Micaiah but he always prophesied bad things.

Miciah said that he saw a spirit of deception agreeing to manipulate Ahab into war.  Micaiah’s words were fulfilled and recorded permanently when Ahab died.  An arrow shot at random hit his back where he had no protection and killed him.  He was actually slain by the manipulation and control of the MIC spirit that led him into the wrong battle. 

Micaiah opposed the MIC spirit, but ended up in prison for his troubles.

Elisha intervened when Ahab and Jezebel’s son sent to Baal Zebub for help when he was sick.  He sent the messengers back with a message that he would die anyway (2 Kings 1:3-5).


Thursday, March 16, 2017

MIC (3) Messages

Jezebel works in the background by sending messages to get her work done.  These messages were mostly lies intended to intimidate. Sometimes they were flattery to entice.

When Elijah killed the prophets of Baal, she sent a message to him, warning that he would be dead in a day.  That was a lie, because his life was in God hands, but it still had the desired effect (1 Kings 19:2).

She dealt with Naboth by sending a letter to the nobles and elders of his city.  The letter lied about his character, but told the city leaders what to do.  They carried out her instructions (1 Kings 21:9).

When Jehu came to kill her, she called out her message. This time she used flattery, but Jehu was too ruthless to be taken in (2 Kings 9:31).

The MIC spirit (Manipulation and Intimidation for Control) has stifled the gift of healing in Christchurch by delivering a negative message to Christians living in the city.  When a person who has been prayed for by the church dies, it prompts people to say, “God does not heal everyone” or “God could have healed them, but he chose not to”.  “It was God’s will that they died”.  These words are not true, but grieving Christians often believe the negative message and blame God for the death of the person that they loved.  By doing this, they unwittingly take offence at God. 

In a city where the leaders have taken offence at God, the Holy Spirit cannot do many miracles.  Nazareth took offence at Jesus, and he could not do any great work there (see Rock of Offence).


Negative Power

Mark 6:5 is an amazing verse.  “Dunamis” the Greek word for explosive power is used twice, with a negative.

And he had no power (dunamo) in that place to do any mighty work (dunamis).

Jesus was the Son of God, who had come down from heaven. The Holy Spirit had come upon him when he was baptised.  Yet in Nazareth, he had no power (dunamo) and he could do no mighty work (dunamis).

Why was Jesus powerless?  The cause was the declarations made by the people for Nazareth in the previous two verses, denying that Jesus was the son of God, and denying his wisdom.

Where did this man get these things?” they asked.  “What’s this wisdom that has been given him?  What are the remarkable miracles he is performing?  Isn’t this the carpenter?  Isn’t this Mary’s son (Mark 6:2-3)?

Negative declarations by people with authority in a place can shut down the power of God.

The MIC spirit cannot shut down the power of the Holy Spirit.  He is much too strong for that.  What this spirit can do is speak messages to people in authority in a town or city.  If they accept and declare the message, they have authority to shut down the power of the Holy Spirit.  This is how she killed Naboth (1 Kings 21:9).

The same thing has happened in Christchurch.  The MIC spirit gave a false message to the leaders of the church when people they had prayed for died.  “God can decide not to heal a person”  “God does not heal everyone”.  When the leaders declared these words, the power of the Holy Spirit was shut down.  He has no power in the place nor can he do any mighty works there.

Church leaders have authority in the city.  When believers are praying for people to be healed in Jesus name, their words from the past seep down and stifle the Holy Spirit.  MIC created a Rock of Offence, which has quenched the Spirit’s power.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

MIC (2) Fruit

The MIC spirit produces bad fruit.

1. Kills the Prophets

Jezebel always attacks people who resist her control and intimidation.  She seeks to kill the prophets and other people who oppose evil.

  • When Elijah embarrassed the prophets of Baal, she took offence and threatened to kill him (1 Kings 19:2).
  • Jezebel took offence at Naboth when he refused to given in to Ahab’s demand for his land and had him killed (1 Kings 21:1-16).

2. Breathless

The Holy Spirit and the MIC spirit cannot work together.  People in an organisation or church that is influenced by the MIC spirit will find themselves spiritually breathless, because the Holy Spirit is quenched.  People with strong giftings will find themselves shut up in caves and unable to function.

3. Blocks Healing

The MIC spirit inflicts sickness on those who come under its power.  Jehoram King of Judah married a daughter of Ahab (and possibly Jezebel).  After Elijah wrote a letter challenging his immoral behaviour, he was struck with an incurable disease of the bowel and died (2 Chron 21:18-19).

Sickness is the favourite weapon of the MIC spirit (Rev 2:22).  That is why people with healing ministries have always struggled in Christchurch.  Although the Pentecostal movement arrived in Christchurch many years ago, and the charismatic renewal brought an awareness of the Holy Spirit to the more traditional churches, they have struggled to get victory over sickness.  The Holy Spirit has moved in many amazing ways, but the gift of healing never has been free and powerful in this city.

This Jezebel spirit seems to be able to resist the name of Jesus and block prayers for healing. It refuses to surrender to the name of Jesus, because it was put in place in the name of Jesus.

If Christian leaders have given the evil spirit permission to be there, it may claim that they have surrendered their authority to it on behalf of Jesus.  It can refuse to surrender to the name of Jesus, because it claims authority given “in the name of Jesus”.

This stronghold seems to have the power to resist the gift of healing.  This is why many prayers for healing in Christchurch have not been answered.  People have blamed God, but the real cause is the Jezebel spirit.

4. Fear and Dread

The MIC spirit has the ability to feed fear and dread into people who oppose it.  After his victory on Mount Carmel, Elijah was attacked by fear and dread, and fled for his life (1 Kings 18:3).

People who are afraid are easier to manipulate and control. Fear allows ruthless leaders to gain greater political power. 

5. Harshness

Churches influenced by the MIC spirit will be weak in pastoral care.  Ahab sent Obadiah out to find hay for their horses (1 Kings 18:5).  Ahab and Jezebel cared more for their horses than they cared about their people who were starving to death.  They should have been killing their horses to feed their people.

In a church where the MIC spirit is strong, pastoral care will be poor.  The leaders will be so focussed on their ministry and the tools needed to support it that people who are suffering and hurting will often be neglected.

6. Money Manipulation

Leaders influenced by the MIC spirit will be tempted to use money (or people with money) to get what they want.  Ahab took gold and silver from the Lord’s temple and used it to bribe the King of Aram to withdraw his attack against Israel.  Using the Lord’s wealth in this way is a serious sin.

7. Political Alliances

The MIC spirit loves political alliances.  Ahab and Jezebel formed an alliance with the King of Israel to attack Damascus (1 Kings 22:4, 2 Chron 18:1; 22:5).  Our only alliance should be with the Lord.  Christian leaders should be careful about alliances with political authorities, because it can lead to compromise.

8. Compromise to Survive.

When they come under attack, the leaders influenced by the MIC spirit will compromise to survive.  When Jezebel and Ahab were attacked by Aram, they offered their silver and gold and the best of their children to the invader to appease him.  This appeasement led to further demands, which they eventually had to resist (1 Kings 20:1-12).

Compromise is always tested.  Leaders who compromise to get things done will eventually be tested and required to compromise again.  Even when he won a victory, Ahab could not avoid compromising with his enemies (1 Kings 20:30-34)

The MIC spirit makes leaders vulnerable to compromise with evil.

9. Political and Religious Collusion

Jezebel loved to collude with religious leaders.  She had 400 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah sitting at her table every day.  Their religious power strengthened her ability to intimidate people.

When religious and civic leaders collude together, they strengthen each other’s power.  The church should be acting prophetically and challenging the civic leaders.

10 Decline

The consequence of Jezebel’s influence was that God began to reduce the size of Israel.

In those days the Lord began to reduce the size of Israel (2 Kings 10:32).

An institution that is controlled by the MIC spirit will shrink in size, even though good things seem to be happening.  The leaders may appear to be effective, but the fruit will not follow.

Monday, March 13, 2017

MIC (1) Christchurch Stronghold

Christchurch is controlled by a powerful evil spirit that has established stronghold over the city.  Over the years, many people have made the call that Christchurch is controlled by a Jezebel spirit, but few have realised how powerful it is.

A corporate stronghold gets control of a city when the religious and political leaders all participate in a common sin such as pride, intimidation or manipulation to enhance their leadership.  This corporate sin allows the evil spiritual power behind it to gain spiritual control of the
city.

This Jezebel spirit was given a place by civic leaders when Christchurch was being established.  Unfortunately, church leaders colluded with it by relying on manipulation and control too.

If Christian leaders have given the evil spirit permission to be there, it may claim that they have surrendered their authority to it on behalf of Jesus.  It can refuse to surrender to the name of Jesus, because it claims authority given “in the name of Jesus”.

Manipulation and Control

When we think of Jezebel, we think of seduction and witchcraft, but this spirit mostly works through manipulation and control, with a bit of intimidation thrown in.  The Jezebel spirit has authority in any organisation or church where control and manipulation are at work.  Those who submit to its leaders are opening themselves to the spirit of Jezebel.

This spirit can work through women, because they are sometimes skilled in manipulation.  However, it is more likely to work through men, because they are often in positions of authority that they find hard to handle.  They slip into manipulation and intimidation to keep the situation under control.

The Jezebel spirit uses Manipulation and Intimidation to Control people that are a threat to it (MIC).  For that reason I often refer to it as the MIC spirit.

Christchurch Beginning

The MIC spirit came to Christchurch with the early settlers.  Although the leaders of the Canterbury Association were godly men, it took much manipulation and manoeuvring to get the settlement under way.  This gave the MIC spirit a place right at the beginning.  Once Christchurch was established, the civic leaders maintained tight control using moral pressure to keep people in line.

The church followed the same pattern, using manipulation and control to pressure people into conformity to Victorian values.  This collusion between church and civic leaders allowed the MIC spirit to establish a stronghold over the city that has continued to this day.

City leaders still use intimidation and manipulation to get control of the council and achieve their purposes.  Although the Holy Spirit has moved in Christchurch, many church leaders have continued unwittingly to use manipulation, intimidation and control to keep their people in line.  This collusion has given the MIC spirit authority to control the city.  This broad base of authority makes this spirit hard to beat.


Saturday, March 11, 2017

Storm Fire Earthquake


Christchurch has experienced storm, earthquake and fire.

1. Storm

In October 2000, a severe storm
damaged Christchurch.  Winds reached 180 kph and many buildings had their roofs lifted off.  The newly established Lyttleton Marina was destroyed; 20 boats sunk and dozens of others were damaged.  The marina itself was smashed into little pieces.

2. Earthquake

In September 2010, the Darfield earthquake struck.  It was followed by a more serious earthquake in February 2011.  180 people were killed by collapsing buildings.  Thousands of buildings were damaged and most had to be demolished.

3. Fire

In February 2017, fire raged on
the Port hills at the southern side of Christchurch.  A dozen homes were destroyed and a new adventure park with facilities for downhill trail biking was severely damaged.

People are now saying that Christchurch needs a break.

Christchurch does need a break.  But unfortunately, when civic and religious fathers allow a Jezebel spirit to establish a stronghold over their city, it will not get a break.

The key is 1 Kings 19:11-12.

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind.  After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.  After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire.  And after the fire came a gentle whisper.

After destroying the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, Elijah had fled in fear and dread into the wilderness, after Jezebel threatened to take his life.  When he collapsed in exhaustion, God sent and angel to cook a meal for him.  After he had eaten, God led him for forty days and nights to a cave on Mount Horeb, the mountain of God.

God spoke to him and asked him to stand in the presence of the Lord and watch.  The Lord was not in the storm.  He was not in the earthquake or the fire.  These were attacks by the spiritual powers of evil stirred up by Jezebel to intimidate and destroy Elijah.  However, God had placed him in a cave where they could not hurt him.

God spoke to Elijah in a gentle whisper.  He told Elijah what to do to get rid of the evil kings that dominated Israel.

These verses apply to Christchurch.

Many Christians said that the earthquakes were God’s judgment on Christchurch.  Some will say that the fire is a judgment, but that is not correct.

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind.  After the wind, there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.  After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire.

These events were attacks by the spiritual powers of evil led by the Jezebel Spirit that has a stronghold over the city.  They know that God has a great plan for this city.  He plans to establish his kingdom here in a way that will be light to the nations.  They were trying to destroy the city, before it happens.

The earthquake failed to destroy God’s plan.  It actually strengthened it by destroying the centre of the city where power resides.  The spiritual powers of evil are now trying to obstruct God’s work in the city, by using the fire to feed fear and dread into it.  They know that fear makes people easier to control.

We must be clear.  God was not in the storm, the earthquake or the fire.  He spoke in the quiet whisper that followed.  God has many prophets hidden in caves in Christchurch.  Now is the time for them to stand in his presence and listen to his still quiet voice.

God will explain to them how to destroy the evil stronghold that controls the city.  He will explain to them how he will establish his kingdom in the city. Elijah confronted Ahab and Jezebel after Naboth was killed (1 Kings 21:20-24).  The destruction of the house of Jezebel and Ahab was initiated by a prophet proclaiming God’s word and then running to safety (1 Kings 9:1-10).

The latest enemy attack on Christchurch has failed.  God will soon release events that will see his Kingdom come to fullness in the city.

Restoration

The storm, earthquake and fire points to how God will bring restoration to Christchurch.

  1. A spiritual storm will shake the foundations of the church and sweep away everything that is not built on Jesus and empowered by the spirit.  This is what Graeme Cooke prophesied.

  2. An economic earthquake will sweep away the political economic structures that controlled the city from the centre.

  3. The fire of the Holy Spirt will fall on God’s people and the gospel will go forth with healings and miracles following.  God will confirm his word with signs and wonders.  As the gospel advances, the kingdom of God will come to fullness.


Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Division of Labour

For a while, I have wondered about the division of labour between the Holy Spirit and the holy angels.

Who Does What?

The Holy Spirit is the sustainer of life. He does not resist evil spirits, because he has to sustain their life while they are doing their evil, so it would not fair for him to disrupt their power. He is committed to sustaining all life, regardless of whether it has fallen or not.

The angels resist the spiritual powers of evil on the Jesus behalf. They are skilled resisters. Apart from carrying messages, resisting is their main task. Michael resisted the spirit controlling Persia (Dan 10:20).

The Holy Spirit is creative. He does not destroy stuff. The angels destroy the junk that the spiritual powers of evil leave behind when they are pushed out of territory.

When healing cancer, the angels destroy the cancerous cells that the spiritual powers of evil have created. The Holy Spirit creates new cells to replace them.

The Holy Spirit undertakes creative miracles. He can restore limbs and organs. Angels destroy the viruses and bacteria and other junk that the spiritual powers of evil use to create sickness and disease.

God has destroying angels.

  • A destoying angel killed the people of Jerusalem, when David sinned (2 Sam 14:15; 1 Chron 21:16).

  • An angel destroyed destroyed Sennacharib’s army, including his cmmanders and officers (2 Kings 19:35; 2 Chron 32:21).

  • An angel of the Lord struck down King Herod (Acts 12:23).

    The first born of Egypt were stuck down by a destroying angel (1 Cor 10:10; Ex 12; 33; Heb 11:28).

The Holy Spirit is loving and good. The angels do the dirty work that the Holy Spirit cannot do, because the has the character of God. He cannot touch evil.

The Holy Spirit cannot deceive, because he is the Spirit of Truth. God used a deceiving angel to draw Ahab to his death (1 Kings 22:22). This was a good spirit from the presence of God, not an evil spirt. It went out and acted as a lying spirit to deceive Ahab. Lying was not its natural character. The angel lied for God’s purposes. The Holy Spirt could not have lied in this way.

Angels will be judged (1 Cor 6:3). However, the standard of their behaviour will be different than for us. Followers of Jesus are accountable to his standard as outlined in the Sermon on the Mount. Angels can do stuff that we are not allowed to do. They can use force against evil. They do not need to turn the other cheek, but will be judged according to whether they have done God’s will.


Monday, March 06, 2017

Patriotic Prophets (6)

Stanley Hauerwas made the following comments about Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Trump is quite pious and his religious convictions run dangerously deep. But his piety is not a reflection of a Christian faith. His piety is formed by his understanding of what makes America a country like no other.

Trump proclaimed Jan. 20, the day of his inauguration, a “National Day of Patriotic Devotion.” Patriotic devotion? Christians are devoted to God, not to any nation. Trump defended his call for a day of patriotic devotion by drawing attention to his other claim — taken on faith — that there are no greater people than American citizens. Faith in Trump’s view, though, requires belief in those things for which we have insufficient evidence.

There is nothing, in Trump’s view, the American people cannot accomplish as long as we believe in ourselves and our country. But Christians do not believe in ourselves or our country. We believe in God, but we do more than believe in God. We worship God. Nothing else is to be worshiped.

Christians have a word to describe the worship of that which is not God: idolatry. Idolatry, of course, can be a quite impressive form of devotion. The only difficulty is idolaters usually end up killing someone for calling into question their “god.”

Trump’s inauguration address counts as a stunning example of idolatry. His statement — “At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America and through our loyalty to our country we will recover loyalty to each other” — is clearly a theological claim that offers a kind of salvation.

Christians believe that only God demands “total allegiance.” Otherwise we run the risk, as Trump exemplifies, of making an idol out of some human enterprise.

The evangelistic character of Trump’s faith should not be missed. He suggests that we will rediscover our loyalty to one another through our total allegiance to the United States.

This explains why so many American Christians are such passionate supporters of Donald Trump. Patriotic Devotion is common amongst them, so it is not surprising that Donald Trump’s devotion resonates with them.

It also explains why patriotic prophets are popular amongst American Christians.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Patriotic Prophets (5)

I hate false assumptions. I am offended by people equating their system of government with the Kingdom of God. This has been common in Christian history.

  • After Constantine, Christians assumed that the Roman Empire could be a vehicle for the emergence of the Kingdom of God.
  • A thousand years later, German and Austrian rulers of the Holy Roman Empire believed they were bringing in the Kingdom of God.
  • The British people assumed that their parliamentary monarchy equalled the Kingdom of God.
  • Many American Christians were taught in their high school civics classes that their republican form of Government aligns with the Kingdom of God.
None of these assumptions are true. The Kingdom of God has a king, and his name is Jesus. Any other system of government is an inferior, alternative government. God may use them to accomplish his purposes, (as he used Egypt and Babylon), but he does not bless them.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Patriotic Prophets (4)

Someone prophesied in the United States.

We have an assignment to save this nation.
This is a confusing message.

God will save people and families. He wants to bless communities.

But he is not interested in saving or building nations. Nations are mostly a political construct.

God is not interested in nation states, as they are an alternative kingdom, providing an inferior salvation. He will build his church and expand his kingdom. That is his only objective.

He will build his kingdom among some of the people living in America, if they will listen to him and obey. But he will not build the United States, because it is not his Kingdom.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Patriotic Prophets (3) Nations

God promised Abraham that he would make him a great nation (Gen 12:2). He did not promise him that he would become a great nation-state. There is a big difference.

The Hebrew word for nation is "goy". It refers to a great horde of people.It is the word also used to describe the gentiles.

God was promising Abraham that his descendants would be come and enormous people. He was not saying that they would be a great nation state with a powerful government.

When the New Testament speaks about nations, the Greek word is “ethne”. It does not refer to a nation-state, but a tribal or ethnic grouping. We should remember this when we are prophesying or reading the prophecies of Revelation.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Patriotic Prophets (2) Scope

We must understand the scope of God's blessing.

We need to be clear where God’s blessing lies. He blesses people who trust him, and bodies of people who love each other and obey him. He extends his blessing too three or four generations. He blesses the children and grandchildren of parents with faith in him. This is a huge amount of blessing.

God has not promised to bless any kingdom or national government, because he has his own kingdom that he is blessing. He has not promised to bless the American nation state.

God prefers to bless his kingdom, wherever it is emerging. Nation states may need to wither away, before the Kingdom of God can come in fullness.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Patriotic Prophets

When asked about his prophecy about Russia, Bob Jones said that there are too many patriotic prophets in the United States.

Many American prophets are prophesying patriotism instead of the truth.

I am staggered by the patriotism that distorts so much of the prophecy coming out of America at the current time.

Here are some examples,

The prophetic ministry will continue to anoint America's leaders moving forward just as they anointed Trump in this election, but their voice and authority shall grow." (Stephen Powell)
Nations outside the USA remember this: as the USA goes, so goes the world. The Lord is not just setting the USA unto divine order in 2017, but also the world (David Tomberlin)
We are moving into a year of "Trumpification" here in the United States like maybe no other year in our history. This word was coined to represent the effect of our next President on the affairs of men. This is a time where, regardless of political allegiance, we as Christians in the US must desire for revival to impact our nation with a shift for righteousness and morality. We have heard a slogan for months from our incoming President that he desires to "Make America Great Again." (Gale Sheehan)
This man is unstoppable because I'm unstoppable. My Kingdom is unstoppable, and this man has a mandate from Heaven; he has momentum that is not his own. His movement will not dissipate, it will grow, and it will reach beyond the borders of American governing. It will inspire; it will stir up a nest (Stephen Powell)
The Glory of God Falling on the White House …United States of America, the new day is upon you marked by My glory with a beacon of hope and breakthrough (Lana Vawser)
The contrast with the biblical prophets is stunning. Amos and Jeremiah were not cheerleaders for the kings of Israel and Judah. They held a plumb line against the nation and tested the hearts of the people.

The OT prophets promised wonderful things, but they were conditional on the people turning back to God. The promises of the patriotic prophets seem to be unconditional. They will happen, because "God is sovereign". No change needed.

Jesus brought the good news of the kingdom of God, not the goods news of a nation state.