May 17, 2013
Della was in Canada last weekend to minister to a sister in the Lord I've written about numerous times throughout the years in these Coffee Breaks! Eileen Finnman is the sister that we worked with for six years at the Calgary Stampede. She had what was called the Country Kitchen. We did breakfasts, coffee (and other beverages) and -- most of all -- Eileen's famous cinnamon buns. During those years we made enough money from the kitchen to send hundreds of kids to summer camp, and the majority of them got to know the Lord as a result.
Eileen has been struggling with physical issues of late -- issues that the doctor hasn't had answers for -- until just a couple of weeks ago when he diagnosed her with a very aggressive form of cancer and gave her a very short time. We refused to accept that prognosis. Della took some vacation time and flew from Anchorage to Calgary. She went with Mary Ellen and Doreen to the hospital. When she got there, she called me; I called George Robinson (who has seen a fabulous series of healings -- more than 10 people healed completely -- in the last 30 days), and we joined together in a prayer of agreement for Eileen's healing. There was a tangible manifestation of healing for Eileen before Della left the hospital room that night, and the healing process continues as I write this Coffee Break.
Meanwhile, the Lord is honoring Della in her labors at Zales Jewelers in Anchorage. The corporation is preparing to honor her (and her store) for bringing that store to the number 3 position in sales across the nation. Considering that the store ranked nowhere among hundreds of stores nationwide before Della took over eight months ago, and now is number 3 is a testimony to the favor of the Lord. Administration has been Della's gift even before I knew her, and we are celebrating 30 years together today!
I frequently tell Della that I thank God with every breath I breathe that He brought her into my life and gave her to be my wife! She is truly a gift from the Lord to me!
Anyway, Good Morning to you! Ready for the day?
Let's pick up where we left off last week. We were talking about the significance of the seven mountains.
Revelation 17:10, 11 states (in illustrating the seven mountains), "And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition."
One must remember that the whole of the Revelation, which John wrote, was addressed to the seven Ekklesias. I will remind you that the seven letters precisely describe the attributes of the seven nations which inhabited Canaan. The purpose of these letters is to bring the Bride to the place of a total overcoming of those seven spirits which were epitomized in the seven nations. The seven nations, the seven mountains, and the seven spirits are illustrated in the seven kings.
John is told, "five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space." This is an extremely important picture when considering the seven nations, the seven spirits, the seven kings. "Five are fallen..."
Which five? The Hittites, the Hivites, the Jebusites, the Girgashites, and the Canaanites. "....and one is..." Which nation, or king, was the one described as being in power at the time of John's revelation?
Simple! The Amorites.
If you have heard me share, or read any of the revelation which the Lord has given to us over the last thirty or so years on the seven nations which inhabited Canaan, and their relationship to the seven letters, you will remember (and I have described this background and history in fairly extensive detail in the series, SEVEN NATIONS, SEVEN LETTERS) that the doctrine of the Nicolaitans came straight out of the spirits of the Amorites and the Perizzites.
It was a doctrine divided into two opposite parts with a single objective. (I will not try to cover all of the historical evidence relative to the Nicolaitans in this letter, since it is covered in that Coffee Break series -- and soon to appear in book form.)
The doctrine of the Nicolaitans was the doctrine of humanism: "Man is God." "Man is the final arbiter of himself." That which was drawn from the Amorites, came through the Sadducees when they accepted Jesus Christ as the Messiah, but clung to their Judaistic traditions, legalism, and particularly, hierarchical government. This was the kind of government which established leadership (in the Ekklesias) through apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers (see note) -- at first -- and finally, through bishops, and other ascending tiers of hierarchy. It traded Ekklesia for "church," and put men in the position of saying how, what, why, when and where God would operate. Intimacy with the Lord was replaced by an accumulation of men in various strata who served as "go-betweens" in interpreting the will and desire of the Lord.
(**Note: This should not in any way be construed as to suggest that apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers are not valid ministry functions. They absolutely are! It's just that the Lord Jesus Christ never intended for them to become offices and titles which supplanted individual relationship with Him. The words, "apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers," simply express facets of the Lord Jesus Christ and His ministry to the Body.
Those sent as "apostles" are simply commissioned by the Lord Jesus Christ to fulfill the role of establishing those purposes to which He sends them. Likewise, those sent as prophets simply become that word and speak forth which they have both seen and heard, by and through His Spirit.
The same is true for each of the five ministry facets of Jesus. He never intended for them to become hierarchical offices from which power and authority would be exerted over those people coming into a place of relationship with Him. Those fulfilling each of the five facets of His ministry were expected to work themselves out of a job by sharing that life which He transmitted by His Spirit. The recipients would grow into the same place of relationship, and the five ministry functions would continue in others until intimate relationship ("that which was perfect") for the body of Christ was achieved. In the place of intimacy with Him, there is no need for apostles, prophets, evangelists, etc., because He is all of those things in one.)
The opposite side of Nicolaitanism came out of the Perizzites through the ex-(?)Pharisees. Like the ex-(?)Sadducees, they clung to many of their Judaistic tenets, the legalism and traditions of the past and, especially, democracy! This was the system which gave people the right to choose their leaders through a system of voting. They voted on their elders, their deacons, their pastors, etc., etc., etc., ad nauseam. The concept of being called, appointed, and anointed by the Lord -- with, or without the approval of other brethren and sisters -- was absolutely missing.
The primary criterion in the determination was fear: The Fear of Man. If people feared power being vested in "a man," they chose a "democratic" system. If they feared that truth and genuine authority would be weakened and watered down in the multitudes, they chose hierarchical systems. In either case, the determining factor was "man" in power.
Now, you say, What does that have to do with "....and one is...., and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space."
Again, the answer is staring us in the face.
When John was receiving the Revelation, the spirit of the Amorites (the "king," or presiding spirit of the Amorites) was just coming into full bloom. It manifested itself through the Nicolaitan doctrine of hierarchy, and reached the apex of its power and influence when the Roman emperor, Theodosius, declared Christianity to be "the religion of the state" in 378 A.D. He thereupon declared himself to be "The Bishop of Rome."
The hierarchical government, which was the backbone of what we have referred to as “Roman Catholicism,” became the pattern structure for virtually all churches for approximately 1,400 years. Even when Martin Luther broke away, "Lutheran" church government (and its successors) remained the same. Yes, they disposed of "popery," and "cardinals," and much of the upper-upper echelons, but the presiding spirit remained the same. Not until "congregational" government was introduced did the spirit of the Perizzites begin to emerge as a force and power in the life of corporate churchdom.
Allow me to insert a parenthetical note here for a minute. I realize that the things I'm sharing in this discussion probably run counter to what many of you have been taught and have considered "gospel" all of your lives. This IS a break with a lot of eschatological doctrine and teaching many have heard. If you have difficulty with what I'm sharing, please put it on the shelf for the moment. Don't just throw it all out. Give Holy Spirit time to bring revelation to you.
The spirit of the Perizzites is still very much alive in a substantial part of the so-called "charismatic" church-world, although some of the tenets and aspects of the Amorites' spirit and operation are a very active force in various organizations. The spirit of the Perizzites, which we know better as "democracy," is a force at work in the world today.
This is the "king" which John saw, that was "....the other.." which was "not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space."
It is a mistake to assume that the sixth king, or spirit -- the spirit of the Amorites/Sadducees/Nicolaitans -- would be driven from power when the seventh king, or spirit -- the spirit of the Perizzites/Pharisees/Nicolaitans -- came into power. Both spirits have the same goal. Both kings are subservient to, and take their orders from the King of Babylon. Both kings have humanism at the very core of their purpose and function. Both kings have a principal objective is to get "man" to make the final decision -- and to ace the Lord Jesus Christ right out of the picture. Thus, both kings coexist today, and function cooperatively.
We see it daily in the workings of democracy and hierarchy. (We even have a trite saying in America which is accepted as gospel, “Democracy may not be the best way of governing, but it is way ahead of whatever is in second place.” No it isn't! And America was not founded as a democracy: it was founded as a Republic following Biblical patterns established with and by Moses.)
In order to properly understand the "King" of Babylon to whom Isaiah prophesied, the "woman," which John is shown in his Revelation by the angel of the Lord, and the picture given us by Ezekiel as he prophesies against the King of Tyre and Sidon, with the relationship of these prophetic illustrations to one another, we need to back up in time and review certain historical items and happenings. In order to show you this picture clearly, I will take certain events out of chronological order, and then piece them together.
First, let's consider Ezekiel's prophecy to the King of Tyre, and then to Sidon. He describes this "king" as having been "in Eden, the Garden of God." (see Ezekiel 28:13) Obviously, Ezekiel was not addressing a literal man in this prophecy.
Eden had long since been hidden, and entrance to Eden had been blocked by an angel with a flaming sword. With the great deluge and Flood which inundated the earth, geographic features changed. Noah and his family would have been the only living beings on the face of the earth to have even the remotest approximation of an idea where Eden once lay.
The prophecy was directed, therefore, to the only other individual who could have been in the Garden with Adam and Eve, and the Lord: Satan himself -- the former archangel known as "Lucifer" -- the King of Babylon -- the King of Tyre -- the King of Sidon. They are all one and the same.
The question then arises, "Why refer to the same being, Satan, as the King of Babylon, or the King of Tyre, or the King of Sidon?"
The answer is quite simple. Satan is the master, the controller, the force behind these thrones. When Ezekiel takes up his prophecy against Tyre, he begins by addressing thePrince of Tyre, as opposed to the King of Tyre. The differentiation, in this case, is due to the fact that this Prince is under the rulership and control of the King.
The Prince is the administrator, so to speak, the one who carries out the commands of the King. The Prince would be defined using the same Greek terminology which Paul used in Ephesians 6, Kosmokrator: a world-ruler of darkness; a lord of this world; a prince of this age; in other words, a prince among demons.
So, why identify with Tyre or Sidon? It is absolutely crucial to our understanding that we see why the Lord has given us this picture.
It's obvious that we're not going to have the time to finish this part of that discussion today, so this is where we will resume next week.
Blessings on you!
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