Spiritual Hierarchy & Authority, Part 6
November 24, 2017
So far, we've been discussing the operation and characteristics of these Arché and Kosmokrator. This week, let's watch just how God uses His people to exercise the final dominion and authority over these wicked spirits. In this case, we're going to see the destruction of the spirit of Amalek.
Other than our first reference to Amalek in Genesis 36:12 as descending from Esau, this is the first time we see Amalek’s behavior towards the people of God, and their intention is to block Israel from receiving the promised and covenanted land.
The very next mention of Amalek comes in Balaam’s prophecy when he looks toward them and says,
Numbers 24:20: And when he looked on Amalek, he took up his parable, and said, Amalek was the first of the nations; but his latter end shall be that he perish forever.
When Moses is preparing to turn over the mantle of leadership of Israel to Joshua, he says:
Deuteronomy 25:17-19: Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt; How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God. Therefore it shall be, when the LORD thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget it.
This is the first time we see Amalek’s tactics mentioned, and these are the tactics of a coward.
1. He shoots his enemies in the back.
2. He doesn’t face his enemy head-on, choosing rather to take on the weakest and most feeble.
3. He waits until his enemy is worn out and tired before attacking.
4. He has no fear nor reverence of the Lord God.
In Judges 3:13, we find Amalek joining forces once again with Moab and Ammon in order to subdue Israel and bring them into captivity to Moab.
Now we come to a critical juncture in Amalek’s existence. God had instructed Moses that the day would come when Israel occupied the land of covenant – that when that day came, they were to obliterate the name and remembrance of Amalek out of the land.
Israel has rebelled against having a prophet and priest for its leader and chosen a king instead. Saul has been anointed to become king in Israel and God has a command for him.
I Samuel 15:2-3: Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
But Saul blows it big time! Somehow or another he lets both the Fear of Man with its Greed and Human Compassion interfere with the Word of the Lord.
I Samuel 15:8-9: And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but everything that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.
Get it? Saul saves Agag, the king of the Amalekites alive! How insane is that? History (though this is not specifically recorded in the I Samuel 15 account) tells us that Agag had a pregnant wife who fled on foot and hid during the battle, eventually escaping alive and giving birth to a son whose heirs would later follow in Agag’s footsteps and attempt to destroy Israel.
Nevertheless, Saul’s rebellion and disobedience cost him the anointing God had given him to rule over Israel. And Samuel followed through with God’s command to finish off Agag.
I Samuel 15:32-33: Then said Samuel, Bring ye hither to me Agag the king of the Amalekites. And Agag came unto him delicately (ma’ adan: in pleasure). And Agag said, Surely the bitterness of death is past. And Samuel said, As thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal.
We get another view of the Amalekites and the spirits that ruled them in Agag’s presentation of himself to Samuel. The Hebrew word translated “delicately” in this passage presents quite a picture.
Ma ‘adan is a picture of arrogance. It is the picture of someone so self- absorbed that they feel completely secure and above the challenge or threat of their life and personal security. We’ve already noted from Deuteronomy 25:19 that one of the traits of the spirit of the Amalekites – and certainly on display in Agag – was a complete lack of fear or reverence of the Lord.
Thus, when Samuel the prophet and representative of the Lord calls for Agag to be brought before him, Agag literally comes to meet him – if you can picture this – as though he is getting ready to wine and dine with Samuel, glass of wine in hand!
Even the words out of his mouth to Samuel are revealing: “We’ll just let bygones be bygones,” he says in effect. “We can put all this bitterness of death and warfare behind us and just be pals!”
It truly is a picture of utter disrespect and rampant arrogance. And Samuel wastes no time in putting an end to this demonic garbage by taking his sword and cutting Agag in pieces “before the Lord.” We cannot overlook the spiritual significance of what Samuel was compelled to do. Amalek was more than just a nation; it was a spiritual force in the land and a demonic power that had opposed and exalted itself against God. Agag had totally given himself over to, and was the personification of the Kosmokrator — the ruler of the darkness of that nation.
I Chronicles 4:43 tells us that in the days of Hezekiah – close to 400 years later – the nation of Amalek (or what remained of it as a national entity) was wiped out by the sons of Simeon.
Nevertheless, a descendant of Agag still remained alive whose son would attempt revenge on Israel some 50-plus years later, and it would be a descendant of the house of Saul who would finish what Saul failed to accomplish. Watch what unfolds.
The year is 483 BC. The nation of Amalek is no more. But there is a survivor left in Agag’s lineage – the same Agag that Saul was ordered to kill along with the Amalekites.
You see, Saul didn’t actually kill off all the Amalekites. In II Samuel 8, and I Chronicles 18 we have the record of David’s mighty men killing off much of what remained of the nation.
And in I Chronicles 4:43-43 we are told that the “sons of Simeon” killed off the remainder of the Amalek nation “in the days of Hezekiah, King of Judah.”
The lineage of Agag had not died off, however. History tells us that his descendants fled into a country which later became part of the Grecian Empire – Macedonia – and is now part of modern western Turkey and Yugoslavia.
The Septuagint text of the Old Testament – and specifically, an introduction to the Book of Esther – tells us that Artaxerxes (Xerxes I), whom our KJV text refers to by his Hebrew title, Ahasuerus, was engaged in a prolonged war with the King of Macedon.
The Macedonian king had a virulent hatred of Xerxes – mostly stemming from some stunning defeats in war at the hands of Xerxes’ father, Darius. Xerxes was not the battle-hardened warrior his father was, nor did he have the military savvy.
Nevertheless, under the auspices of a Persian military general, Xerxes has continued his wars with Macedon. The King of Macedon decided to call upon one of his most trusted advisors, a son of Medatha who went by the name, Hammedatha – Haman, for short.
(The prolonged name is similar to that of the Syrian king Hadad and his son, BenHadad – whose name really is nothing more than a description, “son of Hadad.”)
Haman traveled to Susa (Shushan) the capital city of the Persian Empire under the guise of a defecting Macedonian, and as such was easily able to worm his way into the good graces of Xerxes, who desperately needed good intelligence on fighting his wars with Macedon.
In a period of perhaps a year, Haman had succeeded in becoming one of Xerxes’ most trusted advisors and honored as a member of Persian nobility. The “intelligence” he provided to Xerxes’ general appeared to be good intelligence, such that some initial battles provided what looked like great victories.
Most of us are familiar with the story of Vashti as recorded in most of our English texts of the Book of Esther. One piece of information missing, however, was that Vashti was the daughter of Xerxes’ general who was prosecuting the war; and she was a “political choice” to become queen because of her father’s (temporary) standing as a winning general.
Haman’s objective, of course, was to work behind the scenes within the Persian court to bring Xerxes down.
Following is a record of events which unfolds prior to verse 1 of chapter 1 in the KJV text of the Book of Esther. This is a direct quote from the Septuagint text (or Greek translation of the Hebrew O.T.).
“And when Mordecai, who had seen this dream, and what God had purposed to do, had arisen from sleep, he bore this dream in mind, and, until nightfall, tried all means in his desire to know what it meant. And Mordecai went to rest in the palace with Gabatha and Tharrha, the two eunuchs of the king, and palace guards, and he heard their plotting and searched out their conspiracy, and learned that they were about to lay violent hand on King Artaxerxes; and so he told the king about them.
Then the king examined the two eunuchs, and they confessed and they were condemned. And the king made a written memorial of these matters, and Mordecai also recorded them. So the king commanded Mordecai to attend at court and rewarded him for this loyalty.
However, Haman, the son of Hammedatha, the Bougian, who was in honor with the king, sought to do harm to Mordecai and his people because of how Mordecai had discovered the two eunuchs of the king.”
Now we are seeing Haman’s work behind the scenes. He is angry because Mordecai has discovered the plot to kill the king. Somehow, Haman’s involvement in this intrigue didn’t come forth as the two eunuchs confessed the plot to kill Xerxes. His anger at the discovery makes it clear that he was in all probability the chief conspirator.
Haman’s assignment from the King of Macedon, after all, was the overthrow of the Persian Empire. My personal opinion is that Haman’s true loyalties were to himself – and not to the King of Macedon. I believe his intentions all along were to take control of the throne for himself.
Let’s take a look at some revealing verses beginning in Esther 3:1 which detail Haman’s activities and demonstrate some of the primary characteristics of this wicked spirit. I’ve underlined some of the key identifiers.
Esther 3:1-15: After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him. And all the king’s servants, that were in the king’s gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence.
Then the king’s servants, which were in the king’s gate, said unto Mordecai, Why transgressest thou the king’s commandment? Now it came to pass, when they spake daily unto him, and he hearkened not unto them, that they told Haman, to see whether Mordecai’s matters would stand: for he had told them that he was a Jew.
And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath. And he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone; for they had showed him the people of Mordecai: wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai.
What we see here is that the Amalekite spirit in Haman is absolutely no different than it was in the days of his ancestors. It wants to be in charge. It wants to have the pre-eminence. It wants recognition. And it has an absolute hatred of God's people.
This story is going to run a bit long, so let's stop here and resume next week.
For those of you who’ve been participating in our Monday night Healing Prayer Conference Call, we just want to let you know that beginning with the month of July and continuing until the first Monday night in October, we will be taking a break for the summer. We’ve found during the past three years of doing this call that participation during the summer months drops significantly because of folks taking their vacations, and being involved in other activities. That said, we will resume our prayer calls on Monday night, October 2nd.
At the same time, in case you are missing out on real fellowship in an environment of Ekklesia, our Sunday worship gatherings are available by conference call – usually at about 10:45AM Pacific. That conference number is (712) 770-4160, and the access code is 308640#. We are now making these gatherings available by Skype. If you wish to participate by video on Skype, my Skype ID is regner.capener. If you miss the live voice call, you can dial (712) 770-4169, enter the same access code and listen in later. The video call, of course, is not recorded – not yet, anyway.
Blessings on you!
Regner A. Capener
RIVER WORSHIP CENTER
Temple, Texas 76504
Email Contact: CapenerMinistries@protonmail.com
All Coffee Break articles are
copyright by Regner A. Capener,
but authorization for reprinting, reposting, copying or re-use, in whole or in
part, is granted –provided proper attribution and this notice are included
intact. Older Coffee Break archives are available at http://www.RegnersMorningCoffee.com.
Coffee Break articles are normally published weekly.
If you would like to have these articles arrive each morning in your email, please send a blank email to: AnotherCoffeeBreak@protonmail.com with the word, “Subscribe” in the subject line. To remove yourself from the mailing list, please send a blank email to AnotherCoffeeBreak@protonmail.com with the word “Unsubscribe” in the subject line.
CAPENER MINISTRIES is a tax-exempt church ministry. Should you desire to participate and covenant with us as partners in this ministry, please contact us at either of the above email or physical addresses, or visit: http://www.RiverWorshipCenter.org.