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Understanding How to Overcome the Kingdom of Darkness

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Understanding How to Overcome the Kingdom of Darkness

by Michael K. Lake, Th.D.

victoryI have always been amazed at the depth of the God’s Word. The more I grow, the more I discover wonderful truths in the Word I have never seen before. In this article, I want to share some things the Holy Spirit has been sharing with me about the battle we are currently in.

The Kingdom of Darkness is made up of many types of angels and demonic forces. The Apostle Paul gives us a glimpse of them in the Book of Ephesians:

Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV)
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

It is clear from the writings of Paul that there is a rank and file or levels of authority and power in the Kingdom of Darkness. I want to first center in on "principalities." The Greek word translated "principalities" is arche . Arche means "1) beginning, origin; 2) the person or thing that commences, the first person or thing in a series, the leader; 3) that by which anything begins to be, the origin, the active cause; 4) the extremity of a thing; 4a) of the corners of a sail; 5) the first place, principality, rule, magistracy; 5a) of angels and demons." [1] Hence, we can deduce the arche are the first ones and the most power that God created.

There are many references to this supreme level of angelic beings throughout the Word of God, if you know what you are looking for. In Scripture, they are first referred to as b’nai ha elohim or "the sons of God." Dr. Michael S. Heiser is a noted biblical scholar and expert is ancient biblical languages. Dr. Heiser has done extensive research into what has become known as "The Divine Council." [2] Here are some interesting things about the Divine Council that you should know:

The Sons of God rejoiced and sang at creation.

Job 38:7 (NKJV)
7 When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Note: Science has recently discovered that stars sing and each one has a unique song. The longitudinal vibrations of each star can be converted to music. [3] The very stars reflect the reality of what the sons of God did at creation. It also shows us that creation continues to worship the Creator in song!

They appear before God to give account of their activities.

Job 1:6 (NKJV)
6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.

Job 2:1 (NKJV)
1 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.

One third of the Council fell with Lucifer.

Revelation 12:4 (NKJV)
4 His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born.

Revelation 12:7-8 (NKJV)
7 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, 8 but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer.

Note: Many commentators, to include Finis Dake, believe these verses are parenthetical in the Book of Revelation. Parenthetical means it is a "flashback" in time to reveal a truth. Whether it is parenthetical or in the exact sequence of events during the Tribulation period, God is casting out Lucifer and the Council members that aligned themselves with Lucifer.

At the Tower of Babel, God divided the tribes of mankind to the seventy council members (possibly the ones that fell).

Deuteronomy 32:8 (RSV)

When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of men, he fixed the bounds of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God.

Note: The RSV provides an alternative rendering of this passage. The KJV states "the children of Israel." This variant is based on the 3rd-Century BCE translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek, the Septuagint, as well as Hebrew manuscripts of Deuteronomy found among the Dead Sea Scrolls in Qumran.[4]

Man began worshipping these fallen council members instead of God.

Deuteronomy 4:19 (ASV)
19 and lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun and the moon and the stars, even all the host of heaven, thou be drawn away and worship them, and serve them, which Jehovah thy God hath allotted unto all the peoples under the whole heaven.

Note: The heavenly hosts or the hosts of heaven refer to members of this angelic council.[5] Instead of guiding the direction of the 70 tribes of the gentiles, they began to receive worship from them.

Some of these Council members took women as their wives and produced giants that resulted in the Flood of Noah.

Genesis 6:1-4 (NKJV)
1 Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, 2 that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose. 3 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." 4 There were giants 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. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.

We can see many places in Scripture where fallen members of the Divine Council were over Gentile nations. One of the most obvious is found in the Book of Daniel:

Daniel 10:13 (NKJV)
13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia.

It is important to understand that every Gentile nation has a Council member of darkness over them. It was understood in the ancient world that there were seventy that matched the original tribes at the Tower of Babel. Esoteric groups that embraced the hermetic principle from Greece later changed the number to seventy-two (possibly because it was more mathematically perfect). [6] This understanding of these more seventy-two Council members was incorporated by the developers of the Kabbalah, and later on by Freemasonry. In Freemasonry, this can be seen in two very public places:

The Apotheosis of George Washington in the eye of the rotunda at our nation’s capital. Apotheosis comes from the Greek apotheoun "to deify", in Latin deificatio, and later in Italian gióvino, "to be made divine"), refers to the exaltation of a subject to divine level. The term has meanings in theology, where it refers to a belief, and in art, where it refers to a genre. In theology, the term apotheosis refers to the idea that an individual has been raised to godlike stature. In art, the term refers to the treatment of any subject (a figure, group, locale, motif, convention or melody) in a particularly grand or exalted manner.[7] Freemasonry believes that our first president became a "god" at death. You can view pictures of this painting at: http://www.aoc.gov/cc/art/rotunda/apotheosis/apotheosis_1.cfm. Washington is seated among a pagan pantheon of gods and is surrounded by 72 stars (represented the fallen angels that are over the gentile nations).

The unfinished pyramid on the back of the seal of the United State (and our one dollar bill). There are 72 bricks on the pyramid, each believed to be essential for the coming “New World Order.”

These fallen Council members, and most likely, all the subdivisions of angelic hosts that were subordinate to them fell with Lucifer. They are all a part of the Kingdom of Darkness.

With the calling of Abraham, God began to extrapolate a people from these pagan tribes for Himself. Abraham was originally a citizen of Babylon (the cradle of all paganism) and was called him into covenant with God Himself. The moment that Abraham answered the call, he moved from the authority of darkness over Babylon to the authority of Almighty God. From Abraham sprang a people that belonged to God and were to only stay under His authority. This is one of the reasons Almighty God continually warned them not to entangle themselves with pagan practices.

From the loins of Father Abraham came One born from the House of Judah that was the Word made flesh – Jesus of Nazareth. Through the completed work of the Cross, Jesus was able to gather people of every tribe and kindred into His Kingdom and deliver them from the authority of these fallen angels.

Colossians 1:13-14 (NKJV)
13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.

Each Kingdom Mirrors Its Lord

 

Everything in the Kingdom of God lines itself up with God, for it is His domain. This same alignment occurs in the Kingdom of Darkness. In that kingdom, everything lines up with Lucifer.

Over the years, I have heard it taught that when Lucifer fell that his name was changed to Satan. Although this is partly true, I believe it also reflects a misunderstanding of the use of descriptive names in the Word of God. Almighty God is called "the LORD of Hosts." This was not a name change, rather it is a title describing who He is. Satan (or haSatan in the Hebrew) means "Adversary." Lucifer and his Kingdom of Darkness have taken an adversarial role against both God (thus His Kingdom) and all mankind. Not understanding this truth can cause several problems in the life of a believer:

1. Not realizing that any agent of the Kingdom of Darkness can fulfill the role as a Satan causes us to think that Lucifer is more powerful than he really is. Lucifer is not omnipresent. He is restricted to one location in space-time. Any of the levels of authority that Paul mentions in Ephesians 6 can be a Satan or Adversary in our lives.

2. The very nature of the Kingdom of Darkness is adversarial. “Adversary” mean "one that contends with, opposes, or resists." [8] Any time the Kingdom of God begins to move or we begin to move with God, the Kingdom of Darkness immediately raises up to "content, oppose, and resist" both us and God.

Somehow in our contemporary theology, we have forgotten the adversarial role of the Kingdom of Darkness. We are being taught by some that if we are in the perfect will of God and moving in obedience (and faith) that everything will flow smoothly and it will be "roses and sunshine." The biblical account is that the Kingdom of Darkness only rises up as an adversary when God begins to move and mankind becomes obedient. This is why the Apostle Paul continues in teaching about these forces with the admonition:

Ephesians 6:10-11 (NKJV)
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Ephesians 6:13-18 (NKJV)
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints–

We need to understand and plan for the enemy to take up an adversarial role anytime we are obedient to God. This can range from answering the call to prepare for ministry at BLCS to starting a new work for God (and about everything else in between). When we plan for resistance and take a stand of faithful and diligent obedience, Heaven will begin to take an adversarial role against the working of the enemy! But you have got to stand and be faithful to activate the counter-pressure! The counter-pressure begins to flow when you realize who Jesus is and who He is in you. Jesus promised us:

Matthew 16:18 (NKJV)
18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

The Church is built upon the rock of revelation of who Jesus is and what He has accomplished for us. This revelational truth is so powerful that even Lucifer’s Council of Darkness cannot prevail against it!

Our preparedness for a fight because of obedience turns life’s situation into God’s Spiritual Gym. We enter into "resistance training" that develops maturity and spiritual muscle in our lives. The Apostle James said it this way:

James 1:2-4 (NKJV)
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

The testing of our faith (i.e. obedience) produces patience. I believe patience is the ability to hold fast and continue in obedience until God reveals the next step. Patience doesn’t quit, rather it pushes on in faithful obedience to victory. The result of God’s Spiritual Gym is that you can become "perfect and complete." The word "perfect" is teleios in the Greek. Teleios means "1) brought to its end, finished; 2) wanting nothing necessary to completeness; 3) perfect; 4) that which is perfect; 4a) consummate human integrity and virtue; 4b) of men; 4b1) full grown, adult, of full age, mature." [9] The word "complete" (or "entire" in the KJV) is holokleros, which means " 1) complete in all its parts, in no part wanting or unsound, complete, entire, whole; 1a) of a body without blemish or defect, whether of a priest or of a victim; 1b) free from sin, faultless; 1c) complete in all respects, consummate." [10]

These two powerful Greek words paint a wonderful picture of a mature believer that has grown in spiritual resistance training. God has called all of us to attain this level of spiritual maturity, and has placed all of the resources necessary to get us there.

Every time I go to a gym to exercise, I expect resistance from the weights. By preparing myself and expecting the resistance will help me in overcoming it. In fact, in the gym, the goal is to be able to handle greater resistance as you develop your strength. I believe the same is true for us in our spiritual battles.

The Kingdom of Darkness will always oppose what God is trying to do in you and through you. When you prepare yourself in the Lord, and understand the nature of Kingdoms, you begin to learn to hold your ground and press forward. We are promised overcoming strength in Scripture. The world Overcomer is living on the inside of us. Jesus has already beaten all the Kingdom of Darkness when He was raised victorious over death, hell, and the grave. We need to develop a lifestyle of expecting resistance from the enemy, and then holding fast to who Jesus is for His victory to flow through us. The Lord will then use every situation to mature us for His glory. Remember, Peter was able to walk on the water as long as he was looking at Jesus!

1 John 4:4 (NKJV)
4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

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© Copyright 2010 by Michael K. Lake, Th.D. All Rights Reserved.

Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E.

Chancellor and Founder

Dr. Lake is the chancellor and founder of Biblical Life College & Seminary and serves as an educational consultant for various Christian organizations around the world. He also serves as the Pastor of Biblical Life Assembly in Marshfield, MO. Dr. Lake is listed in the US Registry’s "Who’s Who Among Outstanding Americans," Sterling’s "Who’s Who Executive Edition," and the "Who’s Who Among American Teachers" for his accomplishments in ministry.

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This Week’s Featured Resource for Believers

Dr. Lake recently ministered a message on the "Healing of the Bride" at Biblical Life Assembly. You can download this free message in MP3 format using the URL below:

http://www.biblicallifeassembly.org/library/mp3/maturation/maturation_part_3.mp3

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Article Endnotes


[1] Strong’s Enhanced Lexicon. BibleWorks for Windows 7.0. BibleWorks, LLC, Norfolk, VA. Copyright © 2006.

[2] Dr. Heisler has posted some introductory articles that can be downloaded free of charge on the Divine Council at his website: http://www.thedivinecouncil.com .

[3] Article: The Sun Sings: Musical Sounds from the Atmosphere Revealed. Scientific Computing – http://www.scientificcomputing.com/News-DS-The-Sun-Sings-062210.aspx

[4] Huie, Byrian. Article: The Heavenly Divine Council. Copyright 2010. http://www.herealittletherealittle.net/index.cfm?page_name=Divine-Council

[5] Marshall, I. Howard. New Bible Dictionary 3rd Edition. IVP Academic, Downers Grove, IL Copyright 1996.

[6] Goodgame, Peter. Article: The Divine Council and the Kabbalah. Red Moon Rising Publishing. http://www.redmoonrising.com/agenda.htm.

[7] Definition from Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apotheosis

[8] Definition from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/adversary

[9] Strong’s Enhanced Lexicon. BibleWorks for Windows 7.0. BibleWorks, LLC, Norfolk, VA. Copyright © 2006.

[10] Ibid.

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We are approaching the Fall Feasts of the LORD

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TheFeastOfTrumpetsWe are quickly approaching the Fall Feasts of the LORD.  At Biblical Life, we observe the Feasts according to the Barley Harvest in Israel – which in our estimation in the most biblical.  Here are the dates:

Feasts of Trumpets (Yom Teruah)

Starts at Sunset on Sept 10 through Sunset on the 11th.

Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur)

Starts at Sunset on Sept 19 through Sunset on the 29th.

First Day of the Feast of Trumpets (Sukkot)

Starts at Sunset on Sept 24 through Sunset on the 25th.

Last Great Day of the Feast

Starts at Sunset Oct 1 through Sunset on the 2nd.

The Feasts are all about Jesus and God’s Prophetic time table.  If you have not studied the Feasts, it might be a good time to purchase our DVD Set and Study Guide on “The Feasts of the LORD and Their Spiritual Significance in the Life of the Believer.”

http://store.biblical-life.com/servlet/-strse-19/Feasts-of-the-LORD/Detail

We are approaching the Fall Feasts of the LORD

Posted on Updated on

TheFeastOfTrumpetsWe are quickly approaching the Fall Feasts of the LORD.  At Biblical Life, we observe the Feasts according to the Barley Harvest in Israel – which in our estimatation in the most biblical.  Here are the dates:

Feasts of Trumpets (Yom Teruah)

Starts at Sunset on Sept 10 through Sunset on the 11th.

Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur)

Starts at Sunset on Sept 19 through Sunset on the 29th.

First Day of the Feast of Trumpets (Sukkot)

Starts at Sunset on Sept 24 through Sunset on the 25th.

Last Great Day of the Feast

Starts at Sunset Oct 1 through Sunset on the 2nd.

The Feasts are all about Jesus and God’s Prophetic time table.  If you have not studied the Feasts, it might be a good time to purchase our DVD Set and Study Guide on “The Feasts of the LORD and Their Spiritual Significance in the Life of the Believer.”

http://store.biblical-life.com/servlet/-strse-19/Feasts-of-the-LORD/Detail

When Physics and the Word Agree

Posted on Updated on

physicsFor the past few weeks, I have been studying elements of physics as they relate to the Word of God.  This past weekend before I ministered, I had a moment of clarity and completely changed my message.  I taught on “Jesus – the Ultimate Singularity in Space-Time and the Multi-Dimensional Reality of the Cross.”  This message will share why the Cross can make a difference in our lives today from a multi-dimensional framework.  It will make what Jesus did and who He is a more powerful reality in your life!

http://www.biblicallifeassembly.org/library/mp3/maturation/maturation_part_3b_special.mp3

Dr. Michael K. Lake – Biblical Life College & Seminary and Biblical Life Assembly.

Maturation of the Bride–Part 3

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drlake-blpMaturation of the Bride – Part 3. For the Bride to mature, she needs several things: (1) to Be Healed Up from Wounded, (2) to be Trained Up in Who She is, (3) to be Geared Up for the Tasks ahead of Her, (4) to be Empowered Up for Service, and (5) to be Activated to Move Forward in the Kingdom of God. This week, we will be examining what the Messiah has done to heal up the wounds of His bride.

 

Download this Free MP3 Message

 

Message taught by Dr. Michael K. Lake – Chancellor of Biblical Life College & Seminary and the Pastor of Biblical Life Assembly.

A Call to a Life of Fasting

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Shofar1A Call to a Life of Fasting

by Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E.

Chancellor

[Note: I first published this article about six years ago. With all the situations that Christians are facing today, I believe this article is just as pertinent as it was then. As believers, we need to pray and fast together to realign ourselves with the Kingdom of God and to reconnect with the power of the Holy Spirit!]

To start this article by saying I am perplexed is an understatement. It only takes a split second of contemplation to realize that something is wrong. Maybe it is the fact that words “integrity” and “ministry” are seldom used in the same sentence anymore. Maybe it is the fact that our television ministers stress far too much on “giving” your way to a miracle rather than “living” your way to one. Maybe it is the fact that I recently had a disciple warned not to stress a strong, biblical male presence in the home because it does not fit with social norms in the situation he is currently involved in. Maybe it is the reality that the “feel” of Babylon and Egypt is all around us and Zion is a fleeting memory. If you don’t know what I am talking about, then I am not writing to you. I am writing to those that yearn to see the true Kingdom of God expand and for hearts to burn with a holy passion for God and a love for the Word of God, justice and the transformation of mankind. I want the fire of true, biblical revival – not the razzle-dazzle of emotional hype. I am tired of seeing services where we “party” all night (for Jesus) and there is no hunger for the Word or hearts broken over sin.

Do I believe in giving – absolutely. It does not replace biblical, holy living. Do I believe in miracles – always. Hype does not produce them, but a living faith in God does! I want something to cut through the Hollywood that has permeated the Church and has created spiritual zombies. My cry is with the Apostle Paul when he said:

Ephesians 5:10-16 (AMP)
10 And try to learn [in your experience] what is pleasing to the Lord [let your lives be constant proofs of what is most acceptable to Him]. 11 Take no part in and have no fellowship with the fruitless deeds and enterprises of darkness, but instead [let your lives be so in contrast as to] expose and reprove and convict them. 12 For it is a shame even to speak of or mention the things that [such people] practice in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed and reproved by the light, it is made visible and clear; and where everything is visible and clear there is light. 14 Therefore He says, Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall shine (make day dawn) upon you and give you light. 15 Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), 16 Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil.

Those of you that are preachers should be able to take these powerful verses from the Amplified Bible and develop an entire series from them. I could write a book around them and not even touch on where I really want to go here. The point that I am trying to make is that the way we are doing things is more “grey” than “light.” The result is that “we” are the sleepers needing to rise from near spiritual death and do not even know it! If there was ever a Laodicean Church, it is in America today.

If your heart is agreeing with me, then the question needs to be asked: “How can we change this?” First and foremost, it must change with us personally and the change must be within!

Luke 17:20-21 (KJV)
20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

The local students that just completed my new class on “the Leader of One” know where I am headed with this. To change the world, I first must be changed. The Kingdom needs to be established and expanded within me and my life. Until I do that, nothing in the world around me will ever really change!

Each one of us needs to start crying out for God to change us. We need Him to change us in whatever way He desires to fulfill His will and destiny around us. This cry is not for our benefit, but for the hurting, dying world around us. If we cannot cry out for Him to change us, then how can we ever expect Him to change the world! It is time to pick back up the Cross and follow Him!

Matthew 17:19-21 (KJV)
19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? 20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. 21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

In the Laodicean environment of today, the change will not be easy. It will be like that demon that the disciples of Jesus could not cast out. It will not go quietly into the night. From what we can learn from Matthew 17, our faith will require more than just speaking to the mountain. Speaking will work for many things, but there is a time that MORE is required of us. That time is now. It will require a crucified lifestyle of fasting and prayer!

Prayer AND fasting is a lost art in the Body of Christ. In fact, fasting is an unpopular subject. We would rather write out a check than go on an extended fast. (It’s OK to say “ouch” here.) I believe with all my heart that throwing money at it is a very Laodicean thing to do. Why? Because Laodicea is all about thinking we are rich, well dressed and whole. So if there is a problem, throw more money at it. Money will not solve this situation! Here is where the Body of Christ is in America today:

Revelation 3:17-20 (KJV)
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

We have trusted in our wealth and affluence rather than in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We have so much physically that we do not realize that we have so little spiritually! The good news is that Jesus is counseling us today to change our priorities. We must become Kingdom of God oriented, not personal Kingdom centered.

The last part of these verses is used so many times to call the lost into the Kingdom. Originally it was not given for that. This call was given to the Church. I have also heard ministers use these verses to show what bad shape the Church is really in – Jesus is on the outside knocking to get back in. Although there is much truth in that statement, I do not believe that is what is being conveyed here. The reason we do not get the full picture is because we are so far removed from our Hebraic (Jewish) roots.

In Scripture there are four different types of covenant in the Word of God. I do not have time to get into all of them, but I will introduce them to you.

 

  • Blood Covenant: A Covenant of Servanthood.
  • Salt Covenant: A Covenant of Friendship.
  • Sandal Covenant: A Covenant of Inheritance.
  • Marriage Covenant: The greatest and most intimate covenant.

Starting with Abraham and culminating in Jesus, we have the blood covenant. We are brought into covenant with Almighty God and are His servants in the earth.

Jesus then brings a select few to the next level when He said:

John 15:14-15 (KJV)
14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. 15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

Because they paid the price to do WHATSOEVER Jesus commanded, they are brought to the friendship level. May I submit that few are willing to do that today in America.

Then His riches (inheritance) are released upon His FAITHFUL friends. (Jesus released the shoe covenant at the Last Supper when He removed their sandals and washed their feet.)

Finally, the ultimate level is the marriage covenant. In our Hebraic heritage, a marriage covenant is started in this fashion:

The fathers of both families have been talking and feel that the marriage is in order. On the appointed day the father and the “would-be” bridegroom go to the girl’s home and knock on the door. The girl and her father are on the other side of the door and hear the knocking. If the girl opens the door, then she is saying that she wants to take the relationship with this young man to the next level. She wants to become his bride. Once the young man and his father enter the home, both families sit down at the table and begin hashing out the marriage covenant. Most of it deals on two levels: (1) what the bridegroom has prepared (or will prepare) for the bride and (2) all the changing the bride must do to bring herself in line with what the bridegroom feels his destiny in the earth is. Once the agreement has been reached, the bridegroom goes off to prepare a place for the bride (sound familiar). But it does not stop there. Now the bride must change her life and learn whatever she needs to learn to align herself with the bridegroom. To become the wife, she must prepare herself with whatever mental, spiritual and physical skills she will need to stand by his side and be a real helpmeet for him.

We have been so worried about Jesus preparing a place for us and have spent our days daydreaming about what it will be like that we have not prepared ourselves to become His wife! We need to be willing to change whatever we need to change, learn and develop whatever we need in order to stand with him. Have we taken up that responsibility? Have we truly entered into becoming the Bride of Christ and started preparing to become a wife worthy of Him?

This is the call that Jesus is giving to the Laodicean Church. He loves us and He is rebuking our lack on true preparation. Now He is telling us to be zealous and repent (do an about face and start the true preparation).

This is only going to happen through true repentance, prayer and fasting – enough of the “just” speaking about it. It is time to roll up our sleeves and get to work.

On our website library, I have a sermon posted in MP3 entitled “A Call to a Life of Fasting.” Here is what I need for you to Use this URL link to download the message: Download MP3 Message. [In case the link does not work, you can download the message from our Digital Library: http://www.biblical-life.com/library/ library.htm ] Take the time get the message deep into your heart. If you do not have the Internet, write our office and we will mail you out a tape free of charge. Next, I am calling every student, graduate and friend of this ministry to begin fasting with us every Thursday. (Even if you are just looking to continue your education and are not a BLCS student, start fasting and God will show you where to go for your preparation!) There is instruction in the message on how to start and what to do. If you are a pastor, preach this message to your congregation and call them to fasting. It is time to rally the troops and put action to our beliefs.

We released this message around the first of July. We have already had a number of students/graduates not only implement it in their own lives, but they have called their churches to do the same. I estimate that we already have around 10,000 people fasting with us every Thursday. I would like to see at least 100,000 by the end of the year and a million sometime in 2007. Together we can see things change in America and the world, but it must start with each one of us and it must start now.

The final question is how long is this fasting going to be. Notice that I called the message “a life of fasting.” Jesus made this statement about fasting:

Mark 2:19-20 (KJV)
19 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. 20 But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.

As long as we are on this earth, we should be fasting as a part of our lifestyle. Therefore I am looking for a commitment that is not for a month, or six months or even a year. I am talking about the rest of our lives here upon the earth.

To some, this request will seem outrageous. That just shows how far we have fallen from where we should be. Fasting at least once a week was the standard for all true believers in previous generations. It’s time to raise the standard and to become what the Word promises one day that we will become:

Revelation 19:7 (KJV)
7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

Let me repeat that: his WIFE hath made HERSELF ready.

Will you join me? Either we are ministers of the Gospel or we are hirelings. Which one is it going to be?

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© Copyright 2005 by Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E. All Rights Reserved

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Profile on Author

Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E.

Chancellor and Founder

Dr. Lake is the chancellor and founder of Biblical Life College & Seminary and serves as an educational consultant for various Christian organizations around the world. He also serves as the Pastor of Biblical Life Assembly in Marshfield, MO. Dr. Lake is listed in the US Registry’s "Who’s Who Among Outstanding Americans," Sterling’s "Who’s Who Executive Edition," and the "Who’s Who Among American Teachers" for his accomplishments in ministry.

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This Month’s Featured Resource for Believers

Holy Fire – Strange Fire DVD & Study Guide Set

Is the Church repeating the mistakes of the past?  Are we guilt of the same sin as Nadab and Adihu in Leviticus 10?  Are we offering strange fire in the service of God and calling it a revival?

This powerful series addresses these hard questions and will teach you have to distinguish between the Fire of God and the strange Fire of Hell.  It will also teach you to cultivate and flow in the Fire of God in your own life and ministry.

The DVD sessions were recorded live at Love Gospel Assembly in Bronx, NY.  We have also included a bonus MP3 CD with Dr. Lake teaching these truths to his own congregation.  The Holy Spirit always moves according  to the needs of each congregation, so different aspects were brought out in each setting.  We wanted you to benefit from both training sessions, so we have included the MP3 edition free.

Series Includes:

  • Six 1 hour video sessions on six DVDs, plus free MP3 CD in a custom case.
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This study can be used for both personal and group study. We have received wonderful reports from home fellowships and cell groups on how this study blessed and encouraged believers.

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This series is made available through Biblical Life Publishing (http://www.biblical-life.net/) and materials are usually shipped within one working day via Priority Mail with Confirmation Delivery.

Maturation of the Bride – Part 1

Posted on

by Michael K. Lake, Th.D.

It does not take a prophet with keen discernment to realize that the Church of the Living God is being attacked on every side. This onslaught of the enemy is on many fronts. We have progressive/socialistic agendas pressing the Church from without. We also see from within the abandonment of key principle doctrines and the desire of the younger generation to run after questionable music masquerading as praise and worship, tattoos (which are forbidden by scripture), and social trends, fads, and pressures, which mold their biblical worldview. There are times that I sit in complete dismay at the changes that have occurred in the Church – just in the last ten years. It now seems that much of the Church is more worried about what the world thinks of them than they are the Savior who died and rose again to redeem them.

This past week, my wife was listening to very popular minister teaching on the Pretribulation Rapture on his weekly satellite broadcast. He shared how individuals in the Body of Christ were writing him and calling him a "heretic" because he was teaching on the Pretribulation Rapture. Now this man is a wonderful and anointed minister of the Gospel . (Not only have I listened to his ministry for years, but I have good friends who grew up with him.) We need to understand that there is no excuse for such name calling in the Body of Christ. As I heard Mary describe the hurt in his voice, I heard the Holy Spirit say:

"The Church today is like a family of spoiled children that spend most of their time arguing about the ‘exact time’ when Daddy is supposed to arrive home instead of getting their chores done before he gets there."

I would have to say "amen" to that!

The Pretribulation Rapture View is Not the Only View

Growing up in the Baptist Church (both Southern Baptist and Missionary Baptist), I thought that the only eschatological view was the Premillennial Pretribulational View. This was the view held in those circles, as well as among many in the Charismatic Movement. I remember as a teenager looking through the Chick tract entitled "The Beast" with the dispensational charting of the Premillennial Pretribulational View laid out in a cartoon format. I thought that, at the ripe age of 14, I had all of the end time events down to a fine art. Over the years, I have heard ministers refer to those that did not hold that particular view as heretics, as if determining the exact timing of the Lord’s return was a part of orthodoxy. This kind of rhetoric from one’s camp can come back to bite you, even if you were not the one who spoke it. (I have never heard the minister that I referred to earlier ever call anyone a heretic.)

It was only after I was in seminary that I was exposed to other views.

The Word tells us:

1 John 3:2-3 (NKJV)
2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

With prophecy, we are looking through a glass darkly (I Cor. 13:12). We forget that, prior to 1948, the majority of the Evangelical Church taught that Israel would never become a country again. With over a thousand years of teaching that the Church replaced Israel, there was no way that this could ever happen. As ministers in the early 1930’s and 40’s began proclaiming the resurrection of Israel, they were marked as "heretics" by the mainstay of Evangelical prophecy teachers in the Body of Christ. Needless to say, in 1948 the alleged heretics were proven correct, and the teachers on the forefront were proven wrong. After Israel became a nation, they had to edit and reprint much of their writings. We need to learn from that lesson and realize that the glass still may be a little dark regarding the timing of His return. Let’s look at the various eschatological positions on the timing of the return of the Lord:

 

Various Eschatological View of the Lord’s Return[1]

Premillennial Pretribulational View

All believers are raptured out before the Great Tribulation. Tribulation and Millennium are literal 7-year and 1,000-year periods. Israel & Church are separate programs.

Premillennial Posttribulational View

All believers are raptured at the end of the Great Tribulation Period. The Rapture and the Second Coming are the same event. Tribulation and Millennium are literal 7-year and 1,000-year periods. Israel & Church are separate programs.

Premillennial Midtribulational View

All believers are raptured after 42 months (1,260 days) of the 7-year tribulation period. Tribulation and Millennium are literal 7-year and 1,000-year periods. Israel & Church are separate programs.

Premillennial Pretribulational Partial Rapture View

Only some Christians will be raptured before the Great Tribulation. Those “unready” must be martyred to verify their faith. The Rapture and the Second Coming are separate events. Tribulation and Millennium are literal 7-year and 1,000-year periods. Israel & Church are separate programs.

Premillennial Prewrath Rapture View

All believers are raptured during the Great Tribulation, but prior to the “Day of God’s Wrath” (Rev 6:17). The Rapture and the Second Coming are separate events. Tribulation and Millennium are literal 7-year and 1,000-year periods.

Evangelical Postmillennial View

The Tribulation is age-long, not seven years. The Millennium is a literal 1,000-year reign of Christ, realized through the Church’s ministry of the Kingdom of God.

Augustine’s Amillennial View

The Book of Revelation is symbolic of God’s Kingdom’s triumphing through the Church. The Great Tribulation and the Millennium are not 7-year and 1,000-year periods, but are symbolic terms for the age-long struggle of evil against Christ’s rule.

And there are others

Orthodoxy, in my opinion, should be looking for the literal return of Jesus as Messiah ben Joseph (the Conquering King), as well as looking forward to His literal Millennial Reign. This lines up with the whole of scripture and is in perfect harmony with a proper understanding of the Feasts of the LORD.

If we would spend as much time "getting our chores done" as we are fighting about the exact timing of His return, we could make such a difference in the world. Jesus is going to come back exactly when He is supposed to, regardless of how powerfully we argue our viewpoint as to its timing.

Finally, I am reminded of the wisdom of the late Dr. Walter Martin. One of our professors, Dr. Bruce Booker, had the privilege of attending a course taught by this great man of God. There were many in the class that worked feverishly to pin Dr. Martin down to the Premillennial Pretribulational View. I love his response:

"I always pray for a Pretribulation Rapture and prepare for a Posttribulation one."

I believe that Dr. Martin believed it was better to be surprised by Rapture instead of Tribulation. There is always wisdom in preparation.

We need to spend our time preparing ourselves for His return: spiritually, mentally, and even physically. What is the worst that could happen if we are prepared physically to go through a portion of the Tribulation, only to be surprised by Rapture? We would leave supplies for the saints that manifest during those troubled times. Nowhere in the Word does it tell us that we will be left behind if we do not "guess" the exact timing of His coming. We are only commanded to "look" for His return.

In our next article, we will take a close look at the Laodicean Church and one possible reason why the Church is not readily seen in the Book of Revelation after Chapter Three.

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© Copyright 2010 by Michael K. Lake, Th.D.

All Rights Reserved

Dr. Lake is the Chancellor and Founder of Biblical Life College and Seminary, serves as the Pastor of Biblical Life Assembly, and is the President of Biblical Life Publishing.


Footnotes:

[1] Taken from "Dealing with "Last Things" – The Rapture, Second Coming, and Millennium" from the Spirit-Filled Life Study Bible. Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN © Copyright 1991. Pages 1948-1951.