I have been asked: “If the battle in the heavenlies is intensifying, what should our response be on earth?“ The following are a few thoughts on certain aspects of the battle and what the nature of our involvement might be.
The American Eagle
We know, from prophetic words that have been given, that battle forces on both sides are arrayed. They are lined up in both heavenly realms and here on Earth. We can see the battle being fought in various locations, but I’d like to think here about the USA in particular. As an Englishman, I won’t have the same perspective as an American citizen, but I do recognise that the founding fathers established America as a land based on the principles of the word of God; and that the liberty which the USA stands for among the nations is ultimately not just about personal, political and social freedoms, but it’s about the freedom for which Christ has set us free, which is freedom from the law of sin and death.
At the risk of oversimplification, I see the USA as unique in the extent to which the division between Christian and non-Christian agendas has broadly polarised into a choice between two political parties, one of which represents God’s agenda, and the other which represents the world’s. If the symbolism of the American Eagle ultimately points to freedom from sin, the vote is about whether the eagle keeps flying, or if the enemy shoots it down. Legislation already exists in the USA, passed under the Obama administration, that makes it illegal for churches to preach what the Bible tells us about sexuality and “lifestyle choices,” so this is not empty polemic: the pulpit is already being gagged. Already the eagle is not soaring so freely. The political state of the USA and its spiritual state are closely connected, and they affect us in the UK: it’s important that we don’t think of the USA as miles away over the Atlantic, but that we see that the nation is connected to us in the Spirit, and that we need to uphold in our prayers.
But the battle of the USA is not just about America: it is part of a bigger picture still. Ultimately, the big picture is always about Israel. Trump’s support for Israel is evident, and he has already caused not a little stir, both among the nations and among the principalities and powers in heavenly places, by moving the US embassy to Jerusalem. The Democrats on the other hand align with Palestine, with all that that implies. The enemies of Israel are gathering. Turkey is flexing its muscles, and is establishing control of Libya from afar, with an eye on its oil, of course. President Erdogan is now flying the flag of the ancient Ottoman empire. Squeezed by sanctions, Iran has dropped its own nuclear program but is forming an alliance with North Korea, which hasn’t, as we know. The inflated egos of power-hungry world leaders unwittingly roll out the red carpet to welcome demonic control, while the eye of Mordor is fixed unblinkingly on Israel.
The USA is Israel’s “Big Brother,” the ally they will turn to for support and resources when conflict escalates, so the enemy will do everything he can to minimise that support as he continues his long-running campaign to eliminate Israel. The party he wants in control in the USA is the party that will distance itself from Israel. Satan has read the scrolls, and he knows that Jesus will be returning to reign from Jerusalem. He cannot eliminate Jesus, so he is trying to eliminate the nation that He is returning to. By praying for the outcome of the USA election in November we are aligning ourselves with the spiritual forces that are blowing the trumpet to herald the return of Christ.
Draining the Swamp
Many prophetic voices in the USA and elsewhere are in agreement that there is a level of sin in certain political circles that is almost too shocking to name, and that God is going to expose it. Some say that this sin goes to the deepest level of Luciferian involvement, with all the nefarious activities that this entails. Some prophetic voices and secular whistleblowers have started to reveal similar things: names involved in the Epstein and “pizzagate“ scandals are floating to the surface like scum. Clandestine handshakes have been revealed prophetically in recent months, and now deals worth billions of dollars between individuals in the highest political circles and America’s enemies are being exposed. Things that have been seen in the Spirit are starting to happen in the flesh.
Donald Trump came to power promising to “drain the Washington swamp.“ Many people say that this isn’t happening because the imbalances in American society haven’t changed and the revolving door into the White House of collusion and kickbacks doesn’t seem to have slowed down. But I think people are looking at the wrong swamp. I think Trump was speaking prophetically without knowing it: through his administration, upheld by the prayers of the saints, God will drain a far deeper and darker swamp than many people know exists. It is for the exposing of that level of corruption that we must be praying. And if God is exposing corruption and sin, we have to be squeaky-clean ourselves, ensuring that we keep short accounts with God and one another so that “the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.”
What’s our part in this?
I felt the Lord gave me two specific verses when I was asking Him about how to pray. They were Isaiah 30:31-32:
“For through the voice of the LORD
Assyria will be beaten down,
As He strikes with the rod.
And in every place where the staff of punishment passes,
Which the LORD lays on him,
It will be with tambourines and harps;
And in battles of brandishing He will fight with it.”
There are five things here.
- The voice of the Lord. God’s voice is heard through His prophets. As His word goes out in power the enemy forces will be weakened. I see this happening in the heavenly realms, but on earth as well as the deeds of darkness are exposed by words of truth.
- The “Staff of punishment” will fall on prominent individuals as they are brought to justice. The word translated as “staff” is the same as used for the rod of Moses: it is the rod of authority.
- Praise. God’s move is accompanied by “tambourines and harps”. Psalm 149: 6-7 comes to mind: “Let the high praises of God be in their mouth,
And a two-edged sword in their hand
To execute vengeance on the nations,
And punishments on the peoples.”
The word of God – the two-edged sword- goes out, God executes judgement, and we praise the glory of His name. This is a part that we play, and it is essential to the battle.
- Battles of Brandishing. Central to our victory is of course the Cross. The word “brandishing” is the same as the word used for “wave offerings.” It is a word associated with sacrifice. Part of our warfare is to declare and “brandish” the supremacy of the sacrifice of Jesus over anything that might be sacrificed to the “gods” of the enemy. The forms of things and the battlefields may change, but the spiritual realities are still the same: we have the Ark of the Covenant, and just as in the days of Jehoshaphat we are still the tribe of Judah leading the battle and singing “God is good, and His mercy endures forever.”
- The Assyrians. According to the revelations given to Pastor Dana Coverstone, the most violent persecution of the church is going to come from within the wider church family; from “lukewarm” churchgoers who accept lifestyle compromises and therefore reject the full gospel of Christ. Their Christianity is mixed with humanism and is not centred firmly on the teachings of Scripture, and fulfills 2 Tim 3 vs 1-5: “in the last days perilous times will come. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”
With this scripture in mind, we turn now to the story of Ezra, where we find these verses: “When the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the descendants of the captivity were building the temple of the LORD God of Israel, they came to Zerubbabel and the heads of the fathers’ houses, and said to them, “Let us build with you, for we seek your God as you do; and we have sacrificed to Him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assyria, who brought us here.” (Ezra 4:1-2)
The foundation of the new temple had been laid, just as our foundation has been laid in Christ. Those who resisted building were already inhabiting the land, and claimed to worship God, but their worship of him was just one element of their pagan mix. They had a form of godliness, but denied its power. Long before Paul and Timothy, the leaders of the people turned away from them:
“But Zerubbabel and Jeshua and the rest of the heads of the fathers’ houses of Israel said to them, “You may do nothing with us to build a house for our God; but we alone will build to the LORD God of Israel, as King Cyrus the king of Persia has commanded us.” (Verse 3)
The chapter continues the account of how “the people of the land tried to discourage the people of Judah,” and we know the eventual outcome. What is especially interesting for us in these days is that the people already dwelling in the land who resisted the building of the Temple came originally from Assyria, and it was “the King of Assyria” who took them there.
Parallels with the West
I think the parallels with the church in the West, and particularly in the USA, are striking. The temple of worship “in Spirit and in Truth”, including the truth that Scripture declares about marriage, sexuality and related “lifestyle choices,” has fallen into ruin. God has commissioned and sent His servants to set about the rebuilding programme, but it is resisted, and will be even more so, by “the people of the land:” those who claim to share the same faith but who reject biblical, evangelical Christianity as narrow-minded and extreme, and whose hearts are in reality far from God. I believe that these are today’s “Assyrians.” But they will be vanquished, and the Temple will be rebuilt.
So there is a battle in the Heavenlies, and it’s played out on Earth. It is God who wields the sword, and God who destroys. We play our part by accompanying the battle with our praise and by interceding for church leaders, that they remain true to the gospel and resist the discouragement and the schemes of “the people of the land.” We need to pray for the prophets who are the mouthpiece of “The voice of the Lord.” We need to pray for Attorney-General William Barr, who plays a key part in the battle as the one who holds that “staff of punishment” referred to above, and who has the actual power to bring indictments against individuals. We participate in the “battles of brandishing” by proclaiming the great sacrifice of the Cross and the name of Jesus, that is “above every other name that is named.” If you pray in tongues use the gift as much as we can, and if you find a “warfare” tongue comes to you, keep praying that way until the Holy Spirit takes that particular anointing off you. You will know. This probably won’t be in Church meetings (see 1 Cor 14 guidelines) but when you are on your own. I believe that this is part of the “brandishing” as well.
And more than ever in these times, we keep our hearts pure and soft and our hands clean. We seek our God in repentance for the sin in our own lives, in our churches and in our nations. We seek the Unity of the Spirit above every doctrinal difference. The trumpet is sounding. Let’s arise.