Forever Hold Your Peace (Awkward Silences part 3)

"We shall find peace. We shall hear the angels, we shall see the sky sparkling with diamonds." Anton Chekhov

Revelation 12:4 says that "[Satan's] tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven and did cast them to the earth"

After Micaiah tells Ahab what he saw in Heaven, one of Ahab's prophets comes up and, it says "smote Micaiah on the cheek" (2 Chronicles 18:23), complaining and questioning as to why the spirit of the Lord would have gone from him, to Micaiah. You can see from this illustration—and from common sense—how speaking up in a church that isn't speaking for and from God would anger those who aren't seeing things correctly. Paul says to Timothy: "Lay hands suddenly on no man" (1 Timothy 5:22).

"If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!" (Matthew 6:23)

Micaiah tells Ahab, that a "lying spirit" (verses 21-22) had been allowed to infect "all his prophets". This is cause for concern in today's churches as the Holy Spirit, "[who] proceedeth from the Father" (John 15:26) and is "the Spirit of truth" (John 14:17) is largely sidelined and left out in a fuller measure. If this raises your hackles and ruffles your feathers (same thing) that's good. The Holy Spirit needs to be brought out into the open and discussed freely and respectfully. When one denomination openly discusses and welcomes the Holy Ghost into their congregation but has no governance on emotional outbursts and strange manifestations of dubious "signs and wonders", the true Holy Spirit of God may not be present. Conversely, when the Holy Spirit is talked about but only up to a certain point, and is seen, as the eighteenth century revivalist ("revivalist"?) and preacher George Whitefield describes thus: "as for the extraordinary operations of the Holy Ghost such as working of miracles, or speaking with diverse kinds of tongues, they are long since ceased.", we as a church are operating off balance. I believe that miracles and signs and wonders are for today. But also that all things, all things should be done "decently and in order" (1 Corithians 14:40). And if it's not the Holy Spirit speaking through our ordained ministers, then who could it be? I know this sounds harsh and the corollary might be unspeakable, but it's either one. Or the other. I believe any minister worth his salt should be open to the direct probing of God's word on spiritual matters. And that influences should be tested and tried.

"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out (escaped, that's the connotation in the Greek) into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God:" (1 John 4:1-3a)

Micaiah says he saw "all the host of heaven standing on [God's] right hand and on His left" (2 Chronicles 18:18). I assume this refers to the angels who were still pure and then the angels who fell with Lucifer. The holy angels to God's right. I could be wrong, but humor me here. This intrigues me: I've always wondered how the angels that fell—who were at one time holy then deceived by Lucifer (now Satan) and cast out of Heaven, as mentioned in Revelation (12:4)—would be let back into Heaven. Is it literal? Figurative? What purpose would it serve to figuratively speak of such seismic incidents? The same illustration is mentioned in the first chapter of Job (verse 6). Satan, it says came with "the sons of God" to "present themselves before the Lord".

The angels of God—the holy ones, that is—are spoken of as "ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation" in the book of Hebrews (1:14). Obviously, we don't worship angels. But with reference to Micaiah's mind bending story in Second Chronicles, we would all do well to seriously consider our spiritual influences as they are quite real and unless scrutinized scripturally and dispassionately (and foremost, with the insight of the Holy Spirit), likely to lead us astray.

"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7, emphasis mine)

"Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease." (Proverbs 22:10)


Speak Now (Awkward Silences part 2)