Exercising Divine Authority
For most of us in the prophetic movements, the word "worship" calls to mind thoughts of joy and pleasure as we experience the Lord's Presence amidst beautiful soul-satisfying music. All of us can heartily say, "Thank You, Lord, for this beauty we experience in You."
But worship is more than an experience in God. Did you realize that worship is also our chief medium for exercising the Authority of God in the earth? The Lord has wonderfully ordained that something so pleasurable also has the power to establish His will in the earth. Worship has the power to fulfil the Lord's Prayer, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven."
The Heavenly Picture
Chapters 4 and 5 in the Book of Revelation give us our best picture of worship "as it is in heaven." The portrayal of the four living creatures, the Elders and the angels offering their deepest adoration before the Throne has for many years now served as the basis for our perception of worship. It has inspired so many of our worship songs. But if we look really carefully at this revelation, we find that this heavenly scene is inseparable from the concept of God's Authority and Kingdom as it relates to the earth.
The fact is that, the Throne of God—around which all our worship occurs and toward which it is directed—is the seat of His Authority and Dominion. It is not just a seat where He comes to listen to us sing to Him. But as we sing, His literal Dominion is both exalted and exercised. If you look at the strands and threads of events in Revelation, you will see that the worship there involves a cycle of ascending worship and descending power toward the earth.
In their hands, the Elders hold bowls and harps. This speaks of prayer mingled with song—as many have well taught us. The bowls are filled with "incense," which is the prayers of the saints. But in Revelation 8, an angel puts this incense on the altar of incense where it is mingled with Fire. This is important. Fire, you see, is the dynamic energy and power of God in the universe. More than any other element, Fire is the most descriptive term used to explain Who God is in His Essence. As Hebrews says, "Our God is a consuming Fire."
What happens next? Well, the incense produces a "sweet smell" to the Lord. It is our prayers linked to His energy of Being that produces that sweet smell. (It is not our worship alone that does this.)
But there is more! The angel then takes that fire mingled with incense and casts it upon the earth where it results in great and mighty governmental events. This is the power of God as it is exercised in the earth. It is the working of the fulfilment of His prayer for earth Dominion.
- A Cycle in Action
So in all this, we see a wondrous cycle where the Incense of worship through Fire ascends to the Throne, and the Fire of power touched by Incense descends from the Throne to effect God's supreme will. A good "earth side" view of this cycle is portrayed in Revelation 11. Here, the two witnesses of God are seen with "fire flowing out of their mouths" to execute the judgments of God in the earth. This is none other than the same Fire sent down by the angel in Revelation 8. It is the power of God resulting from worship.
In truth, the two witnesses are worshippers whose arising incense (like that of the Elders) yields the return of dynamic divine Fire whereby they channel God's will—even to the replacing of earth systems and to overcoming all that opposes His Authority. We see by this that worship is not just as gentle as a Lamb, but is as aggressive as a Lion. It is bold in its effects against every power opposed to the power of our Lord Jesus Christ.
How Does This Work Here?
Let's talk a minute then about the practical application of this. Are you, like me, grieved with the ever-encroaching evil manifesting itself throughout the earth? Does it bother you what is happening in all the cultures of all nations—how evil is "coming out of the closet" (as they say) and how the governments of the earth now increasingly sanction—even legislate—this evil everywhere? And what are we, the church, doing about it?
Well, many are trying to do something about it. Many have tried for many years to do something about it. But the problem is, in all the attempts to produce change, we have relied least on our most potent and divinely ordained means for effecting change.
- Failed Attempts and Half Measures
For years many have attempted to create change through political action—Christians running for office, Christians campaigning for candidates, etc. Along this same line, others have waged open media campaigns through talk shows and "write-your-congressman" strategies. (How many more decades must this go on before we are convinced of the utter futility of these approaches?)
More recently, we have seen the rise of prayer ministries, even global prophetic-prayer ministries. This has been a major improvement over the carnal political approach. However, so much of this ministry has been directed through wrong perspectives and toward fleshly ends. The praying has not been rooted in the goals and purposes of Eternity. But more than this, it has not been linked to the power of worship.
Other ministries have come to theoretically understand the power of combined intercession with worship. The only problem here is, we have never acted on this understanding in a real and regular, dedicated corporate way toward the world. We are simply so stuck and attached to our "weekly four-walls mentality" of church. We just have not taken our worship out to where it is needed most! We have simply not made the "connect" between our eternal place before the Throne and our place in this daily world.
- Who's Still In the Closet?
We are dismayed by the evil that is "coming out of the closet," but it is we who need to take the power of worship out of the closet of the church building. At some point, a mental connection has to take place between our interior worship and our exercise of that worship out in the open world.
We have the interior worship down really well. We know how to meet and worship. What we don't know to do well is take corporate worship out into the open, strategically target our environment, and do all this from eternal perspectives (everyone wants to "save" the present system instead of replace it).
It's not as though no one has tried to take worship into the open. Some have. I bless the Lord for all of these. In various places churches and other groups have gone into town squares or held worship marches to celebrate the name of the Lord and to speak in authority over evil.
But we have yet to see a movement that takes these events from being occasional ventures to become a fundamental part of our local sense of calling and mission in the earth. Everyone wants to pray big for the "nation" and for the "global harvest." How about starting with your local neighborhood and city? People will travel hundreds of miles to be part of one super colossal worship and prayer event never to be repeated. But who will traverse their own neighborhood or city every week? (As Roosevelt said, "All politics is local." The same is true for spiritual geopolitics.)
We have yet to see a movement in which the people of God are instructed and devoted at becoming worshippers above all, and who are then instructed how to exercise that life of worship individually and corporately to expand heavenly Authority over every sphere in their locality, and to worshipfully confront the evils that are now sanctioned and legalized by governments everywhere.
Can you picture this with me? Can you envision a time where worship leaders are given a pastoral charge to develop corporate "worship patrols" of their neighborhoods and cities—where worshippers from the church (not just the "worship team," but all believers) gather in various small groups for an hour once every few evenings to just go out into an assigned place to worship—to pray and sing along different streets or around certain buildings?
Can you imagine a time when churches have "media watchers" whose assignment is to keep up with the pulse of the surrounding city or community—to then inform the worship patrols of the key issues over which local governments and other groups are struggling and over which evil is being fomented? And then to see the small groups who are assigned to that area or issue go out and worship the Lord over those situations toward achieving eternal ends—repentance, salvation, and sanctification of ordinary world dwellers—and the replacement of world systems?
We need to come to the place where we understand the true power of worship as it relates to the earth, and we begin to start walking in the full regular exercise of that mission. We need to come to see that only the power of worship is adequate to deal with the massive onslaught of evil that is now being released in the earth ahead of its own harvest. Church car washes, bake sales and door-to-door proselytizing just don't cut it, folks!!
Start With Yourself
Unfortunately, I do not have the power to command all of this into being, though I wish I could. But I do have the power to live this out personally and through my own family—and we do. We worship-walk our local neighborhoods. We prayer-walk buildings. We go and worship-walk around homes where members are in distress or where activities are carried on that are causing them distress. We call for heavenly determinations to be enforced. We will worship-walk an opposing lawyer's office and courthouse where unjust divorce proceedings are being fomented. We will worship-walk around insurance agencies where our people are being unjustly ripped off.
Try this sometime. (We did.) Try worship-walking up and down the streets of your neighborhood on Halloween night! (Sure, dress up if you want…like angels!) Sing the power of the Lord out over those ignorant tikes walking the streets in their imitation of evil. See what happens—feel the power of God emanate from your spirits toward them. Our children will tell you how powerful it feels.
Now, just imagine if everyone would do this? What would happen if even 20% of the prophetic-worship-intercessory church moved the center of their gatherings into the homes, and the homes became places of "worship strategizing" concerning that locality and its issues?
The question is this: What will it take for us to really begin exercising the authority of Eternity over the earth?
"Necessary," But Only "Preparatory:" Answering the Contradictions
If you are sharp and have also followed my writings for any length of time, you may pick up what seem to be contradictions in my teaching. Specifically, it may seem like I am saying here that by worship we can "turn this whole world around," bringing forth permanent eternal utopia. Whereas earlier, I have taught we must leave these systems behind.
As we get closer to the complete swallowing up of earth by heaven, the risks of misunderstanding increase when trying to explain our role in relationship between the eternal and the temporal. If I advocate for an eternal position, it may sound like I am denying a need to engage the temporal realm. And if I advocate a temporal-engaging position, it may sound like I am denying the truth of the future permanent eternal inheritance.
Everyone who has a Kingdom burden and tries to teach on end time realities has to deal with this problem. So let me try to clarify my position.
First, my advocating here that we exercise authority through worship no way contradicts my chief assertion that the systems of this world must fall and be replaced in conjunction with the return of the Lord. We cannot ultimately convert these systems! They are not redeemable! One of the great fallacies in present intercession is this idea that we can convert the systems of this world and "instruct principalities unto righteousness." Hogwash.
In truth, the worship authority I am advocating is actually toward the ultimate demise of these systems. The intercession I contend for here is not for the permanent preservation of these systems. It is for their replacement.
Second, what I am advocating today does not contradict my chief assertion that only Immortality can inherit the Kingdom of God. Flesh and blood cannot finally "bring the kingdom to earth" or cause it to manifest permanently. No way.
Notwithstanding all this, the Lord doesn't want us to sit back and be rolled over by evil!! He did not ordain for the church to lie down and play dead. We are still Rulers in Training! And exercising dominion through worship now is an intrinsic, essential part of that training!
The role of the worshipping-priesthood in the return of the Lord is not passive! It is not closeted in secret only. It is very open and active. As Revelation shows us, it is engaged. And that engagement is necessary toward preparing the way for the Lord in His ultimate return and toward our obtaining final entry into immortality.
It is being sung, "These are the days of Elijah." And so they are. Well the fact is that Elijah was exercised in all of these powers before he was finally whisked away into Immortality. The ministry of Elijah is only preparatory, but it is still absolutely necessary.
The passing nature of the temporal doesn't negate the necessity of our engaging it for moving us toward the eternal. Yet the necessity of engaging the temporal does not mean it is pre-eminent or permanent such that we should seek its permanent preservation. (Think long and hard about that. Your destiny fulfillment depends on understanding this truth.)
We are in the fetal stage of the manifestation of the Kingdom on Earth. But the truth is that any living fetus has a great kick to it! We are to be leaping in the womb and kicking in the womb toward our hope for final birth into immortality. (For more on all this, review my earlier teaching on the Revelation 12 Paradigm For Understanding the End Times.)
- Toward the Eternal Shift
My last teaching was about eternal shifting—how God will use the power of eternal shifting to deliver us from the great evils that lie ahead. Again, it may seem like I am contradicting this, saying now that we can "worship our way" to the final defeat of all evil. Eternal shifting is unnecessary.
Quite the contrary. As already said, our worship here will not ultimately overcome this evil as if to turn it back permanently. We are not the final deliverers here and now as mortals. We ourselves will still ultimately need deliverance from the overwhelming evil beyond the power of our current developing authority to defeat it. Scripture is clear about this. (Even the two witnesses are finally overcome by the beast! It is only the Lord with His Immortals that actually ultimately overthrows the beast.)
BUT, the exercising of worship authority is our only doorway to the eternal! And by exercising our worship authority now, we actually put ourselves into increased position to be protected by the promised eternal shifts. By our exercise of worship authority now, we are the preparers of the way for Him who is to ultimately deliver us from all evil.
So yes, we will still need the eternal shifts for divine protection. Nevertheless, we do have an offensive role to play. Where the Eternal Shift teaching focuses on our Defense, this teaching focuses on our Offense. I hope you can rightly discern the difference.
Needed: A Good Kick
Like you, I struggle inside this mortal womb yearning for immortal glory. Like you, I wrestle with having eternal life, feeling its developing authority and power—yet being unable to fully manifest that life, still feeling my real need of protection and deliverance from the evils of this world. I ultimately aim for the next life. But that same longing carries the desire for having an impact on this life now.
Personally, I want to do as much as I can by the Spirit to bring down the kingdoms of this world on my way to being delivered from their reach and grasp. Yes, I am wanting to be born out of it altogether. But I still have some kicking to do yet on my way out.
Today's article is a kicking article! It's a kick in the rear to get us off our duffs and to start exercising our worship toward proving the Lord's authority over all things. May it inspire you toward completing your "mortal internship" as a priest-king in training, and to do so with honor that makes the Lord proud!
New Meadow Neck, RI
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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Page created June 16, 2003