Rev. A. Martlew, L.Th., England
'POWERS AND RULERS OF DARKNESS'
Some of our readers will instantly recognise the origin of the above heading. That chapter that so forcefully outlines the great spiritual dangers we face, both nationally and spiritually. The sixth chapter of Ephesians, that masterpiece of Paul, written when he was in Rome, highlights the root of our problems for these last
days. Here is encapsulated the very power source of our struggle.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Verse 12)
This great power of evil presses down upon the isles, and it seems there is no way out. We who love the Lord, and have been shown the kingdom key to prophecy, bear a great burden. At the same time we are given this vision of God's faithfulness enshrined in His covenants, we are also cognisant of the power of evil emanating from high places. How amazing that God reveals these two opposing spiritual visions at the same time. Some may question the wisdom of this, why can't we be shown just the good things? There are many Christians who only want to see the good things of life, and to live in a bubble of spiritual wellbeing. Not for them the misery, sweat and tears of life.
The Lord knows His business, and when He reveals His love, His Holiness and His faithfulness, it is only right that He should also reveal the other side of the coin. We don't live in a rose tinted world; it is a harsh, cruel place, and Satan is prince of this world. If we are not aware of these facts, our ministry would be ineffectual. We would be preaching platitudes, and airbrushing the realities out of sight. To cocoon ourselves, and those we minister to, is spiritual dishonesty, and we will be called to account.
Each of us has been called for a specific purpose, and that is clearly outlined in verse seventeen of Ephesians chapter six, here we are enjoined to
Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God.
Notice firstly, we can only fight the devil if we have been saved by the blood of the Lamb. Secondly, what greater weapon is there, other than the Living Word of God? Satan cannot abide it, and we are reminded of that occasion when Christ was tempted by him in the wilderness. He answered him and said
Get thee behind me Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. (Luke 4:8)
The Word of God is also our weapon. Satan is fully aware that his time is short, and its power and authority still strikes terror in his heart. The real purpose of our ministry is to be fully aware of the forces of evil which are arrayed against us. Many a general has lost a battle because he underestimated the strength of the enemy. Preparation for battle, spies and intelligence, are prerequisites for victory. Even David sent out spies to find out what Saul was up to!
Throughout history, Israel has faced times of danger, sometimes from aggressor nations. In many cases we have been given ample warning, but we are usually unprepared. World war two being a prime example. Churchill warned the government in the early 1930's that Hitler was re-arming, but he was labelled a war monger, and his warnings fell on deaf ears.
At other times the dangers are spiritual. These threats to our safety and well being are even more dangerous than threats of war and invasion. One of the clearest signs that we are living at the time of the end is our present spiritual state. Corruption in high places, selfishness and greed are all signs that mark these present times. Paul, Timothy, James, Peter, John and Jude, all warned of coming days of apostasy. Have these warnings been heeded? Is the church crying out these dangers to the nation? I leave you, the reader to form your own conclusion.
Although we who know our national identity are aware of these things, we do need to briefly remind ourselves of two factors which mark these present days, and the days to come. They affect the fundamental structure of our race (not a politically correct word these daysl) Everything depends upon
1) the Abrahamic Covenant
2) the Davidic Covenant.
The first embraces the nation as a whole, and is a promise of the multiplicity of Israel's seed, and a promise of land. The Davidic Covenant on the other hand, is to ensure the continuity of royal seed, of kings and queens upon David's Throne.
The evidence of the continuity of this Covenant is in the person of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II who sits upon that Throne. The kings and queens throughout our history are regents who occupy until David's greater Son returns and sits upon that Throne.
Although the Covenants remain inviolate, it is not to say that the Lord overlooks our present spiritual degeneration. Jeremiah was instructed to write
I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished. (Jeremiah 30:11)
One aspect of this present correction period is of great significance, and concerns the Royal Peculiar, Westminster Abbey. Our kings and queens have been crowned in that sacred place since 1296, seated over that stone which we call the Coronation Stone. What are the origins and significance of this object with little monetary value? That broken stone with rustless iron rings at each end, and its top worn smooth by wooden poles, this that very Sacred Stone that accompanied Israel wherever she went.
It all began on that morning when Jacob set it up as a pillar, and poured oil upon it, and named the place Beth-el (that is, House of God.) The spiritual significance of this Stone to Israel's race, and to the Throne of David cannot be overstated.
At dawn, on the morning of 14th November, 1996, it was loaded onto an army Land Rover, and taken to Edinburgh Castle. From the moment of its departure
from the Abbey, the Glory of the Lord departed.
This reminds us of that occasion when the Ark of God was taken by the Philistines. EIi's daughter in law was about to give birth to a son, and upon hearing the news of the Ark, she exclaimed call him Ichabod (that is, the glory has departed). (I Samuel 4)
We may well see a parallel in these two events. These two objects, the Ark and the Stone, are both sacred, and belong to no other nation, other than to Israel. Although the present location of the Ark is unknown, or even if it still exists,nevertheless, it formed a vital task of proclaiming God's presence and protection. The same is with the Stone,for it represents Christ (Psalm 118:22, Matthew 21:42, Acts 4:11 and 12,Romans 9:33, Ephesians 2:20 and I Peter 2:8.)
What then are we to conclude by the removal of that precious object from the Abbey? That Stone which was brought from Scotland by Edward I in 1296, has witnessed our kings and queens crowned upon it, thus maintaining a perfect continuity, and evidence of the Davidic Covenant. This precious Stone now resides in Edinburgh Castle. Should we fear for its safety? Indeed not, for it now rests with a remnant of true Judah. It is assured that it will be returned to Westminster Abbey for the next coronation. However, we must not overlook the fact that all the while it is absent from the Abbey, the Glory of the Lord is no longer there.
We may well ask, why did He allow its removal? The writer believes the reason could be because of an event which took place on 24th September 2010. On that day Pope Benedict XVI entered its portals, the first Pope ever to set foot in that sacred place. Not only did he enter, but shared in a service of evening prayer with the Archbishop of Canterbury. In view of that sacrilegious ceremony, how could the glory of God remain there? Has its spiritual significance and value to Israel's race been diminished? Will it remain out of sight and out of mind? A mere relic of former days? Indeed not, for the day will surely came when it will form an integral part of Christ's Rule.
The Scriptures clearly show that something so wonderful will come to pass that we can scarce take it in. From that Stone will flow living waters from the Throne of God,
And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be (Zechariah 14:8)
Notice, living waters flowing from one point in two directions, east and west. The only point it will issue from is the Throne of Christ!
And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb (Revelation 22:1)
Now we can really understand the true significance of that lowly piece of sandstone from Bethel which has been with Israel for over three and a half thousand years
The best is yet to come. Amen!
Back To Contents