Today I am in Spain after a great week in Bulgaria. The time in Bulgaria was richly blessed with the presence and purpose of God. Thanks to my Bulgarian family for a very fruitful week. I am now doing prophetic activation here in Spain and I know this is going to be a great week for the students to experience the power and presence of the Holy Spirit working through them.
Last week I began to present a challenging thought concerning our stand in the election and appointment of leaders in the kingdoms of the world. The kingdoms of the world are not the kingdom of God. They are kingdoms that operate according to the knowledge of good and evil. The kingdom of God is within the hearts of those who have activated the life of Christ to know the increasing reality of true righteousness, peace, and joy that comes through the life of the Holy Spirit in their hearts. We cannot measure the kings of the world by the understanding of our own hearts. Sometimes tough things happen in the kingdoms of men that don’t seem to match what we think is the love of God that we know in our hearts, but God determines the actions of kings to fulfill His purposes in the earth. God has often stirred in the hearts of worldly kings to serve His purposes in the earth, but the governments of the world are not the kingdom of God. They are the kingdoms of men. We could hope that God would appoint covenant men and women to the position of leading the nations of the world, but the Bible has numerous examples where this is not the case. For Joseph there was a Pharaoh who served to provide the resources for a land of provision for God’s people. Did that Pharaoh act like Jesus in his rule? For Moses there was a Pharaoh to raise him and a Pharaoh to prevail before with God’s power. For David there was a Saul to reveal the true testimony of God’s choosing. For Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah there was a Nebuchadnezzar to recognize the favor of God upon them and to appoint them for the wisdom of God in the midst of the worldly kingdom of Babylon. For Nehemiah there was a Cyrus to give his commission for Nehemiah to rebuild God’s temple, which would be the word that would ultimately rebuild the city of Jerusalem. These worldly leaders were not converted to become covenant-keeping Israelites. God even used an ungodly system of Roman Caesars to prove His true Church and to remove the apostate system of the politicized law. The Spirit/Truth system of the body of Christ prevailed in a time of persecution and the persecuting system proved to be a tool in the hand of God to remove the obsolete Torah/Temple system in Jerusalem. Even the end of the persecution of the early Church was brought about by an emperor named Constantine, to whom God gave a dream that He might put the seed of His written word in the nations of the world. Without the actions of Constantine the persecution would have continued and the written word of God may have been lost. The Bible as we know it with its value as a witness to the voice of God in our hearts may have been lost. The leaders of God’s kingdom are not the leaders of the kingdoms of the world, but God appoints His children in the midst of the nations to influence the hearts of those in the lesser kingdoms of the world. In this, God uses the leaders of the world for His purposes among men.
The prophet Isaiah foretold King Cyrus, the Persian King in much different terms than his secular account as a Persian king. The textbooks of men reveal a king who conquered the nations of the world to see an empire prevail above the nations of the world. You can do some research on your own and find that Cyrus was not a covenant keeping, God serving king. God used him, however, for His purposes in the earth. God pre-ordained him for His purposes in the earth and Cyrus would fulfill the purpose of God as the Redeemer of His people. Isaiah the prophet foretold the birth of Cyrus the king of Persia 210 years before his day of rule. In God’s appointment of Cyrus He would turn wise men backward and make their known knowledge as foolishness to them. God’s intent was that a vision of peace (Jerusalem means vision of peace) would be inhabited and that His communities of praise (cities of Judah – Judah means praise) would be built.
Isaiah 44:24 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, and He who formed you from the womb: “I am the Lord, who makes all things, Who stretches out the heavens all alone, Who spreads abroad the earth by Myself; 25 Who frustrates the signs of the babblers, and drives diviners mad; Who turns wise men backward, and makes their knowledge foolishness; 26 Who confirms the word of His servant, and performs the counsel of His messengers; Who says to Jerusalem, ‘You shall be inhabited, ‘To the cities of Judah, ‘You shall be built,’ and I will raise up her waste places; 27 Who says to the deep, “Be dry! And I will dry up your rivers’…
God’s description of Cyrus was one of being a shepherd to His people. He was not a covenant keeper of God’s ways, but a servant appointed by God for His purposes. He was not of the faith of Israel, but a foreign king sent to partner with the purposes of God in the earth. He was not understanding of God’s plan, but used by God as one who could be moved in his heart to assist in God’s plan for His people in the earth.
Isaiah 44:28 Who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd, and he shall perform all My pleasure, saying to Jerusalem, “You shall be built,” and to the temple, “Your foundation shall be laid.” ’
Cyrus was God’s appointed instrument for His purposes in the earth. Cyrus was not likely aware of the heart of God in the matter. He was a worldly king used by God for His heavenly plans among men.
Isaiah 45:1 Thus says the Lord to Cyrus His anointed, Whom I have taken by the right hand, to subdue nations before him and to loose the loins of kings; to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut: 2 “I will go before you and make the rough places smooth; I will shatter the doors of bronze and cut through their iron bars. 3 “I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden wealth of secret places, so that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name.”
God’s commission to Cyrus was one of subduing nations, destroying the strength of kings, and opening locked doors and closed gates. He was commissioned to make rough places smooth and to shatter doors of bronze so that new gates could not be shut. The wealth of nations would be given to him through his exploits and God’s hand would be upon him for such a cause. A study of the history of this Persian king can easily show that his actions were not the actions of a pastor of a church or of Jesus the King of the hearts and minds of men. He was a secular king simply called to partner with the purposes of God in the earth. Cyrus was not a king with an intimate relationship with God. He was a secular king who would be used by God for heavenly purposes in the earth.
Isaiah 45:4 “For the sake of Jacob My servant, and Israel My chosen one, I have also called you by your name; I have given you a title of honor though you have not known Me.”
God was with Cyrus, though Cyrus did not know God. God knew him and He knew that His purposes would prevail through the rule of Cyrus.
Isaiah 45:5 “I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides Me there is no God. I will gird you, though you have not known Me; 6 That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun that there is no one besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other, 7 the One forming light and creating darkness, causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the Lord who does all these.
God would use king Cyrus for both well-being and calamity. God did not call Cyrus to bring the kingdom of God to the earth. He called Him to serve the expression of God’s kingdom that was already in the earth. Cyrus didn’t even do this knowingly, but he did do it willingly.
I will continue this thought in my next week’s blog posting. Please consider God’s ways with king Cyrus in His appointment of leaders today in the earth. He may be choosing those we do not understand for a purpose that is beyond our own understanding.
Ted J. Hanson