This continues the discussion about Seers who work with the Government, started in part 1.
Kingdom of God People in Government
While I’m sympathetic to distrusting government authority, particularly in the United States which has so much power over its people and whose capitol is laced with so much occult and pagan symbolism, the truth is God ordained governments and governmental authority should be respected and obeyed by Kingdom of God people. See Romans 13 for Paul’s thoughts on that. To continually cast dispersions on human governments is to cast dispersions on God’s plans for human governance.
If the Apostles Paul and Peter admonished Christians in their day to not only obey their Roman and pagan overloads, but also to pray for them, how much more should we do so in our day?
And not only should we obey, but also we should work to influence and assist in the governance, according to Kingdom principles.
Now, take care about what you read into that point. I did not say it’s up to Kingdom-minded people to take over governments to rule according to Kingdom principles, but rather, for Kingdom-minded people to get involved and faithfully serve the institutions wherever God has placed them.
Ancient Egypt, Israel, and Babylon
The Biblical authors noted how Ancient Israel had dealt with many wicked nations, but they took pains to point out that of all the nations that warred against them, two were the most wicked: (ancient) Egypt and Babylon. They were synonymous with wickedness and idolatry. When the ancient nations of Israel and Judah both apostatized (stopped following Yahweh in faith, but trusted to other gods), God compared them to Egypt and Babylon as well.
But in all of these, faithful Hebrews served in the governments of Egypt and Babylon while remaining spiritually and mentally loyal to God. Even when Judah and Israel fell from God’s favor, their leaders consulted faithful Hebrew prophets for assistance. Let’s look at some examples.
Joseph, the Seer of Egypt
In Genesis, Joseph is described as a Hebrew slave in Egypt, whom God gives dream interpretations to, and using this gift, rises to become Pharaoh’s chief overlord. (Actually, Joseph’s entire family understood how to interpret God’s dreams).
Pharaoh employed many magicians who utilized Egyptian gods (i.e., demons, see Deut 32), for their supernatural knowledge. When Pharaoh had a particularly troubling dream, he naturally turned to his occult advisers for the interpretation. Pharaoh later explained,
“And I told it to the magicians, but there was no one who could explain it to me.” Gen 41:22.
The Hebrew prisoner Joseph is brought to Pharaoh, and Pharaoh tells him the dream. Joseph immediately interprets it, and adds policy suggestions about how to act upon the dream that God had given Pharaoh.
Pharaoh discerned something pretty fantastic in Joseph. He turned to his other advisors and said,
“Can we find a man like this, in whom is the Spirit of God?”
Pharaoh recognized the Holy Spirit was in Joseph, rather than the spirit of one of his deities.
By tapping into his source (the Holy Spirit) for supernatural knowledge, Joseph altered the pagan government’s domestic policies in a way that dramatically reshaped the region’s geopolitics for decades and saved countless lives.
In addition, he did so in a way that served Pharaoh faithfully, ultimately bringing all the property of the Egyptians into Pharaoh’s direct control. Joseph also showed respect for Pharaoh’s gods by marrying a priestess of an Egyptian god in accordance with Pharaoh’s wishes, and he shielded the pagan priests’ lands from his land acquisition policies.
This frequent interaction with the pagan deities in a foreign government did not change Joseph’s nature or his heart for the Most High God. He actually grew in spiritual stature, power and wisdom. He gained Heaven’s perspective over his life and events over the region.
Joseph did not seek to overthrow Pharaoh or the worship of the pagan gods to install a state-managed worship of Yahweh. Instead, Joseph saw God’s hand behind the machinations of Egypt and the greater geopolitical occurrences of the region. He was called to serve Egypt through his loyalty to Yahweh.
Micaiah, Seer of Israel
Centuries later, a certain king of Israel had led his people away from serving the God of Israel, Yahweh, and into serving Baal, a demonic principality.
Paradoxically, this king often consulted with prophets of Baal and Yahweh when making domestic or foreign policy decisions. Sometimes he listened to the prophets of Baal, and sometimes he listened to the prophets of Yahweh who simply told him what he wanted to hear, but occasionally he consulted prophets who actually spoke for Yahweh.
Once, when the kings of Judah and Israel were considering a particular military action, the king of Judah, Jehoshaphat, asked the king of Israel if they had a prophet of Yahweh who could give some supernatural advice.
The king of Israel, replied, “Of course!” He brought in 400 prophets, who all rubber-stamped his decision to attack and declared he’d win the battle.
(In much of the Bible, numbers are symbolic: in the mind of the ancient reader and the Bible’s first audience, 400 might be interested as 40 x 10. Forty is a number represents divine governments and 10 represents human governments. The author could be asserting that the prophets of Baal spoke in the most forceful terms imaginable).
Jehoshaphat was still loyal to Yahweh, and he interrupted.
“Is there not here another prophet of Yahweh of whom we may inquire?”
And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of Yahweh, Micaiah the son of Imlah; but I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me, but always evil.”
See 2 Chronicles 18 for the whole account.
Jehoshaphat rolled his eyes, and suggested they bring this prophet of God in anyway. So some messengers when to Micaiah and warned him that all the prophets had already told the king to attack and that the king would win the battle.
So Micaiah shows up.
And he answered, “Go up and triumph; [the enemy] will be given into your hand.”
Well, he must have had a mocking tone to his voice because the king demanded he prophecy truthfully.
What followed is one of the most astounding visions in all of the Bible, outlining God’s decision-making process in the spirit realm. And it was bad news for the king, who turned to his ally in Judah and said, “See?”
The king punished Micaiah and tossed him in jail.
Both kings went to battle, from which the king of Israel did not return, as Micaiah prophesied.
In this case, the prophet saw into God’s supernatural knowledge and was punished. Government policy in Israel was not changed, but in Judah it actually was.
Elisha, Seer of the Three Kings
A few years later, the next king of Israel found himself needing to go to war also, and lined up a couple of allies, King Jehoshaphat again and the king of Moab. The armies of the three kings marched into a desert to maneuver around their enemy, but they found themselves in a critical supply shortage, lacking especially water.
The king of Israel immediately blamed God for their troubles, but Jehoshaphat again simply asked,
“Is there no prophet of Yahweh that we might inquire guidance from Yahweh?”
(See 2 Kings 3 for the entire account.)
A nearby servant replied that Elisha was close by. By this time, Elisha was quite a celebrity and Jehoshaphat said,
“The word of Yahweh is with him!”
So servants brought Elisha to the three kings, and Elijah basically yelled at the king of Israel. He told the king to go and ask all the false prophets and prophets of Baal for help.
The king yelled back, blaming Yahweh for their predicament.
Elisha added that the only reason he showed up in the first place was because he respected Jehoshaphat so much. (Personally, I love Elisha’s moxie).
Then he said,
“Bring me a musician.”
A musician came and played, and the Holy Spirit fell on Elisha, who prophesied that God would send water and that they would prevail against their enemies. The next morning, a dry riverbed gushed with water for the army.
Elisha Continues to Work with the Apostate Government
Once during a multi-pronged Syrian invasion of Israel, Elisha supernaturally received knowledge of where the invading army would strike. Each time, he sent word to his king with this knowledge. Each time, the king positioned his troops to ambush the invaders, turning them back.
This happened so frequently, the Syrian king was certain he had a spy among his advisors, but his servants convinced him that a prophet of God was informing the Israelite leaders. So, the Syrian king released an army to kill the prophet.
During this encounter with the army, Elisha saw an angelic army of horses and chariots of fire surrounding the invaders, which struck them with blindness, and helped his own servant to see this army. Elisha led them out of the land, sparing their lives.
In this case, supernatural knowledge not only informed military decisions but also led to a supernatural military victory, and released mercy, changing Syrian policy towards Israel for a time.
Daniel, Seer of Babylon
Centuries later, Israel had been defeated by the Assyrians and Judah had been obliterated by the Babylonians. The best and brightest Hebrews were hauled off to Babylon for reconditioning and to serve the government.
The Hebrew aristocrat Daniel was one of these slaves and he serving the Babylonian government faithfully for many years as one of the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers. See the book of Daniel for the complete account.
When the Babylonian king had a troubling dream, he demanded his occultists tell him his own dream and also give the interpretation.
His magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers were flabbergasted. How could anyone discern what his dream was? Certainly their demonic sources were silent in this situation. In fact, the astrologers replied to the king:
“There is not a man on earth who can meet the king’s demand, for no great and powerful king has asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or Chaldean. The thing that the king asks is difficult, and no one can show it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.” See Daniel 2.
This angered the king so much, he ordered all of their executions. (After all, what good are prophetic dream interpreters if they’re fake?)
Before the guards could carry out the king’s orders, Daniel, who was a low-level functionary at the time, asked for a brief reprieve to ask God for the answers. He gathered his closest friends who were also loyal to God, and they prayed together to the God of Heaven concerning this mystery.
Daniel was brought to the king and said
“No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days.”
God revealed to Daniel the dream and the interpretation. He received a promotion and greatly influenced Babylonian policy decisions, although the king did not always behave appropriately with this information.
It was not up to Daniel to either correct the king’s decisions or to reshape Babylon to become less pagan and to worship the God of heaven alone.
That’s God’s role, not ours.
Later, when the king was incapacitated for seven years and Daniel ruled in his stead, Daniel faithfully maintained the king’s policies, ruling as the king, rather than trying to institute some version of theocratic government based on his scriptures.
Daniel and his friends simply served Babylon faithfully, while remaining loyal to the God of Heaven.
They knew God was in control and would bring all the nations back to God according to God’s timetable, not theirs. (God began to bring the nations back to him through Jesus Christ on the Cross, through serving).
Although they could not at times fathom why they were in their situation or what God was doing, they went day-by-day, imparting supernatural knowledge from God to their kings when appropriate.
Biblical lessons learned when seers and prophets advising governments
The takeaways from these examples are simple, but hard for many modern Christians to accept:
1. Seers and prophets of the God of Heaven shared supernatural knowledge with their leaders, whether the leaders were loyal to God or loyal to pagan demons or merely loyal to themselves.
2. Seers and prophets of God did not try to change the nature or functioning of the governments they were were advising in. They were loyal to the governments as well, but loyal to God first. When the two conflicted, they chose God and suffered the earthly consequences.
3. Seers and prophets of God assumed earthly governments were ordained by God, and if the governments acted wickedly, God would bring judgement or correction according to God’s timing. God didn’t need the seers and prophets to try and manipulate government policy. Exceptions to this third corollary exist, of course (see Esther).
There are no New Testament examples of Seers or Prophets advising governments, mainly because there were so few Christians at the time and Christianity was severely persecuted by both Jewish and Roman authorities. Moreover, Christians were not yet in positions to influence governments during the time the New Testament books were written.
This is not the case today.
The question for seers and prophets of God today is this: do we simply delegate to the New Age prophets and pagan seers the impartation of supernatural knowledge (inspired by demons) to government officials? Or should Christian seers and prophets of God get involved with supernatural knowledge inspired by God?
We’ll explore that in Part 3.