In all of the years I have walked with the Lord, I have noticed trends concerning spiritual battle and how the enemy (Satan – the accuser) works behind the scenes. Seemingly, he consistently attempts to shine a dark light on himself to liken himself to God or Jesus. Consider the scriptures in Luke, Chapter 4. At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry on Earth.
Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. 7 Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.”Luke 4: 5 – 7, The Bible, NKJV
Couple things here… First, does this sound familiar? Maybe a little like Cyrus’ claim to be king of kings over all of the Earth? In fact, he was not. But now, at the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry, here’s Satan, perhaps one of, if not the most powerful of God’s created angels taking Christ to the top of a mountain. I’d say this was probably for effect… Similar tactic to how he moves us by emotions and awe. He claims to have authority over all of the Kingdoms of the world. But what does Jesus say to him?
“And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”Luke 4: 8, The Bible, NKJV
Pretty straight forward. Jesus tells Satan to get behind him…
Do you think that Satan was there as Cyrus the Great, King of Persia laid claim to God’s Spirit on him and interpreted God’s stirring as God’s blessing? I would rather look at this a little closer and analyze the matter in terms of war and in terms of “God’s not asking…”
Understand? Think about this! Satan already has positioned one of his high command over Persia. Don’t you think that he was keenly aware of the Isaiah prophecy? But, as you and I already know, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.” (Proverbs 21, The Bible, NKJV)
In Daniel, it took the angels some time to make their way past the battle front with the Prince of Persia. But, God, Himself, turned the heart of Cyrus without asking Satan’s permission. He just moved on him, and Cyrus was “stirred” to do and to act in accordance with the will of an almighty God.
Can you imagine Satan’s hate and rage! He controlled Cyrus up until that time. Now, Cyrus is moving and acting in behalf of Israel. As this story played out, I can imagine the devil taking credit for the many wicked and evil things that took place as a result of these wicked rulers. And, they were wicked rulers. God’s people maneuvered right in their midst and the “authority” granted Cyrus, Artaxerxes, and Darius became the tool(s) that God used to rebuild the temple and to rebuild Jerusalem – right in the presence of Israel’s enemies.
So, fast forward to the desert wilderness near the Jordan river where Jesus has his first recorded encounter and confrontation with Satan himself. Can you imagine this? He’s testing Jesus, but he is also very aware that Jesus is God in the flesh. He’s testing Jesus to see if he will bow to his flesh and his human weakness. Jesus had to be exhausted. Satan is obviously displaying his incredible power by transporting Jesus to the top of a mountain and then somehow showing him all of the Earth and its kingdoms in an instant, as the Bible describes it. This is a showdown!
Was Jesus tempted? I don’t know – but he hit the devil with the Word and the devil backed off. But then, he came back for more. The Bible says that Satan then took Jesus to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple. This is the same temple that Cyrus commanded be rebuilt and that he supported Israel in restoring, along with subsequent kings who built and restored Jerusalem and her walls (Ezra & Nehemiah). Think about this! You don’t think that Jesus knew exactly what Satan was implying with the whole “kingdoms of the world” and “the temple” things?
I don’t mean to be too cavalier with this, but it is pretty obvious that Satan either was indeed the Father of Lies (as Jesus called him) or he actually believed that he had been given this authority. But here’s the thing…
It really doesn’t matter… Jesus rebuked him again and told him that God was not to be tested. The scriptures say that Satan then left Jesus and waited for a more opportune time to attack him. Which, if you read the rest of the story, you’ll find that it was in the temple that Jesus was attacked almost immediately after he returned from the wilderness.
So, let’s come back to modern day America. Here, in this time, we are looking to a man to deliver us from the tyranny of Liberalism. That really is about the size of it as best as I am able to understand from the many Christians and conservatives I have talked with, interviewed and discussed this matter. Four years I have listened and waited to understand something deeper – more profound – or perhaps more spiritual than it appeared during the election of 2016.
Yet, here we are, 2021 and about to swear in another liberal democratic president who appears to be more determined than his predecessors to destroy the country and the Church. But wait!
Do you feel this way? There’s still more to the story. The key was in the scripture I quoted early from Matthew.
What if… So, what if instead of trying to label politicians and leaders with vicarious names from the Old Testament, we were to trust in the One Who said he set us free? What if we believed and acted on the power, love and sound mind (self-discipline) that God has given us through His Spirit (2 Tim 1:7)? Stay with me to the end here and you will see why Cyrus is important and how the Church should have supported Donald Trump as President of the United States – much differently than we did.
“Then Jesus came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. As was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath. And when He stood up to read, the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. Unrolling it, He found the place where it was written:” (Luke 4: 18 – 21, The Bible, NKJV)
“The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Then He rolled up the scroll, returned it to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on Him, and He began by saying, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”Luke 4: 18 – 21, The Bible, NKJV
Wow! Consider this! Jesus, at the very beginning of his ministry, after doing spiritual battle (at least that is all we know about) with his archrival, Satan, healed up, came back and resumed teaching in the synagogue – which was something he did regularly. But this time was different.
Satan, likely only days before this confrontation in the temple (and it was a confrontation!) was in spiritual combat with the devil in the wilderness. Now they are back at the temple or the synagogue in Jerusalem. Jesus was literally thrown out of the temple where he had taught for years. But why? It seems very likely, almost obvious that Satan was present. Stick with me…
Isn’t this how the enemy uses people? Even people within the church…
Look at the scripture Jesus read (Is. 61). Do you think it was a coincidence that the priest handed Jesus the scroll of Isaiah? Jesus took the scroll and then deliberately found this scripture: “The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4: 18 – 21, The Bible, NKJV)
Think on this… The Spirit of the Lord stirred Cyrus. He called Cyrus his “anointed one.” But the real key is the foreshadowing of Jesus, having come to set the captives free. This is so amazing! Why do we not hear pastors and evangelists preaching on these scriptures? Because this is a part of the “big story” that the enemy doesn’t want us to know or to live in… He would rather we put our trust in men and in their wealth than in the One Who already purchased our freedom and defeated the enemy that has held us captive for generations. He is also the reigning King of Kings, Who gives us power to live in this modern day. It is us who have chosen to lay down our swords (His Word and Promises). It is us who daily compromise our lives and integrity and then look for another “savior,” just like Israel did when they DEMANDED to have a king – King Saul.
Now, it is my contemporary opinion that we as a Church have become weak. We operate in fear, and like Israel in the time of Saul, we need a king to deliver us. Somehow, in our despondence and complacency, we have forgotten that we already have a King who reigns in power and Who has already defeated the enemy. We have forgotten that He gives to us power for the battle and provides for us all that we need to live in this world. He prays for us – not to take us out of this world, but to protect us from the enemy. (John 17: 15)
In the Book of John 16: 33 he made it clear when he said, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16: 33, The Bible, NKJV)
So, much like Cyrus and the other monarchs who ruled the world at the pinnacle of Satan’s power and reign, Jesus not only rules the world, but He has also overcome it! Now that is POWER! For those doing research, think back to God referring to Himself as YHWH Sabaoth (Lord of Hosts) when he was speaking to Zerubbabel. Both Cyrus and Satan admitted that the world had been “given” to them… Jesus -on the other hand, is a conquering King and He has overcome what no man or angelic-being has ever accomplished. He gave to us power. But we have relinquished our power in prayer, unity and love. We have given it up for recognition and prideful ambitions. We in essence missed the point of Jesus’ victory on the cross and His subsequent declaration of independence when we hang our hats on things and men like Cyrus – and even our own current leaders. He (Jesus) is our hope.
I’d like to leave you with a few thoughts of HOPE. First, we don’t need a Cyrus to lead us today. We already have the King of Kings and we have direct access to Him. He has given us a playbook and instructions on how to win. He has given us power, knowledge, wisdom, and instructions on how to obtain them and how to use them. There is so much more and as I mentioned at the beginning of this writing, it would be easy to write a book on how all of this fits together and how and why it is relevant to our time.
But, for now, let’s wind up and put Cyrus to bed. Let’s fix our eyes on the One Who sets all men free if they will just ask him. Can you see why claiming Donald Trump to be Cyrus was/is a short-sighted move on the part of Church leaders and Christians. Has God lost the electoral vote for his candidate? Absolutely not!
Let’s close with this thought. Do you remember when Joshua was encamped near Jericho? What a grand and magnificent story of God’s dominion over evil! A story revealing how His Word has the triumphant ability to tear down strongholds – even the strongest of them (Think Jericho!).
Can you imagine the walls looming into the sky? The tension in the air as the dust swirled and filled the nostrils of the horses and men moving rapidly into formations and encampments. Can you see the glistening steel of arrows and spearheads held by armored men atop the walls of this massive, fortified city?
Then, let your gaze move downward to some roadway or back path within the encampment of the Israeli battlefront. “And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or for our adversaries?” So, He said, “No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, “What does my Lord say to His servant?” Then the Commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, “Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.” And Joshua did so.”
Maybe, just maybe, if we could come to terms with the fact that God is not on our side and that he is not involved in politics and the entertainment of his people, we might just make some real headway. Henry Blackaby dealt with it in his book Experiencing God. That’s a good place to begin if you are looking to learn more about the basics of walking with God. However, if you are serious about turning a nation and a world to Christ and saving a nation that has for the most part sold its soul for a façade of “freedom,” then Jesus, not Cyrus (a man) is the answer. Unity among the brethren, as the Word refers to it, is key for the local church and the Church at large to achieve.
A praying nation and a praying Church make for a strong people capable of anything that falls within the will of our Lord. There is much to learn from the history and stories of Cyrus and the kings of old. There is also much to learn from the Biblical patriarchs who lived and followed God during those days ruled by wickedness. It is my sincere hope that we as a Christian people, who are called by His name will humble ourselves and pray. I pray for national repentance and for revival to find its way back to a broken and disparate culture.
I believe there is still hope for America and for the American and Global Church of Jesus. I hope that you have received something of value from this writing and that you will apply it to your daily walk with Him. If you don’t know this Jesus that I’m talking about, you can reach out on this site, and I will be glad to introduce you to Him. For now,
May the Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.
Numbers 6: 24 – 25, The Bible, NKJV