Music and the “Secular” World

Secular music is an illusionary label that people created to marginalize believers with a positive thing to say about society. Do you have an opinion about anything that is happening in your world? Take this, for example, you have an idea about the world around you, and you write a song about it on contemporary music. What’s wrong with that? We know that it is possible for the people in your local church who will condemn and criticize you for singing “secular” songs.  

It is an ugly picture when members from the church are sitting around the bandstand, passing comments about how you should win the match on the field. How should you have kicked the ball? Who should you have passed the ball to? These are all commentary. 

It’s straightforward to sit on a bandstand and make comments, but it takes a phenomenal amount of courage and character to get on the field and engage the enemy face-to-face. This is why players on the court are the ones who are getting paid to play, and the spectators from the stands are the ones who pay to see the action. Do you get what we mean? 

Financial Gain vs. Influence

 It’s not about the money. It’s about making an impact. God wants us to be on the court. He wants us on the field. He wants us to be part of the action, not just the spectators who pass around measures about other people. 

We respect those who dare to influence culture through the arts. What do we do? Instead of passing comments, be involved in the lives of people you know who are making a difference in this pillar of power. We try to be the “Mordecai in the life of those people who work as Insiders. We encourage them to pursue their career in the mainstream culture because they need our support as they try to overcome the education quadrant of society.  

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Warfare and Hitting Enemy Territory

In the context of warfare, if you hit a pillar of power of the enemy, you will indeed cause them to go into a defensive mode. If you hit the mainstream, you will now meet principalities and powers. Until then, you haven’t met a principality or a power. Many of what we call principalities and powers are aches and pains.  

Paul’s message began to affect the culture. For some of you, your ministry should be in the marketplace. God designed you to influence culture, which is why you can’t eliminate your uncommon passion for art or music. God has placed this passion in your heart. Why? It’s because it is part of your assignment to enter that particular arena and begin turning a big ship.  

The sacred-secular divide has created within us a conflict. We are torn between our passion and interests and the faith we profess. I understand that we want to be faithful. But what about the innate passions and interests we have? 

The common questions we receive: “Am I allowed to make secular music?” What do we say to these people: “Brother, darkness is the absence of light. If all of us pulled out of what you call secular music, it would be even darker than it is right now.” There is no secular music if you are doing it for the Lord. The lyrics may not glorify God, but if you intend to become an Insider in that industry, go. Take courage and go.  

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Overcoming the Four Quadrants: Education

“Spiritual warfare is genuine. There is a furious, fierce, and ferocious battle raging in the realm of the spirit between the forces of God and the forces of evil. Warfare happens every day, all the time. Whether you believe it or not, you are on a battlefield. You are in warfare.”  

Pedro Okoro  

Power Truth 

In the same way, let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. 

Matthew 5:16 

Paul goes mainstream 

When Paul was in the synagogues, there was no transformation. The members of the temple were adamant against him. When he moved to the lecture halls, Paul experienced doors opening.  

A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas. In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power. (Acts 19:19-20) 

How many pieces of silver was Jesus sold for? Jesus was sold for only 30 pieces of silver. This was the value of the life of our King. However, this passage shows how 50,000 pieces of silver worth of books on magic, sorcery, and artifacts were used to work magic. We get to see a picture of the culture Ephesus had. This culture was enslaved by superstition, various forms of witchcraft, magic, and sorcery.  

Mainstream Education

When Paul hit the mainstream education system, or by today’s standards – the secular schools, it was there that the people heard the message. Paul brought about a cultural change by targeting the school.   

The culture was engulfed with sorcery and witchcraft. But the people burned 50,000 pieces of the silver worth of magical arts. We see transformation being brought into this account.   

When you affect culture, you start dethroning the enemy that is there. One of the reasons God cares about your career and wants to partner with you for the success of your job is because He is raising an army of ministers who can reach out to the marketplaces. Until you have a plan to affect change and transformation from the inside out, it’s talk. This is why you are Insiders. You can only influence transformation from the inside.  

God may call some to teach in the Bible schools. Some are called to furnish saints. However, God is also calling people to teach in mainstream education.  

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The Account of Nehemiah: God’s Influence in the Palace

Nehemiah’s Position Blesses a Pagan King

Nehemiah was a palace worker. He wasn’t a high-ranking official or anything. However, he was in the palace. He was the Persian King Artaxerxes’ cupbearer. Nehemiah favored this pagan king.

Because of God’s favor on Nehemiah, this pagan king granted him permission to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the city walls. If you study the chronological version of the Bible, you will notice that the book of Esther came before the book of Nehemiah.

When we examine the event in which Nehemiah asked for permission, we notice an essential presence. “Then the king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked me, ‘How long will your journey take, and when will you return?” the Bible says. ‘It pleased the king to dispatch me, so I set a time’ (Nehemiah 2:6, emphasis added).

Who was this mysterious queen? Esther was this queen. We can see her influence even after she has saved the Jewish nation. She was elevated to a prominent position to protect the Jewish people for the Lord.

Nehemiah’s Influence Carries Out God’s Plans

Nehemiah was at ease in the palace. He had the king’s approval. What more could he want? Why did he have to be concerned about reconstructing Jerusalem’s walls? Why should he be concerned?

Nehemiah cared because he knew he couldn’t afford to stay in his comfort zone. According to the Bible, he wept when he heard about the state of Jerusalem. He was not only emotionally troubled. He did something about his feelings. What was his first action? The Bible said, “When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days, I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven” (Nehemiah 1:4).  

Nehemiah was concerned because he understood his proper role. It was not to be the pagan king’s cupbearer. He was an insider to God. Nehemiah used his clout in the palace to kickstart rebuilding Jerusalem’s walls.

What can you do in your workplace?

Are you satisfied with your position in the political system? Perhaps,  you are afraid to ruffle some feathers in the name of the Lord.  Are you afraid to leave your comfort zone?

Nehemiah was the man God chose for this project. He felt called to do this project and was determined to see it through. He bravely requested permission from the king to carry out God’s will. Nehemiah asked that God act on his behalf, which He did.

I also said to him, “If it pleases the king, may I have letters to the governors of Trans-Euphrates, so that they will provide me safe conduct until I arrive in Judah? And may I have a letter to Asaph, keeper of the royal park, so he will give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel by the temple and the city wall and for the residence I will occupy?” And because the gracious hand of my God was on me, the king granted my requests. So I went to the governors of Trans-Euphrates and gave them the king’s letters. The king had also sent army officers and cavalry with me. (Nehemiah 2:7-9, emphasis added) 

We see how God places his people in the palace to influence something significant in the stories of Obadiah, Esther, and Nehemiah. The palace is the seat of power. The palace serves as a focal point for protection and control.

Obadiah’s job was to guard the prophets. Esther’s role was to safeguard the Jewish people. The role of Nehemiah was to protect Jerusalem’s future. What is God asking you to guard?

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Queen Esther and God’s Political Strategy

God’s strategic positioning

In the story of Esther, there was a secret plan going on. If you read the Book of Esther, you won’t find any mention of God. But His name doesn’t have to be mentioned for Him to be there.

Esther works for the government. She moved into the palace when she married the king. At first, she didn’t know what her job was all about. But it was the voice of Mordecai (the Prophet) that made her realize what the job was for.

When God put Esther in the palace, she became the richest, most powerful, and most coveted woman in the world. God has a reason for putting us in the palace. Before you know it, you’ll not only be involved, but you’ll also be a part of the system that controls your involvement.

We can be somewhere one day and somewhere else the next. God can give promotions out of the blue. God plans things. He plans how to position things strategically.

Let’s read about how King Artaxerxes tried to find a wife. This happened to show how God makes a space. Esther looks like the winner. She worked hard to get a job, and she did. She didn’t know that she was applying for a job that could save all Jews when she did. It was part of God’s plan to stop something from happening that hadn’t happened yet.

The Name of God was not even mentioned

If we look at the story of Esther, we’ll see that God doesn’t have to be mentioned for him to be there. He doesn’t need to be told when he’s coming. That’s what Esther’s real message is.

Esther is the only book in the Bible that doesn’t use the word “God,” but God is everywhere in it. She was in the Palace because God put her there. In fact, Esther stood up for God.

Esther is a secret agent who lets God into the bedroom of the king. It’s secret and has to do with making a presence in a field that gives you the right to talk. Esther was able to save God’s people because she had a lot of power over the king.

How do you deal with the principalities if you are in the political arena? How much do you matter? What do you think God is doing with you in that system?

Before you go around preaching about Jesus’s salvation and the Kingdom of God, think about how you fit into that system. You might say to Bishop, “It’s a very bad system. “What can I do? I work for the government. Be a government worker who doesn’t do anything wrong. More so, be the kind of government worker who won’t take bribes. Are you the government worker who gets things done? Bring Jesus’ spirit into the government.

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God is a Political Strategy

God was strategic in placing Obadiah in a position of authority

Is it just a huge coincidence that Ahab’s leader was a man of God? Obadiah was in a position of power because God put him there. Obadiah was in a position of power, which gave him the ability to protect and provide for the prophets when Jezebel was looking for them. If we looked at what Obadiah’s name means in English, we would see that it means “servant of Jehovah.”

Even though he was in charge of running the palace, he did not think of his master as his boss. He knew he was doing something for God. Maybe Ahab gave him this job because he knew the man was honest and thought that would make him a good palace official. Still, it was God’s favor that put him in a place of power and authority.

God has a purpose for leaders He appoint

God put Obadiah where he was for a reason. Obadiah was a person who loved God very much. He took the risk and took care of the 100 prophets. He found caves where he could hide them. He gave them a break and some water without them knowing. By doing this, he put his life in danger. Don’t forget that this happened during the famine. There wasn’t enough food to go around. But Obadiah was the one who used the few things that were available to feed 100 prophets. Even now, it’s hard and expensive to feed 100 people. Back then, it was even harder and costlier.

Obadiah’s moment of weakness is shown to us. Even though he had doubts, the Lord still wanted to use him. This must mean something to people of faith who hold political office. Don’t be afraid of God’s hand. He can use you for something better. They might be asked to put their jobs and lives in danger, but God would be there for them until the end.

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The Account of Obadiah: How God Can Move in Politics

God placed a devout believer in the palace. 

Obadiah was present in the royal residence. God had predestined him to hold the position of palace administrator. He is described as having served as a governor or a high official in Ahab’s palace in some accounts. Someone who was devoted to God was put in charge of the palace. What exactly was the point of having this placement? Obadiah was stationed in the palace to stop Queen Jezebel’s destructive behavior and to safeguard the prophets of God.

Obadiah’s role

Obadiah shielded the prophets from Jezebel’s anger while they were living through the time of the drought. He hid one hundred prophets in two caves, fifty in each cave, and provided food and water for them so that Jezebel would not be able to kill them. This prevented Jezebel from carrying out her plan to destroy the prophets.

One day, the king had him brought before him and charged him with the mission of traversing the land and visiting all of the springs and valleys to locate some grass that would prevent their horses and mules from expiring. Ahab went in the opposite direction, and he was tasked with searching a particular portion of the land that belonged to him.

Elijah came across Obadiah while the latter was out looking for grass. As soon as the official realized who he was, he dropped to his knees out of respect for the prophet. Elijah issued a command to him, telling him to inform the king that he had returned. Obadiah was troubled about Elijah’s well-being. He saw it as the way to bring about his demise.

Obadiah was aware that Ahab was scouring the land in search of Elijah. He was well aware that if he told the king that Elijah was present but the king could not locate him, the king would order Obadiah’s execution. Elijah assured Ahab that he would present himself to him on the day in question (1 Kings 18:15).

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How does God fit into Politics? Part 2

The bravest and most muscular men took over the government and overthrew the tyrant. The Bible shows that this is true (1-2 Kings, 1-2 Chronicles).  Luke 11 was talking about this, wasn’t it?

Polybius saw the failure coming, as well as the political cycle that kept going with its mindless revolution. he said: “The constitution will change its name to the one which sounds the most imposing of all, that of freedom and democracy, but its nature to that which is the worst of all, that is the rule of the mob.” 

Duigon (2006) posed this question: “What would Polybius think of our consumerist, materialist society, its intense partisanship, its politics of personal destruction, and it is pluralistic, ‘offend no one,’ all-inclusive civil religion?”  

For Polybius, there was a political cycle. As Christians, it’s easy to see that if the people and their leaders don’t obey God and His laws, nothing will hold them back. There is a political cycle because humans have fallen and are full of sin. Humans aren’t perfect, so they can’t make perfect permanent governments.

The state’s power and glory shall pass away, but God’s Word shall not pass away. 

Most people think that there is no way to clean up or fix the world of politics. They believe it is not religious. Let me repeat this. They can’t find anything in this world that is holy. But unlike Polybius, we have the Bible and God’s promise that He will write the laws on our hearts. We know that we don’t have to get caught up in politics.

God needs you to be an “Insider” in the “palace” because of this cycle of politics that seems never to end. God can also use you to put this system back together. God’s Kingdom is not a part of the government like the Roman civil religion (Duigon, 2006). The power and glory of the state will end, but God’s Word will last forever (Mark 13:31).

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How does God fit into Politics?

The bravest and the strongest men overthrew the tyrant and took over the government. 

Christians have grown used to the idea of a state that doesn’t favor any one religion over another. We think it’s fine to keep God out of politics, as if we can close the doors to politics right in front of Him and keep Him out. What’s going on right now is nothing new. The Romans were the first to try this. This is because this pillar of power has always been watched over by an enemy.

A Greek general and historian named Polybius lived in Rome as a political prisoner from 167 to 150 B.C. During this time, he was able to show us what happens when God is left out of politics (Duigon, 2006). It was during a time when the Roman Republic was at its most powerful and prosperous. Polybius learned about Rome’s past and how it was run. He even said good things about the checks and balances in the republic.

 Fallen and fallible humans cannot create infallible, permanent governments. 

Polybius was a non-Christian who gave an unbiased account of what politics looked like without God and what happened to a country that went that route. The Roman religion, which Polybius said was based on superstition, was put on top of the system. Polybius knew what would happen to her.

Polybius thought that each constitution had its own built-in and unavoidable vice (Duigon, 2006). No system was perfect, whether it was monarchy, aristocracy, democracy, or mob rule. From the point of view of a pagan historian, this is how government works:

Starting from a state of disorder, the strongest man emerges as the leader of the people, who look to him to bring order. If he succeeds, his position becomes a monarchic institution. Time sees the aristocracy become an arbitrary, greedy oligarchy. So the people overthrow the oligarchy and establish a democracy. Over time the democracy degenerates into mob rule, and then disorder; and a strong man is found to put things right, starting the whole cycle all over again. (Duigon, 2006). 

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Keep it out of the palace 

Jesus said to them, ‘It is not healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 

In his article “Christianity and the Public Arena” Mark Rushdoony wrote that “Christians are often told in not-so-nice ways to keep religious issues out of the public arena. On the other hand, these kinds of statements attempt to silence certain beliefs so that different views can take over the public arena.

Many believers are surprised when Christians run for office, back political candidates, or try to push their political agenda on the political scene. Why is it this way? Why are Christians not “allowed” to come into the palace?

What kind of spirit tells us that Christians shouldn’t get involved in politics? What principle makes us think that religious issues don’t belong in the public arena? Can you see how the enemy is trying to protect this pillar of power?

Believers who understand what the Bible says will help run towns, cities, and states somehow. They might be the ones who want to protect the rights of people who don’t have a father or who aren’t from the country. They might give their time to civic and charitable groups as volunteers.

Are you just doing your own thing?

Believers shouldn’t be surprised when other believers try to bring their Christian values into the public arena. It is a duty from God. “Doing our own thing” and not having God in politics have led to more crime, broken homes, abused and aborted children, sexual immorality, drug and alcohol problems, messed-up welfare programs, and inadequate education (Lovelace, 2013). How can we not pay attention to this message?

Are you God’s Insider?

God wants to put His Insider in the Palace for what reason? Why would God want to get into such a dirty system? It is exactly like that. What is clear from the Bible? Mark 2:17 says, “When Jesus heard this, he told them, “The healthy don’t need a doctor; the sick do.” I didn’t come to call the good people but the bad ones.”

I’m not saying that every Christian should run for office. I have already said that we all have a mission order. Not everyone will answer the same way. No one can answer at every stage of life, either. Some of you are bringing up godly kids, which is as essential as being a godly mayor. But I want to encourage those who feel called to conquer this pillar of power to be brave.

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Do you make an impact in the arena?

Even though you are in the enemy’s kingdom, he doesn’t care. He does not want you in control.

The gates let everyone in. One of our problems is that we are too happy about having access. When God is trying to raise some people who have their sights set on the palace, he wants to put some of us in the palace, which is where the industry is controlled.

Being in the business is one thing. It’s something else to be part of the machine that runs it. It is called the palace because Joseph lived there. He wasn’t right next door to the palace. He was in the palace for sure.

Let’s read Luke 11:20-23 from the American King James Version: 

But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come on you. When a strong man armed keeps his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he shall come on him,9 and overcome him, he takes all his armor wherein he trusted, and divides his spoils. He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathers not with me scatters. (Luke 11:20-23) 

The king is a strong man. He has weapons. He wants to hold on to his palace. But he’s not armed, and he’s keeping his gates closed. Did you pick up on that? It looks like the strong man is full of himself. He doesn’t even care about his gates. Even though you are in the enemy’s kingdom, he doesn’t care that he doesn’t want you to be in charge.

God’s kingdom comes to this world. God is putting people in the palaces of the world through this process. God is letting them in to have power, lead, and be in charge. You have been chosen to move up. You have been selected to make a difference in that palace. Right now, we are all inside the gates of our industries. God is looking for someone who will step up and be a leader. He wants to put someone in charge of the palace.

God will make a job opening so that believers can fill it.

When you say, “I’m ready, Lord. I want to be in the palace.” God will put you in the palace, and while you are there, He will protect you. God is the one who will raise you to the palace. He will keep you safe and help you do well. Joseph became the wealthiest person in the world when God put him in the palace. He became a powerful person. But he wasn’t the Pharaoh’s man in the end, even though he was a trusted second man. He worked for God at the palace.

God will make a job opening so that believers can fill it. He advertises a job opening at the job center. Your job in the palace might have nothing to do with your religion. It might not have anything to do with how your church usually does mission work. But this has nothing to do with the goal of the kingdom, which is to stop the enemy’s plans.

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Overcoming the Four Quadrants: Politics

“Men may spurn our appeals, reject our message, oppose our arguments, despise our persons, but they are helpless against our prayers.”  

― J. Sidlow Baxter 

Power Truth 

Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 

Ephesians 4:28 

The Gates and The Palace 

There are influential people. The beast in a city is the system that keeps the town safe or under some control. That’s what it is. Once you step into a city’s marketplace, you’re dealing with the beast.

It has to do with war. This war is not for the weak. You can’t fight this battle from far away. You have to be in the game when you start to change things like culture, education, religion, and politics.

A lot of the Bible is about cities. When the Bible was written, a town was a kingdom. In the Bible, every city was a kingdom. Because of this, Salem, Sodom, and Jericho all had kings. There were natural kingdoms in all of them. You have two points in a city. You have two strongholds in the city that are very important. The gates and the palaces are the most vital parts of a city or a kingdom.

 You can get in through the gates, but the palace gives you power.

Jesus said something about the gates of hell. They won’t be able to beat the church. The gates of hell can’t hold up against a believer’s attack. If you take over the city gates, where do you stand? The city itself. You are there.

As soon as you have that job, you are in. What do you do right now? Which kingdom did you get into? You can go through the gates. Those who take over the palace are in charge. You can get in through the gates, but the palace gives you power.

How many of the fantastic Bible characters we’ve talked about ran their businesses from palaces? Every one. Consider it. How many of Joseph, Esther, Nehemiah, Daniel, and Moses worked from a palace in a different kingdom? Every one.

How did they get there? In the doors? No. At the castle. The palace is where the king lives. The palace is the kingdom’s last stronghold. The palace is the most crucial stronghold in a domain because having control means being in the palace.

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