22 Aug 2016 – HONOUR
It’s no coincidence that Levi and Leviathan start with the same letters. Their functions are similar: the tribe of Levi to serve in the Tabernacle and Temple; Leviathan to serve – originally – in God’s court. Because the gifts of God are irrevocable, the fallen spirit Leviathan still has an office as a guardian of honour.
It’s also a guardian of the threshold. Psalm 104 tells us Leviathan was formed to frolic in the sea. That word translated ‘frolic’ or ‘sport’ is a word often found associated with threshold covenant (and violation of threshold covenants). Believers often want to bind Leviathan and cast it away from the threshold. Apart from this not being in any way a wise choice (see Job 41), it runs counter to what God formed this amazing creature for.
I have always found that, if you are beset by Leviathan, the issue is one of honour. If we are not allowed to dishonour even the fallen angels (see 2 Peter 2 and Jude 1), why should we be allowed to dishonour any part of creation – including ourselves?
22 Jun 2018 SHALOM – RETALIATION
For a long time I’ve said to God that I don’t know much about the spirit of Leviathan – except that it seems to be a fallen seraph that still retains an office of guarding against dishonour. And it can be symbolised by a crocodile, a scorpion, a stingray – anything that has a tail that can whip you around and lash you so severely you’re tempted to swear you’ll never try to cross the threshold again.
But what overcomes Leviathan? Besides repenting of dishonour, that is. Love is what makes it possible for us to overcome Python, the spirit of constriction, and joy makes it possible for us to overcome Ziz, the spirit of forgetting. So – is it a logical sequence? Is it peace that helps us overcome Leviathan?
Hmmm… that’s trickier to answer than it seems. I’ve had to completely overturn my understanding of “peace” to answer it. “Shalom”, the word we usually translate as peace, is a complex word. It isn’t a word that means absence of war or conflict, though that of course is part of it. It means wholeness and well-being, health and soundness, completeness and prosperity. Perhaps most significantly, “shalom” can be translated as “recompense” – receiving back that which has been stolen.
Yay! We’re all for that – restoration of our lost inheritance! But – – – what if we’re not as innocent as we assume? What if, unknown to us, our family was the one that did the robbing? What if our family is the one covered in dishonour? Here’s exactly how Leviathan finds legal ground to twist “shalom”: suddenly “recompense” looks like “retaliation” and “retribution”.
22 Jun 2018 – HONOUR
It’s one thing to say that dishonour is the big issue when it comes to retaliation from Leviathan, but it’s another to really understand what honour is.
“Honour everyone,” says the apostle Peter in 1 Peter 2:17. That would be “everyone”, not just people who honour you, not just people who are higher in status than you, not just people you like, not just people who you agree with politically or theologically.
Head over to the next epistle of Peter, second chapter again, verse 10 this time and we discover we can’t even dishonour Leviathan or spirits like it. Or retaliation will happen! (No surprise there.)
Honouring everyone sounds simple. But – – – big BUT! Our hearts incline to idol-making, so we need always to be on our guard against honouring others more than we honour God. It’s so easy, for example, to honour our children more than we honour God. Think of Eli who was asked by God in 1 Samuel 2:29 – “Why do you honour your sons more than Me?”
The house of Eli came under a terrible curse – lives cut short, blindness, feebleness – all because honour for the children came to equal dishonour of God.
“Honour everyone” means just that. And honour God first.
27 Jun 2019 – GIFTS, CALLING AND OFFICES
Perhaps the most common difficulty people experience as they try to understand the role of threshold guardians like Python and Leviathan in their life is this: why does God let them attack us and test us and block every possible way into our destiny? Why does God allow them to exert so much authority over us?
The answer is simple. God does not revoke the calling He puts on our lives. Ever.
This is why we can see leaders with a great anointing who move in the immense and wondrous power of the Spirit and also have various GIFTS of the Spirit operating through them – and yet they display nothing of the FRUIT of the Spirit. We look around today and wonder why so many leaders are involved in abuse or else complicit with abuse – and yet they are still flowing in so many spiritual gifts that we are almost blinded by them.
The truth is: God does not recall His gifts. They wouldn’t be GIFTS if they could be forfeited because of misbehaviour. Once a gift is given, the giver has no say in how it’s used. Otherwise it’s not a true gift because of the strings attached.
“God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable.” (Romans 11:29 NIV)
Just as for humanity, God does not revoke the offices and role of these threshold spirits: they retain the position they were originally given.
Jesus tells us that we know His disciples by their fruits. Not gifts. That’s the mistake most people make. It’s so easy to become dazzled by the gifts and fail to notice the fruit. And then to become disillusioned by both church leadership and God when the gifts continue on unabated despite abuse and sin and a violent, ungodly lifestyle. This is to misunderstand the nature of gifts.
At the end of the Day, it’s the fruit that’s going to count, anyway, not the gifts. “On judgment day many will say to Me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in Your name and cast out demons in Your name and performed many miracles in Your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from Me.'” (Matthew 7:22-23 NLT)
This is an incredible and shocking verse – miracle-working in the name of the Lord is no indication that the person knows Jesus! As Jesus said, it’s the fruit that is the true indicator of His disciples.
The threshold guardians are totally unimpressed by the gifts of God but it’s a different matter when it comes to fruit. They back off. Because they know exactly what the fruit means.
18 Mar 2020 – DISHONOUR THROUGH PRIDE
Leviathan gains its spiritual legal rights from dishonour. There is so many injunctions in Scripture about honouring others but, by and large, we make excuses for ourselves as to why we can insult politicians, revile demonic powers or mock others.
But this dishonour means that the things we should inherit from the royal priesthood we’ve been given are taken from us. In a priestly space we should have sight and vision (from the light of the menorah), discernment (from the incense altar and the prayers rising from it) and a taste for the Word of God (from the Bread of the Presence).
Leviathan, as a spirit that retaliates against dishonour, is an angelic official of the heavenly Inner Court (just like the Levites in the earthly Tabernacle). In that space, it can deprive us of vision, discernment and an appetite for God’s Word. Simply because we’ve dishonoured others.
Because Leviathan is king of the sons of pride. And the surest way of exposing hidden pride is through our dishonour of others.
6 Dec 2018 – CONSULT GOD
When we come up to the threshold into our calling, why do so many of us falter and stumble? Why do we fall headlong into the traps set by the enemy instead of stepping adroitly around them? Why does our paraclete seem to be awol when we shout, “Cover me!” as warfare rages around us?
The fact is: we’ve got used to relying on our coping mechanisms.
Often we aren’t even aware that we’re not going to God for the specific, personalised, bespoke strategy that fits our unique circumstances – instead of following the Lord’s battle plan, we’re using the tried-and-true methods that worked in the past. Sometimes those methods didn’t work for us but we’ve heard they worked for others, so we try them in faith.
But faith doesn’t overcome Python, the spirit of constriction. Love does.
Faith doesn’t overcome Ziz, the spirit of forgetting. Joy does.
Faith doesn’t overcome Leviathan, the spirit of retaliation. Peace does.
Faith doesn’t overcome Rachab, the spirit of wasting. Patience does.
Get the picture? An increase in faith is not the answer to every battle in life. The only Person who knows the strategy that will work for you is the Captain of the Hosts and your battle-companion, the Paraclete. Consult with them.
2 Aug 2020 – RESPECT OTHERWISE RETALIATION
In recent months, I have been researching a particular spirit named Resheph. I first came across it while working on the book “Dealing with Leviathan” when I was examining the relationship between Leviathan and the Inner Court of the Temple. Since Leviathan is a nachash and a seraph is also a nachash, it seemed likely Leviathan was a seraph.
In looking at the story of the seraph who puts the live coal on Isaiah’s lips, I discovered that the word for “coal” is “rizpah” and another word for “coal” is “resheph” which is related to “seraph”.
Now the first thing I noticed about “resheph” is that, depending on the Hebrew spelling, it might actually have the word “threshold” built into the name. So I googled the Hebrew spelling and immediately discovered that it was the name of a pagan godling. Apart from the fact its symbol was a deer or an archer, it seemed very like Leviathan.
So, six months on, what can I say about Resheph? I can say this. In the academic world, Leviathan and Resheph are totally different entities. In the spiritual world, I am personally convinced they are the same. Now, this has practical implications. If you’ve been following my posts, you’ll know that I consider Leviathan’s legal rights result from dishonour. When it comes to Resheph, the same is true – however, there is a specific focus that relates to a particular aspect of the Inner Court. Not unnaturally, that’s the altar of incense where the live coals are burning.
But the altar of incense is where prayer is offered. Dishonour at this place is often subject to swift retaliation. Think of Zechariah who was struck dumb for doubting the message of the angel Gabriel. Or think Uzziah who was walloped with leprosy; or Jeroboam who suffered a withered hand; or Nadab and Abihu who died for offering strange fire; or Korah, Dathan and Abiram who, while they weren’t at the altar itself, would have been if they and their followers could have fitted in the Tabernacle.
We need to be very careful that our prayers are not presumptuous; that our attitude regarding our petitions is respectful and humble and that we are not dishonouring others while expecting favour for ourselves. All too often we take a “power” stance with respect to prayer, instead of a “grace-reliant” one. As a consequence, we find ourselves subject to a retaliation we don’t understand. Resheph specialises in killing heat – whether of drought, fever or fire.
The answer is the same as always: return to Him.