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(Part 3 of 3)

4 Babylonization

I do not know where you stand, but please, do not stone me. I have sometimes been stoned or smitten by someone who thought I did not prophesy right because I did not speak according to their words and their camp. I am not the first (1 Kings 22:24). My concern is with the said ‘Daniels’ that failed because the Church didn’t pray for them. Agreed, some Christians have gone into seats without fully appreciating the spiritual mysteries about those thrones they were approaching to sit on, and things were sometimes further spoilt for them by commercial Christians and Balaam-priests who sought to profit themselves (not the Kingdom) by the position of those messengers in the palace. Daniel survived Babylon not by prayers from Jerusalem which at the time had been ravished and its priests scattered; he survived primarily because, from the start, he made up his mind where he stood in and with Babylon: not to corrupt himself with the royal and lavish seductions of that new land; not to “defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank” (Daniel 1:8). Esther also made up her mind to stand with her people or perish trying to do so (Esther 4:16). The Nigeria ‘Daniels’ of which that prophet spoke have been of a different breed. Maybe the priests in Jerusalem should truly have prayed better. They got lost in Babylon, even if they were sent by God; even if…

Ever before Daniel and his team had arrived Babylon, strangely, that kingdom had prepared for them, had set up a system with an agenda by which to swallow those expected young Jewish ambassadors of God. It was a four-pronged agenda to ‘Babylonize’ them:

  1. 1. change their “learning” or worldview; re-educate and reprogram them (Daniel 1:.4),
  2. 2. change their language (v.4)
  3. 3. change their appetite, their food (v.5),
  4. 4. change their names, replacing the ‘God’ suffixes with idolatrous options (vv.6-7).

The aim was to ultimately erase their Jewish identity and replace it with a heathen Babylonian identity. We speak of ‘Islamization,’ they spoke of ‘Babylonization.’ If one develops a Babylonian appetite and begins to eat Babylonian food; if one speaks the Babylonian language with a native accent, ‘speaking’ no differently than other heathen folks would do; when one adopts a Babylonian worldview or learning, and can no longer see matters from God’s Kingdom perspective, what is left? That Jew has become a Babylonian; how much worse when he is also called by a Babylonian name!

Daniel means ‘God is my Judge.’ That ambassador from Judah was to drop that God-ly name and be called ‘Belteshazzar’ which means ‘favoured by Bel,’ Bel being the name of the principal deity of Babylon; the ‘El’ in Daniel (which stands for God, as in Samu-el and Beth-el) was to be dropped for the ‘Bel’ of Babylon. ‘Bel’ sounded like ‘El,’ but they were as opposite as light and darkness. A Babylonian prince and king (Belshazzar – meaning ‘the prince of Bel’) bore that kind of name, yet the name was not fit for the prince of God.  

Next on the list was Hananiah, whose name meant, ‘gift of God’ or ‘God has shown mercy.’ He was to be called ‘Shadrach,’ which meant ‘the command of Aku.’ Aku was the moon god. The -iah suffix in his name, which stood for Jehovah (as in Isa-iah, Jerem-iah, etc), was to be replaced with something ‘more contemporary,’ something more acceptable to his new society. However God felt in the matter was to be no part of the consideration; that was being old-fashioned.

Mishael was the third. His name meant ‘who is what God is?’ which is like the worship song we sometimes sing, “Who is like unto Thee, O Lord? / Who is like unto Thee, O Lord? / Among the gods, who is like Thee? / Glorious in holiness, fearful in praises.…” Babylon had a ‘new’ name for him: ‘Meshach,’ which meant ‘Who is what the god Aku is?’ Again, the -el suffix for Jehovah is dropped for an idol alternative. The last of them was Azariah, that is, ‘Yaweh has helped.’ The Babylonian system said that that name was not ‘politically correct’ and not ‘inclusive’ enough, so he would be called ‘Abednego,’ which meant, ‘servant of Nebo (or Nego).’ Nebo was another Babylonian principality, as featured in such other names as Nebu-chadnezzar, Nebu-zaradan, etc.

A person with a Zulu name would most likely be Zulu; a person with a Chinese name would readily be identified by that name as Chinese, even before one has seen their face or heard them express their ‘leaning’ or worldview. A Yoruba name is already an introduction of the person as Yoruba is some way. Any person with a Babylonian name announces that there is something they admire about Babylon; that they have a certain relationship with Babylon, or in fact, that they are Babylonian. A name is what they call you.

Babylon has been good at its game from ages. Of the ten thousand who had been sent into Babylon, we hear only of four in Daniel chapter 1; of those four that were ‘posted’ specifically into the palace, three got lost with time; only Daniel survived. In Nigeria, I have long carried a lantern, looking for Daniel, but I see Belteshazzar.

4 And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.

5 And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money (Luke 22:4-5).

We have heard whispers that in Nigeria a priest in the palace has been communing with the high priests and Pharisees in fortified chambers in the West how to return their party to power. Shekels have changed hands not in thirties but in billions, and they are rehearsing the kiss for the night when it comes. “Aceldama – the field of blood”! (Acts 1:19). Shall we call them Daniel, Belteshazzar, or Judas?

5. Lost in Babylon!

Of the four whose names are listed in Daniel chapter 1, it is only of Daniel that it is said he “purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself” in Babylon. He had decided that with himself ahead of time. We hear no such fundamental resolution by the others. Midway in the history when they are called out of the trying fire, they are called by the heathen names that Babylon had given them:

Then Nebuchadnezzar [note the name] came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire (Daniel 3:26).

That is the last we hear of them. Everybody is called by the name they answer. No name survives that no one answers. The name Judas, for example, ended in history with the son of Iscariot; and there are many other names we no more hear. If those three were called on such an occasion by those idol names, it may suggest that they eventually accepted those ‘foreign’ names. We don’t know how also they had handled the other three points of the Babylonization agenda. Commendably, they are also called “servants of the most high God,” but they had become Babylonians in other respects. Servants of God with Nego and Aku in their names!

Two chapters after ‘Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego,’ there is another flamboyant national feast. Maybe it was a Ramadan or a Salah. Daniel is absent from that feast extolling strange gods of gold, silver, brass, iron, wood, and stone (Daniel 5:1-4). Did Daniel throw ‘political correctness’ to the winds? Did he not fear offending his king? Did he excuse the feasters with the logic that everyone after all was worshipping the same God by different names? They searched there for Daniel but could not find him, then the queen commented thus about him: “the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar” (Daniel 5:12). What does that say? He had been unchanged by Babylon. He had been very un-Babylonizable. He had remained “the same Daniel,” and he was still being called Daniel – God is my Judge.   Even the Babylon name ended in the mouth of the king of Babylon: “…whom the king named Belteshazzar.”

O, how far that team of four might have gone in that story if the other three had not fallen by the way to the fine-sounding but ensnaring names of Babylon! In Daniel chapter 2, when there was a national challenge, they were available with Daniel as prayer partners, and behold how expressly they received an answer from heaven – overnight (Daniel 2: 17-19); in chapters 9-10 however, when Daniel had to contend with the Prince of Persia for the ultimate deliverance of Israel from Babylonian captivity, those three had long expired. He had to battle alone for a gruelling twenty-one days, until angels came to the rescue (Daniel 10:1-3).

O, how much they would have supported Daniel and taken Jehovah’s mission further in Babylon if they had not eventually fallen to the snares of Babylon; snares carefully laid in their path one after the other, so that even after scaling one huddle, there still was the next to overcome! All the same… lost in Babylon!

Worse still, there came a generation after them who not only were lost in Babylon but danced with Babylon, married into Babylon, and joined with Babylon to fight the God of their fathers, as we read sadly in the story of Nehemiah the Reformer, about Sanballat, Tobiah, and “Eliashib the priest” that had “the oversight of the chamber of the house of OUR God” (Nehemiah 13:4). The story of those men is a sad story for another day.

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    • Prophets of God, Stand Up, and Don't Give in to the Spirit of Intimidation

      Yesterday as I sat with the Lord, I heard Him say, "Sound the alarm! A spirit of intimidation is coming against many of My prophets right now. Tell them to continue to stand and not give ear to this spirit of intimidation, but to be encouraged and know that they are now moving into a new land of inheritance."

      The Lord keeps speaking to me about how there is a battle over the prophets right now to "muzzle" them and "silence" in many different ways, but I hear the Spirit of the Lord saying "Now is the time to get up on your feet and speak!"

      For this spirit of intimidation is coming to cause you to cower, to cause you to shrink back and to cause you to bow beneath its taunts and lies. But stand strong, prophets of God; hold the stones of the Word of God in your hand and continue to hurl them in faith.

      This spirit of intimidation and fear is raising itself up like a Goliath because there is a crossing over taking place right now where you are moving into a new land of inheritance. I heard the Spirit of God whispering "So many things are about to change. So many things are about to change." and all around me, I could see the "landscape" changing.

      There is shifting, a positioning and transition that is taking place over many prophets right now. The Lord is leading you into new places, new opportunities, new realms and new places to decree the Word of the Lord, and the enemy knows how the glory of God is going to be displayed as He moves powerfully through you, so he is attempting to cause you to run into the caves like Elijah.

      Do not run. Do not withdraw. Stand! Stand! Stand! For I see the Lord has assigned more angelic hosts with you than ever before. The enemy is whispering his lies of danger and harm, but the Lord is decreeing His protection over you. You are overshadowed by Him as you make Him, the Most High, your dwelling place.

      The Lord showed me that Psalm 91 is very key for the body of Christ right now, but especially the prophets. This spirit of fear and intimidation is doing all it can with its lies and foreboding to see you move from a place of rest and confidence in the Lord to a place of anxiety and fear to hinder your intimacy, cloud your vision and steal your clarity. No more!

      In this vision, as I saw the landscape change, I saw Jesus standing in the midst of this new landscape with a huge smile on His face, and He looked at the prophets of His heart and spoke: "You shall know My peace, My rest and My empowerment like a tidal wave in this new land of inheritance. For what I am calling you to and positioning you into is bigger than you have imagined and the spirit of intimidation would seek to cause you to withdraw, but I say unto you that greater shall the demonstration of My power be through you. Greater shall the demonstration of My goodness, My kindness and the power of My spoken Word. This spirit of intimidation would seek to keep you hidden, where this is the time where I am positioning you to shine and reflect Me brighter than ever before."

      Embracing the Fire; Releasing My Power

      The Lord showed me that many prophets have been in intense fire, and it is not something to think of as strange. For there have been fires of opposition, but there have also been fires of purification that the Lord is releasing to prepare you for the new land of inheritance that He has for you. It's a new land of destiny and a new land of partnering with Him and all that is yours in Christ.

      The fire has been hot, but in the embracing of the fire of the Lord, there is a deep maturing, preparation and strengthening that is taking place within you. The Lord's heart is for you to flourish in this new land, and the Lord has been working deeply in the hearts and souls of His prophets in this season to bring to the surface things that would hinder and hold you back. The Lord has been inviting the prophets to embrace the fire and allow the Spirit of God to do whatever He needs to do to prepare you for this new land of inheritance. Embrace His fire to purify and prepare you.

      The fires of opposition have been turned up seven times stronger, but the Lord is encouraging you to look not at the fires of opposition, but to look at Him. In the fire of opposition, He is strengthening you and deepening your trust in Him and His protection and what He speaks, so you are unaffected by the wind, waves and large flames that surround you. I continue to hear the Spirit of God decreeing over and over "You will not be harmed. You will not be touched. Stay close to Me and abide in My Word, for the lies of the enemy are poisonous darts sent to attempt to extinguish your faith, hinder your movement and bring confusion upon you. You will not withdraw, you will move forward in greater boldness because of the empowerment of My Spirit."

      "At that moment the earth shook beneath them, causing the building they were in to tremble. Each one of them was filled with the Holy Spirit, and they proclaimed the word of God with unrestrained boldness" (Acts 4:31, TPT).

      The Lord showed me that in this new era we have entered as the body of Christ, the prophets of God are going to begin moving in the power of the Spirit like Elijah and Elisha. There is going to be a significant increase of the power of God displayed through the prophets and the spoken word of the Lord through them, the decree of God to release creative miracles, bringing sudden shifts, alignments and breakthroughs. This is why the spirit of intimidation is attempting to silence you.

      I kept hearing the Lord say "My prophets are going to move in greater resurrection power! There will be powerful demonstrations of My resurrection power through My prophets in this season. Dry bones, bodies, dry and dead places suddenly coming to life by My resurrection power that is released through the decree that will flow out of the mouths of My prophets. In this new era, I am increasing the display and demonstration of My resurrection power especially through the prophets, and this is why the spirit of intimidation has come to attempt to silence My prophets and cause them to withdraw and go into hiding in fear, so they do not move further into this place of carrying My resurrection power like never before.

      "But I decree today, that this spirit of intimidation will flee as the power of My Spirit comes now upon My prophets and brings a shaking and shakes off the fear, the lies of death, the foreboding, the darkness and infuses them with strength and boldness."

      "Prophets of My heart, in this new land of inheritance, awaits you a new level of boldness and faith in the power of My spoken Word, My protection and My fire. Arise! Arise! Arise and do not fear. For I am with you, I go with you and I go before you. Shake off the fear by the decree of My Word and know that the land of inheritance awaiting you is filled with greater joy in partnering with Me to see My glory and kingdom displayed. There has been great pressing, but my prophets, you will now carry new wine and power in Me."

      It's time. It's time for you to arise. Stand! Stand! Stand! For a new land of inheritance awaits you, and you will be left in awe and wonder of the signs, wonders, miracles and major displays of My power that will manifest at the 

      "My prophets I am inviting you in the library of heaven to read and see the new blueprint decrees of My heart over cities and nations in this new era. For I will show you with greater accuracy and clarity the decrees of My heart over cities and nations that will set them alight with the fire of My love and see My glory and power displayed. For I decree as you seek My heart, seeking not your own agenda or name in lights, but truly seek to know My heart, I am now releasing greater secrets of blueprint decrees of wisdom and revelation for cities and nations to bring major transformation by the power of My Spirit. For I am moving those who are seeking My heart, My prophets who are in the secret place to hear My heart into greater increase and manifestation of their governmental authority. The enemy is fighting this, but he will not prevail. For I decree that you, My prophets will decree the blueprint decrees over cities and nations that will suddenly expose the works of darkness and bring significant breakthrough, shifts and demonstrations of My truth and glory that will bring monumental shifts. It's time!"

      "You are not defeated, My prophets, you are victorious in Me, and you will see my manifested victory in and through your lives like never before. Don't give in to this spirit of intimidation, it's come to steal, but before you is not the lies that this spirit speaks, but life, increase and a major increase of seeing My power moving through you as you decree My Word. Stand!

       

      Culled : Charisma Magazine

      Lana Vawser
    • Babylonization

      (Part 3 of 3)

      4 Babylonization

      I do not know where you stand, but please, do not stone me. I have sometimes been stoned or smitten by someone who thought I did not prophesy right because I did not speak according to their words and their camp. I am not the first (1 Kings 22:24). My concern is with the said ‘Daniels’ that failed because the Church didn’t pray for them. Agreed, some Christians have gone into seats without fully appreciating the spiritual mysteries about those thrones they were approaching to sit on, and things were sometimes further spoilt for them by commercial Christians and Balaam-priests who sought to profit themselves (not the Kingdom) by the position of those messengers in the palace. Daniel survived Babylon not by prayers from Jerusalem which at the time had been ravished and its priests scattered; he survived primarily because, from the start, he made up his mind where he stood in and with Babylon: not to corrupt himself with the royal and lavish seductions of that new land; not to “defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank” (Daniel 1:8). Esther also made up her mind to stand with her people or perish trying to do so (Esther 4:16). The Nigeria ‘Daniels’ of which that prophet spoke have been of a different breed. Maybe the priests in Jerusalem should truly have prayed better. They got lost in Babylon, even if they were sent by God; even if…

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    • LOST IN BABYLON

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      About three decades ago in parts of Nigeria, the United States and the Caribbean, there was a thriving doctrine that upset not a few Christian establishments. For lack of a better adjective, the simple Christian folk who did not have much time for grandiose religious terminologies, especially in Nigeria, simply described the adherents of that doctrine as the ‘Anti-Babylon’ brethren. The doctrine itself they summarised as, ‘Come out from among them.’ The theological outlook of the Anti-Babylon movement subscribed virtually everything under a ‘world system’ that went by the name of Babylon. The serious ‘remnant Christian’ was to be no part of such Babylon-systems, especially the Babylon-church system. That Christian needed to ‘come out from among them.’ It was one zeal stretched too far in certain respects.

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