In Earthly Courts – and in the courts of the Lord. The example of Micaiah –  a prophet who overhears what is being debated there.

Sep 9, 2022 | INSIGHTS

Blessed is the one whom You choose and bring near to dwell in Your courts. We will be filled with the goodness of Your house, Your holy temple. (Ps. 65:4 Amp)

You will surely have noticed how often I refer to the courts of the Lord! We love to sing of our longing to worship there, because there is nothing so uplifting or so empowering in all the world as to nkow that we are joining in the worship of Heaven itself. But as we find them spoken of in the Scriptures, the courts of the Lord are also the place where decisions are made that vitally affect events and life on Earth. Daniel 7 affords us vivid insight into vivid aspects of what goes on this, as does the story of the prophet Micaiah (as told in 2 Chronicles 18 and 1 Kings 22) – an acocunt that perhaps stretches our understanding and expectations considerably!

This was the occasion when Kings Ahab of Israel and Jehoshaphat of Judah were actively seeking advice from the prophets as to whether or not to go to war together against Ramoth-gilead. Rank upon rank of Ahab’s prophets were all promising victory for the combined kings, and were goading them to advance. Jehoshaphat remained unconvinced, however, and finally the prophet Micaiah was summoned to bring his perspective.

It is as this point that things take an entirely different turn.** As Micaiah seeks the Lord, he sees nothing less than right into His heavenly courts, where seen the Lord presides along with His heavenly host. He then has the courage to describe what he sees: an unamed spirit coming forward, offering to entice Ahab into battle by putting a lying spirit in the mouths of his prophets. (2 Chronicles 18:16-22, cf Kings 22:22-23) There is no way that Ahab is going to return home safe and triumphant after such a decree.

Events fall out as Micaiah foresaw. Ahab chose to received the optimistic message of the false prophets, but aware of the fate facing him craftily thought to avoid avoid this by entering the battle in disguise, and hence no longer being the prime target for sharpshooters. As most of us know, he ended up being struck by an arrow between the joints of his armour, and dying at sunset.

Whilst it would be unwise to draw hard and fast principles from this account, it is an important one to ponder in today’s fast moving scenarios, in which mighty empires face off against each other. The Lord instructed Rees Howells and his band of intercessors to pray that Hitler would change his strategy for conquest and instead attempt an invasion of Russia. Did a lying spirit play a part in this desperately costly and failed undertaking? Please do read (or reread) the remarkable account of how the Lord directed the prayer campaign behind this, as narrated by Norman Grubb in his remarkable biography Rees Howells, Intercessor. See chapter 36, especially pages 286-7 – but do read on beyond that!

Concerning the rising tide of authoritarianism – particularly in Russia and America

Autocratic and authoritarian regimes – of which there are currently only too many around the world – are usually based on a tissues of lies. Take for example Vladimir Putin’s extraordinary recent claim that he did not start the fighting in Ukraine, and that Russian forces haven’t suffered any losses. Such claims are truly staggering. Whilst his propaganda machine appears to still exercise a powerful hold over most Russian people, enabling him to have majority support in Russia, this pro Kremlin blog is extraordinarily forthright in spelling out that Russia is actually losing the war.

Over in America, Donald Trump is once again on the defensive offensive, not least in seeking to find ways to hinder and decelerate legal proceedings against him. The current round of activities, following the seizing of top secret files from his home, actually seem to have re-energised and emboldened both him and his most fervent supporters – to the point where he has denounced Joe Biden as an enemy of the state, defamed the FBI as ‘monsters’, and declared that, should he be re-elected in 2024, he will pardon all those who invaded the Capitol. Despite the many fact checkers available on the web that reveal him as a serial liar (see This one, for example, from the Washington Post, which goes on to expose the strategy that lies behind many of his grandiose and unfounded claims.

Bandy Lee, an American psychiatrist who specialises in public health approaches toward violence prevention, commented that whereas “Freud once remarked that no one feels as guilty as saints, I have found that no one feels as innocent as criminals.” She writes that the most hardened murderers often feel victimized, and “tend to think that their behaviour, no matter how egregious, [are seen by them as] warranted and reasonable.” (The article in which this is quoted is worth reading. See also this one from Scientific American).

it is easy to see, then, that both Vladimir Putin and ex-President Donald Trump of America have woven many spider’s webs of lying words. How does the lord feel when He looks from Heaven at this? What might He be decreeiugn as a result? I am reminded of the verse, ‘As for both of these kings, their hearts will be set on doing evil; they will speak lies over the same table, but it will not succeed, for the end is yet to come at the appointed time.’ (Dan. 11:27 See the preceding verse, too.)

Jesus, the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords

Whether those verses I have quoted above from Daniel fully apply in this case, we cannot say, but we can be confident of this: The Lord has seen and heard every lie, the Host of Heaven and the courts of the Lord are gloriously real, and will take decisive action when the time is judged right to do so.

As so often, the battle centres – and so much depends – on the hearts of those in power. It is Yahweh alone who is Lord and ruler of the nations, and satan hates the fact. As we know, the Bible indicates that satan began life as a very senior angel (a guardian cherub, Ezekiel says, in chapter 28:14, who led a full-blown revolt against God in a bid to usurp His throne and kingdom. (See Rev. 12:6-7; Isaiah 14:12 and Ezekiel 28:1-19)

But the Lord God was, is and always will be, higher than all the angels. Scripture portrays Him as presiding among the gods and rulers – and i love Paul’s description of Him as ‘the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords.’ (Ps 82:1, cf 86:8, Is. 41:28, Ex. 15:11; 1 Tim. 6:15 KJV)

Potentate: now there’s a word that has long since dropped out of use! Hardly surprising, perhaps, as much of the Western world instinctively veers ever further from anything that speaks of absolute rulership, even as so many dictators come to power in many nations around the world. Given that there is certainly great jostling for power amongst the powers of hell, is it any wonder that hellish spirits likewise seek to entice human beings to rebellious scheming and envious thrusting for power?

When Jesus returns to Earth, it will be as Ruler and Judge, as He sets up His true and beautiful theocracy. For the time being, given that nations are rarely fully faithful to His Lordship now, democracy is probably about as good a system as Earthly governments can manage at the moment. And how the powers of darkness would love to crimp, crush and curve such democracies off centre in favour of their own Antichrist candidates. Lord have mercy. Come, Lord Jesus, come!

There are other issues involved here. Israel all too often sought to align herself with foreign nations, without so much as even looking to the Lord, effectively dispensing with their vows of faithfulness to the One who brought them out of Egypt.

King Jehoshaphat of Judah, on the other hand, was a godly man. It is so sad that he had neither the discernment nor the integrity to resist the temptation of entering a man-made alliance with an evil ruler. It would undoubtedly have been better had he trusted in God alone.

What might these things say to our own complex world, in which substantive trade and finance deals are entered into with morally dubious regimes and organisations, and human rights are ignored for fear of offending the god, ‘Profit’.

In all these things the Lord waits for us to seek His face with all our hearts “so that He can be gracious to us.” (Isaiah 30:18)

Observing the nations from a Heavenly viewpoint

Many years ago, the Lord spoke about what was to happen in and through the nation of Russia to Bishop Aristocoli, who shared what he saw with Mother Barbara. (You can read about that here.) And we have seen above (in the Rees Howells book) what He had to say about it in 1941. But what might be being said in the courts of Heaven about it today?

From a prophetic perspective, it is clear that there are satanic forces at work. Tom Marshall offers an outstanding analysis of the ways in which demonic forces insinuate themselves into the heart of organisations, regimes and institutions, and I would heartily recommend you get hold of his brilliant book Understanding Leadership and spend time and effort studying the (relatively short but deeply enlightening) chapter Meet the Corporation.

So many have suffered intensely as a result of Putin’s greed and prejudice. Can we pray that by the way his forces entered Ukraine, they will also return? (2 Kings 19:28) Or do we believe this is to be a frozen conflict that will continue to bring great suffering to many?

Of immediate concern is the suffering of the people of Kherson, as Ukrainian forces seek to retake it from 20 to 30,000 Russian troops who find themselves largely trapped on the western side of the Dnipro. We have reported elsewhere that most of their officers have already fled, leaving ill-disciplined and ill-willed troops to their own devices. How much more can they bear as the fighting rages and the Russian troops become increasingly hungry? Lord, have mercy on Kherson and surrounding regions.

Incidentally, Russia is far from reassured by China’s bland remarks that its major troop movements on the Russian border are nothing more than a military drill. After all, isn’t that exactly what President Putin claimed was going on before he invaded Ukraine? It is perhaps worth noting that a number of prophets have spoken of war between China and Russia, including Bishop Aristocoli, whom we referred to above.

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