Four Loves, Three Heavens, Two Hells
And One Choice
Christ's public ministry began to gain momentum through His disciples' change of attitude toward prayer, Jesus
then witnessed the impact in the invisible and later revealed that Satan himself had literally stumbled from
his perch in the second heaven over the souls in that region...Prayer is about changing the atmosphere over lives."
We are all too
eager in western culture to systematize and scientifically analyze our surroundings and that is not the desire here. We
also realize that the Scriptures warns that "we know in part and speak in part" [1st Corinthians 13:9]. Nobody
has a corner on truth here and this is not an attempt at anything that hasn't already been said, but this condensing of
what we have learned regarding prayer has been helpful to understanding process, principle and order. We hope this helps in
understanding why coming together to seek God's heart is so important. When we see His Heart, that Heart will invade this
world through us.
Did you know that the phrase: "In Him we live, move and have our being" [Acts 17:28] is a direct quote
borrowed from Greek poetry on the subject of Divinity? God chose the Hebrew and Greek arenas, because of their specificity.
Or we might say that He sovereignly developed them to be specific for the purpose of revealing His Word. They are the two
most exact languages in history for a reason!
The cultures of the Hebrews and Greeks, in whose languages
the Scriptures were recorded, both viewed creation in terms of three heavens: The first heaven was the sky [Genesis
1:8] and all below it. The second heaven was the Celestial [Deuteronomy 4:19] arena. The first coming of the Christ finally
brought about a deeper understanding of what is now referred to as the Third Heaven, which Paul referenced [II Corinthians
12:2]. It is the heaven which most people think of when they hear the word "Heaven". Hebrews actually teaches
that we already access the very throneroom of this third Heaven in prayer. [Hebrews 4:16]
For instance, as you probably already know, there are four distinctions
of love in the Greek and two distinctions for hell. There is phileo (sibling), storge (pets, animals &
pizza), eros (romantic & sexual) and agape (unconditional). Scripture predicts that the first hell (hades=spiritual
grave) will be thrown into a second hell (gehenna=eternal fire) at the Judgement. [Revelation 20:14-15] Christ painted
a picture of His Church raiding the gates of Hades for souls [Matthew 16:17-20] and the kingdom of heaven being taken by the
force of the (spiritually) violent. [Matthew 11:12] When Christ's public ministry began to gain momentum through His disciples'
change of attitude toward prayer Jesus then witnessed the impact in the invisible and later revealed that Satan
himself had literally stumbled from his perch in the second heaven over the souls in that region. [Luke 10:18]
picture being painted is of an invisible dominion of Satan, referred to as Hades, the first Hell or the Second Heaven. In
other words, the First Hell is the same thing as the Second Heaven and those who've yet to
be reborn, are prisoners to this invisible sphere that engulfs the first Heaven which surrounds this world.
That may sound
spacey to those of us in western culture, because of the influence of secular and naturalistic doctrines, but in the
Third World, where the Gospel is spreading like wildfire, the supernatural realms are better understood.
We have strayed from God's Word in our thinking because of an infectious "doctrine of demons" [1 Timothy 4:1]
called naturalism, which claims that this physical world is all there was, is or will be. It is the mother of all the other
philosophies from Darwinism, Secularism, Humanism, ect. Even American Christians have come to be infected with it as
they often feel that the physical is more real than Heaven, but as C.S. Lewis points out, this world is the fading dream and God is the solid reality.
One major part of Prayer is about clearing the air. The purpose of prayer
is to be with Him; But the by-product is a holy atmosphere for Him to move. Consider that the atmosphere over
Jesus' [Mark 6:5] hometown prevented Him from doing many miracles there. The Accuser, Liar and Prince of the power
of the air probably pegged Jesus in our prideful minds as nothing more than a mere carpenter's son. Look how
we peg each other where God is concerned. Jesus cleared the air over the home where Jairus' daughter lay dead, then
he raised her to life again. [Mark 5:37-40] Prayer is about changing the atmosphere over lives.
specifically called for the removal of unforgiveness and anger in the atmosphere over our lives which
is why He called for us to bind anger and loose forgiveness in a largely misunderstood passage among some of us.
The coming together of two or three had to do with retaining the Spirit of love and forgiveness to advance prayer and
friendship. Read the whole passage: [Matthew 18:15-35] Jesus is teaching the continual loosening of forgiveness. It was not
a verbal formula for human power and will which we parrot in Jesus Name'. Christ's heart was "Come Together".
In fact one more shot at some of the attitudes that interfer with real victory: Nowhere
in Scripture does it condone haughty human disrespect for Satan in Jesus Name. This boastful talk of "kicking
the enemy's rear" is non-sense and pretentious. Satan is dethroned through humility, not arrogance or melodramatic
pretense. [James 4:7-10] Even the archangel Michael is respectful to Satan [Jude 9] and defers to the Lord and His authority
as we should too; But often our tone in attempting to associate with that authority reveals something else: Pride. Imagine the anger in many Christians' hearts if you told them it is unhelpful to our cause (and
even our souls) to get angry at the devil? [Ephesians 4:18 & Ecclesiastes 7:9] Jesus even showed mercy to demons
when they begged him not to send them to the Abyss. [Matthew 8:28-32] Jesus warned his disciples to not be proud but be humble.
"Do not rejoice that demons are subject to you, but that your names are written in (3rd) Heaven." [Luke 10:20]
Paul spent five chapters in Ephesians campaigning for the removal of pride and anger. The
way he did this was to encourage the pursuit of unity in the Church universal among marriages, in the workplace, between different
ethnicities and within the congregation of the entire city. Then, and only then, did he go into
the subject of spiritual warfare. Today many Christian leaders jump to Chapter 6 and go gangbusters talking about fighting
for truth and fighting Satan. We fight with angry words laced with phrases from Scripture. We fight politically. We just fight,
plain and simple. But it is not the good fight of faith as we pretend. First off, we're to stand on truth because
it fights for itself. In fact the Spirit is the one who wields it. Secondly, the divorce rate among
American Evangelicals is higher than any other demographic in the world [Barna Research, Fall 2000] We need
to spend more time reading Ephesians Chapters 1-5 first because the numbers show it is we who are getting kicked, not the
Enemy. By the way, history records that revival broke out in Ephesus not long after Paul's writing. Nearly all there were saved. Apparently they
took his words to heart.
Whether your family has been completely shattered or has remained intact; whether you
have conflict on every front or are at peace; You can pursue God and can pursue friendship; Even with your enemies.
Our pursuit cannot be power. It must be God. It must be unity.
In fact, many will use His authority and still go straight to hell, according to Christ Himself. [Matthew 7:21]
lawn for a neighbor, washing the dishes for the wife and sharing a cup of coffee with a friend are more exciting to God, than
any display of power. His power serves purpose. This purpose is not about attaining power. That's Satan's
spirit and passion. We need to always re-evaluate our hearts, lives and words before the Lord.
purpose of life is companionship in the context of a hierchy of relationships that begin with God. In
short, it's about friendship with God and one another. If you do not ever know this deep down, you will never be free.
God's liberating authority is only administered through our humility which begs the question: "What are
we doing to humble ourselves before Him and one another?"
Jesus wants the Christians of the Park Circle area and the entire Lowcountry to come together in prayer, not
for religious pride's sake, but because of Love. When we do, friendships will be born and our prayers will have impact.
Brothers and sisters, it is time to seek Him together. He will come to us.
To Him, be all power,
glory and honor.
Your Friends at PCPC
Parkcircleprayer.com is a parachurch and laypeople's effort,
not a congregation, with the sole purpose of glorifying the Lord by supporting the divine
institutions of the family and local congregation through the facilitation of community-wide prayer events which are led by
Christian leaders who are concerned for the souls in the Park Circle - Remount Road and Rivers Avenue Area and who desire
to please the Lord by seeking Him together.