The Principle of Spiritual Trading
The first time that I ever heard the word trading used in Christian circles was at a conference. We were in a time of worship and someone on the stage was singing a prophetic song about God’s heart for the nations. As they were singing, I saw in the realm of the spirit what looked like a lot of coals lying on the carpet in front of the pulpit. As I stared at the coals, wondering what they were, I heard one of the prophets in the meeting say, “God wants us to come and trade with Him for nations.” At the time I had no idea what that meant, but I saw people get up all over the auditorium and start giving money into the offering baskets. I had absolutely no idea what was happening, but my spirit was excited, so I grabbed hold of some money and went and placed it in the offering basket. As I walked toward the basket, I felt extremely hot and sensed such a weight of the presence of God. It was amazing. I knew that something significant had just happened. When I thought about that moment later that day, the idea of trading for nations struck a chord in my spirit. I could not have explained what we were doing to anyone, but I knew it was a God thing!
As I learned more about spiritual trading floors, I quickly realized that finances are only one expression of spiritual trading; they are simply the means through which the Lord introduced me to the concept of the trading floors of Heaven. Perhaps because when it comes to the idea of a “trading floor,” what stands out most is the monetary trading that takes place on the New York Stock Exchange.
Over the years, God has slowly taught us more about this “trading.” It is not about “doing business” in the church. It is not simply another form of taking an offering or a tithe. It is not a tool to manipulate God. Trading is integral to God’s desire to see the Kingdom established on earth as it is in Heaven. It is a function of those who are called to be priests and kings unto our God, so that we can reign on the earth with Him (see Rev. 5:10).
THE ORIGINS OF SPIRITUAL TRADING
The terms trading and trading floor may be new to you, but the concept of spiritual trading is not a new one. It has been happening in Heaven from the very beginning. Long before the earth was created, before lucifer was removed from Heaven, there was trading in Heaven. Trading and trading floors are not new concepts; they may just be new to this generation of believ- ers who are alive on earth right now!
Trading in the natural is ancient and all encompassing. From the earliest times, people have traded the goods they had to get the goods that they did not have. This early barter trade gave way to mediums of exchange like furs, salt, and weapons before coins were introduced around 600 b.c. This paved the way for the cre- ation of currencies and monetary instruments that we use in our economic system today. Trading (this mutual exchange of goods and services) is the basis of every economy and the way in which all kingdoms expand. Think about it for a moment. Every time you go into a store, you trade for something. You take money that you earned for a service you provided and you exchange that for a loaf of bread—something that you need. In the natural, we all trade all the time. We trade what we have to lay hold of the things that we do not have. It is the foundation of our personal economy. Through trading, we have food to eat, clothes to wear, opportunity to travel, and even access to healthcare and educa- tion. Our ability and skill to trade what we have “in our hand” defines our economic success or failure. This applies to us indi- vidually, as families, and even as nations. Our ability to trade defines our economy. As in the natural, so it is in the spirit. Our ability to trade in heavenly places with “what is in our hand” will define the spiritual economy that we walk in.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s begin our journey by going to the place in Scripture where the idea of “trading” as a heavenly activity is first introduced in Ezekiel 28:12-17. The challenge is that if you do not read the verses carefully, you might conclude that the act of “trading” was the reason God removed lucifer from the heavenly realms. So let’s take a look at this key Scripture. (The prophet is talking to the king of Tyre, but Bible scholars agree that God is also speaking about satan before he was removed from Heaven.)
Thus says the Lord God: “You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: the sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created. You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones (Ezekiel 28:12-14).
These verses make it clear that lucifer was created by God as a picture of perfection and absolute beauty. He was in Eden, which we know is within the domain of Heaven. He was filled with wisdom, richly adorned with precious stones, and God had a ministry or occupation (workmanship) prepared for him from the day he was created. Biblical scholars differ vastly in their opinions on what lucifer did in this position or what caused him to become filled with violence and sin (I have also been unable to find any opinions that draw a definite conclusion, so I will not either). However, I have an opinion about what he was doing that I have developed by placing this Scripture in context alongside other scriptures that address the same subject.
Our Scripture in Ezekiel says that lucifer was an anointed cherub that covers. The other place in Scripture where we see cherubim that cover something is in the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle.
Make one cherub at one end, and the other cherub at the other end; you shall make the cher- ubim at the two ends of it of one piece with the mercy seat. And the cherubim shall stretch out their wings above, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and they shall face one another; the faces of the cherubim shall be toward the mercy seat (Exodus 25:19-20).
God is instructing Moses to build the Tabernacle. He man- dates him in Exodus 25:8-9:
And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it.
He then instructs Moses on how to make the Ark of the Covenant, the table, and the lampstand and finishes by saying in Exodus 25:40:
And see to it that you make them according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain.
Moses was making copies of real life things that he had seen while on the mountain of God. I believe that when he ascended Mount Sinai to receive these instructions, he went up a phys- ical mountain, but he also ascended into the mountain of the Lord’s house and was given a tour of the holy places of Heaven. He was then instructed to go and build a tabernacle that was a copy of what he had seen. The Tabernacle and everything in it is a copy of real things in Heaven (see Heb. 8:5). If we then look at the imagery of the tabernacle, we see in the Holy of Holies that there were two cherubs whose wings were to cover the mercy seat (see Exod. 25:19-20). The mercy seat was on top of the Ark of the Covenant and it was the place where God said He would meet with Moses.
And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony, about everything which I will give you in commandment to the children of Israel (Exodus 25:22).
The cherubs that covered the mercy seat were in very close proximity to the place where God said He would meet and talk with Moses. In fact, they were right there! This tells me that “the cherubs that cover” are very close to the throne in Heaven and have access to see and hear much of what God is doing from His throne. I believe that lucifer, as a covering cherub, had a position at the throne of God.
If he was positioned at the throne, it would make sense that his function would include activities that take place around the throne. Revelation 4:8-11 makes it clear that worship is happen- ing around the throne all the time. Based on that, I believe that “trading” was a part of the worship being offered to God. As he walked up and down on the fiery stones before the throne, trading, he was also partaking in the worship that is an everlast- ing integral component of life at God’s throne. The Scripture records that lucifer did his job well, at first.
You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you. By the abundance of your trading you became filled with violence within, and you sinned (Ezekiel 28:15-16).
Verse 15 explains that lucifer was perfect in his ways. The word perfect in Hebrew is tamiym, which means complete, without blemish, sound, full of truth, and integrity (Strong’s
#H8549). Lucifer displayed these characteristics in the way that he walked out his life before God. But there came a time when all that changed. Iniquity (injustice and unrighteousness) was found in lucifer. The root word for iniquity depicts “a deviation from justice and righteousness” (Strong’s #H5765). At some point, lucifer turned away from righteousness and justice. He continued to function as a covering cherub around the throne, but now he was operating out of iniquity and not perfection. He started trading from a heart that had turned away from righ- teousness and justice. Our heart attitudes are the key to trading. Hearts that trade from sin and iniquity will not be tolerated in Heaven, but hearts that are “perfect” toward Him will have a place on Heaven’s trading floors.
Ezekiel 28:17-18 gives us some clues as to lucifer’s heart atti- tudes that caused his removal from Heaven and his position on the trading floor.
Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, that they might gaze at you. You defiled your sanctuaries by the multitude of your iniquities, by the iniquity of your trading.
The Bible says that lucifer became filled with pride at his own beauty. He took his eyes off God and began to focus on his own attributes. Perhaps he looked at his own perfection and thought he, too, was worthy of some of the worship that was going to God. Pride turned his eyes away from God and took him down a path of wrong thinking that led to sin. I believe that lucifer wanted to be like God and as he traded with this twisted, sinful heart, he corrupted his wisdom and defiled the sanctuaries.
It was the continued trading with an iniquitous, unre- pentant heart that caused God to not only cast him out of the mountain of God as a profane thing but also to cast him to the ground. Lucifer’s heart had become filled with vio- lence and iniquity. He wanted to be like God, and God was having none of it. Lucifer was banished from God’s house. He lost his place of prominence in God’s government and lost his place in Heaven. Trading with a wrong heart motive is very dangerous!
Lucifer, once the most beautiful and wise angel, was now the enemy of God. Filled with pride and anger, he persuaded one third of the angels to join him in his rebellion against God, and we understand that they were all evicted from Heaven. I do not know exactly where they went, but I do know that lucifer’s hatred for God deepened and his desire to be like God grew. I believe he began to plot how he would take his revenge on God. Isaiah 14:13-14 gives us some insight into his thinking:
For you have said in your heart: “I will ascend into Heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.”
Lucifer wanted to build his own house and his own throne. He wanted to be worshiped just as God had been worshiped. He wanted his own kingdom that would replace God’s King- dom. And that is what he set about doing. The challenge that he faced (and continues to face) is that he cannot create any- thing. He can only counterfeit what God has already created. In setting up his kingdom, lucifer (or satan as he is now known) would need to copy God’s pattern and pervert or twist it to glo- rify evil. And that is exactly what he did.
In order to establish a kingdom, satan needed his own dominion. Remember, everything belongs to God. He is sov- ereign over everything. Satan knew that in order to build his own kingdom, he would need to gain some territory in which to establish his kingdom. And when he saw God create a garden for Adam and Eve and give them dominion over the earth, he saw an opportunity.
Lucifer knew that Adam and Eve would not just hand over their dominion to him. He realized that he would have to trade it away from them. Remember, he was a master trader in Heaven. He had spent eons trading before God’s throne. He understood God’s economy and the legal requirements of trad- ing to bring increase to a kingdom. For him to be legally able to establish his kingdom, he would need to legally trade the dominion away from those to whom God had entrusted it.
In Genesis 3:1-6, we see the first recorded trade that satan made with man.
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”
Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
In order to gain the dominion, satan needed to trade with Adam and Eve. He needed to get them to legally exchange their dominion for something that he gave them. The only thing that satan had to offer was sin. He can offer sin in many different forms, but sin is the only “product” that he has with which to trade. He needed to make his sin look appealing to Adam and Eve so that they would willingly take what he was offering. He needed to draw them away from their worship toward God and onto his trading floor. In Genesis, we see satan approach Eve and question the instructions that God had given to them. His first step was to engage her in a con- versation that introduced a question about the authority of God’s word. The moment she responded, he had succeeded in distracting her from her worship. He had turned her eyes away from God, and now he could put forth the “bait” that would tempt her. He offered her the opportunity to be like God.
Temptation always draws you onto a trading floor. The moment that the enemy tempts you, you are standing on his trading floor and you have to choose whether you are going to trade with him or not. He is offering you something, but to get it you need to partake of sin. The moment that you choose to partake of sin and take what he is offering, you have entered a trade. You have accepted the sin he offered and now he has a legal right to take something from you.
This is exactly what happened with Adam and Eve in Gen- esis 3. Eve was offered the opportunity to have her eyes opened and be like God, knowing good from evil. (Never mind that she was already like God!) In order to have this, she would have to disobey God, which is sin. And remember, sin belongs to satan. At that moment, she could have refused the sin and stepped off the trading floor and gone back to what she had been doing. But we all know that she did not. She chose to say yes to the enemy. She chose to trade with him. She disobeyed God and partook of sin. The moment that she (and Adam) sinned, satan had a legal right to take the dominion away from them. Adam and Eve had freely taken the sin that satan offered to them. Based on that, satan now had the legal right to take something from them. He took the dominion of the earth. We know the rest of the story. Adam and Eve were banished from The Garden, sin entered the world, and satan had the start of his demonic kingdom.
Since the time of that first trade, satan has continued to trade with mankind. He offers us sin, in all its myriad forms, and when we take it he has the legal right to take from us. Our acceptance of his sin signals the acceptance of a trade. Every time we choose to sin, we trade away a part of our godly inheri- tance and destiny.
Did you get that? Every time that you sin, you trade with the enemy. Please note that I do not believe that you will lose your salvation if you sin once. Satan cannot trade your salvation from you unless you willingly and knowingly choose to trade it away. The things that he takes from us are blessings, opportunities, strengths, and gifts that God has made available to us as His sons and daughters. He wants to trade these away from you so that you live in so much less than what God has for you. This is one of the reasons that sin is so deadly. Think about it for a moment— when you choose to commit the sin of fornication, you trade your sexual purity for immorality. When you tell a lie, you trade your integrity for dishonesty. When you slander and gossip, you trade the authority vested in your words for self-righteousness. Every time you choose to sin, you have stepped onto the enemy’s trad- ing floor and you are eating the fruit he is offering to you. You are accepting his offer to trade. When you eat that fruit (partake of the sin), its seeds are planted in you and you trade away part of your righteous identity in Christ.
REASONS SATAN WANTS TO MAKE TRADES
This is the first reason that satan wants to trade with us. He wants to rob us of our identity in God and hinder our walk with Him. If he can do this, he will effectively stop us from accessing our destinies and inheritances in God. When we do not know who we are or who God has made us to be, we are easy to manipulate. We become weak, pliable people easily led into deception and slavery. We will never become a threat to the enemy; rather, we will be pawns in his game!
There are even times, when man does not value his godly inheritance, that he will willingly trade it away to the enemy. We see this clearly in ancient times when men made covenants with demonic gods in order to secure power or prosperity. Many of the curses we labor under today come from these types of covenants that still stand against us.
Many of the sicknesses and diseases that are killing us today are a result of trades made in our past generations. For exam- ple, in ancient times when you traded with demonic gods, they would require the person to drink blood and eat the flesh of their human sacrifices. This is a sin and an abomination to God, but we have partaken of this sin and traded away our honor for the sanctity of life. This type of trade often results in blood or heart diseases manifesting in the family generations later.
Whichever way you look at it, satan wants man to partake of sin as often and as much as possible so that he can trade away every provision, inheritance, and the abundant life that God has for us.
The second reason is that he can only counterfeit what God has done. Satan is not all-knowing; he was not there in the Counsel of God before the foundation of the earth when all the books of destiny were written (see Ps. 139:16; Eph. 2:10). He does not know all of God’s plans for each person, nation, or business. He needs to trade them away from us so that he can develop counterfeit plans or twist the ones that God has given us. Unless we trade the riches of our inheritance to him, he has nothing with which to build his kingdom! And he knows it. This is why satan has developed extensive and elaborate trad- ing schemes so that in every generation he is able to distort or abort the purposes of God. When I first realized this, some- thing rose up in me that shouted, “Not in my generation!” It is time to become wise to the strategies of the enemy and stop him in his tracks. We cannot continue to allow him to steal, kill, and destroy the destiny of God in our lives and our nations.
IT’S TIME TO BREAK DEMONIC TRADING CYCLES
One of the first things we need to do is stop trading away the inheritance and riches that God has given to us. We do not want to be complicit in satan’s plan to be like God. We know that he wants to build a kingdom and a throne to rival God’s, so that he can fulfill the evil intent of his heart to ascend into Heaven and exalt his throne above the stars of God. We know that he wants to sit in the mount of the congregation on the sides of the north and be like God (see Isa. 14), but we cannot play into his hand. Satan plans to use trading to build his king- dom from earth into Heaven. We must learn how he trades with us so that we will not be deceived into building his kingdom.
God has a Kingdom, a house, and a throne that is settled in Heaven. He instituted trading and trading floors as one of the tools to bring the increase of His Kingdom to earth so that His Kingdom may be established on earth as it is in Heaven. Satan wants to take his kingdom from earth to Heaven. God wants His Kingdom established on earth as it is in Heaven. Both kingdoms are looking to expand. Both kingdoms need man in order to increase. Both houses need souls in order to be built. The battle lines have been drawn. Who will mankind serve? To which trading floor will they bring their worship? Which Kingdom will overcome? The principles in this book will empower you to be one of those who swings the balance of power into the Kingdom of God.