John Belt: Shift the Climate - through Praise and Intercession

What is the purpose of praise? Dominionists have all sorts of purposes for praise. Praise for them, it appears has the following functions: a weapon against satan; brings healing; evangelism; opens heavenly portals; a key. John Belt here on the Elijah List uses praise to change the atmosphere. None of these purposes is scriptural. Praise is simply one form of worship. If our praise is to mean anything to the Lord then it must be offered to him in the right way. It cannot be true praise if there is a any kind of demand or expectation on our part is attached to it. Zedekiah List refuted the use of praise as a weapon here. But John Belt, whose church has just celebrated its first anniversary as a Church Body here in Hamilton, Ohio, now introduces praise for "changing the climate".

To understand what he means, we need his words: Through the course of the last year we've really concentrated on changing the spiritual climate through our individual and corporate worship as a Church family. It is amazing the power that worship has to displace darkness over a region. Yet is this true?

So how does it work? When the sole motivation is to magnify Jesus, exalt the Lord, the purity of worship draws the angels of God and cleanses the very atmosphere of an area. When we worship we bring the atmosphere and activity of Heaven into the earth. By his own words here there is more than one motivation for exalting the Lord. It is to change the atmosphere. But where in scripture does it say that when we worship, it draws the angels of God and cleanses the very atmosphere of an area. Scripture doesn't say that, which makes John Belt's statement a lie!

We have noticed the shift in our local atmosphere. Where there used to almost always be a need to press in during worship, there is now ease and things just flow. It is like the portal in the heavens is widening. The scope of glory is increasing. So praise can also enlarge a heavenly portal!

Just as Jesus came to heal all those oppressed of the devil, so we are here to break the yoke of oppression over people, cities, regions and nations through the power of the Spirit. We are here to break the yoke of oppression over cities, regions and nations? Give us a scripture!

I recently had an encounter where God was releasing an anointing for intercession. The power that was released was electrifying. Just as worship opens and displaces darkness so the power of intercession changes the spiritual and physical landscape of an area. Where there was disrepair, there was restoration and beauty restored. Can intercession change spiritual and physical landscapes? So now we do these things, instead of Jesus which, of course, is exacly what dominionists believe.

Through our intercession God's anointing is released to rebuild, repair and restore surrounding troubled areas. The mercy of God is released through our intercession. Again the danger is that we could become more powerful than the Lord! Can we release God's mercy? Surely God has freewill to whatsoever pleases him? If that is taken away from him, then he is no longer the all-powerful, all-knowing God who created this world.

You see we have moved light years from what the scriptures say. None of the above statements can be set against scripture. Yes we can find verses which make reference to praise but there are none which cause the shift in our local atmosphere. John Belt offers no empirical data for his claims that the atmosphere above Hamilton has changed. Has a change taken place? Have the local police resigned because they have nothing to do? Another question springs to mind: How far is this cleansing effect felt? Does it end as you reach the boundary of Hamilton? How much of the surrounding countryside is covered by the effect? How far from Hamilton would you have to travel to know that the effect was zero? Does it decrease by the inverse square as you travel outwards? These questions have no answers because there are no physical, measurable effects. It is all about how one "feels" and what one "senses". We cannot prove or disprove whether these effects are genuine or not. All we can say is that there are no scripture passages which prove a word that John Belt has uttered. When we look at the life of Jesus or the Apostle Paul we do not find either adopting the methodology that John Belt has advocated here.

Why bother, you may ask? The reason is that such unscriptural theology is now being taught to younger people who will have even less understanding of scripture than this generation. This means that the problem will always be growing and once embedded into church culture it will be harder to shift. But then the priorities of dominionists like C. Peter Wagner and his International Coalition of Apostles have almost nothing to do with preaching the gospel. John Belt needs to go back to the Bible.

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