The purpose of The Ministry of the Standard Bearer is to present a biblical foundation for the symbolic use of flags and banners in ministry. It explains how the use of flags and banners can enhance the worship experience in a church or ministry setting, as well as practical and historical applications. Also, it is an instructional guide for ministry leaders that desire to teach the principles of the Ministry of the Standard Bearer from the inside out. For the person that believes they are called to what is commonly known as ‘flag ministry’, it is a guide to understand how to use flags to honor God.
Is it biblical?
Another word for “standard” is “banner”. In scripture, the banner is primarily used as a metaphor for victory or overcoming the adversary through God’s power. In this book, you will have an opportunity to examine the standard from a historical, practical and prophetic perspective.
Symbolism and Interpretation
The Ministry of the Standard Bearer is based in symbolism. The Bible is full of symbolism; some of it is explained, but some of it is left to interpretation. Although the interpretation of man can lead to deception, the interpretation of Holy Spirit reveals truth that will not contradict the spirit of God’s Word or His intent. We will examine this topic in more detail in the section titled, Symbolism.
How flags can be used in the church
The use of banners in the church can be used practically (to give directions, as identifiers, and to decorate the walls of the church building); they can be used symbolically (to convey ideals like victory, unity and reverence); they can also be used along with music and song as an instrument or tool of worship and praise.
Since worship flags are often used in worship with music and dance, the most important theme you will notice throughout this entire book is “pure worship”; that is making sure your worship is acceptable to God. When examining the scriptures, you will discover that not everything people offer to God as worship is acceptable to him. The Bible recounts the things that God has clearly said he does not want (e.g. anything used to worship other gods, offerings given in the wrong spirit, sacrifices given without obedience, or disrespect and irreverence). These are examined in greater detail in the section entitled, Pure Worship.
Some chapters have exercises designed to guide you into a deeper understanding and personal revelation about God, His desires and commands, as well as your specific role in the Ministry of the Standard Bearer. You are encouraged to do the exercises. They will help you prepare your heart this ministry and find your unique position.
Scriptures are provided in footnotes. Verses are provided to help you locate the information referenced and to offer scriptures to ponder. Footnotes are not comprehensive. There is much more to discover on you own about this topic. Hopefully, this book will inspire you to seek God to discover more about Him, His character, and your purpose as a Standard Bearer.
Definition of the Standard
In this chapter, we will examine the meaning of the word “standard” as it is used in the Bible to understand its original intent and purpose. Understanding the origins of the standard will help you understand how to demonstrate these principles in their proper context through the Ministry of the Standard Bearer.
Since we are laying a biblical foundation for the Ministry of the Standard Bearer, it is important to look up words that have been translated from the Hebrew and Greek language in a Bible dictionary or concordance to understand their original meaning and intent. Sometimes, English dictionaries do not accurately capture the spirit behind the words used in the Bible. The biblical definitions in this chapter demonstrate how our modern English definitions are similar; but compared to biblical definitions (like the ones below), they lack the essence of God’s character and His identity that is embedded in the Hebrew language.
Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Proverbs 4:7
Do you remember in Bible Study when you discovered that a word like “talent” was a reference to currency or money? Suddenly, the scriptures were clearer, and you were able to interpret the Word of God correctly. However, even as the biblical definition of the word brings clarity and understanding, when we meditate on the scriptures rather than merely reading the words, Holy Spirit may choose to reveal a deeper truth contained in a scripture like the Parable of the Talents. For example, when I received clarity through studying the biblical definition of a single word, the Lord revealed to me that “talent” in this particular parable represents anything of value that God has given us, including our knowledge, skills and gifts. In truth, using the example of money was an excellent way for Jesus to make his point because money is something that man values. But, what does God value? He values you and everything that He has put in you to bring Him glory. By the way, that also includes your money. The moral of the story is, do not bury (waste) what is of value to God. His original command stands. “Be fruitful and multiply.” And, what about the word “multiply”? It means more than to duplicate repeatedly. It is from the Hebrew rabah, which means to “become great, enlarge, to do much and to make great. Do you see what I mean? Seeking the deeper meaning of God’s Word is very enlightening.
Standards, Banners and Flags
Although the words “banner”, “standard” and “ensign” are often used interchangeably in the Bible, it is important to note that scripture does not refer to the word “flag” in the same context, but instead, it is a reference to marsh, grass or reed (Job 8:11 – Strong’s #260 (achuw) and 5488 (cuwph). The word “flag” is a modern, English definition for what the Bible refers to as a “standard,” “banner” or “ensign”.
The Bible uses the word Standard or Banner to describe what we call a Flag. That is why many people refer to the Ministry of the Standard Bearer as “Flag Ministry” or “Banner Ministry”. Most references to the standard in the Bible refer to the banners that identified the twelve tribes of Israel. As we will discuss in the Symbolism chapter, other references to the “Banner” are symbolic. In other words, they do not refer to a physical banner, but are metaphors for what the standard or banner represents from a biblical perspective.
The English definition of “banner” is a piece of cloth attached to a staff and used by nations, states, military, law enforcement, organizations, clubs or in pageantry like parades. Flags may also bear images or mottos. The most common English use of the word “standard” is: A level of quality or what is commonly acceptable.