I have just read “It takes a Pillage” by Naomi Prins. She tells the story of the Global Financial Crisis.
In a chapter called “This was Never about the Little Guy” she says,
Here are some numbers for you. There were approximately $1.4 trillion worth of subprime loans outstanding in the United States by the end of 2007. By May 2009, there were foreclose filings against approximately 5.1 million properties. If it was only the subprime markets fault, $1.4 trillion would have covered the entire problem, right?Paulson was not very sympathetic to struggling homeowners. He was happy to spend trillions of dollars bailing out his mates in the finance sector, but he expected home owners to bear the consequences of their “untenable financial decisions”. Just a small double standard.
Yet the Federal Reserve, the Treasury and the FDIC formed out more than $13 trillion to fix the “housing correction” as Hank Paulson steadfastly referred to the second Great Banked Depression as late as November 20, 2008, while he was treasury secretary. With that money, the government could have bought up every residential mortgage in their country-there were about $11.0 trillion worth at the end of December 2008- and still have had a trillion left over to buy homes for every single American who couldn’t afford them and pay their health care to boot.
“Due to the lax credit and underwriting standards of the past years, some people took out mortgages they can possibly afford and they will lose their homes”, Paulson said with an assassin’s calm on July 8. “There is little public policy makers can or should do to compensate for untenable financial decisions.” He further argued against government intervention in the mortgage market because an undefined “some” people might make a wick profit by flipping homes.I am puzzled why the prophets who are so agitated about Obama’s socialist health care scheme, were not equally stirred up by Bush’s finance sector socialism.
“Now that their investments have not turned out as they had hoped, these people may walk away, even thought the can afford their mortgage payment” he said. “These borrowers can should be living up to their mortgage commitment-government intervention here would be inappropriate”.
Saturday, December 07, 2013
I have just read “It takes a Pillage” by Naomi Prins. She tells the story of the Global Financial Crisis.
Friday, December 06, 2013
When Jesus ascended into heaven, God said to him.
Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet....Jesus will sit at the right hand of God until his church has defeated his enemies and established his Kingdom. Then when the commission is complete and the Kingdom has fulfilled all prophecies, Jesus will appear to receive the victory that his church has established for him.
Your troops will be willing on your day of battle (Psalm 110:1,3).
Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet (1 Cor 15:24,25).
The impact of this event on spiritual authority and the consequences for humans are described in Times and Seasons.
Thursday, December 05, 2013
The Kingdom of God might continue for thousands of years, so the full numbers of people can come to faith. When all God’s promises and purposes have been fulfilled on earth, he will allow an authority shift that brings that season to an end. The devil and his forces will be released and given authority for one last time.
When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison (Rev 20:7).He does not escape, but is released by the Holy Spirit for a specific reason.
God demonstrates his infinite mercy by giving Satan one last chance to redeem himself. He was created by God for a special purpose, but fell from his exalted position and became the enemy of good. Despite the terrible harm he has done to the world, God will give him one last chance to fulfil his calling before the end of the age. He will never be able to accuse God of not being gracious.
The devil will not take the opportunity given to him, but will go out to do evil by attempting to get back his authority on earth (Rev 20:8). To score a victory over Jesus, he will stir up rebellion among the nations. He is not creative, so he just uses the same lies about God that he used at the beginning.
Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction (2 Thes 2:3).An evil man called the Man of Lawlessness will lead a rebellion against God’s law at the end of the age. He will be destroyed by the Appearance of Jesus.
When he emerges the Man of Lawlessness will appear to be wise and good, but his true nature will soon be exposed.
The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing (2 Thes 2:9-10).These, signs and wonders refer to his attempt to improve society using political power and human government.
Lawlessness is not the absence of law. It is rejecting God’s law and replacing it with human laws. The Man of Lawlessness will claim that the world has changed and that God’s law is not sufficiently sophisticated to be a basis for justice in a modern world. He will advocate a return to democracy as a superior form of government. People who feel maligned by God’s justice will join him in his efforts to establish new laws using democratic processes. The Man of Lawlessness will stir up discontent and instigate a rebellion against God.
The devil will succeed in building support, but he will not achieve his objective. He will be destroyed by the last big authority shift.
Then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his appearing (2 Thes 2:8).The Man of Lawlessness and his followers will be destroyed by the splendour of Jesus’ appearance.
This brief season at the end of history will reveal the true character of evil. The people of the world will get a brief taste of its horrors. After this experience, it will be obvious that the devil and his followers deserve their fate (Rev 20:10).
I describe this short season more fully in Times and Seasons.
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
Every believer can pray and release to work in areas where they have authority. Prophets have an important role, because God tells them in advance what he plans to do. When the prophet announces what God is going to do, people assume they just foretelling the future, but that really misses the point. Sometimes it tells his people how to prepare, but God is not really interested foretelling the future just to boost his prophet’s egos.
Something more important is going on. When a prophet declares what God is intending to do, it gives God authority to do what he wants to do. Prophets are humans with authority on earth, giving God permission to intervene and accomplish his purposes. Nothing much happens in the spiritual realms without a declaration on earth.
Prophets were often linked with kings and emperors. When these powerful men submitted to a prophet for wisdom and guidance, they amplified the authority of the prophet. This increased the prophet’s authority to release God to act on earth. Daniel had enormous spiritual authority, because the rulers of the Babylonian Empire submitted to him.
An individual prophet hiding in the wilderness does not have much authority, so will have limited ability to give permission to act on earth. God cannot do much in the wilderness. A prophet with a place in the palace has much greater authority. He has scope to release God’s purposes throughout the kingdom.
Prophets are called to stand in the council of the Lord. When they know what God wants to do, their role is to declare it and pray. The prayer is as important as the declaration, because it gives God permission to do what he wants to do. If the prophet does not declare the word and pray, God is not able to do what he wants to do, because humans have not given him permission to act on earth.
The prayers of the prophets are different from the prayers of the intercessors. Intercessors feel the heart of God and know the things that he wants to do, but cannot, because no one has given him permission. The intercessor cannot give him permission, because they do not have much authority, but they share the pain of his restrained authority. They can also pray that the prophets will step up.
Prophets touch the will of God and know the things that he wants to do. They declare and pray so that he has permission to his will on earth. They look to victory, because they have authority to release his restrained authority.
A prophet gains authority when their words are fulfilled. When people trust their words, they are submitting to their wisdom. The more that people trust the authority of the prophet’s words, the greater authority they have to release the Holy Spirit to work on earth.
Samuel is a marvellous example.
The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. And all Israel… recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the Lord (1 Sam 3:19-20).Samuel had spiritual authority in Israel. God was able to do great things in Israel throughout his life, because Samuel’s prophecies gave God permission to act on earth.
A prophet needs a place to stand, where their authority is amplified by powerful humans submitting to them for wisdom and guidance.
Prophets and other people with authority should be careful how the speak. Declarations made from their own hearts can releases the forces of evil. Ahab’s prophets released a lying spirit, by speaking deceptive words (1 Kings 22). Evil spirits will grab any opportunity given to them by idle words spoken by people with authority (Matt 12:26).
Tuesday, December 03, 2013
Not far from here, a big city mayor, who had just been elected for another three years, announced that he had been having an affair for more than a year.
The political pundits say his private life is irrelevant, because he is good at his job. The problem is that they do not understand the spiritual side of life. When a man commits adultery, he opens himself up to spirits of deception and spirits of manipulation.
When these spirits get hold of a person with political authority, they amplify their power. All the people who have submitted to their political power are opened up to the same spirit.
So the mayor’s private affair has a much greater effect than the pundits realise. We can expect to see these spirits manifesting throughout the city over the next few years.
Remember, when people submit to a political leader, they are also submitting to the spirits that control him, whether principalities and powers, or common and garden variety evil spirits.
Most people would be wary of submitting to a man with a spirit of deception, but those who voted for the mayor have just done that.
This is why democracy is spiritually dangerous. If a dictator takes control of our nation, we do not need to submit to him. However, in a democracy we submit to whomever the process throws up, simply by voting. We do not know who we will end up submitting to.
Monday, December 02, 2013
The next big shift in the history of authority comes at the end of the Times of the Gentiles. Jesus had warned the people of Israel that their nation would be left desolate, if they rejected him.
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate (Matt 23:37-38).He followed up with a prophecy about the destruction of Jerusalem. Luke’s record of this prophetic warning called it the Times of the Gentiles.
Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled (Luke 21:24).The destruction of Jerusalem marked the beginning of the Times of the Gentiles. Jesus used this name, because during this season, most Jews will be absent from his Kingdom.
During the Times of the Gentiles, Satan retains one small piece of legal authority on earth, despite his defeat on the cross. Because the Jews are under judgment (Matt 23:39), he has the legal right to work harm against them. By deliberately scattered the Jews among the nations, he has expanded this power to work all over the world.
Whenever, Satan wants to work evil in a nation, he incites an attack on the Jews, because this gives him greater authority to do his work. For example, Satan incited both Hitler and Stalin to attack the Jews, which enabled him to do great evil.
Jesus judgment of Israel gave Satan legal authority to continue working in the world, despite his defeat. This authority has obstructed the advance of the Kingdom. The extension of the Times of the Gentiles for 2000 years has allowed the devil extra time to resist the Kingdom.
The major event that ends the Times of the Gentiles is the calling of the Jews. This event will a huge turning point in history, as Satan will be stripped of his last vestige of authority when Israel comes to faith. Zechariah promised that God would pour out his Spirit on Israel.
And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son (Zech 12:10).This is the moment of Israel’s conversion. At the end of Times of the Gentiles, the Spirit of the Lord will be poured out on the hearts of all Israel. They will receive a Spirit of supplication that causes them to cry out to Jesus for salvation. The Spirit of grace will give them faith to receive the salvation that comes through grace.
When the season of Jewish desolation comes to an end, Satan’s last legal authority on earth will be gone. His power to do evil will be massively curtailed. Christians will be fully empowered, and he will become as weak and feeble as he really is.
But if their transgression means riches for the world, The fullness of Israel brings great blessing to the earth, because Satan will have lost his authority to work on earth, God will then be free to pour out his Spirit and bring the Kingdom to its promised fulfilment.
and their loss means riches for the Gentiles,
how much greater riches will their fullness bring (Rom 11:12).
When the Times of the Gentiles come to an end and the fullness of Israel has come in, the last obstacle to the Kingdom of God will be gone. The gospel will spread rapidly and powerfully until most people on the earth believe in Jesus and choose to follow him. Most authority will be in the hands of people who have submiited to Jesus and obey his commands by following the voice of the Holy Spirit.
I describe this season in full in my book Times and Seasons.
Saturday, November 30, 2013
When the devil lost his place in the spiritual realms, people who trusted in Jesus gained a place there with him. Heaven is not a nice place we go when we die. Forty days after his resurrection Jesus ascended (went across) to the spiritual realms. All those who follow Jesus were are raised with him and are now seated with him in the spiritual realms at the right hand of the father. This is our place.
Paul explained the significance of Jesus’ ascension of for understanding authority.
God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus (Eph 2:5-6).Christians who are born again of the Spirit have a place in the spiritual realms. We continue to walk on earth, but spiritually we are seated with Jesus in the spiritual realm. This reality is perceived by faith and Christians need to be more aware of it.
Paul had earlier explained the significance of where we are seated in Jesus.
seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come (Eph 1:20-21).When a person chooses to follow Jesus, they continue to live on earth. From a physical perspective, they appear much the same. However, they live in a different spiritual place. Paul explained that a believer is raised up with Jesus and seated with him in the presence of the father. This is important for understanding spiritual authority. The right hand of God symbolises authority, so we are seated in the place of authority. This is real authority. It is above the principalities and powers in the spiritual realms who rebelled against God and dominate the political powers on earth. All Christian authority must come from our place in Jesus, where we are already seated with him in the spiritual realms.
Before Jesus, the devil had a place in heaven and humans were shut out of the spiritual realms. Now he has lost his place, and we have gained a one. Our places have been switched.
When we are born again of the Spirit, our ability to see into the spiritual world is partially restored (Eph 1:18). As we walk in the Spirit and grow in faith, our insight into the spiritual realms should increase, but it will never be complete.
For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away (1 Cor 13:9-10).This side of the final resurrection, we never have a totally clear view of the spiritual realms, so people with prophetic insight have an important role in explaining the link between events in the spiritual realms and those on earth.
Friday, November 29, 2013
The cross and resurrection of Jesus brought a massive change in the spiritual realms. Until this time, the devil and his angels had a “place” in the spiritual realms. When Jesus ascended into heaven, they were forced out, because they could no longer go before God and accuse humans.
The accuser of our brothers and sisters,When the devil tried to accuse humans of sin, Jesus would step forward and explain that his blood had paid the penalty, so they were innocent in God’s eye. If Satan responded that they have not repented and believed yet, Jesus would tell him to wait and see what would happen.
who accuses them before our God day and night,
has been hurled down.
They triumphed over him
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony…;
woe to the earth and the sea,
because the devil has gone down to you!
He is filled with fury,
because he knows that his time is short (Rev 12:10-12).
Once the right to accuse humans was gone, the devil and his angels lost their place in heaven. Michael and the angels fought against them and they were thrown down on to the earth. Jesus had already seen Satan being thrown out of heaven.
I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven (Luke 10:18).John witnessed the same event.
And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven (Rev 12:7-8).This was a dramatic change in the spiritual realms. Most Christians do not understand this, but it totally changes the authority situation in the universe. The devil and his angels can no longer move freely in the spiritual realms. They are confined to the place where the spiritual realms meet with the physical world (the area in black in the diagram).
Having cancelled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross (Col 2:14-15).The cross and resurrection eliminated the accusers right to be in heaven. He was cast down upon the earth, but that did not help him, because he had lost his authority on earth too.
The dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth… the dragon was enraged and went off to make war (Rev 12:13,17).He went off in a huff, because his wings had been clipped.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Last weekend was the fiftieth anniversary of the death of President Kennedy. It did not get much attention in my part of the world, but here is what I wondered about the event.
It now seems that the report of the Warren Commission was severely flawed. There seems to be strong indications that the US security establishment was heavily involved, possibly with the support of future President Johnson.
The political consequences are now history, but what would be the spiritual effect, if the security establishment assassinated the president and then covered it up. I would expect that they following would gain a dominate place among the spiritual principalities and powers that control the nation.
Were these more evident after the assassination of the President? They certainly are now. The problem is that these spirits were well established in the United States before JFK entered the political scene. Nevertheless, if his assassination was organised by people in high place, these spirits would have significantly increased their spiritual control over the nations.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
God sent Jesus to earth when everything on earth was ready. The prophets had announced the Messiah and described his ministry. People like Anna and Simeon were praying for Messiah, which gave God authority to implement his plan to send his son to earth. This was risky, because the devil would not give up his authority on earth without a fight. If he got he had been given a chance, he would have killed Jesus, and removed the son of God from the earth. The wise men nearly set the cat among the pigeons when they went to Herod to find the king, instead of following the star to Bethlehem. Those who accepted the gospel received authority over their own lives and were set free to serve God. Jesus earned all the sovereignty over the earth. He did not keep it for himself, but handed it over to the saints, those who believe and receive the Holy Spirit. Daniel explained what Jesus did with his regained authority.
Jesus entire ministry was a struggle over authority. Before starting on his ministry, Jesus fasted in the wilderness for forty days and nights. Towards the end of the fast, he was tempted by the devil. The final temptation offered Jesus authority over the kingdoms of the world (Luke 4:6-7). Jesus rejected this authority, because he knew that accepting it would place him under the devil’s authority, which would compromise his own authority.
When Jesus began his ministry, the crowds were drawn to him, because they were amazed because by his authority
He taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law (Matt 7:29).
When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to man (Matt 9:8). Jesus claimed authority to forgive sins, and healed the sick to prove his authority.
I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins (Matt 9:6).The centurion in Capernaum recognised Jesus authority, because he knew about authority as a Roman official. He said,
Just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me (Matt 8:8-9).Before Jesus sent out disciples, he gave them authority.
Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority (Matt 10:1).They needed authority, because it was central to what Jesus was doing on earth.
The ordinary people recognised Jesus authority, but he was quickly caught up in a conflict with the religious and political authorities who controlled Israel. They challenged Jesus and demanded that he prove his authority by giving a sign.
The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this" (John 2:18)?Jesus did enough signs to choke them, but they continued to challenge his authority.
Jesus entered the temple courts, and while he was teaching, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him. “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked “And who gave you this authority” (Matt 21:23)? When he refused to respond, they tried to get him into trouble with the Roman authorities by asking trick questions about taxes.
They hoped to catch Jesus in something he said, so that they might hand him over to the power and authority of the governor (Luke 20:20).
Jesus responded to the religious authorities by questioning their authority.Jesus arrest produced an argument about authority between Herod and Pilate.
The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that.. the one who rules like the one who serves (Luke 22:24-25).
When he learned that Jesus was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time (Luke 23:7).Herod refused to exercise authority in the case. Pilate was Rome’s representative in Jerusalem. He had authority to act on behalf of the emperor, and the immense military power of the empire stood behind. He claimed authority to crucify Jesus.
Do you not know that I have authority to release you, and I have authority to crucify you (John 19:10)?Jesus responded by challenging the legitimacy of Pilate’s authority.
You would have no authority over me, unless it had been given you from above (John 19:11).Jesus reminded Pilate that he could not touch him, unless God allowed it.
Jesus was God’s ultimate solution to the authority problem. His death, resurrection and ascension radically changed the "authority situation” on earth. His victory on the cross took back the authority on the earth that Satan had stolen. The basis for his authority was human sin. Jesus death on the cross paid the penalty for human sin. This eliminated the basis of the devil’s authority. The cross defeated Satan and took back his authority on earth.
God has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves (Col 1:13).Before Jesus ascended into heaven, he declared that his death and resurrection had changed the authority situation on earth.
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me (Matt 28:18).Jesus claimed that he had won every struggle of the ages. A dramatic change in authority on earth had taken place.
Jesus did not get busy with his authority. He could not keep authority over earth that had been given to him, because he was going back to the spiritual realms from where he had come, so he gave authority back to the humans living on the earth. He did not delegate it to empires, nation states or local kings. He did not give authority to democracies. He did not give it to bishops or pastors. Jesus gave his authority to the ordinary people living on earth.
There were two different responses to Jesus gift of authority.
Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High (Dan 7:27).
Those who accepted the gospel received authority over their own lives and were set free to serve God. Jesus earned all the sovereignty over the earth. He did not keep it for himself, but handed it over to the saints, those who believe and receive the Holy Spirit. Daniel explained what Jesus did with his regained authority.
Those who rejected the gospel received the authority that Jesus offered, but the immediately lost it again, by continuing to sin, which passed back to the devil by default. Some lost their authority by submitting to political powers, who were came under the dominance of evil. Jesus gave that authority back to all the people who had lost it. Unfortnately most people did not retain it, but were tricked into believing that the devil still ruled the world. The devil now only has authority on earth, where he can trick humans into surrendering their authority to him.
Monday, November 25, 2013
God needed a place on earth. Sin and the fall had given Satan a place in heaven, but God was shut out of the earth. To restore the earth back to his people, he needed a place on earth where he could operate.
God could not act on earth, unless a humans with authority on earth invited him, so he needed loyal people and a place to work.
The Abraham/Moses consortium provided God with a place on earth from which he could work. Abraham brought a burial cave at Hebron, which gave God a toehold on earth. When the people Israel called out to God, he was able to lead them into the land of Canaan and make a covenant with them.
The covenant with Israel marked a big shift of authority on earth. In return for rescuing them from slavery in Egypt, the children of Israel agreed to submit to God’s authority. This was a big change. Under the covenant with Adam and Eve, humans had absolute authority on earth. They could kick God out of the world, if they chose. The covenant with Moses offered similar blessings, but human authority was significantly constrained. Under the covenant with Moses, the Israelites could no longer reject God’s authority and push him out. If they rebelled against him, they could be ejected from the land, instead of God.
But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess (Deut 30:17-18).This shift in authority was a huge step forward in God’s strategy. He now had a place and a people. His people could give him permission to work in the world. They could give him authority to deal to the empires that attacked them. God had a place on earth where he had authority and his will could be done. It would be a beachhead from which he could launch his redeeming salvation to the world.
Establishing the children of Israel in the land of Canaan was an important authority shift. For the first time in history, he had authority to operate freely in one piece of the earth. He also gained a group of loyal people to release his power on earth and carry the Holy Spirit into the world. With land and a people, he could start doing some serious work on earth. His goal was to expand from Canaan out into the rest of the earth.
God had to work for 2000 years to get a place of authority on earth. The covenant with Israel gave him a land to work in and a people to work through. This was not perfect, because his people would not always obey him, but it was a great start.
God no longer needs one place on earth, because the blood of Jesus means that he Holy Spirit can dwell in the heart of everyone who believes in Jesus, so he now has a million places all over the world. He does not need one piece of land as his place any more. Since the cross, Now Satan has lost his place in heaven, so God is now well ahead in the game.
God intended Israel to be a light to the nations. If they submitted to his authority and covenant, they would receive great blessing. The surrounding nations would see the blessing, and choose to submit to God’s authority, so they could share in the same blessing. As they nations freely submitted, God authority on earth would expand. Unfortunately, Israel rejected God’s authority and chased after the ways of the nations. The surrounding nations saw Israel under a curse, so they wanted to have nothing to do with its God.
Saturday, November 23, 2013
The first sign of spiritual life on earth was Enoch, the first human prophet since Abel (Luke 11:51, Jude 1:14). He began a line of prophets that released the ministry of Noah (Gen 5:29). Noah’s prayers gave God authority to send the flood that would sweep away the evil that had swept through the earth. He was even more important, because the covenant that God established with him became an important tool for dealing with evil.
The Rainbow Covenant gave God permanent authority to bring judgments against serious evil, without needing to get permission from the people on earth. It allows God to act against evil in a season when prophets are absent from the world. The rainbow was not a sign that there would never be another flood. It was actually a promise that God would not need to send another flood, because he would never let conditions get so bad on earth that it needed to be destroyed. God promised to prevent evil from getting so strong that it has potential to destroy the entire earth.
The Rainbow Covenant did not give God a free hand on earth. Most of the time, it does not apply, because the situation is not bad enough. However, God gained permission to intervene on earth whenever evil gets strong and destructive. The Rainbow Covenant was a serious crack in the wall built against God. The powers of evil had shut God out of his creation, but Noah opened the door a chink, and let him back in.
Friday, November 22, 2013
This one is not a shift, but the consequence of the previous two shifts.
When Adam and Eve sinned, they handed authority over the earth to the spiritual forces of evil. This was a huge disaster, because it left God powerless on earth. He still had authority in the spiritual world, but his authority on earth was gone. This was painful for him, as he was committed to sustaining the earth every day, but had lost authority to get involved in the world that he loved. It would take all his wisdom and power to turn this situation round.
God launched a long-term strategy to achieve this restoration, but the first few thousand years were a hard struggle. From the death of Abel until the next prophet Enoch, no one called out to God. For more than a millennium, he was shut out of the world that he had created. During this long season, God only received rare opportunities to gain an influence on earth. He used each of these very wisely, but was not able to make much progress.
The genealogies of Genesis 5 and describe life on earth in the centuries after the fall. For nearly a thousand years, nothing of spiritual importance happened on earth. God was shut out of his creation, so he could not hold back the forces of evil. He had no choice but to leave the people of the earth to their own devices. With no one praying, the Holy Spirit was entirely shut out of the earth. Under these conditions, evil advanced in a terrible way. All human developments were twisted for evil purposes.
The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time (Gen 6:5).When God gave Adam and Eve dominion over the earth, he meant what he said. He was not half-heartedly giving authority, thinking the he could take it back if things turned sour. That would have been dishonest and God does not work like that.
Most Christians do not believe that God has given dominion over the earth to humans. They just assume that he can intervene whenever he chooses, and actually expect him to intervene all the time. They assume that if he cannot do what he likes when he likes then he is not sovereign, but that is not true. A sovereign God can sovereignly restrain his authority. He can give authority to someone else and not intervene when things go wrong, but still be sovereign, because that is what he decided to do.
This belief that God controls everything and can intervene whenever he chooses, honours his power, but turns him into a liar, because it implies that when he gave authority and dominion, he was just kidding. The only other possibility is that it was conditional on obedience, but no conditions were given.
We need to adjust our thinking on this issue. God gave dominion over the earth to humans. There has been some wheeling and dealing with the devil since then, but God has not changed his position. Humans have authority over the earth. That means that God can only act on earth, if he is given permission by a human. He can only act in a place or activity of life, if the humans who have authority over it permit him.
We find this strange, but that is the way that God has decided it should be. Perhaps, it makes us uneasy, because it switches responsibility for what happens on the earth to humans, so we cannot blame him for the evil that occurs. More importantly, it switches responsibility for Gods activity on earth to those who have chosen to serve him. He is constrained, unless we release him to do what he needs to do.
The millennium of darkness was a terrible season on the earth, but it proves that God is true to his word. He had given dominion over the earth to humans, so he could not intervene without getting permission from humans with the necessary authority. Unfortunately, permission was not given, so he was powerless to act on earth.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
When Adam and Eve sinned, they handed their authority to the forces of evil and released a curse on the earth. This was a serious, but the change in the spiritual sphere was equally important, because it gave the devil and his powers a place in heaven. The book of Revelation explains how they lost this place, when Jesus ascended into heaven.
He was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven (Rev 12:8).We sometimes miss the importance of this verse. Before Jesus ascended into heaven, the Devil had a place in the spiritual realms. The Greek word translated “place” is topos. It refers to geographic place, but we find the geography of the spiritual world difficult to understand. What it means that the Devil had a part of the spiritual realms where he was free to operate.
The Bible does not tell us when the devil fell, but I believe it occurred at the same time as Adam and Eve fell. If the devil and his powers had just rebelled in the spiritual realms, God could have cleaned them up quickly, because his angels outnumber the rebels two to one (only a third fell). However, when the satan rebelled, he quickly deceived Adam and Eve, and they surrendered their authority to him, so he gained authority on earth where his powers could operate.
Once humans sinned, he stepped up to be their accuser before God. He became,
the accuser of our brothers and sisters,He should have stayed away from God, whenever he came into God’s presence, he would accuse people on earth of sinning, and that gave him a legal right to be there. Taking the role of accuser gave the devil a place in the spiritual realms where he and his evil angels could operate.
who accuses them before our God day and night (Rev 12:10).
One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.” Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied… "Stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face" (Job 1:6-11).
Satan and his angels had a place in the spiritual realms, as long as they could accuse humans of sinning. Humans kept on sinning, so they evil angels continued to have a place in the spiritual realms.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Adam and Eve soon surrendered their authority to evil, by disobeying God and eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. To understand the seriousness of this action, we need to understand an important principle.
When we agree with someone,
we give them influence in our lives.
When we submit to another person,By agreeing with Satan’s lies about the tree, Adam and Eve gave him influence in over them (Gen 3:6). When Adam and Eve submitted to Satan’s advice, they gave him authority over their lives. Sin placed an enormous dark barrier between them and God. This authority shift placed them under a curse, and changed everything.
we give them authority over our life.
The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, "I will give you all their authority and splendour, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to (Luke 4:4-6).
Although he is a liar, especially when boasting, in this case he was close to the truth. He had authority over the kingdoms of the world, because it has been given to him, by those who had been given authority by God.
This transfer of authority created a huge problem on earth and explains why evil has often been rampant on earth. God had the power to put things right, but he did not have authority to act, because he had given authority on earth to humans. God is trustworthy and faithful, so he does not change his mind or go back on his decisions. He does not say one thing and do another. His promises are irrevocable, so despite humans making a mess of their authority over the earth, God could not just take it back and intervene on earth.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Ten big authority shifts with cosmic implications occurred when events in the physical world brought a massive change in the authority situation in the spiritual realms. Understanding these events is critical for understanding the working of authority.
1. Human Authority on Earth
When God created the world he gave dominion over the earth to humans.
Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion (Gen 1:26).God gave humans authority over every living thing upon the earth. This was an amazing gift. Creating something wonderful and beautiful and giving authority over it to someone weaker was a risky decision, but this bold act transferred authority over the earth from God to man. The earth became our domain and sphere of control. This is confirmed in Psalm 115:16:
The highest heavens belong to the LORD,God has full control over the spiritual realms. The angels do his bidding without resistance. However, he has given authority over the earth to us.
but the earth he has given to man.
God gave humans authority over the earth without recourse, so he could not take it back, if they abused their authority. He could not demand his authority back, even if it were handed to the devil. One reason that Jesus had to come as a man was that authority on earth belongs to humans in perpetuity. Only a human could hold that authority, so if it was lost, only a human could take it back.
When Jesus went to the cross, he was doing what his Father had done before him. He was making himself helpless in the hands of men who had the power to harm him. That is what the father did when he gave dominion and authority over the earth that he created to humans. He made himself vulnerable to humans who had the freedom to rebel against him. He was committing himself to sustaining the creation, even if his creatures shut him out of it. He made them free to be atheists, while living the life that he created. This was cross behaviour. The Father made himself powerless before with the people he had created.
God was so confident in what Jesus and the Holy Spirit would do that he was willing to take this huge risk.
For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, God was confident that he would achieve his purposes, even with one hand tied behind his back.
and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength (1 Cor 1:25).
Labels: Big Authority Shifts
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Understanding the impact of the spiritual realms explains why political change usually fails.
Christians get stirred up about political issues. This is often expressed through allegiance to a political party. When their party loses an election, they feel like the end of the world has come. When their party is elected again, they feel like guilt has returned. Despite these emotional ups and downs nothing much changes. Changes in political power usually bring more of the same.
The reason is that politicians work in the physical world, but ignore the spiritual dimensions of life. Changing in the political world cannot take place until the spiritual principalities that control the political world are changed. Their influence means that political change produces more of the same.
The elections of both George W Bush and Obama seemed like huge [political shifts, at the time, but during their presidencies very little changed. The reason is that they are both controlled by the same principalities and powers as the previous presidents. Despite the change in personnel, the presidency is on the same trajectory as it has been on for at least the last two decades.
Christians seeking to bring about political change will be disappointed if they fail to understand events in the spiritual realms.
Saturday, November 16, 2013
The existence of the spiritual realms means that scientists studying the physical world to understand its origins and the way it functions, are going to get is wrong, because they are only observing part of reality. People who only look at half of a situation should not be taken seriously.
I recently read an article in the New Scientist (28 September 2013) by Matthew Chalmers called Seeing Triple that discusses the fact that our world has three dimensions (ignoring time). Scientists are uncertain about whether three dimensions occurred by chance, and a different number would have been just as possible, or whether three dimensions are necessary for our kind of existence.
Physicists have wrestled with this perplexing question of space’s essential threeness for a good while now—not, it must be said with much success. Our best theories of nature supply no clue as to why space might have three dimensions, rather than two, or four, or 5.2. Even worse, the drive for ever-grander replacements keeps finding hints that the magic number is anything but three (p. 35).Chalmers notes that string theory needs at least six extra spatial dimensions.
String theory says that fundamental units of reality are not point-like zero-dimensional particles, but one-dimensional strings. The tricky bit is that these strings need at least nine spatial dimensions to move into preserve the theory’s mathematical consistency. The extra six are assumed to be “compactified” at scales of a billionth of a trillion of a trillionth of a centimetre (p.36).I do not know enough to have an opinion on whether string theory is correctly but I am intrigued that empirical scientists need to postulate additional dimension of existence to explain what they are observing in the physical world.
Physicists are currently reading the book with half of the pages stuck closed.
We do not have any understanding of the structure of spiritual reality. I am not even sure if it is possible, but if we can theorise but sub-atomic reality, we might eventually be able to theorise about the nature of the spiritual.
If empirical observation of the spiritual world were possible, a different physics would emerge.
Friday, November 15, 2013
I recently completed a series of posts on the interactions between the spiritual and physical realms. Before I go on to describe some Big Spiritual Shifts, I will discuss three significant implications.
The first implication of spiritual/physical interaction is much easier to know than to live. I am sure that most who people read my posts and thought, “Yeah, I knew that”. There may be a little disagreement on the details, but most would agree with what I outlined.
Yet, I would challenge that very few Christians live at the intersection of the physical and the spiritual, as Jesus did.
The modern world view is so secular/materialist that it is hard to escape. I suspect that most Christian are influenced more by what they see on television (an unreal world) than by what they see God doing in the spiritual realms.
I know that I have to constantly remind myself to lift my eyes above the things of the world, and keep my eyes on the things that are above.
We respond to what people say and do. Jesus responded to what he saw his Father doing. If I had met the woman at the well, I would have quickly categorised her as a loose woman. I would have felt some sympathy, but it would have come out of pride that I am better than her. And everything would have remained the same. Jesus saw beyond the rough veneer of a mean life, and knew that God was going to use her to transform her village. He knew that the key to her heart was that she was a shutdown worshipper.
We react to events as they occur to us, but rarely think about the spiritual events behind them.
We see the suffering caused by Typhoon Haiyan, but we do not understand the parallel events in the spiritual realms.
We hear John McCain’s call to bomb and Iran and assume that it is just another neocon speaking. We do not think about what is going on in the spiritual realms that he is reflecting.
We need to move from understanding spiritual reality to living it.
Labels: Spiritual Realms
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
When Jesus was teaching his disciples to pray, he taught them how to pray in the Kingdom of God.
Your will be done in the earthly realms,In the spiritual realms, the angels rush to do the Father’s will (Ps 103:20). The kingdom comes on earth when people rush to do his bidding in the same way as the angel in the spiritual realms. When the Holy Spirit prompts and people follow his guidance, the kingdom will come.
as it is done in the spiritual realms (Matt 6:10).
Paul said the same thing in a different way when he explained that God’s goal for history is for there to be unity between the spiritual and physical realms.
He made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfilment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ (Eph 1:9-10).When the times are fulfilled, things in both the spiritual and the physical realms will come into unity by being submitted to Jesus. His kingdom will have come when all authority in heaven and on earth has been brought back under him.
I often hear Christians say that they are going to change, because God has released angel of victory, or has opened the windows of heaven. Yet nothing really changes. These voices are confused, because they do not understand that God does not have a free hand to do what he likes on earth. He has given authority on earth to humans. He has provided everything we need through the cross and the Spirit. He needs humans with authority to release him to deliver what Jesus established.
I will explain some of the Big Authority Shifts in the next few posts. I will show have humans gave God authority to carry out his will on earth.