NATO is back in the news, pushing military forces up to the border of Ukraine. It is a strange beast that is not well understood.
NATO was established in 1949 by a treaty between the United States and the nations of Western Europe to defend against the power of the Soviet Union. With the collapse of the Soviet system, NATO should have been redundant, but it has been kept on as a way for the United States to project power while pretending to be something else. The US invasion of Afghanistan was branded as a NATO action to give it a cloak of respectability.
The reality is that NATO is a toothless tiger, because most of the nations of Europe have disarmed and do not have serious military power. When NATO supported the rebellion in Libya, the European nations ran out of weapons in a few days. The United States had to do all the heavy lifting. The European powers are militarily weak, so the most that they can do in most situations is to impose economic sanctions against people and companies.
In Revelation 13, John saw a beast coming out of the sea. This Beast looked like a lamb but was really a dragon (Rev 13:11), ie it seemed to be on Jesus side, but shifted over to the other side. I have suggested that this terrible beast could be the United States.
According to John, this Beast sets up an image of itself (Rev 13:14-15). This image of the Beast could be NATO. It behaves in the same way as the United States, and is really a mask for American power. NATO stands for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. Daniel saw a powerful empire called the King of the North (Dan 11). NATO is linked to the King of the North.
The image of the beast does not use military power, but relies on police power to destroy all opposition.
…cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed (Rev 13:15).This beast also relies on economic sanctions to achieve its objectives.
It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a badge of servitude… so that they could not buy or sell unless they had it (Rev 13:16-17).The NATO countries claim to target sanctions against the rich and powerful, but it is usually the poor who suffer most.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
NATO is back in the news, pushing military forces up to the border of Ukraine. It is a strange beast that is not well understood.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Jesse Colombo has written an article in Forbes magazine warning that the New Zealand economy is in a bubble that will end in disaster. This grated a bit because the popular view among economists is that New Zealand is a rock star economy that is leading the pack. Politicians quickly jumped in to label Jesse Colombo as a doomster, who does not understand what is happening here. However, he picked the subprime collapse, so he must be given some credibility. The Christchurch earthquake brought billions of insurance dollars into the country. Thousands of houses have to be rebuilt over the next two years. Many more need to be repaired. A huge number of commercial buildings are being rebuilt with insurance money. This is a huge boost to the economy. International prices for dairy products are at record levels. This has really helped the New Zealand economy. As Jesse Colombo has pointed out, house prices are grossly overvalued. They have doubled in the last ten years. In Auckland , which is our the largest city, young people are paying more than half a million dollars for a do-up or an old dunger just to get into the market. Banks have been supporting the boom by providing mortgages for 95 percent and sometimes 100 percent of the purchase price. (The central bank last year introduced limits on loan to value ratios in attempt to cool the market). The central bank has kept interest rates very low for the last few years, but they are now beginning to rise. Household debt is very high, so many people are vulnerable to a decline in house prices or a big increase in interest rates. The New Zealand economy is very dependent on the dairy industry. When I was growing up on a farm, the sheep industry was larger than the dairy industry. Over the last twenty years, a huge number of farms have converted to dairying. This has required an enormous capital investment, but returns have been very good, and farm prices have sky rocketed. Most of our milk products are exported to China. So we really have all our eggs in one basket. Last year, a faulty test that recorded botulism in milk powder stopped exports to China for a few days, until the error was corrected. Some categories of milk powder still do not have access to the Chinese market.
I have some sympathy with Jesse Colombo’s view. The New Zealand economy is currently strong. The unemployment rate is 6%. The Treasury is forecasting real growth of 2.5% for the next couple of years.
Two things have helped the NZ Economy.
Despite this good news, there are two big worries about the economy.
The New Zealand is very vulnerable to a biosecurity crisis that effects our exports to China. It would also be severely hurt by a collapse in residential real estate. So like most rock stars, New Zealand could easily fall off the edge.
The Christchurch earthquake brought billions of insurance dollars into the country. Thousands of houses have to be rebuilt over the next two years. Many more need to be repaired. A huge number of commercial buildings are being rebuilt with insurance money. This is a huge boost to the economy.
International prices for dairy products are at record levels. This has really helped the New Zealand economy.
As Jesse Colombo has pointed out, house prices are grossly overvalued. They have doubled in the last ten years. In Auckland , which is our the largest city, young people are paying more than half a million dollars for a do-up or an old dunger just to get into the market. Banks have been supporting the boom by providing mortgages for 95 percent and sometimes 100 percent of the purchase price. (The central bank last year introduced limits on loan to value ratios in attempt to cool the market). The central bank has kept interest rates very low for the last few years, but they are now beginning to rise. Household debt is very high, so many people are vulnerable to a decline in house prices or a big increase in interest rates.
The New Zealand economy is very dependent on the dairy industry. When I was growing up on a farm, the sheep industry was larger than the dairy industry. Over the last twenty years, a huge number of farms have converted to dairying. This has required an enormous capital investment, but returns have been very good, and farm prices have sky rocketed. Most of our milk products are exported to China. So we really have all our eggs in one basket. Last year, a faulty test that recorded botulism in milk powder stopped exports to China for a few days, until the error was corrected. Some categories of milk powder still do not have access to the Chinese market.
Labels: Economic Situation
Monday, April 21, 2014
Last night I listened to a television preacher giving seven reasons why the resurrection is true. It was good, but I wish that we lived as if Jesus is risen. The power that raised Jesus from the dead and seated him at the right hand of the Father is the same incomparable great power that is at work in us through the Spirit (Eph 1:19-20). If the Holy Spirit were free to do his stuff, we would not need any proofs of the resurrection. The world would see that Jesus is risen.
On Saturday, I heard a secular radio interviewer talking to a Christian author. After talking about his books, she turned to his Christian faith. Instead of being abrasive, as she would usually be with a Christian, she just said, “Help me with the resurrection!” It seemed like she would like to believe the resurrection, but the evidence is just not there. For a scientific mind, it is just too hard to believe. The Christian author did not seem to know what to say, so he parried with a question, “What is your problem with the resurrection?”
Actually, the resurrection is our problem. If the body of Christ was moving in the power of the Spirit and living as Jesus lived, healing the sick, casting out demons, cleansing lepers and raising the dead, it would be easy to believe that Jesus is risen.
Saturday, April 19, 2014
According to Ambrose Evans-Pritchard at the Telegraph, the Swedish Riskbank is worried about deflation.
Sweden has become the first country in northern Europe to slide into serious deflation, prompting a blistering attack on the Riksbank’s monetary policies by the world’s leading deflation expert.Lars Svensson, the Riksbank’s former deputy governor, explained that this falling prices are a problem, because they cause debt burdens to ratchet up in real terms. Swedish household debt is 170pc of disposable income
Swedish consumer prices fell 0.4pc in March from a year earlier, catching the authorities by surprise and leading to calls for immediate action to avert a Japanese-style trap.
This is a bit rich. Creeping inflation has hurt savers for years, slowly wiping out the value of their hard earned savings. Now a 0.4 percent fall in pirces hurts bgorrowers, and the central banks get worried. It is clear whose side they are on.
Central banks have been rewarding borrowers and punishing savers forever. This contributed to weak risk assessments which contributed to the Global Financial Crisis.
Central Banks fear deflation. The most common argument is that if prices are falling people will stop buying and wait till prices get lower. This does not make sense. Technology prices have been falling for years, but people have not stopped buying.
Chis Casey explains the flaws in this fear in his article called Deflating the Deflation Myth.
In addition, the American economic experience during the nineteenth century is even more telling. Twice, while experiencing sustained and significant economic growth, the American economy “endured” deflationary periods of 50 percent.Deflation benefits consumers, because it increases their ability to buy things, without an increase in wages. The inflation of the last few decades has robbed consumers of reduction in prices that should have come through technology gains. These have been captured by people in debt.
This during a period of “sustained and significant economic growth”. But just think of all those poor consumers, having to make the best of constantly falling everyday low prices.
Central banks believe deflation leads to depressions. Casey quotes a study completed by several Federal Reserve economists who found:
... the only episode in which we find evidence of a link between deflation and depression is the Great Depression (1929-34). We find virtually no evidence of such a link in any other period. ... What is striking is that nearly 90% of the episodes with deflation did not have depression. In a broad historical context, beyond the Great Depression, the notion that deflation and depression are linked virtually disappears.
Friday, April 18, 2014
The royal tour of New Zealand has ended. Not Lorde. The prince and princess, William and Kate. William is the second in line to the British throne. However, he will never be a real king, because this is not just a figurehead role, with no real power. The Queen is trotted out for ceremonial occasion to add a bit of pomp and circumstance to compensate for the dull weather, but she has no governing authority.
The British queen has no authority in New Zealand either. The head of state is the Governor General. He is selected by the cabinet, and the queen pretends to appoint him, but this is a façade.
Many people think that this process produces better results than the circus that produces the American and French presidents. They could be right, but this is all irrelevant to me, because I have only one King, and he is Jesus.
The royal tour was a well-oiled PR machine. Everywhere that William and Kate went there were huge adulating crowds. People decided that they were wonderful people after a brief glance from behind the barricades.
I find this tendency quite disturbing. Human nature seems to have a deep-seated need to exalt one person to a place of honour and privilege above them. I can why it is easy for a clever demagogue to gain political power by tapping into this vein.
When the same thing happened to Jesus he did not trust the crowds.
After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself (John 6:14-15). No politician or royal would behave this way, but Jesus is the true king.
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Robert W Merry has some interesting comments on the lack of strategic direction in American foreign policy. American presidents are blundering into situations they do not understand and making the world unsafe.
Saner heads would have understood just how dangerous this kind of activity can be. And so some questions intrude: Did anyone in the State Department inform President Obama that this was going on? If anyone had, would the president or his informant have understood the potentially incendiary nature of such diplomatic intrusiveness? Or was the president simply left in the dark, as Pfaff has suggested, while his minions engaged in activity destined to create an unnecessary crisis in U.S.-Russian relations and possibly unleash destabilizing ethnic tensions in a crucial corner of the world?
For historical perspective, it’s worth noting that we look back now with a certain disdain upon the heads of state grappling with events leading to World War I. Those events ended a century of relative stability and peace in Europe, and the men who let that grand epoch pass are seen in history as hapless, out of touch, even stupid. In fact, they weren’t stupid, but they were out of touch and that rendered them hapless in the face of events they didn’t understand.
President Obama and those around him aren’t stupid either, but they don’t seem to understand the nature of our time and the challenges posed by a fading era. They seem incapable of grappling with the kinds of broad historical questions posed by William Pfaff.
But the problem doesn’t reside only with the current administration. There seems to be a zeitgeist in play that retards the ability of our leaders and intellectuals to grasp the transformative nature of our time and hence the havoc besetting the globe. Pfaff is equally hard on George W. Bush and his father, George H. W. Bush, particularly regarding what he calls “the Muslim conflagration.” He writes: “Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Pakistan—in all of them, a President Bush, or President Obama, together with his accomplices, has passed their way, sowing annihilation."
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
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 angels 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.
Labels: Kingdom of God
Monday, April 14, 2014
Many Christians believe their true home is in heaven and they cannot wait to get there. However, this is not completely true. Our current home is on the earth. Paul had dual citizenship. He was a Jewish citizen and a Roman citizen. He had rights in both places. We are dual citizens as well. We are citizens of both earth and heaven, having rights in both places. We should not become so focussed on life after death that we forget our role on earth. Earth belongs to God. We are his stewards. He needs us to exercise authority on earth.
We are already seated with Jesus at the right hand of the Father in the spiritual realms (Eph 2:6). That is our home now, and understanding that should transform our life on earth now. It would be sad if we were so focussed on life after death, that we failed to understand that we live in the spiritual realms now. Our home is in heaven, but not in the way we usually think.
Saturday, April 12, 2014
I found this article about Syria called Red Line and Rat Line by Seymour Hersh really interesting. I understand that the media in the US have shut it down. But I guess their readers do not want the truth.
I could never understand why stories about gas attacks always came at out times when the Syrian government forces were having success on the ground. It did not make sense. Nor could I understand why Obama pulled back from his red line, when he had been so keen on it. This article makes sense of these events.
Friday, April 11, 2014
Many Christians are getting wound up about the movie Noah. I have not seen it yet, so I will not comment on the movie. However, I presume that part of the problem is that most Christians are only familiar with Noah as a sweet children’s story about boats and rainbows. Very few Christians understand that Noah was a key player in God’s strategy to recapture the authority that had been stolen by the spiritual powers of evil. Noah’s life was a messy one, because he was caught up in massive spiritual struggle, at a time when the Holy Spirit was not able to come and live in those who were called by God. The rainbow covenant was a huge step forward in God’s strategy, and still is, but few of his people understand it.
Monday, April 07, 2014
Very few Christians believe that the church will establish the Kingdom of God in this age. Most believe that the gospel will be successful at times and that some churches will grow very large, but they do not expect that the Kingdom of God to come in their time. The possibility never occurs to them. For many Christians, the next big thing is the second coming. They do not mind if the situation in the world gets worse and worse, because they see it as a sign that the coming of Jesus is getting closer. Therefore, they do not really want to see the Kingdom coming closer.
The popular belief that Jesus will return to establish the Kingdom of God is Satan’s greatest lie. He has used it successfully to cripple the church and rob us of our inheritance. He has fooled us into believing that we do not have to the Kingdom, because Jesus will do it for us when he returns. Unfortunately, although this idea is popular, it is not true. The Bible teaches that Jesus will return to receive the kingdom from the church, so that he can hand it back to the Father (1 Cor 15:24,25).
Jesus taught about the Kingdom of God incessantly. His gospel was a gospel of the kingdom. It was not a gospel of Kingdom at the end of age. It was a gospel of the Kingdom of God at hand, now. He commissioned the church to bring in the kingdom, now.
This seems strange to us. Jesus' view of the Kingdom is different from the view of most Christians. The reason is that many Christians have unwittingly accepted a lie from Satan. He has fooled us into believing that Jesus will establish the Kingdom when he returns. He has fooled us into believing that we don't have to do it, because Jesus will do it for us. The problem with this is that he has robbed us of our inheritance. The Kingdom of God is our inheritance.
When we read the Scriptures, we tend to shift the passages that promise victory to after the Second Coming. The Scriptures that promise hard times are assigned to the current age. This is part of the lie that Satan has sold us. The reality is that most of the passages about victory are meant for this age. We have been robbed of these promises of hope.
A corporate mental stronghold is a false idea that takes hold in a culture so that it is wisely accepted. The belief that Jesus will build the Kingdom of God when he returns is a corporate mental stronghold that has bound up the Church.
Jesus' view of the Kingdom is very different. His gospel was a gospel of the Kingdom now, not a gospel of Kingdom at the end of age. His was a gospel of the Kingdom of God at hand, so he commissioned the church to establish the Kingdom, now.
The Bible is clear about the result of the battle.
We should not be acting if he has won?
Labels: Kingdom of God
Saturday, April 05, 2014
God does not physically separate out Christian institutions from non-Christian ones. Most institutions carry on with the same role. The only difference is in the way that authority is exercised within them. This is why Jesus said that we cannot see the Kingdom of God (Luke 17:20,21). The Kingdom of God is not visible, because there is not a set of Christian institutions and a separate set of non-Christian ones.
There will often be no visible difference between a Christian business and a non-Christian one. For example, a Christian joinery workshop will look the same as any other one. The staff will use the same equipment and have the same set of skills. They will often do the same tasks and produce similar products. The big difference is in the hearts of the owners and manager and the way that they exercise authority. The difference should be evident in the way they do business.
The parable of the wheat and weeds illustrates this point (Matt 13:24-43). The owner allows the wheat and the weeds to grow up together. Some Christians interpret this parable to mean that the Kingdom is never victorious, but they do not understand how crops grow. Wheat and weeds cannot grow together equally. One will always grow faster and choke out the other. If the weeds choke the wheat, the crop would not be worth harvesting. This can happen and many farmers have ploughed their "choked out" crops back into the soil.
A good crop of wheat will grow faster than the weeds, choking them out. The parable describes a good harvest, so this is what has happened. The wheat has grown better than the weeds, so they are choked out. They are so few and weak that they can be picked out one and a time and burned.
If good increases, evil must decrease. Jesus is describing a time in the parable when good becomes so powerful that evil is forced out of the world. There are a few weeds left, but they are so feeble that they have no impact. T They are choked out by the good wheat of the Kingdom of God.
In the parable of the mustard seed, the birds come and shelter in the branches. This is because the mustard tree becomes so strong and brings peace, that even those who oppose it (the birds) see its benefits and try to get some of them. The Government of God brings such blessing that even those who hate God enjoy its benefits, even while they still hate its King.
Thursday, April 03, 2014
I find it hard to understand the obsession that Americans Christians have with guns. The nation seems to be under a strange corporate mental and spiritual stronghold.
I have never owned a gun. I have never fired a gun. In my 65 years, I have never been in a situation where I have needed a gun. If I had stayed on the farm I grew up on, I would have needed a gun to kill sick animals or old dogs, and to get rid of pests like rabbits, but not for killing people. But I moved to the city, where I do not need one.
The police on the streets of New Zealand do not carry guns. Yet it is safer here than in the United States.
Plenty of people here own guns. They use them for hunting and various forms of competition, but they do not seem to be an obsession.
If this nation is attacked, we will defend ourselves. The risk is not very high at the moment. The greatest risk to peace seems to be cowboys like George and Obama wandering round the world with their six guns looking for someone to shoot.
An invasion by an invading army is not the worst thing that can happen for Christians. If a Christian is killed, they go straight to glory, which is good. The church can survive a persecuting invader. The church grew rapidly under the ruthless Roman government. The fastest growth of the church ever was in China under a harsh communist government.
Persecution is not nice, but it does not stop the Holy Spirit from working. Jesus confirmed this when he said,
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell (Matt 10:28).The modern world has this the wrong way round. We fear those who can kill our bodies, but do not rear those in can destroy our soul and body. American Christians are passionate about their guns and marines, but they are strangely ignorant about spiritual protection.
The greatest threat to New Zealand is not an invading army. It is the spiritual forces of evil that are seeking to make their home here. We have cast off restraint, which has left evil unrestrained and constrained God’s ability to protect us. As our culture become more and more secular, they have more and more and freedom to inflict their evil on us. Strong spiritual protection will be absolutely critical in the next season.
The same is true in the United States. A great host of evil spirits are making their home there. They are experts on political and military empire. They are skilled in death and destruction. Guns will be useless against them. If American Christians could see into the spiritual realms, like Elisha’s servant, they would be shocked at the forces arrayed against them. They would stop worrying about guns, and be seeking to learn about protection from the spiritual forces of evil.
As society becomes more secular, the need for Christians to be spiritually alert increases. Unfortunately, we have compromised with the secular world view, and are unprepared for a season when the spiritual warfare will be extremely intense.
Many American Christians are more familiar with their guns than they are with angels. When under attack, whether physical or spiritual, I would sooner have and angel close by than a gun.
Tuesday, April 01, 2014
The situation in the world has now changed. There are very few Jews in Poland and Ukraine. The largest Jewish populations are in Israel and the United States. The forces of evil that created the Bloodlands are now working in these two places. They are experts on killing and death and they are experts on using dictatorial political power. (Recent events in Ukraine show that a few of them are still working there too).
The nation of Israel have no spiritual protection. Worse still, they have no ability to see into the spiritual realms, so they do not know what they are up against. They think the worst threats are military. They do not understand that the greatest threat comes from the spiritual forces of evil, working amongst them to stir up dictatorial political power and killing and destruction. By relying on military and political power for their protection, they are unwittingly working with the spiritual forces that are trying to destroy them.
Most Christians are not helping, because they too are stuck in physical seeing and thinking. They are praying for the military and political power of Israel. This is exactly want the spiritual forces that they cannot see want, because it empowers them. Very few Christians are praying for the spiritual protection of Israel, though that is what is really needed.
I presume that the same spiritual forces are at work in the United States, using all the authority that the old covenant gives them. We can expect to see these spirits, which are experts in using military and political power to cause destruction and death, going to work. May be they are already achieving more than we realise.
Monday, March 31, 2014
Timothy Synder is a secular historian, so in his book called called Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin, he attempts to explain these terrible events by examining the political and social events of the time. He concludes that the worst killings took place in areas that were invaded by both Stalin and Hitler, so that was the cause. Because he focusses on the physical world, and ignores events in the spiritual realms, he fails to understand the real cause of this terrible death and destruction.
When Jesus had finished challenging the Jewish leaders, he gave a terrible prophecy.
Look, your house is left to you desolate (Matt 23:38).The cause of this desolation is rooted in the covenant. The Jewish people have a marvellous covenant with wonderful promises, but they are incapable of fulfilling it. Jesus satisfied the covenant by living a perfect life, but the Jews rejected him so he could not impute his righteous to them. Worse still, they have no way of dealing with their sin. The sacrifices of the covenant worked in OT times because they pointed to Jesus, but once the temple was destroyed, there could be no sacrifice for sin.
The Jewish people are now stuck on the wrong side of a good covenant, under the curse, rather than the blessings. The spiritual forces of evil, who are expert accusers, demand the right to enforce the covenant against the Jewish people. The Jews have no spiritual protection, because their covenant, agreed by God, gives the powers of evil authority to inflict the evils specified in the curses of the covenant (Deut 28). Although Jesus defeated the powers of evil by dying on the cross, they still have authority to attack those who have chosen to live under the old covenant, but cannot fulfil it.
Their only source of spiritual protection is people under the blessings of the covenant because they have the righteous of Jesus imputed to them under the terms of the new covenant. Unfortunately, Christians have been better at persecuting Jews than praying for their spiritual protection.
So whenever the powers of evil want to do great evil on earth, they attack the Jewish people, because the old covenant gives them authority to act on earth. Throughout New Testament history, they have used this last vestige of authority to do great evil in the world.
The worst killing in the Bloodlands described by Timothy Snyder was centred on Poland and Ukraine. These were the two countries with the largest population of Jews. This is why the terrible killing took place. The spiritual forces of evil gathered in huge numbers in this region. They raised up and empowered two terrible political dictators: Stalin and Hitler. They infused the people with hatred and callousness. They inspired others to kill and destroy. The result was the worst killing and death that history has known. The powers of darkness were able to achieve this terrible destruction by using authority claimed under the old covenant.
Saturday, March 29, 2014
Last year I read the book by Timothy Snyder called Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin. He tells the story of Eastern Europe between Germany and Russia during the period between 1930 and 1945 when 14 million civilians were killed. This number of deaths is probably unmatched in human history.
The killing began when Stalin starved the people of Ukraine by stealing their grain to pay for the industrialisation of the Soviet Union. Nearly three million people died in three years. Many more people died when Hitler and Stalin divided Poland between them. When Hitler invaded Russia, his troops slaughtered thousands of civilians and even more prisoners of war. Nearly a million died. In the areas that Hitler’s forces controlled, millions of Jews were killed, by bullets to the head, starvation in work camps, or gassing in death facilities. When Stalin’s army defeated Hitler’s forces and pushed them back into Germany, many more people were killed or died of starvation.
Hollywood gives the impression that the Second World War was won by British airmen lying Spitfires and the American army invading France. This book is and important counterpoint. Snyder show that that the real war was fought and won on the Eastern front.
Friday, March 28, 2014
Some Christians are developing an ecological worldview and taking up responsibility for caring for the earth. This is good, but something important is missing from this understanding.
The group that is most serious about polluting and destroying creation are the spiritual powers of evil. They hate the good world that Cod created and want to destroy it. They have already had a good go.
Therefore it is not surprising that when people pursue the things of the world (1 John 2:15), they also harm the creation. They are being led by the world system and the spiritual powers of evil without knowing it.
The people of the world are now really stirred up to care for their environment. This is good, but the environmental movement will fail because they do not understand what they are up against. They only see the physical, so they are not taking into account influences from the spiritual dimensions. Because they do not have victory over the forces of evil, their efforts are doomed to failure. They will often make thing worse without understanding why.
On the other hand, Christians should be embarrassed that they have been so slow to grasp the importance of caring for the created world. Those who have been rescued by God should have understood how much he loves the earth that he created, and how upset he is done at the harm done by the powers of evil. Unfortunately, Christians have often been the worst at destroying the creation, because they did not understand what was happening in the spiritual realms, and who they were working for.
When the gospel has gone into the world and Christians are full of the Spirit, prophetic people will begin speaking healing to the earth. As the sons of God are revealed, the powers of evil will be exposed and pushed out of the physical realms. The Holy Spirit will begin to restore the creation. God’s people will work with him to liberate creation from bondage into glorious freedom (Rom 8:21). We should be working towards that now.
Thursday, March 27, 2014
In the scriptures, the ministry of the prophet and gift of healing go together. Elijah and Elisha both healed people who were sick. When Jesus healed a young man by raising him from death, the people just assumed that Jesus was a prophet.
They were all filled with awe and praised God. “A great prophet has appeared among us” (Luke 7:16).So although I am keen to see the prophetic ministry restored, I strongly believe that we need to see the gift of healing restored too.
I am intrigued that my book on the prophetic ministry sells three times more frequently than my book on healing. It could be because it is better, but I do not think so. Strangely enough, I think the latter is more prophetic than the former.
So here is a question.
Can you be true a prophet, if you do never minister the gift of healing?Or to put it another way.
If you are standing in the council of the Lord (Jer 23:13), won't he sometimes give you the key to someone’s healing from sickness.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Luke says something interesting about sickness.
Those troubled by evil spirits were cured (Luke 6:18).Those “troubled” by evil spirits were “cured”. The word “troubled” in the Greek is “ochleo”. It comes from the noun “ochlos”, which means crowd or multitude. This noun is used in both the previous and subsequent verse to describe the crowd. The implication is that those troubled or vexed by evil spirits were “crowded” or “thronged” by evil spirits.
Luke does not say that those troubled by evil spirits were delivered or set free. He says they were cured. The Greek word is “therapeuo”, from which we get the word therapeutic. This implies that these people were cured of sickness or disease. Luke realised that many of the sick were actually harassed by evil spirits. This aligns with his statement about sickness in Acts 10:38.
God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.Those who are sick are under the power of the devil.
We have accepted a materialistic view of sickness. We assume it is caused by a virus or a bacteria. Cancer is cell tissues that are out of control due to a genetic defect. We have this distorted view, because we are stuck in the physical realms and have forgotten that they are just a small part of reality.
If we could see into the spiritual realms, we would have a very different view of sicknesses. Viruses are entities that were created by the forces of evil to harm our body. Cancer is a timebomb that evil spirits put into human bodies to destroy and kill them. If we understood this reality we would stop trusting chemical and physical solutions that only half work, and seek after the solution that Jesus demonstrated.
The crowd all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all (Luke 6:17-19).More here.