Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Appearance of Angels

I believe that we cannot really understand what angels look like when they are operating in the spiritual realms. Our eyes and minds can only cope with a three-dimensional world. The spiritual realms are multi-dimensional, so we can’t even conceive what they look like.

When God lets humans see angels, he reveals them in a way that we can understand, and often the way that we expect them to be, so that we recognise them. Elijah’s servant saw riders on horses (2 Kings 6:17) That does not mean that angels ride horses. Rather God showed him the angels that way so that he would understand their power in battle. Isaiah saw them with three pairs of wings (Is 6:1). John in Revelation saw creatures that looked like a lion, an ox, a flying eagle. One had the face of a man (Rev 4:7-8). We see what God enables us to see, rather than what they are really like in the spiritual world.

When they operate on earth angels seem to take human appearance (Gen 18:2-8). They were able to walk, stand, eat food and eat, which suggests that they had legs, hands and mouths. Many of the biblical records of angelic visits to earth suggest that they appeared like humans. They were sometimes distinguished by bright clothing (John 20:12).

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Terrible Beast

If the Terrible Beast described in Daniel and the book of Revelation were to emerge in this season, you would expect to see the following.

  • A nation that claims to be a force for good, while doing much evil. Most of its people would be deceived by this claim.

  • A nation that is the strongest military power that has ever existed. It would love using military power.

  • It would use military power to trample down nations that oppose it.

  • A nation that would claim to be a force for peace, but have been at war for most of its history.

  • A nation with the strongest and richest economy that the world has ever seen.

  • It will use economic power to control other nations.

  • It would pretend to support free enterprise, but would use its economic power to prevent companies and peoples who will not submit to its power from buying and selling.

  • This nation would be an amalgam of independent states kept together by military force after a civil war.

  • A nation that tracks its legal and political lineage back to Greece and the Rome.

As this nation enjoys bullying weaker nations, so you would expect a bully to gain control over it.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Donald Trump in Daniel

If the Times of the Gentiles are to come to an end during our time (I am not certain that they will) then Daniel 11 needs to be fulfilled in our time too.

I take a “understand, wait and see” approach to Daniel’s prophecy. I try to understand what Daniel was saying in terms of our context, and then wait and see.

Christians should be familiar with these texts, so that they will realise if they are being fulfilled. You will not “see”, if you do not understand.

Last week, I was updating my study of Daniel 11 (see What Is Going On). I was surprised to come across Donald Trump in Daniel’s vision. I am not completely certain, but the parallels are disturbing. Have a look at what I found here.

I may be reading to much into Daniel 11 when I thought I saw Daniel Trump, but even if I am wrong, it confirms one thing, which is really scary. When the detestable ruler eventually comes out on the world stage, he will be supported by many evangelical Christians. Some liberal Christians will oppose him, but plenty of prophetic Christians will honour him. They have supported a man like this once, so there is no reason why they will not do it again.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Holy Spirit and Angels (5) Authority

The spiritual powers of evil get their authority to act from the people. The people with the greatest authority in nations can give them the greatest authority. That is why they work through political leaders and human governments. If a human government has given them permission to be there, the prayers of the saints cannot force them out.

The prophets and intercessors give the Holy Spirit and the angels authority to work. If they are a minority and they are rejected and persecuted by the people of the nation, they have very little earthly authority. This means that the Holy Spirit and the angels only have limited authority to work. This is why, at times, evil is able to dominate a nation.

Before the spiritual change can occur on earth, there has to be a switch in authority. The political leaders who are giving authority to the spiritual powers of evil have to give up and lose their place. The people of the nation have to respect the prophets and intercessors and give them authority. This shift in authority on earth will allow a shift in the balance of power in the spiritual realms. The spiritual powers of evil lose authority and the Holy Spirit and the angels gain authority.

The key is to understand that authority flows from earth to the spiritual realms. The battle in the spiritual realms is not a power game. The Holy Spirit always has more power. There are always twice as many angels as there are evils spirits. The battle in the spiritual realms is an authority battle. The outcomes in the spiritual realms are the consequence of the authority situation on earth.

Christians assume that powers in the spiritual realm determine what happens on earth and so they pray against them. Their premise is true, but misleading. The outcome of the spiritual struggle is determined by the authority situation on earth. The people with the greatest authority on earth determine the outcome of the spiritual struggle in the heavenlies.

Political leaders have the greatest authority in the modern world, because almost everyone submits to their government. That empowers the spiritual powers that control and manipulate them, because by agreeing with them, they give them authority. They currently have more authority than Christian prophets and intercessors. This stalemate will be broken when human faith in their governments and their coercive and military power collapse. The result will be a power shift in the spiritual realm that releases the Holy Spirit and the angels to do great things on earth.

See Collapse of Human Government.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Holy Spirit and Angels (4) Spiritual Powers of Evil

The spiritual powers of evil work in a totally different way. Groups of spirits are controlled by government-spirits (attached to a nation) or by a ruler spirit (attached to a sin, like destruction, death). They use anger, power, force and fear to bully and manipulate the spirits they control. In turn, they are controlled by cosmos dominators, which control even larger groups of spirits that are fighting with each other.

Evil spirits and grouping of evil spirits are always shifting loyalties. The hierarchies are massive and oppressive, but they are also fluid, as disputes occur and loyalties and fears shift. There are constraint intrigues and wars at all levels in the hierarchies. The only thing that unites them is hatred of Jesus and his people, but they often get distracted by hatred and fear of each other.

The dominant emotions are anger, fear, jealousy and hatred. They manifest works of the flesh in Gal 5:19-21. Every bad attitude warned against in the NT exits amongst them.

The spiritual powers of evil have a communication problem. Spirits at the bottom level only know what to do as a message comes down the hierarchy, so they just do their own thing. The spirits at the top of the hierarchies are limited to place and time, so they are not all-knowing and omnipresent like the Holy Spirit, which means their communication and organisation is totally different. They have to use hierarchies of control. However, they cannot always see what their armies are doing, so their commands are often wrong. Their commands are often distorted by the time they pass down the hierarchy. It is easy for clever deceiving angels from God to slip in wrong commands. Communication is difficult, and lines of communications are often broken as loyalties shift.

The contrast between the operation of angels and the works of the spiritual powers of evil is stark. If more Christians understood the difference, they would realise how feeble their enemy really is.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Holy Spirit and the Angels (3)

The Holy Spirit and the angels operate in perfect unity. The Holy Spirit speaks to the angels and they gladly do what he asks them to do.

There is no hierarchy or control amongst the angels of God, as it is not needed.

Archangels are not ruler-angels. They are angels that specialise in dealing with ruler/government spirits, like Michael dealt with the Prince of Persia (Jude 1:9 and Dan 10:13). A hierarchy is not needed because the Holy Spirit is not constrained by space and time, so he can speak to any angel any place any time. He can always get an angel to do what he wants done. He knows where they are and what they are all doing.

Angels work together in teams as the Holy Spirit guides them along the same path. He puts them in teams with complementary skills and tells them how to work together.

Gods angels are peaceful and happy in doing their work. They constantly praise God and have fun working together with each other.

There is harmony of purpose and peace between them. They manifest the fruit of the spirit (Gal 5:22).

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Holy Spirit and the Angels (2) Angels

Angels respond to the prayers and prophecies of the saints. They act when given authority by a person with authority on earth. Frank Peretti’s Piercing the Darkness is wrong when it gives the impression at the end of the book that more Christians shouting louder gives angels more power. One person with authority in a situation is sufficient to release angels to do the will of God. (The problem is that in many situations, there is no Christian with sufficient authority).

Whereas the Holy Spirit is spirit and needs a person to work through on earth, angels are spirits with the ability to do things in the physical world. In this context:

  • Angels can prevent evil spirits of various kinds from acting (Dan 10:13).

  • They can provide for protection for servants of Jesus (Dan 12:1).

  • Some evil spirits can prevent angels from operating, if they have greater rank, ie many evil spirits are working for them (Dan 10:12).

  • Angels can carry messages to God’s people.

  • They can strengthen God’s people in their struggle (Matt 4:11). I presume by physically strengthening and chasing away harassing evil spirits.

  • Angels can provide food and other physical needs for Gods people (1 Kings (19:6).

  • Angels can deceive the enemies of God, people and evil spirits (1 Kings 22:22). The angels that gather the nations for battle are deceiving angels. They deceive the spiritual powers that control the nations. They also deceive the leaders of the nations.

  • During a physical war, angels can disrupt the enemies of God’s people (2 Kings 6:17).

    • Blind them, so they go to the wrong place (2 Kings 6:18).
    • Stir up wild animals and dangerous insects (Deut 7:20)
    • Send down hailstones and other forms of bad weather (Jos 10:11).
    • Direct their weapons accurately (1 Sam 17:49).
    • Do things to makes soldiers fear and flee (Jud 7:13).
    • Cause soldiers to fight against each other (Jud 7;22; 2 Chron 20:23)).
    • Confuse military leaders to think the defenders are stronger than they are (2 Sam 5:24)/
    • Angels can set up ambushes (2 Chron 20:22)
    • Send sickness and plague amongst the enemy army (Is 37:36)
    • Cause rebellion against political leaders (2 Chron 32:21).
    • Angels can strike down enemy soldiers (2 Sam 5:24)

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Holy Spirit and the Angels (1)

A reader asked the following question.

How do the Holy Spirit and the angels operate on earth?
I will provide an answer in the next few posts.

Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit works in people, who are have chosen to follow Jesus. He empowers them through the gifts, giving them knowledge about what is going to happen and wisdom to know what to do. He heals sick people and forces evil spirits to leave the people that they pray for.

He works more effectively in a body than in individuals acting alone.

The Holy Spirit also speaks to angels and tells them what to do. He articulates God’s will for them.

The Holy Spirit can put ideas into the hearts of kings (Ezra 7:27). If they are persuaded by the thought, they will act on God’s will, even though they do not know him.

Monday, June 10, 2019


An article by Eric Margolis provides an excellent corrective to the standard Hollywood narrative, from which most people learn their history these days.

Note: Russia lost to Germany’s Nazis, 13,950,000, or exactly 12.7% of its population. Another part of the Soviet Union, Belarus, lost 2.29 million, or exactly 25.3% of its population to Hitler. Another part of the USSR, Ukraine, lost 6.85 million, or 16.3%. The entire Soviet Union lost 26.6 million, exactly 13.7% of its population to Hitler.

The US lost only 419,400, or 0.32% of its population.

Saturday, June 08, 2019

Social Conservatives

Damon Linker on the dilemma of the Religious Right.

When social conservatives thought they were the moral majority, it made sense for them to dream of exercising real political power. When they recognized that they were a minority, it made sense for them to resign themselves to adopting a defensive posture and preparing to live out their days in a country as dissenters from the reigning liberal consensus.

What makes no sense is for social conservatives to think they can be both weak and strong at the same time — a minority that wields the power of a majority.

What's clear is that the available options are limited. If the religious right isn't prepared to accept its minority status and settle for availing itself of the religious-liberty protections afforded by the liberal state as an adequate fallback position in the culture war, it will end up tempted to abandon democracy.

It will be tempted, in other words, to throw its weight behind any political figure or movement, no matter how dubious its democratic legitimacy, that promises to do away with the liberalism it increasingly views as its mortal enemy.

The solution to this dilemma is the Government of God.

Friday, June 07, 2019

Worse than What

When Jesus sent out his apostles he told them to go to town in Israel and stay there.

As you enter the home, give it your greeting. If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet (Matt 10:12-14).
Jesus wanted them to go to places where the Holy Spirit was working. If the response was hostile, they should leave.
Then Jesus said something that is hard to digest.
Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town (Matt 10:15).
Sodom and Gomorrah are considered to be the worst of the worst. These towns were a hotbed of sexual immorality. Most Christians believe that it will be terrible for those towns on the day of judgment. Yet Jesus is saying that it will be worse for the towns that reject the apostles than it will be for Sodom and Gomorrah. How can that be?

The “hell” people believe that the citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah will be tormented in hell for all eternity, so Jesus’ comment is hard to fit. The torment of the towns rejecting the apostles cannot be longer than eternity. The only other possibility is that the fire could be hotter for them, but that does not make sense.

The real meaning of Jesus’ words is that the last judgment will be more complicated than we can handle. Those who have trusted in Jesus will receive a different reward, depending on what they have done on earth. The same applies to those who do not receive Jesus. The people of Sodom and Gomorrah sinned badly, but they did not have the Holy Spirit working in their midst. They had not heard the gospel. They were enslaved by the spiritual powers of evil, so it is not clear how responsible they were for their actions.

I don’t know what their fate will be, but it will better than that of the towns of Israel who heard the gospel and rejected it. The scriptures do not tell us how this will work, so we should not pretend that we do.

We would like the final judgment to be black and white, but Jesus is saying that it will be incredibly messy. Fortunately, we do not have to make decisions about the fate of people who have not given their lives to Jesus. God has given that responsibility to Jesus. And just as Jesus confused his listeners in the first century, many of his decisions will shock us, too.

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Future and Past

Gilad Atzmon has an explanation of political behaviour.

The Left’s vision of temporality is a linear structure of historical progress that proceeds from ‘a past’ to ‘a future.’ Left ideology is structured around an ever progressing time line. The Left always promises to make things better in the future, to fight austerity, to care for the many not the few, to bring about equality and tolerance, etc. None of this is happening at present. This leaves the Left as a promise that is supposed to fulfill itself in an imaginary ‘tomorrow.’

But this is not how the Right’s political argument is structured. In fact the Right and Fascist argument is far more sophisticated from a metaphysical perspective. In my recent book, Being in Time, I contend that the Right ideologist understands that for the working class, utopia is ‘nostalgia.’ Trump won his voters’ trust by promising to make America great again. He vowed to plant the past in the future, reversing the time line. He promised to march America backward. Nigel Farage is using the same tactic, appealing to the same sentiments. He promises to make Britain a kingdom again not just a corner island in a dysfunctional globalist setting, a.k.a the EU. Farage is riding on the longing for a better past.

Within the context of Left thinking, past, present and future are chronological, set to follow each other in consecutive order. Within Right wing philosophy, time’s tenses change positions irregularly. Trump and Farage put the ‘past’ in the future. They promise to march us back. They appeal to the masses because the human spirit, in its search for unity, transcends linear chronology. The Right wing ideologist capitalises on the human search for essence, for a logos and for transparency. In this regard, humans are historical creatures. They are capable of seeing the future in the past and vice versa.

Many Christians are caught in the same trap, wanting to go back to an imagined golden age.

Jesus came to the earth, and the sent the Holy Spirit to bring the Kingdom of God. The best of the Kingdom lies in the future, and we have the Holy Spirit as a guarantee. We must prepare in the present, for the full blessing of the Kingdom when the Holy Spirit delivers it in fullness.

Monday, June 03, 2019

A Non-apology Apology

A non-apology apology is a statement in the form of an apology that does not express remorse. It is common in both politics and public relations.

Saying "I'm sorry you feel that way" to someone who has been offended or hurt by a statement is a non-apology apology. It does not admit there was anything wrong with the remarks made, and may imply the person took offence for hypersensitive or irrational reasons.

Harriet Lerner writes that a good apology has six important elements.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Trade Wars

I am intrigued by arguments about who will win a trade war between China and the United States. Those who think life is only about winning and losing have watched too many Westerns.

There are few real winners in a trade war. Just like military wars, the winners usually find out too late that the costs of winning were much greater than they expected. For example, Britain and the United States thought that they won the second world war (started to defend Poland), but found that all of Eastern Europe was controlled by the Soviet Union.

In the same way, no one really wins a trade war. There will be winners and losers in the United States, and there will be winners and losers in China. We can be certain of two things. The winners in both countries will be the businesses that collude with government to protect their patch.

The unintended secondary consequences will fall far and wide in unexpected places and be more severe than expected. Just as with military war, the losers in both countries will be the ordinary people who get caught in the crossfire.

We should not trust political leaders who think that war is a good thing, whether military or economic.

The questions that Christians should be asking is what are the spiritual powers of evil intending to accomplish through a trade war. War of any kind increases their freedom to operate.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019


Jesus said that we should take the plank out of own eyes before we try to remove a speck from another person’s eye.

Zeynep Tufekci gives a good example of this challenge in a comment about Fundamental Attribution Error

We also have a bias for the individual as the locus of agency in interpreting our own everyday life and the behavior of others. We tend to seek internal, psychological explanations for the behavior of those around us while making situational excuses for our own. This is such a common way of looking at the world that social psychologists have a word for it: the fundamental attribution error.

When someone wrongs us, we tend to think they are evil, misguided or selfish: a personalized explanation. But when we misbehave, we are better at recognizing the external pressures on us that shape our actions: a situational understanding. If you snap at a coworker, for example, you may rationalize your behavior by remembering that you had difficulty sleeping last night and had financial struggles this month. You’re not evil, just stressed! The coworker who snaps at you, however, is more likely to be interpreted as a jerk, without going through the same kind of rationalization. This is convenient for our peace of mind, and fits with our domain of knowledge, too. We know what pressures us, but not necessarily others.

Christians can easily fall into this trap by making excuses for our behaviour, while denying that privilege to others.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019


Alan Streett gets this right.

I am convinced that most churches incorrectly define the term sacrament. In the first century a sacrament (Latin, sacramentum) was a common term that described a soldier’s pledge or oath to serve Caesar as Lord. It was his promise of fidelity to the emperor and empire. The early Christians adopted the word for use and applied it to baptism. At baptism believers pledged their allegiance to Jesus as Lord and promised to forsake all other lords.

Jerome (ca 345–430 CE) was the first to redefine sacrament as a mystical event in which God imparts grace to the believer.

While some Christian communities view baptism as a vehicle for transmitting salvific grace and others view it only as a symbolic act or ordinance, I believe both views fall short of the mark. Baptism in NT times was a person’s public sacramentum or vow of commitment in sight of witnesses to serve Christ regardless of cost. In this sense baptism was a status-changing ritual.

Faith is allegiance to a different Rescuer and Political Leader.

Monday, May 27, 2019


Reading about King Jehoshaphat this morning, I noticed something I had not seen before.

The Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he followed the example of his father David’s earlier days (2 Chron 17:3).
God was with him, when he lived the way that David lived in his early days.

Many Christians have made a hero of David, but we need to be careful. David started really well. He loved and served God wisely as a young man.

However, at the end of his life, he made some serious mistakes. He committed adultery, and murder to cover it up. He had troubles with his children that he did not resolve. He organised a census that God did not want.

There are two lessons here.

  • We must not gold-plate David. Jesus is the only one who lived a perfect life. We should model our lives on him, not on David.

  • It is not enough to start well. We must all endeavour to finish with the same zeal and love for God that we had when we began. That is a serious challenge for every follower of Jesus.

Friday, May 24, 2019


The prophet Miciah gives an interesting insight into how God accomplishes his purposes in situations where he does not have authority.

Jehoshaphat was a good king, but he had formed an alliance with Ahab through marriage. Ahab was keen on war and persuaded Jehoshaphat to join him in a war against Aram. The court prophets urged the two kings to go to war and promising that they would win easily (1 Kings 22:1-6).

Ahab and Jehoshaphat went to war, but were easily defeated. Ahab was killed and Jehoshaphat nearly lost his life (1 Kings 22:29-37).
God had a purpose to achieve in this situation. He worked through his prophet Miciah to accomplish this purpose. Miciah explained what God would do to advance his plans.

I saw the LORD sitting on his throne with all the multitudes of heaven standing around him on his right and on his left. And the LORD said, ‘Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’

“One suggested this, and another that. Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the LORD and said, ‘I will entice him.’

“‘By what means?’ the LORD asked.

“‘I will go out and become a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said.

“‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the LORD. ‘Go and do it’ (1 Kings 22:19-22).
There are two important things to note.
  • The spirit that deceived the court prophets came from God. It was a good spirit. However, it went and became a deceiving spirit in the mouths of the court prophets. God gave these prophets a false message by sending a good spirit to deceive them.

  • God said that this spirit would be successful in deceiving the court prophets. The reason why knew a deceiving spirit would succeed was that a warring violent spirit was already at work amongst them. This spirit was revealed when one of the leaders of the court prophets (Zedekiah son of Kenaah) confronted Miciah. He struck Miciah on the face (1 Kings 22:24). The warring, violent spirit had such a stronghold in his life, that he could not respond to someone challenging his point of view without resorting to violence.

There is an important lesson here. Prophets with violence in their hearts and prophets who love war are vulnerable to a spirit of deception.

The same mechanism seems to be at work in Pompeo and Bolton.

Thursday, May 23, 2019


A year out from the next general election in New Zealand, Christian leaders are being drawn into talk about forming a new political party to contest the election.

One leader says that he wants to make a stand against the four big issues of abortion, euthanasia, genderism and homosexuality. Unfortunately, when Christians campaign on these issues, the fear, anger and hatred that pervades the modern church is exposed. When people see the lack of love and compassion, they will react with hostility. The media will have a field day.

Another leader says that the government is not supporting Christian values. The problem is that New Zealanders no longer support Christian values. They like what the church does when it cares for the weak and vulnerable (the Salvation Army still gets strong support). However, they intensely dislike some of the things that the church stands for and the way that it operates. People have adopted different values and now place tolerance and inclusiveness as their highest value. They still believe in some Christian values, such as generosity, forgiveness, kindness, but they will no longer accept the entire package of so-called Christian values.

Christians cannot blame the government or the media for the rejection of their values. They have failed to proclaim the gospel to the nation in the power of the spirit, so the percentage of the population that follows Jesus has dropped significantly. When Christian values do not flow out of love for Jesus and the fruit of the Spirit, they become harsh and sterile. Only the gospel and the Spirit can change that.

Christians claim to believe in grace, not law. They acknowledge that laws cannot change human hearts. Yet when grace is rejected, they always seem to fall back on using law to change people’s behaviour. They want to use the power of the state to enforce Christian morality. Unfortunately, using laws in this way always fails, and creates hostility to the Christians who try to impose their laws on people who do not want them.

When Christians use political power to impose their morality, they are seen as legalistic and hypocritical, and the gospel of grace gets lost in the smoke.

I don't understand why people with the wonderful gospel supported by the glorious Holy Spirit would prefer to rely on law and political power, as it turns the good news into bad news.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Solomon and Sheba

The queen of Sheba came to visit Solomon in Israel. She was amazed by his wisdom.

When the queen of Sheba saw the wisdom of Solomon, as well as the palace he had built, the food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their robes, the cupbearers in their robes and the burnt offerings he made at the temple of the LORD, she was overwhelmed (2 Chron 9:3-4).
The queen was overwhelmed by what she saw. She gave honour to Yahweh, because she recognised him as the God of Israel, but probably not of Sheba.
Praise be to the LORD your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on his throne as king to rule for the LORD your God. Because of the love of your God for Israel and his desire to uphold them forever, he has made you king over them, to maintain justice and righteousness (2 Chron 9:3-4).
It was good that she acknowledged Yahweh, but this was not really what he wanted. God’s desire for the nations was different. Moses explained the desire of God in Deuteronomy.
See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the LORD my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of it. Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to him? And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today (Deut 4:5-8).
God wanted the Israelites to implement his law. When they brought blessing, the nations would see and want to copy them. God’s plan was kings of other nations would see the greatness of his law and choose to implement it in their own nation.

Unfortunately, the queen of Sheba did not see the benefits of God’s law. She saw a great king, with great wisdom. She could not copy that. Because Solomon had not applied God’s law, she did not see the benefits of it.

Modern Christians fall into the same trap. We get seduced by great political leaders, and fail to understand the Government of God is radically different.