Tuesday, December 31, 2013


The daylily (aka Tigridia Pavonia or Jockeys Cap) outside our kitchen window is looking good.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas Lilies

These are called Christmas Lilies in the southern hemisphere, as they usually flower in time for Christmas.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Whose Shoulder

Isaiah prophesied boldly about Jesus.

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.

Of the increase of his
government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign … over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
will accomplish this.
The government will be on his shoulder.


The Child

The simple reading of this text is that Jesus will be the government
from that time forward and forever.

So why does Barack Obama think that he should be the government?
or David Cameron, or Angela Merkel, or Nicolas Sarkozy, or Tony Abbott, or John Key?

Why do we put our faith in democracy?
Why do we think that we can vote in a new government,
At the next election?

Herod understood Isaiah's prophecy.
He knew that his government was a goner,
so he tried to kill Jesus,
but he was still a goner.

Mary understood it too. That is why she said,
Kings would be thrown down from their thrones
and the humble raised up.

Satan understood the threat.
That is why he came up with clever deception that
this prophecy is "Not for now, but for later",
"Jesus government comes at the end of the age."
You could trust Satan to thrust his shoulder in.

The government is on Jesus shoulder.
He will govern with justice and righteousness.
and his government will never shop increasing.
The Zeal of the Lord will do it.


Not in the future.
From that time on and forever.

We had better work out what this means.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Incarnation v Christmas

I am amazed at all the effort people put into making Christmas special,
serious money on presents decorations and food,
serious time preparing food and getting the house ready.

I don’t get it.

If we half understood the incarnation,
out hears would be buzzing,
without any need for the hype.

God has come to us.
We did not have to go to him,
which is just as well because we couldn’t.

Humans had shut God out of the world he had created and given to us.
We had given the world he entrusted to us, over to a destroyer,
but he has broken back into his world to set us free.

God has come to us as a human person,
who we can relate to,
not as an important dignitary, we have to make an appointment to see;
or flying in as a superman, filling us with fear and terror;
but as a baby, among the animals outside the house,
vulnerable and open in the midst of life.

God came to us;
to relate to us, and be our friends;
by defeating evil, and rescue the world;
to restore creation and establish a peaceful kingdom.

The birth of Jesus was the biggest game-changer in history;
something so wonderful should not have happened.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Freedom to Starve

Buying and selling in a free market is lawful, unless there is coercion involved. However, the employer-employee relationship is not a pure market relationship. Once a person is dependent on employment, they have limited their freedom, so some market transactions become coercive for them.

When you employ someone, you are taking time from them, so you have a moral responsibility to ensure they have sufficient income to live from day to day. It is not sufficient to pay a market price.

A starving person is not free. When a person is in extreme poverty, they are vulnerable. Some market transactions become coercive, because they have to sell their labour to survive. They poor person does not have the option of rejecting a poor offer for their labour, because freedom to choose starvation instead, is not true freedom.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Undercover Boss

In the past few weeks, I have watched a couple of episodes of Undercover Boss. I think it is a bit dishonest. The way that the boss throws the company’s money around at the end, so that he appears kind and generous, is a bit cheesy.

However, I find it interesting from an economic perspective. One of the principles of economics is that in a market economy people get paid according to their productivity. If employees want more pay, they need to be more productive.

The undercover bosses find a few duds, but mostly they are surprised by the dedication and enthusiasm of their staff. They are so impressed that they want to do something them to bless them.

The interesting thing is that economic practice does not match economic theory.

  • These bosses have no idea how productive their staff are.

  • They are paying these staff less than they are worth (that is why they feel they need to give them something to compensate them).

  • The boss only identifies a few of their good performers. All the others in the business are not recognised and will probably continue to be unrewarded.

  • Most bosses do not know what is going on in their business. They are surprised by the negative consequences of many head office decisions.

  • When they find a bad employee, they usually fire them.

  • Although the undercover bosses have not been doing their job properly, and are not as productive as they think they are, they never suggest taking a pay cut (a double standard).

Contrary to economic theory, the program shows that productivity and remuneration are often disconnected.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Politics and the Gospel

Issues of politics, government, economics, business and money cannot be resolved from the message of Jesus in the gospel and the epistles. They gospels and the epistles do not contain enough material for a system of government or economics. The church is then forced back to nature to find solutions. It defaults to government as the source of justice, with the church trying to take political power to modify justice.

The thing that is missed by both the Anabaptists and Reformed of all types is that God gave his system of government and economic system in the Torah. His is a radically different approach, with no central government, where leaders and judges emerge out of local communities, where problems of poverty and inequality are dealt with in local communities, where defence is controlled by local communities no a centralised standing army.

Jesus pointed back to the Torah on many issues of economics and government. He confirmed the teaching of the Torah in the Sermon on the Mount after talking about being the light of the world (Matt 5:13-20). He rejected the teachings of the Pharisees and the Teachers of the Law, because they undermined Torah teaching, so the people could wiggle out of it. His teaching about giving and lending was a challenge to his listeners to get back to the Torah economy that the Romans and the Sadducees were destroying. He was able to speak about unrighteous money, because it was clearly defined in the Torah.

Christians seemed to have missed this, because they cannot see the trees for the dead leaves of legalism. They are forced instead to either look in vain in the gospels, or go back to nature for teaching about political and economic systems.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Prophetic Failure

Solomon could have been a great prophet. God gave him amazing wisdom, because he asked for discernment to administer justice. Kings and powerful men came to him from all over the world for advice. He could have used the opportunity this authority provided to release God to work among the nations. He could have taught them the glory of God’s law.

Solomon missed a great opportunity, because he took their wealth, married their daughters, and gave their gods a home in the land. Instead of using his wisdom to expand God’s authority on earth, he undermined his authority in Israel by surrendering to false gods.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Solomon and the Temple (3)

When David spoke to Solomon near the end of his life, his misquoted what God said, probably because he did not understand it.

You will have a son who will be a man of peace and rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. His name will be Solomon, and I will grant Israel peace and quiet during his reign. He is the one who will build a house for my Name. He will be my son, and I will be his father. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever (1 Chron 22:9-10).
David was wrong because God had not promised that Solomon’s throne would last forever. He had not said that Solomon would build a temple.

Solomon took David at his word. He told Hiram King of Tyre about his plans.
I intend, therefore, to build a temple for the Name of the Lord my God, as the Lord told my father David (1 Kings 5:5).
He spoke with the pagan King of Tyre, but did not hear from God directly, although wisdom was the gift that God had given him.

In contrast to the tabernacle, God never gave Solomon instructions for the temple. The design adopted was a human design. The Bible records a description of the temple (1 Kings 6), but there are no instructions about how it should be built. 1 Samuel 6,7 describes the building. It is full of Solomon did, did, did, but "God said" is never mentioned.

The furniture for the temple was made by foreign artisans.
King Solomon sent to Tyre and brought Huram, whose mother was a widow from the tribe of Naphtali and whose father was from Tyre and a skilled craftsman in bronze (1 Kings 7:13-14).
This contrasts with the tabernacle, where the furniture was made by men that God had chosen and filled with the Spirit, like Bezalel, son of Uri.
He has filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills—to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic crafts (Ex 35:31-33).
The materials for the tabernacle were given by the people. The materials for the temple were purchased from the nations. The tabernacle was a work of the Sprit, whereas the temple was a human work.

When Solomon dedicated the temple, Solomon did all the talking (1 Kings 5-8). God hardly spoke, but he did fill it with his glory, because he is not peevish. He honoured Solomon’s intention, even if his plan was wrong. His brief statement is interesting.
I have consecrated this temple, which you have built, by putting my Name there forever (1 Kings 9:3).
This is very understated. God is clear that Solomon built the temple, and he was blessing what Solomon did. God never said that he commanded Solomon to build a temple. This contrasts with the tabernacle, which he said, “I commanded you to build”.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Solomon and the Temple (2)

Nathan the prophet told David not to build a temple (2 Sam 7:4). Then reason given was that David had blood on his hands.

You have shed much blood and have fought many wars. You are not to build a house for my Name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in my sight (1 Chron 22:8).
David assumed that this meant that the son who succeeded him would build the temple, so he set about getting the materials ready. He gathered up gold and silver, and cedars from Lebanon. This was a bit presumptuous, because had not given him a blueprint, so he did not know that God wanted cedars.

Most Christians agree that God wanted Solomon to build the temple, but that assumption is not correct. There is no record in the scriptures of God telling Solomon to build a temple. The reason is that he was not qualified to do it either. Solomon had blood on his hands like his Father. He had killed his brother to secure his throne (1 Kings 2:25), and organised for his some of David’s loyal soldiers to be slaughtered (1 Kings 2:31,46).

We need to look more closely at what God said to David.
When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever (2 Sam 7:12-13).
God said that a descendant of David would build a house of him and that the throne of kingdom would be established forever. This cannot be a reference to Solomon, because his dynasty did not last forever. His son Rehoboam lost half the kingdom, and the rest disappeared with the Babylonian exile. This prophecy rules out Solomon as the one who was to build the temple.

Jesus was the descendant of David who established a Kingdom that will last forever. This means that he is the one whom God intended to build a temple. God fulfilled this promise through Jesus. He said,
Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days… But the temple he had spoken of was his body (John 2 20-21).
The body of Christ is the temple of the Holy Spirit that Jesus built for God to dwell on earth.

Jesus blood from his hands and side, not on his hands, made it possible for the Holy Spirit to live in human hearts. This was the temple that God really wanted. Until Jesus came, God would have been quite happy living in a tent. A temple of gold and stone was not much use to him, because he really wanted to tabernacle in human hearts.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Solomon and the Temple (1)

God did not want a temple. He was quite happy in a tent.

God explicitly told Moses to build a tabernacle (Ex 25:8-9). He gave very precise instructions about the materials it was to be built from. He specified its exact dimensions. Moses built it exactly as it was revealed to him on the mountain. When it was complete, God filled it with his presence. In Exodus 40:1, God told Moses to set it up. The remainder of the chapter says “as the Lord commanded” seven times.

People assume that once Israel was in the Land, and not travelling around, God wanted a permanent temple to replace the tabernacle, but there is no record of him saying this. God told Nathan the opposite.

I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day. I have been moving from place to place with a tent as my dwelling. 7 Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their rulers whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar (2 Sam 7:6-7)?
A stone temple was just another idea copied from the surrounding nations.

David wanted to build a temple. He seemed to be motivated by embarrassment that he had a better dwelling than the Lord.
Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent (2 Sam 7:2).
That was not a very good motivation. God had not told him to build a temple. No prophet commanded him to do it. It was just a good idea.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Obamacare or Jesuscare

Some commentators are suggesting that the US cannot afford a federally-funded health care system. This is a bit odd. The New Zealand economy is much smaller than the US economy, but our state funded system provides health services that are as good as those available in the current US system. I am not advocating socialist health care, but the argument that the US cannot afford it is a bit weak.

The problem with Obamacare is that it is not that it is socialist, but is actually a crony capitalist healthcare system, based on Romneycare and cobbled together to meet the needs of the insurance companies. Any system that is based on them will be unaffordable, because they are the reason why health care in the US costs nearly twice as much as in the rest of the world. With increasing availability of expensive health technology, a system based on an insurance company oligarchy is bound to fail.

Obamacare will fail, because it is not possible to escape the curse by human means. Neither the state, nor business can beat the curse of sickness. The only realistic option is Jesuscare, which is based on the gift of healing.

I wish the American prophets were as stirred up about the lack of healing gifts in the church, as they are about Obamacare.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

It Takes a Pillage

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?

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.
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.
“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.

“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”.
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.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Big Authority Shifts (12) Second Coming

When Jesus ascended into heaven, God said to him.

Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet....
Your troops will be willing on your day of battle (Psalm 110:1,3).
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.
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).
God will open the spiritual realms, so that everyone can see the glory of Jesus. The church will hand authority over all human institutions back to him, and he will give it to the Father. Jesus does not return to establish a Kingdom, he returns to receive the Kingdom established by the church and the Spirit. History ends when Jesus hands all authority back to God.

The impact of this event on spiritual authority and the consequences for humans are described in Times and Seasons.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Big Authority Shifts (11) Devil Unbound

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.
People all over the world will join this rebellion that culminates in the Man of Sin. In his letter to the Thessalonians, Paul explains that Jesus will not appear until after “the rebellion”.
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

Prophets and Authority

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

Auckland Mayor

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

Big Authority Shifts (10) Calling of the Jews

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.
The end of the Times of the Gentiles will bring a rapid decline in evil and open the way for an rapid advance of the Kingdom of God.
But if their transgression means riches for the world,
and their loss means riches for the Gentiles,
how much greater riches will their fullness bring (Rom 11:12).
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.

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

Big Authority Shifts (9) Place with Jesus

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.
Christians live in two worlds. We go about our lives in the physical world in the same way as other people. At the same time, we also live in the spiritual realms, where we are seated with Jesus in a place of victory and authority. This double reality only makes sense if we understand that the spiritual realms exist in parallel with the physical realms overlapping and interlocking with them.

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

Big Authority Shift (8) Lost Place

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,
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).
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.

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).
When Jesus died on the cross to atone for human sin, the devil lost his place in the spiritual realms, because his right to accuse humans was destroyed by the blood of Jesus. His victory on the cross destroyed the authority of the spiritual forces on earth by reversing the fall.
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.

  • Violence
  • War
  • Destruction
  • Deception
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

Big Spiritual Shfts (7) Jesus

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.

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.
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).
Jesus arrest produced an argument about authority between Herod and Pilate.
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.
  1. 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.

    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).

  2. 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.

Jesus blew out the ugly barrier that had been created by human sin. This restored authority to humans who trusted in him, which gave God much greater scope to work on earth.
Christians gained authority over their lives and their institutions. God gained authority to work in their lives and their institutions through the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Big Authority Shifts (6) Place on Earth

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.

  1. God needed some people on earth to give him authority to act.
  2. He needs a place free from evil, where he would be free to work.
  3. He needs people to carry the Holy Spirit into the world.
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.
Christians supporting the modern nation of Israel often do not get this. They see Israel has a permanent homeland (place) for the Jewish people. That is the wrong way round. God gave the land to the Jewish people forever, so he would have a permanent place on earth. Modern Israel is a secular militaristic nation. Religious Jews have rejected Jesus, which cuts them off from the Holy Spirit. A few Christians have established small places in Israel that are open to the Spirit, but generally is not a place where God has authority.

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

Big Authority Shifts (5) Rainbow Covenant

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.

Noah was the father of all who would live on earth after him, so his covenant bound everyone on earth from that time on. Speaking on behalf of his descendants, Noah gave God permission to intervene whenever evil is rampant. This increased God’s authority on earth. He had given authority over the earth to man, so he could not intervene on earth without getting human permission, if evil was taking hold.

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

Big Authority Shifts (4) Millennium of Darkness

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.

Once God was squeezed out of his universe, the powers of evil got to work and really messed it up. A big mess needs a big salvation. God planned to achieve through Jesus, but he had a lot of patient work to do, before he could bring it to pass. Jesus could not be sent into the world immediately after the fall, because God did not have authority to send him and protect him. The forces of evil would have destroyed Jesus, before he had begun his ministry. God had to start slowly rolling back evil and putting in place a long-term strategy to constrain evil and restore authority to good people.

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

Big Authority Shifts (3) Place in Heaven

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,
who accuses them before our God day and night (Rev 12:10).
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.
We can see this happening at the beginning of the book of Job. Satan was able to come into the presence of God and accuse Job of sinning. He was lying, but he accused Job of looking out for his own skin, and only loving God, because God had blessed him.

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

Big Authority Shifts (2) Fall

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,
we give them authority over our life.
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.
This transition dramatically altered the authority situation on the earth. God had given control to humans. The representatives of humanity had given authority over the lives to the devil. This gave the forces of evil significant control over the earth. From that day forward, humans only have partial authority, because the spiritual powers of wickedness have usurped substantial authority. This is why Satan could boast when he was tempting Jesus.

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

Big Authority Shifts (1) Delegation

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,
but the earth he has given to man.
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.
Giving humans dominion over the earth was a big call, because once dominion and authority are given, they cannot be taken back. God understood the risk, because he said that if they rebelled, “they would be as gods” (Gen 2:5). They would not just have the power to decide good and evil, but would be “gods” controlling a world that had previously been created by God.

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,
and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength (1 Cor 1:25).
God was confident that he would achieve his purposes, even with one hand tied behind his back.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Implications (3) Politics

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

Implications (2) Physics

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

Implications (1)

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.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Spiritual Interactions (15) Kingdom Come

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,
as it is done in the spiritual realms (Matt 6:10).
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.

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.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Spiritual Interactions (14) Binding and Losing

Jesus teaching about binding and loosing makes more sense, if we understand that we live in a place where the spiritual and physical realms. The keys do not represent power for the head of the church. They represent our ability to influence events in the spiritual realms.

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven (Matt 16:19).
The prayers that we pray here on earth have an influence in the spiritual realms. If the church on earth binds and evil spirit operating I the spiritual realms it would be bound. A prophetic declaration made on earth can release angels to go to work in the spiritual realms.

Christians cannot experience victory on earth, until the victory has been established in the spiritual realms. The good news is that Jesus gave us authority to influence things in the spiritual realms. That is why Jesus repeated his promise about binding and loosing.
Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven (Matt 18:18-19).
The pathway to action is as follows (see the arrows below).
  1. The Father declares his will in the spiritual realms where he dwells.

  2. The Holy Spirit hears everything that the Father speaks to the son.

  3. The Holy Spirit speaks to a group of Christians who have gathered together and tells them what the Father wants to do.

  4. The Christians pray and prophetically declare what God is doing.

  5. Their prayers bind the forces of evil and their declarations release the angels in the spiritual realms.

  6. The angels work with the Holy Spirit to achieve a victory over the powers of darkness.

  7. When the victory is achieved in the spiritual realms, the church can accomplish what God wanted done on earth.

Humans are essential in the process for two reasons.
  • We have authority on earth, so the Holy Spirit needs our permission to work on earth.

  • We will struggle to achieve God’s purposes for us, until the conditions are right in the spiritual realms.

Paul explains how this works.
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds (1 Cor 10:3-4).
We live in the physical world, but we do not use physical weapons. We use divine power to achieve victory in the spiritual realms, which makes our words and service effective against strongholds on earth.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Spiritual Interactions (13) Current Situation

Interactions between the physical and spiritual realms are critical for the development of authority on earth and in heaven.
At the time of creation, authority was split.

  • God had absolute authority in the spiritual realms.

  • The humans he had created were given over the earth.

The authority situation was changed by the fall.
  • God maintained his absolute authority of most of the spiritual realm.

  • The devil gained authority over a place in the spiritual realms.

  • The devil tricked humans into surrendering their authority to him, so he gained authority over the earth (Luke 4:6).

The cross changed the authority situation.
  • God maintained his absolute authority in the spiritual realms.

  • The devil lost his place in the spiritual realms.

  • The devil and his angels are spiritual beings so they still have an existence in a confined place on the edge of the spiritual realms.

  • Jesus released authority to those who trust in him. They have authority over their own lives (freedom) and over the sphere of life on earth that are under their authority. They have authority over the houses and businesses that they own.

  • The devil and his angels continue to have authority in the lives of the people they can trick into rejecting Jesus victory on the cross. This gives them authority on earth, but it is not real authority. The cross turned them into trespassers in a place where they have no legal authority to be.

  • Political powers continue to exercise authority on much of the earth. This gives the spiritual powers great authority to work their evil schemes.

As the kingdom of God advances, these spiritual squatters and usurpers will be squeezed out of the earth. Their authority will be totally diminished. Until that happens, authority on earth is currently divided.
  • At one level, it is exercised by people and institutions operating in the physical world, but at another level, actors in the spiritual realm have influence.

  • Areas of life where Christians have authority (including their lives) are under God’s authority, if the person is obedient to God.

  • Areas of life that are under the authority people who are not Christians are mostly under the authority of the evil one, often without their knowing.

God’s kingdom comes when his will is done on earth as it is in heaven, ie alignment of the heavens and the earth. To be ready for this, we must understand the connection between authority on earth and on authority in heaven.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Spiritual Interaction (12) Now

To do God’s will on earth, we must understand what is being done in heaven. We do not need to indulge in occult practices to get this understanding. That would place in bondage. We learn about events in the spiritual realms by listening to the Holy Spirit. He sees and hears everything spoken in the spiritual realms.

When he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come… All that belongs to the Father is mine…The Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you (John 16:13,15).
The Spirit knows everything that is happening in the spiritual realms. An important part of his role is telling us what Jesus and the Father are saying and doing. Jesus promised that he would reveal it Gods will to us. Once we know his will, we can declare it and pray it into being.

Hearing the truth proclaimed in the spiritual realms is essential. For God’s will to be done on earth, he needs humans living on the earth to give him authority to do his will here. Paul explains how the Holy Spirit teaches us God’s will.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way, no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us (1 Cor 2:10-13).
God declares his will in the spiritual realms. If we listen to his Spirit, he will tell us all that we need to know. The next verse is a key.
This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words (1 Cor 2:13).
This verse is important. Human wisdom misses half of what is happening in this universe. True wisdom results from being taught by the Spirit. He explains spiritual realities to us in Spirit-taught words.
People who reject the Holy Spirit’s calling cannot understand the importance of the spiritual realms.
The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit (1 Cor 2:14).
They cannot be seen through human eyes. This is why the rulers of the world are blind to what is really happening.
None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory (1 Cor 2:8).
Herod and Pilate thought they were getting rid of a minor political nuisance. In fact, they were bringing about a massive victory in the spiritual realms that would change the direction of history. They were releasing the Kingdom of God, which would sweep away their kingdoms and continue forever.

Pauls concludes this bit of teaching by saying that we have the “mind of Christ” (1 Cor 2:16). That does not mean that we are theological educated, or even that we understand the truth. We have the mind of the spiritually anointed one, if we can understand the interaction between the spiritual and the physical realms. We receive this understanding by listening to the voice of the Spirit.

In his letter to the Colossians, Paul explained why this is important.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God (Col 3:1-3).
We are easily distracted by things that happen in the world. That is mistake. We have been raised up with Jesus, so we should fix our hearts on the things that are happening in the spiritual realms. Paul goes on to explain why.
When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory (Col 3:4).
When Jesus appears, what we have established in the spiritual realms will be revealed. The houses and businesses that we have built on earth will wither into insignificance.

High as a House

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Spiritual Interactions (11) Parousia

When Jesus returns at the end of the age, the gap between the spiritual world and the physical world will be completely removed and everyone will be able to see into the spiritual realms. The appearance of Jesus will be a massive interjection of the spiritual dimension into our physical world.

Jesus return will bring a change of seeing. The spiritual realms that are currently hidden from the people on earth will be opened up for everyone to see. Paul wrote of the “manifestation of Jesus’ appearance” (2 Thes 2:8). He was explaining that the spiritual dimensions will open and be visible to everyone on earth.

The limits of our human seeing make the physical world appear bright and real. The spiritual dimension seems distant and dim to us, as it must be perceived by faith. When our seeing is changed, the physical world will fade into obscurity. As the spiritual world comes into clearer focus, we will be stunned by its glory. Jesus does not come back to earth. He appears when the spiritual world is opened and joined with the physical world for everyone to see.

When our spiritual eyes are opened to see clearly, the spiritual dimensions of life will suddenly be real. When the curtain is pulled back, the indescribable glory of Jesus will be revealed. Once they can see reality clearly, everyone on earth will see Jesus seated on the throne at the right hand of the Father. He has always been there, but from a human perspective, he will seem to have appeared.

The appearance of the earth and sky will be totally changed. With the physical and spiritual dimensions merged, earth will seem much less grand. Physical things will not have changed, but we will be seeing them in correct perspective for the first time. We think that space is immense, but when we see the spiritual realms, it will suddenly seem small. As we see the glory of the spiritual realms for the first time, Jesus will be revealed, while earth and space shrink away.

Our Other Azalea

It is called Melford Flame.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Spiriutal Interactions (10) Unveiling

When John’s life was drawing to a close, he was given a unique ability to see into the spiritual realms.

On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, which said: “Write on a scroll what you see and send it”... I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me (Rev 1:10-12).
He did not have the words to describe what he saw, so he took words like emerald, crystal, rainbow, glass, sea, thunder, gold, lampstand, snow, that describe some of the most amazing things in this world, and jumbled them up to describe what he saw in spiritual realms. We should not assume these are literal descriptions. John was doing his best with words designed for describing a three-dimensional world, but he was actually describing the indescribable.

The Greek word translated “revelation” is “apokalupsis” (Rev 1:1). It means unveiling or uncovering. Our focus on the physical dimensions of life hides the spiritual dimensions and gives us a false view of reality. The spiritual world was unveiled for John and he got a glimpse of reality as the angels see it. Jesus gave him this revelation to show that our view of reality is only half the truth.

The world assumes that a visionary person sees something that is half-real. The truth is opposite. The physical world that we see with our human eyes is only half of reality. The spiritual world unveiled to John in his vision is the other half that we usually miss. John struggled to grasp all that his prophetic eyes saw, but he carefully recorded everything for the benefit of those coming after him. The main purpose of the book of Revelation is to increase our awareness of the spiritual realms. To get a true perspective on reality, we must see things in heaven and things on earth together. Revelation gives us the other side of reality.

John gained a massive insight into what was happening in the spiritual realms, but he found it difficult to do justice to the beauty of the spiritual glory.

Our Clematis

We shifted this from our old house. It seems to be as happy as we are.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Spiritual Interactions (9) Early Church

Stephen was filled with the Spirit (Acts 6:5), so when he was about to be stoned, he described what he could see in the spiritual realms.

When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:54-56).
The Jewish leaders saw a man preaching. Stephen saw Jesus seated at the right hand of God. That was the reality that was shaping events on earth.
When Peter was in prison, he was released by a spiritual intervention.
Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists (Acts 12:7).
King Herod had locked Peter up. Something different was happening in the spiritual realms, so he was set free.