Thursday, January 31, 2013

Economic Life (6) Nature

God’s people are required to take care of the natural world.

If you come across a bird’s nest beside the road, either in a tree or on the ground, and the mother is sitting on the young or on the eggs, do not take the mother with the young. You may take the young, but be sure to let the mother go, so that it may go well with you and you may have a long life (Deut 22:6-7).
It is permissible to take a young bird or eggs for food, but the mother must be protected. This ensures that breeding and hatching will continue.

This principle can be generalised. God gave humans dominion over the earth. That does not mean that we are able to exploit it as we choose. We can use the product of the earth, including birds, animals and fruit. But we must ensure that enough breeding stock remains to preserve each specifies for future generations.

This passage is future looking. When consume the product of the earth we must think about the future. We tend to think only about our current generation. For example, if oil is discovered, we assume that it can all be used by our generation. That is not the way that God wants us to think. He wants us to think about those who will follow us.

My father fulfilled his dream of being a farmer when he bought a farm that had been cropped so excessively that the soil was depleted. He taught us that a farmer should aim to leave the land better than it was when he found it. That is good practice.

There are no direct penalties for failing to obey this command. However, there is a warning that if it is ignored, life on the land will not go well.

Conservation of nature is not a new idea. It is in the Torah that God gave to Moses.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Economic Life (5) Care

Every member of the community is required to look out for their neighbour’s property and take care for it. If a person sees something belonging to a neighbour at risk, they must take action to protect it.

If you see someone’s ox or sheep straying, do not ignore it but be sure to take it back to its owner. If they do not live near you or if you do not know who owns it, take it home with you and keep it until they come looking for it. Then give it back. Do the same if you find their donkey or cloak or anything else they have lost. Do not ignore it. If you see a donkey or ox fallen on the road, do not ignore it. Help the owner get it to its feet (Deut 22:1-3).
This requirement applies to some who dislike you.
If you come across your enemy’s ox or donkey wandering off, be sure to return it. If you see the donkey of someone who hates you fallen down under its load, do not leave it there; be sure you help them with it (Ex 23:4-5).
It is easy to be kind to friends. The Torah requires people to care for the property of their enemies.

When Jesus challenged his listeners to love their enemies, he was not introducing a new concept. He was confirming that the command to love your neighbour applied to neighbours who hated you, not just those who you like.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Worth Repeating

God gave his system of justice and economic blessing 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 initiated by local communities and there is no centralised standing army, and no taxation to support it.

Christians seemed to have missed this, because they cannot see the trees for the dead leaves of legalism. They are so scared of slipping from grace into legalism that they prefer to stay away the Torah. They are forced instead to either look in vain in the gospels, or go back to nature for teaching about political and economic systems.

Christians who are interested in politics and government only go to the Torah to find scriptures that support modern systems of government, such as democracy or monarchy. This distortion prevents them from seeing the magnificent system of justice and law, and the wonderful economic system that God gave to his people.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Economic Life (4) Building Safety

Loving your neighbour means that you care about your neighbour’ safety. Every member of the community was required to keep their building safe, so that people who entered their property would not come to harm.

When you build a new house, make a parapet around your roof so that you may not bring the guilt of bloodshed on your house if someone falls from the roof (Deut 22:8).
This principle can be generalised to a variety of situations. Any activity that people undertake, whether personal or business, must be safe for neighbours. Businesses must design their businesses and factories so they do not do harm to their neighbours. Retailers must design their stores, so that people who visit to shop are kept safe. Businesses cannot ignore the consequences of their actions. They are responsible for their neighbour’s blessing.

Special care was required for people who are disabled in some way.
Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but fear your God. I am the LORD (Lev 19:14).
Every member of the community has an obligation to ensure that they do not come to harm.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Economic Life (3) Love your Neighbour

A fundamental instruction underpins all the others.

Love your neighbour as yourself. I am the LORD (Lev 19:18).
This principle was not a radical innovation by Jesus. It was right there in the heart of the Torah. It was given in Leviticus, a book that most Christians choose to ignore. This command is the basis for all the Instructions for Economic Life. The key to strong communities is people who love their neighbour as themselves.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Economic Life (2) Living Together

The Mosaic covenant provided a way for people to live together in peace in a community. The Children of Israel lived in a decentralised society, where households and families live close to each other, within tribal groupings.

Justice and law were administered in local communities, so there was no central government. God had proved his laws, so there was no need for a parliament or king to make laws. Local communities defended themselves, or came together with other communities to defend themselves from eternal invaders, so there was no need for a king with a large standing army.

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.

Most of the interaction between households and communities was economic. The Torah contained Instructions for Economic life to guide and support this interaction. There were not laws, because there were no penalties or sanctions to enforce. They were voluntary guidelines to strengthen the community interaction. The Instruction for Economic Life made it possible for diverse people to live together in peace in a decentralised society.

God gave his system of justice and economic blessing 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 initiated by local communities and there is no centralised standing army, and no taxation to support it.

Christians seemed to have missed this, because they cannot see the trees for the dead leaves of legalism. They are so scared of slipping from grace into legalism that they prefer to stay away the Torah. They are forced instead to either look in vain in the gospels, or go back to nature for teaching about political and economic systems.

Christians who are interested in politics and government only go to the Torah to find scriptures that support modern systems of government, such as democracy or monarchy. This distortion prevents them from seeing the magnificent system of justice and law, and the wonderful economic system that God gave to his people.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Instructions for Economic Life (1)

Most Christians hate the law. They see it as the opposite of grace, so they dislike it intensely. Jesus had a different view.

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven (Matt 5:17-19).
If Jesus intends us to practice these commands, we need to know more about them. The Psalmist agreed with Jesus.
Oh, how I love your law!
I meditate on it all day long.
Your commands are always with me
and make me wiser than my enemies.
I have more insight than all my teachers,
for I meditate on your statutes.
I have more understanding than the elders,
for I obey your precepts (Psalm 119:97-100).
If loving the law can make a person wise, we need to know more about it.

The Hebrew name for the law is Torah. It is broader than law. The word Torah really means teaching. The Torah contains the teaching of God.

The law does not have that much about personal holiness, except for offerings to deal with sin. There are no laws against pride, hatred, jealousy, anger, selfishness, or envy. The reason is that law cannot change human hearts. God knew that and did not expect the law to do it. The fruit of the Spirit are not really mentioned in the law, because the Holy Spirit would not be sent until Jesus ministry was complete. Without the Holy Spirit, the fruit are unattainable for humans.

The law was primarily given to allow human families and communities to live together in peace. God provided a system of law that prohibited crimes like theft and assault, which would disrupt society. He also provided a system of local judges to implement these laws and apply the specified penalties for these crimes.

The law provides a system of defence that relies on local militias and temporary military leaders. This protects society from external attack. Some rules about sexual immorality provided protection from spiritual attack.

In addition to a legal system, the Torah provides some Instructions for Economic Life. These are not laws with penalties to enforce them, so they are voluntary. Yet they are really important for the smooth functioning of society. I will discuss these in detail in the next series of posts.

This full series can be found at Instructions for Economic Life.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Spiritual Shift (12) Faith in Judgment

The warring violent spirit manifests among Christians as faith in the power of judgment. Many prophetic Christians believe in judgment. They have more faith in judgment than they have in the Holy Spirit. Many are prophesying that judgment will bring revival. This is a religious version of the spirit of domination and control.

There are two approaches to judgment.

1. Whack them Hard
until they repent. This is the common view. The problem is that it does not work. When people are hit by trouble and disaster, they just harden their hearts. This approach to judgment is a manifestation of the belief that domination and control can change a nation.

2. Shake Them
so the remnant can shine in the darkness. Judgment is more effective when a remnant has prepared itself. They will have built an alternative lifestyle that enables them to support each other through the tough times. They will have peace and joy in the power of the spirit, which mikes their lives attractive to those under judgment. They will have the resources to support those who join them. This allows a transformation of the future to begin

Most of the prophecies coming out of the United States describe a Whack them Hard type of judgment. They warn of disaster and trouble. However, there has been no call for a remnant to prepare, and very little guidance to Christians about what they should do to prepare.

America may face judgment, as many prophets are suggesting. Serious storms and internal turmoil may increase as they are predicting. However, this will not bring revival, because the remnant has not prepared, because the prophets are too busy worrying about getting the right president elected.

Disaster will strengthen the power of the federal government, but it will not destroy the American economy. Oil sufficiency and a petroleum gas surplus, and inshoring of manufacturing from China will reinvigorate the US economy. The European economy and political system will continue lurching from one crisis to another, as they try to implement global solutions, but cling to divided sovereignty. The Chinese economy will continue to grow, but will hit some judder bars along the way. The US economy will grow event stronger than its potential challengers. The strength of US military is already unmatched throughout the world. What other nation could simultaneously undertake two wars on the other side of the world, during a major economic crisis.

Economic supremacy will be a curse, not a blessing, because it will encourage even greater expansion of American military to undertake international adventures. Economic recovery will not restore personal wealth, but it will allow the federal government to greatly expand its powers.

Judgment will come in the form of loss of freedom, but many Christians will not see it, because they will be celebrating the enhancement of American power as a blessing.

More at Prophetic Events.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Spiritual Shift (11)

While the prophets were fretting about the election of Barack Obama, a huge shift in the principalities and power controlling the United States went unnoticed. A transition that has been progressing for several decades has now been cemented in place and will not be reversed. The principality and power that now dominates the nation is the spirit of domination and control through military force and intimidation.

This change was driven by the heart attitude of the people, especially those in positions of power. These principalities would be in control, regardless of who had the won the election.

The prophets in the United States seem to have missed this change, because they were distracted by the presidential election. The fact that prophetic people were obsessed with presidential power and control is a sign that the spirit of domination and control has established control of the nation.

The prophetic fascination with the presidential is a confirmation of this spiritual shift. This interest was not personal, because both candidates were mediocre. The prophets became besotted with presidential power because they have been blinded by the spirit of domination. They were looking for a president who can impose domination and control on the world.

The spiritual power that controlled the US for most of its history was a spirit of deal making and commercial gain. The militaristic spirit was there too, but it was always kept in second place. The US has been involved in many wars, but until Iraq, it always made sure that it made a buck along the way. The US was slow to get into WW1 and WW2, but its businesses really prospered from the war, before and after it got involved.

A number of events and political decisions signal this change.

  1. An invasion of Iraq to impose control without any economic benefit.
  2. Afghanistan was invaded to impose control and domination at a huge economic cost.
  3. David Petraeus, a bully and a cheat, undertook ethnic cleansing in Baghdad and funded terrorist groups, yet he became an American hero.
  4. President Obama uses drone attacks to kill political leaders in other countries and seems to be excited about the process.
  5. The obsession of many Christians with assault weapons. Some Christians have more confidence in guns than in the gifts of the Spirit.
This spiritual shift was cemented in place by the financial crisis. The best way to identify the spirit that controls a nation is to look at what the people trust. Most Americans now trust in political government and military power for their security. That is why the presidential election was so important to them. Confidence that they can make their way in a free economy has gone. The collapse of the financial system has destroyed their confidence in their economic system.

America is now set on a path towards beasthood. It may become the greatest empire that the world has seen, and will ever see. Many Americans see this as their nation’s calling, so they will not be surprised.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Spiritual Shift (10) Islamic Spirit

Many American Christians are afraid of Islam. They are scared that sharia law will be established in the United States. This fear seems to be absurd at two levels. American military power far exceeds all of the Islamic nations combined, so they could never be a serious military threat even if they all joined together. The Christian gospel is far superior to the Islamic religion, so it should be winning the evangelism struggle hands down.

At the spiritual level the situation is much more dangerous. The main spirits that work through Islam are:

  • rejection
  • fear of death
  • religious spirit
  • good works
  • spiritual deadness
  • violence
  • fighting and war
Several of these spirits have a stronghold in the United States, too.
  • religious spirit
  • good works
  • violence
  • fighting and war
This leaves the nation spiritually vulnerable.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Spiritual Shift (9) Empire Split


Alexander the Great died in Babylon while still in his early thirties, before having a chance to develop a successor. Four of his generals, quickly split the Greek empire between them.

If Obama is America’s Alexander, he will bring a split in the Western Empire. Since the Second World War, the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany have tended to act in unison to achieve common goals. During his presidency, he might do something that brings intense hostility and disunity between the United States its European allies.

Daniel also warned that the power of the United States (represented by a Goat) would wane for a time.

The goat became very great, at the height of his power his large horn was broken off (Dan 8:8).
This temporary weakness will cause some other nations to flex their muscles.
In the place of the large horn, four prominent horns grew up towards the four winds of heaven (Dan 8:8).
These four nations are conspicuous and puffed up. One is probably the United States. Britain and France could be another two. They are pushing their powers all over the world (to the four winds). Germany might be the forth. German has become the major power in Europe and is leading the efforts to deal with the Euro crisis The ascendancy of the latter three nations will not last long, because, they are not real powers, but impostors. When the going gets tough, they will fade away.
Out of one of them came another horn, which started small but grew in power to the south and to the east (Dan 8:9).
The horn starts off small but grows extremely large. As the other three fade, the United States will recover its confidence and become the dominant power in the world. A new ruthless president might lead this change. The United States will stand alone, but grow to achieve enormous power.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Spiritual Shift (8) Return to Empire

Alexander the Great brought Israel back into the empire.

God sent the children of Israel into exile in Babylon in fulfilment of the prophecies of Jeremiah and friends. Babylon was eventually defeated by the King of Persia, which meant that Israel was in exile in the Persian Empire, although living in the same place. When Darius became king of the Persian Empire, he returned the Jews back to their land. Ezra and Nehemiah rebuilt the temple and the walls of Jerusalem.

A couple of hundred years later, Alexander the Great conquered the Persian Empire. While advancing towards Persia, he marched through Israel and made it part of his empire. When Alexander died, his empire was split between his generals. Ptolemy took control of Egypt, which included Jerusalem. When Rome took control of the Ptolemaic and Seleucid empires, they gained control of Jerusalem as part of the baggage. The Persians restored the Jews from exile, but Alexander the Great returned them to empire in their own land.

If "Obama is Alexander" as Robert Holmes prophesied, he will bring Israel back into the empire. Up until the first world war, it was part of the Ottoman empire. Between the wars it was controlled by the British empire. If Israel comes back under empire, it will be controlled by the American empire.

Watch for Obama establishing military bases in the Sinai desert or in the Golan, when the troops are brought out of Afghanistan. He will justify this as necessary for ensuring peace in a volatile region. However, in the future these troops could be used to bring Israel under American control.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Spiritual Shift (7) Babylon the Great

If Obama is America’s Alexander, he will be the pivot who releases the spirit of Babylonian Rome into America.

When Obama won his second presidential election, a spiritual shift took place. In his first election campaign, Obama was an outsider promising change. He was challenged by John McCain, a man strongly influenced by the violent warring spirit. He sang a song about bombing Iran to the tune of a Beach Boys song. Obama’s victory represented a loss for that principality.

Once he became President, Obama’s approach changed. He had opposed the war in Iraq, but he was persuaded to undertake a troop surge in Afghanistan. He sent more than hundred thousand troops, plus as many military contractors into this pointless war.

Obama has been heavily involved with the use of unmanned drones to kill military and political enemies. He claims to approve the kill lists himself. This fascination with killing and destruction seems to have corrupted his spirit and opened him up to the violent warring spirit that has been getting stronger in his nation.

The recent election was different. Obama defended his wars and Romney claimed he would do better. The election was partly a contest about who would be most capable at waging violent war. In this election, the warring violent spirit was standing on both sides, so 99 percent of American voters gave their support to a man under the influence of the warring violent spirit. This has opened the nation up to the Babylonian spirit in a new way. If the spiritual protection of the gospel and the spirit is not restored to America, Obama’s election could be a key step down the part towards becoming Babylon the Great.

Obama might be the pivot that allows the spirit of Babylonian Rome into the United States. Babylon the Great sat on a beast with ten horns.

I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns (Rev 17:3).
Babylon the Great may represent the principalities and powers that control the emerging Beast. If the Babylonian spirit were to gain control in the United States, the Beast would follow, and the American empire would become dangerous.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Spiritual Shift (6) Alliances

The Bible urges Christians to avoid being unequally yoked, in marriage and in business. Spiritual protection is one reason. Marriage partners and business partners have to submit to each other. When a person submits to another person their life is opened up to the spirits that have an influence in that person’s life. That is fine, if it is the Holy Spirit, but if the person is an unbeliever, the evils spirits influencing them get access to the life of the person submitting.

The same is true for nations. Israel was warned against entering into an alliance with Egypt. One reason was that relying on Egypt was refusing to trust in God. The other reason is spiritual protection. When a nation forms an alliance with another nation, it opens itself up to the evil spiritual forces that control the other nation. This is true even if one nation is more powerful than the other. The strong nation will have to submit to the week one on some issues. When the strong nation submits to its weaker ally, it opens itself up to the spirits that dominate it. Because evil spirits hunger for power, they will transfer to the more powerful nation whenever they get an opportunity.

In the last decade, the United States has engaged in some dangerous alliances.
In Afghanistan, it has an alliance with a motley group of warlords, who previous worked with the Soviet Union when it invaded Afghanistan. Many of these men have a record of violence, murder and rape. Many of the servicemen who have fought in Afghanistan will have carried violent spirits back to the Unites States with them. This is why some of those who are most strongly involved have engaged in violence against their families and communities.

When the United States invaded Iraq, it formed alliances with a variety of Sunni and Shia militant groups, opening up to their spiritual influence. This was particularly dangerous, because Iraq (Babylon) is the home of violence and domination. Many evil spirits that had missed Alexander’s bus, took the opportunity to take a plane ride to America, which is now the home of power.

The most dangerous alliance with is the one with Saudi Arabia. The United States has provided the Saudi rulers with a huge arsenal of military weapons and kept silent about their unjust treatment of their Shiite minority. In return for this generosity, the Saudis have pumped oil when the United States wants oil prices pushed down. Unfortunately, Saudi Arabia is the home of Wahhabi form of Islam, which is its most radical and violent stream. It is controlled by a warring violent culture. By submitting to this nation, the United States has opened its doors to violent warring spirits.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Spiritual Shift (5) Big Move

When the Roman Empire collapsed, the principality and powers that had controlled it lost their place and were dispersed throughout Europe. Here is what has probably happened. Some of the controlling spirits continued to exercise power through the Catholic Church, emerging in its dark periods through the inquisition and various political machinations. The principality rose again in the Holy Roman Empire based on Germany. Many of them would have been at work a thousand years later when Hitler tried to establish an empire in Europe.

Some of these spirits travelled to America with migrants escaping from the violence and poverty of Europe to the land of freedom. This land was only sparsely populated, so it had been largely ignored by the spiritual forces of evil. They always go where the people go. Despite wanting to make a new start, many of European migrants unwittingly took violent warring spirits with them to their new land.

The United States invaded Europe in 1917 and 1944. It won both of these wars, but as usually happens, it lost the spiritual wars. The victorious soldiers took thousands of warning violent spirits back to America with them as victor’s spoils. In 1917, they were divided, and some remained in Europe to have another go through Hitler. In 1945, most left Europe for America, switching to the new winner.

This explains the rapid change in Europe. After centuries of fighting, with some wars lasting for decades and millions of people killed. the Europeans suddenly lost interest in war. Armies have shrunk and spending on the military has declined rapidly. The reason for this change is that the violent warning principality and the spirits he controlled have joined their colleagues in the United. States.

The United States has always had a strong history of faith in Jesus, so the spiritual forces of wickedness had been forced underground and were biding their time. They have burst out from time to time in during wars and massacres, but they never gained control at the highest level. While some presidential candidates have been strongly influenced by the violent warring spirit, it has never gained supremacy in the United Sates, because there have always been more peaceful men standing against them.

Violent warring spirits have been active in a America for a long time. Events have now given them a greater ascendancy. A warring violent spirit that builds an empire through military force and economic domination is becoming the principality that controls America.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Spiritual Shift (4) Babylon to Rome

Alexander the Great was the pivot between Babylon and Babylon in Rome.

Babylon was a great military and political empire based in Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq). It controlled most of the ancient Middle East. When it invaded Israel in the time of Jeremiah, many of the people were carried into exile. The exile ended when the Babylonian empire was defeated and destroyed by the Persian King Cyrus.

Alexander the Great invaded the Persian empire and destroyed its power. For the next few centuries, the entire region came under the influence of Greek culture. This came to an end when the Roman Empire expanded its power into the region.

The history of these empires is simple. Babylon was defeated by Persia. Alexander the Great defeated Persia. The Romans seized control of the Greek empire. The spiritual story is just as important. John described the emergence of the Roman Empire in these words.

The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority (Rev 13:2).
The most important thing to understand is that Rome did not get its power from its armies. The source of its power was the dragon, who is the devil (Rev 12). John traces this influence back to the empires that went before. The leopard is Alexander the Great. The bear is Persia and the lion is Babylon. John was explaining that the spiritual forces and their principalities that controlled the Roman Empire originated in Babylon. These empires all dominated the nations of their world using superior military and economic power.

The principality that dominated Babylon was a violent warring spirit. Isaiah called it a land of terror (Is 21:1). Jeremiah described Babylon as a destroying mountain that destroys the entire earth by the violence of military power (Jer 51:25,35). Ezekiel described Babylon as a polished sword that is sharpened and ready for slaying.
A sword, a sword,
sharpened and polished—
sharpened for the slaughter,
polished to consume
and to flash like lightning! (Ezek 21:9,10,28).
When Babylon was defeated by Persia, this violent warring principality came under the control of the Prince of Persia. This is why John said that the beast had the feet of a bear (Rev 13:2).

When Alexander the Great defeated Persia something different happened. He set up his headquarters and eventually died in the city of Babylon, so the violent principality that had controlled Babylon shifted to him and he passed into its sphere of control. Alexander’s victories and death released the Babylonian spiritual forces into the Greek empire, which allowed it to move west towards Israel and Rome.

When the Persian armies were defeated, the Prince of Persia (spiritual) remained in Persia and did not attempt to gain control of the Greek empire. Daniel explains that this happened so that the Prince of Persia’s spiritual empire would remain intact, ready for a time in the future when it would assert its influence again (Dan 11:2).

When the Romans took over the remnants of the Greek empire, the spiritual forces that had controlled Babylon shifted to Rome. This is why John described the Roman empire as a beast (Rev 13:1-2). This is why it had power to make war and to conquer the people of the world (Rev 13:7).
If anyone is to be killed with the sword,
with the sword they will be killed (Rev 13:10).
The principality and spiritual forces that controlled Babylon continued its control through the Roman Empire. Alexander the Great was the pivot who allowed spiritual power to shift from Babylon to Rome.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Spiritual Shift (3) War

A war between two nations is also a spiritual war between two principalities and their followers. The outcome of the war will often be determined by which of the principalities has the strongest powers supporting it. The principalities mostly use deceit to achieve their goals, by blinding military leaders to opportunities and deceiving them into actions that will fail.

Anyone who participates in a physical war is also participating in a spiritual struggle, whether they recognise it or not. The outcome of the war will be influenced by the strength of the spiritual forces engaged on each side. Spiritual powers like to be on the winning side, so groups of them will often switch allegiance to join the winner. When the nation or empire that a principality controls is defeated, it may shift to the winning nation and attempt to gain a place of control in the winning empire.

The trauma and chaos of war provides great opportunities for evil spirits to shift from one person to another. The intense fear that pervade before and after battle leave soldiers open to spiritual attack. Anger in the battle also leaves them vulnerable. Soldiers rarely think about spiritual protection, because their officers are stirring them up with anger and hatred.

The spiritual side of war make it an extremely dangerous activity. The nation winning a war celebrates as if it has achieved something great. The hidden truth is that an army that successfully invades an evil nation and defeats it carries a great host of evil spirits and their controlling principalities and powers back to their homeland. The people who win the physical war usually lose the spiritual war. Principalities and powers often shift from one area to another by moving with the winning armies.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Spiritual Shift (2) Principalities

Paul reminded the Ephesians that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers in the spiritual realm. A principality is a spiritual being that controls the ruler/leader of a nation or city. These principalities do not work on their own. They control a hierarchy of evil spirits that work to influence the kings courtiers and the political leaders advisers and deputies. This is not demon possession. These spirits achieve their subtle influence by stirring up emotions and putting ideas into the minds of their victims. They achieve control by creating mental strongholds that the person things are their own.

The greater the authority of the political leader, the greater the power of the principality. The principality that controls an emperor has enormous power. When an empire collapses into hundreds of smaller entities, the power of the principality is diffused because the spiritual forces have to spread out in an attempt to control each one. This why the enemy loves empires. The greater the empire, the more he can concentrate and leverage his power.

An example of a principality is the Prince of Persia, a spiritual being who fought against the archangel Michael, preventing him from coming to speak to Daniel (Dan 10:13). The principality did not work on his own. He had a hierarchy of spirits working under him that influenced or controlled the powerful people in Persia.

The kingdom of darkness is a divided kingdom, so the spiritual powers are always falling out with each other and shifting allegiances. When a principality attains immense power, other spirits may try to undermine it, and seize some of the power. This contributes to the waxing and waning of nations and empires.

Principalities and powers do not remain with the same nation for ever. They move around with the rising and falling of nations. Wars and military invasions provide them with an opportunity to move from one area to another.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Spiritual Shift (1)

According to an article by Mario Liu on Storm Harvest, Robert Holmes has prophesied that Obama Barack is Alexander the Great for America. Robert is an Australia with a strong prophetic anointing. His word is good, but I am concerned about Mario’s interpretation, because he begins with an assumption that he the American Empire is coming to an end. This leads him to assume that Obama is the president who will destroy the American empire.

I do not agree with this assumption. The Unites States has hit a bit of speed bump, but announcements of the death of this empire are premature. The reality is that the United States is the strongest nation that has ever existed, and it will continue to be the most powerful for many more decades.

  • The United States has been able to fight to wars on the other side of the world at the same.

  • It has been able to fight a twelve-year war through a major depression without any restraint.

  • Military spending by the US is five times greater than that of China, it closes competitor. US military spending is greater than the ten next largest combined.

  • The United States is leads the world in research and development of new military technology.

  • Unmanned drones have given the United States the ability to project power and destroy political leaders all over the world.

The American Empire is just getting started, so an assumption that its demise is close is unwise. To interpret the word that Robert Holmes received, we must understand the workings of principalities and powers.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Conspiracy

I do not have much truck with conspiracy theories and the one-world government industry (Is 8:12). This stuff has been circulating for years, but it has achieved nothing for the gospel and contributed nothing to the advance of the kingdom of God. It is the wisdom of man, taught by men who have done very little for the gospel and the Kingdom, and have been wrong in their predictions again and again.

This stuff appeals to prophets when they are hiding their caves and feeling sorry for themselves. It makes them feel spiritual and prophetic, but it actually clutters their minds with stuff that prevents them from hearing God speak clearly. God has to get them out of this cave of worldly clamour, so they can hear the still small voice of the Spirit.

The world system is dominated by power, and power always manifests itself. What is happening in the world can be understood by observing power at work.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Prophesying Events

A few people knowing what is going to happen and telling a couple of friends about it is not prophecy. A biblical prophecy of judgment consists of the following:

  • Describing a future event (in advance to confirm that it is a revelation from God).

  • Advice to the remnant about what they should do to prepare for the event.

  • An explanation of why God is judging the city or nation. What is he intending to achieve.

  • Telling the people of the world what they must do to prevent the event from occurring.

Prophecy is more than prophetic people twittering to their facebook friends.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Silencing the Prophetic

The establishment often finds the prophetic disturbing and tries to shut it down, but they cannot silence the Holy Spirit. Jezebel tried to kill the prophets, bit she was not able to silence them. Obadiah had hidden a hundred prophets. Miciah was at work in the city (1 Kings 22). Jezebel used intimidation and fear against Elijah, because they are powerful weapons against prophets. He turned and ran, and hid in a cave surrounded by self-pity, but the Holy Spirit did not give up. Once God got Elijah out of his cave, he was able to hear the Spirit’s voice and complete his work, appointing a successor and anointing a new king. Ahab and Jezebel were both killed in fulfillment of prophetic words. The OT prophets got the job done, despite the opposition.

In the same way, the church can push the prophets down, but it cannot silence them. If the pastors will not carry the prophet’s message to the church, the Holy Spirit can find other ways to get it to the people. The priests tried to silence Amos, but God got his word to the people. The King tried to shut up Jeremiah, but his word got through.

Prophets are responsible for the words that God gives them. If the prophetic word does not get to the people, they cannot just blame the pastors as an excuse. Hostility from the pastors does not absolve the prophet of responsibility to speak. It requires them to press into the Spirit to find how he wants the word delivered. If he can speak the original world, he can explain how he wants it disseminated.

Jezebel silenced Elijah for a time, but she could not silence the Holy Spirit. When Elijah came out of the cave and listened, the Holy Spirit provided a another way to get the word out. Elisha was anointed and he sent a young man to anoint Jehu who would destroy Jezebel (2 Kings 9:1).

I suspect that too many prophets are sitting in their caves feeling that their ministry is finished, because they have been rejected by the church, when God has work for them to do. Sharing words with prophetic people, especially those who are still hiding in a cave is not the fulfillment of the prophetic calling.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Interesting Tradition

The largest people group in Afghanistan are the Pashtun people who live in the southern part of the country. They are also the second largest tribal grouping in Pakistan. The total number of Pashtun people in the world is estimated to be about 50 million. Most Christians do not realise it, but the oral traditions of the Pashtun people suggest that they are descended on from Abraham and Jacob through one of the lost ten tribes.

For those who are not familiar with Old Testament history, when the Solomon died, his kingdom was divided between two of his sons. Jeroboam ruled the ten tribes in the north and Rehoboam ruled Judah and Benjamin in the South. These kingdoms continued their separate existence for several hundred years. Elijah prophesied in the northern kingdom call Israel or Samaria. Jeremiah prophesied in the southern kingdom called Judah.

The northern kingdom of Israel was invaded by the Assyrians and the people were taken into exile (2 Kings 17). The King of Assyria bought people from other nations and settled them in the Samaria. The Kingdom of Judah continued for longer, but was eventually invaded by the Babylonians (2 Kings 25). They were taken into exile in Babylon, but 400 years later were returned during the time of Ezra and Nehemiah. There descendants were the Jews that Jesus lived amongst. The ten tribes that were exiled to Assyria never returned to the land, and there is nothing in the scriptures to say what happened to them.

According to Pashtun oral tradition, some of the children of Israel exiled into Assyria migrated further east and settled in the Ghor region of Afghanistan. Some of the medieval texts recording these traditions have reference to a people called Bani Israel. One tribal name Yusufzai translates as “sons of Joseph” and another tribal name Afridi is thought to come from “Ephraim”. Some Pashtun customs and practices are said to be similar to Jewish traditions: eg lighting candles on the sabbath, refraining from eating some foods, using a canopy during a wedding ceremony and similarities in garments. The link could explain the Pashtun emphasis on providing hospitality for travellers.

I do not know if these traditions are correct, but it leads to an interesting question. The United States has been fighting in Afghanistan for twelve years. They have allied with the Northern Alliance, which is dominated by Tajik and Uzbek warlords . They are fighting against the Pashtun people (labelled as Taleban).

Many American Christians believe that national prosperity comes from blessing Israel. What would happen if the United States was providing massive military support to one tribe, Judah, while at the same time spending billions of dollars fighting a ruthless twelve-year war against another tribe of Israel, Joseph. God would not know whether to bless them or not. I hope the Christians who are supporting the war in Afghanistan have prayed about what they are doing.