Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Islamic State (1) Spiritual Empires

President Obama has announced his strategy for dealing with the Islamic State. He is at a bit of a disadvantage, because his advisors do not have much understanding of the links between religion and society. Most would not know the difference between a Wahhabi and a Salafi. Worse still, they have no clue about interactions between the spiritual and the physical realms. They look at military and economic strength, but they ignore spiritual forces. If you only have partial information, you will make bad decisions.

Big events on earth are usually the consequence of events in the spiritual realms. One reason that history on earth seems to repeat is continuity of events and characters in the spiritual realms.

The empires that rise and fall on earth are usually controlled by principalities and powers in the spiritual realms. Evil spirits do not die of old age. When an empire fades, the evil power that controls it does not go and look for another empire, but remains attached to the place where the empire was based. Many of the evil spirits that worked it would go over to the other side, but the principality and power will usually wait for an opportunity to reassert his power.

The Prince of Persia was the powerful evil spirit that controlled the Persian Empire when it was the most powerful empire in the world (Dan 10:13). When the armies of Persia were defeated by Alexander the Great, the Prince of Persia hung around for more than a thousand years waiting to get another chance to exercise power. He is now back in the driving seat in modern Iran.

The exception is the spirit that controlled Babylon. When Babylon was destroyed, its principality and power went and established itself in Rome. It left Rome when it collapsed and is now at work in the nation that will become the new Babylon, when the Babylon the Great described in Revelation emerges.

The ancient Middle East was dominated by four big empires each controlled by a spiritual prince. These were four empires were Babylon, Egypt, Persia and Assyria. The spiritual ruler of Babylon has moved on to better things, but the spiritual princes that controlled Egypt, Persia and Assyria are still there. Egypt and Persia are well understood, but Assyria has been forgotten.

More on Assyria in my next post.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very few people in government or academia in the US know or care anything about Islam. We put an army on the ground in Iraq without knowing the difference between a Sunni and a Shi'ite, which is no more intelligent than intervening in Northern Ireland without knowing the difference between a Catholic and a Protestant. Two weeks ago, my local newspaper carried a guest column by a man who wanted to educate readers about Sunnis and Shi'ites, and all he knew was that they disagreed about Muhammad's successor--and the writer had been one of our army's "experts" who accompanied the troops and explained Iraqi culture to them. He didn't know there were Christians in Muslim lands until he met a Catholic Iraqi soldier. Broadly speaking, Democrats don't think they need to learn about Islam because it preaches against extramarital sex--which is practically a sacrament to American liberals--while Republicans think they don't need to learn anything about any non-Christian religion because it's not the church they attend. Neither party can get its mind around the fact that some people in this world really do take religion so seriously that it's the main thing in life. We have no hope of intelligent policy under these conditions.