Thursday, March 31, 2016

Jesus and Law (3)

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus distinguished between the laws given to Moses and local sayings.

You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies (Matt 5:43-44).
Much of what they had heard about the law was not in it. The law did not command them to hate their enemies. Jesus taught them what the law really said.

Unfortunately, many Christians interpret the law as if it required us to hate our enemies. This is perpetuating the false ideas that Jesus had to deal with. We must treat those who have harmed us with love not hate, so our interpretation and application of the law must be consistent with love.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Jesus and Law (2)

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke of gouging out eyes and cutting of hands.

If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away…
If your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away (Matt 5:29-30).
Jesus was using expressions from the Mosaic laws to make a dramatic point, but he did not expect his disciples to take these expressions literally. We should take a similar approach to interpreting the Laws for People. Expressions of harsh physical actions are for emphasis, not for implementation.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Jesus and the Law (1)

Jesus talked frequently talked about the law. His understanding of it was quite different from ours.

Jesus promised blessings for those who are merciful.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy (Matt 5:7).
The Mosaic law promised blessings, so it must be merciful. If it seems to be harsh, we must have misunderstood it. Therefore we should choose merciful interpretations over harsh ones.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Jesus is Risen

The resurrection was a huge victory for Jesus.

  1. The resurrection was a massive defeat for the devil, who thought that he had killed the only real threat to his power. By rising from the dead, Jesus exposed the devil’s weakness. He could not get Jesus to sin and he could not kill him, so he now was powerless against him. Jesus could go on and complete his mission and the devil was powerless against him. He could ascend into heaven beyond the reach of evil.

  2. The resurrection was a massive defeat for the principalities and powers that carry out the devil’s purposes. God used the resurrection to destroy their power.

    He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion (Eph 1:20.21).
    The principalities and powers had worked through the Roman empire and the Jewish religious leaders to destroy Jesus. The resurrection turned their best efforts into failure. Their best efforts will continue to fail.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Cross and Redemption

An important word for describing what Jesus accomplished on the cross is “redeem”. This English word is used to translate a couple of different Greek words, but they are economic and legal terms that refer to buying back someone who has been enslaved or taken captive.

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people (Luke 1:68)
All are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus (Rom 3:24).
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace (Eph 1:7).
And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation (Rev 5:9).
The clear message of the New Testament is that Jesus redeemed us by his death on the cross. But what does that mean? Most of us do not know anyone who has been captured as a slave and needed to be redeemed or ransomed by someone.

The best example is the people who have been captured by revolutionary groups in the Africa and the Middle East who have demanded that their family or government pay a ransom of several millions to have them set free. If the ransom is paid and they regain their freedom, they have been redeemed by whoever paid the ransom. The person or organisation that pays the ransom is their redeemer.

That leads to another question. Who did we have to be redeemed from? Who had captured us and was demanding a ransom before we could be set free. The answer is that the entire human race had been taken captive by the spiritual powers of evil, and they demanded a ransom before they would set us free.

He gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good (Tit 2:14).
For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Col 1:13-14).
In the beginning, God gave authority over the earth to humans, but humans were deceived and surrendered to the tempter. That surrender of authority gave the spiritual powers of evil legitimate authority over humans. God does not take back authority that he has given, even if it is used unwisely, so he was bound to recognise their authority.

God gave the law to Moses to help the new nation to live in peace in a new land, but the law strengthened the powers of evil, because it specified a curse on disobedience. They demanded the right to enforce the curse on God’s people when they disobeyed. That is why Jesus had to redeem us from the curse.

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit (Gal 3:13-14).
People wonder why Jesus had to die to satisfy God, when he is a God of grace and love. Why could he not just forgive our sin. There are several reasons, but the most important is that the spiritual powers of evil demanded a ransom, so Jesus died to meet that demand.
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Yahweh (2)

The name that God said we should use was Yahweh. I think that we should start obeying him and using his name.

The worst thing about our neglect of God’s name is that we end up calling him God. That makes him sound just like any other god. The Arabic word Allah and the Hebrew word Elohim come from the same root. They are generic words for a god. Giving the name God to the one true god makes him seem just like the god of dozens of other religions. But he is not. He is the God of Abraham and the God of Jesus. He is our Father, and he has a name, Yahweh that makes him unique. Since he has such a lovely name, surely we should use it.

Once when we called him Lord, it was a measure of respect. A Lord was a landlord or powerful ruler who was demanded respect and obedience. But that concept is now irrelevant. The word “lord” has dropped out of our vocabulary. We do not use it any more. The only lords we know are the English Lords in the UK House of Lords or the people dressed in fancy robes in British historical dramas. The word “lord” means very little to us, so it just becomes a name that we use for God. But why use a nickname, when God has given us his real name.

The word Lord has be captured by the world. When young people thing of someone called Lord, they think of a New Zealand-born singer called Lorde, who sings a song called Royal. They do not think of Jesus. If we speak to them about Jesus and call him Lord, they will be confused. We need better words to communicate the gospel. The word Boss would be a better word for communicating what we mean by Lord. If we said that Jesus was our Boss or Instructor, we might be more serious about obeying him.

The other benefit of calling God Yahweh is no upstart rock singer with a dark tendency will ever steal that name.

Yahweh the God of your fathers...
This is my name forever,
the name you shall call me
from generation to generation (Ex 3:14-15).

Monday, March 21, 2016

Yahweh (1)

I notice that more and more worship songs are using the name Yahweh to describe our God. I like that trend.

God told Moses his name when he met him beside the burning bush in the dessert near Mount Horeb. He told Moses to go back to Egypt and rescue his people. Moses was not sure he would be welcome, so he asked for God’s name.

Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”

God said to Moses, “I am who I am (or I will be who I will be). This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”
God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The YHWH the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you’ (Ex 3:13-15).
Moses was sent to Egypt on behalf of a God named YHWH. The people of Israel would know he was different from the gods of Pharaoh and the gods of Canaan. Moses was sent by the God of their forefather Abraham, who wanted to rescue them.

In the next verse, God said something important that we have forgotten.

This is my name forever,
the name you shall call me
from generation to generation (Ex 3:13-15).
God said that he wanted to be called by the name YHWH forever, from generation to generation. Despite this instruction, God is hardly ever called by his name these days.

In about the second century BC, the Jews decided that the name of God was too holy to be spoken. They started referring to him as “Lord”. In Hebrew manuscripts, they would put the vowels for “lord” under the consonants YHWH wherever they appeared in the Old Testament. Then the person reading the scripture would say Lord instead of Yahweh.

The people who translated the scriptures into English have mostly followed the same practice. Wherever the name YHWH appears, they translate it as LORD, in full caps. Most of us do not notice, and just assume that we are referring to God as our Lord. We forget that we are reading the name of God.

But here is the question. Who should we obey: a tradition of Jews from the second century, whose obedience and understanding was patchy, or God himself. It think that we should obey God. But remember what he said.

This is my name forever,
the name you shall call me
from generation to generation (Ex 3:13-15).
The name that God said we should use was Yahweh. I think that we should start obeying him and using his name. If he said that we should use his name, then the claim that it is too holy to use is wrong. The people who go along with that claim are wrong. We should obey Yahweh.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Faith and Culture

Western culture was built on Christian culture, so it cannot exist without it, yet that is what we are trying to do. We are trying to eat the fruits of Christian culture while leaving Christian faith and values behind.

For many centuries, the church was the culture maker. Christianity was the dominant faith, and the normal worldview. Clergy giving their weekly sermon were the main cultural voice. They explained how the world and works, and how we should live. That situation changed a couple of centuries ago, and the Christian voice is just one small voice, lost in the hubbub of the world.

In modern culture, the main cultural voice is the arts and entertainment media. We learn how the world works from them. The media teach us what to believe, and what to do, but they do not mention God. They tell us how to live. Have a good time. The media now shape our culture.

The first step to restoration is proclaiming the gospel, but bringing people to faith will not be enough. God will need to raise up prophetic culture makers, who voice is so sharp and clear that it rises above the clamour of the media.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Immature Prophet

Ben Sternke lists seven indicators of an immature prophet:

  • They talk about their perspective as though it was simply “the truth.”
  • They jump from church to church because they keep finding issues in each.
  • They become frustrated when their ideas aren’t accepted and implemented immediately.
  • They have to point out every inconsistency or problem they see.
  • They have a hard time loving people “where they’re at.”
  • They want to live in their heads, because their idealism is cleaner than the real-world messiness of ministry.
  • They tend to isolate themselves or only associate with those who think like them.
Ben says that we should not use them, or reject them, but should disciple them. We should disciple them like we disciple everyone else: we love them by offering them an abundance of grace and truth.

But discipleship looks different for an prophet than it does for a shepherd or apostle. The grace and truth they need takes on a certain shape. Here are Ben's thoughts on bringing grace to a prophet:

  • Prophets need space in their schedule for prayer and connection with God.
  • Prophets need permission to rest and retreat.
  • Prophets need to know their gift is important – affirm them and what they’re seeing.
  • Prophets need an atmosphere of permission to get it wrong. They need to know they won’t be rejected if they share something immaturely.
  • Prophets need “safe spaces” to experiment. Create a playful, no-pressure environment.
  • Prophets need language that helps them qualify their revelations as something God “might” be saying.
  • Prophets need to know they are valued apart from their gifting. That they don’t need to “have a word from God” to be valued in community.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Signs of a Prophet

Ben Sternke lists six characteristics of a prophet.

  • They often enjoy spending time alone with God and sense his heart clearly.
  • They care deeply about values and integrity, and often sense before anyone else when an organization is drifting.
  • They are able to stand back from circumstances and get a clear picture of what’s really going on.
  • This clarity oftentimes enables them to come up with creative and innovative solutions that others don’t see.
  • They are outside the box thinkers, and tend to disrupt the status quo.
  • They are future-oriented, and tend to see opportunities and dangers before everyone else.

Monday, March 14, 2016


When talking about his new book at TwoCities, called Disappearing Church: From Cultural Relevance to Gospel Resilience, Mark Sayers said,

Post-Christianity is ultimately the project of the West to move beyond Christianity, whilst feasting upon its fruit. Thus it constantly offers us options and off ramps, in which we seemingly have what we enjoy about faith, but without the sacrifices and commitments. It does not demand that we become apostates rather that we reshape our faith to suit the contours of the day, and in the process offers us the promise of tangible freedoms and pleasures for doing so. It does not challenge our faith head on in a kind of apologetics debate; rather it uses soft power, offering a continual background hum of options and incentives which eat away at our commitments. We are offered the mirage that we can have community without commitment, faith without discipleship, the kingdom without the King. To steal and misquote Eliot’s line, our faith doesn’t disappear with a bang but with a whimper.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Disappearing Church

When talking about his new book at TwoCities, called Disappearing Church From Cultural Relevance to Gospel Resilience, Mark Sayers said,

I was driven by a conviction that something radical was changing culturally, and that the Church was struggling to not just catch up but articulate this shift. For decades now the Church has relied on the strategy of cultural relevance to engage Western culture. The premise of this strategy was based on two great assumptions. First, that Western culture had entered a kind of post-Christian phase, and second that the best way to engage this post-Christian phase was through employing strategies and tactics learned on the mission field with pre-Christian cultures.

This was the strategy that ultimately created the contemporary church movement. I am not suggesting that the strategy of cultural relevance has not been fruitful nor that we should abandon it. The strategy of cultural relevance works well in pre-Christian or traditional cultures where the gospel can be communicated into and built around local symbols, stories, traditions, conventions and structures. However, the mood behind the post-Christian culture of the West ultimately seeks to deconstruct and contest all symbols, stories, traditions, conventions and structures. How do you apply a strategy of cultural relevance in a Western context which liquifies culture? Missiology emerged as a way of engaging non-Western traditional cultures without colonizing them. In our post-traditional West, the danger is that when the church engages the cultural solely with the strategy of cultural relevance, too often the church is colonized by the post-Christian mood. I am suggesting that alongside the strategy of relevance we need a strategy of resilience. Not retreat, but cultural engagement with robust resilience.

Friday, March 11, 2016

New Testament Evangelism Strategy

  1. Evangelists should be led by the Spirit to a place where God has prepared people and wants to do things. This will usually be a public place where a crowd is likely to gather. Jesus was always in the right place at the right time (John 5:19). He exercised his ministry in public where the Holy Spirit was moving (Luke 5:17). Evangelists should follow the Holy Spirit to the place where a crowd will gather.

  2. Once in the right place, the evangelists should then identify the person that the Father wants to heal. The Holy Spirit will point him out. When Jesus went to the Pool of Bethesda, he chose the paralysed man out of the great number of sick people waiting by the pool (John 5:3). He was the one that the Father wanted to touch. Sometimes the person will come to the evangelists. The lame man at the gate of the temple came to Peter and John asking for money, but the Holy Spirit wanted him healed (Acts 3:3). When Paul was at Lystra, he saw a lame man whom the Holy Spirit had given faith to be healed (Acts 14:8,9).

  3. Having identified the person that God wants to heal, the evangelists should lay hands on them and pray for them to be healed in the name of Jesus. If the Holy Spirit has indicated that he wants the person to be healed, he will do what he said he would do and make the person whole.

  4. When the person is dramatically healed, a crowd will gather. An evangelist will take the opportunity to preach to the crowd. They will explain that the healing is a demonstration of the grace of God and the power of the gospel.

  5. The evangelist must be prepared to pray for all people who come seeking healing. When they see what the Holy Spirit can do, many will come looking for God to touch them. They will be looking for God’s mercy, so he will not disappoint them. In the evening after Jesus had healed Peter’s mother-in-law, the whole town gathered at the door and Jesus healed many who had various diseases (Mark 1:30-34). The same thing happened when Paul was on the island of Malta and prayed for a sick man. All the rest of the sick on the island came and were cured. (Acts 28:8,9).

  6. All who respond to the gospel should be baptised.

Being Church Where We Live, p.105.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Two Conservatives

Political analysts divide their world into two groups: liberals and conservatives. However, there are two types of conservative: economic conservatives and social conservatives. Conservatives come in two types, but they are often uneasy bedfellows in the same political party, because they have very different interests.

Economic conservatives favour free trade. They believe that whatever is good for big business is good for America. They want the government to keep out of businesses, so they can get on with doing what they do best: making money. They hate social welfare programs, because the believe people should get ahead by hard work, like they have done. (Of course they want the government to bail out the big banks, if it threatens the economic system). They welcome migrants, because they provide cheap labour and increase the demand for their products and services.

Social conservatives are not concerned about economic liberalism, because they live where the rubber hits the road. They more concerned about social issues that are disrupting their families and destroying their communities.

The political, economic, financial and culture elites are economic conservatives, but on social issues they are liberal.

The only immigrants they meet, apart from their college-educated colleagues, are the people who clean their offices, or the men on the truck picking up the trash. They smile kindly when they encounter them, because they look like nice people, but they never have to go where they live, and they would never go into their homes.

These elites tend to live itinerant lives, moving from job to job to get promotion, so they do not value family and community life. They do not care about the breakdown of the family and other forms of social change that is fragmenting the suburbs, because they do not stay in one place long enough to see it.

The economic elites love free trade, because they own the intellectual property for cellphones and televisions, so they make money wherever they are made. They are glad that cellphones are made in China, because it makes them affordable.

The excluded classes hate free trade, because cars from Japan and televisions from China destroyed their jobs. They see migrants moving into the cheap housing in their decaying suburbs, but not joining into community life, because they prefer to hook up with their own people. They see the children of migrants standing in groups on the street corners and they feel threatened.

They used to be concerned about abortion, but they now realise that for working class girls, pregnancy is a pathway to poverty and misery. They have seen this happen so often, that abortion is now a lesser of two evils.

The financial conservatives like migrants, because they provide cheap labour that keeps costs down. The social conservatives see them taking all the low-paid jobs in the service sector, which their children and mothers used to do.

The political and economic elite want to project American military power around the world. Their children go to college, not into the army. They rely on the armed forces to keep the international sea-lanes open, so that trade can follow.

The excluded classes are ambivalent about foreign wars. They are aware that war creates jobs, but they also realise that their families and friends will be doing they fighting and paying the increased taxes. They have seen young men and women return from war with permanent life-limiting injuries and emotional scars.

The social conservatives hate the social change that is being foisted on them by the political and cultural elites. Many are Christians or have a Christian memory, so they know that what is happening is wrong, but their churches are impotent. They are struggling to bring their children to the gospel, so they have no hope for moral and social transformation of their society by the gospel. They do not know where it will end, but it makes them afraid.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

There is an Alternative

Imagination can create a vision that exposes the lie that there is not alternative. It brings hope by proving that things do not have to be as they are.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Goodies and Baddies

American politics has always been shaped by a “Western” mentality. I presume that it goes basic to the “Wild West”, but it has also been fed by Hollywood.

The world is full of goodies and baddies. The baddies outnumber the goodies, so the goodies are always afraid of being overwhelmed. If they are not careful, the baddies will ride into town and shoot the men, steal their horses, burn their houses and kidnap their daughters.

The goodies need a strong sheriff or marshall to beat up the baddies when they attack. They do not give this role to another goodie, because he would not be mean enough to deal with the baddies. It does not matter if this strong man has been a baddie in the past, because only someone mean and tough can to beat up the baddies.

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Political Change

Donald Trump is the wrong man, but he seems to be nailing the concerns (perhaps unwittingly) of angry Americans who feel left out of the politics of recent decades. Robert W Merry explains why political commentators have failed to understand what is happening.

What these commentators and many others didn’t see was an underlying development in American society destined to send shock waves through the nation’s politics. It generated a rumbling within elements of the electorate that presaged an inevitable political volcano, which now is in eruption.

Much has been written about the so-called hollowing out of Middle America, the decline of the working class, the impact of the “culture wars” on ordinary Americans with traditional views, the loss of factory jobs, the fallout from unchecked immigration, the disintegration of traditional values among population groups that once personified those values. These are the losers of globalization, and their experiences in today’s global economy have been stark. Commentator David Frum, writing in the Atlantic, points out (based on figures from the Center for Immigration Studies) that since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, 1.5 million fewer native-born Americans are working than in November 2007. Meanwhile, during that same time span, some two million immigrants—legal and illegal—have gained jobs in the country. “All the net new jobs created since November 2007 have gone to immigrants,” writes Frum.

Indeed, as social scientist Charles Murray notes, for white working-class men in their thirties and forties, participation in the labor force dropped from 96 percent in 1968 to 79 percent last year. The percentage of these men who were married also dropped—to 52 percent last year from 86 percent in 1968. Out-of-wedlock births and the drug scene also take their toll among these people, once a solid source of civic stability. Writes Murray, “Consider how these trends have affected life in working-class communities for everyone, including those who are still playing by the old rules. They find themselves working and raising their families in neighborhoods where the old civic culture is gone—neighborhoods that are no longer friendly or pleasant or even safe.”

Meanwhile, the political and financial elites are doing just fine under the prevailing system. And they are not above evincing a certain contempt toward those who issue their plaintive protest at their reduced circumstances. As Michael Brendan Dougherty, writing in This Week, puts it, “The political left treats this as a made-up problem, a scapegoating by Applebee’s-eating, megachurch rubes who think they are losing their ‘jerbs.’” Murray adds that mainstream Americans are “fully aware of [the] condescension and contempt” the elites feel toward them and are “understandably irritated by it.”

Both Murray and Dougherty argue that American conservatism, as it has evolved since Barry Goldwater’s 1964 presidential quest, has little to offer these frustrated Americans. Conservatives tout free trade, but free trade is part of globalism, and working class Americans see globalism is a big part of their problem. Conservatives want to attack governmental entitlements, such as Medicare and Social Security, but those programs remain among the few federal programs that help Middle America. Conservative institutions such as the Wall Street Journal favor mass immigration, while Middle America regards immigration—for good reason—as a major economic threat, as well as a threat to some of its traditional values. Conservatives tend to be outraged by the cultural direction of the country on such issues as abortion and gay marriage, whereas working-class Americans are too financially strapped to put those issues at the forefront of their concerns. Conservatives have turned the GOP into a party of military adventurism, but the working class knows it will bear the brunt of fighting those wars. Conservatives habitually tout the legacy of Ronald Reagan and swear fealty to his memory, while Middle Americans want solutions to the problems of today, not those of a generation ago...

The traditional parties and their hardened ideological positions on issues have contributed mightily to the crisis of deadlock in American politics. The solution isn’t to work through the tired, old political structures to split the difference on issues, but to build new coalitions, based on new clusters of political thinking, that can break up the logjams and move the country in new directions.

Abraham and Moses

Abraham was part of God’s solution to the problems described in a previous post. God needed a land where he could work and a people to watch over it, so that he would have a safe place to send his son as a Messiah. Sending Jesus as a baby was a huge risk. If God got this wrong, the spiritual powers of evil would kill Jesus as soon as he was born, and his deliverance plan would fail.

Abraham provided the people through his growing family of descendants. The land came when Moses led the people out of Egypt into the promised land. The law allowed the people to live in peace in the land.

Israel was called to be a light to the nations by operating a different system of government: local judges applying God’s law. This dealt with one of the problems listed in the previous post, but it could not deal with the rest.

If Israel had implemented God’s way, many nations would have copied them. Instead, Israel chose not to be a light and copied the darkness of the nations by adopting a king and military power. They hid their light under a bushel of kingly power.

If Israel had fulfilled its calling to live under God’s law, they would have established a place of safety, relatively free of the spiritual powers of evil, where it would be safety for God to send the Messiah.

Israel chose to have a king, giving the spiritual powers of evil a home.

God used Rome to establish a place of relative order using military power and system of law. This was not ideal, but it provided sufficient peace for God to send the Messiah as a baby. However, he had to send Jesus to refugee to Egypt to be safe from the attacks of King Herod, and the principalities and powers that controlled him.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Jesus' Solution

Jesus provided a solution to each problem.

  1. He paid the penalty for sin, by dying on the cross. His life was the perfect sacrifice for sin that the law required.

  2. He ransomed humans from the spiritual powers of evil. His life was the price they demanded.

  3. Those who submit to Jesus as Lord and trust him are united with him. They died and rose against with him. They are vindicated by God, who has declared them to be righteous.

  4. Those who trust in Jesus ascended into heaven with him and are seated with him at God’s right hand, far above all the spiritual powers of evil and all the principalities and powers.

  5. Jesus has poured out his Holy Spirit, so that we can have fellowship with him and be empowered to do his works.

  6. He provides spiritual protection for those who submit to him and to each other.

  7. Jesus is Lord, so the authority of kings and emperors is illegitimate authority stolen from him.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

The Problem

Most Christians assume that Jesus died to get us a ticket to heaven, but his death and resurrection accomplished far more than that. What is the problem created by sin that only Jesus could resolve?

  1. Sin caused God to withdraw, cutting humans off from the Holy Spirit.

  2. The spiritual powers of evils gained authority over the earth when Adam and Eve submitted to them. This authority gave them the ability to inflict evil on the earth and make God’s creation destructive.

  3. Humans lost their spiritual protection, so the spiritual powers of evil were able to attack them.

  4. The spiritual powers of evil worked through kings and empires to leverage their authority and power.

  5. The spiritual powers of evil gained authority to inflict the curses of the law on sinners. They demanded death for sin.

  6. The spiritual powers of evil released crime and violence into society, making people harm each other.