Friday, July 8, 2016

Powers of Evil from James through Revelation

In The New Demons, Jacques Ellul speaks of the gods we moderns adore. We have identified these gods as (1) Jupiter, god of politics; (2) Mars, god of war; (3) Vulcan, god of technology; (4) Venus, god of sex; (5) Pluto, god of money; and (6) Bacchus, god of consumption. But have we been right in speaking about gods at all? To find out, we will finish our survey of the New Testament by looking at passages about various powers of evil from the Letter of James through the Book of Revelation.

4:7 We are to commit ourselves to God and resist the Devil who will then run away from us.

1 Peter
 4:3 Back in our Olympian days, we wrongly indulged in a number of harmful behaviors including the worship of idols.
5:8-9 We are constantly to remain on the lookout for our enemy the Devil, who, like a powerful predator, is always looking for ways to eat us. We are to resist him even if it means suffering because of our witness to Jesus.

1 John
2:13-14 John tells us we have defeated the Evil One.
3:10 Children of God do what is right and also love their fellow Christians. Children of the Devil do neither.
4:4 The Holy Spirit burning brightly inside children of God is more powerful than the Unholy Spirit smoldering darkly inside those who belong to the world.
5:19-21 Although the Evil One rules the world, Jesus Christ has given us understanding of the one true god and made us God's children. We are to refrain from worshiping idols.

2:9-10 Jesus dictates a letter to his church in Smyrna. It is a poor church by worldly standards. People claiming to be God’s people are saying bad things about it. The people making those false accusations, however, really belong to Satan. Even so, the Devil himself is going to wrongly test the members of that poor little church by causing them to suffer for a short time.
2:13 Jesus dictates a letter to his church in Pergamum. Jesus tells his church that he knows they live where Satan has his throne.
3:9 In Sardis there is another group of people who also think they devote themselves to God, and are known as God’s people, but really worship Satan.
6:1-11 We learn that there are five forces actively shaping human history. The first is Jesus Christ himself (1-2); the second, political power especially as it expresses itself through war (3-4); the third, economic power as it controls the prices of commodities (5-6); the fourth, Death as a power (7-8); and fifth, surprisingly, the prayers of the saints (9-11).
9:20-1 Humankind worships demons and idols and commits murder, fornication, and theft.
12:5-18 In Heaven, following the birth of Jesus Christ on Earth, Michael and his angels are able to fight against Satan and his angels and defeat them. Satan and his angels are then thrown down from Heaven to Earth. Satan, the Accuser, can no longer make accusations against humans in Heaven. This furious Satan then commits himself to the destruction of all loyalists to Jesus Christ on Earth.
13:1-18 Satan chooses to wage war against loyal witnesses to Jesus. He is able to do so because he succeeds in threatening and enticing most everyone into worshiping him and in killing the loyalists to Jesus who refuse. He gains the devotion of the multitudes, and executes the murders of the few, through two beasts: government and the media that serves it through propaganda.
20:10 Satan, at last, is destroyed.
21:8 Alas, those who worship idols end up where Satan is.

Copyright © 2016 by Steven Farsaci. All rights reserved.