There’s an investigation happening in the USA that involves its government. One man described the investigation thusly: “We are investigating whether or not there was collusion with foreign hostile powers.”
My immediate response was, “Every human government on the planet, since the beginning of Babel, has been in collusion with foreign hostile powers.” (Babel is the first “kingdom” recorded in Scripture.)
As a follower of Jesus, you should be aware of this. Right now, I’m finishing up my book on the kingdom of God. In it, I have a section on what the New Testament calls the “principalities and powers.”
Here’s a short excerpt as it relates to their influence on human governments.
Despite the players involved, the political and governmental systems of this world are heavily influenced by the cosmic principalities and powers (also translated, “rulers and authorities”) in the spiritual realm.
“We wrestle against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12
The cosmic principalities and powers use human authorities (governments, political leaders, etc.) as their instruments in “this present evil age” (Galatians 1:4; 1 Corinthians 2:8).
In the New Testament, the spiritual principalities and powers that run the world system are intertwined with the earthly rulers and powers who wield power. This doesn’t mean that all politicians and governmental officials are owned by Satan. Nor does it mean that government cannot do good things. It often does. But it does mean that the political and governmental systems of this world are governed by hostile cosmic forces in the present evil age.
This explains why Satan could offer Jesus the kingdoms of this world during the wilderness temptation (Matthew 4:8). It explains why Scripture tells us that the nations are under the power of satanic princes (Daniel 10:13-20). It explains why Paul called Satan “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4) and why Jesus called him the “prince of this world” (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11). It also explains why so many politicians (even righteous ones) eventually become corrupted by the system.
So regardless of which political party is in power at a given time, hostile spiritual entities operate behind the scenes, manipulating earthly rulers. At the same time, God is sovereign over the conduct of these rulers. And He orders and arranges them to accomplish His own ends (Daniel 2:21; 4:32; 5:21; Psalm 33:10; Proverbs 8:15).
God used the Assyrians (Isaiah 10), Cyrus, king of Persia (Isaiah 45), Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon (Jeremiah 27) and the Chaldeans (Habakkuk 1) to accomplish His purposes. He also uses human government to bring order to society. A better translation of Romans 13:1 that’s truer to the Greek is that God “orders/arranges” the governing authorities rather than “institutes/establishes” them.
The good news is that because of the death and resurrection of Christ, the cosmic hostile powers that are behind the fallen political structures have no spiritual authority over us as God’s people (Colossians 2:15; Hebrews 2:14; Romans 8:38).
The interplay between the cosmic principalities and powers and their earthly counterpart — as well as the practical dimensions of Jesus’ victory over them — are highly complex matters that are far too involved to unravel in a short blog post. (I explore them in my upcoming book on the kingdom, though.)
All that to say: never put your hope in any government, no matter who is in power (your “guys” or someone else’s “guys”). Because during this present evil age, despite the players involved and their level of spiritual awareness, all governments “are in collusion with hostile foreign powers.” Jesus and Paul are proof.
When it comes to the politics of this age, let’s lay hold of this perspective.
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