Missional Theology
Globalization and Spiritual Warfare
July 31, 2017
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Is globalization good? Well, yes and no. I am not going to deal with geo-politics in this blog necessarily, but the spiritual warfare reality behind globalization. Tragically, many Christians are reading their Bibles and living their life with more of a worldly worldview than a biblical worldview. The Bible from beginning to end can only be properly understood if it is read with the biblical view of the world, which is one of spiritual warfare. This worldview realizes the truth as recorded in the Bible that there are good angels and there are fallen angels and other spiritual beings that are involved behind the scenes in the spiritual realm. Jesus makes it clear that He came to destroy the “works of the devil” (1Jn 3:8) and restore and renew the children of God and the creation itself.

What went wrong with the world? There are basically four things that have brought evil to the world and continue to inflict destruction. (1) The original fall of Satan and other spiritual beings, sometime at the beginning of creation (Gen 1:1-4, Is 14:14-16) (2) The Fall when Adam and Eve rebelled against God, (Gen 3) (3) The action of spiritual beings in leaving their state to corrupt mankind and create the Nephilim, a race of giants that show up through the O.T. and are eventually defeated by David’s mighty men (Gen 6:14, 1 Pt 2:4, Jude 6) (4) The rebellion at the tower of Babel when mankind united against God and God confused their languages and dispersed them over the face of the earth. (Genesis 11).

What is bad about globalization? It is a recurrence of the same pride and corruption that was behind the building of the tower of Babel – the uniting of mankind against their Creator. When God dispersed mankind at the tower of Babel and created the different languages and cultures He assigned “spiritual beings” (“sons of God” – powerful angelic beings) to reign over the different nations. These are territorial angelic powers. Deuteronomy 32:8 states, “ When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God.” And we can see in Psalm 82 that these powerful angelic beings – “gods” who are a part of God’s divine counsel rebelled from their role in leading the nations and will come under God’s judgment one day. From this Psalm we can see that in the last verse that God’s saving work in the world is to redeem all the nations. He started this process in Genesis 12 right after the rebellion at Babel by calling Abraham to be the Father of faith.

When Adam and Eve sinned they gave over their authority to take dominion over all the earth to Satan. And ever since that time, Satan and the other fallen “gods” who are over the nations have been warring against God’s redemptive plan and His people. We can see some of the territorial “gods” in the book of Daniel. Daniel chapter 10 reveals that the “prince of the kingdom of Persia” warred against God’s messenger to Daniel. The New Testament tells us that one day a powerful world figure will arise that will try and call the nations together again into a powerful one world government – the epitome of globalization. He will be ultimately revealed as the Anti-Christ who will be in partnership with Satan and the other “gods” of the nations.

What is good about globalization? The Father sent Jesus to not just redeem individuals, but to defeat the power Satan had over the nations. When Satan was tempting Jesus in the wilderness, one of his temptations was over the authority of the nations,

“And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, ‘To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” (Luke 4:5-7)

Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection have set us free from the power of sin and death, which Satan held over us. Jesus came to save us and restore us to God’s original design as His overseers of creation. The first part of this plan is to redeem people from every nation. This is why the great commission is so much bigger than just making local disciples. It is about “making disciples” of all “nations.” This is part of the restoration of the nations back to God. We can see this also in Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Jesus has established His church to be the vessel for bringing the nations back into obedience to God, but this is not a political process, it is a spiritual process at first. The church is to be carrying on Jesus’ mission to bring to redemption people from every tongue, tribe and nation. Because Jesus has defeated Satan’s rule and poured out the Spirit on the church, believers now are supposed to walk in that power to defeat the works of the devil that hold people in all nations captive.

Now, does this theology have an impact on our geo-politics? Yes, it does, but it takes great wisdom to apply it appropriately. The spiritually sensitive can see the spiritual powers behind much of our current battles over isolationism and globalization. Any move toward blending nations together where the individual sovereignty of each nation is at risk should be viewed with great suspect. I recently heard someone talk about being more committed to being a global citizen rather than an American citizen. This is part of a certain progressive agenda. This is the spirit of Babel. It has been here from the beginning and it will raise its dark head in the end. The good news is that when people from all nations come to Jesus as Lord and Savior, they are released from the spirit of Babel and are first and foremost citizens of heaven.

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About author

Stephen Woodrow

Steve is the pastor of Crossroads Church in Aspen Colorado. He is married to Meshell and they have 5 wonderful kids.

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