I found my fingers writing this while changing my Eschatology 101 outline into “book form.” This was the introduction I gave to the subject of the principalities and powers. I cannot take credit for this writing. There is absolutely no way for me to express that I have this kind of wisdom. It was Holy Ghost inspired. The statement is not yet complete, so bare with the imperfections of it, but the exposition with real life event is something more than I am personally able to speak.
There is a demonic force that is influencing all government and institutions. Nothing is beyond that influence. These demonic figures, typically the name Satan is given to represent all of them, are also called “the principalities and powers…” Principality and power causes for many Christians to think of governmental authority. However, what is being addressed is bigger than a king or ruler. These demonic principalities and powers have rule and sway over the realm of systems that causes for the whole world to be a massive Egypt in which all of humanity is subject to their rule. Humanity has been taken away from the place of freedom and brought into the place of bondage. But a bondage of what kind?
A system is any institution, corporation, or organization that seeks it’s own perpetuation and/or goals over and above anything or anyone else. People do not matter. They are only numbers – means to an end. The ultimate end for systems is their perpetuation or success. Depending on what the “goal” of the institution, corporation, or organization is, we find the degree to which it despises and oppresses humanity. Even the organizations that are supposed to be bringing water to other countries and helping their fellow man are systems that ultimately cause oppression and slavery.
I’ll give an example from a Christian college that I had visited while looking to go into “ministry training.” The college was a prominent college in my area (Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky), and they had a program where I could get a degree in Biblical Studies. When my wife and I (fiancé at that time) visited the school, they had bragged about how they are debt free. We saw the campus: an easy 30 acres, about 15 or more buildings, the latest technology, sprinkler systems going, and all the bells and whistles that say, “We are just as credible as any secular college that you will find.”
This Christian college bragged about being debt free. They claimed that the Bible is their foundation. They claimed that being debt free is something to take seriously (I’m sure they heard this from someone like Dave Ramsey). They claimed that they use their budget wisely so that they can keep up-to-date on all of the latest technology and trends. Yet, when we asked about scholarships they said they don’t have any.
Did you see it? This Christian college that would brag about being debt free keeps from going into debt by putting children into debt. Their goal is to be just as great, if not even better, than the secular universities. Their goal is to do all of that and more, because they are doing it Scripturally. Their goal is to keep from going into debt. How are they going to attain that end? They will force their thousands of students to go into massive debt of $5,000 to $15,000 a year, depending on their major and whether it is seminary or not. Tell me, how Christian is it to fund your empire on the backs of slaves?
In the Bible, God told Israel that because they were enslaved in Egypt that they should never have slaves. If a foreigner comes into your land, you can hire them and cause them to work for you, but no Israelite has an occupation, and no Hebrew owns slaves. Everyone tends to their own homestead and trades with their community so that everyone is able to feed their families. If someone is in need, you take care of the poor. You take care of the widow and orphan. If someone can’t take care of himself or herself, for whatever reason, then it is your job to take care of them.
Yet, when we get to 1 Kings, we begin to read of the kingdom of Solomon. Solomon was the son of David. He had 300 wives, which was specifically condemned for kings to do (Deuteronomy 17:17). He gathered horses; another thing condemned by God for kings to do (Deuteronomy 17:16). Then he also built the Temple of the Lord on the backs of slave labor (1 Kings 9:15). He also used that slave labor to build his palace and military bases. Behold Solomon’s kingdom: the New Egypt.
The way that the 1 Kings records Solomon’s kingdom is very subtle, but very insulting. Solomon’s income is an annual 666 “talents” – a talent being about 25 tons. Going up to Solomon’s throne are six steps. On each step are two lions opposing each other. You have six lions on the left, six lions on the right, and six steps going up to the throne to give us another “666.” Solomon’s kingdom is being equated with the kingdom of Satan. Why? The reason for this equation is that Solomon had deliberately gone against the commandment of the Lord in multiple behaviors. In Solomon’s disobedience to God, he is actually establishing that even Israel itself is a system that is influenced more by the principalities and powers than by God.
That “Christian college” that enslaves countless students each year so that they can look good has the same fate. I don’t care who the dean is. I don’t care how saved the staff are. I don’t care how Biblical the messages at chapel are. When you forfeit standing with God in absolution in such a way to push your agenda over and above the lives of people, then you have forsaken the command to “walk worthy of your calling.” The only thing left after Jerusalem becomes the “New Egypt” is exile. Babylon is the true kingdom of darkness, the nation that Satan has put his name upon, and any establishment that sacrifices their Christianity (or in this case, the next generation) upon the altar of Baal will inevitably be taken away into that darkened kingdom.
If you love the darkness so much that you reject the light, then the darkness is what you will receive. Whether we have establishments and institutions of religion, or whether they are systems of government, it doesn’t matter. A system by definition looks out for itself before bending the knee to help out those that are connected to it. It might be true that they do a lot of good. But somewhere in the core of that foundation will be darkness. You cannot be beyond this. The only way to be free from this kind of manipulation of the principalities and powers is to not be a system. The only way to not be a system is to be an organism. What exactly an organism looks like is equally as difficult to understand.
For we as the Body of Christ to be an organism instead of a religious institution would require that we are no longer supporting any kind of Egypt. Either God brings us out from Egypt or we’re still in Egypt. A partial deliverance is no deliverance. We might come out from the world in the sense that we are no longer enslaved to sin, but if we then continue in the ways of the world – the establishment and perpetuation of systems – then we haven’t truly been brought out of the world. This is all or nothing. That doesn’t necessarily mean that we are to be jobless, without schooling, etcetera. It means that even if we are in that system, we are not of that system. We do not endorse it, and we blow the whistle. We make it clear where we stand and we are not afraid to condemn such things as evil. Even if we are at a “Christian college,” we call the entire infrastructure to repentance and not merely a few souls within it.