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Spiritual Warfare - Lesson 5

Heavenly War Worldview

From this lesson, you gain a comprehensive understanding of a unique perspective on the biblical narrative. It posits a pre-Genesis war in the heavenly realm, the shaping of Eden in a war zone, and the mission of humans to combat evil through acts of goodness. The focus is on building order, promoting justice, and creating loving communities as a means of waging spiritual warfare. The lesson suggests that humans are blessed image-bearing covenant partners in this cosmic battle, and this mission extends until the final judgment.

Gerry Breshears
Spiritual Warfare
Lesson 5
Watching Now
Heavenly War Worldview

I. Introduction

A. Overview of Previous Views

B. The Divine Council World View

C. The Speaker's Unique Worldview

II. Theological Analysis

A. John 8 and Jesus' Interaction with the Pharisees

B. Satan as a Murderer and Liar from the Beginning

C. Pre-Genesis One Rebellion and War in the Heavenly Realm

D. Humans as Blessed Image-Bearing Covenant Partners

E. Mission of Humans in a War Zone

III. Theological Implications

A. Humans Living in a Spiritual War Zone

B. Inaugurated Eschatology and Eternal Life

C. The Role of Humans in Overcoming Evil

D. Promoting Peace and Relationship as a Means to Combat Evil

IV. Conclusion

A. Recap of the Speaker's Unique Worldview

B. The Importance of Focusing on Doing Good to Overcome Evil

C. Implications for Contemporary Christian Living


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Transcript
  • Dr. Gerry Breshears discusses some of the main teachings of the Bible on Spiritual Warfare and then participates in a live question and answer.

  • Discover Dr. Breshears' journey from science to spiritual warfare, debunking scientific explanations for demons. Unveil a seminary student's anxiety battle, uncover curses, theological misconceptions, and inner demonic voices. Prepare for a course on spiritual warfare and staying loyal to God.
  • Gain insights into worldviews within Christianity, including polytheism, American monotheism, and Christian monotheism. Explore the nature of spiritual beings and idols.
  • Gain insight into powerful spiritual beings tied to nations in the Bible. Warning against intermarriage and foreign gods emphasized.
  • You'll gain insight into spiritual warfare through Genesis 11, where human defiance led to the scattering of nations and involvement of angelic beings.
  • You will gain insight into a distinct biblical interpretation that views the universe's creation as an act of shaping Eden within a pre-existing cosmic war, and the role of humans in this ongoing battle by cultivating goodness and order to combat evil and chaos.
  • In this lesson, the story of Adam and Eve is analyzed within the context of spiritual warfare, highlighting the serpent's strategy to question God's goodness and encourage independence, while God responds with a call to confession and hints at a future Messiah's role in redemption.
  • This lesson offers an insightful interpretation of Genesis 6:1-4, presenting the "Sons of God" as angelic beings who sinned by marrying humans, leading to the Nephilim, linking this perspective to New Testament passages and the symbolism of baptism as a victory declaration against evil forces, deepening your understanding of the nuanced interpretation of these biblical passages and their importance in Christianity.
  • The passages reviewed in this lesson reveal a unique portrayal of God's actions, using unconventional methods. Challenge common interpretations, caution against single-verse doctrines. Embrace the mystery of God's ways, avoiding rigid interpretations when context is unclear.
  • This lesson reviews a passage in Colossians, offering insights into spiritual warfare and the dichotomy between the kingdoms of light and darkness, emphasizing believers' rescue from darkness into the kingdom of the Son of God, forgiveness of sins, and the essential elements of faith, all of which are vital for confronting demonic accusations and oppression.
  • Learn the core of Ephesians: spiritual warfare, dedication to God vs. Satan, moral maturity, and becoming Christ's partner. Emphasizes unity, living in light, using God's Word, and the power of prayer in this battle.
  • Learn to resist the temptations of the world and the devil by humbling yourself, casting anxiety on God, being self-controlled, alert, and standing firm in faith as taught in James and 1 Peter, emphasizing the importance of using your strengths for God's kingdom and opposing pressures and distortions from the enemy to avoid being devoured.
  • This lesson highlights the significance of facing spiritual forces in Jesus' name, stressing that authority alone isn't enough. Faith, confidence, and prayer-driven competence are vital for effective spiritual warfare. It inspires you to confront spiritual battles like Jesus did, with authority and unwavering faith.
  • This lesson delves into a biblical narrative highlighting Jesus' authority over evil spirits. It emphasizes the transformative power of His deliverance and the profound change it can bring to those tormented by demonic influence.
  • This lesson provides deep insights into Satan's fall in the Bible, covering Old Testament passages (Isaiah 14, Ezekiel 28) linked to it, addressing their ambiguity. It also discusses withholding Satan's name due to his evil nature and how Jesus broke his authority in the New Testament, though he remains a threat to believers.
  • This lesson delves into the intricate dynamics between believers, demons, and the world in the biblical context. You'll uncover Satan's mysterious role in Judas's betrayal of Jesus, posing questions about the motivations and divine alignment in this pivotal event.
  • This lesson equips you with the knowledge of how Jesus confronted temptation and spiritual warfare, emphasizing three essential steps: quoting Scripture to the devil, commanding the devil to leave in Jesus' name, and shifting your focus from demonic attack to Jesus' provision.
  • This lesson explores 3 Deliverance Ministry models: 1) Classic - resist Satan's temptations, 2) Power Encounter - deal with sin before casting out demons, 3) Truth Encounter - dispel lies, reclaim identity in Christ. Dr. Breshears prefers the Truth Encounter model while allowing for diverse biblical approaches.
  • This lesson provides comprehensive insights on dealing with the demonic from a biblical perspective, emphasizing the triumph of Jesus over Satan, the ongoing spiritual battles, the importance of faith in the midst of adversity, and the need to follow biblical patterns while avoiding unnecessary fascination with evil and excessive fearfulness.
  • This lesson explores demons and Satan's impact on believers, emphasizing that even righteous individuals can face their influence. It reveals how deception, curses, and accusations can create strongholds in belief systems, perpetuated by Satan. Demons exploit weaknesses, desires, and ignorance, leading to destructive behaviors. The lesson ends with the assurance that believers are never abandoned by the Holy Spirit.
  • From this lesson, you will gain insight into the Dr. Breshear's approach to identifying potential demonic influence in people's lives, focusing on areas like accusing voices, oppressive presence, and occult involvement. He emphasizes the importance of assessing these influences when individuals face issues like anxiety, addiction, or persistent problems. By probing into their experiences and thoughts, the goal is to recognize and address these negative influences, ultimately seeking to remove them from the person's life.
  • This lesson provides insights into assessing potential demonic influence in individuals' lives, offering strategies to distinguish personal issues from demonic influences and empower individuals to confront and overcome such challenges with the authority of Jesus Christ.
  • From this lesson, you will gain insight into the controversial topic of demonic influence and possession within Christianity. The lesson explores the various meanings of "possessed" and the debate surrounding whether a Christian can be dominated or influenced by a demon. It emphasizes that while ownership by a demon is generally denied, the extent of demonic influence remains debated.
  • You will learn a comprehensive approach to address demons in a pastoral setting, emphasizing individual empowerment, cooperation, and the transformative potential of confronting these malevolent forces to achieve freedom and healing.
  • This lesson delves into spiritual warfare, discussing curses, demonic attacks, and their real-life impact. It highlights curses arising from disobedience, similar to God's curse in the Bible. Instances like a cursed object in Africa demonstrate their harm. The lesson promotes rejecting curses and dedicating spaces to God while emphasizing that curses have power only when received, suggesting turning to Jesus for protection and deliverance.
  • This lesson explores demon nature, influence, and approach. It dispels the myth of immunity in the US, highlighting demons' subtle tactics. Demons' origin is unclear, and prayer and fasting aren't mandatory. Living as children of light and invoking Jesus' name is key. Mind-reading by demons is uncertain, but they exploit confessed sin. Whether they can inhabit believers is unanswered, but they influence through deception. Demons may dwell in specific places and require confronting with Jesus' authority. Believers engage in spiritual warfare to deliver the oppressed, empowered by Jesus.

There is an ongoing battle between the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness. Followers of Jesus, who are in the kingdom of light, have been given authority by God to command demons. By studying Jesus' life and other passages in scripture, we can gain insights into how to respond to the influence of demons effectively.

 

Spiritual Warfare
Dr. Gerry Breshears
th251-05
Heavenly War Worldview
Lesson Transcript

 

Well, up to now I've been representing a view for you, the Genesis 11 dispersal and Deuteronomy 32, we could look at other things and Psalm 82 and such. That's a thing that's championed by Michael Heiser in his book Unseen Realm. It's called the Divine Counsel Worldview, or something like that. And there's quite a bit of stuff on that. Now, Mike unfortunately is not with us anymore but his writings in scholarship shows powerfully. But I want to go one step further back, and this is even a smaller minority but I think I'm right. It's my worldview of what happened and so let's unpack this. And I'm not the only one in the world that holds this, but my particular variation is pretty close to unique.

So we're going to do a little Bible study here. And so grab your Bibles again, you got to look at it. I want you to look at your own Bible if you possibly can. Go to John chapter eight. And if you look at the beginning of John 8:12, Jesus gets in a brouhaha with the Pharisees when he says, "I'm the light of the world." And they come back and they're really busy insulting each other. Verse 19, "Where is your father?" And he says, "You don't know me or my father." And they get this battle about whose father, and like I say, they're busy insulting each other, dispute about which family belonged to us. I'd love to go through that.

But verse 39 they answered, "Abraham is our father." But Jesus says, "If you're Abraham's children, then you'd do what Abraham did and you would recognize me." He said, "You're doing works of your own father." And they come back. "We're not illegitimate children." Just digging an insult on Him. "The only father we have is God himself." Jesus said, "If God were your father, you would love me for I come from God." But look what He does here in verse 44, "You belong to your father, the devil." So here's God is father, devil is father. He's saying your father is the devil.

Now, that's not going to be a popular thing to say, to say the least, but I want to look at what He says about the devil here. You do what your father desires. And then it says this. "He, the devil, was..." Was what? What does it say? "He, the devil was..." What? "Murderer." But what's that next phrase? "From the beginning." And it goes on and talks about Him. He is a liar and the father lies. But I'm much intrigued with the idea He is a murderer from the beginning. And he said, "Now what beginning were we talking about?" Well, hyperlink back to John 1:1, "In the beginning was the word." Hyperlink from there back to Genesis one, "In the beginning, Elohim, God created the heaven and the earth, the skies." And all the stuff around here.

I think what this is saying is, at the time when God created the universe the devil is already a murderer and a liar. Hold that thought for a minute. First John chapter three, packed stuff. Skip a bunch of stuff down to verse eight. First John 3:8, "The one who does what is sinful is of the devil because the devil is..." The devil is what? Yeah, look at it. 1st John 3:8, "The devil has been sinning from the beginning." So the point I'm making here in this Genesis one through three worldview is there is a war in the heavenlies. Satan's rebellion and fall is prior to the creation of this universe. Now, that's not an uncommon view. A lot of people think the fall of Satan is prior to Genesis 1:1 and I'm adopting that.

But what this is saying is that before the beginning, Satan is already a murderer, a liar and a sinner, prior to Genesis 1:1. That in itself is not uncommon. But I think that pre Genesis one rebellion resulted in a war in the heavenlies. Now, here's where things get different in my view. Kickback to Genesis chapter one there, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty." NIV says. Again, just an aside, when I look at the earth for audits there and compare that down in verse 10, the earth is not the planet. It is not the planet. In verse 10 it excludes the seas and the atmosphere, for audits is the land, the dry land is called earth. And so NIV translates as land correctly, but it's ha audits, it's the same thing that's earth backup in verse two. So I think what he's saying is this area of ground is formless, meaning uncultivated and empty meaning uninhabited.

You can look at those verses in Jeremiah and Isaiah and he'll say that same thing, when the people are kicked out of Israel the land is uncultivated, turned into a wilderness and is uninhabited because they're in Babylon instead of being in Israel. So what I'm suggesting to you is the earth that is a piece of land on what we now understand the planet, is uninhabited and uncultivated. Now is that a bad thing? No. That... And this is where I'm coming at it, God shapes Eden and that's the mountain of God. And that's a whole discussion I'll have to forego here. It's called regular New Testament, Eden is referred to as the mountain of God. And that's the place where the tree of life is and the waters that water. Everything come from this mountain and God creates the mountain of God and it's uncultivated and uninhabited, Genesis one, two, but it's a very good place. God says six times, good, good, good, good, good and finally very good.

But now here's where my stuff comes in. All I've said so far a lot of people agree on, I think He does this, He creates Eden, the mountain of God, an uncultivated, uninhabited good place. He creates it in a war zone. God can be weird. Here we go, I think there's a war going on in the heavenlies that we get almost nothing about. We just get hints of it here and there. It shows up in Daniel 10 that we saw. It shows up in first John, John eight and stories about the devil, Isaiah 14, Ezekiel 28. And God, it seems to me that He creates the land, temple Mount, Eden in a universe that He created prior to Genesis 1:1. And that's where humans are created is in a good land, Eden. But this is in a war zone that we're not told about the war. So this is Genesis 1:27, "So God created a man in his own image, in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them." So humans are image of God.

And then God blessed them, said to him, "Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, subdue it and have dominion over the fish in the sea, birds of the heaven, over every living thing that moves on the earth." Translation very slightly on this, but they're all saying the same thing. And my take on this is that God created humans... And this is my phrase on the PowerPoint you see here, God created humans as bless able, image bearing covenant partners. So let us make humankind as image of God, created the male and female and bless them. So He creates them as covenant partners. They're bless able, image bearing covenant partners. And in Genesis 1:28, He commanded them to fill the uninhabited land and to cultivate it.

Now, the first command in the Bible is what? Everybody says, "Make babies." No, no, no, no, that's one step. You've got to make bless able, image bearing covenant partners. You've got to raise little tykes in the bless able, image bearing covenant partners. It's not just make babies, it's make mature, godly human beings. So you're going to fill the land with bless able, image bearing covenant partners. You're going to rule the rest of creation doing worshipful work. That's Genesis 2:15, He put Adam in the garden to work and keep it, cultivating the land. And then not in Genesis, but it comes out of creating communities of beauty, justice, faithful, et cetera. I think that's what God's mission for humans is to be bless able, image bearing covenant partners, make more of them and then come together in communities that are characterized by beauty and faithfulness and justice and love and joy and all those good things. That's his command to humans.

Now again, that's not unusual but here's my unique thing. It's in a war zone. The entire universe is not perfect and Eden is not perfect in the sense of complete, it's incomplete, it's uncultivated and uninhabited. And He creates humans and puts us in this land to work and keep, make more bless able, image bearing covenant partners to work with Him. Now here's the thing that gets unique, in my view this doing good, making communities of bless able, image bearing covenant partners and all that sort of stuff, working the land and all that sort of stuff. This doing good is an act of war against the chaos monster Satan and this war in the heavenlies, because Satan is trying to destroy, defeat, bring despair, I get all kinds of desolation, I can put all kinds of D words in there. That's his thing. And now I hear a lot of places he's the chaos monster because against God's shalom, he's trying to sow chaos. Instead of God's unity and joy, he's trying to bring fighting and such.

That's the work and our doing good, creating communities of bless able, image bearing covenant partners who created communities of joy and justice and love and faithfulness, that is an act of war. Now there's already a war going on in the heavenlies in my view, but we are created as agents, bless able, image bearing covenant partners on one side of a war. On the other side of the war is Satan and all his heavenly beings. And we're here to do good in this place, to take this goodness out into the rest of the land and that's the command that's coming up there. Okay, I thought the universe was perfect. No, it's good. Perfect completes, that was the mission is to fill the uninhabited land. To cultivate the uncultivated, make it a place of beauty, a lot of stuff around that. Now again, there's a debate here, in Genesis two, there's two trees, tree of life, tree of knowing good and bad. God says, "Of any tree of the garden you may freely eat but not the tree of knowing good and bad because that will kill you."

So my view is that humans have every right to eat the tree of life because they have true life at that point. So Adam and God partnered together to name the other animals. They're working together as bless able, image bearing covenant partners, humans with God. That's just Adam at that point but Eve comes along and apparently is doing similar things and that's our mission. Humans initially have full life with God. Many of you say no, true life with God is a reward for obedience. So John Walton would be a man who's written a lot on this. John's a friend and he believes that Adam is appointed priest for humans. And if he obeys, then you get to eat the tree of life. Many worldviews have that the tree of life is a reward for obedience and eternal life, or true life with God is a result of obedience by not eating the tree of knowing good and bad. I think they're already alive. God says of any tree of the garden you may freely eat, they have full true life, bless able, image bearing covenant partners.

And then God warns them that eating the tree of knowing good and bad, it's often referred as good, evil. But I think good and bad is a better thing because it's not just sin we're talking about. It's knowing what works well and what doesn't work well, [foreign language 00:14:49] in Hebrew, that if you eat that tree it will lead to immediate death, in the day you shall surely die 2:17. And I think that there's a big debate, I'll give you my view without defending it particularly. I think what's happening there is not experiencing good and bad as defining what is good and bad. So the question is who will define what is good? Will God do that at the high level? Things like sexuality and power and those kinds of things, justice, will we let God define that or will we define it apart from Him? And what He says is I think is if you eat the tree of knowing or defining good and bad, that will lead to immediate death. So good life, humans, God, they have eternal life.

They're working together positively. bless able, image bearing covenant partners working together to do good, and that's an act of war against the chaos monster. And then what happens in Genesis chapter three is the serpent counter-attacks and he goes after Eve. And we'll unpack this when I talk about biblical theology. But at this point you know the story well enough that he comes and deceives her and she looks at the tree and says, "Gosh, it's a good tree." And she defines for herself this is a good tree when God said, "No, it's a bad tree if you eat it." So she betrays God by deciding good, bad for herself. She and Adam ate, partook of the tree of knowing good and bad and they died that very day. They died that very day. When God comes, they hide, relationship is broken. And later that very day, God drives them out of the garden away from the tree of life. They're dead. Their relationship with God is broken. The bless able, image bearing covenant partner is in trouble. And that's the end of Genesis chapter three. Satan is counterattacked and Eve and Adam have joined together.

But here's the thing, although God punishes them in their state of death, He begins a gracious work through Messiah to rescue them and to continue partnering with them to crush the serpent. So He promises the woman there will come your seed and he will crush the head of the serpent but it will cost him his life to do it. Chapter 3:20-21, He makes skins for them. He calls Eve the mother of all living. She becomes in many ways the savor the world by giving her gift of fertility. In this one I want to look at Romans chapter 16, toward the end of this chapter is describing the life of the community there. It's an amazing story of people working together. But 16:20, this is really the last thing he says in the book of Romans, Romans 16:20, "The God of peace..." Shalom versus the chaos monster, "The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet." Genesis 3:15, "Messiah will crush the head of the serpent."

But here it represents what I'm trying to palm off on you is that we're bless able, image bearing covenant partners who are partnering with God in a war zone to overcome the serpent in his chaos by doing good. And we crush the serpent under our feet. That's the mission that's there from Genesis three on, and we partner together with him to do that. So this is where I come out. God continues this war that began prior to Genesis 1:1, this war against the devil using good as his primary weapon until the day of final judgment, which the devil and all those who worship him and serve him will be cast in an eternal fire, Matthew 25:41, 46. So this is a different view of what humans is. I think we live and have always lived in a war zone. We do not live in a safe place, we live in a war zone. And we're here to partner with God doing good primarily, creating order, shalom, justice, beauty, love. That's what we're called to do. And that is the primary weapon that God is using to overcome evil.

And of course ultimately we get Jesus doing that extreme act of God, that act of good. And I think that's what we're called today. And the hardest spiritual warfare is recognizing we are continuing a war that we were created to be involved in from the beginning, seems to me, and we continue to do that. And that's why the Ephesians six is we are with Him and well, we'll talk about Ephesians six in a bit. You may want to replay this one, but we probably got some questions. I'm seeing some guys standing here in the room waiting for their chance of what? And I'm with you with a what but I think that's what it is.

Okay, first two questions. When you said Adam and Eve did die, I'm assuming you're accepting the division of spiritual death versus real death.

Oh, yeah. The real death is relation with God. John 3:16, we did eternal life right now, that's the real life. Physical death is a consequence and they do die but it's 800 years later. So you can be spiritually dead and physically alive.

Yeah. So this is a side comment. You probably have a different view of John's realized eschatology where if Adam and Eve were in possession eternal life here and now, that's what John is saying that Christians right now possess.

Yeah.

Okay. That's good.

So Ephesians two, you are dead, you're not alive. And we've been physically alive the whole time, but the real life, well, that's what we talk about, is coming from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light.

So it's not just that John is kind of pulling what we're going to be in the future into the present, it actually is the present.

Yes.

Okay.

And if you know the fancy terms, and some of you will know, it's an inaugurated eschatology, the beginning is here but the consummation is yet to come. But yeah we have eternal life now, but not the fullness.

All right, my more germane question, I don't know if I heard it wrong or I'm imagining it. But so the sequence is there's a war, Satan and his minions are cast out of-

Well, no, the cast out that's later.

Okay. So that war happened.

The fall of Satan, the rebellion of Satan is pre Genesis one. The cast out of the heavens is the revelation 12 I think, happens at the cross.

Okay. So then Genesis 1:1 happens. Everything that we know as reality is created and you are making reference to the uninhabited places. And that was my question, does Satan and his demons inhabit those deserted places and then God kind of clears out one area and He calls it Eden. Were you saying that or?

I'll give you a precise biblical answer. I don't know.

Okay.

But it seems that's what's going on because He talked about Eden is the place, the mountain in the land and then there's stuff beyond the land that's hidden, that's in Genesis one and two, particularly in Genesis two. And then they're cast out of at the end of chapter three into the east, and that's a bad thing. So apparently, and then you get this odd thing on the day of atonement, Leviticus 16, that you take the scapegoat and you take it out into the wasteland which is like the place of a demon. And that's in the wasteland and the demon land is a fitting place for sin, there's all kinds of stuff in there. I don't understand, you probably do.

It reminds me of one of my favorite John Piper sermons where it was assuming a wartime mentality and how Christians tend to not realize that we're at war.

That's correct.

That we're in spiritual warfare and other kinds of warfare as well. Okay.

Yeah. And that's where John Piper has some of the best stuff there is on this war. And he is let the nations be glad, he's got a whole chapter there on the warfare between God and Satan that's really well done. But that's a reality. I just think that this started prior to Genesis 1:1. And that's an implication of what a lot of people teach but it gives a different nature for humans. And of course the original of Genesis one, I don't think it's creation a universe, it's shaping Eden, a place for human habitation by the God who created the entire universe. But Genesis one, I don't think it's talking about the creation of universe and that puts me in another tiny minority, but I think I'm right.

Okay, so you're in a minority position. So ex nihil creation is not Genesis 1:1 that happened before Genesis 1:1. And God looks at what He did create, it is formless and void and He says, time to make Eden.

Actually a little different there, I think the God who created everything, heaven and earth is a way of saying everything, so all the stuff up there and all the stuff around here which is a way of saying everything, the God who created everything now turns his attention to [inaudible 00:25:13], which is the land and Eden's in the land. So it's a peace on the planet. So the God who created everything, and Genesis one is talking about this shaping of this piece of ground called Eden. That's John Camelhair's view, and he's got his book Genesis Unbound that unpacks that. And I think he's right. I'm about 80% committed to that view among the various views. But I do think the ex nihil that's prior, the God who created everything ex nihil, Genesis 1:1, that's identifying the God who shapes the land.

And just so there's no misunderstanding, say the God who did it is our God.

That is Yahweh. Yeah, I believe in God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth. Yeah, that one.

Yeah, I get that.

One of them, trinity becomes Jesus and all that.

Yeah, so you said that God calls us to do good, to combat evil until He makes everything right. How does that work? How does our commitment and our choices to do good, how does that combat evil?

Well, good, bad is to disobey the things of God, which creates chaos and death. When we bring people back into doing good in connection with Jesus, then we're bringing shalom and life. That's the fundamental thing we're doing. And when I look at what Satan is doing, his thing is to destroy the worship of God, to divide people against themselves, to do things what's right in my own eyes which then leads to conflict and wars and all those kinds of things. And when we bring [inaudible 00:27:03], righteousness and justice is bring that community back together again as God designed it to be. And that's the act of good. We're not here so much to kill bad things as you are to create good things. And that's a view I'm looking at. So I look at Matthew 28:19, that's the same view as Genesis 1:28. Jesus said, "Go into all the nations and make disciples..." That's making more bless able, image bearing covenant partners and teach them to do all the things I've commanded, that's doing good, [foreign language 00:27:41] the righteousness and justice.

I think Matthew 19:20 is just restatement of the Genesis 1:26, 28 command but in new context. And that's our command today is go out and form communities that are outposts of heaven, if you will, in a world that's full of death and disease and despair.

So then as we promote peace and relationship, it pushes back on chaos and conflict.

That's correct. Romans 12:21 is a key, key, key verse for me. "Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good." I'm going to put that in context of Romans 12:13 and so on, we are creating a place of order and love and joy and beauty and that's our primary job. And we get distracted when we try to destroy the evil instead of building the good.