The Kingdom of Darkness
by Gerald R. Thompson*
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities all things were created through him and for him. (Col. 1:16).
When it comes to understanding the nature of spiritual warfare, Col. 1:16 is often linked with our principal theme verse, Eph. 6:12 (“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood,” etc.). It’s easy to assume, looking at the language of these verses, that the battle between good and evil is happening up there, in heaven. AS IF you and I are actually going to wrestle with angels in the heavens. Or, alternately, that the only thing we can do to engage in this battle is to pray about beings who are otherwise unreachable. Spiritual warfare is not mainly about angels.
If you have ever studied traditional angelology (the doctrine of angels), do yourself a huge favor and forget it. Unfortunately, there is a long church tradition misconstruing Eph. 6:12 and Col. 1:16, treating words like thrones, dominions, powers and principalities, not in the normal sense of the words, but as the specific names of distinct classes (or orders) of angels. Such a reading of these verses is completely unsupported in the scriptures.
But some guy, writing around 500 A.D., and claiming to be Dionysius the Areopagite, a person mentioned in Acts 17:34 and therefore who lived around 62 A.D., laid out a hierarchy of nine orders of angels, based largely on non-biblical sources. Here is his hierarchy:
This author, whose true identity is unknown, also gave detailed descriptions of the primary duties of the nine orders of angels. I find fault with this angelic hierarchy for a number of reasons: 1) much of it is based on non-biblical sources which are, by definition, non-authoritative; 2) five of the nine titles ascribed to a class of angels have nothing to do with angels at all; 3) the structure and organization of the hierarchy is completely fictitious (consisting of three “choirs” of three orders each); and 4) the most importance is given to angels serving a hyper-spiritual purpose as opposed to those serving a material purpose.
The scriptures do indeed use the words, seraphim, cherubim, and archangels. But no indication is given in scripture that angels is anything other than a general reference to all angels. In other words, angels is nowhere treated as a lesser form of angels than seraphim, cherubim, and archangels. One big clue as to how far this guy was from the truth is that by definition, archangels (if there is indeed an angelic hierarchy) are at the top, not the bottom. The prefix arch- means “chief, principal,” and God knows this, too.
Further, the words, thrones, dominions, powers and principalities clearly refer to kingdoms and governments. Throne refers to the seat of a government’s chief ruler, and dominion to the territory of a kingdom. Power refers to the rulers of a kingdom, and a principality is the jurisdiction of a king or prince. So when these words are used in Eph. 6:12 or Col. 1:16, it means that God not only created individuals, He also created nations and kingdoms and their dominions as well. And that’s all it means.
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. (Dt. 32:8). And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place. (Acts 17:26).
In other words, national dominions (borders) are not accidental, but are fixed by God. When any of these words are used in Eph. 6:12, it means that the primary location of the battle between good and evil is to be found in and around the kingdoms and governments of the earth. All of which is completely consistent with the ambitions and methodology of the Devil.
So the battle is very much going on down here on earth. The key phrase is the rulers of the darkness of this world, or the world forces of this darkness. That is, these spiritual beings or dark forces aren’t winning any converts or gaining any ground in the heavenly places. The angels are not killing each other in the heavens, or recruiting each other to switch sides. The only place they can gain people or territory is here on earth, so they are bringing darkness with them from the heavens to assert power and authority on the earth.
Which means that these forces of darkness are participating in, and to a large extent controlling, the civil governments of the nations of the world. When the scripture says our struggle is not against flesh and blood, it is not talking about angels. We are of course fighting against other people who oppose God and His laws, but not merely the people themselves. Rather, we struggle against the ideas and spiritual forces that control and direct these people. We have to always realize that merely defeating this or that person will not kill the ideas and forces animating them. The mantle of darkness will simply be picked up by someone new, as long as the forces of darkness are free to roam the earth.
One of the chief tactics of the devil in building his kingdom is to not merely encourage individual people to sin – to commit lawlessness, but to organize and orchestrate lawlessness on a global scale. In other words, to corrupt organizations and systems, especially governments, to create an environment of sin that is inescapable. It is almost impossible to participate in any of these systems without – at some level – participating in, or aiding and assisting, the overall lawlessness of the system. If you try to infiltrate the system and be a beacon of light, they will root you out and expel you.
So when Jesus defeats and destroys the kingdom of darkness in the future, one of His chief objectives will be to remove all systemic inducements to commit lawlessness. Which is why every organization and institutional structure created by man will be entirely wiped away as a result of the Tribulation and the Second Coming. It is also why new structures, systems and organizations will need to be put in place to make sure lawlessness is never institutionalized again.
Meanwhile, the vast majority of people in your nation, state, community and neighborhood are simply going along with the system in order to get along. They are compliant and complicit with evil, even if they don’t know that is what they’re doing, because they believe it will make their lives easier in some respect.
The coming of the lawless one is … with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Th. 2:9-12).
Thus, the true nature of spiritual warfare is not that we will physically wrestle with angels or cast demons into the abyss. Nor is it merely to pray for our leaders, that “God may help them see the truth and make right decisions.” Gag me. (They cannot see the truth, because they are strongly deluded.) Rather, our primary role in this battle is to pierce the veil of wicked deception created by the Devil, and to see through the delusion which blinds the lost for ourselves. Only God can remove the veil for others. “And he [God] will swallow up on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations.” (Isa. 25:7).
If this sounds vaguely familiar to you, it’s because you’ve seen the movie, The Matrix (1999): “The matrix .. is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.” “What truth?” “That you are a slave. … Like everyone else, you were born into bondage. Born into a prison that you cannot smell or taste or touch – a prison for your mind.” It sounds pretty much like the Fall, doesn’t it?
The scriptures tell us that the spirit of the antichrist is now in the world already. (1 Jn. 4:3). And the Devil is working hard to recruit as many useful idiots as he can, in order to help him execute his plan. They are all around you – your family, your friends, your neighbors. Don’t be alarmed – they’re all just captured by the matrix. And you cannot free them unless they want to be freed.
It’s Not About You
And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Col. 1:17).
God doesn’t need you. He doesn’t need you, me, or anyone. God is all sufficient by Himself, and needs nothing from us. God is not like Tinkerbell, who needs people to believe in Him or else He will perish. Everything we will ever have came from Him, so there is nothing we can ever give Him that He didn’t already have while we possess it, and nothing He can’t get back from us if He wants to use it elsewhere. [Note: I never said God doesn’t love you. But He doesn’t need to love you, or for you to love Him, in order for Him to be fully God.]
People in churches talk about giving money and things to God all the time, but this is a complete fallacy. Sure, I can use my earthly possessions for the honor and glory of God to do His will, but I can’t actually give anything to Him. Whatever I have ultimately came from God and He gave it to me by one means or another. Thus, He had everything I have before I had it. Even the things I invent or make were made or invented by the mind and hands God gave me, without which I would have been unable to invent or make anything.
When I take any of the money or other things God has given me and give them to my church or any other person, God owns those things the church or other person possesses, because they are no different from me. And whoever they distribute those funds or things to, God owns them too, and He can take them away from any of those people and redirect them to another use or person at any time without notice.
Meaning, God owns everything of mine equally before I transfer it to someone else, and afterwards. By my transfer, I have not increased God’s assets or holdings by one atom. He already owns the whole earth, and everyone and everything on it. (Ps. 24:1). So I can truly give nothing to Him, and if He wants to redirect the use of any assets, He doesn’t need me to do it for Him. He is perfectly capable and willing to do that on His own initiative. If, in fact, I could actually give anything to God, then He really wouldn’t be All Sufficient, would He?
What goes for possessions also goes for people. God does not need more followers than the Devil, or more followers tomorrow than He has today. Contrary to what you may have heard, God is not waiting for the ultimate number of believers to be complete, or for the Church to be filled up. There is no filling point – no magic number of ultimate believers. God gains absolutely nothing from having more believers rather than less. As I said earlier, the gate and the way to salvation have always been narrow, and the number of people who find it will always be a distinct minority – a mere remnant. That’s the way God planned it.
There is absolutely nothing you, I, anyone, or all of us can do to change either the timing or the manner of the coming of the kingdom of Christ. We can not hasten its coming, and we cannot delay it. Nothing we can ever do will enable or empower the kingdom in any way. When Jesus returns and the saints accompany Him as the Antichrist and the Devil’s armies are destroyed, all the saints will do is look on and observe. They will fight or kill no one – they will not engage in battle. Nothing about the manner or extent of the outcome will depend on the saints who are there. (2Th. 2:8; Rev. 19:14-15).
So you see, God doesn’t need you or me. He doesn’t need our things, our belief in Him, our conversion, or our minds, our power or our strength to do whatever He wants in the world. He desires our love and fellowship, of course – but He does not need it. Everything you have, and everything you are, came from Him in the first place. And if you believe Reformed teaching, even the faith that you have comes from God, so He never needed that either.
Devil Spawn, or Devil’s Pawn?
And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. (Rev. 20:7-8).
The Devil, however, desperately needs you. Everything we have and are, did not come by his hand. He needs as many people as possible to help him accomplish his goal of overthrowing God by force, so the Devil can sit on the heavenly throne and rule the world. He needs you to help give him the advantage he did not have in the first angelic rebellion, namely, the military might of the world. After all, when the armies of the Antichrist gather against Jerusalem to overtake it at Armageddon, the Devil will have the same number of angelic forces as he did in the first angelic rebellion in the past. The only difference will be the human forces aligned with him as well.
However, the Devil’s need for people is always temporary. Unlike the saints, none of whom will die in battle, the human armies of the Devil will die by the millions. Their only purpose is to die for the Devil and put him into power, if possible. After that, they will be of no use, except perhaps as slaves. To the Devil, his many followers will merely be pawns used to gain an advantage for himself. There will not be any rewards, honor or glory for the Devil’s followers, for all of those are merely an illusion, a grand deception based on empty promises.
Which means that in every generation of mankind, the Devil is constantly recruiting people who will follow his lead, wittingly or unwittingly. (And the more dimwit, the better.) You see, that is the only way he can gain followers. It’s not as though the Devil is capable of having any actual offspring in order to carry out his wishes. Neither the Devil nor his demons ever did, or ever will, go around impregnating women for the sake of creating unholy offspring. God never gave any of the angels the ability to reproduce. There are no Devil spawn walking among us.
(Aside: Gen. 6:2, “the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive, and they took as their wives any they chose” only refers to ordinary, everyday men and women, regular people. This is not a reference to angels mating with humans. If you’re curious, I explain why this particular language was used in Gen. 6 in Lonang Law of Inheritance: Adam and Eve, at this page.)
Of course you, me and everyone has the power to escape the Devil’s hand at any time, simply by accepting the salvation that God offers through Christ. But the Devil needs people to ignore that option, meaning that he needs spiritually ignorant people who can be more easily duped. Multitudes of dupes who either don’t know, or don’t care, that the Devil needs them to help wage his war against God, and die for him. Billions of dupes who are ultimately expendable. Ironically, those condemned dupes will eventually mock and humiliate the Devil in hell forever. But that will be a small comfort to those who will be there.
Everyone, it turns out, is merely a pawn in the battle of good vs. evil. Yes, you can pick a side, and that choice is extremely significant, but absolutely nothing you do will change how or when the battle will be joined, or its outcome. Ultimately, it’s not about you at all.
The Times of the End Are Near
“Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!” (Rev. 12:12).
It is a perfectly logical and natural question to ask, Why hasn’t the Devil launched his all-out attack against God before now, and what makes anyone think the present time is the perfect opportunity?
In the coming physical kingdom of Christ (the Millennial kingdom), people will be the ones who carry out the administration and tasks of its government. The Jews will handle the government of the land of Israel, the administration of the worldwide religion of Christ headquartered in the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem, and mediate between Christ and the Gentile nations for religious purposes. The resurrected saints, meanwhile, will administer the government of the rest of the earth (i.e., the Gentile nations). I explained this in detail in The Gospel of the Kingdom, and in The Last Kingdom on Earth.
Similarly, in the present age God also works through His people. (See, Jn. 14:12; Gal. 2:20; Php. 2:13; Eph. 2:10.) This is the case, even though God is infinite and all powerful. God is the ruler of His kingdom, but He delegates responsibilities to His people to carry out – He does not do everything Himself, personally.
Yet, while we wait for the kingdom of Christ, there is another competing kingdom on the rise. The Devil’s kingdom is waiting for the right opportunity to pounce, to annihilate the people of God so as to prevent the kingdom of God from arriving. And the Devil, not being either infinite or all powerful, is even much more dependent on people doing his will than God ever would be. In raw terms, the Devil is just one guy – he can only be in one place at a time (he is not omnipresent like God is), he only knows the information he is given (he is not omniscient like God), and he only has the powers God gave him at his creation (he is not all-powerful like God).
Therefore, the Devil needs help, that is, infrastructure. In fact, he utterly depends on it. He is not able to read peoples’ thoughts, nor to speak either in heaven above or the earth below and be heard many miles away. In short, the Devil needs established lines of communication, through which he can pass messages to his followers.
Remember, the Devil desperately wants to be like God. So he needs a mechanism which makes him appear as though he is omnipresent, that is, the ability to contact people anywhere around the globe instantly. An ability which modern telecommunications and the internet now allow him to do. And to appear omniscient, he needs a global network of information gatherers who can feed information to a central source, which the Devil can access. And to appear all-powerful, he needs an army of followers who will carry out his instructions to the letter in a coordinated manner.
The Devil has, of course, been developing human networks, chains of command, and other various social structures to do his bidding, ever since the Tower of Babel and the beginnings of the earliest empires of darkness, Egypt, Assyria and Babylon, etc. But what he has been waiting for is the ability to send and receive communications globally across all of his networks simultaneously and instantly. This he has never been able to do until now. No, I’m not suggesting the Devil has a personal phone number where he can be direct dialed. All he needs are a few key people who do have phones who can send and receive communications up and down the network chain on his behalf.
Do you seriously doubt that such a network exists in the world? Check out this video on our website at ThereIsNoConspiracy.mp4. The video shows that newscasters from 36 different broadcasters affiliated with the Fox, ABC, CBS and NBC networks, as well as several independent stations, all repeated in their broadcasts this exact language:
“We are concerned about someone [unintelligible] irresponsible one-sided news stories plaguing our country. The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media. More alarming, some media outlets publish these same fake stories without checking facts first. Unfortunately, some members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control exactly what people think. This is extremely dangerous to our democracy.”
How is something like this pulled off? It cannot be purely random. This can only happen by way of a coordinated effort. But coordinated by whom? Newscasters at Fox, ABC, CBS and NBC do not all work for the same employer, and their employers are not all held under common control. Who has the power to dictate language across multiple “independent” broadcasters? Well, someone certainly does. These newscasters did not simply all come up with the same speech at the same time completely independently of each other.
In fact, not to be derogatory, but it is clear these newscasters are merely readers – people who read on camera language written by others. But think of all the people who this language must pass through – writers, teleprompter techs, producers, editors, managers, and probably some executives – at every single media outlet. All of whom must be predisposed to pass along this language without deviation, without comment, and without question. Do you not see Pawns At Work here? I’ve never seen a church prayer chain work this well.
As I see it, the Devil needs infrastructure to provide him with the effective means of doing three things: 1) establishing a global network of communications and chain of command; 2) propagating false religions around the world and infiltrating the organizational structures of institutional religion; and 3) establishing a mechanism for the continual recruiting of useful idiots to serve as his minions.
Globalism Is A Good Thing, Right?
“Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” (Gen. 11:4).
Recall our previous discussion of the Devil’s dominion over the kingdoms and governments of the world, and the temptation of Jesus relating to that. From the Devil’s viewpoint, his dominion is over and above the nations of the world. He does not serve any political leaders – they serve him. But it’s one thing to influence each nation and government separately behind the scenes – it’s another thing entirely to formally organize them in a supra-national body for all the world to see and accept.
If the goal is to rule over all the nations of the world by exercising a universal (global) sovereignty – and that is the Devil’s goal – then it only makes sense to advocate for a global body having supra-national authority, such as the United Nations, which is postured to be over and above the nations of the world. The more the U.N. increases in power, dominance and sovereignty, the more: 1) it becomes an efficient engine for implementing global political policy; and 2) people around the world will become used to global sovereignty and more accepting of an eventual one-world government.
Thus, the push for globalism in recent years is no accident. You think it merely coincidental that at this time there are multiple mass migrations of populations around the world? Whole population groups are resettling in new areas where they have never been before. Some of it is a result of regional wars, and some of it is being bought and paid for by sponsors of mass migrations who openly recruit, organize and transport illegal migrants. None of which is truly a result of “grass root” migration, but is instead being orchestrated at the highest levels.
Working hand-in-hand with the U.N. is the Council on Foreign Relations, a foreign policy organization with an extremely broad membership, whose main objective is to push globalization efforts. It is no coincidence that its members include key players in media, politics, education and even religion. If anyone could launch a coordinated global policy initiative, it is the CFR.
I’m not saying that every world leader is necessarily on board with this globalist agenda, but certainly the vast majority of them are. Because for one thing, many world leaders would never have risen up the ranks of national leadership in the first place, unless they had been not only approved, but groomed, for holding that position – either by their membership in the CFR or a similar group.
National borders are being systematically broken down and openly denounced, and like never before national leaders are doing everything they can to make sure border laws are not, and cannot be, enforced. Illegal immigration has been converted from a national security issue into a humanitarian crisis, and this is also not by accident – it plays on people’s sympathies to be more accepting of illegal immigration.
Then add in the increased assertion of authority of the World Court, national laws being superseded by U.N. resolutions and U.N. negotiated treaties, and a gradual but relentless release of national sovereignties to the U.N. Altogether, we have a vast, coordinated effort to undermine, and ultimately destroy, the division of the world into separate nations and governments.
And thus we see everything coming in full circle. Keep in mind that nations were not created by people, but by God. He did that when He scattered the world’s population by language and family group following the Tower of Babel incident.
Now the whole earth had one language and the same words…. And the Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth…. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth. (Gen. 11:1, 6-9).
Thus we see that God created the nations specifically for the purpose of preventing the world’s population from being unified and acting as one people. Because when all of humanity gets together, its primary purpose is to rebel against God.
All of which plays right into the Devil’s plan. The world is much easier to control when all the people are coordinated and acting together, and it also makes it much easier to foment a rebellion against the God who split them apart in the first place. So you may think that the globalization effort is very new, but in fact it is very old. It is just that the forces of darkness never had the means to bring about a unification of the world since Babel until now. This is the moment they have been waiting for.
But just as the nature and intentions of the Devil have never changed, so human nature has never changed either. There they were, thousands of years ago, building a monument to their own greatness. A greatness built upon their own opinion of how magnificent they were, raised against the God who would restrain them.
So here we are now, trying to unify the world by obliterating borders and forming a one-world economic system of co-dependency. Global markets, global communications, global transportation, and global surveillance. Getting ready to present ourselves as one people eager and willing to make First Contact with an alien race, to finally figure out we are not alone in the universe. All while being completely oblivious of the fact that we have never been alone – God has always been with us. It is just the Tower of Babel 2.0. Woohoo!
The Truth About False Religions
“And the woman that you saw is the great city that has dominion over the kings of the earth.” (Rev. 17:18).
I mentioned earlier that the woman referred to here is the source of all false religions in the world, who has ruled over the kingdom of darkness from its beginning. In other words, this source of false religions is over and above the nations and governments of the world, because symbolically it ( she’) sits on top of the kingdom of darkness. In this context, forget all about the separation of church and state, and any concepts of religion and government being equal. False religion is on top, and the nations and governments of the world take their instructions from it, not the other way around.
Now the propagation of false religions around the world is sometimes, but relatively rarely, the outright worship of the Devil, or Satanism. Yes, devil worshipers do exist, and they continue to press for acceptance in the mainstream, but they have always been outliers. And of course, there have always been huge portions of the world population who have been captured by idolatry, ancestor worship, worship of the sun, moon or stars, and the worship of other false gods. But such tactics only go so far. How is the Devil supposed to penetrate the Christianized part of the world?
Traditionally, inroads into Christendom have been made via syncretism. Syncretism is the attempted fusion of irreconcilable religious principles, typically by taking Christianity and adding an incompatible philosophy to it. For example, Liberation Theology is essentially a marriage of Christianity with Marxism. The book of Galatians was largely written to fend off the effort to merge Christianity with Judaism, that is, the idea that one could not be a Christian unless the Jewish law was also complied with. In fact, any merger of Christianity with works-based salvation principles is a form of syncretism, such as Mormonism. Similarly, Roman Catholicism has in many ways absorbed the teachings and practices of non-Christian cultures, and is syncretistic in many ways.
(I know some of you are convinced the Pope will be the Antichrist, and the Vatican/Catholic Church is the mother of all false religions. I urge you to take care, and see the bigger picture. Certainly, the Catholic church is not the source of Islam, or Buddhism, or many of the other false religions of the world. Regardless of the extent to which you believe Catholicism has accommodated itself to non-Christian religious practices, it is not old enough, nor has it ever been influential enough globally, to have spawned all of them. We are looking for something larger than Catholicism here.)
The main problem with syncretism is that people think they are participating in true Christianity, when they are not. And I don’t want to give a free pass to Protestant churches in general or to Evangelicalism specifically, because false teachings are present in every religious environment. It is impossible to find a pure expression of Christianity anywhere. Of course, from the Devil’s perspective, that is the whole point. Make everything partially corrupted, so people can’t tell the truth from what is false. Job well done!
But as I look at what is happening in those arenas where globalism and/or universalism is being promoted, I see something slightly different – a variation on theme that I call arch-syncretism. Take Freemasonry, for example, which bills itself as a fraternal and civic organization, but has a strong religious component. Freemasonry promotes the belief that they have been able to collect, as it were, the best and most beneficial principles of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, etc., even going so far as to include the “best” principles of ancient Egyptian religion, and then put them all together into a universal framework.
Thus, as a member of a Masonic lodge, each person can still consider themselves to be an individual Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, or whatever – so long as they submit their personal religious preference to the principles of the universal beliefs of Freemasonry. In this way, it is not so much that something else has been added to Christianity, as it is that Christianity is itself merely a smaller part of a larger system of beliefs that is over and above each of the component religions. Are you noticing a theme? That’s why Freemasonry and globalism go together so well.
(Aside: Freemasonry is not the only belief system utilizing arch-syncretism. The philosophy of Carl Jung, based on his system of archetypes, is remarkably similar.)
Of course, strictly from a biblical Christian perspective, there are no best principles of ancient Egyptian religious beliefs or practices. There are no best principles of Islam worth collecting, and so forth. Christianity, like God Himself, is all-sufficient unto itself – it needs nothing from elsewhere. Every true principle of life is contained within it. The flip side is that biblical Christianity, as I explained earlier, is essentially non-globalist, because it sees the connection between the Tower of Babel experience and modern globalism. And that connection only means that big trouble is coming.
Yes, it can be argued that in Freemasonry, this arch-syncretistic belief system not only is of the Devil in its origin, it ultimately points to the Devil directly as “The Light-Bearer” – the ultimate source of truth. This should be no surprise, since scripture clearly indicates the Devil often disguises himself as an angel of light. (2 Cor. 11:14). But the vast majority of freemasons are never told this, of course. That’s because they don’t really need to know. After all, they’re only pawns, and they were recruited for that exact purpose, as we will discuss next.