This Means War!
We are at war. We are
engaged in a protracted conflict over ideology and foundational beliefs. It is a conflict that not only costs lives
but also rips the very fabric of our country apart. It is a war that leaves destruction in its
wake and destroys our way of life. This is
a battle for our ideological and physical existence and it has spread
throughout the entire globe. It is truly
a hostility born of an ancient evil long ago and no one can see the end. Although it may sound like the war on
terrorism, it is not. It is battle for
the hearts and minds of people everywhere.
It is a spiritual war.
The concept of spiritual warfare has been around ever since man
began to walk the earth. The ongoing
battle between good and evil has existed since just after the beginning of
time. It is a battle that engages us not
just on a global or even national scale, but in particular, on the personal
level. We witness the aftermath of this
warfare everyday. Drug use, alcoholism,
divorce, broken families, emotional and physical abuse, crime, destruction,
division, despair, depression and hate are just a few of its symptoms.
This war has captured us.
It is exposed through the written word, the media and
entertainment. Frank Peretti brought us
“This Present Darkness” and “Piercing the Darkness” where we read about the
eternal struggle between the forces of God (angels) and the forces of Satan
(demons). We grew up with movies such as
“The Omen” and “The Exorcist.” Every day
we can read about the horrors of this war and the personal conflict that arises;
it invades our existence through television and the Internet. Demonology, the occult, Wicca and Satanism
are tolerated because of freedom of religion.
Make no mistake about it – we are at war and no prisoners will be taken.
How did all of this start?
What brought these conflicts upon us?
When did all of this begin? Why
can’t we just conquer these problems?
1:1 In the beginning
God created the heavens and the earth. Gen. 1:1 (NIV)
31 God saw all that he
had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was
morning--the sixth day. Gen. 1:31 (NIV)
12 How you have fallen
from heaven, O [Lucifer] morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down
to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! 13 You said in your heart, "I
will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will
sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred
mountain. 14 I will ascend above the
tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High." Isa. 14:12-14
3:1 Now the serpent
was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD
God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat
from any tree in the garden'?" 2 The woman said to the serpent, "We
may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, 'You must not
eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not
touch it, or you will die.'" 4 "You will not surely die," the
serpent said to the woman. 5 "For God knows that when
you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good
and evil." Gen. 3:1-5 (NIV)
People have surmised that in the beginning, there were three
archangels, one for God the Father, one for Christ the Son and one for the Holy
Spirit. These archangels were Michael,
Gabriel and Lucifer. From these verses
it may be surmised that Lucifer fell from the grace of God sometime after the
sixth day of creation but prior to the temptation of Eve in the Garden of
Eden. He, who had never been exposed to
sin, became sin through his pride and arrogance. His desire was to make himself like the Most
High. He wanted to place himself above
all the angels of heaven and to be worshipped by all creation.
4 His tail swept a
third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. * * * Rev. 12:4
Ultimately, a third of the stars or angelic realm united
with Satan and was cast out of heaven.
They were deposited on earth which became their sphere of
influence. Their essence and character
changed from angelic to demonic. The
word “demon” is translated demonic beings, deities or gods.
10 A river of fire was
flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten
thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the
books were opened. Dan. 7:10 (NIV)
11 Then I looked and
heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten
thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures
and the elders. Rev. 5:11-12 (NIV)
If Daniel’s and John’s accounts are correct (and there is no
reason to believe that they aren’t), the number of angels claiming allegiance
to God exceeds 100,000,000. Consequently,
the number of demons is one third of that count.
With his sin of pride and his subsequent fall from grace,
Satan became the accuser and the destroyer.
Satan, who could not defeat God and who could not coerce the Son into
sinning (Matt. 4:1-11), came to the conclusion that he would assert himself by
tormenting the adopted children of God (the body of believers). To
this day he is still allowed into the heavenly spaces to accuse the elect
before Almighty God.
6 One day the angels
came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. 7
The LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Satan answered
the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in
it." 8 Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant
Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who
fears God and shuns evil." 9 "Does Job fear God for
nothing?" Satan replied. 10 "Have you not put a hedge around
him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his
hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. 11 But
stretch out your hand and strike everything he has,
and he will surely curse you to your face." 12 The LORD said to Satan,
"Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man
himself do not lay a finger." Then Satan went out from the presence of the
LORD. Job 1:6-12 (NIV)
10 Then I heard a loud
voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the
kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who
accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. 11 They
overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they
did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. 12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe
to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled
with fury, because he knows that his time is short." Rev. 12:10-12 (NIV)
8 Be self-controlled
and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking
for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because
you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same
kind of sufferings. 1 Peter 5:8-9 (NIV)
Paul recognized the struggle that man faces each and every
day. He could comprehend its origins and
he knew who was behind it. In spite of
all of the trials and tribulations that he faced, he did not blame his fellow
man but instead, he identified the source of the fight.
10 Finally, be strong in the
Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take
your stand against the devil's schemes. 12 For our struggle is not
against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities,
against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil
in the heavenly realms. Eph. 6:10-12 (NIV)
We have a limited perception of reality. Our perception is limited to this three
dimensional world and our concept of time, whether it be past, present or
future. This is our frame of reference. Experience is based upon what we can see,
smell, hear, touch or taste. Our
knowledge of history is based upon what others have observed and recorded. We do not see the eternal spiritual struggle
that goes on around us. I believe that,
if we could, we would be terrified.
However, we do see the aftermath of this battle and the dead and wounded
who lie in its wake.
We must prepare for battle; this is not a war where we can
call upon the cavalry to ride in and save the day. It is not a struggle for the faint of
heart. This battle is a personal battle
and it must be waged on an individual level.
Unfortunately, it is not a battle that will be won or lost with conventional
armaments or even weapons of mass destruction.
It is a battle that will either be won or lost with spiritual weapons.
13 Therefore put on
the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to
stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm
then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of
righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that
comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield
of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word
of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers
and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all
the saints. Eph. 6:10-18 (NIV)
Did you notice that the armor of God was to be put on so
that when the day of evil comes, you will be prepared. It is not if, it is when. You can stand firm in the strength of the
Lord against all form and manner of evil, save one; you are to flee from sexual
temptation. (1 Cor. 6:18). The armor of
God consists of truth, righteousness, readiness flowing from the gospel of
peace, faith, salvation, prayer and the word of God. These are weapons that can defeat the efforts
of the destroyer. They are weapons that
make up the armor of God Himself.
This is a battle for the souls of men (and women) and it has
raged throughout the ages. There are
numerous instances of this eternal conflict recorded in the pages of the
Bible. God’s warriors, from Moses to
Elijah to Peter, answered the call of war.
It is a battle that has intensified with the passage of time and history
and many have been martyred for the sake of that call. In these end times, before the Rapture of the
saints, that call echoes over the land and people everywhere are faced with a
choice – either (1) accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and stand firm
against Satan and his minions or (2) fall before him.
After the Rapture of the church, this battle will reach a
fevered pitch. Satan knows that with the
signing of the peace treaty with Israel, he will only have seven
years before the final battle of Armageddon.
He will use every means within his power to assert domination over the
entire earth and its inhabitants. He
will claim many who will take the mark of the beast and condemn themselves to
eternal torment. Many will be killed,
especially those who refuse to take the mark of the beast.
However, until the end of our days, we must fight; we must
persevere. We must never give up; we
must never surrender. We will be wounded
and we will become discouraged. It is vital
that we maintain an eternal perspective instead of one premised upon the here
and now; ultimately, Satan will be defeated and forever removed from any
position of power or authority.
10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning
sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be
tormented day and night for ever and ever. Rev. 20:9-10 (NIV)
I have read the book.
I know how it plays out. God gave
the apostle John a vision, a vision that captures the mind and unleashes
horrific images. However, it is also a
vision that culminates with God’s final plan for mankind. That plan is the same plan that He has had
throughout the ages; it is a plan of redemption filled with His love and
grace. It is a plan of reconciliation
with His people. It is a plan that was paid
for on the cross at Calvary by the death of
Jesus Christ. And it is a plan that was
established for all eternity with the resurrection of Jesus Christ, King of
Kings and Lord of Lords.
When the end finally comes, “. . .at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on
earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is
Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Phil. 2:10-11 (NIV)
Comments or questions may be directed to the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.