The next in our series of Replays of the Workout Room exercises is all about how the Church is to function as the Family of God. You can check it out at Service: The Church as the Family of God | His Truth, My Voice (histruthmyvoice.org)
Moving on with the replays of the Discipleship Training Exercises in our Workout Room, we have come to the second exercise in the Service division, where we consider how God designed the Church to function in the world as the Body of Christ. To learn more, please go to… Service: The Church as the Body of Christ | His Truth, My Voice (histruthmyvoice.org)
When the Coronavirus first broke out, I kept hearing in my spirit the phrase, “Smoke and Mirrors.” But, not being given anything else to go on, all I could do was wait for further instructions. Then, when George Floyd was killed and all of the riots broke out, I heard “Smoke and Mirrors” once more—again, without being given any additional information or instruction.
Afterward, while observing the fallout from these events, I was amazed by the clear dividing line that was being drawn—not among the unbelievers but among those whom I considered to be committed and mature followers of Christ. I was simultaneously stunned and grieved to see so many of these people being manipulated by the spirits of chaos and anarchy that were so obviously at work in these events.
At this point, I asked the Lord if He wanted me to comment on the situation and, if so, what I was to say. I didn’t get an answer right away but a few weeks later, I distinctly heard, “Don’t get caught up in the fray, show the way.” Now that may seem like a rather cryptic word to be given, but when I heard it, I knew immediately that it was the Lord’s way of reminding me to stay focused on the Truth, and not to get caught up in the emotions of these events and go off half-cocked, chasing rabbits.
This, then, begs the question of just what the Truth is that we should be focusing on right now? Well, in keeping with the words I had received earlier, it is that both the pandemic and the racial upheavals are really “Smoke and Mirrors”—that is, they are…
…something that distorts or blurs facts, figures, etc.; like a magic or conjuring trick; an artful deception.
They are the sleight-of-hand maneuvers of the devil, designed to shift our attention from one thing onto another; a short-term shift giving him the time and space to achieve his long-term goals undetected and unhindered. He has been using this classic diversionary tactic, so essential to the success of both the magician and the military strategist, to keep us confined and cowering in fear because of the pandemic, and so emotionally wrought up and divided because of the riots and violence that we can’t see what’s really going on, much less come together to deal with it.
We need to remember that the devil is not concerned with the unbelievers in all of this, because he already has them in his pocket; but it is the true followers of Christ that he hopes to divide and conquer through these events. That’s because they make up the bulk of Donald Trump’s support base, and it is he and the other conservative candidates that the devil wants to defeat in the upcoming elections. Why? Because the outcome of these races will directly impact the long-term agenda for the establishment of his kingdom here on earth. Before we can really understand why they are so critical to that agenda, we must first have an adequate understanding of the devil’s long-term goal and the warfare that it has engendered.
Before getting into that, though, I think it is important for me to emphasize here that I am called to teach the Truth of God contained in His Word, the Bible—and not to publicly endorse or promote one candidate or party over another. However, when God’s Truth and His Kingdom Purposes and Politics collide, it is imperative that I speak to the Church regarding these issues–as that is all part of it what it means for me to “…show the way.”
Satan’s Kingdom Agenda
Although Satan (aka Lucifer and the devil) was created as one of the highest-ranking angels, when he became vain because of his beauty and power-hungry because of his position, he rebelled against God’s authority and attempted to usurp that authority for himself.
His original plan—his Plan A—called for him to overthrow God and take over His Throne in Heaven; this in spite of the fact that God was and still is All-Powerful, and his own power was severely limited in comparison. When this coup failed, he was then forced to come up with a Plan B, one which called for him to set up his kingdom on the earth instead. This presented him with another problem, though, because God declared that He was giving the earth to Man to rule over, so what was he to do about that?
For Satan to achieve his Plan B and realize his goal, he devised a strategy which would allow him to gain control of the earth by taking captive God’s representatives and intended family through deception and lies. When this proved successful, the authority  to rule over the earth which had once been delegated to them, became his. Since then, armed with this authority, he has been working tirelessly and ruthlessly throughout history and in every realm of human existence to establish his kingdom, all the while doing his best to eradicate the knowledge of God and the Truth, and replacing God with himself and the Truth with a lie.
Satan’s first real drive to consolidate political power began at the Tower of Babel where he nearly succeeded in establishing the first world government on the plains of Shinar. Although God’s dispersion of the people into different ethnic groups made Satan’s attempts at consolidation more difficult, it certainly didn’t deter him from the quest. Not only was the first organized False Religion that he began there scattered abroad along with the people, but from that time until now, in every tribe and nation, he has been working, seeking to ensure that the godless rise to power and control all the wealth and resources, while the masses under them remain in poverty and in bondage. Gradually, as those with the most ambition and might launched out and conquered more territory, empires developed—empires which have been and are currently being ruled by the devil and his demons.
We are living in one of those empires now—an Americanized version of the old Roman Empire; however, we are very quickly being moved toward what is referred to in the Bible as the Revived Roman Empire—but, in secular terms, is the Globalization of Government, Banking and Business, Education, Media and Entertainment, and Religion known as the New World Order. This amalgamation of the structures of human life is what Satan has been working toward ever since his failure at the Tower of Babel, as it will be the vehicle through which he, through the persons of the Antichrist and False Prophet, will finally realize his dream (however short-lived as it may be) of being revered and worshiped as god on a world-wide level.
The Bible tells us that in the last days of this age, this New World Order will be a One-World Government ruled by a charismatic but ruthless dictator. According to Daniel 7: 7, 23-24, this government will be comprised of Ten Kingdoms which, for the time being, have no kings to rule over them. It will be supported by a Global Economic System, and united by a One World Religion. Although the plans for this government have been in the works for millennia, and it has been partially realized in fits and spurts at various times throughout history, its ultimate realization has been all but impossible due to nationalism, ethnic rivalries, and problems attributable to distance and communication. Until recently, there was no way to centralize all of the governmental powers, financial institutions, and religious organizations in the world and bring them under the control of just one person. But now, due to all of the improvements in travel and advancements in technology made during the past century, what was formerly merely a dream has now become a reality.
Quick to exploit these many innovations, Satan, working through his greedy, globally-minded human puppeteers, has been busy orchestrating the consolidation of the world’s Political and Economic Structures, Cultural Structures, and Religious Structures—national ones which have taken him centuries, if not millennia, to construct. Mind you, he has not been dismantling them, just merging them into a single Global Unit, so that…
- Through its universal Political and Economic Systems, he can control what human beings do and where they can go;
- Through its multifaceted Cultural System, he can control what human beings think and how they feel about themselves, the family, and the world around them; and,
- Through its counterfeit Religious System, he can control what human beings believe and what or whom they worship.
Satan’s Political and Economic Advances…
— Through the establishment of the Federal Reserve System in 1913, he has gained control of the money supply, ensuring that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer—and, that his future front men will be able to enforce his worship through their control of the economy;
— Through the creation of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in 1921, whose stated purpose is…
…to advocate the ‘building [of] a new international order [which] may be responsible to world aspirations for peace [and] for social and economic change…
…he has taken over the Department of State and filled the most important and powerful positions in the government with its members. These constitute the deep state, whose job it is to ensure that the President adheres to the Globalist Agenda. Additionally, through the Council on Foreign Relations, he has spawned a number of spin-off groups, such as the Bilderbergers, the Club of Rome, and the Trilateral Commission—charging each with carrying out a specific task within the broader mission of establishing the New World Order;
— Through the creation of the United Nations in 1945, he has provided the nations of the world with a model global government as a means of conditioning them to accept the real one when it materializes;
— Through the establishment of the Bilderberger Group in 1954—a super-secretive group of some of the world’s most powerful people—he has been working…
… to submit the sovereignty of the free nations of Europe to a Bilderberger-controlled British-American One World Government, using a nuclear threat as a battering ram against the rest of the unwilling world.”
[However, when the Cold War came to an end, their weapon of choice became Global Warming.]
The Bilderberger’s have also been his go-to group for the vetting of potential candidates for the highest offices in the land. They interview the candidates, regardless of their party affiliation, to see who can best advance their agenda over the next four years. Then, once one is decided upon, they will see to it that he is fully funded by the globalist-owned financial institutions and promoted at every opportunity by the globalist-owned media.
— Through the establishment of the Club of Rome in 1968—a group charged with the task of overseeing the regionalization and economic unification of the entire world—he has already divided the world into ten political/economic regions, which the group refers to as Kingdoms. These “kingdoms” sound very much like those prophesied by Daniel, and have been arranged by the Club in the following order…
- North America
- Australia, New Zealand, South Africa
- Russia and the Slavic Nations
- South and Central America
- North Africa and the Middle East
- Central Africa
- Southeast Asia and India
- China 
In its push toward the economic unification of these kingdoms, the Club has been at work over the past several decades, bankrupting the individual nations’ economies and then taking them over in order to absorb them into its universal system.
— Through the founding of the World Economic Forum in 1971 under the leadership of Klaus Schwab…
…he has brought the world’s leading businesses together in order to usher in a new business model based upon the shared environmental goals of the One World Government, where every business or government organization will no longer be an independent, autonomous entity but merely a cog in the wheel of his Globalist Economy.
— Through the establishment of the Trilateral Commission in 1973—he has fostered an economic interdependence among the top three of these “kingdoms”—North America, Western Europe, and Japan—for the purpose of assisting its sister organizations in their regionalization efforts and in their promotion of a world government.
Satan’s Cultural Advances…
Since Satan is (and always has been) incapable of creating living beings over which he could rule, his only option has been to take those created by God for His glory and then, through the systematic eradication of the Divine Image within them, as well as their knowledge of the Divine Plan for them, remold them in his own distorted image and in accordance with his own devilish plans. To accomplish this, he has become a master manipulator of every form of Media--Art, Music, Theatre, Films, Television, Books, Magazines, Newspapers, and Social Media—as well as the curriculum at every level of Education, from Preschool through Post Graduate Work, slowly and insidiously redefining, in the minds of men, what it means to be a human living on planet Earth.
— Through his control of the Educational Structure, he has succeeded in changing the way Man thinks about himself and the world around him by replacing the previously accepted Biblical Worldview with one promoting Evolution in place of Creationism. His strategy for this, like that used with Adam and Eve, has been simple yet highly effective—just Discredit the Word of God and then Replace the Truth with a Lie. This, he has accomplished, using the three-pronged approach of…
Promoting an Alternative Worldview—by offering Evolution to the intellectual community as an appealing alternative to the Biblical Worldview. Through its near-universal acceptance, Satan has succeeded in changing Man’s perception of himself from being a Unique Creation made in the Image of God to being just the most highly evolved animal produced to date from a long line of genetic mutations. This means that Man is no longer accountable to a higher power, there are no absolutes that he needs to concern himself with, and there is no such thing as sin.
Compromising Biblical Scholarship—by infiltrating seminaries with the New Worldview, he has managed to undermine the credibility of the Word of God and the integrity of the ministers who proclaim it. With the seminaries no longer producing ministers who believed the Bible to be the inerrant Word of God, he has been able to change the Church’s message of Salvation through the cleansing of the blood of Christ to one promoting the betterment of the individual and the improvement of society. Now, with Man no longer thinking of himself as a sinner, all that he needs in life is an education and the inspiration to become his best self.
Corrupting the Public-School Curriculum—by first infiltrating the Teacher Training Schools, then the Public Education System, Satan has succeeded in changing the curriculum to promote the Alternative Worldview. Through this revision (spearheaded by atheist John Dewey, the “father of progressive education), patriotism has been replaced by globalism, traditional values such as parental authority and faith in God have been undermined, and the high academic and moral standards previously required have given way to such things as socialization, values clarification, and sensitivity training.
— Through his control of the Media (he’s not called the Prince of the Power of the Air for nothing), Satan has gradually been replacing Man’s God-given Image with his own corrupted one. Through Media’s programming of television, music and music videos, movies, the internet and social media, and video games, he has saturated today’s airwaves with Images promoting hedonistic and godless lifestyles. Through their appeals to the flesh—that is, the baser human instincts—he has successfully convinced many that what is evil is really good, and what is good is really evil. Routinely, these Images are being used to promote idolatry and a rejection of God; vulgarity, swearing, and cursing; disrespect for parents and one another; disrespect for authority and for life; drunkenness and substance abuse; lying, cheating, stealing; violence and murder; greed, covetous, and corruption; sexual immorality—both heterosexual and homosexual; and marital infidelity and divorce.
As if that wasn’t enough, through Media’s profit-seeking promotion of Consumerism and the millions—perhaps even billions—of advertising messages it conveys each day, Satan has managed to entice and keep many in debt up to their eyeballs, relentlessly chasing unattainable images and lifestyles–like gerbils on a wheel; narcotized by mindless “entertainment” while being left ill-informed about what is actually happening in the world; and, so confused about their sexual identity that they are willing to try anything, no matter how outrageous it is, in an attempt to figure out who they are.
Last but not least, through Media’s control of the News Outlets, Satan has been manipulating every election—local, state, and national—for decades. With every newscast, he has been telling us what we should think and how we should feel about any given issue, what we need to fear, and whom we should vote into office. In short, he has been reprogramming our minds and emotions, using every form of social interaction to transform the masses into willing, or at least cooperative, “citizens” (slaves) for his New World Order.
Satan’s Religious Advances…
Because most people consider Religion to be the means by which we are drawn closer to God, to say that Satan uses it to do just the opposite might seem somewhat incongruous at first. However, once we have examined the matter more closely, I think it will become evident that the difference between Religion and the Righteousness required by God is as vast as the distance between Heaven and Hell.
Like Sin, Religion had its origins in the Garden of Eden. There, Man was presented with two Trees—the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil—and told that he could eat freely from the one but was forbidden to eat from the other. What he was really being given was a choice between the Righteousness that leads to Life—the fruit produced by the first tree, and the Religion of human works that leads to Death—the fruit produced by the second tree. Sadly, he chose Religion.
Sadder still is the fact that what began as just a small seed of unbelief in the hearts of our first parents, very quickly matured into full-blown evil in the heart of their son, Cain. When his brother Abel’s offering of faith was accepted by God and his own offering of works was rejected, Cain rose up in anger and murdered his brother. Why? According to the Apostle John centuries later, it was…
…because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous (1 John 3:12).
Ever since then, Satan has been pitting the Wicked (those who have chosen the way of Works leading to Death) against the Righteous (those who have chosen the way of Faith leading to Life). Again and again, he has done this merely by discrediting the Word of God and then replacing the Truth with a Lie—The Lie, in this case, being that Man can save himself and become a god on his own terms, through good works, religious rituals, or a belief in his own innate goodness.
It is this last belief that will be the defining characteristic of Satan’s coming kingdom. As Lewis Sperry Chafer so astutely discerned back in 1919…
…Satan’s ambition was not to become a fiend, but rather to become like the Most High. Therefore he will strive for all that is moral and good, yet at the same time do all in his power to draw men from their natural reverence of God in order, that, in due time, they may acknowledge him without fear. The satanic ideal of this age is, then, an improved social order, a moral and cultured people who are devout worshippers of Satan, though for the present they many imagine that they are worshiping Jehovah through their empty religious forms and ceremonies. Actually, they are in a state of God-dishonoring unbelief, and all their thoughts are energized by Satan alone. The satanic message for this age will be reformation and self-development, while the message of God is regeneration by the power of the Spirit.
Satan, in his imitation of the Most High, also is working toward a universal kingdom of morality and people upon earth, which will be temporarily realized under the reign of the Beast (Rev. 13). The difference between Satan’s ideal and the purpose of God, apart from the utter folly of the one and the glorious certainty of the other, is the difference of both method and time. According to the satanic program, the present order of society, with Satan on the throne, is to be developed into an ideal brotherhood, in which all men will practice what is moral and good.
And it is this push for a universal brotherhood of man that we see taking place in every major sphere of influence today.
Back to the Present
Although this has been a lot to take in, it is essential that we are made aware of it so that we can see just how far Satan’s plans for World Domination have progressed in recent years. We now know that…
- The Ten Kingdoms over which Satan will soon rule are already in place and ready to go;
- The World’s Money Supply has been centralized and computerized—and, with so many now shopping and doing business online, he is already exercising virtual control over the World’s Economy;
- With the World’s Purse Strings safely under his management, he can continue his efforts aimed at dismantling Capitalism—the goal being the elimination of prosperity and the creation of a divided society; one with no middle class—only rulers (the globalists) and servants (everyone else);
- We have a centralized Educational System, one with a curriculum designed to dumb down our children while indoctrinating them with Marxist/Atheistic philosophy, and with the goal of rewriting our nation’s history;
- Thanks to this Educational System and to the Media, Satan is well on his way to the creation of one International Identity and one set of Universal Values which—serving as a counterfeit version of the Family of God—will find full expression in the Universal Brotherhood of Man during the reign of the Antichrist;
- Over the past several decades, the Message of the Church has been watered down and its Mission obscured in an attempt to make the Church more User-Friendly and Relevant to the Unchurched (just another way of packing the pews with more butts!). Instead of the meaty sermons which we were once being fed—those dealing with the life and death issues of Man’s Sinful Nature, his need of Salvation, and God’s Forgiveness and Redemption—we are now being served up little Snacks of Self-Help that are leaving our spirits in a serious state of Spiritual Malnourishment. This, while the traditional programs for Biblical Education and Discipleship Training have been done away with in favor of more Social Activities, and while the “old fashioned” Evangelistic Outreach Programs have gone the way of the dinosaur.
Clearly, by comparison, God’s Kingdom on Earth—in its current state of weakness and division—has suffered tremendous losses of territory, while Satan’s Kingdom seems to have been expanding its territory at an exponential rate. In fact, all that seems to be standing in the way of the realization of his kingdom goals are the…
- Nations and their individual seats of power, which need to be removed and replaced by one centralized system;
- National militaries, state and local police forces, which need to be done away with and replaced by a universal enforcement agency;
- Restoration of a strong US Economy, which needs to collapse so it can be taken over by the World Bank; and,
- Re-awakening, Revitalization, and Reconciliation within the Church; along with her Recommitment to the Great Commission, and the Recruitment and Training of soldiers for Spiritual Warfare.
Satan was well on the way to the accomplishment of the first three of these goals—at least until the 2016 Election and the surprising election of Donald Trump as President of the United States! As Trump’s goals stand in direct opposition to those of Satan and his globalist henchmen, he was surely the last man they wanted to see come into power. Moreover, because he was voted into office without any of their financial backing or promotion by their Media, they have had no leverage power over him, as they had with the previous presidents that they put into office. This goes a long way to explaining why they have done everything in their power to discredit him and his policies, to force him from office, and to keep him from being re-elected for another term.
From a personal standpoint, I have never cared for Mr. Trump and, in the past, had considered him to be nothing more than an arrogant, egotistical opportunist. But then, when he began his run for the Republican nomination for President—and I had lost count of the times that he had put his foot in his mouth—I was so perplexed as to how he had managed to stay in the running, when anyone else doing the same things would have been kicked to the curb long before, that I asked the Lord what was going on and this is the answer that He gave me at the time…
I have chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty…the base things of the world and the things which are despised I have chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in My presence. (1 Corinthians 1:27-29)
This insight helped me to stop looking at Trump the man and start focusing on what I hoped God was going to do through him—things which I could see were the very ones that Satan and his gang were working so hard to destroy…
- The sanctity and protection of human life;
- The restoration and strengthening of our economy;
- The re-arming and strengthening of our military and law enforcement agencies;
- The strengthening and protection of our borders;
- The care of our veterans; and,
- The restoration and protection of our religious rights.
Once I started assessing the platform upon which he stood, and in spite of my personal misgivings about the man, I found that I had no reservations about giving Trump my vote. That’s because, I was not voting for him to become my “Pastor-in Chief,” I was hiring him—as the tough street fighter that he was—to come into an impossible (and potentially dangerous) situation and, like the proverbial “bull in a china shop,” break up what appeared to be our finest (but actually cracked and corrupt) State China, so that it could be replaced with something better and far more in keeping with God’s plans for our nation. I don’t think anyone with less chutzpah would have been up to the task, and been able to stand up against the powerful, pervasive, well-financed, and unprecedented opposition that he has encountered.
If God had put a godlier man than Trump into office and he succeeded in implementing the aforementioned changes in our government, we would have been very quick to shower him with the praises which should rightly have gone to God. If, on the other hand, God chose to use someone like Donald Trump to accomplish His purposes, then we would all have to acknowledge that it was He who had done it and He who was deserving of the glory.
I think the wisdom of God was further evidenced in His choice of Mike Pence as Vice President. There can be no doubt that he is a godly man—one whom God has raised up out of relative obscurity and placed in the second most important position in our government, in much the same way that He did with Joseph in Egypt. I shudder to think what President Trump’s behavior would have been like without the prayers and godly influence of this truly devout man.
This, then, brings us back to question of just what all of this has to do with the events taking place in our country now. If we look again at the first three of Satan’s unrealized objectives…
- The elimination of national borders;
- The dismantling of the military and police forces; and,
- The bankrupting of the US economy..
…we can see that there is a direct correlation between them and the events taking place recently. Given what we now know, it should be obvious that…
- During previous administrations, the devil had been making great strides toward his goal of breaking down borders and erasing national identities by flooding the countries of Western Europe and the United States with refugees and illegal aliens. As a result of the wars, governmental corruption, collapsed economies, and persecution which he had fomented in their homelands, many lost everything they had and were forced to try and find safety elsewhere–not only creating havoc and culture shock for them and the countries where they sought asylum, but also tremendous financial demands upon the economies of those countries. Because of Trump’s strong stand on securing our borders, Satan’s efforts in this area have suffered a serious setback.
- Trump’s support and strengthening of the national military and local and state law enforcement agencies is so counterproductive to Satan’s global aspirations that he has resorted to using the death of George Floyd as a match, thrown into the tinderbox of racial injustice, to create such an inferno of confusion and anarchy that people are actually beginning to think that we need to do away with these agencies.
- Because the economy had rebounded and become so healthy during Trump’s administration, it was necessary for the devil to do something to cause it to crash again. It didn’t take a lot to make that happen—just the release of a little germ—COVID 19—the fear of which was the only thing needed to bring about the universal shut-down of all businesses and institutions, and an end to life as we had known it.
Throughout all of this, the globalist-controlled Media has been working overtime in an effort to keep everyone stirred up, confused, and in a constant state of uncertainty. It has been playing upon the emotions of people in order to keep them paralyzed by fear—not only the fear of becoming sick and possibly dying, but also the fear of being thought of as intolerant—intolerance being the cardinal sin in Satan’s One World’s Set of Universal Values. Operating under this fear, many otherwise rational people have been motivated to join in the demonstrations and some have even gotten sucked into taking part in the violence.
Certainly, racial injustice is a problem that needs to be dealt with but make no mistake about it, Satan isn’t the least bit interested in bringing about healing in this area, nor does he have the power to do it–and, violence is not the way to bring it about. That’s because it is a problem requiring Love, Repentance, Forgiveness, and Reconciliation—which is a God-Thing, and the very business of His Church. Sadly, Satan has been exploiting the failure of the Church in this area to manufacture the chaos needed to serve his kingdom purposes—the dismantling of the police, the destruction of personal property, the shut-down of the economy, and a division among the people—especially God’s People! All of these are just Smoke and Mirrors, distractions designed to shift our focus away from the real issues involved.
However, we must not allow this to happen. We must maintain a clear view of the Big Picture—which is, the real and fierce spiritual warfare now being waged between God and His Kingdom Purposes for the earth, and those of Satan—and not allow these Smoke and Mirrors diversionary tactics of the devil to obscure that view and bringing more deception and more division to God’s People!
Has Satan been successful in this? Absolutely—at least, so far! What, then, can possibly prevent—or at least delay—him from the realization of his long sought-after ambition? The re-election of Donald Trump, the election to Congress of new Representatives and Senators who do not support Satan’s global agenda–but who are committed to the healing and prosperity of our nation and its economy; and the…
Re-awakening and Revitalization of the Church of Jesus Christ;
Reconciliation within the Church and in Society at large;
Recommitment of the Church to its Commission; and
Recruitment and Training of soldiers for Spiritual Warfare.
In short, the time has come for the Church, the Bride of Christ, to pull up her Big-Girl Breeches and get busy about the business of being the Church—which involves our participation in all of the above. This is certainly do-able, because we have both the Spirit of God to empower us and the Promise of God that…
…if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14).
All I can say at this point is, no matter where you stand on these issues, buckle up your seat belts–it’s going to be a bumpy ride!
 Dictionary.Com unabridged based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020.
 Note—Satan did not gain title to the earth because, according to Psalm 24:1, it still belongs to God. He only obtained the authority or right to rule over the earth—something which Christ won back through His death and resurrection and re-delegated to His Church.
 Gary H. Kah, En Route to Global Occupation (Lafayette, Louisiana: Huntington House Publishers, 1991), 33, 36.
 Kah, En Route to Global Occupation, 36-38.
 Daniel Estulin, The True Story of the Bilderberg Group (Walterville, Oregon: Trine Day Publishers, 2007), 20-21.
 Kah, En Route to Global Occupation.
 Kah, En Route to Global Occupation, 45-46.
 Dave Breese, Seven Men Who Rule the World from the Grave (Chicago: Moody Press, 1990), 153.
 Tal Brooke, When the World Will Be as One (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 1989), 103-104.
 Lewis Sperry Chafer, Satan: His Methods and Motives (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1919), 67-68.
When we left Abram at the end of Episode #2, he had just returned from the daring and successful rescue of his nephew, Lot, along with the other inhabitants of Sodom and the surrounding cities. Although, before he could return the captives and the loot taken in the raid, he was met by Melchizedek—the Priest and King of Salem—with whom he shared communion and to whom he gave tithes from the spoils of that war. As a result of this worshipful encounter, when he was offered the recovered loot by the King of Sodom, Abram was fully prepared to turn it down, choosing instead to maintain his integrity and witness before the pagan king and the peoples of the land.
This temptation turned out to be the third in a series of Tests that Abram has been undergoing. As we have seen in our study of him, God has progressively been revealing Himself and His plans for Abram and his descendants through a series of revelatory encounters—with each one involving a promise, and each one followed by a period of testing. This chart summarizes Abram’s progress so far…
This, then, brings us to Abram’s next revelatory encounter in Genesis 15. Although he doesn’t know it yet, throughout this process, God has been preparing him to become the Father of Israel, a role we will see him step into here in Episode #3 of his story, as he enters into a marriage covenant with God for his descendants–those who will eventually become the nation of Israel, the Wife of Jehovah.
With the lights now going down now in the theatre and the curtains slowly starting to rise, we hear the voice our off-stage Narrator once again, as he begins setting the stage for us…
Episode #3 of Biopic #1
Cast: Narrator God Abram
Narrator: Lot has just departed on his merry way to Sodom, leaving Abram shaking his head and wondering whether all his efforts to rescue and restore his backsliding nephew have not been totally in vain. The king of Sodom has left, rubbing his hands over the recovery of all his goods, at no cost to himself and, no doubt, discussing with the secretary of his treasury what particular form of insanity possessed Abram so that he refused his share of the spoil. Melchizedek has gone, leaving Abram with only a memory and a new appreciation of God. Aner and Eschol and Mamre have gone, congratulating one another on their prowess in war and gloating over the rich profits they have reaped. And Abram is left alone, somewhat depressed and a little fearful perhaps lest his unexpected display of military power might not stir the Canaanites into a league against him. Moreover, he has probably been listening to the excited chatter of Lot’s children, which reminds him—he has no child of his own. It is at this point that God, in His love and care, comes to talk with Abram about the building of his family…
Narrator: After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying…
God: Do not be afraid, Abram. I AM your shield, your exceedingly great reward.
Abram: Lord GOD, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus? Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!
Narrator: And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying…
God: This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.
Narrator: Then He brought him outside and said…
God: Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them….So shall your descendants be.
Narrator: And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness. Then [God] said to him…
God: I AM the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to inherit it.
Abram: Lord GOD, how shall I know that I will inherit it?
God: Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.
Narrator: Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, down the middle, and placed each piece opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. And when the vultures came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.
Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him. Then God said to Abram…
God: Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions.
Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.
Narrator: And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces. On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying…
God: To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates—the Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.
With nothing further to add, this Episode comes to a halt, indicating that it is time for us to pull out our Critic’s Caps and begin our Review of it. As always, we will be approaching this Episode from three levels…
- The Earthly Level—where we will be looking for any Life Lessons that we can take away from it;
- The Heavenly Level—where we will be looking for the Contributions it has to make to God’s One Big Story of Redemption; and,
- The Eternal Level—where we will be looking for the Revelations of God contained in this part of the Story.
So, with these as our goals, let’s begin our Review by first going over…
The Most Important Points in this Episode
1. In our previous episodes, when God “spoke” to someone, it was not made clear just what form that took. But here, the Word of God came to Abram in a vision—making this the first mention of a vision in Scripture. This kind of appearance is called a Theophany, and is a pre-incarnate vision of Jesus Christ.
2. With this visitation coming closely on the heels of his battle experience, God reassures Abram that he did the right thing in rejecting the spoils, and that whatever happens as a result of his “military offensive,” He would be Abram’s protector and provider.
3. Given that in each of his previous encounters with God, Abram was promised either a nation or descendants, when he meets with God this time, it only seems logical that the first thing he mentions is his lack of children—after all, how can you have descendants if you don’t have any children?
In response, the Lord promises him—for the first time—that his heir will not be his adopted servant but a son born from his own seed. At this, he is told to count the stars. Back in Genesis 12:14ff, God told him that He was going to make his descendants as the dust of the earth. These two promises speak of Abram’s two seeds—his natural and supernatural descendants, with the natural being those who are born of the flesh—the Jews, and the supernatural descendants being those who are born of the Spirit—the Church.
4. The Lord’s self-identification as I AM is used here for the first time. Later, in John 8:56-59, Jesus stated unequivocally that He was the I AM. In this particular confrontation with the Jewish leaders, when He told them…
…if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death…
…the Jews said to Him…Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word he shall never taste death.’ Are You greater than our father Abraham, who is dead?…
Jesus answered…Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.
Then the Jews said to Him, You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?
Jesus said to them, Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.
5. Although Abram had believed God before—enough so that he packed up, left his homeland, and became a wanderer in the Land of Promise—this is the first time that it has been said that his belief has been accounted to him for righteousness. Why do you think that is?
Unlike all of God’s previous promises to Abram, this is the first mention and direct promise that a son would be born to him, and that this son would also be in the lineage of the Seed promised to Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:15. It was his faith in this promised Redeemer that is being counted or credited to him as righteousness.
6. In spite of the fact that we have just been told that Abram believed God, when God promises him the land again, he asks for a sign—why? Does this demonstrate a lack of faith?
No. Back in Genesis 9:8-17, God gave Noah the Rainbow as a sign or reminder of their Covenant that He would never again destroy the earth by a flood. So, in asking for a sign, Abram was asking what the tangible reminder of this Covenant would be. We can regard the sign, then, as the equivalent of God’s signature on this contract.
7. To this, Abram is told to prepare an offering/a sacrifice. Even though he very quickly obeys, there is a long delay before anything else happens—other than him having to chase away the What do you think these things might mean?
The delay was probably meant to indicate that the fulfillment of this Covenantal Promise would not be immediate; while the Vultures were meant to be a picture of the demonic forces that would be at work until then, trying to keep this Covenant from being fulfilled. Later, in Luke 8: 5, 12, in the Parable of the Sower, Jesus used a similar analogy to illustrate this practice of the enemy…
A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it…
Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
8. After protecting the sacrifice all afternoon, when darkness falls, a deep sleep overtakes Abram and in it, he is shown in dream of the future of his descendants, where they will be afflicted in a foreign land for 400 years. This raises such questions as…
- After giving the Land to Abram, why would God allow them to be taken out of the Land of Promise?
In later chapters of Genesis (especially chapter 28), we find that the corrupt culture of the Canaanites was beginning to impact the behavior of Jacob and his family. To protect them from these negative influences—while giving the people of the land plenty of time to repent before bringing judgment upon them—God removed His People from the land and sequestered them in Goshen, the best land in all Egypt.
- Why would God allow His Covenant People to be subjected to such suffering and affliction?
During the first part of their sojourn in Egypt, as the family of Joseph, the Israelites enjoyed special treatment and were being provided for by Joseph. Even during the great famine, they were prosperous, not really needing to look to God for anything because their needs were being met by the government. But, when a ruler came to power after Joseph, they lost their privileged position and were reduced to slavery instead. It was then that they began to call upon the Lord again. So, their affliction can be seen in one of two ways—as the means God used to restore His People to faith in and dependence upon Him, and as a picture of the persecution that the World routinely inflicts upon the People of God.
Abram, on the other hand, was promised that he would live a long life and die in peace.
9. While he is asleep, the Presence of the Lord passes between the sacrificial elements. What do you think is significant about this?
In the Ancient Near East, when a covenant was made, it was ratified by first slaughtering animals and then creating a path between their divided carcasses. Both parties would walk through these animals, pledging to fulfill the terms of the covenant…
By cutting the animals in half during covenant ceremonies, the parties making the covenant were effectively saying, ‘Let this be done to us if we break the terms of this covenant…’
By being the one who passes between, Yahweh places the penalty of violating the covenant on Himself. He is showing Abram how serious He is about His promises.’ 
…we have learned that…
- For the first time, Abram has had a face-to-face encounter with Jesus Christ—an encounter of faith which has made Abram righteous in the eyes of God;
- God allays Abrams’ fears about his past actions and assures him of a glorious future with a Son of his own to be his heir;
- This Son of Promise will be the foundation stone upon which the nation of Israel will be built; and,
- As a sign of this Promise, God “Cut a Covenant” with Abram in which He swears by oath that He will fulfill every promise He has made concerning Abram and his descendants.
Now, in conclusion, we need to ask ourselves..
1. What Life Lessons can we take away from Abram’s experience in this episode?
- Everyone, no matter how important or insignificant they may be, must come to God in the same way—that is, through a personal faith encounter with His Son, Jesus Christ;
- Once they stand righteous before God, He will cover their pasts, and protect and provide for them as they follow Him into the future;
- God’s tests are not punitive but preparatory. They are designed to grow everyone in faith and in righteousness, and prepare them for their divinely ordained destinies.
- Like Abram, Believers today are participants in a Covenant with God—a New Covenant, written in the very Blood of Jesus, in which the Spirit of God comes to live within them, writing God’s Laws upon their hearts and teaching them to live like Children of the Most High God.
2. What Contributions does this episode make to God’s One Big Story of Redemption?
This episode marks a pivotal point in God’s One Big Story. Everything that has gone before has merely been preparation for this event—the cutting of the Covenant between God and Abram. In reality, this Covenant is a Marriage Contract in which Abram betroths Israel—the Nation that will come from him—to God.
In the Ancient Jewish Wedding Tradition, which provides the format for the Story of the Bible, the three phases in a Jewish Marriage are…
- The Negotiation or Arrangement Phase—in which the Bridegroom’s Father, the Bridegroom himself, or his Agent goes to the Father of a Bride and negotiates a marriage contract. If arrangements acceptable to both parties can be arrived at, and if the bride gives her consent, then the Bridegroom and Bride become legally betrothed or engaged. At this point, the Bridegroom returns to his Father’s house and begins preparing a home for his Bride.
- The Betrothal Phase—which usually lasts for about a year, is a time during which the Bridegroom is at work building a home and the Bride is busy preparing her wedding garments
- The Consummation Phase—which includes the actual Marriage, its consummation, and the Wedding Feast that follows, only happens when the Father of the Bridegroom is satisfied with the work of his Son and gives him permission to go and get His Bride.
So, with the Marriage Covenant between God and Abram having been ratified by blood, the Negotiation Phase is now complete and God and Israel have entered into the Betrothal Period.
3. What Revelations of God does this episode give us?
As we have just learned, God is seen here as the Celestial Suitor, the Bridegroom who has just become betrothed to the Nation of Israel. And, even though she isn’t even a reality in the natural as yet, in the mind and heart of her Beloved, she has been in existence since before the foundation of the world.
Here is a video that will help explain the Love Story behind the One Big Story of the Bible a little better…
Early on in our study of Abram, we learned that he was called to Wander, Worship, and Witness, and in our last episode, we learned that he was also called to Warfare. In our next episode—in Chapter 16—we will discover that he has also been called to do one of the hardest things ever—and that is, to Wait!
 John Phillips, Exploring Genesis (Neptune, New Jersey: Loizeaux Brothers, 1992), 132.
 Calvin Park, “Cutting a Covenant,” Bible Study Magazine, September 19, 2017, http://www.biblestudymagazine.com/bible-study-magazine-blog/2017/9/19/cutting-a-covenant
Some images used courtesy of Free Bible Images.
At long last, we are nearing the end of our exercises in Spiritual Warfare. Our graduation from Boot Camp is right around the corner, as is our return to our duty stations where we will have the opportunity to put into action the things that we have learned here. As we do, we can be confident that…
- Because of what Christ accomplished on the Cross, we now possess the Authority we need to overtake and defeat any foe that we come up against;
- Everything we will be called upon to overcome is all part of God’s way of preparing us for our Destiny of ruling and reigning with Christ when He comes to set up His Kingdom;
- As we take the Light of the Gospel into the sin-darkened territories presently held by Satan, we will be bringing liberation to those who are still being held captive there; and,
- To prevent us from completing our missions, Satan will do everything in his power to stop us.
In light of this last point, before we can graduate and move on, there is one last exercise for us to complete—one providing us with an understanding of the basic principles of Strategic Warfare and the Offensive Weapons needed to ensure our success on the battlefield.
As we learned in our last exercise, we have been outfitted with a top-notch arsenal of defensive weapons known as the Armor of God. These—the Belt of Truth, the Breastplate of Righteousness, the Shoes of Peace, the Shield of Faith, the Helmet of Salvation, and the Sword of the Spirit—when worn faithfully and used as directed, will provide us with the defensive covering we need whenever we come under attack by the devil. However, there is more to Spiritual Warfare than merely protecting ourselves while we maintain our current positions. To the contrary, we have been charged by Christ to launch out into the world and be sown as seed among the nations, in order to free Satan’s spiritual captives and bring the Kingdom of Christ to the earth. For, it was Christ who boldly proclaimed…
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor (Luke 4:18-19)…
…and, it was He who also commissioned us to…
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age (Matthew 28:19-20).
Understanding Strategic Warfare
When seeking to understand the principles of Strategic Warfare, it is essential that we first establish a clear definition for the term. Since strategic is defined as…
…pertaining to, characterized, or of the nature of strategy…
…with strategy being…
…a plan, a method, or series of maneuvers or stratagems for obtaining a specific goal or result.
When we put this into a military context, Strategic Warfare can be defined as…
…the science and art of military command aimed at meeting the enemy under conditions advantageous to one’s own force…
…a military command in which…
…a distinction is made between strategy and tactics. Strategy is the utilization, during peace and war, of all of a nation’s forces, through large-scale, long-range planning and development, to ensure security. Tactics deals with the use and deployment of troops in actual combat.
Here, in this definition, we have two levels of war described for us; but, according to modern military theory, there are actually three that we need to take into consideration—the strategic, the operational, and the tactical, where…
…the strategic level…involves a strategic concept, plans for preparing all national instruments of power for war or conflict, practical guidance for preparing the armed forces, and leadership of the armed forces to achieve strategic objectives;
…the operational level is concerned with employing military forces in a theater of war or theater of operation to obtain an advantage over the enemy and thereby attain strategic goals through the design, organization, and conduct of campaigns and major operations; and,
…the tactical level translates potential combat power into success in battles and engagements through decisions and actions that create advantages when in contact with or in proximity to the enemy.
To put this into more understandable terms, at the Strategic Level, those at the top of the chain of command are responsible for creating an overall plan for winning the war, taking into account the manpower and materials they have at their disposal. Once their plan is in place, they delegate different aspects of the plan to those serving under them at the Operational Level, those whose duty it is to orchestrate and oversee the campaigns assigned to them and their individual theaters of operation. Directives from this level can then be sent down to the Tactical Level—to those in charge of the troops on the ground—to make sure they are deployed to the right place at the right time, are appropriately trained and armed for each engagement, and that they have adequate intelligence and support for each and every battle.
Why is this so important for us to know? Because this is the same way that the Spiritual Warfare we’re engaged in is structured and carried out. At its Strategic Level, creating the plan for the war itself, is God—the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Charged with the implementation and oversight of their plan’s many Operational Level campaigns are the Angels of various ranks and with specific responsibilities. The troops on the ground at the Tactical Level are us—the Born Again members of the Church, serving under the leadership of the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, whose responsibility it is to…
…equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes (Ephesians 4:11-14).
Given that our enemy is merely a copier/counterfeiter and not a creator, he has pretty much duplicated this strategic structure—with the exception that, instead of the All-Wise, All-Powerful, and Everywhere-Present Creator God making the plans—he, the quintessential Usurper is the one devising the schemes that he hopes will one day defeat God’s Army, overthrow God, and catapult himself onto the throne of the universe. Unlike our Commander-in-Chief, who is headquartered in the Third Heaven, this Presumptuous Pretender to the throne has been relegated to the less advantageous location of the Second Heaven, where he and his generals occupy what will prove, in the end, to be temporary thrones from which they oversee his operations in the First Heaven and on the Earth.
As we learned in Spiritual Warfare: Getting the Lay of the Land, these operations are carried out by an army of demonic subordinates whose responsibility is to keep their human charges on the earth in bondage to their master– should they somehow fail at this, to prevent those who do find freedom in Christ from growing in their knowledge of Him and from serving Him and His Kingdom purposes successfully.
To help us better understand the part Strategic Warfare plays in the on-going conflict between God and Satan, let’s assess and compare how each side makes use of these three levels. We know from our exercise in Spiritual Warfare: Knowing the Enemy that…
- Satan’s original plan—his Plan A—called for his overthrow of God and the take-over of His Throne in Heaven; however, given the fact that God was and still is All-Powerful, and Satan’s power was and still is severely limited in comparison, this proved to be a colossal failure.
- This led to the creation of Satan’s Plan B, which called for him to set up his kingdom and reign upon the Earth—but, this plan, too, hit a wall when God created Man and gave him Dominion and Authority over the Earth instead.
- Undaunted, Satan then devised a scheme whereby he could gain control of the Earth by taking God’s Authorized Representatives captive through deception and lies. So, lying about who he was, who they were, and who God is, Satan convinced Eve, then Adam, to disobey God. As a result, Man and Woman became slaves to Satan, sin, and death, and the Authority which should have been theirs was handed over to Satan.
- Satan’s plan was dealt a bitter blow, though, when eventually he, sin, and death were defeated through Christ’s Atoning Death and His powerful Resurrection. As a result of His Victory, this Second Adam reclaimed the Authority that the First Adam had lost, and restored it to all those who afterward would come to the Father through Faith in His Finished Work on the Cross.
- But, because Satan had already established rulership over the world’s systems and its structures, he continues to occupy territories which rightfully belong to Christ and His Church. What is enabling him to maintain his grip on them is the ignorance, timidity, or unwillingness of the Church to rise up and retake these areas in the Name and Authority of Christ, through the Power of the Holy Spirit.
- So, Satan’s Strategy is—by whatever means necessary—to keep the people who don’t know God from knowing Him, and to keep those who do know Him too ignorant, too fearful, or too self-seeking and apathetic to do anything to dislodge him.
Given that Satan’s Strategy is primarily focused on maintaining control of the territories presently under his rule, it is essentially a Defensive Plan. On the other hand, God’s Strategy, being one of Infiltration, is a decidedly Offensive One. Because He is not willing that any should perish but that all would come to repentance, God has chosen to strategically place His very own Sons and Daughters in positions behind enemy lines where they can reveal the Love of Christ to the captives and, shining the Light of the Gospel into those dark places, they can illuminate a way of escape into the Kingdom of God. This is exactly what God did when He sent His willing and obedient Son, Jesus, into Satan’s authorized territory where, having shone the Light of God in the darkness and revealed the Love of the Father there…
…Jesus’ obedience, then, took Him even to the cross, and through that to the empty tomb. Thus He won the battle over Satan from behind enemy lines…to defeat the enemy and begin to establish His own Kingdom in the middle of enemy territory…
…and, since this was behind enemy lines, it meant warfare—spiritual warfare aimed at taking back God’s world from the usurper.
Like our Savior, we have been assigned to carry on this mission in the very same way.
Because Satan is neither omnipresent nor omniscient like God, he is limited to being in one place at a time. Therefore, he must depend on a hierarchy of subordinates to carry out his operations, and rely on this system of underlings for his much-needed intelligence reports. Depending upon their nature and location, these operations are most likely carried out by one of these three groups…
- Satan’s Hierarchy—consisting of Rulers, Principalities, and Powers, with…
- Rulers—being the spirits charged with gaining/maintaining control of the world’s authority structures, such as government at all levels, schools, businesses, churches, civic groups, athletic organizations, and families;
- Principalities or Territorial Spirits—being the demonic spirits that are in charge of operations taking place within a specific geographic area or ethnic/cultural group of people; and,
- Powers or Strongholds—being the spirits representing the evils associated with certain sins and the demons assigned to their promotion.
- Forces of Darkness—the lying spirits behind any Religions, Philosophies, and Ideologies that are opposed to God and the Truth, including humanism, atheism, evolution, New Age, reincarnation, existentialism, socialism and communism; and,
- Lower Level Spirits—the wicked spirits assigned to individuals in an effort to influence their behavior.
No doubt imitated by Satan when he set up his own kingdom, God’s Operational Level is also made up of a hierarchical structure of spirits who carry out the operations called for in His plan. Although the Bible doesn’t give us a lot of specifics about the structure itself, what we do know is that it consists of Angels operating at different levels, and possessing various degrees of authority. From what we can gather in the scriptures, those closest to God and His Throne, and those highest in rank and authority, are the…
The Cherubim are probably the highest ranking of all of the Lord’s Angels. The first time they are mentioned in scripture is in Genesis 3:24 where, following Adam and Eve’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden, they are placed as Guards at the entrance to the Garden, to keep Adam and Eve from returning and eating from the Tree of Life while in their fallen state.
They are next mentioned in Exodus 25:18, when God instructs Moses on how to build the Tabernacle. For the Most Holy Place, Moses is told to make two Cherubim of gold and to place them at the two ends of the Mercy Seat…
The cherubim shall spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings, their faces one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubim be…
There I will meet with you, and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim that are on the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you about all that I will give you in commandment for the people of Israel (Exodus 25:20, 22).
The Mercy Seat which the Cherubim sheltered was also known as the Seat of Atonement and revered as the earthly Throne of God. Verses such as these inform us that, in addition to their role as Guardians, the Cherubim also serve as the Bearers of God’s Throne…
The LORD reigns; let the peoples tremble! He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake (Psalm 99:1)!
“O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth (Isaiah 36:17).
Ezekiel saw this throne and gave us a description of these incredible creatures in Ezekiel 1:5-14…
And this was their appearance: they had a human likeness, but each had four faces, and each of them had four wings. Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the sole of a calf’s foot. And they sparkled like burnished bronze. Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands.
And the four had their faces and their wings thus their wings touched one another. Each one of them went straight forward, without turning as they went. As for the likeness of their faces, each had a human face. The four had the face of a lion on the right side, the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and the four had the face of an eagle. Such were their faces.
And their wings were spread out above. Each creature had two wings, each of which touched the wing of another, while two covered their bodies. And each went straight forward. Wherever the spirit would go, they went, without turning as they went.
As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches moving to and fro among the living creatures. And the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning. And the living creatures darted to and fro, like the appearance of a flash of lightning.
Later in Ezekiel 28:14, we learn that Lucifer, Satan’s name in his pre-fallen state, was one—probably the highest ranking one—of these Angels…
You were an anointed guardian cherub. I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God; in the midst of the stones of fire you walked. Ezekiel 28:14
Because the Seraphim are only mentioned once in the Bible—in Isaiah 6:1-3, 6-7—much less is known about them and their ministry. From Isaiah’s description…
In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!’
Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: ‘Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for…
…it would seem that because of their non-stop praise and their access to the heavenly altar, their primary ministry is as priests before the throne of God. And, given that their name means “burning ones,” I think we can infer that they are burning in passionate devotion to God and in their dedication to the praise of His holiness.
Although Ezekiel, in his vision, describes the Cherubim as Living Creatures, in Revelation 4:6-8, we find another set of Living Creatures being described…
…around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight.
And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” (Revelation 4:6-8)
These are set apart from those in Ezekiel in several ways…
…in Revelation, each one has only one face, whereas in Ezekiel each had four faces. In Revelation, each has six wings; in Ezekiel, they had four. In Revelation, they have eyes around and within; in Ezekiel, the eyes were in the wheels, and the spirits of the cherubim were in the wheels. In revelation, they do not move; in Ezekiel, they propelled the throne of the sovereign God throughout the world. 
As for their ministry, in Revelation 6:1-7 and 15:7, we learn that, in addition to their worship and praise, these creatures also play instrumental parts in the execution of the God’s end-time judgments on the world.
The Other Angels
From other portions of scripture, besides being the worshipers at, the guardians of, and the priests before the Throne of God, we learn that the Angels carry out God’s operations in a number of other ways…
- In Luke 2:10 and Acts 27:23-23, they serve as God’s Messengers;
- In 2 Kings 6:17 and Daniel 10:13-20, they are God’s Warriors in the heavenlies and on earth;
- In Daniel 4:13 and 17, they serve as God’s Watchers, observing and recording the affairs of men and nations;
- In Psalm 34:7, Psalm 91:11, Daniel 6:22, and Acts 5:19, they provide Protection and Deliverance for God’s People;
- In Genesis 24:7 and Exodus 23:20, they give Guidance and Direction to the righteous;
- In Matthew 13:39-42 and Mark 13:27, Jesus informs us they will be the Reapers in the End-Times Harvest;
- In Revelation 1:1, they bring God’s revelation to man;
- In 2 Kings 19:35, Acts 12:23, and Psalm 78:49, they are God’s Instruments of Judgment and Destruction;
- In Revelation 7:1-2 and Revelation 16:1, we learn that they have Power over God’s Creation;
- In Matthew 18:10, we are told that they are the unseen Guardians of Children; and,
- In Luke 16:22-23, we discover that they Escort the Saints into the Presence of God upon their deaths.
With Satan’s Rulers engaged in controlling the world’s Authority Structures, and his Principalities busy riding roughshod over its Geographic and Ethnic Territories, it seems that the actual Tactical Maneuvers of his plan have been delegated to his Powers, Forces of Darkness, and Lower Lever Spirits for implementation. These are the spirits who are responsible for establishing Strongholds, or bases of operation, in the minds of men and women, from which Satan can exercise control. This is accomplished through their promotion of certain sins, through the lies contained in their false religions, philosophies, and ideologies, and through the intelligence gathered by and resulting from the harassment of the Lower Level or Familiar Spirits.
Those in this last group are the spirits that most of us must contend with on a daily basis. They are the demons who, much like God’s Guardian Angels, are assigned to us at birth—those who study us, our habits and tendencies, throughout out lives, looking for ways and opportunities to trip us up and keep us in a perpetual state of confusion and defeat. As Familiar Spirits, they become so well acquainted with us that they can pretty much predict what we’re thinking about and how we will react in any given situation. Armed with such valuable information, they not only know which sins we will be predisposed to give into and which lies we will fall for, but also which of the Devil’s D-Bombs will be the most useful in rendering us ineffective…
- Distraction—a loss of focus, confusion;
- Distortion—of the truth; or,
- Deception—disguise and outright lies;
- Disobedience—a disrespect for authority;
- Delay—in answers to prayers and provisions;
- Disruption—of plans and schedules;
- Discouragement—resulting from stress, overwork, lack of appreciation, hurt feelings;
- Depression—mental and emotional ailments, especially due to repressed anger;
- Defeat—after repeated failures;
- Destruction—a loss of property and reputation;
- Disease—physical ailments and suffering; or,
- Death—suicidal, accidental, or disease-related.
Apparently, in his dealings with those who already belong to him, Satan is free to use these, or any other evil tactics he can come up with, against them with impunity—especially if and when he finds that they are in danger of going over to the other side. When it comes to dealing with those who belong to God, however, he doesn’t enjoy the same privilege. We know this because, when he came against righteous Job (Job 1: 9-12), seeking to prove that Job only worshiped God for the blessings he could get out it, he had to obtain God’s permission to do so. Later, in 2 Corinthians 12:7, we find out that he had to get God’s permission to harass the Apostle Paul, permission which was granted in order to achieve God’s higher purpose…
…to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.
While being limited in what he can do to the Righteous, Satan does enjoy a distinct advantage in his dealings with everyone else. Because every person coming into the world is born “in sin” and in a state of alienation from God, they not only already belong to Satan, but they are, by virtue of their carnal natures, predisposed to living according to their physical appetites and soulish desires. This state of affairs makes it easy for the Powers of Satan to do their work of establishing secure Strongholds within them—Strongholds from which they can operate throughout their lives, even if these people later come to Faith in Christ.
What Are Strongholds?
Simply put, Strongholds are faulty patterns of thinking which have developed such a “strong hold” on us that they keep us bound by bad habits, irrational behaviors, pride or an exaggerated sense of self. They are anything in our lives that misrepresents God, anything that deceives us about who we really are, and anything that deludes us into thinking we can live life successfully apart from God. These misrepresentations, deceptions, and delusions are ways of thinking that have developed in our minds over time, and which serve primarily as a means of keeping us alienated from, and at odds with, God.
Their points of origin can be traced all the way back to our births, when we arrive in this world with the strongest of all Strongholds already intact—an “IT’S ALL ABOUT ME!” mentality. Then, as we make our way through life, others are gradually added; with the most deeply ingrained ones coming first from our interactions with family, friends, and our early experiences in life, and with later ones coming from our educational and religious training (or lack thereof), or as a result of our encounters with the cultural forces at work all around us. As such, they become fortresses erected around our erroneous beliefs; fortifications which, in our minds, serve to protect and justify our choices in life, and to help insulate us from any potentially painful experiences—and, which Satan delights in using to keep us in bondage or to render us useless in our Kingdom Service.
But, it needs to be noted here that bondage of this or of any other kind is an anathema to God. Therefore, the Strongholds in our lives are one of the first things we must deal with in Spiritual Warfare. Before we can successfully liberate any of Satan’s other territories, we must first rid our own of its enemy outposts. As Jesus would say…
Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye (Matthew 7:3-5).
Because they are the heavily guarded outposts of lies and deceptions built up in our minds by the devil, and the devil is a powerful spirit whose chief aim is to keep us from God and His revelation of the Truth, the only way for us to deal with these Strongholds is through the power of a stronger Spirit–the Holy Spirit of Truth—and the Spiritual Weapons God has made available to us. For…
…though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).
With our spiritual armor in place, we can begin the process of taking our thoughts captive by exercising the authority delegated to us by Christ in Matthew 28:18; with it, through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can proceed to bind up the “strong man,” or the demonic being in charge of protecting that mental fortification. According to Jesus’ instruction in Mark 4:27…
…no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house.
Once this strong spirit is overthrown, we can move in and take captive any of the lying thoughts previously under his protection, and replace them with Truth from the Word of God. As we do, we begin erecting a Strong Tower of Truth, built in the very place where the Stronghold of Lies once stood. And, as warriors for Christ, we will have reclaimed territory too long in the possession of His enemies.
When it comes to God’s Tactical Operations, unlike Satan’s, which are nothing but destructive, God’s tactics are always redemptive and remedial, because they are borne out of love. In Spiritual Warfare: Understanding the Nature of the Conflict, we learned that the goal of Satan and those in his kingdom is to destroy the individual and absorb his will into their own, for no other reason than to satisfy their insatiable greed and increase their power base. However, it is the goal of God and those in His Kingdom to bring the individual into the Family of God, shower him with love, and empower him to become the unique and whole/holy person God created him to be. In the former, the motivation is selfishness and greed, while in the latter, it is giving and grace.
So, to help His Children realize their spiritual potential and prepare them for their eternal destinies, God routinely deploys them to the front lines of the conflict where, in the heat of the battle, their character will be refined and they can learn to use their Offensive Weapons to overcome His enemies.
Our Offensive Weapons
When it comes to a discussion of our Offensive Weapons, it may come as a surprise to learn that the most powerful one in this category is a Godly Lifestyle. That’s because…
Spiritual Warfare is not just a prayer prayed or a demon rebuked—it is a life lived…everything we do either aids the forces of darkness or repels them…
Since it is sin that gives the devil an entryway into our lives, we need to take seriously the charge given to us in Ephesians 4:27 to…
…not give place to the devil.
Maintaining this kind of lifestyle, though, demands that we “keep short accounts with God.” To do so, we need to vigilantly guard our hearts and minds, and routinely examine our lives to see if there is any sin that has gone unchecked and unrepentant of, for…
Repentance is a major weapon against Satan. It’s simple: if I repent, I break the powers of darkness. But if I’m disobedient, I allow the enemy to work. If I obey God, I hold the devil off. If I’m moving in unbelief, I make room for him. But if I exercise faith, I cut him off.
The reason behind this is also a simple one. Because Spiritual Warfare is the cosmic conflict between two competing wills—the holy and perfect will of God and the perverted and opposing will of Satan, both vying for the allegiance of man—and, because the decision as to which one will prevail on the earth has been delegated by God to the will of each human being living on the planet, every time a person chooses to do that which satisfies his own selfish desires, he is actually empowering Satan to carry on his work.
To help us keep this from happening, we need Faith and Obedience, two more of the weapons making up our offensive arsenal. Faith is that inner assurance or confidence we have that because our Father knows what exactly He is doing, He has a good plan in place even if we don’t know yet what it is. As we develop more of this kind of Faith, it becomes easier for us to believe God for the impossible, to launch out into new territories, and to pray our way to victory. Jesus told His disciples as much in Matthew 17:20 when he said…
For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.
Our Obedience is simply the outward demonstration of our inner trust that this is so. In our submission and obedience to a higher Authority, we are not only coming at Satan in an opposing spirit—which serves to render him ineffective in that situation—but, we are also keeping him from sowing his seeds of pride and rebellion in our hearts.
Although we may not realize it, obedience is a key factor in Spiritual Warfare because…
There are rules and principles by which the spirit world operates. Among the most important of these: the rules that govern authority relationships.
As we have emphasized so many times over the course of these exercises, God has established a very specific authority structure within Creation, and it is one that He expects us to honor. When we don’t—that is, when we use our wills to do things that overturn that order—we are actually giving Satan and his demons permission to carry out their wills in the spheres where we live…
Scripture is clear that there is a close connection between the spirit world and the human world. In spite of our habit of regarding spirit things and human things as separate, in Scripture these realms are not compartmentalized from each other. They are tightly interrelated, with events that go on in the spirit realm having repercussions in the human realm, and vice-versa.
Furthermore, the same rules seem to govern interaction between humans and God and humans and Satan. The authority of God to do what He wants, for example, seems enhanced when His devotees obey, acknowledge the authority of, pray to or worship Him. Likewise, the authority of Satan to do what he wants is enhanced when his devotees respond in such ways to him.
It looks as though a major principle is this: The way authority is exercised in the human sphere affects what goes on in the spiritual realm, and vice-versa.
Closely associated with our Obedience, then, are the weapons of Discipline and Self-Control—two things which must be instilled in any soldier who is to be used by God. These are essential to us if we are to avoid the many land mines of temptation that the devil has carefully laid out in his effort to sideline us from our service. This is a reality that even the Apostle Paul had to come to grips with in his ministry, leading him to…
…discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified (1 Corinthians 9:27).
And it stands to reason that we must learn to do the same.
As for Prayer and Worship, if God’s authority is enhanced through our implementation of these two weapons, then they are ones that we definitely need to use more often. When we pray, we are not just staying in touch with our Father, but we are activating the ministry of His Angels on our behalf and releasing His power into the lives and situations that need it, while rendering the enemy in those situations powerless. Then, when we worship God and offer Him a fitting sacrifice of praise, we are not only giving God His due, but we are actually creating confusion in the enemy’s camp and throwing his troops into disarray.
Probably the best illustration of this is the story recorded for us in 2 Chronicles 20:14-15,17,20-23. When the Moabites, Ammonites, and people of Mount Seir came against Judah and godly King Jehoshaphat, the king prostrated himself before God, and pleaded with Him to deliver him and his people from these enemies. At that point…
…the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly. And he said, ‘Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the LORD to you, Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s…
You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the LORD will be with you.’
And they rose early in the morning and went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. And when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, ‘Hear me, Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem! Believe in the LORD your God, and you will be established; believe his prophets, and you will succeed.’
And when he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the LORD and praise him in holy attire, as they went before the army, and say, ‘Give thanks to the LORD, for his steadfast love endures forever.’
And when they began to sing and praise, the LORD set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed. For the men of Ammon and Moab rose against the inhabitants of Mount Seir, devoting them to destruction, and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they all helped to destroy one another.
Afterward, all Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah had to do was collect the spoils, something which took three days for them to do.
In addition to the Prayer, Worship, and Praise offered by the people to God in this situation, it is apparent that the Word of God, which was given to them by means of His prophet, played a decisive role in the securing of this victory. In our last exercise, we learned that the Word of God is the Sword of the Spirit with which we guard our minds against our enemies’ assaults; but this is not the only way that God intends for it is to be used when it comes to Spiritual Warfare. Because His Word is the Spirit-inspired revelation of His character and His will and His purposes for Man and the Earth, when we speak His Word into a situation, we are actually declaring that His will regarding that situation be done. And when we speak His Word into that situation, the resources of heaven are activated to ensure that His Will is carried out there.
Some of the other Offensive Weapons at our disposal, that we don’t make use of the way we should are…
…patience, consistency, and tenacity, by which we learn to wait on God and His timing, and to not give up even in the face of adversity and suffering;
…giving, for when we are generous with our time, talents, and resources, we sow seeds of provision into the lives of others and in our own lives as well;
…love, because it covers a multitude of sins, and it enables us to overcome evil with good; and,
…unity, because it not only increases our effectiveness exponentially and helps to speed our victory—but, because it was the chief concern on Jesus’ heart when, on His last evening before going to the Cross, he offered this prayer on behalf of His disciples…
And now, Father…I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me…keep them in your name…they may be one, even as we are one.
I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.
Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.
I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word…that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me (John 17:6ff).
Amen–may it be so, Lord Jesus!
The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir reminds us what it is all about…
 Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus, Revised and Updated Edition (Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 2014).
 Dictionary.com Unabridged.
 USAF College of Aerospace Doctrine, Research and Education (CADRE), Air and Space Power Mentoring Guide, Vol. 1 (Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Air University Press, 1997), excerpt.+
 Charles H. Kraft, I Give You Authority: Practicing the Authority Jesus Gave Us (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Chosen Books, 1997), 22.
 Dean Sherman, Spiritual Warfare for Every Christian (Seattle, Washington: YWAM Publishing, 1990), 95-114.
 C. Fred Dickason, Names of Angels (Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, 1997), 58.
 Sherman, Spiritual Warfare, 182.
 Kraft, I Give You Authority, 123.
 Kraft, I Give You Authority, 124-125.
In our last exercise, we learned how important it is to understand the nature of the spiritual conflict in which we, as the Sons and Daughters of God, are engaged. As we shall learn in this exercise, it is equally important for us to discover as much as we can about our adversary—that is, if we want to stay alert and guard against his assaults. For…
…unless we grasp how the devil fits into God’s scheme of things, we will find it more difficult to stand against his conspiracy against us personally and his influence within our culture. How we perceive our enemy will largely determine how we fight against him.
Over the course of the past six exercises in our Workout Program, we have learned a lot about this adversary–the one who goes by the names of Satan, Lucifer, and the Devil—so let’s collect that information here and review what we have learned about him thus far.
- His History and Character
As for his history and character, we now know that Satan…
- Was a created being, making him vastly inferior to the God who created him, and meaning that…
Since he was created, he is not self-existent, and never can be free from the Creator. He may vainly propose to become independent, and even be permitted for a time to act under that delusion; but that only delays the inevitable judgment that awaits him.
- Was created perfect…
…or was the perfect fulfillment of the Creator’s intention. Satan was a free moral agent, capable of choosing evil but not obligated to do so. That he chose evil must ever be to his own condemnation, for the Creator had surrounded him with sufficient motives for choosing the good.
- Was created as one of the highest ranking in a class of Spirit Beings called Angels…
…powerful creatures who have a significant role to play in God’s unfolding plan for mankind; and who…
…were present at pivotal points in the spiritual history of man, including the creation of the universe, the proclamation of the birth of Jesus and will return with Christ’s heavenly army to establish His Millennial Kingdom.
- Possessed a superior intellect and surpassing beauty…
First, consider God’s statement [in Ezekiel 28:12] ‘You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and exquisite in beauty.’ For the God of the universe to declare that another is perfect in wisdom is remarkable. Satan must have incredible intellectual powers; repeatedly the Bible stresses his brilliance. His beauty and majesty also must be unimaginable.
- Became vain because of his beauty, proud because of his wisdom, and power-hungry because of his position. He conceitedly regarded these things as emanating from within himself, instead of acknowledging them as endowments from God—gifts given to him by the good pleasure of the Almighty, for the benefit of the Kingdom of Heaven…
Lucifer was God’s masterpiece, a showpiece whose presence brought glory to his creator… [And] until he sinned, he existed to serve God, without weariness, struggle, or competition. He was God’s worship leader; the director of choirs and coordinator of praise. If only he had known how fortunate he was!
- Rebelled against God’s authority and attempted to usurp that authority for himself…
… instead of passing all of the praise to God, he began to keep some of it for himself. Like a trader who keeps a bit of the profits that cross his desk, so Lucifer would hold back some of the worship, enjoying what he thought was his share…
…[Until] consumed with jealousy and burning with a desire for recognition, he set out to do what he wanted to do rather than what God wanted him to do.
- Began his career as a liar and a slanderer of God in order to justify his misguided and failed actions…
Satan apparently concluded that he was so magnificent he didn’t need God. Like the first humans, he probably felt he could be his own God.
Once Satan enthroned himself and rejected God’s moral guidance, a whole series of negative character traits automatically developed. Any moral being who rejects God’s leadership finds it psychologically necessary to justify that decision…[Thus] Satan justified his rebellion by finding fault with God.
When Satan rebelled, he became the supreme accuser of God’s character.
- Became a murderer when he provoked Cain to kill his brother, Abel, in an effort to eliminate the righteous son of Adam and Eve—the one he thought might be the redeemer promised to Eve by God…
By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts (Hebrews 11:4).
We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous (1 John 3:12).
- His Ambitious Plan
in addition to his History and Character, we also know that…
- Lucifer’s original plan—his Plan A—called for his overthrow of God and the take-over of His Throne in Heaven; this in spite of the fact that God was and is All-Powerful, and his own power was severely limited in comparison. But…
Far from withdrawing, Satan chose to escalate the conflict. Admitting defeat was too humbling; better to forge ahead with sustained rebellion than withdraw from the fray and accept his punishment. He would pretend that illusion is reality; he would call his defeats triumphs. And he would store up more retribution by expanding his rebellious rule.
- This, of course, led to the creation of his Plan B, which called for him to set up his kingdom and reign upon the Earth…
Pride caused Lucifer to gamble his privileges away. He took the big risk, thinking that if he could not dethrone God, at least he could set up his own throne somewhere in the universe. He had underestimated God and overestimated himself.
- This presented him with another problem, though—God had given the Earth to Man to rule, so what was he to do about that?
When the devil noticed that a new being existed, created in the image and likeness of God, destined to have the lordship over creation, he developed his own plan and wanted to destroy God’s work. Satan’s attack consisted in tempting Adam and Eve with exactly the same iniquity that constituted his own ruin. Lucifer himself had wanted to be like God. That was what he offered Eve, saying, ‘You will not surely die…’
- His Overall Strategy
God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth’ (Genesis 1:27-28)…
…so that, in bearing God’s image to the ends of the earth…
…the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea… (Habakkuk 2:14)
…for Satan to achieve his Plan B and realize his ultimate goal, his strategy had to include…
- Gaining control of the Earth by taking God’s Representatives and intended Family captive through deception and lies. Lying about who he was, who they were, and who God is, Satan convinced Eve, then Adam, to disobey God. As a result…
Adam dropped the scepter and Satan picked it up. Man, created to be king of the earth, would now become a slave and be everywhere in chains… In Eden, the crown slid from man’s head, Satan picked it up from the dust and crowned himself…He would now treat the world as if it belonged to him.
- Preventing God’s Kingdom from coming to the Earth; keeping his captives from escaping to freedom by blinding them to the Truth of God, and keeping them ignorant of His Word and His free gift of Salvation…
By their disobedience, Adam and Eve abdicated their throne of earthly dominion, yielding it to Satan, the architect and instigator of their fall. This ushered in a counterfeit kingdom that the Bible calls the ‘kingdom of darkness,’ which is in constant conflict with the Kingdom of God…
Satan rules his kingdom of darkness by keeping his ‘subjects’ in ignorance of the true nature of their environment and of the existence of God’s Kingdom. He fills their heads with lies and deception. Satan controls his subjects by keeping them ‘in the dark’ regarding spiritual truth. He blinds their eyes lest they understand the glorious good news of Jesus and the Kingdom of Heaven.
- Harassing, intimidating, slandering, and deceiving them at every possible turn—and, should any of them manage to escape…
Satan sees our down times as his opportunities. True to his nature, he strikes with vile determination when we are weakest… Satan is relentless in his attacks because he utterly hates us. He desires our complete destruction. There is no goodness in him at all. He is absolutely void of virtue and compassion. This is his nature and he is not going to change.
- Frustrating the Service of those who manage to make it to the Kingdom of God by stirring up division and strife among them, and wearing them down until they finally give up and quit…
Satan is unable to destroy Christians, so his ultimate goal is to make us ineffective in our mission. Whether he can destroy faith or stalemate us in other ways, his point is to block Christians’ efforts to rescue those currently under his control…he wants to guard his captives from the power of the gospel. Satan can convince most Christians never even to try to advance God’s cause on earth. Others do try, but he can frustrate their plans or redirect them into fruitless projects…
He can divide believers or get them to pursue foolish, doomed-to-failure tactics. And he has been remarkably successful getting believers to preach a message so alien to the gospel that no one could meet Christ through their message.
- Corrupting all the institutions which affect their lives—especially the Family—and distorting the Image of God on the Earth through Sexual Perversion and Gender Confusion…
…when man chose to renounce the will of God…the knowledge of good and evil made its entrance. Man now had a knowledge that corrupted him, poisoned him…now humanity carries in itself the seed of evil that it transmits from generation to generation.
In the moment in which the devil enters into a place of authority over man and creation, the polluted and corrupt world becomes his vehicle of expression, a system designed to keep humanity in slavery. The Bible teaches us that since then, the world serves the devil’s purposes.
- His Defeat and its Impact on the War
- From his victory over the First Adam to the coming of the Second Adam, Jesus Christ, Satan treated “the world as if it belonged to him.” After all, he had wrested the lordship over the Earth from Adam and Eve, and now that they were his slaves, there wasn’t anything that they or their descendants could do about it. That is, until Jesus came, and then it became an altogether different story…
…Jesus came as a human being, living in our post-Fall human context ‘for a little while lower than the angels’ (Hebrews 2:7). As a man He retraced Adam’s footprints up to the point of temptation, facing temptation after temptation and succeeding in obedience where Adam had failed.
Jesus’ obedience, then, took Him even to the cross, and through that to the empty tomb. Thus He won the battle over Satan from behind enemy lines—won it as a man for both humans and God. When the Father resurrected Jesus, a cosmic battle was won, and the usurper defeated and deposed from second place in the universe.
- As a result of His Victory, this Second Adam reclaimed what the First Adam had lost, and restored it to those who would come to the Father through Faith in His Finished Work on the Cross. In spite of his loss, though, Satan isn’t about to roll over and play dead…
…like Nazi Germany even after D-Day, Satan still has plenty of fight left…Knowing he has been defeated doesn’t bring melancholy to Satan; it makes him furious. Seeing his end draw near makes Satan even more frantic to destroy. In the psychology of hatred, rage becomes irrational, and Satan apparently has become angrier than ever. But his strategy is far from irrational. He continues, in calculated and effective ways, to pursue his course of opposition to God’s plans.
- His Kingdom: Past, Present, and Future
From the Garden to the Cross—
- Satan ruled over the Earth with impunity. Having already robbed Man of his innocence in the Garden, he was now free, from the Garden to the Cross, to successfully…
Sear men’s consciences through sin—leading to the destruction of the then-known world through the Flood;
Corrupt the governmental system ordained by God—leading to the rebellion at the Tower of Babel and the confusion of languages;
Introduce a false religious system into the world—which, once the nations were scattered, made its way into every culture in the world; and,
Compromise the worship of the people of God—ultimately leading to their expulsion from the land God had chosen for them.
- At this point, given mankind’s colossal failures and his many successes, it must have seemed to Satan that his rule over the Earth had at last been firmly established. This, however, would soon be proven to be a false assumption. That’s because, in spite of Satan’s best efforts to destroy God’s plan and His people, the Lord has never left Himself without a faithful remnant. As prophesied by Isaiah…
…the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward… (Isaiah 37:31)
- And, it would be through this remnant that the long-awaited Redeemer would finally come…
…when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons (Galatians 4:4-5).
From the Cross to the Second Coming of Christ—
- Although Christ soundly defeated Satan on the Cross, and conquered his power over death through His Resurrection, for reasons that are His own, God continues to allow Satan to rule—albeit as a Usurper—over the ungodly systems he has managed to establish during mankind’s time on the Earth. As we learned previously…
God could put Satan completely away, but He has chosen to use him to give the Church ‘on-the-job’ training in overcoming. Otherwise, there would be no more warfare of any kind. We are in apprenticeship for our place with Christ on the throne following the Marriage Supper of the Lamb…and without an adversary there could be no practice in overcoming.
…Satan exists as God’s instrument of justice for the disobedient and God’s means of purification for the obedient. Our war with him teaches us about the nature of sin, the holiness of God, and our own helplessness apart from Grace.
- So, until Christ returns to set up His Kingdom here on Earth, Satan…
Though under the restraining hand of God…is now in authority over the unregenerate world, and the unsaved are unconsciously organized and federated under his leading…
This federation includes all of the unsaved and fallen humanity; it has the cooperation of the fallen spirits, and is the union of all who are living and acting in independence of God.
This satanic system has its own ideals and principles which are in sharp contrast to the ideals and principles given to the redeemed, yet these two classes must mingle together as closely as the ties of human life can bring them.
- Jesus made mention of these two conflicting classes in His Parable of the Wheat and the Tares, characterizing the wheat as those in the Kingdom of God, and the tares as those in Satan’s Kingdom of Darkness. Since His instructions at that time were to…
Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, ‘Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn’ (Matthew 13:30)…
…such will be the status of Satan’s kingdom until the time for God’s Harvest.
From the Second Coming of Christ to the End of the Age—
- When the time finally comes for the legal owner of the Earth to harvest the crops sown in it from the beginning of time—that is, when everyone who is going to be saved is saved, and Satan’s attempts at ruling the world apart from God have utterly failed, Christ will return to the Earth to execute judgment on Satan and his kingdom…
God’s judgment is often long in coming, but when it arrives it is swift and sure. When God begins to wrap up human history as we know it, the demise of the Serpent will happen in a series of stages. The lake of fire was inevitable from the moment Lucifer said, ‘I will make myself like the Most high’ (Isaiah 14:14), but for centuries God has postponed the inevitable. When He no longer needs Satan for His own purposes, the end shall come. 
- The three stages of Satan’s judgment are as follows…
First, he is cast out of heaven. Second, he is bound for a thousand years. Finally, he is cast into the lake of fire.
If the first step in Satan’s demise is that he is forbidden to reside in heaven, then the second step is that he is forbidden to reside on earth. For one thousand years the nations are permitted to go their own way without satanic direction or influence.
[Then] He who had always taken his own hell with him… [is] to be cast into a hell of a different sort. He must now relinquish control of all beings he ever influenced. The power is gone, so is the insolence, scheming, and defiance. Stripped of everything he once thought he had, he [the former Light Bearer] is now forced to abide in eternal darkness.
- And, once…
‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever (Revelation 11:15)’…
The destruction of the Serpent in the lake of fire stands as a final witness to the fact that no creature who fights again the Creator will win. No will pitted against the will of God will ever find permanent fulfillment and freedom. God has proved that he alone rules, and beside Him there is no other.
Be sure to join us for our next exercise, when we will begin creating a map of Satan’s territory.
In spite of Satan’s claims to the contrary, there is only one I AM–and it’s certainly not him!
 Erwin W. Lutzer, The Serpent of Paradise (Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, 1996),20.
 Lewis Sperry Chafer, Satan: His Motive and Methods (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1964), 17.
 Chafer, Satan, 17.
 Grant R. Jeffrey, Heaven: The Mystery of Angels (Toronto, Ontario: Frontier Research Publications, 1996), 183.
 Dennis McCallum, Satan and His Kingdom (Minneapolis, Minnesota: Bethany House Publishers, 2009), 23.
 Lutzer, The Serpent of Paradise, 26-27.
 Lutzer, The Serpent of Paradise, 27-28.
 McCallum, Satan and His Kingdom, 24.
 Lutzer, The Serpent of Paradise, 40.
 Lutzer, The Serpent of Paradise, 33.
 Harold Caballeros, Victorious Warfare (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2001), 65.
 Lutzer, The Serpent of Paradise, 44-45, 50.
 Myles Munroe, Rediscovering the Kingdom (Shippensburg, Pennsylvania: Destiny Image Publishers, 2004), 84.
 Dean Sherman, Spiritual Warfare for Every Christian (Seattle, Washington: YWAM Publishing, 1990), 39.
 McCallum, Satan and His Kingdom, 56.
 Caballeros, Victorious Warfare, 67.
 Lutzer, The Serpent of Paradise, 44-45, 50.
 Charles H. Kraft, I Give You Authority: Practicing the Authority Jesus Gave Us (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Chosen Books, 1997), 21-22.
 McCallum, Satan and His Kingdom, 51.
 Paul E. Billheimer, Destined for the Throne (Minneapolis, Minnesota: Bethany House Publishers, 1975), 91.
 Lutzer, The Serpent of Paradise, 191.
 Chafer, Satan, 50.
 Lutzer, The Serpent of Paradise, 167..
 Lutzer, The Serpent of Paradise, 168, 186.
 Lutzer, The Serpent of Paradise, 191.
Having established some of the foundational principles for Spiritual Warfare in our last two exercises—that…
- Through Christ, we are once-again the divinely Authorized Rulers over Planet Earth; and,
- By learning to exercise our Authority over His and our enemies, we are being trained to rule along with Christ when He returns to the Earth to set up His Kingdom…
…it is time for us to move on to the training exercises that will help ensure our victory in the spiritual battles that lie ahead. To help us get into the best fighting shape possible, this training will include exercises in…
Understanding the Nature of the Conflict;
Knowing the Enemy;
Getting the Lay of the Land;
Gearing Up for Battle; and,
Honoring the Rules of Engagement.
That being said, let’s get exercise number one underway by first assessing what is involved in this conflict; for…
…what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand (Luke 14:31)?
What We Need to Know
At the outbreak of any war, before the potential combatants suit up and march off to battle, it is essential that they know whom they will be fighting and what they will be fighting for. In order for them to be fully committed to winning the war at any cost, they must first understand the reason behind the conflict and just what is at stake in it for them. If they don’t believe they have a personal interest in it, then they won’t even bother to show up. I think this concept is best illustrated by a brief look at the United States and its delayed entry into World War II.
Throughout much of its history, when it came to its involvement in overseas wars, the United States maintained a policy of isolationism because it didn’t see that it had a personal stake in those faraway conflicts. Maintaining this position was possible because, unlike a lot of the nations of the world—nations which shared common borders—the United States was protected east and west by oceans and shared its northern and southern borders with only two neighboring—and friendly—countries. So, why become involved in wars on the other side of the globe which seemingly had no bearing on life in America?
All of this changed, however, when Adolph Hitler came to power in Germany, and he began his rampage across Europe in pursuit of world domination. At first, even though war had been declared by England and France in 1939 and Hitler had been wreaking havoc across the continent before then (with his oriental ally, Japan, doing the same in the Far East even longer than that), the US refused to become involved. Since it wasn’t being affected by the war, why fight in it? That was its position until Japan attacked America’s naval base at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941—and, then, all of a sudden, it became personal! The US immediately declared war and thousands of young men—eventually millions—made their way to the nearest military recruiter and signed up, because they suddenly had a stake in the outcome of the war!
Although the Second World War was…
…the most widespread and deadliest war in history, involving more than 30 countries and resulting in more than 50 million military and civilian deaths (with some estimates as high as 85 million dead)…
…the war which has been raging in the spiritual world since the beginning of time is one that has affected far more people (every person who has ever lived, in fact), and is far deadlier than WWII—or, all of the wars in human history put together for that matter. That’s because it is the one war which has not only impacted the quality of life on this planet and endangered the life of every human being on it on a daily basis, but it is the one war which has determined the eternal destiny of every person who has ever made the earth his home. Given this, it is a war in which we all have a very personal stake—and one that we each need to understand more fully and take more seriously!
To help us do this, let’s take a moment and look at this war within the overall context of the Bible Story, in an effort to discover…
The Source of the Conflict;
The Nature of the Conflict; and,
The Outcome of the Conflict.
As we do, we need to keep in mind God’s original goal for Mankind and the Earth—which was, to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to Earth, with His Sons and Daughters ruling over it in Righteousness. We know this to be true because…
- God gave the first Man and Woman Dominion over the Earth—that is, the Authority to Rule it–which they subsequently lost to Satan; and,
- Jesus later came to the Earth and reclaimed that lost Authority through His death and resurrection, and restored it to the Children of God.
In fact, as these verses illustrate, Jesus’ entire ministry was focused on restoring the lost Kingdom of God and re-establishing it on the Earth within the Hearts of Men…
From that time [the beginning of His ministry] Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17)
Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God…unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3, 5)
…but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God…for I was sent for this purpose.” (Luke 4:43)
Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. (Luke 8:1)
When the crowds learned it, they followed him, and he welcomed them and spoke to them of the kingdom of God and cured those who had need of healing. (Luke 9:11)
And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried…your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the (Luke 12:29-32)
The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone forces his way into it. (Luke 16:16)
…and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Luke 22:29)
And this gospel [the good news] of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14)
Since the Kingdom of God—both its restoration and proclamation—was at the heart of Jesus’ mission to Earth, then it stands to reason that it must have been the reason for the conflict in the first place.
The Source of the Conflict
To discover the reason behind this war, we must go back before time even began; when, at some point in Eternity Past, the All-Wise, All-Knowing, All-Powerful God purposed to have a Family and to create the Earth as the place for that Family to live. In anticipation of this, He first created a huge Host of Angelic Beings, whose purpose would be to serve Him by serving His soon-to-be Heirs of Salvation—or, the coming Sons and Daughters of God…
Of the angels he says, ‘He makes his angels winds, and his ministers a flame of fire.’ Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation? (Hebrews 1:7, 14)
To facilitate this future Service, God created different types of Angels, each one designed for a specific purpose and each one given a particular rank of Authority—with those highest in rank called Archangels. One of these Archangels was named Lucifer and, as possibly the highest-ranking Angel, it was his job to protect the Throne of God and lead the Worship which took place around it. He must have been something to behold, because in Ezekiel 28 he was described as being…
…the signet of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty… every precious stone was your covering… On the day that you were created they were prepared.
You were an anointed guardian cherub. I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God; in the midst of the stones of fire you walked.
You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created.
…till unrighteousness was found in you… you were filled with violence in your midst, and you sinned; so I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God, and I destroyed you, O guardian cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
Your heart was proud because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor. I cast you to the ground… (Ezekiel 28:14-18)
Just what could have caused this? In Isaiah 14, we learn that…
You [Lucifer] said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ (Isaiah 14:13-14)
In other words, Lucifer—now the Devil and Satan—so coveted God’s Throne and Power that he rebelled against God in an effort to obtain that Throne and usurp His Power. Having been denied the Throne in the Kingdom of Heaven, Satan then purposed to set up his own kingdom here on Earth.
God had other plans for the Earth, though; for, as we have already learned, He intended for it to be ruled by Man. So, try to imagine the outrage that Satan must have felt when he heard God announce…
Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth (Genesis 1:26)…
…as well as his delight when the Woman he tempted…
…saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate (Genesis 3:6).
What a coup! Not only did he succeed in enslaving Man and alienating him from God, but he also managed to wrest the Right to Rule from Man so that he could set up his own kingdom here on the Earth. Where before, there had only been One Kingdom and One Will in existence—that being God’s—there were now Two Kingdoms and Wills, both contending for the hearts and allegiances of Men and Women. As Watchman Nee explains…
We may say that there are two massive contradictory wills throughout the universe. On one side stands the holy and perfect will of God; on the other is arrayed the defiled, defiling, and opposing will of Satan. In between subsists the sovereign, independent, free will of man.
This is so important for us to grasp, because in this cosmic battle of wills, the decision as to which one will prevail on the earth has been delegated by God to the will of each human being living on this planet, and it is determined every time he or she chooses to do what will satisfy his or her own selfish desires, or what will be pleasing to God. To put it simply, then, this contention for the free will of man is what this war is all about.
The Nature of the Conflict
When we describe this war as a clash between kingdoms, mind you, we are not talking about physical or material kingdoms, but spiritual ones. They are actually the systems of governance which rule the hearts and minds of people and, by extension, the operating systems existing in the spheres where these people live. We need to clarify this because I think there is a tendency on our parts to regard Satan as the owner of the Earth when, in reality, he isn’t. In Ephesians 2:2, the Apostle Paul calls him the Prince of the Power of the Air because that is where his domain is. The Earth itself, on the other hand, still belongs to God…
The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein… (Psalm 24:1)
Since Adam and Eve were only given the Right to Rule as God’s governors on the Earth—and not the title deed to it—the Dominion that Satan took from them also gave him the Authority to rule over the world and its systems, but not the legal ownership of the Earth. Even so, this Authority alone was enough to enable him, over time, to establish the political, cultural, and religious systems that are so reflective of his ambition and nature–systems which he has used so effectively to manipulate and dominate his poor, unsuspecting subjects ever since the Garden of Eden.
Because Satan’s kingdom was founded upon pride and rebellion, and operates on the basis of deception and lies, slander and corruption, every institution that he has established as part of this world’s system bears those same characteristics and functions according to the same principles. Through these institutions, as well as through his constant appeal to the pride and baser human instincts of man, he has—as the god of this world—been able to control the hearts, minds, and especially the wills of those in his kingdom, and has…
…blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God (2 Corinthians 4:3-4).
In the war to maintain control of his subjects and his territory, no underhanded scheme or dirty trick has been beneath him—with guerrilla warfare being his specialty. To use the words of Jesus…
He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44); and, is…
The thief [who] comes only to steal and kill and destroy (John 10:10).
C.S Lewis, in his classic apologetic novel, The Screwtape Letters, imagines this war of wills through the eyes of a seasoned demon named Screwtape, when he writes…
To us [demons] a human is primarily food; our aim is the absorption of its will into ours, the increase of our own area of selfhood at its expense. But the obedience which the Enemy [God] demands of men is quite a different thing. One must face the fact that all the talk about His love for men, and His service being perfect freedom, is not (as one would gladly believe) mere propaganda, but an appalling truth.
He really does want to fill the universe with a lot of loathsome little replicas of Himself—creatures whose life, on its miniature scale, will be qualitatively like His own, not because he has absorbed them but because their wills freely conform to His. We want cattle who can finally become food; He wants servants who can finally become sons. We want to suck in, He wants to give out. We are empty and would be filled; He is full and flows over. Our war aim is a world in which Our Father Below has drawn all other beings into himself: the Enemy (God) wants a world full of beings united to Him but still distinct. 
In this excerpt, Lewis clarifies the Nature of the Conflict for us: Satan and those in his kingdom want to destroy the individual and absorb his will into their own, in order to satisfy their insatiable greed and increase their power base; while God and those in His Kingdom want to bring the individual into the Family of God, shower him with love, and empower him to become the unique and whole/holy person God created him to be. In the former, the motivation is selfishness and greed, while in the latter, it is giving and grace. Given the marked contrast in the nature of these two kingdoms, we might wonder why anyone in their right mind would will to remain in a kingdom such a Satan’s, when they could will to enjoy the freedom in a Kingdom like God’s. As I see it, the most likely explanation is that they have no idea that the Kingdom of God even exists, and that they can actually choose to be a part of it—a situation directly attributable to the Church’s failure in carrying out Christ’s final and Great Commission to…
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age (Matthew 28:18-19).
As the Sons and Daughters of God–and Soldiers of the Cross, it is our responsibility to take the Light of the Gospel into the sin-darkened territories held by Satan, so that those still imprisoned there can see their way clear to the Kingdom of God. Instead of going AWOL, we need to suit up and show up, ready for battle—because the sooner we do what we are supposed to do, the sooner the war will end.
The Outcome of the Conflict
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance (2 Peter 3:9)…
…He will not bring this war to an end until every single one of His Children has been brought home to Him. When all those who will be saved are saved, and His Family is complete, He will crush His enemies, merely by the Word of His mouth, and set up His Kingdom of Righteousness and Peace on the Earth. Satan and all those in his kingdom will be thrown into the Lake of Fire where they will suffer forever, while those in God’s Kingdom will take their places before him and hear, at last, their Father say…
Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master (Matthew 25:21).
In our next exercise, we will learn what this warfare is really all about.
Keith and Kristyn Getty challenge the Church to Arise…
 Watchman Nee, The Spiritual Man (Richmond, VA: Christian Fellowship Publishers, Incorporated, 1968), Book 3, 77.
 C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2001), chapter 8.
In our last exercise, Spiritual Warfare: A Question of Authority, we were introduced to the concept of Dominion and, as part of that introduction, we learned that our Destiny, as God’s Children, is to one-day rule alongside of Christ in His Coming Kingdom. In anticipation of and preparation for that Destiny, God gifted the first Man and Woman with the Authority that they (and we) would need to rule over His Earthly Creation.
Unfortunately, this Authority was lost—handed over to Satan—when Adam and Eve succumbed to his temptation to disobey God in order to become “gods” on their own terms—that is, apart from God and through their own wisdom and works. Of course, it didn’t take long for them to realize what a foolish decision that was; not only did they immediately lose their (and our) Authority to rule, but both they and we became slaves to Satan, sin, and death in the process.
Thankfully, God already had a plan in place, one in which His Son, Jesus, would come to the Earth as a Man, live and die as a Man–and then, through His sacrificial and atoning death on the Cross, He would recover Man’s lost estate which included the forfeited Right to Rule over the Earth. It was this Authority that Jesus, upon the successful completion of His mission, restored to His Disciples, and to all who would later come to Faith in God through Him.
If We’ve Already Won, Why Fight?
When we say that Jesus, through His Victorious Death and Resurrection, won back our lost Authority, we do not mean to imply that He divested Satan of any of his power. That’s because, in spite of the often-interchangeable use of these words, Authority and Power are two different things. As Dutch Sheets explains…
…authority and power are not the same. Power is the ‘strength or force’ needed to rule; authority is the ‘right’ to do so. They are governmental twins and must operate in tandem; authority without the power to enforce it is meaningless; power exercised without authority—the right to use that power—is usurpation and is morally wrong.
Satan didn’t gain any power at the fall and didn’t lose any at the cross. His power or ability didn’t change at either event; his authority, or the right to use that power, did. In fact, though Christians often state otherwise, Scripture nowhere says that Christ delivered us from or dealt with Satan’s power at Calvary. He dealt with Satan’s authority.
This difference is important for us to grasp because it will help us understand the Apostle Peter’s warning to…
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).
It is also an important distinction to be made because…
If Jesus stripped Satan of his power, as some teach, then we longer need to concern ourselves with him—he becomes a nonissue. Or if we Christians have been delivered from Satan’s power, as some teach, then he can no longer affect or control us. We would be able to ignore him completely, which is precisely what many Christians do.
If on the other hand, Jesus dealt with Satan’s authority—the right to use his power or abilities—then we would need to deal with him as a usurper, a rebel, a thief that has no right to steal, kill, and destroy but will if not stopped (see John 10:10). If we have been delivered from Satan’s authority and given a higher authority in Christ’s name, then we must exercise that authority over the devil’s works and power. When we do, God’s awesome power will back up our authority.
Since we know that Jesus has dealt with Satan’s authority, and we have been delivered from his authority and given a higher one in Christ’s name, we must use what we have been given to stop the works of the Satanic Usurper so that the Kingdom of Heaven can come to the Earth—just as God has always intended it to do.
For although Satan knows what Christ did to him at Calvary and through the Resurrection, and realizes that as a part of Christ the believer is his master, he still carries on a guerrilla warfare against the Church through the use of subterfuge, deception, and bluff. While guerrilla warfare is illegal, it is still warfare and must be faced and overcome. God could put Satan completely away, but He has chosen to use him to give the Church ‘on-the-job’ training in overcoming. Otherwise, there would be no more warfare of any kind.
We are in apprenticeship for our place with Christ on the throne following the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. The crown belongs to the conqueror—and without an adversary there could be no practice in overcoming.
An Apprenticeship in Overcoming
By definition, to overcome means to…
- to get the better of in a struggle or conflict; conquer; defeat: as in, to overcome the enemy; or,
- to prevail over (opposition, a debility, temptations, etc.); surmount: as in, to overcome one’s weaknesses.
I don’t know about you but the thought of all this effort holds little to no appeal for me; as someone with a serious aversion to confrontation and conflict, it sounds like a lot more hostility and hardship than I want to sign up for. Given my “druthers,” my flesh—that is, my body and soul—would prefer to coast along through life with as few physical challenges and emotional hassles as possible. However, this just isn’t going to happen, is it? As most of us can already attest to, life seems to be one series of obstacles after another; between which, if we are fortunate, we find brief periods of rest and relief. So, in light of this, what should our attitude toward these obstacles be?
The Apostle Paul answers that question for us in Philippians 2:5, when he challenges us to…
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus…
…a challenge which then begs the question, what kind of mind did Jesus have? Having reviewed some of the humiliation, rejection, opposition, and affliction that Jesus encountered on His way to the Cross in our last exercise, and considering how He triumphed over every obstacle that stood between Him and the completion of His mission—a mission which ultimately ended with His victory over death itself—I think we can safely say that the mind of Christ was one of an Overcomer.
I bet you didn’t realize it at the time but, when you trusted Christ as your Savior, you also became an overcomer just like Him. That’s because, before you could even come to faith in Him, you had to overcome three really big obstacles–the things that the Bible refers to as “the world, the flesh, and the devil.” This means that on your way to the Cross, you had to overcome the downward pull of the world and its culture, the inward pull of your sinful human nature, plus all of the obstacles that were placed in your path by the devil solely for the purpose of keeping you away from Jesus. And, since all of this was being accomplished over the course of time, you probably had no idea at all that this was what you were actually doing.
The truth is, that as distasteful as the thought of overcoming may be to our flesh, once we are Born Again through Christ, it becomes a part of our spiritual makeup—or, as these verses attest to, a part of our Spiritual DNA…
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. John 16:33
For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith (1 John 5:4).
Little children, you are from God and have overcome them [opposing spirits], for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4).
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21).
To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne (Revelation 3:21).
Overcoming, then, is the process by which we, as the Church, learn to take authority over the obstacles and the enemies that are trying to keep God’s Will and Kingdom from coming to the Earth. It is imperative that we become adept at this because as the Bride of God’s Son, we will one-day be ruling with Him over this very same Kingdom. As the Apostle Paul explains it…
…do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! (1 Corinthians 6:2-3)
Therefore, in preparation for her glorious Destiny, the Church—the Bride of Christ…
…must learn the art of spiritual warfare, of overcoming evil forces in preparation for her assumption of the throne following the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. To enable her to learn the technique of overcoming, God devised the scheme of prayer. To give her ‘on-the-job’ training, God delegated to her the authority to enforce His will right here on earth. In order to enable her to acquire the character and the ‘know how’ she will need as co-sovereign, He has placed upon her the responsibility and authority to enforce God’s will and administer His decisions in the affairs of earth.
We’re in the Army Now!
Although they may be unaware of it at the time, when New Believers come to Christ for Salvation, in addition to being Born Again spiritually and adopted into the Family of God, they are also automatically inducted into the Armed Forces of God. Make no mistake about it, this is not a Volunteer Army; for, everyone who is raised to New Life in Christ is immediately conscripted into it as one of His Soldiers.
Unfortunately, some of these Believers, due to a lack of adequate Discipleship Training, remain woefully ignorant of the Spiritual War raging around them and of their responsibility to do battle in it—so they never even report for Service. Some others, when they are made aware of the conflict, acknowledge the reality of the situation but then refuse to become involved, leaving others to do the fighting for them while they assume the stance of Conscientious Objectors. And still others, when informed of the War and their status as Soldiers in it, flatly refuse to believe that it is real and go AWOL, choosing to live out their lives in a perpetual state of Spiritual Denial.
But let’s not be counted among these! Not only does their absence on the Spiritual Battlefield hurt the cause of Christ and hinder the coming of His Kingdom, but it also robs them of the rewards they may have otherwise received in that Kingdom.
Instead, let’s keep in mind that…
…we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil (2 Corinthians 5:10); and,
…whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward (Colossians 3:23-24).
Then, we can…
…press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14); being…
…fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised (Romans 4:21).
Stay with us because in our next exercise, we will be taking a look into the Nature of the Conflict…
Mandisa reminds us that each of us is an “Overcomer” through Christ …
 Dutch Sheets, Authority in Prayer: Praying with Power and Purpose (Bethany House: Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2006), 20.
 Sheets, Authority in Prayer, 21.
 Paul E. Billheimer, Destined for the Throne (Minneapolis, Minnesota: Bethany House Publishers, 1975), 91.
 Billheimer, Destined for the Throne, 49.