In this latest replay of the Spiritual Warfare exercises from our Workout Room, we explore the history and character of our Adversary the Devil. To learn more about this Enemy of our Souls, please go to… Spiritual Warfare: Knowing the Enemy | 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 was I 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 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, 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 would mean 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. Then, with Man no longer thinking of himself as a sinner, all that he would need in life is an education and the motivation 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—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.
And 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 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 surely 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 Britches and get busy about the business of being the Church—which will require 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.
Having familiarized ourselves with the character, career, and ultimate end of our enemy (Satan) in our previous exercise, it is now time for us to “get the lay of the land” over which he rules. In other words, we are going to reconnoiter–or, to put it into military terms–do a “recon” of our enemy’s territory. Since reconnoiter comes from the French word reconnoitre, meaning to “make a survey,” our goal in this action is…
…to inspect, observe, or survey (the enemy, the enemy’s strength or position, a region, etc.) in order to gain information for military purposes.
Given that the enemy’s territory is so vast, and largely invisible to the naked eye, surveying it seems like a rather daunting task for us to undertake. This is especially true when we consider that there are many whose knowledge of the world beyond their immediate spheres is so limited that they cannot identify many of the states on a map, or give a location for the countries whose names they so frequently hear in the news. Nevertheless, if we are going to be at all effective in waging Spiritual Warfare, this is something that must done—and, it is something we will endeavor to do through a process known as Spiritual Mapping.
Spiritual Mapping is the term coined by George Otis, Jr., a specialist in prayer and world evangelization, to describe the method…
…by which ‘We learn to see the world as it really is, not as it appears to be;’ and,
…which involves…’Superimposing our understanding of forces and events in the spiritual domain onto places and circumstances in the material world.’
In other words, it is a way for us to make the invisible supernatural forces at work in the natural world visible to us through our eyes of faith. This is so important because…
…behind many visible aspects of the world around us may be spiritual forces, invisible areas of reality that may have more ultimate significance than the visible.
As for how to go about doing this mapping, we will…
- Take what we can learn about Satan and his kingdom in the Word of God;
- Apply this information to what we know about the Earth and its environs; then…
- Attempt to identify the visible Structures which the invisible powers have erected upon the Earth and throughout the Cosmos—and, by Structures, I am referring to the Systems of Governance which hold sway over the lives of every human being living on this planet.
As with any map, ours will consist of a vertical element—a y-axis, if you will—as well as a horizontal element—or an x-axis—that will need to be plotted out. For our purposes, this y- or vertical axis, as a spiritual one in nature, will define the extent of Satan’s domain in its northerly to southerly direction; while the x- or horizontal axis, being a terrestrial one in nature, will demonstrate the extent of his domain in an easterly to westerly direction.
Mapping Out Satan’s Vertical Domain
Although the Bible doesn’t give us any concrete dimensions for Satan’s kingdom, it does infer a three-fold vertical division of it in the following verses…
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:9-11).
And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it (Revelation 5:3).
And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!’ (Revelation 5:13)
The fact that there are beings in heaven, on the earth, and beneath the earth who are not presently bowing to the Lordship of Jesus Christ is a clear indication that these are the areas which are currently under Satan’s dominion. Given this information, we now know that any mapping we do of Satan’s vertical territory must include a survey of its Celestial, Terrestrial, and Subterranean divisions.
Its Celestial Division
By Celestial, we mean the area…
…pertaining to the sky or visible heavens; or to the universe beyond the earth’s atmosphere;
…pertaining to the spiritual or invisible heaven.
In its opening verse, the Bible makes reference to both the visible and invisible heavens mentioned in this definition, when it tells us that…
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1).
Later, in 2 Chronicles 2:6, another reference to is made to them by Solomon in his dedicatory prayer for the temple…
But who is able to build a temple for him, since the heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain him?
And, then, in 2 Corinthians 12:2-4, the Apostle Paul makes an even more specific reference to them as he relates the following…
I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows—and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter.
Derek Prince explains the significance of all this in the following way…
Logic convinces me that if there is a third heaven, there must be a first and second. So there are at least three heavens.
What are the three heavens? The first heaven is the visible and natural heaven with the sun, the moon, and the stars that we see with our eyes. The third heaven, we know from 2 Corinthians 12, is God’s dwelling place. It is paradise, the place of rest of the departed righteous.
So we are left with the second heaven. Clearly, this must be between the first and the third. I understand it to be an intermediate heaven between the heaven of God’s dwelling and the visible heaven that we see here on earth. I also believe this intermediate heaven is where Satan’s headquarters are located.
With the third heaven being God’s dwelling place—and the place from which Satan was evicted after his failed rebellion—it stands to reason that the second heaven would be the next best place for him to set up his kingdom’s headquarters. From this vantage point, he is not only able to supervise his operations in the first heaven and the lower regions, but he is also ideally situated to interfere with or attempt to interrupt the ministry of God’s angels to those living on the earth.
As for how he goes about doing this, because he is neither omnipresent nor omniscient like God, he has to rely on the support of and intelligence provided by a hierarchy of demonic underlings, such as those described by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 6:12…
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Thomas White, a specialist in strategic level warfare, elaborates on this passage with a word study of the Greek in an excerpt from his book, The Believers’ Guide to Spiritual Warfare…
Paul brings light to the topic by depicting the powers as organized in a hierarchy of rulers/principalities (archai), authorities (exousia), powers (dunamis), and spiritual forces of evil (kosmokratoras). It is reasonable to assume the authority structure here is arranged in descending order. Daniel 10:13 and 20 unveil the identity of the archai as high level satanic princes set over nations and regions of the earth. The word exousia carries a connotation of both supernatural and natural government…
Presumably, the dunamis operate within countries and cultures to influence certain aspects of life. The kosmokratoras are the many types of evil spirits that commonly afflict people, e.g., spirits of deception, divination, lust, rebellion, fear, and infirmity. These, generally are the evil powers confronted and cast out in most deliverance sessions. Even among them there is ranking, the weaker spirits subservient to stronger ones.
And, as we shall discover in an upcoming exercise…
These insidious powers continue to work through human governments, religions, and powerful personalities to keep people in bondage to legalism, social ideology, and moral compromise. Their role is to pollute the minds and pervert the wills of people, diverting them from redemption, holding them hostage to the father of lies. When we describe evil at this level, we are in a sense describing the Board Room of Hell, acknowledging that there are high ranking C.E.O.s (Chief Executive Officers) responsible for major movements of deception and destruction in our world.
Although the Bible doesn’t give us much more information than this about these evil beings, some revelations of them have been given to a variety of people over time—with one unlikely group of recipients being the children living in the Adullam Home in the little town of Kotchiu, China, sometime during the 1920’s. This home was opened and run by missionaries H.A. Baker and his wife, Josephine—a Pentecostal couple who witnessed a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon these uneducated and beggarly children, and who recorded these visitations in the book, Visions Beyond the Vail. Here is a transcript from that book, detailing some of the things the children witnessed while under the anointing power of the Holy Spirit…
The government of the hosts of evil is in mid-heaven. There are thrones from which the devil’s angels exercise their Satanic government over the earth. These rulers of darkness vary. Some are larger in stature than others; there is variation in dress, crowns, facial expressions, disposition, and authority. In all respects they are as devilish in appearance and act as the hosts of Satan are expected to be.
These rulers of evil are in constant contention amongst themselves, each resenting the authority of those higher in power, each jealous of the other and all covetous of the seats of highest rank. Those in higher rank hold their positions, not by consent of the lower orders, but solely through their own superior fierceness and powers. Cliques and individuals are in constant conflict and quarrels.
All have crowns that represent various orders and ranks. All desire to sit on the thrones above and supervise the work of evil on earth, rather than descend on delegated duties to further the demonical powers below.
Those of highest rank sit on thrones in the mid-heavens, ruling over innumerable hosts of evil spirts, from whose number delegations are constantly dispatched to earth to entice its inhabitants, to withstand the forces of righteousness, to strengthen weak places in the demonical forces of earth, and to bind and to drag the souls of evil men to hell when they die.
Although these wicked demons fly in high heaven to the very gates of the New Jerusalem and although they descend to earth and fly in its air, the center where they congregate in countless numbers is in the region of the thrones of authority in the mid-heavens. Here evil hosts of wicked spirits of all sizes fly hither and thither or move about more deliberately. A certain halo surrounds the wicked angels of higher rank.
All are similar in some respects: all have wings, all have crowns, all belong in the heavens. The delegated messengers go to earth only temporarily. Their evil errand finished, they again return to the heavens.
Its Terrestrial Division
With the higher-ranking demons supervising the devil’s work from their lofty perch in the Second Heaven, the actual hands-on dirty work on the Earth is carried out by demons of a lesser order. According to the visions of the children at Adullam…
The hosts of evil spirits on earth are very different from those which fly through the heavens. Those on earth do not have wings; they can walk and run rapidly; and they move freely but apparently do not leave the earth. They vary in size from a few inches to ten feet in height, wear gaudy colored clothes of many stripes, and have fancy caps of various shapes and colors; some, on the other hand, wear rags or filthy garments.
Some of these demons on earth have very little power and are of a rather harmless order. Others, however, are large in stature, fierce in appearance, and have great power. These on earth withstand the work of righteous men and the work of angels among them.
Whether large or small, weak or strong, these are the beings who are responsible for keeping their human charges on the earth in bondage to their master, Satan; and, in the event that they fail at this, to keep those finding freedom in the Kingdom of God from growing in the knowledge of Him and from serving Him and His Kingdom purposes successfully. We were introduced to some of the ways they accomplished these tasks in Service: Interrupted…by Devilish Design, and we will learn even more about them when we get around to plotting out the x-axis of our map in our next exercise. So, for the time being, let’s move on to our survey of the third and final division of Satan’s vertical domain, which is…
Its Subterranean Division
By Subterranean, we mean that part of Satan’s kingdom…
Existing, situated, or operating below the surface of the earth; underground;
Existing or operating out of sight or secretly; hidden or secret.
While we might be tempted to dismiss the idea that there could be such a place, Jesus Himself confirmed its existence in the parable of the rich man and the beggar named Lazarus, found in Luke 16:19-31…
There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side.
And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’
And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house—for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’
But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’
From Jesus’ description, up to that time in history, there were two places—two holding tanks, if you will—where the souls of men would go upon their deaths: the righteous would go to Abraham’s side (in some translations, Abraham’s bosom), and otherwise referred to as Paradise, while the wicked would go to Hades, also known as Sheol in the Old Testament. Since the writers of the Old Testament always thought of Sheol as being “…down under, somewhere in a hollow part of the earth,” and since, in the parable, the rich man and Abraham could see one another, it is logical to conclude that both places were underground, in close proximity to one another, with some kind of un-crossable barrier between them…
The reason there are two different realms in sheol is best explained by remembering that sheol has two different kinds of inhabitants…here the righteous and the wicked enter, though when they arrive, they do not have the same experience.
From this parable, we learn that…
The man in hades was fully conscious immediately after death. Memory, speaking, pain, and bliss—all of these were a part of his experience.
The eternal destiny of this man was irrevocably fixed…[he] is confined, without any possibility of escape.
This man knew himself well enough to know that what he was experiencing was fair and just…he complains about the pain, but he does not complain about injustice.
The rich man of Luke 16 was not yet in hell, but hades. Because the King James Version often translated both sheol and hades as hell, this needlessly confused two different kinds of regions. The Bible is clear that no one is yet in hell today. Someday, hades will be thrown into hell, but that has as yet not happened (Revelation 20:14).
As for Lazarus, because he was in Abraham’s Bosom or Paradise when Jesus was resurrected from the dead, he and all the Old Testament saints who were with him were carried along with Jesus into Heaven—leaving Hades with only one section, and with Hades still being…
…an abode for departed spirits, a temporary intermediate state where those who have not received God’s forgiveness wait until further notice. When they hear their names called, the news that awaits them will not be encouraging.
The experiences of the children at Adullam also bear witness to the present-day existence of hell (Hades); for…
Over and over again the children had visions of hell and the lake of fire. The first time anyone was under the anointing of the Spirit he usually had a vision of hell. He was bound in chains by demons and taken through a region of darkness. Some children could hear demons all about them in this region.
The children saw not only darkness in hell, but also the lake of fire which was always approached through a region of stygian darkness. In vision they were led to the edge of a great lake of molten fire in a semi-dark pit from which arose clouds of smoke. When the smoke settled low, the fire in the lake was less distinct. When the smoke lifted a little, the burning lake with red and greenish flames and its inmates could be distinctly seen.
The lost were seen going into hell. Some fell in, some walked over the brink, and some were bound by demon chains and cast into hell by demons. One boy saw groups of the wicked bound in bundles, ready to be cast into this furnace of fire.
When the fire abated and the smoke settled down the moans of the miserable could be heard. When the fire at intervals increased in intensity and the smoke lifted a little there were shrieks and wails of agony.
In the lake of fire were oceans of hands reaching up for help. Those below pled with those looking in upon them to come to their rescue. We could hear the children talking to them just as you can hear someone talking over the telephone and get but one side of the conversation.
More recently and in separate experiences, Mary K. Baxter and Bill Wiese witnessed first-hand the horrors of hell when they were carried there in the spirit by the Lord. In their books, they describe in great detail the demons who run rough-shod over those who leave this world without knowing Christ and end up at their mercy in the Subterranean division of Satan’s kingdom—with both confirming that hell/Hades is real and a place to be avoided at all costs!
In our next exercise, we will begin mapping our the horizontal dimensions of Satan’s domain, as we uncover some of the Political and Financial Structures that Satan has established here on the earth.
Francesca Battestelli reminds us that when God is on our side, any giants we face will fall…
 C. Peter Wagner, Breaking Strongholds in Your City (Ventura, California: Regal Books, 1993), 32.
 Wagner, Breaking Strongholds in Your City, 49.
 Derek Prince, Spiritual Warfare (New Kensington, Pennsylvania: Whitaker House, 2001), 21-23.
 C. Peter Wagner, ed., Territorial Spirits (Chichester, England: Sovereign World, Ltd., 1991),61-62.
 Wagner, Territorial Spirits (Chichester, England: Sovereign World, Ltd., 1991), 62.
 H.A. Baker, Visions Beyond the Vail (New Kensington, Pennsylvania: Whitaker House, 1973),82-83.
 Baker, Visions Beyond the Vail, 84.
 Erwin W. Lutzer, One Minute After You Die (Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, 1997), 32.
 Lutzer, One Minute After You Die, 33-34.
 Lutzer, One Minute After You Die, 37-40.
 Lutzer, One Minute After You Die, 41.
 Baker, Visions Beyond the Vail, 87-89.
 Mary K. Baxter, A Divine Revelation of Hell (New Kensington, Pennsylvania: Whitaker House, 1997), and Bill Wiese, 23 Minutes in Hell (Lake Mary, Florida: Charisma House, 2006).
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 become better acquainted with our enemy.
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.
As promised at the end of our last workout session, we are back to finish what we started in our exercise on Service: Women and the Work of God. There, in Part One, in pursuit of a better understanding of the role God intends for Women to play in the Service of His Kingdom, we once again went back to the story of Adam and Eve, looking at it to determine…
- God’s Purposes for the Sexes;
- God’s Punishment of the Sexes; and,
- God’s Promise to the Sexes.
As a result, we discovered that in His quest for a Family to love, God created Man as a Spirit Being, a Spirit which He then placed in the two houses He called Male and Female. As a Spirit, Man could relate to God and in the physical houses of Male and Female, he could (re)produce the Family that God has always desired. We also learned that because he was created first, the Man was placed in the Position of Head over God’s Creation, with the Woman being created later to be his Companion and Helper in carrying out the Work of God. This arrangement, however, did not mean that the Male was superior to the Female, for from the beginning of their history together, they were both…
Equal in their standing before God;
Equal in their call to the work of God; and,
Equal in their blessing by God.
Something else that we learned was that in his Position as Head, the Man was meant to reflect the Headship of God the Father, while the Woman was intended to be a picture of the nature and work of the Holy Spirit. As such, the Man possessed what the late Dr. Myles Munroe referred to as Position Power, while the Woman possessed what he aptly described as Influence Power. In the words of Dr. Munroe…
Power and influence are equal, but different…
First, position-power generally comes with a title, such as king, governor, doctor, or pastor. Second, position-power is usually executed through commands, whether verbal or written. It is the authority that goes with the position, and the commands, that is the nature of the man’s power.
Influence-power manifests itself in a very different way.
First, a woman may have a title, but she doesn’t need a title to lead. She leads by influence…Second, a woman doesn’t need to talk in order to run things. She leads just by her influence…the woman doesn’t need to say a word; she just looks, and people respond. This is a very powerful influence.
Position-power announces itself. Influence-power just comes in and controls things. By the time you realize its presence, it has already taken over.
We will learn more about these differing leadership functions as we progress in this exercise—especially when dealing with Man’s Testing in the Garden, and the consequences of his failure there. Since that was where we left off in Part 1, that is where we will begin this time—as we continue our look into…
- God’s Punishment of the Sexes
No matter how well you package it, testing is one gift that I think few, if any, would look forward to receiving. At its mere mention, most of us shrink back, no doubt put off by the mental images it evokes—images of the hard work and preparation it requires, the struggle involved in making the right choices, and the thoughts of failure and the consequences which that would bring. Given the amount of angst involved in testing’s anticipation, it was probably a good thing Adam and Eve did not see it coming.
God, on the other hand, not only knew that it was coming but He purposely allowed it into their lives. That’s because to Him, testing is essential to the proving of one’s righteousness and obedience to the Word and Will of God; so essential, in fact, that He required the same kind of testing of His Son, Jesus Christ. For immediately following His baptism and just prior to the beginning of His public ministry…
…Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil (Matthew 4:1).
The Apostle James explains some of the principles of testing in this way…
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.
But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.
Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death (James 1:12-15).
While this sort of downward progression is something we see taking place in the testing of Adam and Eve, of more immediate interest to us is the cunning plan lurking behind Satan’s temptation, and the bearing it will have on God’s punishment of Man’s transgression.
The Cunning Behind the Con
In Service: Interrupted…By Devilish Design, we learned of Satan’s goal to subvert the Kingdom of God and supplant it with his own. Since God’s Kingdom is a Spirit-Down one, ordered in the following way…
The Man next;
Then the Woman; and,
Lastly the Animals…
…for Satan to achieve his goal, he would have to overturn God’s Spirit-Down order and replace it with a Flesh-Up one. By Flesh-Up, I mean that Man would be living life no longer under the direction of the Spirit of God, but according to the fleshly dictates imposed on him by his body and soul. In a Flesh-Up order, Man would be dead to the things of God, and the line of communication between him and his Maker would be severed. In this condition, he could not become a Child of God, and any Service he might have rendered as such to the Kingdom of God would be eliminated. This, of course, is exactly the type of situation that Satan was hoping to create when he approached Adam and Eve in the Garden.
As for his method of achieving this end, instead of confronting Adam directly, the possessor of the Position Power and the direct Word of God, Satan made his sly and subtle appeal to Eve.
The devil is clever…he was after the man, because the man is the foundation, but he couldn’t get to the man because position-power can usually stand firm as long as its position is genuine. You can’t destroy position-power directly; you have to destroy it through influence.
So, appearing in the form of a Serpent, he beguiled Eve into eating of the Forbidden Fruit and then, through the manipulation of her Influence Power, he succeeded in enticing her husband to join her in her Sin. As a result of this coup, Satan’s reversal of God’s order was complete, for…
- A member of the Animal Kingdom had usurped the authority of the Woman;
- The Woman had used her Powers of Persuasion to usurp the authority of the Man; and,
- The Man had rejected the authority of God and His Word and abdicated his position of Headship in the process.
The Consequences of the Con
In Genesis 3: 14-19, we find the record of God’s judgment on this upheaval of His divine order, a judgment in which the punishment was meted out in the same order in which the crime was committed. Addressing the Serpent first, God said…
Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.
Next, He came to the Woman and said…
I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be contrary to your husband [for your husband, in some translations], but he shall rule over you.
Then finally, to the Man, He had this to say…
Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.
Looking closely at these judgments, we can see that in each case, the punishment was appropriate for the crime—something to be expected, given that everything in God’s Creation was designed to reproduce “…after its own kind.” We know this to be true because God said so ten times in the Creation Story found in Genesis 1—a principle which was later affirmed by the Apostle Paul in this very familiar passage…
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life (Galatians 6: 7-8).
Here, then, is the way this Sowing and Reaping Principle played out in God’s Judgment on the perpetrators of this crime…
The Serpent—as an Animal
- Because it had presumed to raise itself above its divinely ordained station in life, it would be brought down, cursed as the lowliest of creatures, to spend its days slithering on the ground.
- Because it had tempted Eve to eat what she shouldn’t have, it would have to eat what it didn’t want to—which was dust.
- Instead of being looked upon as the beautiful creature that it once was, it would forever after be regarded as a loathsome beast.
- Instead of the friendly relationship it had shared with the Woman in the Garden, from then on, their relationship would be one of mutual hostility.
The Serpent—as the Devil
- As the one who had exalted himself in rebellion against God, leading others to do the same, he was given notice that eventually he would be “…brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit (Isaiah 14:15).”
- Here, he was presented with a “Declaration of War” by God—the notice of perpetual warfare between his kingdom and the Kingdom of God, between his offspring, the Wicked, and the offspring of the Woman, the Righteous.
- And, because it was the Woman whom he had beguiled, here he was notified that it would be through her childbearing of the Righteous Seed of God that he would ultimately suffer defeat and meet his doom.
- The blessing of childbearing, which prior to the Fall, was to have been a joy, would now be accompanied by pain and sorrow.
- Submission to her husband, which before the Fall, would never have been an issue or a hardship, would now be a daily struggle.
- Her Influence Power, which before the Fall would have remained unchecked, would—until the coming of the promised Deliverer and Restorer—have to be regulated by means of external restraints. For, apart from the internal control provided by the Holy Spirit, the Woman would continue to use her Influence Power to manipulate and control the Man, while he would use his Position Power to try and dominate her in an effort to keep her “in her place.” For some examples of a Woman’s Influence Power gone horribly wrong, we need look no farther than the Old Testament…
— To Sarah who, through her Influence Power, convinced Abraham to have a child by her maid, Hagar, rather than wait for God to fulfill His promise;
— To Delilah who, through her Influence Power, succeeded in bringing down Israel’s most powerful judge, Samson; and,
— To Jezebel who, through her Influence Power, manipulated her weak-willed husband, Ahab, and corrupted Israel with her idolatry.
- His habitation from then on would be among thorns and thistles, instead of the lush beauty he had experienced in the Garden.
- His occupation would become a toil, instead of the pleasure that it had once been in the Garden.
- His food would become difficult to obtain, instead of being readily available, as it had been in the Garden.
- His life would be shortened, and he would be returned to the soil, instead of living forever in the Garden of God’s Fellowship.
At this point, it is important for us to note that God’s Punishment on the Sexes here was in no way a Curse. That’s because, back in Genesis 1: 28, God had already blessed the Man and Woman. And, from what we learn later in Numbers 23: 8,20, when the prophet, Balaam was hired by the king of Moab to curse Israel, every time he tried, a blessing would come out instead of a curse. Balaam’s explanation at the time was this…
How can I curse whom God has not cursed? How can I denounce whom God has not denounced? …he has blessed, and I cannot revoke it.
Since that which God has blessed cannot be cursed, the only things to be cursed here were the Serpent and the Soil. For the Serpent, there is no hope that his curse will ever be removed; but, for the Soil, there is such a hope, and it will be realized when God’s Promise to the Sexes has been fulfilled…
For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now (Romans 8: 19-22).
- God’s Promise to the Sexes.
The Promise that God made to the Sexes may be hard for us to spot at first, and that’s because it’s contained in the unlikeliest of places—it was not given to the Sexes directly but was first spoken of in the curse which God pronounced on the Serpent. His Promise was that one day, a Holy Offspring would be born to the Woman—the One by whom Satan would finally be crushed, and all that the Sexes had lost in the Fall would be restored. Of course, this Redeemer and Restorer was none other than Jesus Christ, who, through His obedience to the Father, not only secured our Salvation, but restored us to the Purposes of God. Matthew Henry describes the work of Christ on our behalf in the following way…
How admirably the satisfaction our Lord Jesus made by his death and sufferings answered to the sentence here passed upon our first parents.
— Did travailing pains come in with sin? We read of the travail of Christ’s soul (Isaiah 53:11).
— Did subjection come in with sin? Christ was made under the law (Galatians 4:4).
— Did the curse come in with sin? Christ was made a curse for us, died a cursed death (Galatians 3:13).
— Did thorns come in with sin? He was crowned with thorns for us.
— Did sweat come in with sin? He for us did sweat as it were great drops of blood.
— Did sorrow come in with sin? He was a man of sorrows, his soul was, in his agony, exceedingly sorrowful.
— Did death come in with sin? He became obedient to death.
Through His substitutionary death on the Cross—dying the death that should have been ours—Christ redeemed us from the power and the penalty of the Law, delivered us from bondage to sin and death, reconciled us to the Father, gifted us with eternal life, and empowered us with His Holy Spirit. With the Spirit now living within us, writing God’s Laws on our hearts, the restraints previously imposed on us by the Old Testament Law are no longer needed.
Now, empowered from within by the Spirit of Christ, the Man can love his wife as Christ loves the Church, regard her as his equal in the work of the Lord, and not have to resort to his Position Power to dominate her into submission. The Woman, empowered by the same Spirit, can respect her husband and submit to his leadership—for the sake of order—just as Christ has submitted to the leadership of the Father. She can keep her Influence Power in check herself, making sure that it is used to glorify God and not to manipulate others—because…
Under the redemptive work of Christ, the woman is not only restored to fellowship with God but is restored to the position of partner with her male counterpart. Therefore, she is no longer to be dominated or ruled by the male, because, if she were, it would mean that the redemptive work of Christ had not been successful.
Scriptural Stumbling Blocks to a Woman’s Service
Now that we have established the fact that, in Christ, Male and Female are once again…
Equal in their standing before God;
Equal in their call to the work of God; and,
Equal in their blessing by God…
…why is it that Women are still being denied the freedom to exercise their God-given gifts of Leadership in His Service? I think that, in most cases, it can be traced back to a misunderstanding of the two most troublesome Scripture passages that relate to Women. Both of these were penned by Paul, with the first one being found in 1 Corinthians 14: 33-35…
For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church…
…and the second one being found in 1 Timothy 2: 11-15…
Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through [the] childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.
The reason these passages have created so many problems is that they have, more often than not, been taken out of their immediate context; and instead of being interpreted in light of the cultural conditions of the day, they have been isolated from the rest of the passage and elevated to the stature of a doctrine which, in its meaning, flies in the face of not only Paul’s but Jesus’ attitudes toward women.
For example, in his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul was dealing with a number of problems creating disorder in their church—problems such as spiritual pride, the misunderstanding and misuse of spiritual gifts, marital issues, confusion concerning the resurrection, and even incest. Please note Paul’s emphasis on God not being a God of confusion, but of peace. This is a good indication that there was confusion in the church, and it was being caused by some unruly women.
So what did Paul mean when he told the women to keep silent? If he was indeed saying that women should not minister publicly, he was contradicting what he said earlier when he gave instructions for women’s dress code while prophesying! There must be an explanation. As we examine these verses, we will see that Paul was definitely not teaching against women ministering publicly. Rather, he was correcting the way in which women were ministering in the Corinthian church.
In his letter to Timothy, however, Paul was addressing a different set of problems; ones created as a result of false teaching infiltrating the church at Ephesus—the church where Timothy was ministering. In all likelihood, this false teaching involved some “old wives’ tales” which were being passed down from the older women to the younger ones; tales promoting Eve, in her sin, as a benefactor to humanity, instead of as the transgressor that Paul later states she was. To counter this heresy, Paul first addressed the women of the church in general, instructing them on how Godly women should dress and behave. Then, he directed his attention to one woman in particular—the one most responsible for promoting the false doctrine—and commanded that she not be allowed to teach. Instead…
Paul…commanded this woman to learn but not to teach. Why? Because she had been teaching false doctrine. Therefore, Paul set aside the normal link between learning and teaching in her case. For a season, she was being disciplined, corrected. She couldn’t be allowed to continue spreading false doctrine. It was time for her to abstain from teaching altogether and dedicate herself to study alone.
Paul silenced this woman not because she was a woman but because she was teaching false doctrine to others.*
Now, concerning the question of women being saved through motherhood…
The phrase “the childbearing” is unique. It isn’t found anywhere else in the New Testament…it’s a noun, dramatically preceded by the definite article (‘the childbearing’) to point to one particular childbearing…
‘The childbearing’ refers to the one mediator between God and persons, the person Christ Jesus, the promised seed of Eve, the Child born of a woman. The issue at stake here was salvation, not motherhood. Women aren’t saved by getting pregnant and having babies. They’re saved by the child who was born–Jesus! Throughout this passage, Paul was talking about how men and women are redeemed, not about how they procreate. The central truth of this entire passage is Jesus and God’s desire for all to be saved through the promised childbearing.
As for Jesus’ attitude toward women, I think we can agree that He always treated them with respect. We have no record of Him ever rebuking a woman and telling her to be quiet or forbidding her to minister in some fashion. Following His encounter with the woman at the well, she left Him and immediately went back to her town and started preaching about Jesus—something which He did not criticize or attempt to discourage. It was to a group of women that He entrusted the good news of His resurrection, and it was to His Bride, the Church, that He entrusted the good news of His saving grace; charging her to use her Influence Power to convince the world of His Truth, and 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 (Matthew 28: 19-20).
Now, for those who may still have issues with Women in Leadership, I would like to offer this suggestion from Dr. Munroe…
…if you as a male have problems with a female preacher, I encourage you to close your eyes and listen to the spirit-man speaking. This approach has helped many men. Listen to what’s being said. If the female house is the problem, then ignore the house and listen to the resident, the spirit-man within, because God speaks through the spirit-man. It is the Spirit that gives life (2 Corinthians 3:6) …
…and, to bring this session to a close with this thought from J. Lee Grady…
Jesus’ blood was shed for all women, and it is the only covering they will ever need. Blood-bought women don’t need a man to bring them closer to God. Blood-bought women don’t need a man to legitimize their ministries. Blood-bought women don’t need a man to ‘cover’ their spiritual endeavors or to replace the leadership of the Holy Spirit in their lives.
The blood of Christ is a woman’s true covering. For the church to require anything more is to renounce our faith.
*Since space and time will not permit a further examination of the passages here, I would like to suggest these books as resources for those interested in a more in-depth study of the subject…
Understanding the Purpose and Power of Woman, by Dr. Myles Munroe;
Why Not Women? by Loren Cunningham and David Joel Hamilton;
I Suffer Not a Woman, by Richard Clark Kroeger and Catherine Clark Kroeger;
10 Lies the Church Tells Women, by J. Lee Grady; and,
What Paul Really Said About Women, by John T. Bristow.
In keeping with the theme of this exercise, here is Shackles, by Mary Mary…
 Dr. Myles Munroe, Understanding the Purpose and Power of Woman (New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 2001), 185-186.
 Munroe, 189.
 Munroe, 187.
 Matthew Henry, Commentary on the Whole Bible (Grand Rapids, Michigan; Zondervan Publishing House, 1960), 11.
 Munroe, 191.
 Loren Cunningham and David Joel Hamilton, Why Not Women? (Seattle, Washington: YWAM Publishing, 2000), 185.
 Cunningham and Hamilton, 219.
 Cunningham and Hamilton, 224.
 Munroe, 197.
 J. Lee Grady, 10 Lies the Church Tells Women (Lake May, Florida: Charisma House, 2000), 100.