Sunday, July 27, 2008

The War - Saints Against Satan

The War – Saints Against Satan

By Abraham Israel





When we speak about war, it means that there is a fight that the saints are fighting for the kingdom they live in. Each citizen should or always would represent his country and even would be ready to die for it (Rev 12:11). In that way, the moment we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and savior, we are born again brand new and enter into the kingdom of God (John 3:3, 5). The kingdom of God is coming under the direct authority, ruler ship of God and getting enrolled as a citizen of heaven where God is and working to extend it in this planet earth. Jesus taught the disciples to pray in a pattern like this, “Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be [you set apart] your name, your kingdom [authority and rulership] come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”(Matthew 6:9, 10).From this verse we can see the direct connection between God’s name and authority. God’s name when it is set apart in a person’s life, then only that person can expect to come under the ruler ship of God. To set apart God’s name is to swear allegiance to follow Him and His kingdom, by submitting to his kingdom commandments without any precondition. That’s why David says to God, “Unite my heart to fear your name.” (Psalm 86:11). In other words David was asking God to keep his heart focused on God’s authority and rulership. When this happens then we are fit to ask for the kingdom rule to come in our life. The very word kingdom implies ‘king’s domain or dominion’. Once the king starts to rule in your personal life and you come under His authority and rulership with an undivided loyal heart, then you can ask the Lord to extend His kingdom through you on earth as it is in heaven where the perfect will of God is executed moment by moment by every saint and angels who are living in heaven (Psalm 103:19-22; Rev 4:8-10).These residents of heaven have great authority because they are under authority. They live to execute the will of God.

But from this context if we ask ourselves why God is asking us to pray or in other words ask his authority to come to execute His will on earth. Is it not done on earth, if yes who is having authority now? Why is it happening like that if God is sovereign?

The word of God says that,”He has made everything beautiful in its time...” (Eccl 3:11). In the beginning God created [or made] the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1). Comparing the above two verses we can conclude that it must have been created beautifully in its time when God started to create it. But the very next verse does not paint a beautiful picture of planet earth, but a distorted, chaotic picture of confusion. As the Bible says in
Gen 1:2, “The earth was without form and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep…”

Here the Question that comes to our mind is what has happened and how it has happened?
To get an answer we must see who has rebelled against God during that time. What were the angels who were God’s servants to execute His will were doing during that time
(Psalm 103:20). These angels while God started to create with His strength, must have done His word in action.

The angels in the Bible is symbolically identified as a star because they vary in glory
[i.e. size, shape, strength and purpose] from one another (1 Cor 15:41; Judges 5:20; Rev 12:4). God called Lucifer “O son of the morning!” (Isaiah 14:12). God’s unique way of bringing understanding to us humans is to speak comparing heavenly things with a metaphor of natural realities (Matt 13:10-13; 1 Cor 2:13). In that way it is only in the morning time we hear birds chirping and making beautiful melodies for the glory of God (Psalm 104:10, 12, 31). Satan used to be the leader of the heavenly choir and orchestra with extraordinary talent, beauty and full of glory. God designed certain beautiful music instruments for him to play it exactly on the day he was created.
“….The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created.” (Ezekiel 28:13).

And also in
Isaiah 14:11 God says to Satan, “Your pomp is brought down to Sheol, And the sound of your stringed instruments; …”. God also said about Satan’s past in Ezek 28:13, “You were in Eden, the garden of God…”.


Here again the question comes what was he doing there and who gave him permission to be there?
As we have seen God appointed Satan to cover the earth and protect humans who were going to be created in the image of God (Ezek 28:14, 16). Here the word “covering” can be exactly translated as “guarding”. And the verse 14 is read like this, “You were the anointed cherub who covers [guards]; …”. And again God says, “O covering [guarding] cherub…”. Where was he supposed to guard? The 13th verse of the same chapter gives the answer “You were in the garden of Eden, the garden of God;”. After the fall of man, God brought cherubim of the Highest [Lucifer’s] Angelic order and authority from heaven to guard the way to the tree of life (Gen 3:24; Ezek 10; 1:3-5; Ps 80:1;99:1), because the one who was appointed as guardian cherub has become a rebel against God by then. That is why the Bible says that Satan has been a murderer and has never ceased to sin from the beginning. If we ask ourselves which beginning? The Bible gives the answer by saying “In the beginning God Created the Heavens [first for the ultimate purpose of creating]… the earth” (I John 3:8; Gen 1:1).

Man is the apex of God’s creation, up to that time Satan was the one who knew everything that God had planned and he was the chief leader of the whole of heaven up to that time of creation of man
(Jude 9), But he knew that if man comes, man will still move closer to God than Satan himself and will have dominion over the earth and will worship God in the Spirit. That’s why he became jealous of God and man. Angels were created to serve both God and man, as a result are lesser than both in the original creation. As the Bible also says in Psalm 8:4-6, “…For you have made him [man] a little lower than [the angels] God [Elohim] [Here the word in the original Hebrew is Elohim which means creator God] …you have put all things [including the angels] under his feet.” Satan didn’t like the idea of God and he became proud and said in hid heart “…I will” 5 times which up to that point had only one will [i.e. God’s will] (Isaiah 14:13-14).

So only when God asked Satan, “
Where do you come from?”. Satan said to the Lord, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”(Job 1:7). In other words Satan was telling to God ‘I was doing my duty of guarding the earth’. When God gives a gift to a person, He never suddenly retracts or changes His mind because of a mistake or rebellion of a person. God never changes His plan and purpose. Instead He bears with it to fulfill His purpose and then will judge each one according to his work (Malachi 3:6; Rom 11:29; John 12:31; Rev 20:10). Satan because of his pride was the first person to go on his own without God and have his own way, it became the biggest rebellion of all time because he convinced one third of all the angels and took with him in his rebellion promising a alternative kingdom, power and glory apart from God and His will. As God already had hierarchies and structure in heaven, Satan must have continued with it. In that way Satan became deceitful by promising lies to angels which he will not be able to fulfill apart from God and he became the ‘father of lies’(Rev 12:3,4; John 8:44; 1John 3:8; Eccl 1:15). God when He began to do His project of planet earth with a purpose of men to dwell in it and have dominion over all in the physical and spiritual realm, the going was good only, as all the angels were singing with joy. God was moving forward with His plan of laying the foundation of the earth and its cornerstone.

The angels were in context according to the book of Job was referred to as the sons of God
(Job 38:6, 7; 1:6; 2:1; Isaiah 45:18). God structured the ordinance of the heavens and has set their dominion over the earth in protection. This is the reason God asked Job the question, Do you know what happens in the natural is influenced by the spiritual realities of what happens in the heavenlies (Job 38:33). God had set angels to guard his people or men on earth and to serve them according to his command. Angels are servants or ministering spirits for those who are under the rulership of God and His authority (Psalm 91:11, 12; Heb 1:14). In Heb 2:5 the Bible says, “For He has not put the world to come [but has put the present world under subjection because of man’s choice], of which we speak, in subjection to angels.” By one man’s disobedience sin entered in to the present world system. Sin is lawlessness. Satan is that source or instigator of all lawlessness. One bad choice of Adam made all mankind to be subjected to Satan’s impulsive reign over humankind (Rom 5:12, 19, 21; 1John 3:4,8) .Satan’s tail drew a third of the angels of heaven to his side. If a dog wags its tail, what does it mean? It means it is trying to influence us to be friendly and kind and loving towards it. In the same way Satan influenced or its influence and charm made the angels to rebel against the will of the creator God. It is still the same charm that he uses to influence mankind against God (Rev 12:4). When Satan thought these sinful thoughts of selfishness, he was thrown out of the mountain of God. And on earth itself he was turned to ashes. In other words he lost his glorious body and connection with God whose is the source of all wisdom. God completely cast Satan out of the mountain of God.
He was trading
[i.e. using God’s resources such as angels, earth and all the wisdom of God] abundantly, and because of these he sinned by the five “...I will...” (Isaiah 14:13, 14). He defiled the sanctuaries or the heavenly abode of the angels which God prepared for them, by his iniquities and trading of God’s resources. So he was turned to ashes upon the earth which was the reason for the confusion that prevailed in Genesis 1:2 (Ezekiel 28:16, 18). When Satan was thrown out, he hated God’s program of humankind and wanted to desperately abort it. He is the reason or cause behind the destruction of God’s beautiful planet earth. As he had the power [which God had given] over the earth from the heavenlies, he caused malfunction to happen in defiance to God’s will with the help of all the fallen angels who began to follow him (Job 1:12, 13-19; 2:7).

The other important aspect of this is the wisdom which Satan had in the past before his fall. The only man who was considered 10 times wiser than the wise men
[magicians and astrologers] who were in all his [i.e. King Nebuchadnezzar’s] realm is none other than Daniel (Daniel 1:19-20). And the only person to whom the secret things of all the kingdoms and the princes and the duration of it that are going to come in the future were revealed to one person Daniel in all of the Old Testament, he was shown even up to the end of the days (Daniel 2:19, 29-30, 31-45). Daniel was the only man to see the secrets even up to the end of the days (Duet 29:29). Here in Ezekiel 28:3, God says to Satan, “Behold, you are wiser than Daniel! There is no secret that can be hidden from you!”. God himself was saying that Satan had extraordinary wisdom about the secret things of how God was going to proceed with all the governance of the planet earth, even to minute detail. This was the reason behind his arrogant pride. “…You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.” (Ezek 28:12).The problem of Satan is that he said “I am a god… and he set his heart as the heart of a god”, seeking worship from all men (Ezek 28:2; John 4:23). With his wisdom Satan gained riches for himself (Ezek 28:45; Matt 4:8-10). Through this riches gained illegally through his intense trade activities, he enticed men to worship him in order to get rich and gain wealth, this was one of the main strategies that Satan used even against the Son of God Jesus Christ Himself (John 13:2; 12:6; Matthew 26:14-16; 2 Peter 2:14-17). God was saying to Satan prophetically that the church of Jesus Christ will use the word of God to judge Satan and to throw him into the pit and his wisdom shall be defiled on the day he is judged on the cross of Calvary (Ezek 28:6-10). The church will use the sword against Satan’s wisdom as Jesus also did (Eph 6:17; James 3:14-15; Ezek 28:7).

The other important thing about Satan is, he knew that God cannot lie
(Titus 1:2). This is the reason God has magnified His word above all His name (Psalm 138:2). Time and space became central only when God began to create the earth. It is God who set the time span of night and day, months, seasons and years and its timetable along with the creation of the planet earth (Genesis 8:22). The whole world runs in the time calendar set by God and eternal life for man was planned by God before time began (Eccl 3:1-8; Titus 1:2).

The moment God started to execute His will of creating project planet earth, Satan because of the blindness that has crept in to his mind, because of pride he began to think that ‘once God has spoken about his plan, He cannot change and will not change and if He changes he will not continue to be an absolute Perfect being.’ If God breaks one of His word even once, His word will not be absolute and perfect and it cannot be trusted and expected to come to pass. God will cease to be God if that happens
(Matt 24:35; Isaiah 48:3). All the angels in heaven had only one will [God’s will to be done (Psalm 102:19-22)]. Where ever there is a will, there is a voluntary choice that comes along with it. God even didn’t want the angels to work for Him like a machine or a robot. Satan because of his pride and arrogance wanted to have a separate kingdom and lusted worship from humankind just as God is worshipped. Satan set his heart like the heart of God, who only deserves worship because He created all things (Ezek 28:2; Rev 4:11). Satan also considered himself to be like God who sits upon the heaven’s throne and rules the universe and all the Hosts in them. Satan considered himself to be the God of this world because he was appointed by God as the chief of all the angels in the planet earth.

God never denied His authority and power in all of the scripture because it was by His will it was given to him before the rebellion happened. Instead he affirmed it
(Matt 4:8,9; 2 Cor 4:4; Eph 2:2). If the world’s ruling power and authority had not been with Satan, it would have been a joke and an unreal drama for Jesus to speak to Satan as though he was the one who had all the authority and power. Even Satan promised to give his power and authority, if only Jesus will fall down and worship him. If it was not real, Jesus would have rebuked Satan and would have told him to stop lying to Him and leave the place immediately.

The seas or waters represent people and nations and political world system that rules. Seat of gods
[i.e. fallen angels] does have authority as God had appointed and Satan was seated in the midst of the world system (Ezek 28:2; Rev 17:15; Gen 1:2). Satan cannot become as God, he knew it but he set himself as god in his heart because of pride. This is the attitude that made him proud, “I will ascend into heaven…..I will exalt my throne……I will also sit…..I will ascend…. I will be like the Most High.”(Isaiah 14:13, 14). Here we can see Satan already had a throne and his end desire was to be like the Most High God, so that he will be worshipped. He was enthroned next only to God, so only he said, ‘I will exalt my throne above the stars [angels] of God’. He wanted to exalt himself from a created angel category to the creator God category which automatically will make others below him to worship him. Satan wanted to sit on the mount of the congregation which is in the farthest sides of the north of the universe. He had to pass through the height of the clouds of glory and ascend before he can reach that place of God’s dwelling in the heaven (Isaiah 14:13; Job 37:22).

It is the highest heaven. From Satan’s given sanctuary in the heavens, he defiled it because of thinking like this. The mount of congregation is the place where Satan and all other angels stood before Him as an act of worship and will serve Him, while God only sits in that place. As we have seen in the preceding paragraph, Satan also desired to sit in that place showing the desire in his heart to be worshipped by others. Here angels assembled only at the appointed time given to them by God
(Isaiah 14:13; Job 4:18; Psalm 103:20; Job 1:6; 2:1).

Satan was thrown out of the mountain of God but he gained access to it again when Adam gave his spiritual connection and authority to Satan. So only the Bible says he came along with the sons of God, among them
(Job 1:6; 2:1), to present himself before the Lord. In other words Satan did not have the rights to come before the Lord. As many as are led by the Spirit of God are the only true sons of God (Rom 8:14). Satan’s heart was lifted up because of his beauty; he became very proud as a result of this he fell from the perfection of his ways that gave him direct connection to God and His wisdom.

Once he lost his perfection, he made his wisdom corrupted. Anything that is less than perfect is corrupted and will be in a constant state of deterioration. Satan chose to form his new kingdom and live in its splendor and rejected God’s precious wisdom
(Ezekiel 28:15, 17). This wisdom is God’s continual guiding presence which makes a person do the right thing (Proverbs 8:1, 8). Only this wisdom is perfect. Satan came into the scene only before the ages began. But God planned and purposed this project earth even before Satan was created. For this reason as we have seen above, because of his pride Satan first expected God to drop the project planet earth, so that in that way God would become someone less than perfect because of his unfulfilled word.

But the good news is God began to brood over the void, formless, darkness covered chaotic earth as a hen over her eggs to bring the chicks out of it. Only when God’s Spirit starts moving, all the demons and devil will flee, because they are powerless before him
(Genesis 1:2). When God started moving instead of all the obstacles and continued in creating the world, Satan began to wait for another opportunity to disrupt it. Because of Satan’s appointment by God over the earth, he was still holding his rights which God had given to him [up to this point it was still guarding rights as we have seen before and not ruling or dominion rights].

As it is said in the Bible
,”… gifts and calling of God are irrevocable.” (Rom 11:29). God did not revoke his word of appointment. God will never do that. God never breaks His word or promise or purpose. Because he knew about God’s plan even to the minute detail, Satan understood that Adam and Eve were beings with choices to make, he knew if only he could deceive them into unbelief about the integrity of God’s word, they would be under his authority because of his [Satan’s] appointment. To whom ever we submit [by believing their word], we become their slave. During this time he was already acting with his own will which is sin. He was acting with a kingdom of his own and was having other fallen angels as his subordinates. As we have already seen God even gave angels a will to choose, how much more he must have planned for humans who were placed to be higher than angels in their standing closeness to God. Only when a person is given a choice we can really say that out of his own will he is acting. In order to be in God’s image he needed to be created in that way.

This is where Satan gained a foothold in to the world system of governance which was not planned for Satan but for Adam to have dominion in this earth
(Romans 5:12, 18, 19; Gen 1:26,27). He not only gained entry into it but because of his wisdom, he started manipulating humans to do what ever he desired by controlling their mind, will and emotions. Man began to do Satan’s bidding. Now because man had taken a wrong choice if Satan is judged immediately, mankind also needs to be judged immediately for doing Satan’s bidding or orders. Satan began to exercise his complete authority and deceit to destroy humankind forever. Satan thought if only he would make every human hopelessly sinful, God would immediately judge humankind, so that His plans for a perfect planet earth project would be derailed. Once that happens, Satan also would be free from judgment because God has failed His word.

When Adam chose to disobey God’s commandments, he brought God’s curse upon himself and his descendants. But God turned the curse into a blessing for Adam’s descendants. Only God is able to do that
(Joshua 24:9, 10; Neh 13:2). God would not listen to Satan’s accusation against God’s people because instead of them being punished, God had an alternative plan for the redemption of humankind through Jesus Christ. Satan could not fathom that great mystery of the cross and the blood of Jesus Christ. As far as Satan understood, he knew that God will one day crush his head through the child born of a woman in this planet earth. So in his rage he started killing all the babies born even from the womb itself .When ever the activity of angels increased, Satan suspected if that would be the baby of that woman who will crush his head (Gen 3:14-15; Exodus 1:15-16; Matthew 2:16).

Even God did not fully reveal the meaning to the prophets even though it was spoken through them and by them
(Acts 3:18; 1 Peter 1:10-12). Satan and his evil fallen angels even tried to understand these things of redemption even before it was accomplished by Jesus Christ. But they could never comprehend the greatness of it and the destruction it would bring to their evil designs (1John 3:8; 1 Tim 3:16). If only they would have understood the significance of the cross and the destruction it would bring to their evil kingdom, first of all they would not have caused Jesus to be crucified on the cross (Colossians 2:14,15; 1 Cor 2:7,8).

This hidden mystery which God pre-determined before the ages for our glory was totally hidden from Satan and his demons completely. Satan only had the wisdom of this present age up to the end and after his rebellion because he had corrupted his wisdom, he could no longer perceive or know about the age to come. And these rulers of this age are coming to nothing because already the judgment has been passed on and the result has been announced. The result of the war is, ‘Saints have won the war in Jesus Christ, but they are battling to repossess the lost territory’ (Gen 3:14-15; Rom 16:20). The battle in the heavenlies has been won and Satan has been thrown out of Heaven forever and he cannot accuse any saint of God before God’s throne (Zech 3:1-2; Job 1:9-11; 2:4-5; Rev 12:7-11). But still he is the prince of the power of air in this earth and the reason he is because of peoples blindness (2 Cor 4:4) and his deceit is increasing day by day in this earth in a rapid pace (Eph 2:2; Rev 12:12-13). It will increase until rapture takes place and then the judgmental wrath of God will be poured out on this planet earth before Jesus’ second Coming when He will rule the planet earth to show his glory (Rev 12:14-17; Habakkuk 2:14).

In
Rev 12:11, before the church was raptured, the believers or the saints overcame by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony. They did not love their lives to death (Matt 23:24; 16:24-27). But after the church had been raptured, in Rev 12:17 those who have been left behind keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (Rev 14:9-12, 13). Here the saints of God just keep and have it and they don’t fight against or overcome because, Satan will be enraged about the rapture that had taken place and he will directly try to make war and the saints will be given in to his hands (Daniel 11:31-15,36; 7:25), for the saints to be refined and purified. This will continue only for specified and allotted days, after that Jesus and His army from heaven will appear and will wage war and will throw Satan in to the prison for a thousand year period.

The flood of filth and lawlessness are the weapons of destruction that Satan will be using against the saints in the present time. The is the element that is directly under the control of Jesus now
(Matt 28:18), But it was not the same before the cross (Matt 4:8-9; Rev 12:15,16 ). These elements will be used by God to protect the woman which is the church symbolically represented as the bride of Christ (Psalm 24:1).

What should the saints do against Satan to battle the enemies and defeat them?
As Satan begins to increase his rage against the church in a rapid manner, the church should turn again to the basics of waging warfare as in the Apostolic days in the beginning (Eph 6:10-20; 2 Cor 10: 3-6).

When Peter was being trained to be the rock, Jesus warned him of all the Satan’s strategies that he had planned against Peter. Jesus was always tuned into the spirit world to know all demonic strategies by the Spirit of God
(Luke 22:31-34). Jesus knew even the exact time, place and even the exact chronological order of it. Peter could have won the battle against Satan if only he was not so lethargic and over confident about his own abilities. If only he would have prayed to God about it he could have won the temptation that Satan brought (Luke 22:40, 46). Jesus did not tell or inform to Peter a fate that is going to happen, but he did something about it. He prayed for Peter so that his faith in Jesus Christ should not fail. Because of that warfare that he had waged Peter was protected from losing his faith and ended up to be the Apostolic Rock in which the foundation of the church was laid (Luke 22:32). Later Peter himself became the Apostolic General to prevail in warfare prayer to destabilize and turn upside down the whole camp of Satan (Acts 10:9; 6:4).

As the end time is approaching us, we should be more aware of what is happening in the spirit world and respond in warfare as the Apostles did in the 1st century church. The one and only way to win this battle that is spiritual is by connecting to the spirit world of God and his army of angels through the Spirit of God. Through prayer and prayer only this battle is waged to victory in the natural by tapping the spiritual power!








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