This Means War!

We are at war.  We are engaged in a protracted conflict over ideology and foundational beliefs.  It is a conflict that not only costs lives but also rips the very fabric of our country apart.  It is a war that leaves destruction in its wake and destroys our way of life.  This is a battle for our ideological and physical existence and it has spread throughout the entire globe.  It is truly a hostility born of an ancient evil long ago and no one can see the end.  Although it may sound like the war on terrorism, it is not.  It is battle for the hearts and minds of people everywhere.  It is a spiritual war.

The concept of spiritual warfare has been around ever since man began to walk the earth.  The ongoing battle between good and evil has existed since just after the beginning of time.  It is a battle that engages us not just on a global or even national scale, but in particular, on the personal level.  We witness the aftermath of this warfare everyday.  Drug use, alcoholism, divorce, broken families, emotional and physical abuse, crime, destruction, division, despair, depression and hate are just a few of its symptoms.

This war has captured us.  It is exposed through the written word, the media and entertainment.  Frank Peretti brought us “This Present Darkness” and “Piercing the Darkness” where we read about the eternal struggle between the forces of God (angels) and the forces of Satan (demons).  We grew up with movies such as “The Omen” and “The Exorcist.”  Every day we can read about the horrors of this war and the personal conflict that arises; it invades our existence through television and the Internet.  Demonology, the occult, Wicca and Satanism are tolerated because of freedom of religion.  Make no mistake about it – we are at war and no prisoners will be taken.

How did all of this start?  What brought these conflicts upon us?  When did all of this begin?  Why can’t we just conquer these problems?   


1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Gen. 1:1 (NIV)


31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning--the sixth day. Gen. 1:31 (NIV)


12 How you have fallen from heaven, O [Lucifer] morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! 13 You said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain.  14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High." Isa. 14:12-14 (NIV)


3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" 2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'" 4 "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. 5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." Gen. 3:1-5 (NIV)

People have surmised that in the beginning, there were three archangels, one for God the Father, one for Christ the Son and one for the Holy Spirit.  These archangels were Michael, Gabriel and Lucifer.  From these verses it may be surmised that Lucifer fell from the grace of God sometime after the sixth day of creation but prior to the temptation of Eve in the Garden of Eden.  He, who had never been exposed to sin, became sin through his pride and arrogance.  His desire was to make himself like the Most High.  He wanted to place himself above all the angels of heaven and to be worshipped by all creation. 

4 His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. * * * Rev. 12:4 (NIV)

Ultimately, a third of the stars or angelic realm united with Satan and was cast out of heaven.  They were deposited on earth which became their sphere of influence.  Their essence and character changed from angelic to demonic.  The word “demon” is translated demonic beings, deities or gods. 

10 A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened. Dan. 7:10 (NIV)


11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. Rev. 5:11-12 (NIV)

If Daniel’s and John’s accounts are correct (and there is no reason to believe that they aren’t), the number of angels claiming allegiance to God exceeds 100,000,000.  Consequently, the number of demons is one third of that count.

With his sin of pride and his subsequent fall from grace, Satan became the accuser and the destroyer.  Satan, who could not defeat God and who could not coerce the Son into sinning (Matt. 4:1-11), came to the conclusion that he would assert himself by tormenting the adopted children of God (the body of believers).    To this day he is still allowed into the heavenly spaces to accuse the elect before Almighty God.

6 One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. 7 The LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it." 8 Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil." 9 "Does Job fear God for nothing?" Satan replied. 10 "Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. 11 But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face." 12 The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger." Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD. Job 1:6-12 (NIV)

10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ.  For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. 11 They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. 12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short." Rev. 12:10-12 (NIV)

8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 1 Peter 5:8-9 (NIV)

Paul recognized the struggle that man faces each and every day.  He could comprehend its origins and he knew who was behind it.  In spite of all of the trials and tribulations that he faced, he did not blame his fellow man but instead, he identified the source of the fight.

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Eph. 6:10-12 (NIV)


We have a limited perception of reality.  Our perception is limited to this three dimensional world and our concept of time, whether it be past, present or future.  This is our frame of reference.  Experience is based upon what we can see, smell, hear, touch or taste.  Our knowledge of history is based upon what others have observed and recorded.  We do not see the eternal spiritual struggle that goes on around us.  I believe that, if we could, we would be terrified.  However, we do see the aftermath of this battle and the dead and wounded who lie in its wake.

We must prepare for battle; this is not a war where we can call upon the cavalry to ride in and save the day.  It is not a struggle for the faint of heart.  This battle is a personal battle and it must be waged on an individual level.  Unfortunately, it is not a battle that will be won or lost with conventional armaments or even weapons of mass destruction.  It is a battle that will either be won or lost with spiritual weapons. 


13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Eph. 6:10-18 (NIV)

Did you notice that the armor of God was to be put on so that when the day of evil comes, you will be prepared.  It is not if, it is when.  You can stand firm in the strength of the Lord against all form and manner of evil, save one; you are to flee from sexual temptation. (1 Cor. 6:18).  The armor of God consists of truth, righteousness, readiness flowing from the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, prayer and the word of God.  These are weapons that can defeat the efforts of the destroyer.  They are weapons that make up the armor of God Himself. 

This is a battle for the souls of men (and women) and it has raged throughout the ages.  There are numerous instances of this eternal conflict recorded in the pages of the Bible.  God’s warriors, from Moses to Elijah to Peter, answered the call of war.  It is a battle that has intensified with the passage of time and history and many have been martyred for the sake of that call.  In these end times, before the Rapture of the saints, that call echoes over the land and people everywhere are faced with a choice – either (1) accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and stand firm against Satan and his minions or (2) fall before him. 

After the Rapture of the church, this battle will reach a fevered pitch.  Satan knows that with the signing of the peace treaty with Israel, he will only have seven years before the final battle of Armageddon.  He will use every means within his power to assert domination over the entire earth and its inhabitants.  He will claim many who will take the mark of the beast and condemn themselves to eternal torment.  Many will be killed, especially those who refuse to take the mark of the beast.

However, until the end of our days, we must fight; we must persevere.  We must never give up; we must never surrender.  We will be wounded and we will become discouraged.  It is vital that we maintain an eternal perspective instead of one premised upon the here and now; ultimately, Satan will be defeated and forever removed from any position of power or authority.

10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Rev. 20:9-10 (NIV)

I have read the book.  I know how it plays out.  God gave the apostle John a vision, a vision that captures the mind and unleashes horrific images.  However, it is also a vision that culminates with God’s final plan for mankind.  That plan is the same plan that He has had throughout the ages; it is a plan of redemption filled with His love and grace.  It is a plan of reconciliation with His people.  It is a plan that was paid for on the cross at Calvary by the death of Jesus Christ.  And it is a plan that was established for all eternity with the resurrection of Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

When the end finally comes, “. . .at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Phil. 2:10-11 (NIV) 

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