Spiritual war – beginnings
In our modern, “sophisticated” culture, science has relegated belief in the unseen world to religious superstition, and many Christians buy into this humanistic, materialistic worldview.
Yet if we look at Psalm 91, we read:
“For He will give his angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways…”– v. 11.
As Martin Luther told us, “An angel is a spiritual creature without a body, created by God for the service of Christendom and the Church.”
There exist unknown millions of angels available to intercede in the affairs of men and judgment of nations. We often see them as messengers, and in many cases, as ministering agents. At God’s command, the angels help to comfort, guide, protect, and provide for His people. They move easily between two worlds, the natural and supernatural. In the natural world, humans cannot see them, unless they take on a physical form. In the unseen world, they can see all supernatural beings as well as earthly creatures.
Angels have supreme importance and power in a monumental spirit-world conflict that began before the dawn of human history and continues on earth today with increasing activity.
Wars have ravaged the world because of satanically inspired principles of greed, power, control, lust, and envy (as well as others). Modern warfare, combined with today’s technology, huge financial resources, and fanatical zeal displayed in global terrorism, threatens to destroy our very civilization. Many believe Satan desires such destruction, and that the Bible warns us about it. The root cause of this conflict, fearful mayhem, and perpetual crisis started in the unseen world with the angels.
God created His angels to glorify Him and perform specific works of righteousness. At a certain time, a massive angelic rebellion took place that literally and figuratively shook the heavens.
At one time, an angel of great authority, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty, possessed God’s personal seal of perfection. He was called Lucifer, Son of the Morning. God created him blameless as an anointed cherubim. In an incomprehensible act of pride, this “mystery of inequity” corrupted his power and glory. Of his own free will, he regarded equality with God as something obtainable and within his grasp. He persuaded one-third of the heavenly angels to join his ranks – an act which marked the introduction of sin into the universe.
This act began the satanic war against God, who cast Lucifer to earth, where he is given a certain amount of restrained, supernatural authority by God—key here is that he is restrained. Satan is not all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-present. He remains controlled by the permissive will of God. Here on earth, he possesses the title, “Prince of the power of the air.” –Ephesians 2:2
As head of this present world system, Satan and his fallen angels work tirelessly in human institutions, governments, and other organizations. His vast network of fallen angels is called, “Principalities, power, rulers of the darkness of this world.” and “the spiritual forces of wickedness in the high places.” – Ephesians 6:12. They primarily target their hostilities against the work of God through humanity. Scripture teaches that mankind is naïve of Satan’s devices and abilities to deceive.
We recognize this in the story of his trickery in the Garden of Eden, where he tricked God’s perfect creatures, which, before that time, were innocent and blameless. Satan secured, through deceit and cunning, the downfall of the entire human race. Greed, selfishness, ambition, and sinful pride entered man and the entire world system at that time. Satan, working through the serpent, tricked them into disobeying. Fortunately for us, God made provisions for the descendents of Adam and Even and gave mankind an exit from our inherited punishment.
Instead of eternal separation from God through the wages of sin, God gave us a gift of eternal life – a gift not extended to the fallen angels:
“My sheep hear my voice…and they follow Me…and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” –John 10: 27-29.
As he did in the Garden, today Satan continues to use his strategy of lies and trickery to divert mankind’s consciousness from God’s plan for their lives.