WAR of the AGES: from Chapter Five
We continue now with a summary treatment of this book, gleaning only some of the gems of wisdom concerning matters of spiritual warfare as given by Dr. Greg Reid.
ORIGINS – PART 1
While the existence of Satan and demons is disparaged today, especially among apostate seminaries and pastors, the reality of these nefarious beings is incontestably affirmed in Scripture, both in Old and New Testament passages along with two other prominent passages referring to Satan: EZEK 28:12-19 and ISAIAH 14:12-15.
Note from James:
Even agnostic scientists are conceding the plausibility of highly intelligent extra-terrestrial and alien beings of non-corporeal existence (essentially beings of pure mind, and bodiless). This is an apt description of angels, both holy and unholy.
"Son of man, take up a lamentation for the king of Tyre, and say to him, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "You were the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering: The sardius, topaz, and diamond, Beryl, onyx, and jasper, Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes Was prepared for you on the day you were created. "You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you. "By the abundance of your trading You became filled with violence within, And you sinned; Therefore I cast you as a profane thing Out of the mountain of God; And I destroyed you, O covering cherub, From the midst of the fiery stones. "Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, That they might gaze at you. "You defiled your sanctuaries By the multitude of your iniquities, By the iniquity of your trading; Therefore I brought fire from your midst; It devoured you, And I turned you to ashes upon the earth In the sight of all who saw you. All who knew you among the peoples are astonished at you; You have become a horror and shall be no more forever.
This king of Tyre was originally full of wisdom and beauty; he was once in Eden; he was covered in precious gems. With the references to the “timbrels and pipes”, it’s conceivable that this being had musical instrumentation incorporated into his being, and thereby, an orchestrator that led the worship of GOD. This creature is a cherub – a special class of ‘super-angel’ and stood before the throne of GOD!
There came a time when iniquity was found in him, because he became enamored of his own beauty (and did not glorify GOD for it).
Then there is the passage in ISAIAH:
How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: 'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.' Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit.
This being is a destroyer of nations, who also wanted to be higher than GOD – the first of GOD’s creatures to ever commit sin, that being pride:
The FIVE “I Will’s”:
I will ascend into heaven; I will exalt my throne above the stars of GOD; I will also sit in the mount of the congregation; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.
The “I wills” are the supreme example of self-will or pride: the genesis of all sin. Just as it destroyed Lucifer as he was originally created, likewise it will destroy us if we don’t crucify self.
Just compare what the LORD Jesus declared with what Aleister Crowley proclaimed:
He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will."
“Do what thou wilt, shall be the whole of thy law” ~ Crowley.
Yet one need not be a Satanist in order to be the ultimate rebel; one is no better in fact than a Satanist if they simply live life the way that they want, apart from GOD!
The EDEN PICTURE
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?"
Note the subtlety with which Satan aka the serpent brought Eve around to his way of thinking; he didn’t outright call GOD a liar – he simply inflicted Eve with doubt, questioning: “Did GOD really say that?”
Almost every departure from sound doctrine in the church today, from biblical faith to solid truth beings with “alternative interpretations and explanations”. Distortions of clear teaching of Scripture leads to aberrant, unbiblical practices and beliefs from legitimizing pre-marital sex, GOD approving gay relationships, turning GOD into a woman, re-writing GOD’s promises to Israel for the church instead, talking to the dead, reinterpreting the return of Jesus as allegorical as well as the Millennial kingdom!
And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden;
Eve’s personal interpretation of GOD’s Word is what enabled her deception and resulted in the distortion of GOD and His Word.
Personal desires, goals, intentions and aspirations that are contrary to GOD’s Word can lead us to eisegesis – making Scripture say what you want them to say.
2 PETER 3:15-16
and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation--as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.
GOD SAID IT, I BELIEVE IT, THAT SETTLES IT!
Once Satan implanted doubt in Eve, and she didn’t rebuff him, he took the next step and outright accused GOD of lying. This simple, Satanic method still works today! He first gets people to doubt GOD’s love, then His goodness, then His wisdom. He encourages people then to trust their own wisdom and knowledge [“the truth is within”].
Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, sin entered into the human race, and we all died. Then all of the blame shifting started – and it hasn’t stopped yet!
Then the man said, "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate." And the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate. (See also 1 SAM 15:10-22)
GOD never blames the innocent, only always the guilty (PSALM 51:4). Shifting the blame leads to self-pity, seen today at every level of society.
The first manifestation of Satan on Earth beheld by humanity was the serpent as seen in Eden; that serpent was either Satan himself or indwelt by him. Eve wasn’t at all surprised or afraid of this talking serpent and in cultures all over the world, the serpent is worshiped as a being of wisdom and beauty, as is the dragon, (NOTE: TTUF does not necessarily agree with everything in the articles linked here) especially in the mystery religions [here is a link that relates the mystery religions, particularly of Babylon; also secret societies].
So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.
Satan and “[his] seed” – the angelic and human hybridization (the “offspring” as it were, or ‘nephilim’) would be defeated by Eve’s bloodline (“her seed”), that is, Christ Himself, Whose heel was bruised by Satan, but whose own head was crushed! And the serpent has been furious ever since that happened!
WAR of the AGES: from Chapter Six
ORIGINS – PART 2
The JOB Mention
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. And the LORD said to Satan, "From where do you come?" So Satan answered the LORD and said, "From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it." Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?" So Satan answered the LORD and said, "Does Job fear God for nothing? "Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. "But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!" And the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person." So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.
“Sons of GOD” is an Old Testament vernacular for angelic beings (JOB 1:6; 2:1; 38:7 [the term benai ha elohiem refers to direct creations of GOD: Adam was created directly by GOD, thus “the son of GOD”, angels likewise (no angel can procreate with other angels), and everyone who is born again, is a new creation, newly created by the Spirit, and so we also are considered the sons of GOD; see JOHN 1:12]); Satan is mentioned here distinctly, perhaps in regard to his former ruling in heaven?
Satan masks the statement about GOD, “No one serves you for nothing! Job serves you because You’ve made his life so easy!” Cynicism and bitterness resounds in his words and those who, like him, are cynical and bitter about everything. We need the wide-eyed, innocent, trusting faith of a child, that is, opposed to the satanic cynicism among so many people today.
While GOD is not the author of death and disease, various means of such destruction, but rather the author of life and healing; however He does permit the enemy certain privileges even though GOD has him on a leash. Satan is limited and restricted from doing anything he would want to do!
Death and destruction are globally evident due to who holds the stewardship of this world: Satan himself, who acquired it from Adam when the man was tempted and sinned (ROM 5:14).
We are GOD’s agents, taking back from Satan’s ‘spiritual territory’ [i.e., the redemption of lost souls].
Ultimately, Job was blessed, GOD vindicated, and Satan defeated. Job is proof positive of ROMANS 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
The DANIEL VERSES
Then it happened, when I, Daniel, had seen the vision and was seeking the meaning, that suddenly there stood before me one having the appearance of a man. And I heard a man's voice between the banks of the Ulai, who called, and said, "Gabriel, make this man understand the vision." So he came near where I stood, and when he came I was afraid and fell on my face; but he said to me, "Understand, son of man, that the vision refers to the time of the end.
Arch-angels are high ranking angels, Generals as it were, in the LORD’s Hosts (military ranks of celestial soldiers); two such Generals would be Michael and Gabriel.
Gabriel is mentioned in two books: Daniel and the Gospel of Luke. Some angels look like or can appear to look like human beings; others are more bizarre and frightening in appearance, such as in EZEK 1:14-18.
Now on the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, that is, the Tigris, I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, a certain man clothed in linen, whose waist was girded with gold of Uphaz! His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like torches of fire, his arms and feet like burnished bronze in color, and the sound of his words like the voice of a multitude. And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men who were with me did not see the vision; but a great terror fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves. Therefore I was left alone when I saw this great vision, and no strength remained in me; for my vigor was turned to frailty in me, and I retained no strength. Yet I heard the sound of his words; and while I heard the sound of his words I was in a deep sleep on my face, with my face to the ground.
The angelic presence, even if unseen, will affect you and the environment in some way. Those men with Daniel didn’t know what was going on, but they were terrified! Such a reaction is common in Scripture, particularly when the angel manifests as they really are! Far more so with the manifestation of the Risen, glorified Christ (REV 1:7)!
Daniel’s encounter left him with no physical strength left! True spiritual encounters can drain you physically. A “pouring out” of the Holy Spirit (not just His presence) can cause this to happen. Historically, when this happens, it resulted in revival, weeping, and praying all night until dawn.
Greg attests to the fact that there is a lot of false mimicking of the Holy Spirit (Hinduism calls it “shaktipat” where there is uncontrollable laughter, barking, convulsing [sounds a lot like the so-called ‘Toronto Blessing’ doesn’t it?!]) and “slain in the Spirit” (in hyper charismatic churches) phenomena but he has also experienced the real thing where he was so overwhelmed by the Holy Spirit that he physically couldn’t move.
As he rightly asks: What else would one expect from being in the presence and power of our Almighty GOD, the Holy Spirit being “poured out”?
We must be discerning on spiritual gifts because they can be imitated by the enemy, even with the laying on of hands!
Spiritual warfare is not a sport or a game – it is a reality that can and will cost you! Spiritual encounters in GOD’s presence or those of angels will have physical effects. Likewise, any engagement against the spiritual darkness, which is treacherous and dangerous! This isn’t the sort of spiritual warfare that encouraged kids (in the 1980’s) to dress up in plastic armor and swords – that’s how too many see it today.
Counting the cost in preparation for and engagement in spiritual warfare is mandatory!
While victory in Christ is assured, we must realize that those domains in which spiritual darkness rules, won’t give it up without a tenacious battle! We cannot take off our armor or drop our swords and shields!
Suddenly, a hand touched me, which made me tremble on my knees and on the palms of my hands. And he said to me, "O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you." While he was speaking this word to me, I stood trembling. Then he said to me, "Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. "But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia. "Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come.
This portrays a battle going on to get a message to Daniel in answer to his prayer; a [demonic] prince (“of Persia”) attempted to thwart the angel that was to deliver said message. Michael came to assist the angel and overcome the principality over Persia. In this spiritual warfare of angels, both holy [with whom we are in alliance] and unholy [which we oppose], we engage in prayer to wrest from Satan, territory, but at times without [seeing] immediate results. Answers to prayer are at times thwarted [or delayed] by principalities and powers set against the saints.
Then he said, "Do you know why I have come to you? And now I must return to fight with the prince of Persia; and when I have gone forth, indeed the prince of Greece will come. "But I will tell you what is noted in the Scripture of Truth. (No one upholds me against these, except Michael your prince (See also JUDE 1:9; REV 12:7-9).
Note from James: There are ample Scriptures to show that we have a spiritual foe that is entirely set against the will of GOD, His will fulfilled in the church, and in this fallen world. To assume that the fallen angels in Satan’s kingdom fret idly while the church storms the gates of hell and releases POWs from their master’s grasp is a false and deadly one! Expect, that as you both desire to, and indeed grow in holiness, when you enter into intercessory, intentional, and lasting prayer, when you share the Gospel with the lost, that the enemy is going to do whatever he can to bring distraction away from or destruction to the work of GOD!
There is clear evidence for principalities over nations – what about regions within nations? States, cities? It’s logical to assume so. Engaging in intercessory prayer for such areas where the lost dwell, understanding that this entails the confrontation of such spirits is crucial. This isn’t shadow boxing or theoretical tactics – this is real, the enemy is real and there will be real casualties. These will use human vessels to commit unspeakable evils, sacrificing children, using them in sex-trafficking, etc.
Get the history of the territory/land area that you’re interceding for, who holds the political power and why; is the area known for violence, drugs, child abuse? Read the local papers to see how these principalities and powers are manifesting in the area. Are there meth labs? Psychic fairs? Adult bookstores? This is what’s called ‘spiritual recon’! By identifying what’s going on in an area you can tell what’s being manifested and pray accordingly.
Greg cites examples in his hometown of El Paso:
Massive drug activity and cartels, division within churches, ruling families are all high-ranking Masons.
Historically the Roman Catholic Church drove the Aztec human sacrificing cult out of southern Mexico – the extreme bloodshed of the cartels is likely manifesting the same spirit that migrated there from the Aztecs.
Ruling principalities are responsible for massive human sacrifices: the Holocaust, the Inquisition, 9-11, [legalized abortion], Islamic Jihad.
In spiritual recon, avoid spiritualizing the facts or receiving ‘visions’ – get real facts about the territory. Envisioning the spirit world has more to do with New Age than the work of GOD.
SATAN and KING DAVID
1 CHRONICLES 21:1
Now Satan stood up against Israel and moved David to number Israel.
The numbering of Israel’s army was a temptation from Satan to the effect of David relying on numbers rather than GOD; we do the same thing with banks, gifts from others, the numbers in our congregations, anything to take our eyes off of our source, provider, and Father – considering our resources rather than relaying on GOD is stepping into the enemy’s trap.
The ZECHARIAH MENTION
Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him. And the LORD said to Satan, "The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?" Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments and was standing before the Angel. Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, "Take away the filthy garments from him." And to him He said, "See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes." And I said, "Let them put a clean turban on his head." So they put a clean turban on his head, and they put the clothes on him. And the Angel of the LORD stood by.
The Joshua mentioned here was one of the priests commissioned to be part of the return of Israel after the exile in Babylon. Rebuilding the city was a difficult, stunted process and is mirrored in his own condition: mired in a sense of failure and dejection. He is being withstood by none other than Satan himself!
The LORD steps in and rebukes Satan on Joshua’s behalf, for he’s chosen perpetually of GOD as is Jerusalem. His garments are mired in excrement – horribly humiliating! These are removed and Joshua is given pure, spotless clothes.
1 JOHN 1:9
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
GOD is not against you in your sin; He is with you against your sin!
Satan will scan for any frailties, weaknesses, and create strongholds as we yield to temptations and then live up to his name as “the accuser of the brethren” (REV 12:10).
Just as eagerly as Satan lays accusations and condemnation and discouragement, the LORD will bring forgiveness and deliverance and cleansing with new garments (ISAIAH 61:10).
Nothing infuriates Satan more!
Joshua was opposed by Satan because he had a commission in GOD’s Kingdom and the devil wanted it stopped.
Likewise, we have a commission in GOD’s Kingdom, a ministry that is GOD-given and uniquely your own. He will do whatever it takes to get you to give up and forsake this commission!
The majority of Christians quit due to moral failure [and burn out; check out the TTUF article on this]. Do not discount GOD’s willingness to forgive and re-establish you. The only true failure is to quit! If you fall, fall towards the Cross!
Joshua’s lesson: Lay down all sin, baggage, and shame; be refitted in the robe of righteousness and regain your calling in Him!
FROM The FRONT LINES: LEARNING CURVE
Greg recounts a story when he was 15 years old, newly saved and yet ravaged by a short life-time of Satan’s work in and through him – occult practice, drinking hard and soul searing sins that left him at the King’s door a walking disaster.
He confessed his situation and condition to one Christian after another, who passed him off to “someone who can help” until he found himself the subject of a deliverance from a well meaning and intentioned Christian who simply didn’t know what he was doing.
From that experience Greg learned some valuable insights – five primary golden rules to follow in times of dealing with victims of Satan who may – or may not – be demon possessed.
FIVE GOLDEN RULES IN MINISTERING TO SATAN’s VICTIMS
1) Don’t assume that there are demons just because a person is wounded or entrenched in some particular sin. Demonic influences may accompany some things as flies are attracted to death and decay, but this doesn’t necessarily make a demon is in someone.
2) Don’t experiment. Guess or name random things hoping some ‘thing’ will respond. On the off chance something is there, it will [perceive your ignorance] and perhaps manifest to confuse, confound or defeat you. Don’t guess – if you don’t know by means of the leading of the Holy Spirit then don’t ‘try’ something.
3) If you’re the one being prayed for – don’t allow yourself to be pressured into saying or in behaving some way that indicates potential spiritual manifestation.
4) You can’t cast out flesh. A problem is a problem, a sin is a sin, a demon is a demon. If a demon is attached to a sin or deep wound, GOD will reveal that. Don’t expect to ‘cast out’ flesh [sin nature] or emotional wounds.
5) Deliverance is not a “one size fits all” operation. Put the ‘How To’ and ‘check lists’ away. Enter into the battle armed with only One Book [the Bible] and One Person [Jesus Christ]. GOD will give you the way and the discernment to ferret out the enemy and grant victory.
Here ends Chapter 6 of WAR of the AGES – we will pick up in Part Four of this series with Chapter 7.
Until then, remember – Absolute Victory (in life) Requires Absolute Surrender (to Christ)! A.V.R.A.S.!