For some time now I have been aware of a war that goes unseen by many. How do I know that it goes unseen? I can’t say emphatically that I know for many it goes unseen, but I never hear people talk about it, neither is it mentioned – even when it would be appropriate to do so.
There is a spiritual realm and within that realm there is an ongoing War. “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?”, God asked Job, and then He followed His question by saying, “When the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4, 7). Obviously God was not talking about stars or men at the laying of the foundation of the earth but angels. Within the spiritual realm there is God and angels. It is interesting that the first two chapters in the book of Job contain the interactions between God and Satan. Yet, in the 35 chapters of conversations between Job and his four friends demonic activity is never mentioned. Many reasons for Job’s troubles are argued about, but Satan is not once considered.
There are demons, and a third of them are at war with angels and men. The New Testament begins with the four gospels, which explode with demonic activity. It could be that the demonic realm, knowing that the Son of God had come to fulfill God’s purpose, rose up in great numbers to defeat Him. However, it is also possible that they had nowhere to hide from Jesus. Therefore, when people came to Him to be healed, and many were also afflicted by demons, Jesus knowing the problem cast the demons out of them. This can be seen for example in Mark 1:34. “And He healed many who were ill with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He was not permitting the demons to speak, because they knew who He was.”
The greatest of all the angels was Lucifer until he sinned. He is referred to in Isaiah 14,
“How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations! “But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. ‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ “Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol, to the recesses of the pit. “Those who see you will gaze at you, they will ponder over you, saying, ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world like a wilderness and overthrew its cities, who did not allow his prisoners to go home?’” verses 13-14. Like in the book of Job, he is referred to as star of the morning.
A star is something you find in the heavens. Paul when writing to the believers at Ephesus referred to demons engaged in war in this way. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)
Pride is the overwhelming factor in the fall of the greatest of the angels. This is true in the Isaiah passage and equally by the prophet Ezekiel.
“You had the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. “You were in Eden, the garden of God; …“You were the anointed cherub who covers, and I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; you walked in the midst of the stones of fire. “You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created until unrighteousness was found in you. “By the abundance of your trade you were internally filled with violence, and you sinned; therefore I have cast you as profane from the mountain of God. And I have destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor.” Ezekiel 28:13-17
The Christian who is given a new heart (Hebrews 10) is enabled to understand spiritual things. Not like those who blindly worship with Satanic practices, but by the Spirit of God as they engage in the war of the ages through prayer. Christianity is not about adding Jesus to ones life to make it more enjoyable, it is about bowing the knee to Jesus Christ as Lord to go to war for the souls of men.
Consider this quote from John Piper.
“Life is war. That’s not all it is. But it is always that…But most people do not believe this in their hearts. Most people show by their priorities and their casual approach to spiritual things that they believe we are in peacetime, not wartime…Very few people think that we are in a war that is greater than World War II, or than any imaginable nuclear war. Few reckon that Satan is a much worse enemy than any earthly foe, or realize that the conflict is not restricted to any one global theater, but is in every town and city in the world. Who considers that the casualties of this war do not merely lose an arm or an eye or an earthly life, but lose everything, even their own souls, and enter a hell of everlasting torment? Until we feel the force of this, we will not pray as we ought. We will not even know what prayer is…Prayer is the communication with headquarters by which the weapons of warfare are deployed according to the will of God…Prayer is the walkie -talkie of the church on the battlefield of the world in the service of the word. It is not a domestic intercom to increase the temporal comforts of the saints. It malfunctions in the hands of soldiers who have gone AWOL. It is for those on active duty. And in their hands it proves the supremacy of God in the pursuit of the nations. When missions move forward by prayer it magnifies the power of God. When it moves by human management it magnifies man.” John Piper, Let the Nations Be Glad, p. 41-45