Is there a war going on between God and His forces on one side and Satan and his forces on the other?

Demonic deception

Mike Ratliff of Possessing the Treasure offers solid evidence that true believers are under fire from spiritual forces of evil. For this reason Paul urged the Church to put on the whole armor of God to protect against the fiery darts that come our way. (Ephesians 6:1-20)   Evil entities can and will camp out in the Christian’s mind and give unbiblical advice to those who are willing to listen to it. So we must constantly be on guard!

Now to Mike’s piece:

 

1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. 2 The Lord said to Satan, “ The Lord rebuke you, Satan! Indeed, the Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?” (Zechariah 3:1-2 NASB)

I have had a rough couple of days. For a while I could not figure out what was wrong. Then at 3:30am this morning, not being able to sleep, I asked God for help. Things began to become clear. I was being accused by the enemy. I do not pretend to be righteous by my own merit. If I was I would have lost it a long time ago. However, our enemy loves to attack us, especially when we attack him and his strongholds. It is imperative to know the enemy and how he works. To have an enemy implies that there is a conflict of some kind. Is there a war going on between God and His forces on one side and Satan and his forces on the other?

First let us take a look at Satan, our enemy. Who is he? Should we fear him? Satan is not God nor is he equal with God in any way for he was created.

13 “You were in Eden, the garden of God;
Every precious stone was your covering:
The ruby, the topaz and the diamond;
The beryl, the onyx and the jasper;
The lapis lazuli, the turquoise and the emerald;
And the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets,
Was in you.
On the day that you were created
They were prepared.
15 “You were blameless in your ways
From the day you were created
Until unrighteousness was found in you. (Ezekiel 28:13,15 NASB)

God created him as the model of perfection, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.

12 “Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord God,
“You had the seal of perfection,
Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. (Ezekiel 28:12 NASB)

He was in the garden of Eden and every precious stone adorned him.

13 “You were in Eden, the garden of God;
Every precious stone was your covering:
The ruby, the topaz and the diamond;
The beryl, the onyx and the jasper;
The lapis lazuli, the turquoise and the emerald;
And the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets,
Was in you.
On the day that you were created
They were prepared. (Ezekiel 28:13 NASB)

He was anointed and ordained by God as a guardian cherub who was blameless in his ways.

14 “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.
15 “You were blameless in your ways
From the day you were created
Until unrighteousness was found in you. (Ezekiel 28:14-15 NASB)

That described Satan before his fall. However, something went terribly wrong. His heart became proud on account of his beauty, and he corrupted his wisdom because of his splendor.

17 “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty;
You corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor.
I cast you to the ground;
I put you before kings,
That they may see you. (Ezekiel 28:17 NASB)

He became filled with violence.

16 “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. (Ezekiel 28:16 NASB)

He led many of the angels in a war against God and his angels.

7 And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, 8 and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. (Revelation 12:7-9 NASB)

He tried to take God’s place.

12 “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!
13 “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.
14 ‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High. ’
15 “Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol,
To the recesses of the pit. (Isaiah 14:12-15 NASB)

Satan sinned. He is therefore credited with sinning since the beginning.

8 the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. (1 John 3:8 NASB)

Because of his actions, he was a murderer from the beginning.

44 You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44 NASB)

According to Jude 6 he abandoned his home in heaven. He was driven in disgrace from the mount of God and expelled (Ezekiel 28:16). He lost his place in heaven (Revelation 12:8), was thrown or hurled from heaven (Ezekiel 28:16; Revelation 12:9-12), fell like lightning from heaven to the earth (Isaiah 14:12; Luke 10:18), and was made a spectacle before kings (Ezekiel 28:17).

That is how Satan came to be where he is now and explains why he is the way he is. What is he up to now? He is kept in darkness and is bound with everlasting chains.

6 And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day, (Jude 1:6 NASB)

He is filled with fury, because he knows his time is short (Revelation 12:12). Not only does he have power (Acts 10:38), but he is the power of this dark world and is the spiritual force of evil in the heavenly realm (Ephesians 6:12). The whole world is under his control (1 John 5:19), and he leads it astray (Revelation 12:9). He roams the earth (Job 1:7; Job 2:2), and prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Needless to say, he is earthly and unspiritual (James 3:15).

Not only is Satan our enemy (1 Peter 5:8), but he is also an enemy of everything that is right (Acts 13:10). He can present himself before the Lord and make petition against us (Job 1:6-12; Job 2:1-7). Satan asks God for permission to “sift” us (Luke 22:31), and he accuses us day and night before God (Zechariah 3:1; Revelation 12:10). He lies and slanders; in fact, there is no truth in him (John 8:44; Revelation 2:9).

The devil twists the scriptures for his purposes and perverts the right ways of the Lord (Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:2-13; Acts 13:10). He is cunning and deceives (2 Corinthians 11:3). He schemes and tries to outwit us (2 Corinthians 2:11; Ephesians 6:11), and is full of all kinds of deceit and trickery (Acts 13:10). He takes the Word away from hearts (Luke 8:12), and blinds the minds of unbelievers (2 Corinthians 4:4). He traps and takes captive (2 Timothy 2:26), binds (Luke 13:16), incites (1 Chronicles 21:1) and, in general, is a stumbling block (Matthew 16:23). He can fill one’s heart (Acts 5:3) and lead minds astray from Christ (2 Corinthians 11:3).  Continue reading

Related:

Unbiblical ideas about angels  By Marsha West

Fight the spiritual forces of wickedness — and win!  By Marsha West

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2 Responses to Is there a war going on between God and His forces on one side and Satan and his forces on the other?

  1. BERRY FARMER November 7, 2015 at 6:51 am #

    Much of this piece seems good. It would be good to review the white pages on eschatology that Berean research has put forth. This seems to be from the Blue Letter Bible sight and has good information. However, peoples views of Acts 1:6-8 also have some interesting eschatological consequences. There are comments here at this link left in another discussion on this topic: http://bereanresearch.org/should-type-r-charismatics-get-a-free-pass/#comment-17592 . We also need to look at 1 Thessalonians 5:1 which states “But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you.” There has arisen dangerous teaching on this matter that claims the reason Paul is writing this is because it is not important. We should realize that Paul wrote this because he declared them and those he taught the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:26-30). Also take note in these verses from Acts 20 that this happens within the church itself, not some easily discernible cult or false religion! We do not even need to leave the books to the Thessalonians to put down this scoffing babble. Look at 1 Thessalonians 5:20 and 2 Thessalonians 2:5 . We must ask ourselves what being has the most to lose when Christ returns? What eschatological view shown in the white page for eschatology would this being want us to have? Who are Satans’s agents. See 2 Corinthians 11:15. What eschatological view would he have his agents carrying out? Peace and safety( 1 Thessalonians 5:3 ) What would Christ say on this matter? Watch for Me, hold fast and repent (Revelation 3:3 “Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.) It is a necessity to have on the whole amor of God as stated at the start of this piece by Berean Research. Imagine the chink in one’s armor though if they have the wrong eschatological view. Imagine going into battle with a broken sword. Eventually the rest of one’s armor will give out when under attack. Did God cause all this to be put in the Bible so we could choose a view? Did He put all this there because it is not important to us? Is it like deciding what pair of socks we will wear for the day? It is not, we need to ‘sit down’ with God and pray that He makes us understand this! This is a form of edification within His church. In these days, it requires extreme discipleship as most have taken the view that it is not important or does not apply to us. If one take eschatology seriously and has not taken a ‘view’ that waters it down and washes it away as to have no implication for all practical purposes, one will be outside most churches knocking and they will not let you in! If one wants to proclaim ‘peace and safety’ and prophesy ‘we are all going to heaven’, one will be embraced and let in.

    Now on to the article. Mr. Ratliff should be commended for bringing this forth as this is a subject that Christians need to learn about and recognize is going on around them. He shows much of the warfare that goes on and the nature of the enemy. But to say that Satan is currently kept in darkness and bound with chains is not a good presumption from Jude 6. We see in Revelation this event happening in chapter 20 verses 1-3 which state 1)Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2)He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3) and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while. These angels in Jude 6 are most likely the angels Peter is talking of in 2 Peter 2:4 which state ‘For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;’. Being cast out and abandoning are 2 different things. Abandoning implies an action from the one abandoning. Being cast out implies another causing one to be removed from a place. Revelation chapter 9 gives an example of at least one of these angels being released from the bottomless pit. He is the beast or the destroyer. Revelation 9:1,2,11 read 1)Then the fifth angel sounded: And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. To him was given the key to the bottomless pit. 2)And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit. 11)And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon. We also see in Revelation 9:14 that 4 angels are bound and released from another location.

    If we look closer at some of the verses put forth by Mr. Ratcliff and some in the same areas of the Bible of these verses we may have a better idea of where Satan is. First off, it is hard for us to discern at this point what exactly Satan’s capacity is. It would not be a long step to discern that he still has much influence on the world and his agents are firmly planted in the church. We know that The Lord referred to Satan several times as the ruler of this world(see John 12:31, John 14:30, John 16:11). We know that these referrals happened after Luke 10:18 where Jesus stated “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” This falling is probably a reference to Satan starting to lose some of his power and entering a lower place of power as we see the 70 or 72 returning after having power over demons in the name of Jesus. This is probably some of the first, if not the first spiritual warfare that Satan encountered in his world that he rules. We must realize that Satan’s fall and subsequent punishment by God may seem to take a long time in our eyes, but it is only a short time for God for He declared the end from the beginning. We see in Revelation 2:13 it shows Satan’s throne was in Pergamos at that time. If we look at Ezekiel 28:12 we see him described as the king of Tyre. His throne was in Tyre at that time.

    Isaiah 14 thus provides to be a very interesting chapter. We read in Isaiah 14:4 the following ‘that you will take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say: “How the oppressor has ceased, The golden city ceased!’ We see here his throne is in the final Babylon(the great harlot) written of in Revelation chapters 17 and 18. This harlot is described in Revelation 17:18 which states “And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.”
    This time line is shown further in Isaiah 14:1 which states “For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will still choose Israel, and settle them in their own land. The strangers will be joined with them, and they will cling to the house of Jacob.” This is a reference to the end when strangers(the church) joins Jacob(Israel). Jesus speaks of this in John 10:16 (And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.) Isaiah 14:7 further shows the time line as it says ‘The whole earth is at rest and quiet; They break forth into singing.’ It would be safe to assume that the whole earth will not be at rest until Satan’s rule has ended and Christ assumes power after His enemies have been made His footstool and He returns to rule. Another interesting thing to look at would be Satan’s adornment in Ezekiel 28:13 compared with the adornment of the city where his throne is in Revelation 17:4 and Revelation 18:16. Hopefully this will be helpful in this discussion.

  2. Darrel November 7, 2015 at 10:21 am #

    Having read Mr. Ratliff for several months (6 or 8 years ago) it became apparent that his end-time view is that of the a-mill persuasion and quite unbiblical. For him, all the prophesies concerning the “last days” have already been fulfilled, there is no 1000 year reign of Christ on the earth, no 1000 years of satan being bound (and later released for a time), the Church is doomed to enter/endure the Great Tribulation, and on and on he goes. Attempting to communicate these errors he holds is an exercise in futility as it seems he has donned the robe of infallibility in this and other areas. All of this he does to his own demise for according to Rev. 22:18 & 19 these beliefs of his not only take away from the prophesies of the Book of Revelation, but add things to the Book of Revelation that are not there.

    Mr. Ratliff also made reference to “the next level of discernment” which in and of itself smacks of a hierarchy of spiritual attainment with those “in the ministry” being superior to the simpleton ‘pew sitter’. But that’s another matter. Shortly after this he refers to John MacArthur and (as usual) sets up JM as the ‘go-to-guy’ to resolve all matters of doctrine and belief in “reformed circles” whose word has the same weight as Scripture—atleast according to JM’s disciples. Mr. Ratliff has always put himself in the “upper class” of “discernment” and yet he is totally blind to the many false doctrines taught for decades by John MacArthur. These false doctrines include the non-necessity of repentance in salvation (hear this in MacArthur’s own “testimony” in a Q & A with Phil Johnson—gty sermon # 80-33); there is no saving power in the blood of Jesus Christ (it’s a euphemism for His death)—-totally refuted by the Book of Hebrews and elsewhere. Next, a man can receive the ‘mark of the beast’ and later be saved in direct contradiction to Rev. 14:9 & 10; 19:20; 20:4; and 13:8. There are other false doctrines (heresies) taught by MacArthur, but these are enough to show that this man is not of God but of satan. Yet Mr. Ratliff, in all of his superior “discernment” is unable to detect the underlying lies of this one, JM, so who else gets a Mike Ratliff stamp of approval?

    As Berry Farmer put it “the sword is broken” is so obvious in “church circles” today. Sad that so few actually spend time in the Word and prayer, concluding rather that their time “at church” is sufficient and all that their god deserves of them. They get their weekly “roofie” from the “man of god” who speaks to them and convince themselves that all is well with their soul——and proceed to live in their favorite sins the rest of the week.

    May it please the Lord to turn His elect back to their First Love.

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