Spiritual Warfare

The body of Christ has a much more important role in the spiritual battle between good and evil than most of us are aware of.

God is eternal - the devil was created

It is important that we realize what a huge difference there is between God and the devil. Ps. 90:2, ...Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.

God is eternal. He has no beginning and no end. Lucifer, the angel who was later transformed into the devil, was created.

God, the Creator, is superior to everything created.

Col. 1:16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.

Lucifer - the morning star

Isa. 14:12 How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!

Many people think of Lucifer and the devil as being equal, but it is not altogether correct. Let us see what the bible says about him.

Lucifer - created perfect

Eze. 28:15 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you.

Lucifer - in Eden

Eze. 28:13 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.

Lucifer, the perfect angel, was in Eden. This was before the fall of man.

Lucifer - ordained guardian

Eze. 28:14 (NIV) You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God...

Lucifer was assigned to protect. When it says that he was on "the holy mount of God," it means that God had given him an elevated position, but we will soon see that he was not satisfied.

Dominion is given to man

Gen 1:26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."

When God created man, He gave them the dominion over the earth. They were given a higher position than Lucifer, who only had a protective function.

Eze. 28:14 You were anointed as a guardian cherub...

Cherubim are angels. God placed cherubim with flaming swords at the east entrance to the Garden of Eden to keep Adam and Eve away from the Tree of Life (Genesis 3:24). Moses was instructed to make two cherubim to guard the mercy seat (Exodus 25:17-22). Of course, Ezekiel had encountered cherubim before in the events recorded in this book (Ezekiel 1 and 10).

Could it be that Lucifer became jealous of man's position of dominion? Something happened to Lucifer. Iniquity was found in him.

Eze. 28:15 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you.

It is possible that jealousy and lust for power caused Lucifer to fall. All of a sudden Lucifer was looking for a position of power. He wanted to put himself above the angels, and even become like God.

Isa. 14:13-14 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; [14] I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High."

Lucifer became the devil

Isa. 14:12 How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning...

Lucifer, like the other angels, was created with a free will. That is how he could decide to rebel against God. It is possible that one third of the angels chose to follow Lucifer (Rev. 12:4). And because of his rebellion, he was transformed into the devil. The result was that they were all cast out of heaven.

Rev. 12:7-9 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, [8] but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. [9] So the great dragon was cast out, the 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.

The fall of mankind

The devil failed with his rebellion in heaven. Then he focused on taking the dominion from man.

Gen. 3:1-6 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast in 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?" [2] And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; [3] but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden," God has said, "You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die." [4] Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. [5] For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." [6] So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.

The devil was coveting man's position of power, their dominion, and he was successful. Through the fall of mankind, dominion was handed over to him. This caused spiritual death which separated man from God.

The devil was willing to trade his earthly authority if he could somehow take the heavenly dominion through Jesus.

Luke 4:5-7 Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. [6] And the devil said to Him, "All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. [7] Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours."

If Jesus, the Son of God, had worshiped him, it would have meant that He had acknowledged the devil as higher than Himself. Jesus was not deceived.

Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil

1 John 3:8 ...For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

The mission of Jesus was to put an end to the works of the devil, and He finished it.

John 19:30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

What was it that Jesus finished? God's plan for redemption of man and his authority over all the earth. Jesus paid the price for the sin-separated world and restored dominion to mankind, once and for all.

Matt. 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth."

The original word for 'power', in this scripture, is the Greek word 'exousia' which means authority. Jesus took away from the devil the dominion that he had acquired for himself by deceiving Adam and Eve.

Col. 2:15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

Jesus took the dominion from the devil and his angels. They are still there, but they no longer have authority over God's people.

The Mission

God had given man dominion over the earth, and He could not change His declaration. Man relinquished his authority to Satan and became separated from God. Now, God needed a sinless man (of which authority could flow) to regain dominion over the earth. God's Word (which had given man dominion) had to become human in order to recapture the dominion. After One Man, had broken the power of the kingdom, Jesus gives us the authority to become like Him.

John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:

Once again we find the original text word exousia. Here it has been translated 'right' but it means 'authority.'

Jesus restored man's dominion on earth and He gives the right to reign to those who receive Him as Lord.

Jesus gave to man the continuous mission to destroy the works of the devil

1 John 3:8 ...For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil

Jesus had a mission to put an end to the works of the devil. After His resurrection, He handed that mission over to us, the believers.

John 20:21 So Jesus said to them again, "Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you."

We are in enemy-occupied territory

1 John 5:19 (NIV) We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.

The world is under the control of the evil one. John wrote these words AFTER the resurrection, and AFTER Jesus ascended into heaven.

We are in a world which is still under the control of the evil one, and we have a mission to put an end to his works. That means war, and that war is not against human beings but against the evil spiritual world.

Eph. 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

It might seem scary that we are in a spiritual war, but the fact is, we have a position of victory. Being saved, we have a higher spiritual position. We are "in Christ Jesus."

Eph. 2:6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus,

We, who have submitted to Jesus Christ, and received Him as our Savior, have a position of authority OVER the devil and his angels who rebelled and tried to get an exalted position.

Eph. 1:20-21 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, [21] far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.

The body of Christ shall carry out God's plan to defeat the enemy

God has chosen to use the believers, the church, to defeat the enemy. (See Warfare Briefings)

Eph. 3:10 to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places,

It is time for the evil spiritual world to be made aware of God's plan through the church. But what are we supposed to do?

John 12:27-31 "Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say?" "Father, save Me from this hour? But for this purpose I came to this hour. [28] Father, glorify Your name." Then a voice came from heaven, saying, "I have both glorified it and will glorify it again." [29] Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, "An angel has spoken to Him." [30] Jesus answered and said, "This voice did not come because of Me, but for your sake. [31] Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out."

God's plan is to cast out the devil and his angels. But, in order for that to happen, Jesus had to die on the cross and recapture the dominion. However, has the ruler of the world now been cast out?

1 John 5:19 (NIV) We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.

1 Pet. 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

Obviously, the devil and his spirits are not yet cast out. Jesus took the dominion from them, but He did not cast them out. Who will carry out that mission?

John 12:30-31 Jesus answered and said, "This voice did not come because of Me, but for your sake. [31] Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out."

Jesus said: "This voice did not come because of Me but for your sake." The mission to cast out the devil and his spirits is still to be done, BY US!

Jesus said that when He has sat down at the right hand of God. We, the believers, will do greater works than He did, here on earth.

John 14:12 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father."

He is now waiting for us, the believers, to do the "greater works."

Heb. 10:12-13 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, [13] from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool.

Jesus is waiting for His enemies, the evil spirit world, to be made His footstool. That is, they shall be made totally harmless. It is our job and authority to put the enemy under our feet!