The End of All Things
And There Was War In Heaven
"And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels..." Revelation 12:7.
We have been noting some things that have plagued humanity since the inception of sin when the serpent beguiled Eve and she died, along with Adam, her husband. Although that wily character is evil to the core, influential people all over the world, especially in the church system's of every kind, have painted the devil as the sinister horned god of hell, half human, half animal, and one hundred percent devil. Such inventions serve only as a diversion, a smoke screen, a ploy that enables the true serpents to appear as angles of light.
I do not believe their fabrications for a moment; for there is no scriptural basis for such fiction. The spirit who tempted Jesus was not a swarthy, tail-swishing, two-horned, impish-looking devil. Neither do I believe he appeared as a guru, a sage, a man of infinite wisdom, wealth, power, and authority who could possibly convince Jesus that he could give Him everything by which he was tempted. Regardless of the convincing illusionary scenarios of a devil appearing in physical form, it is senseless, rash thinking. It is base, and it is carnal!
The devil was not seen as a physical being that day of temptation, and he is not going to be seen anymore than God is seen. In the same manner that God is spirit and no one has seen Him at any time ó but Jesus declared Him ó so it is with Satan. He is spirit and no one has seen him at any time ó but many people certainly declare him when it comes to religion (individually and corporately). If you want to witness the declaration of Satan, that which is adverse to the Sons of God, if you want to hear the devil, that which twists, traduces, and shades the living word of God, then the humanized structure of religion is the place to find what you are looking for. Some will ask, "Are you saying that my church is where the devil preaches?" If it is part of the humanized structure of religion; then that is exactly what I am saying, and frankly, there are more who worship preachers than God. They could live without God, but they canít live without their preacher. Moreover, many would have nothing to preach about if the devil, eternal damnation, and hell-fire were removed from their theological foundation.
After forty days in the wilderness, Jesus met His adversary in the same place we meet him: "And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels... Revelation 12:7 . Jesus, the Archangel, He who was like God, was confronted by the dragon that appeared as an angel of light while He passed through the heavens. That angel tried to sweep Jesus from those heavens by his tail of lying prophecies and promises. The cunning liar attempted to sway the Son of God from the true Light by having Him to give heed to another light. But it did not happen! The dragon prevailed not, and he and his messengers were cast down. Every imagination that exalted itself against the knowledge of God was cast down.
With Jesus having cast the devil from before the throne of accusation, along with all the exalted imaginations (angels), there is no wonder that He could say, "...the prince of this world comes, and hath nothing (oudeis - not one thing) in me." John 14:30. " "For there was no place found any more in heaven, and that great dragon was cast out...and his angels were cast out with him." Revelation 12:8-9.
Revelation 12 is a chapter that speaks of our warfare; but with Jesus having been our forerunner, I do not believe it is a stretch to ascribe the same war to Him. He went through it, gained victory over the devil, the great red dragon, that old serpent, and He cast him and his angels from His heavens. He cleaned His house from one end to the other. What a victorious example for us! He raised the bar and set it in the heavens forever! And together with Him, our Archangel, we will also clean His corporate house that we are.
Therefore, let us not only count on the same war when we are caught up in the Spirit to God and His throne, but victory as well! We will be overcomers in every arena of the heavens! Many want to overcome without a fight. The fact is, there can be no overcoming without conflict. By definition, the words victory and overcome implies struggle against opposition. No one can have victory without war. There must be something to conquer to have victory of any kind. However, as long as we are moving and having our being in our church, in our religious thoughts and accurate doctrines, in nothing but our daily affairs of life, in everything that is under the sun, we will have no problem at all with the devil. We will have nothing to overcome. There will be no war waged against us when we are one with the shining religious light of the world. If the devil should cast out the religious devil in us, his kingdom would be divided and fall from its own making; but that wonít happen.
It is when we pass through and break the barriers of the heavens that we meet with terrible opposition. Until then, we encounter nothing more than what the rest of the world does on a daily basis. Some of it is good and some of it is evil. There is tribulation in that world. Every one knows about it by experience; but that is not the great tribulation of Revelation 7, i.e., the great war of which we speak.
The devil is certainly not the same as the pictures that have been painted of him. He is not some gargoylian creature of grotesque features that not even a mother could love. He is not one who delights in seeing us backslide into the sin of the world and then taunts both God and us when it happens. Not at all! There is no place in the Bible that speaks of the devil tempting, afflicting, badmouthing, oppressing, or doing any evil against anyone except Godís chosen. And we wouldnít see it at all if there was no imminent threat to him by the presence of the sons of God.
There is another job description ascribed to the devil that the scriptures say nothing about; namely, that he is the lord to whom human sacrifices are offered in dark basements or dense forests at midnight. Although pagan religions, poets, fiction writers, and Hollywood have painted such pictures, their surreal imaginations do not make them the authorities of truth. We do not deny that people do horrid things in the name of Satan, or the misnomer "Lucifer"; however, the scriptures say nothing like this about the devil. Neither will you find a place that says anything about Satan delighting in the savagery of brutal rape or murder. We have been brainwashed to believe that only a devil could do such things; but man apart from God has a bottomless pit of evil within himself and is capable of the unimaginable. Although we would like to blame unspeakable evil on someone else as being the root cause, we will not find a verse of scripture about Satan finding pleasure in base sin and mayhem. Not one word is recorded in holy writ that he gleefully rejoices when blood flows through drug infested streets of the ghettoes. And neither is the practice of mass genocide against innocent people on the list of the devilís enjoyable works.
Some will strongly disagree by quoting what Jesus said in John 8:44; namely, that he was a murderer from the beginning. And I strongly agree. He was a murderer from the beginning; but the verse also says he was the father of the Pharisees, which puts the context of the murderer as having to do with religion. It had to do with spiritual matters; and whatever oneís father does, so do his children, and this fatherís works of murder were always related to the realm of the spirit, not the acts of sinful flesh. The credit for that specialty happens to go to fallen man.
The first murder was not Cain killing Able because of the sacrifice, which also had spiritual implications; but it was the serpent killing the woman. This was a spiritual murder performed by a religious spirit. The womanís lust for stand-alone godhood joined quickly to her murdererís subtle lies, and she ate. This religious act severed her union with God. Without that union ó she died! She believed the serpent and really thought she would not surely die, but she did. That which was murdered was her lusting soul. The kingdom of heaven suffered violence when she took it by force.
That coup díetat was not unlike the one Jesus mentioned: "And from the days of John the Baptist until the present time, the kingdom of heaven has endured violent assault, and violent men seize it by force [as a precious prize--a share in the heavenly kingdom is sought with most ardent zeal and intense exertion]." Matthew 11:12 (Amplified). This was the womanís driving zeal; but her violent conquest robbed her of life. Without union with God, her soul and spirit died that day. It has been said that spirit cannot die. Therefore, it is assumed that it had to have been the womanís soul that died that day; but I am not so sure. You see, Paul prayed that God would not only sanctify our souls and bodies, but our spirits as well. When there is a need for something to be sanctified suggests a lack, and it is dead in relation to perfection that resides in God. Therefore, since the spirit is one of the parts to be sanctified, this indicates that the spirit is as dead as the soul and body.
Of course, we understand that when a person is physically dead, he is dead to the world. He can no longer respond in any way to physical, material world around him, for he is dead. But is there also a sense in which the soul and spirit may die?
In contemplating the death of Jesus, there was a time when I wondered if all or only a part of Him died on the cross. If all of Jesus died, it would mean that all of that which was the very image and substance of God would have died; but how could that be? I would always come up with the same conclusion ó since it is impossible for God to die, it would be the same for Jesus. And to a degree, this is true, yet my conclusion was due to viewing death as an unconscious, unresponsive, comatose state of being to everything in every realm. From that premise it is utterly impossible for He who is Eternity to die, to become totally unconscious, unresponsive, and utterly comatose to everything, and likewise with the spirit in man.
However, under another premise, the Spirit of the Lamb could certainly die, but not as corruptible things die. Namely, that spirit could die to its place in the world where air is breathed, water is drank, power is to be had, and where grand things can be done. The Lamb can, and did die to the world wherein He was tempted to rise up as a lion and be king. Jesus died to those lofty temptations but was alive to His Father. Although the body of Jesus laid dead for three days and nights in the grave, He was very much alive and busy ministering to all those who had died from Adam to Noah. He was busy leading captivity captive and establishing the last man and the last covenant.
Dying can also be a descending from one state of being to a lower one, or stepping down from one realm to another and divesting oneself. Paul speaks of this in his letter to the Philippians, saying that Jesus: "...emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross" Philippians 2:7-8 NASB. Each of those points ó emptying Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, humbling Himself, becoming obedient to the point of death ó are forms of death, with the cross being the last and final vestige of it.
There is no question that Jesus descended into death, hell, and the grave when He was sent by His Father from heaven's glory and took His form in the earth. For He said, "And now, O Father, glorify Thou me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was" John 17:5. Although He was glory personified in the earth, His prayer indicated that He knew the glory He once had was much greater than what he had after being lowered into Maryís womb and dwelling in earthís dust.
For God to die, from our limited perspective, we must again say, impossible. Our Lord Jesus, the Lamb, however, could die. He descended, He took the form of Adam, stepped down from the glory He had, and even stepped down from the glory He had in the earth. He divested Himself from His glorious Kingdom of power and became weak and humiliated. He emptied Himself, and eventually gave up the Ghost. That is what the obedient Son did in the form of the first man. He sought death, and in doing so ó He lived!
The first woman, however, was not obedient. She sought life from the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and in doing so ó she died! Her disobedience caused her soul and spirit to descend into the world and become dead to everything in Godís heaven. Therefore, although her soul and spirit were still alive on the level of the world ó it was dead to God.
The soul, of course, is the power in heaven that rules over the earth. She passed through those tempting heavens, but rather than casting out the serpent, as did Jesus, she gave herself to it. She ate his words. She bowed to the temptation and worshiped that pleasing angel of light. The deadly, spiritual virus of sin took her life that day, and that deadly spirit eventually overpowered and subdued her body, and it also died. Such was the religious spirit in the beginning ó a liar and the father of it.
Although wars, rumors of wars, disease, famine, and pestilence are spoken of throughout the Bible, we still canít find a place where Satan is the culprit. We might, however, attribute the "religious" wars to that spirit; such as the Spanish Inquisition, the religious genocide conducted by the Roman Catholic Church under the guise of the holy See. History does not leave some of the Protestant churches guiltless as well. But these actions were inspired by the religious dragon in those heavens after his authority in the church began to be threatened by those who ascended to the throne of life during those dark days. And although that religious dragon was certainly responsible for those atrocities, he is not the culprit of everything he has been accused of by people around the world. Those things are inventions of the creative, carnal mind of the fallen dead man who is dead to God and His truth, and it has been that way throughout the ages.
By nature, religion of every kind will divert attention away from itself by making the devil a scapegoat. He is the captain of all the drunks, drug addicts, and street gangs, the lord of harlots, whoremongers, and every vile person, and is responsible for the evil of all humanity. But such is only a ruse, a coverup, and if this has been our image of the devil, weíve been mislead, and we have grossly misrepresented the real devil ó the traducer of Godís truth. Let us give such credit to the one who truly deserves it; that is, man in all his depravity. He needs no captain to lead him into sin; for he is always drawn away by his own lusts and enticed. Therefore, let us stop blaming the devil for our own "devilish" doings.
"Well, what about demons," someone asks? Certainly, there are demons, and there may be captains over the lesser demons in the same way it is in the world of men on this side of the grave. We donít know, but there may be demons who have gangs of demons under them, and they may be warring amongst themselves to see whose vulnerable bodies they will possess. But the Bible says nothing about Satan being the lord of demons. If he is, the scriptures are silent about it.
Who or what, then, are demons? We can speculate and draw graphic pictures in our minds from what has been written about them over the past 2,000 years or more, and although we may have encountered them, we should never go beyond what God reveals. The Bible makes it clear that there are things called demons, as well as unclean spirits. However, the scriptures say nothing about their origin, and contrary to presumptions about them, the mystery remains. We may place a great deal of importance in the matter; but unless the Lord sees fit to reveal it to us, the subject should be of little relevance. Therefore, if your speculation differs from mine on this vague point, why should we draw swords over it? There are greater matters at hand than this, I am sure.
Nevertheless, with the small amount that the scriptures do say about them, we will say this: evil spirits do exist, they pertain to the negative spirit realm, they seek to inhabit the souls and bodies of human beings, and Jesus has given us the authority to cast them out. There is no scriptural evidence, or even inference, that they are fallen angels. Revelation 12:7-9, Isaiah 14:12, Ezekiel 28:14-16, and Luke 10:18 may appear to support such a thought; but that is only when read from the point of view we learned from erroneous church dogma. Under the scrutiny of truth, and in the context of those verses, they cannot stand as foundations of support that demons are fallen angels.
Some feel that demons are individualized manifestations of the serpent nature in man. Others believe they are the disembodied spirits of ungodly men who have died, that is, spirits confined to a lower spiritual dimension who can only relate on a human level. This would certainly explain why they seek to possess and manifest through human bodies; for that would be the only way they could feel again the sensational effects of drugs, alcohol, sex, dominion, power, etc. Whether that is the case in fact or not, we can be certain that their intentions are self-serving, they are controlling, they are incapable of love, they bring misery to peopleís lives, and they are despicably evil. One more thing to remember ó they can be cast out! Beyond that, is there a need to know? Our curiosity wants to know, at least mine does; however, until that information is crucial, I am sure God will keep it hidden. So let us be content with not knowing while pursuing that which we have need of knowing, perhaps, such as religious spirits and powers which may be hindering our progression and union with Christ.
If we have overcome the devil, and have destroyed him in our own lives, other than helping those lacking understanding, we would have no need of dwelling on the subject. However, I believe there is a need for many to be made aware of such. Therefore, we will say a little more about it.
Rather than a red-eyed fallen archangel waiting for the right moment to pounce on us, Satan is much nearer and dearer to us than a sulfur-breathed gargoyle. This enemy is infinitely more attractive than a hideously obscene monster. The book of Revelation describes him as being of the religious nature: "...I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan." "Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee." Revelation 2:9, 3:9.
Therefore, we can conclude that those who declare him by their works are upstanding citizens of the community and respected by just about everybody. Satan has a church, a synagogue, a place that appears very holy, a place wherein God might feel comfortable, a place He has ordained to have His word preached, a place wherein He would be proud to live! Satan has truly concealed his true identity under the cloak of religion. (Two excellent articles concerning this exposť are: From The Candlestick To The Throne, Parts 38 & 39 by J. Preston Eby).
In closing, please, do not think that I am speaking of the Church as being inspired by the devil, Satan, the serpent, the great red dragon; for you can be assured ó I AM NOT! The Church is pure and true. She is neither deceived, nor does She deceive. She is inspired by the Holy Spirit and is always holy. There is no spot in Her. She is New Jerusalem from above. She is the mother of us all. The one to which I refer as being Satan, the adversary to Godís people, is the spirit of the serpentine religious system inwardly and outwardly, and there is an additional good cause for us to believe this. As noted above, Jesus said in John 8:44 that the devil was the father to those religious leaders of that day. Therefore, if the father of a religious system of men is the devil, their father is the serpent, for the serpent and the devil are the same. Jesus and John the Baptist brought this point home when they said: "Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?" Matthew 23:25,33. And "...when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee the wrath to come?" Matthew 3:7.
As it was during the days of Jesus and the Pharisees, so it is today. The devil of which I speak is the religious order of this age. It is also the religious order within individuals. Both are inspired by the spirit of the subtle serpent. The religious system seizes souls and makes slaves of them, and so does the religious system embedded in our own heavens.
This religious satan of which I speak is so near that he goes to bed with us each night and rises for breakfast with us every morning. That is, unless we have gone to war and he and his angels have been cast from our heavens. I know some who claim to have gained this complete, signed, sealed and delivered victory; but it is not seen in their lives. Their words say one thing while their lives reflect something else. I am sure some have advanced much farther than others in this great heavenly war; but I still await the overwhelming victory for not only when the world is turned upside down, but when those of Godís Kingdom begin to build and establish it anew.
Let me leave you with this: if the war of all hell is breaking loose in your lives, if you are in great tribulation, it can only mean one thing. You have been caught up to God and His throne, and you are in the process of prevailing against the great red dragon. His days are numbered, but yours are secured; for he and his angels are being cast out of your heavens to do you no harm any more, forever! To be continued...
Elwin R. Roach
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