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Casus Belli
Witnessing Tools
Monday, December 21, 2015
Pete Garcia

Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 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. Therefore, if you will worship before me, all will be Yours.”  Luke 4:4-7

Before God created the heavens and the earth, He established the angelic order of beings.  We know this because Job 38:7 records that the angels shouted for joy when the foundation of the world were laid.  At some point after their creation and God speaking the universe ex nihilo, we know that Lucifer and a third of the angelic host openly rebelled against God in a futile attempt to overthrow His sovereign rule and thus were cast out of heaven and down to the earth.  It was here that Lucifer transformed or possessed a serpent and deceived Eve to rebel against God. 

According to Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28, we know that Lucifer walked in Eden and was not only covered with precious stones, but he himself was some sort of musical instrument. He was the ‘anointed cherub who covers’ and at some point, allowed a dark thought to form in his heart which resulted in him declaring his five “I will’ statements.  Although we know that he was corrupted by his own beauty and splendor, we can’t definitively pinpoint exactly what triggered it, but Ezekiel 1:22-28 might give us a reason why.  

In his vision, Ezekiel sees the throne room of God and the cherubim that circled continuously giving praise to God.  According to Revelation 4, the cherubs were in the throne and around it, presumably moving quickly and constantly circling the throne itself always directing praise towards the One who sat upon it.  Here, Ezekiel records another interesting piece of information that often gets overlooked.  He sees the Cherubim and the throne and then above them…

A voice came from above the firmament that was over their heads; whenever they stood, they let down their wings.  And above the firmament over their heads was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like a sapphire stone; on the likeness of the throne was a likeness with the appearance of a man high above it.  Ezekiel 1:25-26

If my understanding in correlating the passages is correct, the cherubim circled the throne continuously.  Above their heads and the throne sat another throne but on this sat One who had the appearance of a Man who was high above them.  When He spoke they stood still and let down their wings.  I believe that despite all the glory and grandeur that Lucifer possessed there was still another far higher than he and this was One was in the appearance of a Man.  In fact, He looked exactly like the man in whom God would later breathe the breath of life into.

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.” Genesis 1:26

This man, Adam, however, was not God but was created in the very image of the One who sat above all in heaven, and now this man Adam was given dominion over the entire earth that Lucifer had been cast down to.  Although Lucifer is not confined to earth, the fact that he doesn’t leave proves that there is no other life outside of our planet, for if it did, Satan would have long ago fled there.  It was here, ‘battleground earth’, that Lucifer had to wage his war and has done so since the beginning of time.  It was here, that Lucifer’s plan of self-redemption was set into motion by deceiving and corrupting man.  This plan would require God to either redeem mankind and go against His own holy nature or free Lucifer from a certain future appointment he has with the Lake of Fire.

Assessment

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. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Ephesians 6:12-13

Our common enemy, who in the Hebrew was known as ‘Heylel bin Shachar’ is better known to most us by his common title as Satan (the accuser) or the Devil.  He has been actively waging a war of attrition (Job 1:6-7; 1 Peter 5:8) against mankind for most of our existence and he has far been very successful thus far.  Although he is not flesh and blood, he can use flesh and blood to accomplish his will and there has only been two men that He has physically possessed that we know of, one past, and one yet future; Judas Iscariot (Luke 22:3) and the coming Antichrist.

This then is Satan’s casus belli; because of his pride, he was cast out.  By dethroning man, Satan could (theoretically) upend God’s plan by destroying the three things that God loves; Israel, the Jew, and the Church, thus nullifying His promise of divine redemption.  If this happened it would mean God lied, thus destroying God’s character, forcing Him to reconsider Satan’s appointed fate.  Although Satan suffered a crushing blow at the victory of the Cross of Calvary this hasn’t deterred him from continuing to attempt to corrupt the Church and destroy Israel and the Jews.

However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 1 Cor. 2:6-8

The old saying goes that the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he doesn’t exist…and I would agree.  Spiritual battles rage around us on all sides, every day, yet most of the world remains blithely ignorant to the degree of the spiritual carnage they scurry around in.  Like mice who have taken up residence in a home where a mass murder just occurred. The mice don’t understand the magnitude of evil that just transpired and do not sense that something is amiss. 

Satan never rests, he never stops trying to find a crack in God’s plan.  Although he is currently constrained due to the presence of the Holy Spirit (the Restrainer) who resides in the believers that make up the body of Christ here on the earth, there is coming a day when that restraint will be removed.  (2 Thess. 2:5-7)  That day will be the Rapture of the Church in which every believer (both alive and dead) will be immediately transformed and translated into our immortal, eternal, glorified bodies.  (1 Cor. 15:51-56; 1 Thess. 4:13-18). And this will provide the Antichrist (Satan’s appointed man) to take advantage of the global crisis and rise to power.

What remains of religion after the Rapture of the Church, particularly, in what’s left of “Christendom” will be an amalgamation of all the world’s faith into one giant, ecumenical cesspool of apostasy.  Then these will be wooed and unified by satanic signs and wonders performed by the False Prophet who will cause them to turn all the affections and worship towards this man Antichrist.

The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 2 Thess. 2:9-10

Conclusion

Despite the darkness of the days in which we find ourselves and in witnessing the increasing vitriol, hatred, and violence directed specifically at Israel, the Jew, and the Church, we need not fear…for Satan, as bad as he is, is still God’s devil.  He cannot touch us without God’s say so ,and he must abide specifically by the boundaries that God has established, both in time and in space.  And although we press on in this life, almost drudgingly, we know, that for the believer, the best is yet to come.  Satan doesn’t know our thoughts nor can he see into the future…but he does know the Church will not be present when his short time to reign is unleashed.

If anyone doubts there is a real devil, or perhaps believes that Satan is just some ‘boogeyman’ the religious church has conjured up to scare little children, simply look around and see what the world hates; Israel, the Jew, and the Church.  Ask yourself, why is there so much animosity against these three but seemingly tolerates a murderous religion like Islam?  Why does it tolerate and even encourage deviant and self-destructive lifestyles of homosexuality and promiscuity?  Why does the world openly embrace wanton violence but goes into sheer hysteria if a child wants to pray in school or a coach after a football game?  Jesus said,

“If the world hates you, you know that it hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” John 15:18-19.

Israel as a nation and the Jews as a people have certain, irrevocable promises and covenants that God could not and will not break because His very name is stamped across them.  (Jeremiah 31:35-37; Romans 11:25-29)  And we as the Church, are His workmanship, and our survival has been guaranteed by Christ before the world began.  (Matt. 16:18-19; Eph. 1: 3-6) are not of the world but merely pilgrims passing through it. 

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.      Philippians 3:20-21

About Pete Garcia

Last week: The Day of the Lord



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