Nathan Jones: I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the world is a mess right now. There’s chaos, riots, corruption, countries rising and falling, threats of war, and natural disasters erupting everywhere. It seems like a giant battle is taking place behind the scenes. What does Bible prophecy reveal is behind all of this chaos?
We are going to look at Todd’s third book in his Non-Prophet’s Guide series titled The Non-Prophet’s Guide to Spiritual Warfare. Also being a talented cartoonist, Todd makes understanding the Bible and all that is going on in the world fun by adding various cartoons to his teachings. And, he’s also very, very knowledgeable about the Bible and Bible prophecy. The study stands out as a 101 level type course to help non-seminarians understand what’s going on in the spiritual realm.
The Battle Begins
Nathan Jones: So, Todd, the Bible clearly reveals that a great spiritual battle is being waged across the world between God’s and Satan’s forces. When did it all begin?
Todd Hampson: That’s a good question, and one that a lot of people don’t realize, that it began with Satan’s fall. In eternity past, the Trinity was completely content by Himself. He didn’t need anything. But, because of His relational character and who He is as a creator, God began to create beings. First the angels, and then humanity.
Sometime later, between the seventh day of the Creation and when Adam and Eve were tempted in the Garden, Lucifer fell from Heaven. Ezekiel 28 says that he was originally God’s guardian cherub. The way the passage describes Lucifer — he was beautiful. He was a member of the highest order of angels — the archangels. He was one of God’s right-hand angels, so to speak; the protector of God’s throne. But, due to his beauty, pride inevitably crept in. In time, he rebelled against God because he wanted to take God’s throne. He wanted to become God! Lucifer convinced a third of the angels to rebel with him, but they were outmatched, and so they were banished from the heavenly realm. Lucifer came to be known as Satan — the Adversary.
So, that’s how the battle began. Satan, who’s the fallen archangel, and a third of the angels that fell with him, became known as demons, or the fallen angels. They are the spirits wreaking havoc behind the world’s scenes. An unseen realm exists that we do not see, but we can see it play out in the mortal world.
Nathan Jones: Yes, Ephesians 6:12 tells us, “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.” That means there are indeed principalities and powers who are the true rulers of this age, and the Apostle Paul was not talking necessarily about people. He was talking about the spiritual battle being waged between God’s forces and Satan’s forces, but that work through humanity. These powers exist as the true forces behind the political scenes.
The Bible reveals this to be the case. It peels back the veil so that we can understand many of the troubling actions made by people, governments, social trends, and wars that are indicative of the spiritual conflict being waged behind human events.
Nathan Jones: YWhat’s the crux of Satan rebellion? Now banished to the earth, just what is he trying to accomplish?
Todd Hampson: Satan longs to become the new God. He was trying to take over ownership of the earth when he tempted Adam and Eve. Having succeeded, the Bible says Satan is currently the god (lowercase “g”) of this world. He’s also the prince of the power of the air. When he tempted Jesus in the wilderness, he could legitimately offer Jesus all of the kingdoms in the world. Jesus didn’t reply with, “Hey! That’s not a bonified offer.” So, apparently, Satan does possess ruling rights over this world as of now.
Genesis 3:15 presents the very first promise of the coming future Savior. It reads, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman…” (God is talking to the Serpent who we know from Revelation was Satan), “…between your offspring and hers. He will crush your head and you will strike his heel.” In other translations it reads “the seed of the woman.” So, long story short, this is the first prophecy of the future Savior, and it is the first prophecy of the virgin-born future Savior.
From that point forward, the crux of the issue for Satan is to prevent that future Savior from coming into existence. That explains every evil deed from the time when Cain killed Abel to all of the stories in the Old Testament where various nations were attempting to wipe out the Jewish people, all of the way up to the cross. That’s when Satan thought he finally had Jesus cornered. Little did he know that the cross was actually part of God’s plan, and the Resurrection produced the biggest counterpunch in human history. Satan thought the death of the Savior would be his big win, but it ended up becoming his ultimate undoing.
Since his lethal defeat at the cross, Satan has shifted tactics. Now he’s desperately trying to keep future-related prophecies from being fulfilled. He believes if he can keep future prophecies about the regathering of the Jewish people, and the rebirth of the nation of Israel, and the expansion of the Church from happening, if he can wipe them all out, then God cannot be an all-powerful God. But, Bible prophecy confirms the fact that Satan will find out the hard way that in the end he will lose then as well.
Nathan Jones: I love the imagery found in Revelation chapters 4 and 5. It presents Jesus as holding the seven-sealed scroll, which in reality is the title deed to the planet Earth. Jesus won it back on the cross from Satan. Satan’s a usurper whose rule lasts only temporarily over this world, but when Jesus returns, He’s going to come in full grandeur and swiftly defeat Satan and his demonic forces.
The Battle Ends
Nathan Jones: Todd, please tell us how this story ends. How will this spiritual war end?
Todd Hampson: Thankfully, Satan’s long war against God will at last end. And, this battle that we’ve become embroiled in, will finally end for us as well. For Christians personally, that happens at the moment of the Rapture or when we die. Once we’re no longer locked in this mortal coil, we will, at last, lose the sinful nature and our desire to rebel against God as well. We will be freed from our natural desire to sin.
Bible prophecy presents the final phases of this spiritual war, and Christ’s followers win over and over and over again. Upon the magnificent return of Jesus Christ at the end of the coming seven-year Tribulation period, Satan will be defeated by Jesus and then be bound for a thousand years. Ultimately, Satan will be cast into the Lake of Fire and punished for all of eternity. Once sentenced to Hell, mankind will never have to worry about Satan or his forces ever again!
Nathan Jones: Todd, what advice do you have for us all as we are engaged in spiritual warfare? How can we protect ourselves?
Todd Hampson: For one thing, acknowledge that you are indeed in a battle, engaged in spiritual warfare, and that we are all stuck smack-dab in the middle of it. Especially if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, then the Enemy has painted a proverbial target on your back.
Thankfully, God protects us both supernaturally and He also provides us with some tools for protection. Ephesians 6 continues by listing these tools as the belt of truth, the body armor of righteousness, the shoes the readiness, the Gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit. Prayer unlocks these tools. I unpack what these tools are more in my book, looking intently at the weapons the Lord lists there in Ephesians 6. All of those tools have been given to us by the Holy Spirit to protect us from the Evil One.
What I love about each of these pieces of armor is the aspect where they are imputed to us, meaning given to us, by God. The body armor of righteousness means that we became positionally righteous with God at the moment of our salvation. So, we don’t have to worry about the Enemy accusing us or taking our salvation away.
And then, there’s the huge aspect of what we are responsible for, such as putting on the body armor of righteousness. The armor symbolizes our need to live righteously. We need to put distance between ourselves and temptation. We’ve got to make sure that we are not giving the Enemy a beachhead in our lives where he can tempt us into sin. Never allow Satan to gain a foothold in your life. A very real battle is being waged for your soul!
Remember that as believers in Christ we can never become possessed by demons or by Satan. Christ has marked and sealed and indwelt us by the Holy Spirit here in the Church Age at the moment of our salvation. But, the Enemy will do everything possible to keep us from being a good witness and will unceasingly attempt to destroy our lives every chance that he can get. So, the spiritual battle is very real, but so is the protection, and so is our future promise of hope that all of this evil will be gloriously defeated and so go away someday soon.