Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. There are great battles over the future of our souls in unimaginable realms.
We are all surrounded by unseen “Electromagnetic Waves” that are created by television, radio, Wi-Fi, micro and cellular communications… We all believe that they exist, yet prior to the 20th century one would have never imagined or believed that this would one day be a reality. Before the 20th century people also didn’t believe in germs, atoms and the unseen multi-dimensional universe that has mathematically been proven to exist by modern physics.
The spiritual world, referenced in the Bible, also surrounds us in the same ways. Yet unfortunately today, most still do not accept and/or concern themselves with this reality. As Christians though, we learn to detect this realm that surrounds and affects us daily. Instead of irony or coincidence with life, we witness the divine direction, the effects of prayer and the wisdom and guidance found in the Bible. The true reality of the universe is that there is massive spiritual warfare going on in unseen dimensions over the lives of all human beings.
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers,
against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and
against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." - Ephesians 6:12
The origins of this warfare began in the unseen spiritual dimensions that the Bible references as realms and the heavens. Notice in Ephesians 6:12 and Genesis 1:1, the words "realms" and "heavens" are both plural.
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." - Genesis 1:1
This great battle between powerful spiritual forces is detailed in the book of Revelation. This is when one of the most powerful angelic figures (often referred to as Satan, the Devil or Lucifer) made the decision to rebel against God.
"Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon,
and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough,
and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down
-- that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.
He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him." - Revelation 12:7-9”
As this previous verse reveals, Michael has unique authority as an archangel. This is verified in the book of Jude where it says:
"But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil,
was disputing about the body of Moses,
he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment,
but said, “The Lord rebuke you.” - Jude 1:9
All of the evil and the spiritual warfare that exists in the universe as we know it, began with the fall of Satan. This individual is described in most detail in the book of Ezekiel.
“You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
13 You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you:
carnelian, chrysolite and emerald, topaz, onyx and jasper,
lapis lazuli, turquoise and beryl.
Your settings and mountings were made of gold;
on the day you were created they were prepared.
14 You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you.
You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones.
15 You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created
till wickedness was found in you.
16 Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned.
So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God,
and I expelled you, guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones.
17 Your heart became proud on account of your beauty,
and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor.
So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings."
- Ezekiel 28:12-17 (NIV)
Ezekiel 28 teaches us that Cherubim are powerful and majestic angelic creatures who surround God’s throne. Before his change of heart, Satan was once a guardian cherub. Ironically, after Adam and Eve succumbed to the devil’s temptations in the garden and were cast out, God sent cherubim to guard Eden (Genesis 3:24).
Satan is described as the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. Yet, he was still not satisfied. His heart became proud because of his perfection. Not satisfied with worshipping God; instead, he now wanted to be worshipped.
Ultimately, he and the fallen angels who decided to follow him are self-serving, jealous and vindictive. In truth, Satan is powerful but not all-knowing. He does not know us all, as he uses fallen angels (known as demons) to influence us individually. Often claiming to be a dead person's ghost, they are known to communicate to the living through Ouija boards.
Like electromagnetic waves, mankind is literally surrounded by legions of Satan’s evil-doers.
“We know that we are children of God,
and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.” - 1 John 5:19
“Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them!
But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you!
He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.” - Revelation 12:12
Satan and the fallen angelic army all know that they have permanently been cast out of heaven. Since they will never be able to go back, they are extremely jealous of mankind.
Because of God's love for humanity and the salvation of Christ at Calvary, we thankfully have the opportunity, while Satan and his demons already had theirs. Their bitterness and hatred inspires them to do evil against mankind and to distract humanity from the reality of God’s love and the spiritual warfare that exists around us all. Today our materialist popular culture and the distractions of high technology are some of their best weapons as the message of the Bible and our own spirituality fades across modern society.
The good news is that God's love supersedes all evil. Through Christ we have guaranteed salvation.
"But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one."
We are also surrounded by millions of God’s angelic stewards. In addition, the closer we are to God, the further the demonic world avoids us and His angels draw closer. Angels actually keep a record of our deeds and for those who develop an honest relationship with God, these stewards will increasingly exist to protect us and help us as we live our lives.
Christ refers to this in the ‘Parable of the Weeds’ found in Matthew 13:
"The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom.
The weeds are the people of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil.
The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
“As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age.
The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the blazing furnace,
where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." - Matthew 13:38-42 (NIV)
For mankind today, a materialistic fast-paced technology driven society is increasingly dangerous, as the reality of spiritual warfare is being taken for granted. The spiritual battle for the eternal souls of mankind that is fought in the unseen multi-dimensional universe, is actually more relevant than any war that we witness or read about here on Earth. We can't see or comprehend just how vast and amazing this reality is. Physicists using the ever-popular String theory claim that there are at least 11 dimensions... There may actually be many, many more.
Unfortunately, today's popular culture is a major disservice in that it creates a variety of sensational false narratives about the unseen spiritual realm described in the Bible. We often see images of Satan as some guy in a red leotard with horns and a long tail. This image is not found anywhere in the Bible. We also see stereotypical characters ranging from Casper the ghost to endless Hollywood inspired movies about vampires, goblins, and zombies. One of the most outrageous narratives is one of God with a long white beard sitting on a puffy cloud that floats around in the sky.
This culture is desensitizing secular society to the true reality and meaning of life and the afterlife. The entertainment business feeds fuel to these misconceptions with the increasing popularity of movies and TV shows that are marketed towards the naive and ignorant youth.
To obtain an accurate concept of the spiritual realm, one must obtain their perspective by reading and learning from the Bible. As the Western world continues to reject the Scriptures, society will gradually fall prey to Satan's deceit. For Christians and the church in general, we have to increasingly rely on each other. Fellowship with other Christians is now more important than ever!
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