GRACE BIBLE CHURCH
The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
From the week ending 01/12/03
The Angelic Conflict
Ephesians 6:7-12, Angelic Observation and Opposition in Human History
Satan has organized a tremendous demon army to hinder Church-age believers from fulfilling the predesigned plan of God. The kingdom of darkness has fallen angels that are organized to resist and oppose positive believers, EPH 6:12-17; JOB 1:6; JOB 2:1-3. 1PE 5:8 says, "Be of sober spirit [attain spiritual self-esteem], be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."
Satan has two major objectives:
1. Blind the minds of unbelievers so they will not accept Christ, 2CO 4:4, "In whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ."
2. If they do believe in Christ, hinder their function and execution of the predesigned plan of God, distract them in every way possible, and prevent them from keeping Bible doctrine as their #1 priority.
LUK 8:12 "And those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they may not believe and be saved."
Satan and his angels are the enemy of the Church-age believer, 2CO 2:11, "So that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes."
JAM 4:7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
EPH 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Satan and his angels are the enemy of Bible doctrine, MAT 13:19,39, "'When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road.'"
Satan and his angels are the enemy of Israel, Rev 12:13-15, "And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. And the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, in order that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood."
Satan and his angels are the enemy of the dispensation of the hypostatic union, REV 12:4, "And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven, and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child."
Rev 12:9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
Satan and his angels are the chief antagonists of the extension of the angelic conflict into human history, Heb 1-2, 1 Jo 4:4, "Greater is He who is in you [omnipotence of the Father indwelling us and the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit in the predesigned plan of God] than he who is in the world [Satan and his cosmic system]."
The Word of God gives us priceless intelligence about the plan of our enemy, and as we have seen, every good plan has three major elements:
1. An objective
2. A strategy
The objective is the desired result; it is the purpose for which the effort is being expended, the sought-after prize.
The strategy is the single manner in which you create an advantage for yourself in achieving the objective.
Tactics are the set of things you do to exploit the advantage created by the chosen strategy for the purpose of attaining the objective.
God's Game Plan
Again, Satan and his angels, are the antagonists of the historic angelic conflict, and throughout human history, we can see his progressive attacks against the following:
The Hypostatic Union
God's game plan is as follows:
1. His objective is to win the angelic conflict by bringing "many sons to glory" (HEB 2:10).
2. His strategy is of course the Cross of Jesus Christ
3. His tactics include the believer living inside of predesigned plan of God, utilizing the ten problem-solving devices, advancing through the stages of spiritual growth and maintaining Bible doctrine as his #1 Priority.
Satan's objective is to take God's place, to be the king over heaven and earth. ISA 14:13-14 But you said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High."
Satan's violates the rule of strategy because he actually uses two strategies, to promote worship of self and to discredit God.
Satan was smart enough to know that he could not oppose God "man-to-man." Instead, he turned his war plans toward God's creatures. Satan's strategy and war plans move in opposition to every one of God's designs for mankind. Satan's kingdom lines up as the enemy of mankind at every point of God's gracious dealings.
Satan has invented two systems to enslave man, and they go hand-in-hand with his two strategies:
1. In the first system, Cosmic 1, man is preoccupied with himself.
2. In the second system, Cosmic 2, man is antagonistic toward God and His plan.
Both Cosmic 1 and Cosmic 2 are prisons, and if you stray from God's predesigned plan for very long, you will end up in one of them. The arrogance complex (Cosmic 1) enslaves man to his own bad decisions; the hatred complex (Cosmic 2) enslaves man to Satan.
The cosmic system continually threatens your spiritual momentum. Its tentacles seek out the believer's personal weaknesses and blind spots, so for your own happiness, avoid the cosmic system. It is a system that is designed to wear you out.
DAN 7:25 He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.
There are many Satanic schemes and attacks made toward believers, 2 Cor 2:11, "So that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes." Even born-again believers can fall prey to Satan's schemes and become his slaves, 2TI 2:25-26, "And they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will."
Satan constantly accuses believers; in REV 12:10, he is called "the accuser of the brethren." Satan accuses the believer day and night before the throne of God. The believer, though accused, stands perfectly righteous before God because of the imputed righteousness of Christ that is received at the moment of salvation. The kingdom of darkness loves to make accusations against God's people, to condemn them and plague them with guilt.
In response to satanic attack, the Church-age believer must take up the shield of faith, EPH 6:16.
EPH 6:16 In addition to all [the armor of God], taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one.
Our "rallying cry" is found in 1JO 4:4, "Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world."
One of Satan's favorite tactics is to accuse God's people, and we see him in action against Joshua in ZEC 3:1-4.
ZEC 3:1-4 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. And the LORD said to Satan, "The LORD rebuke you, Satan! Indeed, the LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?" [Joshua is a redeemed, born-again believer, who is eternally secure.] Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments and standing before the angel. And He spoke and said to those who were standing before him saying, "Remove the filthy garments from him." Again He said to him, "See, I have taken your iniquity away from you and will clothe you with festal robes."
The sins and failures Satan brings up are true; however, our sins have been taken away, we have been clothed with the robes of the Lord Jesus Christ (His perfect righteousness), and He continually intercedes on our behalf before the throne of God, Heb 7:25, ROM 8:34.
ROM 8:34 Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.
1JO 2:1-2 My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.
In the face of this satanic attack, the man after God's own heart never quits. He guts it out and applies the appropriate problem-solving devices.
The Christian soldier uses the shield of the faith-rest drill. PSA 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
The Christian soldier uses the sword of doctrinal orientation. ROM 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
The Christian soldier uses the helmet of occupation with the Person of Christ. HEB 7:23-25 And the former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers, because they were prevented by death from continuing, but He, on the other hand, because He abides forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Hence, also, He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
The Lord keeps on interceding for us so that we will be completely delivered from the attacks and deadliness of the old sin nature, the world, and the kingdom of darkness.
The satanic hope follows this pattern: Accusation - Shame - Guilt - Doubt concerning the believer's position in Christ - Stress in the soul - Subjectivity - Residence in Cosmic 1 - Becoming a prisoner to Satan and his system.
Fortunately for us, God in His grace has provided a problem-solving device, a counteraction, for every one of Satan's tactics, strategies, and objectives. Using our current example of the tactic of satanic accusations, these are God's solutions:
Satan's Attack and God's Solution:
Tactic: Accuse (fiery darts), Solution= P.S.D. #3, The faith-rest drill
Strategy: Human viewpoint, Solution= P.S.D. #5, Doctrinal orientation
Objective: Prevent the glorification of God, Soloution= P.S.D. #10, Occupation with the Lord Jesus Christ.
For a more detailed study, order last week's tapes, 1825 to 1829.