“Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.”
― Sun Tzu, the Art of War
Ever since Cain raised up against his brother Abel in anger and with a murderous heart and struck him down, human blood has soaked the earth. In fact, warfare has been one of the oldest mainstays of human history. Where mankind has advanced technologically, he has always done so with how this new invention would benefit him in war. The 20th-century has been particularly bloody, perhaps more so than all of the rest of human history combined with estimates as high (or higher) than 200,000,000 deaths. Historical tacticians, and strategists such as Sun Tzu, Alexander the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Carl Von Clausewitz, were all students of warfare, and used it to shape their own destinies. However, even at their best, their geopolitical reach and hold was limited by the technologies of their day.
Modern military strategists have refined and codified our understanding of warfare to three organizational arenas: the strategic, the operational, and the tactical (more on this later). They also have defined the three domains militaries must fight and win in order to stay ahead of their enemies. These domains are land, sea, and air (respectively). In recent years, we have had to add cyberspace to the battlefield domains as technology has advanced and revealed it as major weakness to modernized nations. Adding to that, is the changing demography of the human landscape in the 21st-century, where our population has reached around 7.6-7.8 billion people. This has reshaped the battlefield because of urbanization and the rise of megacities around the globe. Because of this, we must also now contend with the subterranean domain. Lastly, President Trump recently announced the introduction for a space force, primarily, to contend with the growing threat in space.
However, according to the Bible, there is yet another domain which has largely been ignored by leaders today and that is the spiritual domain. You see, humans are not the only sentient beings operating in our world.
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. Ephesians 6:12
Regardless of what you believe, there is a growing governmental understanding and recognition of supernatural and unexplainable phenomena happening all around the world. Reputable military and civilian aviators, air traffic control, astronauts, as well as CCTV from the International Space Station, have proven without any doubt, that we are not alone. It has also shown us that these extraterrestrial (or extradimensional) beings, not only defy our laws of gravity and physics, but also are becoming bolder in their appearances and interactions with mankind.
Of course, we Christians already knew that.
The Bible has told us all along that humans are not alone. The Bible lists three orders of Beings in this universe: the Godhead, the Angelic realm, and Humans. Within the Godhead, we have the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. All are different Persons, carry out different roles and responsibilities, but are the same substance, also being co-equal and co-eternal.
Then there is humankind. From the African Maasai, to the northern Europeans, from the Jewish people to the Arabs, Asians, Inuit’s, etc., there are many different kinds of people within the same human race. In terms of variety and types, the Angelic realm is no different. There are cherubim, seraphim, archangels, and probably many others that we are not told about. However, for the purposes of our discussion today, there are two primary categories, the Unfallen (or Holy) angels, and the Fallen (or wicked) angels.
As the Prophet Elisha points out in 2 Kings 6:16-18, the total number of angels is in the realm of the innumerable (probably in the hundreds of billions) who exist all around us. While angels are largely marketed to the world as cute, pondering babies flittering about with tiny wings, the reality is that angels are beings of immense power and intelligence who can move inter-dimensionally.
This means that they can enter our reality just as easily as they can the unseen realm. The Bible tells us that we (people) have often entertained angels unaware, since they can take on human form when necessary (Hebrews 13:2). They preceded man in the order of creation, and were present at the founding of the earth (Job 38:4-7).
Although angels outnumbers humans by quite a bit, there are only a few named angels in the Bible. One that we know of is the Archangel Michael, who is tasked with, among other things, watching over the nation of Israel (Daniel 12:1). The only other unfallen named angel is Gabriel, and who has been instrumental in delivering crucial information to the likes of Daniel, Joseph, and Mary concerning prophetic events and the Incarnation of Christ. Holy angels are tasked with many different responsibilities, from being ministering servants to guardians and messengers; they largely operate undetected on this side of the veil. Jesus told Peter at His arrest that if He asked, the Father would provide more than twelve legions of angels (Matt. 26:51). Therefore, they are at God’s disposal to do whatever it is He asked them to do. Moreover, while we may be oblivious to their presence, we are often the beneficiaries of their actions.
Not all angels are holy and benevolent. Some are dark, violent, and extremely wicked. We are told in Scripture (Rev. 12:4) that a third fell with Lucifer when he rebelled before man was created. Since the total number of angels cannot be counted, neither could we count the third who fell. We assume that even just the third of the angels, still outnumbers mankind by a significant amount. As with the holy unfallen angels, there are only three (possibly) named fallen (evil) angels in Scripture, Lucifer (Satan), Abaddon (Apollyon), and Beelzebub (if he is a separate being apart from Satan). As for the rest, although not personally named, Paul simply refers to them by rank and position…principalities…powers…rulers of the darkness of this age…spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (Eph. 6:12). These beings are eternally damned, and have no hope of redemption. It should be safe to say that these fallen and unredeemable angelic beings do not have our best interests at heart.
The Battle in the Garden
It was in the garden that Lucifer launched the first salvo of war against our God. He deceived Eve into breaking the one rule God had given them through Adam, which was not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil, which stood in the center of the Garden (Gen. 2:15-17). When God confronted the three (Adam, Eve, and the serpent Lucifer), He pronounced curses upon each of them, of which, one was aimed directly at Satan. There would come a day when the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman (Gen. 3:15) would do battle. In hindsight, we know that Satan would bite His heel through the death on the cross, but since neither death nor hell could hold Jesus, it was as inconsequential as a dog nipping at your heel (Rev. 1:18). However, this same death would crush Satan’s power and authority, by offering mankind something these fallen angels will never receive, redemption. Even though the cross was a fatal blow to Satan’s overall agenda, there will come a day when Christ literally defeats Satan (and all those in his employ) in an actual, physical battle.
Unfortunately, at present, we are still under old management.
God originally gave Adam the title deed to the earth (Gen. 1:26-28). However, when Adam broke God’s one rule, he became sinful and mortal, and inadvertently handed that deed over to Satan; and the earth has been under satanic management ever since (1st John 5:19). Thus, between the fall of Adam and Noah’s flood, Satan spent the better part of that 1,600 years trying to corrupt the entire human genome through angel (fallen) and human cross breeding (Gen. 6:1-4). This so that a Savior could not come from the seed of the woman and destroy him.
He came close.
By the time the flood came, only eight people survived.
Satan’s weapon of choice?
God’s weapon of choice?
Water. Lots of it.
In terms of warfare, Satan went high-tech and God went low-tech.
It is interesting to me to see how technical Satan got right from the start; clearly, he was not messing around. Since creation, there has been two resets placed upon humanity as a whole, the first being Noah’s Flood, and the second, the Tower of Babel. At Babel, merely a century or so after the flood, humanity was again united in rebellion against God.
As the Ark rested on Mt. Ararat, God convened what we call the Noahic Covenant with Noah and his sons on behalf of humanity. Several important changes to the world order arose from this particular covenant (Gen. 9:1-17).
- Mankind should be fruitful and multiply and fill the face of the earth
- Mankind could eat whatever he wanted, so long as it did not have blood in it (this because people were presumed to be purely vegetarian before the flood)
- If anyone takes another’s life, his or her life would be required.
- The rainbow would be a perpetual reminder that God would never flood the earth again
And so instead of multiplying and filling the earth as they were instructed, they multiplied and congregated on the plains of Shinar (in what is today northern Iraq/Syria). They began building a large tower there for reasons we are not entirely sure of today, but speculation ranges from a means to escape a future flood, to trying to open a star gate. All we know for sure, is that they were attempting to build a great city there to “make a name for themselves” under the leadership of a great-grandson of Noah called Nimrod. Whatever reasons they had for building the tower, the important takeaway is that although not stated, it is a very reasonable assumption that Satan was instrumental in influencing Nimrod to disobey God by not filling the earth. For the purposes of our benefit, God goes down to see what is transpiring and makes a curious statement:
But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. Genesis 11:5-6
Up until this point in history, man’s greatest strength was in their ability to communicate with each other without barrier, because everyone shared the same language. What God was stating here was that there is nothing mankind cannot do when they are united. Therefore, God (out of His mercy) decides to act and separates mankind by both language and presumably race. What is also noteworthy is the fact that there are around 270 global flood stories, from vastly different cultures, still found around the world today. The only way that makes sense, is if everyone shared the same language and history before Babel.
The reason for these flood stories is not difficult to understand. When we turn to the history book of the universe, the Bible, we learn that Noah’s descendants stayed together for approximately 100 years, until God confused their languages at Babel (Genesis 11:1–9). As these people moved away from Babel, their descendants formed nations based primarily on the languages they shared in common. Through those languages, the story of the Flood was shared, until it became embedded in their cultural history. (Link)
Since the Babel incident, mankind struggled fruitlessly to overcome the barriers God put in place in Genesis 11:6, that is, until the 20th century. With both the British and the American’s dominating much of the past two-hundred years in global affairs, English has become the most commonly used language around the world for governance, business, entertainment, aviation, financial markets, etc. There really isn’t any place you can go anymore in the world where someone does not speak English. Furthermore, we now have the technology in our phones and other electronic devices that can automatically translate most languages so that communication is no longer remaining a divine barrier.
While military and other leaders do not consider the spiritual (or unseen) realm as a “legitimate” domain, they do not dismiss the possibility that other dimensions exist. The Bible explains in numerous places that the unseen realm is more real, and more permanent, than the realm we currently inhabit (2nd Cor. 4:18). This means that despite what anyone says, we have to contend with the spiritual nature of our existence on earth, which most assuredly includes the unseen spiritual warfare that is raging all around us.
At present, this unseen spiritual battle remains a campaign of influence (good vs. evil), but very soon, the supernatural world will come crashing back into the natural just after the Rapture of the Church. Like us, Satan is in the dark in terms of when exactly it (the Rapture) will occur. God’s overarching plan of the ages is fairly open and understandable, but there are still a few things the Father keeps close to the chest. The exact timing of the Rapture is one of them. When it happens, the Rapture will be like that proverbial thunderbolt that shocks the world into the perfect crisis when God removes His ambassadors (us) without warning, and leaves the world in crisis and ripe for deception. Then the unseen campaign of influence and spiritual warfare will take on a very physical manifestation, by way of the man we commonly refer to as the Antichrist. He will have all the backing and authority over the kingdoms of the earth, given to him by the one who currently holds it, Satan (Luke 4:5-6, 1st John 5:19, Rev. 13:7).
Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, “Come and see.” And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. Revelation 6:1-2