ANGELS ON ASSIGNMENT: PART THREE ANGELS AND SPIRITUAL WARFARE

 

KEY VERSE:

 

…Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. (2 Kings 6:16)

 

INTRODUCTION

There isa great war being waged in theworld today. It is nota conflict between nations, tribes, or government leaders.  It is not a rebellion or coup.  It is an important invisible battle taking place in the spirit world.

 

The early Church viewed theirspiritualexperience in terms of warfare. Militaryterminologyis used throughout the New Testament.  Protection was seen in the armor of God.  The Word of God was compared to a sword.  Satan’s attacks were called fierydarts.  Faith was the “good fight” and Believers weretold to “war a good warfare.”

 

One of the tremendous resources in this spiritual battle is the ministry of angels, which is the subject of this chapter.  First, let’s discuss some basic concepts about the conflict in which we are engaged.

 

THENATURAL AND SPIRITUAL REALMS

 

Tounderstand this invisible war, you must realizethat there is both a natural world and a spiritual world.  The natural world is that which canbeseen,felt,touched,heard,ortasted. Itistangibleandvisible. Thecountry,nation,city,  orvillage in which you live is part of the natural world.  You are a resident in a natural kingdom located on one of the visible continents of the world.  You can see thepeople who are part of your environment and you can communicatewith them.You canexperience the sights, sounds, and smells around you.

 

 

But there is another worldin whichyou live.  That worldisa spiritual world.You cannot see it with your physical eyes, but it is just as real as the natural world in which you live.Paul speaks of thisdivision ofnaturaland spiritual:

 

Thereis a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. (1 Corinthians 15:40)

 

Allmen have a natural bodywhich lives in the natural world, but man is also a spiritual being with an eternal soul and spirit.  Man is body, soul, and spirit.  Yourspiritual being (soul and spirit) is part of a spiritual world just as your natural body is part of the natural world.

 

Because spiritualwarfareisjustthat–spiritual–itmustbeunderstoodwithaspiritualmind:

 

Butthe natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God:  for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (2 Corinthians 2:14)

 

TWO SPIRITUAL KINGDOMS

 

Within the natural and spiritual realmsof whichwe are speakingthereexists separate kingdomswhich are ruledby natural and spiritual leaders.

 

NATURALKINGDOMS:

 

Allmen live in a natural kingdom of this world.  Theylive in a city or village which is part of a nation.  That nation is a kingdom of the world that is ruled by a king or political ruler.  The Bible speaks of these natural kingdoms as “kingdoms of the world.”  The kingdoms of the world have come under the power and influence of Satan:

 

Again, theDevil taketh Him (Jesus) up intoan exceeding high mountain, andsheweth Him allthe kingdomsof the world, and thegloryof them;And saith untoHim, Allthese things willI givethee, if you wilt fall down and worship me.  (Matthew 4:8-9)

 

John5:19 sadly reminds us that “the whole world is under thecontrol of the evil one.”

 

SPIRITUAL KINGDOMS:

 

Inaddition to the natural kingdoms of this world, thereare two spiritual kingdoms: The Kingdom of Satan and the Kingdom Of God. Everyperson alive is a resident of one of these two kingdoms.

 

The Kingdom of Satan consistsof Satan,spiritualbeingscalled demons, andall men wholive in sin and rebellion to God’s Word.  These, plus the world and your own flesh, arethe spiritual forces of evilatworkintheworldtoday.

 

 

The spiritual battle startedinHeaven.  You studied previously aboutLuciferwhowasoriginallya beautiful angel created byGod and was part of the Kingdom of God.  Lucifer decided he wanted to take over God’s Kingdom (Isaiah 14:12-17 and Ezekiel 28:12-19).  A group of angels joined Lucifer (now called Satan) in this rebellion.  They are now called demons.

 

Since Satan is not omnipresent (present everywhere), he uses these demons to do his will and accomplish his purposes throughout the world.  Demons constitute the “powers of the air” (Ephesians 2:2) and the “powers of darkness” (Colossians 1:13) and are under the control of Satan.Demons follow orders given by their prince, Satan. We can summarize the activities of Satan and demons by noting that they are always directed against God, His plan, and His people.

 

The Kingdomof Godconsistsof Godthe Father,JesusChrist, theHoly Spirit,spiritual beings called angels, and all men who live in righteous obedience to God’s Word.  These are the spiritual forces of good.  Jesus Christ is called the “Lord of hosts”, as He is commander of the army of God.

 

TheKingdom of God is not a denominational church.  Denominations areman-made organizations of groups of churches. They have been established for practical purposes of organization andadministration.  Denominations are major church organizationslike Baptist,Assemblyof God, Methodist,Lutheran, etc.  The Biblespeaks ofthe trueChurch which is nota denomination or religious organization.  The true Church is composed of all those who have become residents of this Kingdom by asking God to forgive their sins and accepting Jesus Christ as Savior.

 

Atthe present time in the natural world, the Kingdom of God exists individuallywithin every man, woman, boy,andgirl who has made Jesus King of their lives.  It exists communallyin the true Church and wherever people make this world the kind of place God wants it to be. In the future, there will be an actual visible manifestation of God’s Kingdom.

 

THEINVISIBLE WAR

Theinvisible spiritual war is a battle which involves all men and women.  Because the Kingdom of Satan is a spiritual kingdom…

 

…we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual  wickednessin high places.  (Ephesians 6:12)

 

Spiritualwarfare is notanaturalbattle between flesh and blood. Itis nota battle of managainst man. It is an invisible struggle in the spiritworld. It isa battle within and  around man.  It is not a visible battle because spirits are involvedand a spirit does not have fleshand bones (Luke 24:39).

 

 

 

 

Spiritualwarfare is “multidimensional,” which means it is fought in different dimensions.  It is…

-A social battle between the Believer and the world: John 15:18-27.

-A personal battle between the flesh and the spirit: Galatians 5:16-26.

-A supernatural battle between Believers and evil spiritual powers: Ephesians 6:10-27.

 

Everyperson alive is engaged in this battle, whether herealizes it or not.  There is no neutral ground.

 

REASONS BEHIND THE CONFLICT

 

Manwas originallycreated in the image of God and for the gloryof God (Genesis 2). The invisible waragainstman started with thefirst temptation in thegarden ofEden (Genesischapter3). WhenAdam andEvesinned, this resulted in all men inheriting thebasic sin nature and committing individual acts of sin due to this nature:

 

Wherefore, as by oneman sin entered into the world,and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.  (Romans 5:12)

 

It also resulted in the invisible war between man andthe forces of evil:

 

AndI will put enmity between thee (Satan) and thewoman (mankind), and between thy seed (the forces of evil) and her seed (the forces of good represented by the  Lord Jesus Christ)… (Genesis 3:15)

 

Because of sin,man was separated from Godand condemned todeath. But God loved man so much that He made a special plan to save him from sin:

 

ForGod so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  ForGod sent notHis Son intothe world tocondemnthe world; butthat the world through Him might be saved.  (John 3:16-17)

 

Throughbelief in Jesus, confession of and repentancefrom sin, men and women can be released from the power of the enemy.  The death and resurrection of Jesus not onlyresulted in salvation from sin, it also defeated theenemy, Satan:

 

…Forthis purposethe Son of God was manifested, thatHe mightdestroythe

worksof the devil.  (I John 3:8)

 

ButifSatanisdefeated,then whydoesthewarstillrage?  Followinganywartherearealways pockets of enemyresistance, rebellious troops that will not give up until forced to do so. Although Jesus defeated Satan, weare livingin territorywhich is still occupied byenemyresistance forces. The war was won at Calvary, but the terms are enforced right now through spiritual warfare (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).

 

WARRING ANGELS

 

TheMessenger angels are the group that minister to and throughBelievers in  spiritual warfare.  Theyinterpret God’s will, protect, provide guidance, bring answers to prayer, announce,warn, instruct, bring judgment, encourage, sustain, deliver, and intercede on behalf of Believers in spiritual battle.

 

-God’s warring angels bring judgment.

 

Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the Lord chase them. Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of the Lord persecute them. (Psalm 35:5-6).

And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them. And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man.And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost. (Acts 12:21-23)

 

Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the Lord, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty.

(Judges 5:23)

 

-Gods warring angels protect God’s people from the enemy.

 

And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them: And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night. (Exodus 14:19-20)

 

-God’s warring angels drive out the enemy.

 

God promised Israel:

 

And I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite. (Exodus 33:2)

 

-God’s warring angels bring chastisement. 

 

When David sinned by numbering the people of Israel…

 

…the Lord sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and theredied of the people from Dan even to Beer-sheba seventy thousand men. And when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord repented

 

 

him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, It is enough: stay now thine hand. And the angel of the Lord was by the threshing place of Araunah the Jebusite. (2 Samuel 24:15-26)

 

The purpose in chastisement is always restoration to the Lord.  David built an altar and received forgiveness of sins.

 

-God’s warring angels fight for God’s people.

 

There came a day when, surrounded by the enemy, God’s people were outnumbered. In the midst of this impending devastation, King Hezekiah declared:

 

Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him: With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah. 

(2 Chronicles 32:7-8)

 

Through the prayers of Hezekiah, Isaiah, and God’s people, the enemy was destroyed by an angel:

 

And the Lord sent an angel, which cut off all the mighty men of valour, and the leaders and captains in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. And when he was come into the house of his god, they that came forth of his own bowels slew him there with the sword. Thus the Lord saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all other, and guided them on every side. (2 Chronicles 32:21-22)

 

Then the angel of the Lord went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.  (Isaiah 37:36)

 

On another occasion (2 Chronicles 32:10-19),  the evil Sennacherib, king of Assyria, threatened a siege that would plunge Jerusalem into famine…

 

And for this cause Hezekiah the king, and the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz, prayed and criedto heaven. And the Lord sent an angel, which cut off all the mighty men of valour, and the leaders and captains in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. And when he was come into the house of his god, they that came forth of his own bowels slew him there with the sword. Thus the Lord saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all other, and guided them on every side.

(2 Chronicles 32:20-22)

 

Then there was the time when a coalition of enemy nations came against God’s people and Israel responded with praise and worship:

 

…when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten. For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another. And when Judah came toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped.(2 Chronicles 20:22-24)

 

It is very possible that this ambush was staged by angels.

 

In an impending battle recorded in 2 Samuel 5, David’s army was told to wait until they heard a special sound before advancing to conquer the enemy:

 

And when David inquired of the Lord, he said, Thou shalt not go up; but fetch a compass behind them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees. And let it be, when thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself: for then shall the Lord go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines.5 And David did so, as the Lord had commanded him; and smote the Philistines from Geba until thou come to Gazer. (2 Samuel 5:23-25)

 

Most likely, this was the sound of God’s angels coming to their aid, because armies in the natural world don’t march on the tree tops.

 

-God’s warring angels bring revelation to God’s people. 

 

In one vision that the Prophet Daniel had, a very real spiritual battle took place, hindering a messenger sent to Daniel. This heavenly messenger said, “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia” (Daniel 10:13). What was Daniel doing while the principality of wickedness (“Prince of Persia”) withstood the messenger from heaven? Daniel was fasting and praying and warring angels were dispatched in response(Daniel 10:3).

-God’s warring angels will overcome all enemies in the end-times. 

 

John said:

 

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.  (Revelation 19:11-14)

 

And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. (Revelation 12:7-9)

 

-God’s warring angels are innumerable.

 

Twelve legions of angels were available to Jesus:

 

Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? (Matthew 26:53)

 

One legion in the Roman army was 6,000 soldiers, so 12 legions would be a minimum of 72,000 angels!

 

The Psalmist confirmed that…

 

The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place. (Psalm 68:17)

 

God’s warring angels are usually invisible,but Elisha and his servant were permitted to see them.  The King of Syria was at war with Israel and came against Israel with..

 

…horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about. And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots.  (2 Kings 6:14-15)

 

Elisha’s servant panicked, and asked what they should do. Elisha answered:

 

Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.  (2 Kings 6:14-17).

Whether you are permitted to see the warring angels or not, know that they are always there in the spirit world ready to do battle in your behalf.

 

SURROUNDED BY EVIL

 

In this world, we are surrounded by evil spiritual forces.  There is no need to fear, however, as Jesus has overcome all of the power of the enemy.

 

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.  (1 John 4:4)

 

As Believers, we can be alert for Satan’s attacks:

 

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. (1 Peter 5:8-9)

 

We can resist Satan and his evil forces and not give place to them:

 

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

(James 4:7)

 

Neither give place to the devil. (Ephesians 4:27)

 

We can arm ourselves for spiritual battle:

 

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.  (Ephesians 6:10-18)

 

…And we should pray to God and thank Him for sending His warring angels to our aid.

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