Guns, knives, and bombs are effective against the enemies that we can see in the physical realm; but they have no power against the ones we cannot see in the spiritual realm. Paul testified,
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Cor. 10:3-5).
The first essential step in being able to counteract Satan and his evil spiritual forces successfully is to realize that these beings do indeed exist. Probably Satan’s most effective weapon against people is simply their ignorance of, or in many cases their refusal to concede the truth of, his existence (see “denial or acknowledgment of Satan”: C-7, P-III). Certainly, the most formidable enemy is one which is concealed. Once acknowledgment of the existence of external and internal evil spiritual influences has been made, combating them by holding up a crucifix, loading silver bullets into a gun, wearing a garlic necklace, or possessing an unused Bible will not work. Paul indicated that the most effective defense/offense is God’s protective “armor” (see the following section, “full armor of God”). He also said,
So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want (Gal. 5:16,17).
Paul further stressed the necessity of being controlled by God’s Spirit when he said,
You...are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. ... And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you (Rom. 8:9a,11).
Only by constantly keeping our spirit, soul, and body in check and controlled by the Holy Spirit (see “knowledge taught, reminded, and revealed”: C-6, P-IV) can we overcome and control the sin nature which otherwise gets us into trouble. (The Holy Spirit actually helps us not want to sin when temptations arise.) Furthermore, just as Jesus, at God the Father’s right hand in heaven, has “...angels, authorities and powers in submission to him” (1 Pet. 3:22b), so we as well can cause these same evil forces to submit to us by tapping into the Power of the Holy Spirit. Good angels also assist us in this undertaking.
Recall that our real daily struggles are not against other people but against the rulers, authorities, powers of darkness in this world, and evil spiritual forces in the heavenlies (Eph. 6:12—see “hierarchy of evil angels and demons”: C-8, P-I, S-2). People who think that they themselves are the “masters” of their own lives are in error. Those who ignore or have rejected the Gospel message are in bondage or captivity to the will of the devil (2 Tim. 2:26). Unfortunately, they are not aware of it. “The god of this age [Satan] has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Cor. 4:4). Being blind to the truth of the Gospel, they also are blind to the truth about the spirit world and the potential dangers within. Evangelist Mario Murillo says these people are “walking bull’s-eyes” to Satan and his demonic forces.
Gospel believers, however, have a “fighting” chance against the enemy. Paul showed us how, as individuals, we can resist the devil’s and evil spirits’ relentless temptations, persuasions, advances, and attacks:
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one [Satan]. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests (Eph. 6:13-18a).
Obviously, the “armor of God” is a physical allegory of the “spiritual armor” we should “put on” to do spiritual battle. Reading about, comprehending, and utilizing these valuable truths in the Bible enables those who believe them to have the ability to identify influencing spirits, as well as to have the resources and confidence to make claims (in the Name of Jesus) that spirits must leave by the Authority of Jesus (Matt. 10:1; Luke 10:17,19).
Let us examine each of the seven precepts put forth in these verses: truth, righteousness, Gospel of peace, faith, salvation, Word of God, and prayer. Whenever one of these words or groups of words is quoted from Scripture, it will be underlined for convenience, although this emphasis is not found in the biblical text. (Note that words underlined in black are not hyperlinks to other locations.)
King David was aware of the protective power of knowing God’s truth: “Do not withhold your mercy from me, O Lord; may your love and your truth always protect me” (Psalm 40:11). Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31,32). Jesus also, in praying to the Father for His disciples—including anyone who ever would follow Him—said, “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one [Satan]. ... Sanctify them [set them apart] by the truth; your word is truth” (17:15,17).
What is truth? It is God (Isa. 65:16ab), Jesus (John 14:6a; Eph. 4:21), the Holy Spirit (John 14:17a; 1 John 5:6c), the Word of God as recorded in the Bible (John 17:17b), the Gospel of salvation and redemption (Gal. 2:5b), and God’s commandments (Psalm 119:151b). God would like for all people to be saved (see “salvation” later in this part) and “...to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4).
Being blind to or being unwilling to accept any part of the truth keeps one in bondage to evil and sin. As a result, such people embrace and/or crave (and, thus, become “slaves” to) false religions (Gal. 2:4), imperfect worldly principles and knowledge (4:3), and depravity (2 Pet. 2:19), rather than the perfect truth of God. They are “...always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7).
I am reminded of the 3-dimensional “Captain EO” Show at Disneyland, California, and at Epcot Center, Florida. Captain EO (Michael Jackson) and his itinerant crew of “space philanthropists” travel to a planet, ruled by a malevolent queen, where everything is gray or black and all the queen’s subjects are in oppressive bondage to her. Captain EO informs her that he has brought her “the truth” (which she is averse to hearing) and proceeds to release first her wretched subjects—and finally the pitiful queen herself—from their slavery to evil. One by one, these gray and black “monsters,” along with their sullen environment, are transformed into brilliantly multicolored states of glory and perfection. The concept is wonderful; however, no mortal messianic figure ever will be able to deliver mankind and this world in such a miraculous manner. Only Jesus Christ, symbolized by the rainbow (see “rainbow symbolic of Jesus”: C-6, P-V), can and will do this, bringing vibrant vitality to lackluster lives and ultimately changing a drab world into one of blazing color. Only Jesus is the Truth and can provide true Life and true permanent change for anyone.
Knowing and adopting the truth, found in the Bible, makes it possible for us to receive spiritual rebirth (John 3:3-6; James 1:18a—see “purpose of the second birth”: C-15, P-II) and, thus, to be adopted into the family of God (Eph. 1:5). By obeying the truth, we purify ourselves (1 Pet. 1:22a). Also, as noted before, knowing the truth helps us to resist sin and allows us to be exempt from its eternal consequences (sets us free), and it sets us apart (sanctifies us) for God’s service. In turn for our putting on the “belt of truth,” resisting sin, and serving God, He will protect us, now and forevermore.
Since God is perfect and wants nothing less than perfection from us, “...no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law...” (Rom. 3:20a). Yet, King Solomon knew that no one on earth is, in and of oneself, righteous: “There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins” (Eccl. 7:20). If we do not possess perfect righteousness, which none of us do, God is not obligated to aid us in our daily struggles. However, all is not lost. “But now a righteousness from God, apart from the law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe” (Rom. 3:21,22a). We can receive forgiveness from the Father, through the Son, for every bad thing we have done or will do (if we begin by admitting our acts of wrongdoing to Him and truly are sorry for them—1 John 1:9), thereby having this perfect righteousness imparted to us. In fact, the Messiah (Jesus) “...put on righteousness as his breastplate...” (Isa. 59:17a). “Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes” (Rom. 10:4).
What is righteousness? It is following or conforming to every good and moral law of God. In fact, though, no one except Jesus Christ ever has done right all the time. But, for those who know and accept Jesus personally, they “...are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness...” (1 Cor. 1:30). His perfect righteousness, then, can substitute for that which we lack. This does not mean that it no longer is always necessary to try to do what is right. The ancient prophet Hosea gave us this valuable precept: “Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers righteousness on you” (Hosea 10:12). Jesus can and will “shower” His own righteousness on anyone who wishes to receive it.
Satan does not want us to take the righteousness of Jesus upon ourselves. Therefore, through “legalistic” spirits, he causes some to believe that the things they have done are too bad to be forgiven and others to believe that they have not done anything bad enough for which to ask forgiveness (see “law vs. sin and legalism”: C-9, P-III). For those of us who ask forgiveness, practice doing what our consciences tell us is right, accept the love and mercy God has to give us, and open up our hearts and minds to the Word of God, we will be permeated with God’s righteousness. With this God-given, perfect righteousness substituting for our own (which is imperfect and constantly lacking), we then can put on the “breastplate of righteousness” and thereby can qualify for God’s help in contending against the enemy’s attacks.
Isaiah expressed, “How beautiful...are the feet of those who bring good news [the Gospel], who proclaim peace...” (Isa. 52:7a). People can know the message of the Gospel in many ways. Concerning those who never have heard of Jesus, I believe they can be made aware of God’s glory and invisible qualities by observing the sky and nature (Psalm 19:1-4; Rom. 1:19,20—seeC-9, P-IV, S-1). Saul/Paul was made aware of the Gospel by an awesome, personal, supernatural revelation from Jesus Christ, some time after Jesus had been resurrected and had ascended into heaven (Acts 9:3-9,17, 22:6-15, 26:12-18; Gal. 1:11,12). But most hear the Gospel from believers who communicate to them the message that eternal peace and coexistence with the Almighty God is possible.
What is the Gospel? It is the Good News of God’s Plan (as initially given to the Old Testament prophets—Rom. 1:2), of the revelation of the promised Redeemer and Messiah, Jesus (Isa. 40:9; Luke 2:10,11), and of the salvation of all who believe in the redeeming power of Christ and in the grace of the Father (Rom. 1:16, 3:23,24; Eph. 2:8).
“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Rom. 10:13). But Paul asked, “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent?” (10:14,15a). Similarly, Isaiah queried, “Who has believed our message [of the Gospel] and to whom has the arm of the Lord [Messiah] been revealed?” (Isa. 53:1). For those who have not yet heard nor believed, we who have heard the Gospel must tell them. Wherever our feet take us, we must be ready to report to anyone with an open, listening ear the Good News of eternal salvation and peace with God available through Jesus, the Messiah. With our “feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace,” it certainly is God’s Will to keep us safe from spiritual enemies along the way so we can tell others about Him.
Jesus said, “Have faith in God” (Mark 11:22). He also told a sinful, outcast woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace” (Luke 7:50). After Peter, by the Power of the Holy Spirit, healed a man crippled from birth, the people who knew the man were astonished to see him walking and jumping. Peter declared to these people, “By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see” (Acts 3:2,6-11,16). Paul said that “...it is by faith you stand firm” (2 Cor. 1:24c). Also, “...without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards whose who earnestly seek him” (Heb. 11:6).
What is faith? It is the complete acceptance of a truth which cannot be demonstrated or proved by the process of logical thought. Also, “...faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Heb. 11:1). There are degrees of faith concerning God: believing that God is the Creator of all things; that He communicates to us through His Word in the Bible; that Jesus is the physical Person of God who came to redeem mankind, to heal us (spiritually, emotionally, and physically), and to show us the way back to God the Father; and that God’s Holy Spirit lives in and through those whose spirits have been made alive through faith in Jesus. Each of these is important in our daily struggles with, and resistance of, the unseen enemy.
Acknowledging all of these aspects of God qualifies us to take shelter and refuge in Him. “I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust [have faith]’” (Psalm 91:2). As this applies to anyone of us who has a similar faith, the psalmist added, “Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart” (91:3,4). After we show God our resolution to put on the “shield of faith” to quench the fiery darts penetrating our minds from the enemy (which stir up feelings within us such as covetousness, depression, despair, disappointment, doubt, fear, guilt, greed, impurity, lust, selfishness, pride, and uselessness), He Himself is faithful then to help shield us from these and other assaults against us (like sickness, complacency, confusion, and mishaps).
Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, exclaimed, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his people. He has raised up a horn [Messiah] of salvation for us in the house of his servant David..., salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us...” (Luke 1:68,69,71). Peter, speaking of Jesus Christ, stated, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Paul said that the Gospel “...is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile” (Rom. 1:16). Concerning Jesus, “...once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him...” (Heb. 5:9). Our Messiah even “wears” salvation like a “helmet” (Isa. 59:17b).
What is salvation? It is the condition of being saved or protected from our enemies (seen and unseen), as well as from catastrophe or destruction, especially the soul from sin and its eternal consequences. The spectrum of salvation ranges from being delivered from one’s enemies and danger (Exo. 14:19-30; Psalm 31:20), to being kept from starvation and thirst (1 Kng. 17:2-16; Rev. 7:16ab), to being sheltered from God’s ultimate wrath upon the earth (Isa. 26:20; Rom. 5:9) and from eternal spiritual death (John 3:16). Yeshua, the Hebrew word for “Jesus,” means “salvation.”
Satan deceives (and, unfortunately, some well-meaning Christians mislead) many into thinking that they have to be “good enough” to deserve salvation; and those who are not “good enough” should not bother trying to attain salvation (see “law vs. sin and legalism”: C-9, P-III). The fact is, nobody “deserves” the gift of salvation; all have fallen short of God’s glory (Rom. 3:23) and perfect standards. Salvation is not attained by doing enough good deeds to tilt the balance in our favor; it is a free gift by grace from God the Father, through the Son (Eph. 2:8,9), to those of us who first admit to ourselves and to God that we do not deserve it. Paul said that “...if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Rom. 10:9). Putting on the “helmet of salvation” motivates God to guide and protect us now in this life, as well as eventually to accept us into His heavenly Kingdom (see “the New Jerusalem”: C-14, P-II) to exist in His awesome presence forever.
The word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Heb. 4:12). Peter wrote, “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God” (1 Pet. 1:23). John, recording his end-time vision—a revelation of and from Jesus Christ—testified as to the validity of everything he saw, “...that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 1:2).
What is the Word of God? It is whatever God has wanted to communicate to people to reveal Himself, to make known His law, to declare His Will, to manifest His Authority, and to bring about His purposes. It has been spoken throughout the centuries to such people as Noah (Gen. 6:13), Moses (Exo. 3:14), Job (Job 38:1), the Jewish prophets (Isa. 1:2; Jer. 1:4; Ezek. 1:28c, 2:1; 2 Pet. 1:21), Paul (Acts 26:14,15b), John (Rev. 1:1,2), and others (2 Tim. 3:16). Words (messages) of wisdom and knowledge also are given, by the Holy Spirit, to anyone whom God chooses to receive them (1 Cor. 12:8-see “gifts of the Holy Spirit”: C-6, P-IV).
Furthermore, John also described Jesus Christ as “the Word”: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. ... The Word became flesh and lived for a while among us” (John 1:1,2,14a). Describing Jesus at His future return to the earth, John said that “...his name is the Word of God” (Rev. 19:13b); and, “Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations” (19:15a). (This is the same “sword” referred to in Heb. 4:12.) And who paid a personal visit to Abram (Abraham)?—“...the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: ‘Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward’” (Gen. 15:1). We know this entity was a person because, later, “He [the word of the Lord] took [Abram] outside...” and promised that his offspring would be as numerous as the stars (15:5). Furthermore, “He [the word of the Lord] also said to [Abram], ‘I am the Lord...’” (15:7). This was none other than Jesus, the Lord, the Word (and physical manifestation) of God, centuries before He was born of a virgin.
By quoting passages from the written Word, Jesus resisted direct temptation from Satan until Satan finally left Him (Matt. 4:1-11; James 4:7b). (It also may be noted that the devil quoted Scripture, though inappropriately and therefore ineffectively, to Jesus—Matt. 4:6). We ourselves need to know “the Word” (Jesus and what He has spoken) intimately. Aided by the Holy Spirit, by Whom Jesus communicates with all believers, we can “...distinguish between [evil] spirits” (1 Cor. 12:10c—see “gifts of the Holy Spirit”: C-6, P-IV), thus being able to combat them more effectively. We also should read the Bible, the written Word of God, regularly (daily). By believing in “the Word” and by speaking “the Word,” we are capable of commanding demons to leave our presence (and the presence of others) with the same Authority and Power that Jesus had (Matt. 10:1; Luke 10:17,19; Acts 16:18) and of abating the effects that Satan and the powers of evil have on our lives. Wielding the “sword of the Spirit, the word of God,” we can slash through obstacles such as disease, fear, and depression. Speaking the authoritative Word of God, in the Name of Jesus (the physical Word) releases the Power and Energy of the Holy Spirit; it is not “mind over matter” but “Word over matter.”
James, a half-brother of Jesus, taught, “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:16b). Paul said to “pray continually” (1 Ths. 5:17). Jesus prayed not only for Himself (John 17:1-5) and for His twelve disciples (17:6-19), but He also prayed for all believers throughout history (17:20-26). He began by saying, “My prayer is not for [the disciples] alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through [the disciples’] message...” (17:20). Urging His disciples (and us) to pray, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name” (16:23b). Jesus prayed, and still intercedes, for us (Heb. 4:14, 7:25, 8:1,2).
What is prayer? It is a humble communication in speech or thought to God (particularly to the Father, via Jesus and the Holy Spirit), expressing supplication for oneself or for another (John 17:1-26), personal confession (2 Sam. 24:10), or praise and thanksgiving to God (Rev. 7:10-12). It can be performed in times of enormous duress (Neh. 1:4-11; Dan. 9:3-19), severe affliction (Matt. 26:36-44), or intense exuberance (2 Chr. 30:25-27). A prayer can be short (Matt. 14:29,30) or long (Luke 6:12), silent (1 Sam. 1:13ab) or very loud (Ezra 3:11-13), by one person (Jonah 2:1-9) or by a great multitude (Rev. 5:11-14). I often recall this mnemonic when praying to God: “ACTS” for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication.
When it became unlawful to pray to any god or man other than King Darius, under penalty of being thrown into the den of lions, Daniel still prayed to God three times daily (Dan. 6:7-10). When he was caught and thrown into the lions’ den, God rescued him by sending an angel to shut the mouths of the lions (6:13,16,22ab). Sanballat (a “type” of Satan), who opposed the Jews returning to Jerusalem after their Babylonian captivity, used various means of intimidation against the Jews in an attempt to stop the rebuilding of the wall around the city (Neh. 4:1-6:19). Nehemiah, who led the rebuilding effort, prayed that his hands would be strengthened (6:9b) so that the wall would be completed—which it was (6:15). Peter prayed that Tabitha, a dead woman, would come back to life—and she did (Acts 9:40).
If one expects requests during prayer to be answered, the requests should be made with unselfish motives, with the intention of somehow glorifying God and/or helping others. “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (James 4:3). Daniel trusted in God to protect him from the lions (Dan. 6:23b); and King Darius, who liked Daniel, was happy and glorified God when he found Daniel alive (6:23a,26,27). Nehemiah asked that his hands would be strengthened (to build the wall) so that the intimidators of his people (Neh. 6:13a,14) would be foiled and so that God would be glorified when their enemies were forced to realize that God had helped these Jews in their work (6:15,16). Peter requested that Tabitha be raised from the dead, not only for her benefit but so that God would get the credit and many people would believe in Him (Acts 9:42).
This world temporarily is Satan’s domain, and most of it is under his direct or indirect control. God actually respects Satan’s dominion (because it has been handed over to him by mankind); but God readily and willingly enters into the affairs of people, cities, and nations when invited in by people through prayer. Some demonic powers only can be ejected (from people or regions) by employing both prayer and fasting (Mark 9:29). (I believe that fasting can intensify one’s overall mental awareness and spiritual “acuity,” enabling one to focus more effectively on prayer, discernment, direct attack upon the enemy, and proper defense.) Prayer also can be made to Satan and evil spirits, and we can be sure that there are those in satanic churches who offer up prayers to these forces of darkness daily—often to bring the downfall of Christians and Christian churches.
God wants us to pray anytime and anywhere we feel a need to do so; we do not have to be on our knees by our bed to pray. We can pray aloud, silently, in our own language, or in tongues. Prayer opens the way for God to do what He wants to do: to be of assistance to us and to glorify Himself in the process. For instance, if an obsessive thought keeps plaguing us, we can take it “captive” (2 Cor. 10:5b) by praying that God will bind it and remove it. If it later comes back, we can do it again—and again. (I ask the Father, in the Name of Jesus, to take the thought and “burn it”; amazingly, it virtually always is eliminated from my mind. Call it “the power of suggestion” if you want. I call it the Power of the Holy Spirit released through prayer; God be glorified!) So “pray in the Spirit,” when the need arises, and with many “kinds of prayers and requests” to open the way for God to help us in spiritual battle as well as to draw attention and bring glory to Himself, particularly in the eyes of those who do not know Him and in the eyes of the enemy.
The most powerful weapon we have to help us hold back satanic advances is the Holy Spirit. Jesus, while in human form, had the Holy Spirit indwelling Him (Matt. 3:16, 4:1), giving Him the supernatural Wisdom of and Power from the Father to overcome the devil and his work—one of the principal reasons that Jesus came to live and die on the earth (1 John 3:8b). Such great Wisdom and Power is also at our disposal if we want it and ask for it.
Dr. Billy Graham gives us further encouragement and hope in our battle against evil supernatural forces:
One of Satan’s sly devices is to divert our minds from the help God offers us in our struggles against the forces of evil. However, the Bible testifies that God has provided assistance for us in our spiritual conflicts. We are not alone in this world! The Bible teaches us that God’s Holy Spirit has been given to empower us and guide us. In addition, the Bible—in nearly three hundred different places—also teaches that God has countless [good] angels at His command. Furthermore, God has commissioned these angels to aid His children in their struggles against Satan.
Good angels battle evil angels and demons on our behalf. They are capable of making physical contact with each other (Dan. 10:13; Rev. 12:7, 20:1,2) and of touching us and controlling physical objects around us to help or protect us (1 Kng. 19:5b,6; Psalm 91:11,12; Acts 12:6-10). I also believe that each of us has at least one guardian angel assigned to us (Matt. 18:10).
Pastor John Hagee, on TBN’s “Praise the Lord Show” (tape #1021-92), told the story of a demon-possessed man who pulled a gun on him in front of his San Antonio congregation during a service. (It later was revealed that the man lived under the control of a witch in California, calling her every morning for instructions as to how to conduct his life.) Standing 8 to 10 feet away, the gunman demanded, “Beg for your life!” Rev. Hagee refused to do so, maintaining that they were in the house of God and that he himself had authority there. Then he quoted a verse from the Bible: “[N]o weapon that is formed against [me] shall prosper” (Isa. 54:17a—King James Version). The extremely angry man said that he was going to start shooting on the count of “three.” But he lied; he began shooting on the count of “two”—numerous times.
The following day, the San Antonio police extended strings from where the man had stood, past where Rev. Hagee had stood, to where the bullet holes were in the wall. There was a perfect “V” formed to the right and left of Hagee’s head. He noted that it was as if there were the folded wings of an angel over his head, deviating the paths of the bullets to either side.
Another person whose life was protected supernaturally, probably directly by an angel or angels, is Chinese evangelist Nora Lam. As she stood blindfolded in front of a firing squad in China (for professing belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior), the rifles were aimed at her, and the directive was about to be given to fire. At that moment, a strong wind (probably the Holy Spirit—Acts 2:2) came up and a bright light (possibly the Glory of the Lord—see “Shekinah Glory”: C-12, P-III, S-2) flooded the grounds area. As the hand of the commanding officer came down, all the guns discharged their bullets; but, when the clamor was over, Nora Lam remained alive and unharmed. An excellent movie, China Cry, depicts her persecution in China, as well as her safe delivery from that Communist nation.
Good angels battle evil angels and demons. The archangel Michael is a powerful, good angel, one of the “chief princes.” At one time he helped an angel who was trying to bring a message to Daniel. The angel told Daniel, “But the prince of the Persian kingdom [an evil angel] resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me...” (Dan. 10:13). At another time, “...Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!’” (Jude 9).
Also, the Bible gives an account of a supernatural, heavenly battle, seen in a vision by John, to take place at the midpoint of the 70th Week (see “middle of the 70th Week”: C-12, P-III, S-I):
And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon [Satan], and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he [Satan] was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down...to the earth, and his angels with him (Rev. 12:7-9).
Satan and his evil host will forfeit their access to and foothold in heaven during the last half of the 70th Week—never to regain it for the rest of eternity.
Proceed to Chapter 10, Part III
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Copyright © 1998– by Ted M. Montgomery, O.D. Most rights reserved.