As born-again Christians, we must always remember that hell has a strategy. God, in Gneisses 3:14-15, laid down the separation between mankind and Satan, as God said to the serpent: ”Because you have done this you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every animal of the field. You shall go upon your belly, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He will bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” (NKJV emphases added). Enmity here means “the quality of being an enemy; the opposite of friendship; ill will; hatred; unfriendly dispositions; malevolence. It expresses more than aversion and less than malice, and differs from displeasure in denoting a fixed or rooted hatred, whereas displeasure is more transient (Webster’s 1828 Dictionary).”
Since the Garden of Eden, we have been the acknowledged enemy of Satan and he and hell have had a strategy against us.
We are also warning in the First letter of Peter to the Church and to the Christians of his times; for in v5:8 we read a warning to Christians “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour.” The idea, as held my many Christians, that at the time of one’s Baptism, we are 100% cleaned and cleared of the enemy, is one of the largest lies perpetrated by the enemy and held by the many as doctrine. It is simply not biblical, as First Peter 5:8 clearly demonstrates. Further, we are warned in Matthew 16:18, which are the quoted words of Jesus Christ Himself: ”I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Here we must understand that the phrase “gates of hell” actually means the powers and principalities of hell, the ruling authority, the government of hell. (See also our posting “The Gates of Hell” for more clarification on this.)
Here we have Jesus warning his disciples that the government, the ruling authorities of enemy, are both arraigned against them and seeking to overcome them. An even more explicit statement of fact comes again from the very mouth of Jesus as He says in Luke 22:31-31“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has desired you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith fail not. And when you are converted, strengthen your brothers.” From this, we can be sure beyond question, hell has a strategy against us. More important, (or perhaps better put) the more effective we are to Jesus and the plans He has for His Church and Kingdom, the higher will be the level of the Satanic minions fielded against us. It is only logical; as in any battle, one does not waste scarce or powerful resources against those who are not fighting, or who are not effective, or who have no strategic purpose.
As we move forward in these end times, the battle will only, indeed, can only, become hotter and fiercer; for the enemy will stop at nothing to derail and delay to the best of his ability, the plans and the will of God and the fulfilment of the prophetic words in the Books of Daniel and of Revelation and elsewhere in the Bible. But one thing is sure, as God moves on and His Kingdom moves on, God will overcome. This is a certainty, for it is written in the Bible of us in First John 4:4 where He confirms “You are of God, little children, and you have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (NKJV emphases added). Yes, because He (God) who is in us, is greater than he (Satan) who is in the world. But not only will God overcome, we will overcome. We are not all asked to take the battle to Satan and his minions and seek a fight. But we are all empowered to defend ourselves, our families, our land, our nation, our businesses, our cities, our school and all that which we have dominion and legal rights over. We are all called to deliverance and freedom for “The Lord’s Prayer” says so in Matthew 6:13b “but deliver us from the evil.” Here deliver means: 1. To free; to release, as from restraint; to set at liberty; as, to deliver one from captivity and 2. To rescue, or save.
In John 14:12 Jesus said these amazing words “Truly, truly, I say to you, He who believes on Me, the works that I do he shall do also, and greater works than these he shall do, because I go to My Father.” If hell has no strategy, if the enemy were not arraigned against us, there would be no need for Jesus to grant us such powers, yet he has, to those who will, as Jesus says “Only Believe” (Mark 5:36, Luke 8:50 and Philippians 1:29).
One trouble in many churches today seems to be that the congregation and the leaders are patently untrained to recognise the enemy. Indeed, they often seem unable to recognise that a war is raging around them as they “do Church” and life spiritual-less lives in blissful ignorance and apathy. They have a Theology, of sorts, but have no (for want of a better word) no Demonology. In other words, they seem unable to even address the subject with any experiential authority.
But this is not new, and all eyes and all minds are not open to the spiritual realities around us as the Bible shows in Second Kings 6:17 when Elisha prayed for his servant (probably a prophet-in-training) saying “I pray You, Jehovah, open his eyes so that he may see. And Jehovah 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.” Yes, just as it was in the days of Elisha, not only can most Christians not see the enemy around us, they cannot see God’s warriors either; thus, they have no clue as to the gravity of the situation.
Satan and his powers and principalities are working fulltime to devise strategies of unbelief against Christians and pre-Christian believers. Remember, that in this war, he will not waste his efforts on pagans who are already his, or those who have nothing, or will have nothing, to do with Christianity, for they are no threat to him and are all in his camp under his control. Instead he is concentrating on those who are working hard for the God’s Kingdom and his overthrow, attempting to establish betrayal situations in their lives, which will overwhelm them. The purpose of this is to take their focus off Jesus, the Cross and the Kingdom, and onto our own problems; for when that happens, we are no longer effective against him. To achieve this, he will use rejection and abandonment to make one feel fatherless, rejected, isolated and alone – just ask any mission field worker – for these feeling sap our energy, sap our spirit and sap our will, rendering us less effective.
He will also look into your bloodlines, seeking iniquity of any form or type committed by an ancestor, such that he as a legal claim against you. When that legal claim is established, he will exercise his rights to harass you and hold you captive today. Job 1:1-12 gives a good indication of how this works in principle and as Exodus 20:5b explains “For I Jehovah your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons to the third and fourth generation of those that hate me.” This shows basis of Satan’s claims against even those whose own sins have been forgiven and over which he cannot claim advantage. Thus, it is in Satan’s interest to keep generational lines of iniquity alive and fresh, so that he can forever claim his rights over mankind. Unless we are aware of this tactic and break generational iniquity, it will pass to our children and their children, until intentionally broken. Just look at life around us and see how certain diseases, early death, poverty, alcoholism, wife beating and the like seem to run in families and to reveal themselves, generation after generation after generation.
At our times of weakness, Satan will come and develop strongholds within us, which we first imagine are being made to make us stronger in order to deal with our situation(s). Instead however, he is establishing rights and strongholds which will be used against us when we begin to draw near to God and our lives become a threat to him. From these strongholds he plunders our lives endlessly – as, for example, we remain in poverty and ill health, instead of in the abundance and full life which God has destined for us. He will distract us from the harvest times of our lives, so that we are always planting and tending, but never ever bringing in, or harvesting crops; until eventually we give up in fatigue and in anger at the Lord, blaming Him for our situation. Satan will attempt to make us believe that it is all the fault of the Lord, that He is not fulfilling His side of the “Prosperity Gospel” and that He is robbing us of that which is due to us. Satan will make us see that life is all about us and not Him; that God is here for us and to fulfill our needs and desires and that when and if He does not, it is God’s fault, not ours. When this mindset is established within us, the next step is that we feel that God owes us, and it is both right and proper that we reach out and take that which is rightfully ours, but which He has been denied us.
By now we are not one the slippery slope, but at the bottom of it, deep in the territory of the enemy, an enemy most Christians cannot even recognise, and those who do, are untrained to overcome.
By now the enemy is not just competing with God’s voice in your life, he is your life. Your destiny, that which the Lord God Almighty, the Creator of Heaven and Earth determined for you at the beginning of time – is now lost.
Yes, hell has a strategy and as God said in His word in John 8:44“You are of the Devil as father, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and did not abide in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own, for he is a liar and the father of it.” This is our enemy, the father of lies and in whom there is no truth. This is he who has a strategy against Christians and who will stop at nothing to gain control and take us from God’s chosen path for our lives.
On the cross of Calvary, Jesus regained the world and cast down the usurper. The war is won, but the battles continue and Satan’s rearguard actions are growing in ferocity as the end draws near. Christians need to recognise the enemy as for what he is, a defeated, though powerful foe. But Jesus has given us the tools to overcome and gain victory. He has given us the Keys, as Matthew 16:19 says: “And I will give the keys of the kingdom of Heaven to you. And whatever you may bind on earth shall occur, having been bound in Heaven, and whatever you may loose on earth shall occur, having been loosed in Heaven.”
In Christ we are overcomers, but to overcome we need the knowledge of the Bible and the confidence to act upon it. As God bewailed through the mouth of Hosea the Prophet in Hosea 4:6“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you from being priest to Me. Since you have forgotten the Law of your God, I will also forget your sons, even I.” Yes, God’s people were destroyed by a lack of knowledge. We have no excuse for any lack of knowledge. You, have no excuse for any lack of knowledge.