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Sunday, July 7, 2019

The Supernatural Battle - Part One

In my last essay I told the story of my encounter with a spider’s web. I’d have walked right into it if at the last moment the sunlight had not glistened off its nearly invisible strands.  I then made application to the supernatural web Satan creates to trap each one of us. And because his web is supernatural, many people are easily caught in it when they insist what can be known is knowable only with our natural senses.

The following analogy is not perfect. I admit that. But I use it as an example of how we are surrounded by things we cannot discern with our natural senses, but we can infer their existence, often (but not always) by using instruments that bring the unseen and unfelt into the natural world of our five senses.

Most of you reading this own a cell phone. With it we can call anyone anywhere in the world by simply dialing the correct number. Our phones are unlike the old rotary phones with which we are all familiar. Our rotary phones were attached to a chord that was connected to wires in the wall. Those wires connected a pole not far from the house. Our voice was converted into electronic waves that electronically along wires to a central switchboard and from there to another phone across the city, across the country, even across the world.

But today, without wires or cables, we tap the correct numbers onto our phone’s screen and invisible and inaudible electronic waves transmit signals to a cell tower somewhere in the area, which then transmits those invisible waves to a satellite in stationary orbit above the country Ultimately, those invisible and inaudible electronic waves cause the phone on the other end to ring.

What’s my point? You and I live in a natural world surrounded by radio waves and solar rays. We’ve never SEEN those waves, but we infer their existence because of how those waves behave when we use the proper equipment.

Since that’s what happens in the natural world around us, then why is it so inconceivable, so fairy tale-ish to believe in the existence of an unseen and intangible supernatural world all around us – ESPECIALLY since we can infer it by the evidence of a supernatural evil all around us?

And this is important: Since there is a supernatural evil, then it logically follows that there is a supernatural evil ONE who orchestrates that evil.

The famous Chinese general and strategist, Sung Szu, wrote in his classic, The Art of War: Knowing the enemy enables you to take the offensive. Knowing yourself enables you to stand on the defensive.

Perhaps one of the best-known passages of the New Testament dealing with supernatural warfare is in the sixth chapter of Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus.

"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. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”

“Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

“With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.”  (6:12ff)

Listen! People are not our enemy, although clearly, in the supernatural battle we’re in, Satan uses people to do what he by himself cannot do without human help. That’s why he seduces and manipulates people to murder, ravage, destroy, and ruin others. And we can expect such malevolent evil to grow steadily worse as we move toward the second coming of Christ.

Although unseen by the natural eye, the eye focused on the supernatural can see his activities nearly everywhere – including in many churches. So, what evidence is there by which we can infer his foul supernatural existence?

Consider the epic and gravely serious cultural changes anyone over the age of 60 has witnessed just in their lifetime – cultural changes that have resulted in the ruin of homes, families, nations, and individuals.

For example, in the 1950s it would have been unthinkable by virtually every American that in 2019 we would nonchalantly kill 3,000 babies every day in American abortion clinics. And not just kill them, but also sell their body parts for experimentation and research. 

Think of it!  None of us in the 1950s – just a few years from learning of the experiments the Nazis performed on men, women, and children in their concentration camps – none of us would have ever imagined Americans would do the same thing in our lifetime.

Did you know that since 1973 when the Supreme Court ruled that women have the right to kill their children in the womb (and now, in states like New York, even after they are born) we have killed more than 56 million pre-born children?

Let that number sink in a moment. 56 million.

That’s the combined populations of Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, and New York! In your mind’s eye, wipe those states off the map. They no longer exist. We’ve slaughtered their populations in the womb.

Our deviant culture is now so upside-down that if you mistreat a dog, you can go to jail. But if you kill your baby in an abortion clinic, you can get invited to some television show to brag about it.

What else do we know of the supernatural carnage triggered by the devil in our lifetime? In 1950 who would have imagined the US Supreme Court would give same-sex marriages legal status in our country – and that a growing number of lower courts throughout the nation would call it ‘hate speech’ to argue against same-sex unions?

In the 1950s who would have believed that unmarried couples living and sleeping together would be the stuff of television sitcoms and Hollywood movies? Yet the supernatural enemy of the family unit has convinced most Americans that living together outside of marriage is as innocent a thing as strolling through the park on a Saturday afternoon.

And if we still need evidence of a supernatural unseen enemy, consider this. Only a few years after we defeated Nazism – NAZI, as some of you might know, is an acronym for the German phrase: National ‘Socialist’ German Workers Party – in 1950, just after we defeated Nazism and were about to be embroiled in a decades-long cold war with the Union of Soviet ‘Socialist’ Republics (USSR), would any of us over the age of 60 believed it possible that in our lifetime we would actually VOTE socialists into our congress and state houses?

I could go on and on with evidence of the supernatural blindness that has enveloped our nation, our churches, our neighbors, but the point should by now be clear. We are engaged in a fierce and lethal supernatural battle for our eternal souls.

We might not want to be engaged in it. We might rather pretend none of it is happening. But if anyone thinks we can avoid the conflict by pretending it’s not there then – listen!  Wake up! 

Jesus said to the Church at Sardis what He ALSO says it to the Church in 2019: “‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. So, remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore, if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you.” (Revelation 3:1-3)

Don’t miss this point! Life, freedom, safety – and most important, our eternal destiny – is at stake here. Satan will continue deceiving as many as he can to do his will – and his evil will only increase as we draw closer to the second coming of Christ.

That is why it is absolutely crucial that you and I focus our attention on what the Holy Spirit tells us regarding how to protect ourselves and those we love – and also how to successfully stand against our supernatural enemy.

We look at those things next time.

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