Exactly one year ago, i ran this post here, and since there are so many new readers I thought I’d run it again today and tomorrow. It’s a fictional story about spiritual warfare, it is not a Bible study! I hope you enjoy it, and that it gives you something to think about and ask God about..
ORIGINAL NOTE: This story is fiction, we must be clear about that. Therefore, it is not intended to represent Biblical teaching. Rather it is intended to convey an impression of what spiritual warfare is and what it looks like from our human point of view. As you will see, I have taken heavenly things and put them in a human context so that they can be communicated more easily in a narrative format. My prayer is that this story will both entertain and cause us to think about what is going on around us, that we as followers of Jesus Christ might at least be more aware of the fact that things in this world are not always what they appear to be.
If you missed it, jump to Part 1
After their meeting, word went out that a petition was being prepared. Lucifer’s friends said that they would petition God to reconsider his having put Adam in charge on Earth, to ask him to put Lucifer in charge of the new Universe… and they circulated word that there would be some great jobs opening up in the new Universe for angels once Lucifer had control. When I was approached with the petition, they told me that Lucifer had earned the right to rule, that he was entitled to rule. They said that it just wasn’t fair that we all serve God for ever and he doesn’t give us what we have coming to us: authority. Why shouldn’t Lucifer rule? He was just as beautiful, just as brilliant and just as powerful as God!
It just wasn’t fair…
I signed the petition. Lucifer came to see me… Can you believe it? He actually came to see me! I couldn’t believe my eyes when he came up to me and started speaking; he even knew my name. He told me that his friends called him Satan and said that I could call him that as well, since we were friends. It was exhilarating!
Then the day came to present the petition. Satan and his closest friends went to see God; surely God would relent and do the right thing, surely he would be fair.
The next thing we knew, all of us were cast out of heaven, down to the Earth. Satan and fully a third of all the angels were kicked out, and there we were on the Earth. To say that there was grumbling in the ranks would be an understatement. We were not happy campers, I can tell you, but in a very short time, Satan had a great idea. All we needed to do was to get God’s little pet Adam on our side, then God would see his mistake and negotiate a fair settlement. So we set out to find that garden where Adam and Eve lived…
I must admit that finding them was harder than you might think. The Earth is a lot bigger than it looks from heaven, and none of us had ever been in a physical place before; getting around took some getting used to, but we figured it all out and that garden of God’s was found. Satan went right to the task, and moved in. It didn’t take very long to get Eve to eat from the tree of knowledge; all Satan really had to do was to tell her that if she ate the fruit, she’d be just like God. She ate, and then told Adam the same thing, and he ate; piece of cake! Immediately they camouflaged themselves with leaves and hid from God in the bushes. He had arrived before Satan could ask for a talk, and instead of realizing his mistake, God hardened his position, throwing Adam and Eve out of the garden just like he had thrown us out of heaven. Instead of being in charge of the Earth, now they had to fight for survival in a tough environment. God refused our request for negotiations again…
As time moved forward, we found that men were easy to manipulate. From time to time, there would be a goody-good who wanted to follow God, but for the most part, we had our way with them. Satan asked God often to open negotiations, but he kept on refusing. Whenever he would find a new pet, we would go to work, tempting and threatening in one way or another, and all of them disappointed God in some way, and each time, Satan would go to God and point out everything that his latest little pet had done wrong. Each time he asked God to negotiate, and each time God refused. We came to understand as the centuries rolled by that God must have some kind of plan, because anybody reasonable would have given up this silly game long ago…
God made a covenant with Abraham and gained a people. Later he entered a covenant with Moses and gained a nation, but we always moved in to thwart him. Always he held firm to his commitments to them, refusing to be fair with us, and our discontent grew. All God needed to do was cut a deal with Satan, and we would let him have his little pets!
Finally, after ages had passed, God sent his Messiah to his people. We attacked him from every possible angle. Satan tried the direct approach when this Jesus went out into the Wilderness, but this Jesus guy was tougher than the rest of God’s little pets; fair enough, we would have to earn the right to get our just due. We possessed people and used them to break up the ministry of Jesus as best we could, but we discovered that Jesus could force us out of the people we took over. Turning the leaders of the people against Jesus was a cakewalk; they had been in our pockets for years, but Jesus was crafty, I’ll give him that. He kept on teaching the people and making disciples for three long years. Then we had our chance!
The leaders of the Jews arrested Jesus (finally!) and turned him over to the Romans, and we owned the Romans, and this Jesus was killed! Our intelligence had reported that God’s whole purpose revolved around this Jesus guy wedging the people away from our grip, so by killing him before he could do that, we knew that we had won… and so we celebrated. In fact, we spent the whole day throwing a big fat party. First thing the next day, Satan and all of his leading officials would go to God and accept God’s surrender; this was better than we had dared to hope for…
…and then God cheated. How could he have done such a thing? We had been working with men for millennia by then; we knew the rules. When you kill them, they stay dead!
Jesus didn’t stay dead. He rose from the grave before Satan could get to God. That was simply not fair! Then we found out what God’s plan was all about. It sure would have been nice if our intelligence angels had done their job sooner. By killing this Jesus guy off, we had actually played into God’s hand. God was going to offer Man a new covenant, only this one wasn’t just for his little pets the Israelites, no! This was for all men, and it would take sins away. To put it plainly, God was offering all of Mankind a separate peace, leaving us still at war; the Treachery!! Our response?
GAME ON! No more offers to negotiate, no more Mr. Nice Guy. WAR!
We went on the offensive like never before. We attacked these disciples (now Apostles) head on. The more we attacked, the more they succeeded to get people on God’s side. So then we attacked the church itself. We used brute force. The whole power of the Roman Empire was turned on them. They were arrested, tortured, mutilated, and murdered. The more we killed, the more that came against us. We soon figured out what role the Holy Spirit was playing in these people; God was playing this game for keeps, so we turned up the pressure. The Romans made a sport of their murder, but more entered this New Covenant of theirs. We used our power amongst the pagans in their religions, we used our influence in their philosophy, we imposed economic sanctions… and still there were more of them!
After 300 years or so, we changed our strategy. The direct assault hadn’t worked; these people wouldn’t break the way they always had before. We took the pressure off of the Romans, and this Christianity became accepted by them. Cheer up! All was not lost; it was a new turning point. We realized that we might not be able to completely destroy God’s church all at once, but we could still harm it. We used their bodies against them, sex, drink, lust!
We used their public institutions against them; corruption, intrigue, scandal! We used their economics against them, their culture against them, and their learning against them… We brought new religions out of the woodwork and engaged in great slaughters. They even came to call a whole age the “Dark Ages” because of our success. All of this really slowed their “gospel” down; God’s Word ended up locked in monasteries for centuries. We were not able to kill the church, but we have had our successes corrupting it. We even began splitting it into little pieces that loved to argue with each other. I’ll take that, at least they aren’t adding to their numbers and strength.
As more centuries passed, their knowledge increased, their technologies grew, and this gave us new opportunities. We found we could use their knowledge against them, and succeeded in convincing some of their wise ones to renounce our existence. Imagine, it became unfashionable to believe that there was even a battle going on! This gave us free reign with them, for they didn’t see what we were doing to them any more. Then we used their wise ones to teach people that God didn’t even exist: Beautiful.
Their science has been a tool, too. And their culture, once a bastion of Jesus Christ became a tool for our side. With greater advancements in science, their engines of war became more lethal, and we were able to induce massive conflicts with death in the millions!
While all of this was truly great for our side, all was not well. After almost two thousand years of total war, there are more Christians now than ever before.
Please don’t share this, but not all of us are happy. Do you think that after all that has happened, it hasn’t occurred to any of us that God might have the upper hand? Some have even asked Satan to just speak the word and make a second Universe, so we can just have our own, but it turns out that he can’t do it. Some of us are wondering if this was such a good idea after all, and I for one wish I had never signed that stupid petition, but God won’t negotiate. What can we do but fight on? Yes, I have had the thought that if God can speak the word and bring a whole universe into being, then he can probably speak the word and cause all of us to cease to exist. Is that our future? What can we do, but play for time and hope for a miracle?
Why did I sign that petition?
Fight on we must, and as more of us become embittered, our struggle is a desperate one indeed…