Chapter 1 – The Purpose of God
Our heavenly Father has no greater passion than the joy and full fellowship with His beloved creation, mankind. Out of all the vastness of the creation, Adam was the one who was designed to be the recipient of God’s love. The One Who is love, created mankind to share it. Every father loves to teach His children. How full of joy were their times of walking together in the garden! We can imagine the pleasure Adam must have had naming the animals together with His Father by His side. Of all the angels, and all the other created things, Adam and his progeny were the object of God’s unlimited affection!
Satan attempted to destroy what God created. He always does. And what, in satan’s mind, could be more devastating than to separate God from His beloved Adam (and Eve), the ones made in His image and designed for His company?
Later came Abram. God selected this man and his descendents to invest His love. In establishing a special covenant with this man, our Father invested in him all the love and faithful blessings that any man ever had since Adam. God said that He would be Abram’s God, and Abram’s generations would be His people. God said that He would remember their sins and iniquities no more, and later that Abram (Abraham) was the friend of God1. Abram’s part would be to keep the law. His faith walk became both a model and the requirement for all who love God with faith ever since.
What was God’s continuing purpose? What is His constant desire? It is to have fellowship with His beloved mankind. Satan endeavors to rob this fellowship from God. This concept is embodied in all that Jesus Christ came to do, and it is wonderfully expressed in Jesus’ final prayer before His arrest in the garden:
Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them;that they may be one, even as we are one:
I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
God’s Plan of Redeeming Love
God’s plan of redemption was quickly announced in Genesis 3:152. The serpent, the devil, was cast out of heaven and stripped of all his spiritual authority. He would bruise the heel of the seed of the woman, Whom we know today from the Scriptures is Jesus Christ, and He would bruise satan’s head. The Scriptures record what God has done to bring the redemption of man within His reach through the astonishing, wonderful sacrifice of the blood of Jesus Christ.
Has satan given up? Has he stopped attempting to undermine God’s plan for restoring personal intimacy with those who have freely received the salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ? Of course not. John 10:103 clearly shows that satan’s efforts to steal, kill, and destroy the sheep of the Lord’s pasture continue with the same subtlety and vengeance as the Apostle Paul later declared in Ephesians chapter six:
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.
It should not be surprising then to recognize that satan is at war with the saints,4 God’s children. We are still in the evil day. Every believer is thus embroiled in a war, not of their choosing and perhaps completely unknown to them at the time they signed up to be on Jesus’ team when they confessed Him as their Savior. Yet they are in a war nevertheless. What is surprising, however, is the number of Christians who choose not to fight, or even recognize their necessity, mandate, privilege, and spiritual responsibility before the Lord to fight as a soldier5.
But there is very good news. Christians who have a relationship with the Captain of the Host, Jesus Christ, have enormous advantage! The bad news is that relatively few Christians are willing to develop their relationship with their Captain so that He can instruct how to stand effectively against principalities, powers, rulers of darkness, and spiritual wickedness in high places.
The purpose of this book is to teach believers to better stand against the devil, and thus enable them to become more effective soldiers under Jesus Christ. Remembering that God’s ultimate objective is to restore a close personal relationship with each one of His people, we can begin to understand (and therefore better combat) the methods satan employs against us.
To illustrate, think of how Joshua’s men had to first learn to hear and obey the voice of the Lord. Only when they had learned to hear and obey were they able to cross the Jordan and obtain victory against opposing strongholds like Jericho.
How far can the Lord go with His army if it does not even know the enemy exists? How effective can His army be when they do not know how demonic powers gain legal authority to cause destruction in our lives and the lives of our loved ones?
How many Christians have you known, for example, who refuse to acknowledge the existence of evil spirits such as suicide, cancer, anger, and offense? Or how many have you met who so adamantly assert that evil spirits cannot afflict the children of God? How many Christian brothers and sisters have learned to deal with tormenting spirits, bondage and lust spirits? How often are believers able to discern false doctrines of demons which carry believers about with such notions as: sickness is from God, or that His will is to heal some but not others, or that Christians cannot be cursed?
There are many facets of the faith walk of Christians that have been stolen by satan without firing a shot. Hosea 4:6 declares, ‘My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.’
Satan’s warfare is subtle, and ignorance of his methods undermines the power and vitality of the Lord’s army against the spiritual enemy. But, as will be shown in the pages that follow, believers can overcome all things and walk in victory in Jesus Christ because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.6
Are you ready to shoot spiritual bullets? We must learn first how to load the gun.
1 James 2:23
And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
I Peter 5:8
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
5II Timothy 2:3-4
Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
6I John 4:3-5
And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. 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.They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.
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