Vol. 17, No. 12 – March 25, 2018
The Hierarchy of Satan’s Cosmic System Could Look Something Like This:
- The Enemy, vs. 11-12.
Eph 6:12, “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.”
Now, getting back to our opponents in Eph 6:12; we are given four categories of adversaries that we need to pin to the mat. So, let us see how this four-fold evil cosmic system is defined, so that we know our enemy and with knowledge overcome them.
You see Christianity, unlike all the other cults, is not about teaching you things to persuade yourself to function in a thoughtless manner. It does not just tell you to say something and to go on saying it mechanically, whether it is true or not, or whether you feel it or not. That is not Christianity. Christianity always gives reasons for what we are to do or be doing. Therefore, Paul introduces this passage by explaining why we need to “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might,” and why we need to, “put on the full armor of God.” He tells us why we need it all. In this case, it is because of the enemy we are facing every day while we are here on planet earth. It is because of the fallen angelic race that has aligned themselves with Satan in opposition and antagonism against God and His people. Therefore, we need to know our enemy well, and Paul tells us about it in the details of this passage.
Eph 6:12, “For our struggle is … against the rulers (1-ARCHE), against the powers (2-EXOUSIA), against the world forces of this darkness (3-KOSMOKRATOS SKOTOS), against the spiritual forces of wickedness (4-PNEUMATIKOS PONERIA).”
Paul previously referred to the first two of these hostile angelic creatures in the unseen realm in Eph 1:21,
Eph 1:21, “Far above all rule (1 – ARCHE) and authority (2- EXOUSIA) and power (DUNAMIS) and dominion (KURIOTES), and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.”
Likewise, in Eph 3:10 Paul lists the “rulers,” ARCHE, and “authorities,” EXOUSIA,” once again.
Eph 3:10, “In order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.”
Those verses tell us that God’s plan of redemption was made complete and ultimately revealed for man and the angelic realm, when God raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him at His right hand. As a result, those cosmic rulers and authorities were disarmed and put to shame by the Cross of Jesus Christ, Col 2:15.
Col 2:15, “When He had disarmed the rulers (1 – ARCHE) and authorities (2- EXOUSIA), He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him, (Jesus Christ).”
Paul also lists these angelic authorities in Col 1:16, regarding our Lord’s creative act that shows Jesus’ ultimate authority over them all.
Col 1:16, “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones (THRONOS) or dominions (KURIOTES) or rulers (1 – ARCHE) or authorities (2- EXOUSIA) — all things have been created by Him and for Him.”
This passage includes all angelic creatures, fallen and elect, as well as human authorities. But in our verse, it is only speaking of the fallen angelic realm, i.e., “in the heavenlies.”
Therefore, combining these passages, we have a list of 7 titles for the fallen angelic realm that is part of Satan’s cosmic system:
- Thrones, THRONOS.
- Powers, DUNAMIS, (inherent power).
- Dominions or Lordship, KURIOTES.
- Rulers or Principalities, ARCHE.
- Powers or Authorities, EXOUSIA, (power exercised).
- World forces of this darkness, KOSMOKRATOS SKOTOS.
- Spiritual forces of wickedness, PNEUMATIKOS PONERIA.
The first three speak to the realms of the kingdoms controlled by the fallen angelic forces, and the last four speak to the ones ruling in the various realms of the kingdoms.
Col 1:15-16, asserts that Jesus Christ was instrumental in the creation of “thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers;” along with “all things in heaven and earth, visible and invisible,” they were created, “in, through, and for Him.” The powers were originally a divine creation and were to find their goal in Christ.
Col 1:15-16, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.”
Yet, due to the evil that was found in their heart, they rebelled against Him, and have now been defeated by Him.
Col 2:15, “When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.”
Rom 8:38, “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities (ARCHE), nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers (DUNAMIS). 39nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
So now, let us explore the titles given to the four-fold forces of demonic evil found in Satan’s cosmic system.
1.) “The Rulers,” sometimes translated “Principalities.” Here, we have the Accusative Plural Noun ARCHE, ἀρχή that means, “beginning, origin, authority, rule, domain, or sphere of influence.” It is used similarly in Eph 1:21; 3:10. It is also used in Rom 8:38; 1 Cor 15:24; Col 1:16; 2:10, 15.
In Classical Greek, the term ARCHE functions both in an ordinary sense and in a philosophical sense as “First Cause.” Because this word always signifies primacy, if it were in the singular, we would think this to be Satan as the first to rebel against God in eternity past. In fact, in John 12:31; 16:11, Satan is called HO ARCHON HO KOSMOS, “the ruler of this world.” But, because it is in the plural in our verse, it is more than one individual, and Satan has already been noted in vs. 11.
Given the imagery of this title, we see these as other angels who were and are a part of the rebellion of Satan, “from the beginning.” As “primacy,” we also see this word as leaders “in rank, power, dominion, or office,” cf. Rom 8:38; 1 Cor 15:24; Col 1:16; 2:15. Therefore, these are the leading and ruling fallen angels, as it were, of Satan’s fallen angelic army that have been with him since the beginning of his rebellion. They seem to be first both in rebellion and authority inside of Satan’s fallen angelic hierarchy.
So, these are the highest ranking fallen angels. They are Satan’s top rulers, the top officers, the highest and most powerful angels under his command. They are the equivalent of the “archangels” in God’s elect angel organization, so they are the counterfeit “archangels” of Satan’s system. They assist Satan in his rulership of the entire world, but are not assigned to any one country or territory; rather they lead the rest of the angelic forces.
2.) “The Powers.” Here we have the Noun EXOUSIA, ἐξουσία that means, “authority, right, power.” This term is most frequently used in the NT for the right or authorization to use power bestowed by an office. It is a derivative of EXESTIN which means, “it is possible” or “it is lawful,” that is, the right to act according to legal or moral standards. The root Verb EXOUSIAZO means, “to have power over someone or exercise authority.” It is closely related to DUNAMIS, which is not used in this listing of four enemies, but differs, by its intent of the delegation of authority rather than the capability of the inherent power of DUNAMIS.
EXOUSIA is used in 1 Cor 15:24; Eph 1:21; 2:2; 3:10; Col 1:6; 2:10, 15; 1 Peter 3:22, and is especially used with ARCHAI to signify supernatural powers in, Eph 1:21; 2:2; Col 1:16. EXOUSIA’s derived meanings are: “authoritative position, office of state, office-bearers, or rulers,” and is “often used in an official sense to describe the authority of a king or other ruler,” (Plato Definitiones 415b, c; cf. Bauer). Cf. Rev 17:12-13.
Rev 17:12-13, “The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they receive authority (EXOUSIA) as kings with the beast for one hour. 13These have one purpose, and they give their power (DUNAMIS) and authority (EXOUSIA) to the beast.”
As in Rev 17, they are seen as the other “beasts” of Dan 7:12, speaking of other kings or rulers during the reign of the Antichrist.
Dan 7:12, “As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but an extension of life was granted to them for an appointed period of time.”
The sense of “authority to rule” is found in the Septuagint (LXX), where EXOUSIA occurs about 50 times. EXOUSIA usually replaces the Hebrew word MEMSHALAH, meaning, “the territory of one’s dominion” as in Psa 114:2, (LXX 113:2) and Jer 51:28 (LXX 28:28), and SHALETAN meaning, “power or dominion,” There we find the word “dominion” is many times translated by the Greek EXOUSIA, as also in Dan 7:12, 14, 27; 11:5 and other places, to speak of the rulers or heads of nations, i.e., “the powers or authorities” over nations.
Dan 11:5, “Then the king of the South will grow strong, along with one of his princes (SAR) who will gain ascendancy over him and obtain dominion; his domain will be a great dominion indeed.”
Dan 7:27, “Then the sovereignty, the dominion and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.”
Therefore, EXOUSIA is an authority to rule over a nation, one bearing such authority, and the sphere controlled by this authority. As such, these are Satan’s ruling angels over the nations; fallen angels who have the right to rule nations from the spiritual realm. They are the “authorities” in the demonic realm of Satan in the lower atmosphere who constitute his kingdom in the air as Kings, Presidents, heads of state, etc., who have been given authority to exercise rulership over a nation. In this case, the authority has been delegated by Satan and his leading ARCHE.
3.) “The world forces of this darkness.”
The third “against,” PROS, in this passage speaks of, “world forces of this darkness,” HO KOSMOKRATOR HO SKOTOS.
SKOTOS meaning, “dark, darkness, or gloom,” reminds us that we are talking about evil forces, demonic forces.
“World forces,” is one compound word in the Greek, KOSMOKRATOR, κοσμοκράτωρ. It is made up of the words KOSMOS that means, “world,” and KRATEO that means, “to take hold of (forcefully), get possession of, obtain, to take into one’s possession, etc.” KRATEO is used of persons, or in this case, of fallen angels as those who, “have power over, rule over, or are master / lords of others.” It always implies a certain degree of force with which one brings a person or thing wholly under his power, even when resistance is encountered. It also means, “to take hold of by the hand.” Therefore, this is a ruler who has direct contact with the people, unlike the king who is aloof to them. Combined with KOSMOS, its simplest definition is, “lords of the world,” who have interaction with the people.
Louw Nida states, “The expression ‘world ruler’ should not be understood in terms of merely ruling over the earth as a physical object but of ‘ruling over those who are on the earth. It is a supernatural power having some particular role in controlling the destiny and activities of human beings – ‘power, authority, lordship, ruler, wicked force.” They translate it here as, “cosmic powers of this dark age.” (Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament).
KOSMOKRATOR is only used here in the NT, it is a hapaxlegomena and it is not used in the LXX. Here, it is in the Accusative Plural, meaning, “cosmic lords of this darkness.”
This word is “rare” and “late,” thus difficult to trace. The association of KOSMOKRATOR was originally in regard to astrology, and only later was it used in reference to gods and political rulers. (See Kittel, 3:913; cf. Bauer, and Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary.) In fact, KOSMOKRATOR is used of the god Serapis or Sarapis in the magical texts, (See PGM XIII.618-40). An Egyptian god created to unify the Greeks and Egyptians in the realm of Ptolemy I. The god was depicted as Greek in appearance, but with Egyptian trappings, and combined iconography from a great many cults, signifying both abundance and resurrection. This false god was a syncretistic deity derived from the worship of the Egyptian Osiris and Apis, and also gained attributes from other deities, such as chthonic powers linked to the Greek Hades and Demeter, and benevolence linked to Dionysus.
“These forces are called rulers of the world in order to bring out the terrifying power of their influence and comprehensiveness of their plans, and thus to emphasize the seriousness of the situation.” (Theological Diction-ary of the New Testament).
The context in our passage confirms that Paul is not speaking about physical / human world rulers or powers, but of supernatural, spiritual forces which are opposed to the Church and to the redemptive work of God on earth. Therefore, we see this group as those below the EXOUSIA, below the demonic spiritual kings over nations and are more like governors of states or cities, lords of territories, or lower ranking military officers that personally lead troops into battle.
Some manuscripts include, “of this age or of this world,” HO AION in the Genitive Singular, but it is not found in the most reliable ancient texts.
4.) “The spiritual forces of wickedness.”
Our fourth, “against,” PROS, (i.e., enemy), is, “the spiritual forces of wickedness / evil,” HO PNEUMATIKOS HO PONERIA.
PNEUMATIKOS, πνευματικός is a Greek Accusative Pronominal Adjective in the Plural that means, “pertaining to the spirits or spirituals.” It comes from the root, PNEUMA that means, “breath, wind, or spirit.” Christian literature uses PNEUMATIKOS especially in the sense of “spiritual” having to do with the (divine) spirit, and in this case, “evil spirits.” It does not occur in either the apocryphal or the Septuagint.
Therefore, it pertains to “the nature of spirits” or “spiritual beings,” in this case the divine beings known as fallen angels. The first time PNEUMATIKOS is used in Scripture is in regard to the believer having a spiritual gift, Rom 1:11, which emphasizes the spiritual life the believer has received from God. We also saw this word in Eph 1:3; 5:19, in regard to the spiritual life of the believer. Matthew uses a cognate of this word, PNEUMATA, in regard to the DAIMON or DAIMONION; i.e., “demons,” Mat 8:16; cf. Mark 1:34. So, this word can be used for both the elect of God and fallen. In our passage, it is emphasizing the spiritual nature and life of the fallen angels.
It is contrasted in the NT with PSUCHE, which means, “soul or soulish” and speaks to the natural or soulish body of unregenerated man. In contrast, even though these angelic creatures are fallen, they are still “spiritual beings,” as only is the believer of the human race. Once again, we see that our enemy is not “blood and flesh,” it is not people or mankind, but it is the spiritual forces of evil who are in the world, that is Satan and his fallen angels.
Given the general nature of this phrase in regard to the demonic spirits, versus the rulership connotations noted in the first three titles, this is word implies a collective of the evil powers viewed as a body. We could say, this is Satan’s counterfeit body to the body of Jesus Christ, which is the Church.
“Wickedness or evil,” is the Greek Noun in the Genitive of quality PONERIA, πονηρία that means, “wickedness, depravity, sinfulness, evil nature, malice, etc.” It is a characterizing Genitive. Its original Greek meaning was, “defectiveness or physical sickness.” But later took on the nuances of “wickedness, evil, and sinfulness.”
So, once again we see the “illness” of the spiritual realm, the fallen angels that we personally wrestle with, versus wrestling against the symptoms of this illness, which is “blood and flesh,” that is, antagonistic members of the human race.
In most instances, PONERIA is used for wickedness or willful ungodly action. It is the “intentionally practiced evil will.” The NT uses it exclusively in its ethical meaning of opposition to God. This describes the mode of operation for the fallen angels who are in rebellion of God. It means maliciousness and it is to be distinguished from KAKIA, which is simply the evil habit of mind or depravity, where PONERIA means evil being expressed and affecting others. Hence, Satan is called ὁ πονηρός, “the wicked one,” the one who is in absolute antithesis to God, i.e., the devil in 1 John 2:13-14; 3:12; 5:18-19; cf. Luke 3:19; 7:21.
Therefore, PNEUMATIKOS PONERIA is used as a “catch all” phrase to identify the rest of Satan’s demonic forces, the “rank and file” as it were, that he uses to deceive the world.
Finally, we have, “in the heavenly places,” which is the Dative of Sphere EN HO EPOURANIOS, ἐπουράνιος in the plural that means, “heavenlies or celestial.” It is made up of EPI, “at” and OURANTOS, “heavenly.” The em-phasis of the term and Dative case is on the location, the sphere or realm that these fallen angelic creatures reside. It identifies the dwelling place of the divine spirits. This is the abode or dwelling place of all the angels, and specifically in our verse, the fallen angels or “evil spirits.” Ephesians has the repeated formula EN TOIS EPOURANIOIS, ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοια, “in the heavenly (places),” Eph 1:3, 20; 2:6; 3:10; 6:12. In our verse, it is the cosmic level in which the battle is both fought and won in the believer’s life.
The use of “heavenlies” in Ephesians includes:
1) The sphere and source of Divine blessing, Eph 1:3.
2) The sphere of Christ’s power and His strategic victory in the Angelic Conflict, Eph 1:20.
3) The sphere of the Christian life and positional victory for the believer, Eph 2:6.
4) The sphere of angelic activity and judgment, Eph 3:10.
5) The sphere of spiritual conflict, the Angelic Conflict, Eph 6:12.
It is first used of God the Father, Mat 18:35, to describe His place of residence, “in the heavens.” God Himself and Christ belong to this heavenly world, the right hand of God, the throne, the government, is represented. Here the term, like οὐρανός, has a local nuance.
There are three heavens noted by Paul, the first is our atmosphere, the second is the stellar universe, the third is outside of our universe that is God’s throne room, cf. 2 Cor 12:2.
2 Cor 12:2, “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a man was caught up to the third heaven.”
Currently, the fallen angels reside in all three. During the Tribulation, they will be subjected to the first two only, Rev 12:8.
Nevertheless, as Paul stated, there is nothing in this world material, spiritual, or supernatural that we cannot defeat when we have the power of God resident within our souls.
Rom 8:38-39, “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor (fallen) angels, nor principalities, (ARCHE), nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers (DUMAMIS). 39nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The Demons: the gods of the nations.
In regard to the fallen angelic race and their hierarchy of leadership under Satan’s authority, we see that God gave Israel insight as to their rulership over the nations to influence and rule the world, as part of Satan’s cosmic system. The following passages in this study show us that Israel had a world view that regarded the pagan gods of other nations as being demonically inspired, and in fact, the worship of those demons. As such, we can understand that the false gods of old, as well as the false gods of today, are all inspired by the fallen angelic race in the endeavor of garnering worship for themselves, while keeping people blinded to the one true and only God; God our Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Israel’s world view, which is better called “Divine viewpoint,” goes back to what some call a “Deut 32 worldview,” which sees the nations after the Tower of Babel, Gen 10, being led and ruled by angelic authorities that are part of Satan’s cosmic System.
In Genesis 10, when God divided the peoples, He divided them into 70 nations at that time. The listings given are according to Noah’s three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
Regarding Japheth’s sons Gen 10:5 says, “From these the coastlands of the nations were separated into their lands, every one according to his language, according to their families, into their nations.”
Regarding Ham’s sons Gen 10:20 says, “These are the sons of Ham, according to their families, according to their languages, by their lands, by their nations.”
Regarding Shem’s sons Gen 10:31 says, “These are the sons of Shem, according to their families, according to their languages, by their lands, according to their nations.”
Then Gen 10:32 says, “These are the families of the sons of Noah, according to their genealogies, by their nations; and out of these the nations were separated on the earth after the flood.”
This division into the initial 70 nations finds its way back into various worship ceremonies God gave to Israel and in the actions of Jesus Christ. We will note them later in this study. But first we need to explore Deut 32 to see how these nations are led by the fallen angelic race.
In Moses’ song of Deut 32, the Lord is focusing the attention of the Israelites upon the sovereignty of God and His relationship with all the nations, including Israel.
In vs 8, in contrast to the name “Lord” (YAHWEH) as the God of Israel, the title “Most High” (ELYON) is used only here in Deuteronomy, (cf. Gen 14:18-22; Psa 83:18; 97:9), and expresses or emphasizes the sovereignty and authority of God over all nations, including the leaders of those nations both human and angelic.
Deut 32:8, “When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when He separated the sons of man, He set the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel, (BEN, בֵּן, YISRAEL, יִשְׂרָאֵל).” Yet, it is interesting that the Dead Sea Scrolls text, (Qumran fragment, 4QDt), for Deut 32:8, reads “sons of God” (BEN ELOHHIM), and in the LXX it reads, “angels of God,” which in the Greek is AGGELOS THEOS.
Interestingly, the title, “sons of god,” BENE-HO’ELOHIM, is used of the fallen angels who cohabited with women in the pre-flood era, Gen 6:2-4, and generically for the angels of God, both fallen and elect, Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7. In the NT, this title is only used for believers, John 1:12; Rom 8:14, etc.
Next, we see how the nations are aligned to various false gods. Yet, Israel was not.
Deut 32:12, “The LORD alone guided him, and there was no foreign god with him.”
Deut 32:16-17, “They (Israel) made Him jealous with strange gods; with abominations they provoked Him to anger. 17They sacrificed to demons (SHEDH) who were not God, to gods (ELOHIM) whom they have not known, new gods who came lately, whom your fathers did not dread.”
Deut 32:21, “They have made Me jealous with what is not God (EL); They have provoked Me to anger with their idols. So I will make them jealous with those who are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.”
Deut 32:33, “Their wine is the venom of serpents (TANNIN), and the deadly poison of cobras.”
TANNIN is a noun meaning, “sea monster, sea dragon, or serpent. These terms, names, are also used for Satan with synonymous Hebrew and Greek words and relate the false gods of the nations to Satan and his demonic forces.
And we see in Deut 32:37-39, “And He will say, ‘Where are their gods, the rock in which they sought refuge? 38Who ate the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink offering? Let them rise up and help you, let them be your hiding place! 39See now that I, I am He, and there is no god besides Me; It is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded and it is I who heal, and there is no one who can deliver from My hand’.”
This also reminds us of Isa 43:10, “‘You are My witnesses,’ declares the LORD, ‘and My servant whom I have chosen, in order that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, and there will be none after Me’.” Cf. Isa 44:6.
In comparing Gen 10 with Deut 32, we see that all the other nations, except for Israel, had a false religion that was in actuality demon worship. Behind these false gods lies a demon, most likely of the leadership ranks of Satan’s system as noted above; ARCHON, ARCHE, EXOUSIA, or KOSMOKRATOR. This is also seen in Daniel 10, where the nations have “princes,” SAR / SARIM equivalent to the Greek ARCHONTON or ARCHON, as Michael was the SAR of the chosen nation Israel.
Dan 10:12-13, “Then he (Gabriel, cf. Dan 8:16; 9:21) said to me, ‘Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. 13But the prince (SAR – STRATEGOS) of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes (SAR – ARCHON), came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings (MELEKH – BASILEUS) of Persia.”
Note that the Hebrew utilizes the same word SAR for two of the three entities noted here, but when it was translated into Greek, the LXX, two different words are used. In all, there are three titles given here for angelic hierarchy. SAR – STRATEGO for a chief magistrate or highest civil officer, SAR – ARCHON, for primacy or top rulers, and MELEKH – BASILEUS, meaning a king, and in this case, it is in the plural for “kings.” All are speaking of the angelic realm. In fact, regarding the fallen angels, we see “a prince” and “kings” being in authority over the nation Persia.
Dan 10:20-21, “Then he said, ‘Do you understand why I came to you? But I shall now return to fight against the prince (SAR – STRATEGOS) of Persia; so I am going forth, and behold, the prince (SAR – STRATEGOS) of Greece is about to come. 21However, I will tell you what is inscribed in the writing of truth. Yet there is no one who stands firmly with me against these forces except Michael your prince, (SAR – AGGELOS).”
Here, we see that the future kingdom of Greece has an assigned fallen angel prince standing over it, and Michael, “one of the chief princes” of the elect angels having authority over Israel. Apparently, the elect Archangel Michael is the Prince of the nation of Israel under God’s Plan for His chosen race, Dan 10:21; 12:1; Jude 9; Rev 12:7.
Rev 12:7, “And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war.”
In addition, the Psalmist of Psalm 82 spoke of the Divine viewpoint regarding the nations being under the evil control of Satan and his cosmic system. Note in vs. 1, “rulers” is the Hebrew word ELOHIM that is used for God in Scripture, but here it is used for fallen angelic rulers.
Psa 82:1, “God takes His stand in His own congregation; He judges in the midst of the rulers, (ELOHIM – gods).”
Psa 82:6-8, “I said, ‘You are gods, and all of you are sons of the Most High. 7Nevertheless you will die like men and fall like any one of the princes, (SAR).’ 8Arise, O God, judge the earth! For it is You who possesses all the nations.”
In fact, in the Feast of SUKKOT on the 15th to 21st of Tishri (the 7th month), Num 29:12-35, which we call “Tabernacles,” or better yet “Booths,” Lev 23:42-43; Deut 16:13, 16, (unbold) it is interesting that the Israelites where commanded to sacrifice 70 bulls over the seven-day period.
The 70 bulls are sacrificed to give thanks to God in the celebration for the deliverance of Israel out from the other 70 nations, and their pagan gods. This feast was to be celebrated during and after the wandering in the wilderness. YHWH delivered them from every other god, which is represented in this festival. It celebrates YHWH’s victory over every other god; victory over all the fallen angels.
This feast is also called the “feast of Ingathering” in Ex 23:16; 34:22. This major autumn festival marked the ingathering of the grape and vine harvest. It speaks to when the Lord will return and establish His Millennial reign here upon the earth, cf. Rev 14:10; 19; 16:19; 19:15.
It signifies that upon His Second Coming, the Lord will gather together all the people and nations under His rule. The 70 nations that He separated at the Tower of Babel with their demonic rulers will be regathered under the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In Zech 14:9-16, we see that of all the feasts of Israel, this one will continue during the Millennial reign for all nations to celebrate. It is a model of thanksgiving. Cf. Amos 9:11-12 with Acts 15:16.
Zech 14:16, “Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths.”
“The setting (Zech 14:1-13) is the final victory of Yahweh over the nations, a battle in which Jerusalem is set apart and protected from the general carnage. When it all ends, Jerusalem reigns supreme, living water flows from its midst, and Yahweh is “king over the whole earth.” What follows is nothing less than the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham (Gen 12:1-3; 18:18-19): the blessing of all the nations. Those from all nations who survive the final apocalypse join in an annual pilgrimage, which now becomes the event by which every nation on earth participates in the worship of Israel’s God and the celebration of his goodness. Tabernacles has become the feast to end all feasts and represents the full flowering of God’s promises, through Israel, to all the nations.” (Dictionary of the Old Testament Pentateuch)
The number 70 in Scripture stands for “perfect spiritual order carried out with all spiritual power and significance.” (E.W. Bullinger, Number in Scripture)
It is interesting that the Lord sent out 70 disciplines to pave the way for His personal evangelism, as He set out to reclaim all the nations through His work upon the Cross, Luke 10:1, 17.
Luke 10:1, “Now after this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come.”
Luke 10:17, “The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”
Therefore, the world in which Paul viewed, (consisting of many more gentile nations, as is today), was dominated by invisible divine powers with cosmic geographical rulership, which we also call, Satan’s cosmic system. This is the true enemy that the believer is up against, and which we are to “pin to the mat,” when we pick up and put on the “full armor of God.” In other words, we utilize God’s Divine power to defeat the fallen divine authorities’ power over our lives.
Now we have to ask ourselves the question:
“Do these passages form part of your essential thinking regarding life?” “Are they always a part of your daily thinking and viewpoint regarding your life and the world around you?” As you look around the world today do you say, “Here is the explanation?”
Do you normally think like that? I certainly hope so. But, if you do not, you have a very defective sort of Christianity and you are not prepared to face the enemy as you should be. The fact is, and your daily Biblical reasoning should be, “There is an enemy who is ever threatening and trying to knock me down.” Therefore, your great task in life, your great business in life, is to keep standing. And to do so, you must know your enemy and be adorned with the armor of God to be victorious in this mighty conflict.
You may think that this kind of talk is depressing. Yet, this is the most comforting, cheerful, optimistic teaching that is known to me. What is truly depressing to me is to be confronted by a situation that I do not understand. When I do not understand a situation I am in, that is when I feel lost, hopeless, depressed, fearful, and worried. But when I have knowledge and understanding of the situation, then I feel empowered, exhilarated, and unconquerable. That was the point of our Lord’s parable in Luke 14:31-32.
Luke 14:31-32, “Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand?”
The believer who does not understand the teachings here is either a new believer or one fast asleep in the arms of the devil, or is an utterly defeated Christian. Yet, my prayer for you is the same as Paul’s prayer of Col 1:9-13, that you have a daily Divine viewpoint with knowledge and understanding by the strength of the Word of the Lord, knowing that you have been delivered out from the dominion of darkness and transferred into the kingdom of His beloved Son. That is why God, through Paul, gives us insight into the warfare we are a part of, and the enemy we can defeat.
Our Lord said to Paul, which He says to us too in Acts 26:16-18, “But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you; 17rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, 18to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.”
It is strange that the world thinks so little about these things and they are not first in their thoughts regarding the situations of life. It is strange that they make these things strange.
Unfortunately, this way of thinking is strange to them because they are too subjective, they start with themselves and they end with themselves. “I want peace with God, I want my sins forgiven, I want to feel happy, I want joy in my life, I want this, I want that.” Because their focus in life is so subjective, they do not think in terms of objectivity and understand the world and their lives from the Divine perspective and the reality in which they are in. The reason for this is ignorance or the blindness they have allowed Satan to cause in their lives.
But the fact is, there is an angelic warfare that is led by Satan and His myriads of evil spirits that work their evil into this world, and if we are not careful, into our lives as well. Their nature is evil, their commission is evil, and their work is evil. They are evil in their object and purpose, and in all that they bring to pass.
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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:
#18-030, 18-031 & 18-032
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A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us.
Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life. So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:
“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ,
died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”
If you have done that, I Welcome You to the Eternal Family of God !!!