The Middle East: Ancient History Part 2, Spiritual Perspective
In the previous post we examined the importance of accurately understanding ancient history. We have seen the dual nature of the conflict: Spiritual as well as worldly. Lastly we have concluded that The Bible provides a more reliable account of ancient history.
In this post we will examine in more depth the nature and root cause of the spiritual conflict sweeping the Middle East and the world from a Biblical perspective. Let us then start with an examination of the Biblical root cause of our very existence: The Creator God.
Before the beginning was God, unique, requiring nothing, eternal, unchanging in nature and character, full of goodness grace and love, and perfectly perfect – able to perfectly reconcile the irreconcilable.
- God is one, yet perfectly existing forever in loving community.
- God is perfectly self-sufficient, but desires to create communities to reflect His nature and worship Him.
- God is perfectly righteous and just, yet perfectly loving and tender.
- He is perfectly full of wrath and revenge, yet perfectly patient and forgiving.
- He is perfectly omnipotent, yet perfectly granting free will and restrained in using His unlimited power.
- He is perfectly omnipresent, yet perfectly respectful of our personal dignity and privacy.
- He is perfectly omniscient, yet perfectly allowing His creatures to act contrary to their best interests and His will.
- He is perfectly jealous and proud of His name, yet He is perfectly humble while protecting it.
- He is perfectly logical and rational, yet perfectly full of all emotions
- He is the source of all perfect truth, beauty, knowledge, and wisdom, yet he perfectly conceals that which must not be known.
- He is the source of all logic and order, yet He is perfectly unknowable and unpredictable.
- He is perfectly unchanging, yet never the same.
- He exists outside our physical world, inaccessible to our physical senses, yet He lives in our very hearts.
God is perfectly unique, yet He created all men in His image – each one unique unto himself. God is the perfect paradox; He perfectly reconciles the irreconcilable. God is beyond understanding, beyond our wildest imagination, and indescribable by merely human words. He is simply “The Great I am”, beyond man’s comprehension. (Exo 3:14, Deu 6:4-5, Mat 22:37-40, Mar 12:29-31)
God is spirit, (Joh 4:24) invisible to us, and dwells in Heaven which also is beyond our physical senses. But every person intuitively knows that both God and Heaven exist:
Has not God placed a longing in our hearts that cannot be quenched by anything of this world, a longing for eternal life in perfect peace and joy, a perfection only to be found in a perfect Heaven and a perfect God? Since a perfect loving God would never torment His creatures with such unfulfillable longings without cause, we can only conclude, “If this world cannot possibly quench our deepest desires for eternal life, we were clearly destined for something greater, something better – for an eternally perfect world.”
Let us then simply accept His grace and allow Him to perfect us… Call on Jesus to save you and perfect you!
The Heavens and the Earth
God created the Heavens and the Earth and everything that is in them. He created and holds together by His power everything that ever existed, exists, and will ever exist. Without Him there can be nothing. Because God is perfectly perfect, everything He does, everything He says, everything He creates is perfectly perfect. Therefore the Heavens and the Earth He created were also created perfectly perfect. Everything was perfect, and perfectly balanced in harmony with all else that existed.
God created our physical Universe simply by commanding it to exist through His Word. Time and space itself He created and maintains; all would collapse and vanish without His care. He created a perfectly finite Universe so large that its ends we cannot see. The earth and stars He created by His word. All life He created and maintains by his will. (Heb 1:3) All plants and animals He created simply by speaking them into existence.
God created all the angels and other creatures that dwell in Heaven. He gave each angel a responsibility, endowed it with commensurate capabilities and resources, and provided each the appropriate authority to accomplish all assigned tasks successfully. Angels’ appearance is like that of a human, yet completely different. (Eze 1:3-14, Rev 14:6, 8-19, 16:2-17)
One of these angels, Lucifer, was created to be the worship leader of all the angels. He was the most beautiful and among the most powerful of all angels, endowed with incredible attributes, skills and tools. (Eze 28:1-19, Isa 14:12) He was created perfect in all respects like all the other angels. Other angels mentioned by name in The Bible are Gabriel and Michael.
Angels are not like the popular depictions of chubby little winged babies floating on clouds. Angels are formidable supernatural beings endowed with unimaginable powers. They are soldiers and messengers. They are worshippers of the LORD God. They may have other assignments as well. Their job is to execute the will of God. Although they reside in Heaven and are invisible to us, they can view everything going on in our world and may be present in our very midst at all times. Sometimes they enter our world visible to us in human form. (Gen 19:1-26, Heb 13:2)
We know that angels, like men, were given free will because some rebelled. Although the Bible does not specifically state so, I suspect that Angels, like men, were also endowed with the eternal Spirit of God; therefore God will not utterly destroy any of them. That is why God created Hell specifically for angels who disobey His commands and sin. (Mat 25:41)
Lastly God created first man, then woman, both in His own image. Unlike the other living creatures on earth, God formed them with His very hands. He breathed His own Spirit into their hearts to guide and power them.
God assigned man the specific task of caring for the Earth and all that was in it. He made man the caretaker and ruler of all that God had created. And God saw that everything He had created was perfectly perfect – perfectly existing in harmony and balance, each perfect in its uniqueness.
Lucifer was caught up by the false pride of his exalted position among the angels. He became prideful and covetous. He wanted to be like The Most High, to be like God himself, in fact to be higher than God. (Eze 28:13-19) Therefore He instigated and attempted a coup d’état against God. He convinced 1/3 of the angels to join him in this futile rebellion which is still in progress. (Rev 12:4) He declared war on God and on everything belonging to God. Man bearing the image of God became a primary target to him.
Satan’s strategy is straightforward: If he can demonstrate that God is not perfectly perfect as God claims to be, then God is a fraud and Satan can rightfully claim equality with or superiority to such a fraudulent God. Specifically, if Satan can thwart God’s plans, then God is shown to be a fraud because He is less than omnipotent, less than truthful, and less than all knowing. Alternately, if Satan can place God in a position where He must violate His claim of righteousness, and truthfulness then God is again shown to be a fraudulent liar and not worthy or respect.
At some point during this conflict Satan and his entire band of angels were or will be cast out of Heaven and constrained to the earth. In a sense they were or will be imprisoned here on earth. This event fuels, strengthens, and greatly increases Lucifer’ rage against God and everything that reminds him of God – especially man.
But Lucifer’s rebellious war is doomed to failure, because he is merely a created being fully subject to the will of the omnipotent God. (Job 1:6-12, 2:1-7). No one can disobey God’s will without God’s express permission to do so, not even Lucifer the rebel. God even uses those opposed to Him, such as Lucifer, as agents to further His plan! (Luk 22:31-32) As we shall see, Lucifer’s rebellion is intimately related to the destiny of this world, and of the Middle East conflict in particular.
Whenever a Biblical character’s fundamental nature and relationship with God changes, so does his name. For example, God renamed Abram to Abraham, Jacob to Israel, and Saul to Paul. Similarly, Lucifer acquired a new name, Satan, after his rebellious declaration of war on God. The following are some descriptive characteristics of Satan according to The Bible:
- Before his rebellion
o Day Star, Sun of Dawn (Isa 14:12)
o Angel of light (2Co 11:14)
o Son of the morning (Isa 14:12)
o Fell like lightening from heaven (Luk 10:18)
o The signet of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. (Eze 28:12)
- After his rebellion
o The great deceiver (2Jn 1:7, Rev 20:10, 2Co 2:11, 2Co 11:14, Rev 12:9, Rev 20:10)
o The accuser (Job 2:4, Zec 3:1-2, Luk 22:31, Rev 12:10)
o Liar and father of lies (Joh 8:44)
o A murderer from the beginning (Joh 8:44, Heb 2:14)
o The destroyer (1Co 10:10)
o The enemy (Mat 13:38-39, 1Ch 21:1, Mar 4:15, Luk 22:3, Act 13:10, 1Pe 5:8)
o The prince of this world (Job 1:7, 2:2, Luk 13:16, Act 5:3, 26:18)
o The prince of the power of the air (Eph 2:2, 2Co, 12:7, 1Th 2:18, 2Th 2:9)
o The devil (Jon 8:44, Eph 6:11, 1Ti 3:6-7, 2Ti 2:26, Rev 20:10)
o The serpent (Gen 3:14)
o The dragon (Rev 12:9, 20:2)
o The oppressor (Act 10:38, Rev 2:10)
o A roaring lion waiting to devour (1Pe 5)
o The tempter (Jesus’ temptation, Mat 4:10, Mar 1:13, Act 5:3 1Co 7:5)
Man’s Rebellion and Fall from Perfection
When Adam was originally created, God walked with him in the Garden of Eden in perfect fellowship. They saw each other face to face; they communicated with each other directly and clearly.
Originally Adam was perfect and knew only good. But God in His perfect grace also gave him free will and an opportunity to exercise that free will. Specifically, God commanded Adam not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil lest he learn of evil and die. But God did not prevent Adam’s access to the tree so as not to impede Adam’s exercise of his free will.
Now Satan was filled with rage at God and at Adam who bore the image of God and was destined to rule over God’s Creation. Adam, being more accessible and pliable than God, became Satan’s primary target as a surrogate for God.
Satan’s plan was to use Adam as a weapon to destroy God’s creation, defame His character, and disprove His holiness. As part of this plan Satan successfully deceived and prompted Adam to disobey God and eat the forbidden fruit. When Adam did so, he learned to do evil. At that moment of disobedience, God’s living spirit in Adam’s heart died. Adam’s heart turned hard and inclined to evil rather than good, but some leftover goodness still did remain in his heart. Adam passed this illness to all his heirs. A war between good and evil coexisting in our hearts rages in every one of us to this day.
Since God does not abide evil (sin) in His presence, He ignominiously banished man, and laid a curse on Adam and his descendants, upon Satan who was also banished to earth, and upon all the earth which had been corrupted by the presence of such evil. (Gen 3:14-19, 24) The entire creation groans under that curse to this day, (Rom 8:20-23) but God also vowed to set things right again.
Satan’s plan seemed to have succeeded: Through man’s rebellion against God, man became a useful and powerful tool to further Satan’s rebellious war. Satan through deception effectively became the earth’s ruler because man, God’s designated ruler of the earth, was now under his control: Satan had successfully co-opted man’s loyalty, decisions, and actions. That is how death, sickness, wars, corruption, and all evil entered the world. (Rom 5:12)
In fact, the Bible refers to Satan as the current “prince of this world” and the “ruler of this world”. (Joh 12:31, 14:30, 16:11, Eph 2:2) He is motivated by an unquenchable passionate hatred of God and anything to do with God. He detests man, created in the image of God, but uses man as a weapon against God. He has two objectives:
- Satan’s primary objective is to destroy the original harmonious perfection of this world which reminds him of God’s holiness, reshape it in his own personal distorted image of chaotic conflict, and sit in God’s place as king of all.
- Satan’s secondary objective is to inflict as much pain and damage on God as possible in the above process by turning as many angels and people as possible against Him.
This war of Satan against God in the spiritual realm is physically manifest and the root cause of all conflict and war in the world, especially in the Middle East as we have seen in Battlefield of the gods.
But God has a plan to make everything right. Only through a restoration by means of a re-birth of God’s perfect spirit in man’s heart can the world be made perfect again, and only God can bring about such a re-birth. He alone is the source of all goodness and life. Therefore God has three primary objectives:
- Provide for eternal spiritual restoration of man’s evil heart, subject to man’s free-will. (Effectively He provides each of us the same as choice as offered to Adam.)
- Execute righteous judgment on all who disobey His commands. (Satan, angels, and unrepentant men)
- Restore His damaged creation to its original perfection.
God’s Battle Plan
Satan declared war on God. God’s domain, capital, and throne are in Heaven by right of creation and ownership. Satan’s domain, capital, and throne are on earth through appropriation. The winner of this war takes all; coexistence is impossible.
God is the perfect warrior and general. He is the Lord of Hosts,  the commander of innumerable armies upon armies. His war plans never fail. He is the master of warfare. Our greatest generals, Napoleon, Patton, Alexander the Great, are all merely kindergarteners playing war-games compared to God who wages real war.
God is all knowing and all powerful. He knows the end from the beginning. He simply speaks and it’s accomplished. Therefore God can never lose a battle or a war. It may seem otherwise to us, but any such apparent defeat is only God’s feign to achieve a greater objective, a greater surprise victory. It may seem otherwise to us, but God is on the offense and Satan is on the defensive ropes; the end is determined.
God’s war plan is to personally invade Satan’s domain, destroy the enemy, and ultimately restore everything to its rightful perfection. God’s invasion began long ago with the Israelites.
All military invasions begin with a beachhead. God chose the Israelites, the Jewish people, to be the beachhead for His spiritual invasion of earth. He selected, empowered, and protected them to be His representatives, troops, witnesses, and ambassadors. Through them, but not necessarily directly by them, He planned to
- Teach and show the world of His perfect goodness and standards of perfection
- Demonstrate and highlight Satan’s and man’s true, evil nature
- Provide the payment and redemption for all men’s sins through the Jewish Messiah
- Execute righteous judgment on all rebels against God
- Restore all creation to its perfect perfection.
Furthermore, He chose Jerusalem to be his earthly capital, to be the base of His operations.
To execute His plan, God had to communicate that plan to his troops, the Israelites, while disclosing as little as possible to the enemy, Satan. How does a general do this? He communicates only to those with a “need to know” using code the enemy does not understand. That is exactly what God did through the Scriptures and prophets. (Eze 20:49, Hos 12:10) Those who accept God’s words into their hearts (His troops) understand them; those who reject God (His enemies) find the words mere foolishness. Knowing that Satan also would hear and understand the plan, God slowly unveiled pieces of the plan only on a “need to know” basis during Old Testament times. This kept Satan confused and provided God with a strategic military advantage. God is indeed the perfect general!
Whenever the invader establishes a beachhead, the defender takes immediate actions to blunt the attack and destroy the invader. That was exactly Satan’s response to God’s plan:
- If he can destroy the Jewish people, then the Jewish Messiah cannot come and God’s plan fails. This is the source of all anti-Semitism.
- If he can distract the Jewish people from their mission, then at the least he can delay and perhaps prevent the initial arrival of the Jewish Messiah. This is why the Jews missed the first arrival of their Messiah.
- If he can distract the Messiah from his assigned mission of redemption, then God’s plan fails forever. This is the root cause for the strong opposition to the ministry and message of Jesus.
- If he can prevent the formation of Israel as a Jewish nation, then at the least he can prevent the second coming and final judgment through the Messiah. This is the root cause of the vehement opposition to re-establishment of the modern State of Israel, anti-Zionism.
- If he can delude the Jewish people from recognizing their true Messiah through the appearance of a false Messiah and distract their attention from the truth, then he can delay and prevent Jesus’ second coming and God’s plan fails. This is the source of many cults and false doctrines.
- If he can conquer and control Jerusalem, God’s capital on earth where the Messiah is to return, then perhaps he can claim victory; perhaps he can forestall the return of the Messiah, perhaps gain a significant tactical advantage; perhaps he can even prevent the Messiah’s return to Jerusalem altogether! This is the reason Jerusalem has become such a hotly contested location.
In spite of Satan’s resistance, the beachhead established through the Israelites had accomplished God’s first two objectives
- Teach and show the world of His perfect goodness and standards of perfection
- Demonstrate and highlight Satan’s and man’s true, evil nature.
But the remaining objectives are totally beyond all human capability. Only God can
- Provide the payment and redemption for our sins through the Jewish Messiah
- Execute righteous judgment on all rebels against God
- Restore all creation to its perfect perfection.
God’s next offensive thrust came once the beachhead had been established and the land had been prepared for invasion. God’s offensive against the root cause – man’s corrupted heart – came right on schedule through Christ Jesus:
… The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. (1Jn 3:8)
The offensive appears to have caught both Satan and the Israelites off guard. God had sent the signals for the coming event to the Israelites through his prophets, but they missed the messages that the next attack would be specifically to achieve God’s third objective:
- Provide the payment and redemption for our sins through the Jewish Messiah
The Jews were expecting an earthly invasion, a general who would lead Israeli armies to victory against the Romans. Any such invasion would provide merely temporal and short-lived results – but God has an eternal perspective with eternal objectives. Therefore God’s invasion didn’t target the Romans; God’s invasion targeted the spiritual power behind the Romans: Satan himself. Such an invasion would achieve eternal consequences far outlasting the Roman Empire.
God Himself invaded Satan’s domain in the person of Jesus Christ. He came to cancel God’s curse on man by paying the ransom price God’s law required: The blood of a sinless life. Jesus literally purchased every man’s soul through the shedding of His sinless blood – a price no sinful man could ever possibly pay. By doing so, He completely accomplished God’s first priority objective to provide for eternal spiritual restoration of man’s evil heart subject only to man’s free-will.
He now offers every one of us the same choice Adam faced: We can turn in faith to God through Jesus Christ or we can turn away from God and face judgment on our own. Adam walked with God personally, yet chose to turn away and faced severe judgment. We have seen God through Christ Jesus as clearly as Adam saw God. (Col 1:15) We can turn in faith to Jesus and receive the gracious gift of salvation He offers; or we can turn away and face judgment on our own. Salvation in Heaven or Judgment in Hell? Salvation is available merely for the asking, and the choice must be made now, in this life. Which will you choose?
No doubt Satan was rejoicing the day Jesus was crucified, and on the day the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD. No doubt he thought he had gained a great victory each time. But Jesus Christ, the Messiah, perfectly accomplished His initial mission of salvation through Calvary according to God’s plan. His target was not of the physical realm but Satan’s spiritual stronghold itself.
Having demolished the very foundations of Satan’s stronghold, Jesus proceeded to open another battlefront right in the midst of Satan’s territory. Jesus the Christ initiated the first global guerrilla war when He commissioned and empowered His faithful followers, The Church, to expand the field of battle from tiny Israel to the entire world. He initiated an internal spiritual civil war against Satan’s power structure on all the earth through The Great Commission. (Mat 28:18-20)
This new battlefront was wildly successful. Within 100 years the Church expanded to turn hearts to God throughout the known ancient world. Within 200 years it had come to dominate that entire world, and Satan’s forces were in retreat.
God’s plan, now in full swing, had to be securely communicated to all His troops without disclosing it to the enemy. Jesus accomplished this task perfectly by communicating God’s plan in parables that only His troops, true believers, would comprehend and obey. Indeed, His enemies find His words to be mere foolishness; they scoff and completely ignore the message. (Mat 13:10-17, 35, Mar 4:11-12, Luk 8:10, 1Co 1:21, 24, 2:7) That is an example of perfect communication by the perfect military commander: The perfect message, perfectly targeted and perfectly delivered with perfect security only to those billions of faithful believing persons with a “need to know”, yet remaining totally useless and repugnant to the unbelieving enemy. Awesome. Simply awesome!
Jesus had fully unveiled God’s whole plan at His first coming. He provided all the battle plans and promised to return in power and glory to accomplish God’s remaining two objectives – but only when the Jews call on Him in faith and repentance (Mar 23:39). At that time He will
- Execute righteous judgment on all rebels against God
- Restore all creation to its perfect perfection
Satan responded quickly; he knew:
- If he can destroy The Church, then God’s plan fails. This is the root cause of Christian persecution worldwide.
- If he can corrupt the church, then God’s plan is delayed and possibly fails. This is the source of false doctrines and cults that appear regularly. Personal and political corruption also may be instigated by Satan, or may result simply from man’s evil heart. Either way Satan gains advantage.
- If he can distract the church from its mission and set it against the Jews, then he gains multiple victories with one stroke. He can delay the foretold return of the Messiah; cause general chaos, confusion, and mayhem among God’s followers; and cause great damage to the Jews. What could be better? This is the root cause of Christian animosity toward the Jews, particularly in the form of today’s replacement theology.
- If he can set Jewish hearts against Christians, then the Jews will be more susceptible to his deceptions and delusions about the identity of the true Messiah and delay or forestall The Second Coming; at the very least more souls will be destroyed. This is the root cause of Jewish resistance to accepting the Gospel.
But God’s plan never fails, and all of Satan’s schemes are bound to fail. God is God, but Satan is not. If we understand this basic fact, and if we understand the forces of spiritual history – particularly the nature, status, and destiny of Satan’s rebellious war on God, we can see clearly the spiritual root causes for many of the problems the Middle East faces today and we can better predict the future.
We can then choose the victorious side, for we know the winner… Who wants to side with a loser, anyway? So let’s just resist Satan’s diabolical schemes and press on to victory through Jesus. If we know Him, if we understand Him, if we have faith in Him, we will see the world clearly and follow His plan written in our hearts. We can’t go wrong. Conversely, if we turn from Jesus, we can never go right.
In the next essay we will examine the worldly perspective on this conflict. Clearly
All is not as it looks!
 The Christian doctrine of the Trinity is unique and essential to maintaining God’s perfectly perfect nature. Christians, Jews, and Muslims all believe that there is one and only one God. But Christians have a deeper understanding of the nature of this one God: God is indeed one in nature, character, and being, but He is also comprised of three distinct persons of The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Each person has a different function, and we perceive each differently; but they are all fully God in nature, character, and being; acting in perfect unity to achieve God’s purposes. As a simple analogy, consider your body. It has arms, legs, and a head. Each is separate and distinct with a separate function and appearance, yet part of the same body, fully endowed with the nature of that body, and acting in unity to achieve the purposes of that body. So it is with the Trinity.
A non-Trinitarian eternal God could never know perfect love – for love requires an object to be loved. Furthermore, meaningful love requires the object of that love to be a peer person, not merely an inanimate object or a servile inferior person. Most importantly, perfect love requires an imperfect and unlovable person (man) to be the object of that unquenchable perfect love! That is our amazing God!
By contrast, any non-Trinitarian eternal God has no one to love but himself, and self-love is not love at all, but mere egotism. Therefore only a Trinitarian eternal God in the perfect internal fellowship of at least one other separate peer person can comprehend or experience love; and only such a God who understands what love really is can exercise and exhibit perfect love towards imperfect man. How else could God demonstrate perfect forgiveness, unless there was someone to forgive for the unforgivable? How else could God demonstrate perfect justice, unless those who refuse the offer of perfect forgiveness are judged perfectly according to the law?
Further, it is impossible for a non-Trinitarian God to ever know about, experience, and exercise peer-to-peer relationship, respect, generosity, kindness, forgiveness, grace, self-sacrifice, and so on – for all such attributes require living in relationship with an equal. But a non-Trinitarian God has no equal! A Triniarian God, however does have an internal equal but no external equal. That’s the mystery of the Godhead.
For example, imagine a slave owner who considers all his slaves to be disposable chattel because he considers no one his equal. He will carelessly abuse all his slaves. Conversely, a slave owner who considers his slaves to be worthy of respect due to his own peers will deal kindly with all his slaves and exhibit characteristics of generosity, forgiveness, grace, and so on to them.
Similarly, any eternal God lacking the personal opportunity for internal peer-to-peer fellowship will lack the skills required to maintain successful peer-to-peer relationships externally. Lacking these, he has such a huge hole in experience, knowledge, and understanding that He simply cannot love and be perfect, let alone exercise perfect love. Therefore only the Trinitarian Christian God can be perfectly perfect. All others fail the test.
Lastly, just consider the following for a moment: Are not single children more self-centered than children with siblings? Do single children share readily, or do they generally expect everything to go their way? Then how much more so an all-powerful, egotistical, eternal non-Trinitarian God? What a terrifying thought!
 A self-sufficient God does not need anything He creates, but whatever He creates is a reflection of His character. And what does God create? On the large scale He creates eco-systems within eco-systems that are all designed to be perfect communities living in harmony – just like Himself! He also creates families, tribes, and nations which are designed to be communities living in perfect harmony – just like Himself! In fact, all creation is modeled after and reflecting His own personal experience of eternally living in perfect community and harmony.
 God is a creator by nature and character. He has existed forever. Hence I can only imagine that He has been creating forever (unless our Universe is His first creation. But then what was our Creator doing forever before He created our Universe? Merely existing? Not likely!) What else would an omnipotent Being able to do whatever He likes do to do besides that which fully expresses His nature?
That being the case, why couldn’t God have been creating universes outside our own forever as some scientists claim exist? I don’t believe in the Multi-verse theory, but God can certainly have created as many Multi-verses as one can imagine – not just one as some scientists propose!
 Although the timing is unclear from the Biblical narrative, we can make the following deductions:
- Satan rebelled before the fall of man for he tempted man to rebel. Satan’s original rebellion could have occurred either before or after Creation. (Gen 3:1-7)
- Lucifer’s spirit died when he rebelled against God, for the wages of sin is spiritual death. (Rom 6:23) Although The Bible does not specify, Lucifer probably forfeited his position and authority within God’s Kingdom immediately at the time of his rebellion.
- Satan appears to have been somewhat constrained to Earth as part of God’s curse. (Gen 3:14-15)
- However, God still beckoned Satan to attend meetings of all the angels in Heaven long after the fall. (Job 1:6-7, 2:1-2)
- Satan appears to attempt an unsuccessful counter-invasion of Heaven at the end of time in response to God’s current offensive (Rev 12:3-9)
 How does God use Lucifer to further His plan?
- Bring judgment on people and nations
- Separate true believers from counterfeit believers
- Highlight God’s power, wisdom, justice, and mercy to man
 Holiness is a state of perfect uniqueness and perfect perfection. Satan’s plan was to put God in a box to disprove both God’s perfect uniqueness and perfect perfection as follows:
(1) If Satan successfully corrupts God’s creation, then God is not omnipotent and God’s claim of holiness fails.
(2) If Satan successfully turns man to sin and convinces man to violate God’s laws, then Satan can force God to either
(2a) destroy man in compliance with God’s law (for the wages of sin is death) or
(2b) not destroy man and violate God’s claim of righteousness by ignoring the requirements of His own law.
If God chooses option (2a), then He is less powerful than Satan and God’s claims of omnipotence and holiness fail. If God chooses option (2b), then He is no more righteous than Satan himself who also ignored God’s laws, and God’s claim of uniqueness and perfect perfection both fail. No matter which response God chooses to do, His claims are shown to be fraudulent, and Satan can rightfully claim equality or superiority to God.
…but God had another option Satan did not consider: The Cross.
 Adam’s first son, Cain, killed Adam’s second son, Abel. Clearly Cain had inherited a sinful nature from Adam. Why is this an illness? Because an illness is a condition that deviates from the original design and functioning, and man’s sinful nature is a condition that deviates from God’s original design and functioning for man.
 This title for God as military leader is used in The Bible 242 times.