210. Kingdom's battles.
There is a battle being waged in the second heavens between the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness and its effects are felt on the earth. Infact, the rise and fall of nations on earth are as a result of these heavenly battles, as Archangel Gabriel himself testified: "The prince of the Persian kingdom detained me for twenty one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me because I was detained there with the king of Persia ... Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia, and then when I go, the prince of Greece will come ... (No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince. And in the first year of Darius the Mede, I took my stand to support and protect him.)' ( Daniel 10:13,20 11:1) But soon the theatre of action is going to shift from the heavens to the earth, because the dragon is going to be hurled to the earth! 'And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down - that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth and his angels with him...Woe to the earth and sea because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short." The final battle is going to be fought at Armageddon on the plain of Megiddo ( Revelation 16:16) between the armies of heaven and the armies of earth (Revelation 19:14,19) and it will usher in the 1000 year rule of Christ. Hallelujah!
Just as the armies of heaven are always battle ready, so must the Church be battle ready! As stated earlier, the mission of the Church is to establish the kingdom of God on earth. The kingdom of God and the Church are not the same. The kingdom of God is the territory while the members of the Church are the subjects of the Kingdom. While the armies of God fight it out in the second heavens, the Church, which is the army of God on earth, fights the good fight of faith to enforce the victory of Christ on earth. Just as the police and if need be the army are called to enforce the verdict of the Supreme court, the Church and if need be the armies of heaven are called enforce the verdict of God on earth. Scripture says that the 'Israelites went out of Egypt armed for battle.' ( Exodus 13:18) They faced their first battle against the Amalekites, who came and attacked them without any provocation, while at Rephidim and Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword. Since Amalek represent the forces of evil on earth, the Lord said to Moses, "I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven." ... The Lord will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation." ( Exodus 17:8-16) But 'our struggle is not against flesh and blood (Amalek), but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.' (Ephesians 6:12) Joshua went on to conquer thirty one kings in all ( Joshua 12) but still couldn't take the entire promised land! The Lord said to him, "You are very old and there is still very large areas of land to be taken over." ( Joshua 13:1) 'These are the nations the Lord left to test all Israelites who had not experienced any of the wars of Cannan ( he did this only to teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites, who had not had previous battle experience).' (Judges 3: 2) Just because the land was promised to Abraham, it didn't mean that they could just walk in without a fight, as the land was inhabited by other peoples who wouldn't give up their land without a fight. Just because we have been given promises in Christ, it doesn't mean that it will come automatically to us but we need to fight the good fight of faith. As said earlier, "the violent will take it by force". Just as the Israelites were taught warfare to take the land left unconquered, we too are being taught spiritual warfare to win souls left unsaved. As said earlier, we are not engaged in a "land campaign" but a "soul campaign" ! But at the second coming of Christ, the whole earth will become the kingdom of God. But now we are commanded to 'put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, we may be able to stand our ground.' (Ephesians 6:11) 'Praise be to the Lord my Rock who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.' (Psalm 144:1) Amen.