Amazon, Book Sales, Christianity, Church, Createspace, faith, God, Jesus Christ, marketing, Publishing, Religion, Self-promotion, Self-Publishing
The Bible says that at some point in time, there was a civil war in heaven. It was waged between two opposing factions spawned out of an eternal race of spiritual beings that The Lord God created before He breathed life into His ultimate creation… humans. These angelic beings were divided by a violation of a loyalty ideology which ultimately tore them apart.
There was a particular angelic being whom we have a number of names for. Lucifer, Satan, the Devil, the Great Dragon, the Crafty Serpent, the Deceiver, the Father of Lies, the Destroyer… the list goes on and on. What we do know based on scripture is that he was an angel of light. God created him to be one of the leaders of the angelic forces. He was powerful and beautiful; on par with Michael the general of God’s armies. God elevated him to a lofty position in heaven and unfortunately it began to go to his head.
Then one day back in time immemorial, Lucifer made a proclamation. He declared that he was his own god. He bought into his own hype and demanded the same praise and worship that he was originally created to give to God. He was apparently also a gifted motivational speaker, much in the way Hitler was gifted at getting people to think what he wanted them to (I’m assuming Lucifer had something to do with that). He convinced one third of the angelic beings to adhere to his new personal life philosophy and doom themselves to damnation by rebelling against the One True God who created them.
So they fought. How fierce the battle was, how long it raged, the actual violence or literal logistical combat that occurred we unfortunately aren’t privy to. The Bible is silent on this epic event. What we do know is that Lucifer and his rebels were cast out of heaven and now roam the Earth. Again, the literal, day-to-day logistics of this existence is a mystery to us. But we are told that they are here.
We also know that God’s holy angelic forces are among us, working on His behalf for the benefit of His kingdom. The word angel loosely translates to messenger. Those holy beings have appeared to humans in physical form over the eons. We have a number of documented accounts in the Bible. They have delivered messages, given prophecy, and even supernaturally and physically saved people from harm or death.
This reality has always fascinated me. The fact that an unseen world is thriving in a plane of existence that we aren’t able to see, but which we are at the same time intimately involved in hurts my head. The fact that a legion of powerful spiritual beings that literally hate the fact I exist are locked in combat with others who are dedicated to my protection and salvation through Jesus Christ captivates my imagination.
As I write this, could there be an angelic protector standing behind me, looking over my shoulder? Could there be another being, filled with hate and rage at the fact that God loves me and chose me over him, standing on the other side of my desk screaming blasphemies and lies at me that I perceive as doubt, or negative thoughts, or sinful desires? Does the evil voice flying out of that ancient mouth sound like my own in my head? Can they cause my anxiety? Throw me into depression? I’m confident my emotional issues are chemically driven, but is there a spiritual component as well? Do they fight over me? What does that look like? Do they have swords? Armor? I don’t know but I’d sure love to.
Now, today in 2016, in the era of instant access to information from every corner of the planet, we have become a bit desensitized. As a culture we are inundated with dramatic images, horrific stories, and as Americans, reports of strife and war from the other side of the world. We are culturally numb to pain, and crime, and death. It’s tragic.
But I have at times wondered why Satan, who is the general of the fallen army, hasn’t made his grand appearance. I know the Bible foretells why. There is a time and place for him to do this in the last seven years before The Lord comes back. The script has been written. But I wonder why If Satan knows the end of the story and his ultimate fate, why he doesn’t break role and try to change it up?
Defiance? Maybe. I think the more likely answer is pride. Stubbornness. He must be so defiant and filled with rage that he will fight to the end out of duty to his narcissism. Anger can blind. Why doesn’t he appear to us? Why doesn’t he command his soldiers to take physical form and wreak havoc on the Earth?
The answer to that question has to be strategy. He is an expert on human nature. He has been studying us for eons. He knows our weaknesses. He knows our flaws. He knows how our brains work, literally. He is the father of lies.
If they appeared to us and made a public declaration that was then instantly broadcast on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube, the globe would no longer question the validity of the Bible. Millions, if not Billions of people would instantly turn to Jesus out of fear and the reality of the spiritual realm. Satan wants to rule us, and ultimately destroy as many of us as he can in the time he has left on Earth.
As I said, he knows how the story ends. He has to know deep down that he loses in the end. He is condemned. An analogy involving a lack of peripheral vision and a swimming pool comes to mind when I ponder this truth.
When someone’s hands suddenly meet you squarely in the back between the shoulder blades, and your center of gravity is violently propelled forward over the open expanse of blue chlorinated water, what is the first thing you do? You reach out and try to pull as many people as you can in with you as you go down. Misery loves company.
Satan wants to take as many people down with him as he can. He hates us. In the movie The Usual Suspects, Verbal Kint played masterfully by Kevin Spacy says, “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he doesn’t exist.” It’s a masterful strategy. To let the sinful nature that resides in each of us to simply win out. Maybe with some subtle coaxing and subversive suggestions to do what he did. To be our own gods. To follow our own paths. To get what’s owed us. To focus on the world and our sinful flesh, rather than on our God who loves us.
What can I say… it’s worked pretty well so far. There’s a quote in the 2014 film “God’s Not Dead” that I think encapsulates this paradigm perfectly. In it a man named Mark is yelling at his live-in girlfriend’s mother who suffers from Dementia and Alzheimer’s. He says, “You prayed and believed your whole life. Never done anything wrong. And here you are. You’re the nicest person I know. I am the meanest. You have dementia. My life is perfect. Explain that to me!” She sits silently in her comatose state then suddenly as if supernaturally the woman’s eyes clear and she turns to him and says, “Sometimes the devil allows people to live a life free of trouble because he doesn’t want them turning to God. Their sin is like a jail cell, except it is all nice and comfy and there doesn’t seem to be any reason to leave. The door’s wide open. Till one day, time runs out, and the cell door slams shut, and suddenly it’s too late.”
Think about it. In a battle for the mind and soul that revolves around people choosing of their own free will to acknowledge and accept a truth about the One True God, and His Sacrifice for our sins through His son, the God incarnate person of Jesus Christ, how would you stop people from traveling down the path to salvation?
Would you manifest yourself in all of your horrible, terrifying, rage-filled, supernatural glory? No. That would polarize people. It would crystallize a binary truth and force a choice.
No, instead you would subtlety lead people astray. Satan is playing the long game.
You would influence people and play on their selfish desires. You would take eons to slowly chip away at the concept of absolute truth. If there is but one way to salvation and to God, you would introduce doctrines over the millennia that run contrary to that belief.
You would appear to groups of people across the globe and do what you do best… lie. You would sell the idea that there are an infinite number of paths to Heaven and to God. Chi. Shakra. Reincarnation. Nature worship.
You would set up entire religions based on worshiping legions of your minions who profess to be gods. Polytheism. You would set up your minions and lead them through thousands of years of foundational, traditional religious establishment. Generations would be indoctrinated with your lies. You would become legend and lore.
You would appear to a man in a cave in 610.AD and tell him you are the Archangel Gabriel. You would then dictate a new holy book to him denying Jesus. You would tell him that he is God’s final prophet. Maybe you supernaturally give him the ability to spread his message to the world. Keep pulling people down into the pool.
Maybe you appear to a young, gullible, struggling man in Vermont in the early 1800’s. Maybe you appear as angel of light calling yourself Moroni and indoctrinate him with a new revelation of God that runs contrary to the simple truth of who Jesus Christ is and His sacrifice for our sins. Maybe you give him a supernatural boost to help him spread the new message? More people down into the pool.
Look at every Semi-Christian or Bible-Based cult or group and you will find threads of commonality. The denial of Jesus Christ as God incarnate and a member of the Holy trinity. The denial of the authenticity of scripture and the need to add to it. The need to break the ties to Jesus’s sacrifice as the only means of salvation.
Sound familiar? Maybe you slowly influence global society to fight against absolute truth, and accept an all-inclusive do what is right in your own eyes mentality. Slowly the lines between right and wrong, good and bad, moral and not, truth and lie are erased. The value of life, gender, sexuality, freedom, choice, expression all become fluid concepts.
All from behind the scenes. Brilliant strategy.
Splash. Splash. Splash. More people plunge into the pool.
Like I said at the outset, I am endlessly curious of what is actually happening behind the scenes. Literally. I want to know how it actually works. Nuts and bolts.
To that end, I attacked this concept and wrote a book about it. In 2015 I published “Hidden Steps: Behind the Veil”. It is a fictional story about a young man named Conner. Conner lives the typical college life of a sinful non-believing twenty year old. He feels the tug of Jesus on his heart but fights it with everything he has. During the book we are privy to four snapshots of his life at pivotal moments in his spiritual journey. They test his faith, strength, and sanity. He escapes death, blindly stumbles onto the path The Lord has set before him, and ultimately accepts Jesus before he is faced with a monumental choice where more than one life hangs in the balance. In it you get to experience how I see God’s master plan play out in the life of one young man, and how things that seem a lot like luck or random chance can be much, much more.
I then retell each chapter from the viewpoint of the angelic and demonic beings that the Bible teaches are all around us. I tried to show how I believe the battle for our souls rage beyond what we can perceive. The prospect simultaneously fills me with dread and wonder. Security and fear.
I believe in God and Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for my sins. That means I believe in the Bible. That means I believe in angels, which also means I have to believe in fallen angels or demons.
If you want a unique perspective on the spiritual world, and are intrigued by my viewpoints (and writing style) I hope you will consider grabbing a copy of my latest book. On sale right now for $9.34 on Amazon.
Thank you so much and God Bless!