Summary: There is a spiritual war which started in heaven and was transferred to this earth. In this sermon we learn more about this war.
Chapter 1 - It’s not over until it’s over
Hiroo Onoda was a Japanese soldier who fought in World War II which ended in August 1945. He did not surrender until 29 years later as he thought that the war was still going on. It had to take his former commander to travel from Japan to Lubang Island in the Philippines were Onoda was to convince him that the war had indeed ended. In the early years of his 29-year holdout, he stayed in the mountains with three other soldiers who also thought that the war had not ended and even exchanged gunfire with local cops.
Attempts were made to inform these soldiers that the war had ended but they did not believe it, they thought these messages were coming from the enemy who wanted to deceive them. Four years after the war had ended one of the soldiers: Yuichi Akatsu surrendered. In 1954 one of the 3 who was left by the name of Shoichi Shimada was shot by a search party looking for them and he died leaving 2 soldiers behind. Then in 1972 another soldier Kinshichi Kozuka was shot and killed by local police leaving Hiro Onoda alone. Major Taniguchi had to fly from Japan and meet with Onoda on 9 March 1974 and convinced him that the war was over.
Hiroo and his mates assumed that the war was going on when it was not. This story is the analogy of my sermon which I shall use not as a comparison but as a contrast to what is happening in some people’s lives. Some assume that the war is over yet it is still going on. This assumption will lead them to drop their guard because they feel they are in a safe zone when they are not. If you make this mistake and peradventure the enemy confronts you, you will become easy prey because you are defenceless and unprepared.
It’s not over until it’s over.
I write not about a war of guns and bullets but a spiritual war whose size and effects are greater than all the wars combined that have been fought since the history of mankind. Many wars have come and gone but there is a spiritual war which is not over yet.
“And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” Revelation 12:7-9
A war broke out in one of the most unlikely places, heaven that is. One of the warring parties was Michael the Archangel of God backed by his angels and the other party was the dragon. The same passage of the Bible which I quoted above goes on to clarify the identity of the dragon to be a serpent called the Devil and Satan. The dragon (Satan) did not fight this war alone but he had the support of his angels. We are not told about the kind of weapons which were used in this warfare, however, we are told of the results and the consequences. The devil and his angels were defeated and kicked out of heaven.
God the Creator made everything perfect without any fault or weakness. In His creation works, He also made angels and being a God of love He gave them free-will, the power to choose. He could have created robots which can follow instructions without making their own conscious decisions whether to follow or not to, but that would not be love. So love being the character of God, He gave angels the power to make choices. Of the Angels that were made, there was one angel called Lucifer who occupied a high position above other angels. Lucifer was created perfect (read Ezekiel 28:15) but since he had the power of choice he started to entertain thoughts of rebellion against God.
He developed pride and wanted to exalt his position so that he could be worshipped by other angels instead of worshipping God (read Isaiah 14:12-14; Ezekiel 28:14-19). In his rebellion, he managed to convince one-third of God’s angels to join him. Revelation 12:4 tells us that the dragon (Satan) by his tail drew one-third of the stars of heaven, this is not a literal tail but its symbolic language which means lies. Isaiah 9:15 says the prophet that teaches lies is the tail. Revelation 1:20 tells us that stars are angels, so in simple language, Satan used his lies to gather the support of one-third of angels.