If Satan Has Already Been Defeated by Jesus, Why is Spiritual Warfare Still Going On?
Jesus has defeated Satan, sin, Hell, and death in the unseen realm. And the unseen heavens makes up about 99.99999% of the fabric of all reality.
“Wherefore we faint not; but though our outward man is decaying, yet our inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is for the moment, worketh for us more and more exceedingly an eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the THINGS WHICH ARE SEEN ARE TEMPORAL; BUT THE THINGS WHICH ARE NOT SEEN ARE ETERNAL.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.
“By faith we understand that the worlds have been framed by the word of God, so that WHAT IS SEEN hath NOT been made out of things which APPEAR.” Hebrews 11:3.
These verses tell us this visible and earthly reality is but a “sliver of a sliver on the hangnail of Heaven.” So, when dealing with Jesus’ victory over all things Satanic, we must start from the “wide invisible” and then proceed to the “narrow visible.” Jesus has indeed defeated Satan in every unseen corner and cubby in the unseen realm. Jesus now sits in expectation, awaiting for us to translate and enforce that victory FULLY into this seen realm.
So, Jesus has paved the “currently unseen” highway of eternity with an absolute heart-pounding victory over all the powers and principalities of evil. Colossians 2:15. But, WE are the trumpeteers of that victory INTO the seen realm of manifestation. Until we, as the earthly, corporate and bridal body of Christ, fully blow our trumpets of faith, the unseen victory will not manifest into the seen realm.
This is why, even after the Cross, all visible creation is STILL inwardly groaning to see the MANIFESTATION OF THE SONS OF GOD. Romans 8:19. All creation is waiting for the trumpet call of the sons of God to announce, endorse and enforce Christ’s victory on the earth, as its ALREADY been announced, endorsed and enforced in Heaven.
Let’s explore this theme a little more. In his classic Christian book, Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan portrays Satan as twin lions chained on both sides of heaven’s highway. As long as we pilgrims stay centered in the Lord’s highway, neither lion can reach us because the chains snap taut. But, if we stray from the center of the road, the lions can maul us. Satan is bound, but still dangerous if we neglect our so great a salvation and stray too near to his clutches.
So if the devil is really defeated, his power chained by Jesus, then why does Satan, through his ongoing destructions, appear to still be active and unchained? Well, as in all things earth-related, God needs our continuing synergistic faith to control the slack in that chain. Our neglect and unbelief releases slack in his chain which allows him access to continue his destructions. Conversely, our faith tightens the slack in the chain thereby immobilizing the Satanic threat altogether. This is why Ephesians warns us to “give no place to Satan.” Ephesians 4:27. In other words, allow NO slack in his chain.
In the recent popular TV production GAME OF THRONES, the popular character known as the Red Viper was fighting the villainously gargantuan character known as The Mountain. The Red Viper gracefully stays out of the Mountain’s crushing grip while slicing The Mountain to shreds with his long spearpoint, which is dipped in the deadliest of poisons. The Mountain lies flat, defeated and mortally wounded on the ground. But the Red Viper gets careless. He gets within arms length of the fallen giant. The Mountain exercises one last lurch to grab the Viper’s neck and kill him. This was so disturbing to watch because The Mountain was a thoroughly defeated foe. Only neglect caused the Red Viper’s death.
Hebrews 2:3 likewise warns us, “How shall we escape [Satan’s destructions] if we NEGLECT our so great a salvation.” In other words, if we get careless as did the Red Viper, how can escape the still thrashing tail of the enemy.
This earth realm continues to be a hazardous war zone until WE, as the church, fully enforce and fully endorse Christ’s victory by tightening up and removing ALL the slack from the enemy army’s chains until they are squarely secured and powerless under our feet.
Jesus has taken the dominion of death and destruction away from Satan. However, that victory has not yet been fully manifested in the earthly realm as it has been in the heavenly realm. Hebrews 10:13 tells us Jesus is seated at the right hand of God waiting and “expecting til his enemies be made his footstool.” 1 Corinthians 15:26 tells us, “the last enemy that SHALL be destroyed is death.”
Thus, even though Jesus has ALREADY disarmed all principalities and powers (Colossians 2:15) in the heavenly realm, He is waiting for his church to enforce that victory upon the earth (Ephesians 1:22-23, 3:10). The fact that we still see death and defeat is not due to any deficiency in the Lord, but rather to a deficiency in the church in “neglecting” her so great a salvation (Hebrews 2:3).
I think warfare for us NOW is a matter of “faith-endorsing” and “faith-enforcing” Jesus’ heavenly victory here on earth as it has ALREADY been fully won in the Heavenlies. This is why Paul called it a “fight of faith.” It IS a fight. But, the good news is that God doesn’t promise He WILL win the battle for us. No, He promises He already HAS won it. All we do is add our faith’s “amen” to His grace’s “yes.”
In a way, it is like a scripted professional wrestling match. No matter how brutally real the violence appears, the Lord’s written a spiritual script which guarantees US manifest victory IF we but fight the good fight of faith. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God did BEFORE PREPARE that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10.
Unhappy warriors fight with a grim spirit because they don’t know the outcome. But, happy warriors, as William Wordsworth called them, fight with grins of joy unspeakable because they know the outcome is already established IF they will BUT BELIEVE IT and fervently follow the script.
Jesus tells us that whatever we bind on Earth has “already” been bound in Heaven. The original Greek of Matthew 18:18 and 16:19 both clearly say that we have the authority to bind on Earth that which is ALREADY bound in Heaven(per Colossians 2:15). Interlinear translations agree that these verses convey the idea that, “whatever you might bind on the Earth will be, having been bound in the Heavens ALREADY.”
It gets even better. Not only has the demonic been demolished, but we have also already been completely healed of all our sins, sorrows and sicknesses. Jesus again completed this healing long ago through His Cross and Resurrection: “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye WERE healed.” 1 Pet 2:24.
But, if demons are defeated and all our sins and sicknesses healed, then why don’t we see this “always already” victory right now? The following verse holds the alarming answer.
“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great a salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; . . . Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we SEE NOT YET all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” Heb 2:3, 8-9.
This passage is clear that all things have ALREADY been put under Jesus, but we don’t yet SEE them put under Jesus. The reason? Because of our individual and corporate “neglect” of “so great a salvation.” Both Satan and Evil have no gasoline left in their tank because Jesus drained it all away at the Cross. They are functioning today solely off of the fumes of our neglect of Jesus’ great salvation. What makes this salvation so great is its “always already” aspect.
The ministry of the Holy Spirit is to convince us of the accomplished benefits of this great salvation. “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” 1 Cor 2:12. But, our fight is always one of faith, effectual and fervent faith which steadfastly cleaves to the Lord’s reports of pre-victory.
In other words, BLOW the trumpet of faith in Zion you angels, BLOW the trumpet of faith on earth you sons of men, BLOW the trumpet NOW you sons of God, and watch all Satanic walls fall in!