and Jeremy Westcott –
Give me the hill country
When the Israelites finally crossed the Jordan under Joshua and began to occupy the land God had given them, Caleb said to him,
“Now then, give me this hill country about which the Lord spoke on that day, for you heard on that day that Anakim were there, with great fortified cities; perhaps the Lord will be with me, and I will drive them out as the Lord has spoken” (Joshua 14:12).
Last time we were considering mountains, and what they represent in scripture. Here again, the hill country speaks of a higher realm. Caleb is talking about moving into that higher authority that God had promised him, that Moses had promised him. He was coming into the Promised Land, and symbolically this represents places of spiritual authority. There were giants living there in those places of authority, in fortified cities, which speak of rulership. For Caleb and Joshua, the Promised Land was not only a physical, geographical area, but also a matter of spiritual authority to be outworked in the natural.
The Anakim (or sons of Anak) who we see here are part of the Nephilim. They stand in opposition to the purposes of God, and need to be driven out of the place of authority they occupy.
There also we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak are part of the Nephilim); and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight (Numbers 13:33).
Giants in heavenly places
The Nephilim were giants (Gen 6:4), the result of fallen angels overshadowing human women and causing genetic mutation of DNA. So Greek and Roman mythical figures such as Hercules are most likely based on stories of Nephilim before the flood. Those Nephilim did not have human spirits, so when they died (as they did in the flood) their spirits became the giants that rule in the heavenly realms. In the same way, the dinosaurs were a previous product of Satan’s attempts to rule on the earth through creatures bearing his own reptilian DNA. And when they died, they became the dragons that rule in the heavenly realms.
In that day the Lord will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, With His fierce and great and mighty sword, Even Leviathan the twisted serpent; And He will kill the dragon who lives in the sea (Isa 27:1).
That is a picture of Satan’s seed, who lives in the sea (which here represents the earth). Leviathan, dragons, these are demonic beings who were formed by Satan after his own image.
And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him (Rev 12:9).
So there are fallen angels too, a third of the company of heaven, who are part of this pattern of rebellion and rule.
We have the authority now
… in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience (Eph 2:2).
That scripture speaks of the three levels of the atmosphere of the earth. It speaks of Satan as the prince of the power of the air, having authority in that realm.
The key word though is ‘formerly’. It means that you used to, but you don’t any more. Satan has no authority now, except over those who are ‘sons of disobedience’. In contrast, we can identify ourselves as ‘sons of obedience’, so we are not subject to Satan as the prince of the power of the air; in fact it is we who now have the authority in that realm.
Put on the full armour of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places (Eph 6:11-12).
There are heavenly places from which these spiritual forces exert authority over this realm, and we need to deal with them. Our struggle is not with people on earth: we should be ministering to people on earth and setting them free from the influence of the things that are going on in the heavens. To do that effectively, we need to have authority in the heavens to overcome the spiritual forces of wickedness which are messing up people’s lives. We can go there and obtain that authority, delegated to us by God.
God’s eternal purpose
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 8:38-9).
All those things are real, but none of them can separate us from the purposes of God.
… so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him. (Eph 3:10-12).
We have to bring God’s wisdom, the authority of His kingdom, to those realms. That is our mandate as God’s people. And we can have confident access to those heavenly places through faith in Him.
Created by Him, and for Him
For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him (Col 1:16).
So all these realms were created by Jesus, but they were created for Him, not for the forces that currently occupy them. As we take them back, we can surrender them to Him, and bring them under His lordship and rule.
C.S. Lewis saw these things, and there are many analogies to them in the Narnia books, once you begin to see them.
The enemy is disarmed and vulnerable
And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross (Col 2:15 NIV).
This is a great thing for us. At the cross, Jesus has disarmed those principalities and powers. Our role is to go and take back the places of authority from which they have been operating. They are vulnerable now, so we can go and deal with them.
When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed. But when someone stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away from him all his armour on which he had relied and distributes his plunder (Luke 11 21-22). Or how can anyone enter the strong man’s house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house (Matt 12:29).
Satan was the strong man in these stories told by Jesus, and he had possessions. Because they were guarded, they were undisturbed. Jesus is stronger than Satan, and overpowered him. He took away all his armour, all his weapons, all that he relied on to defend what he had. So now Jesus can distribute his plunder.
Plunder Satan’s trophy room
The trophy room of Satan is found under the earth, and is the place where all that he has robbed from the church is stored up. Blessings, authority, power, scrolls, mandates, weapons, provision – and more besides! It’s all there. It is guarded, but it is within our power to overcome. We can take back what has been robbed from us in generations past.
We used to sing a song: ‘I went to the enemy’s camp, and I took back what he stole from me’. There are things that ought to be ours which can be restored to us, wells that have been blocked up that can be unblocked. But only if we recognise that we are stronger: only if we are ruling in the heavenly realms, in authority and power.
When we are, then we can go and take it all back.
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