Introduction to the Invisible War

The topic that I have enjoyed posting about the most is the Angelic Conflict (also known as the Invisible War). I have come to realize that Christianity generally suffers from a terrible apologetic and I think that would change dramatically if believers would learn about the Angelic Conflict.

Here we have the Bible, which is the most remarkable book ever written, and yet we cannot seem to explain why we are on this earth. Why is that? Has God withheld His reasons? God has no intention of trying to explain every decision that He has ever made to us. However that does not mean that He has not graciously explained many things to us. I truly believe that He has explained much to us about why we are here and it is related to the Angelic Conflict.

I have recently purchased a book titled “The Invisible War” by Donald Grey Barnhouse which goes into a lot of detail on the subject. I was really pleased to find this book because all that I had ever known about the Angelic Conflict came from the teaching of R.B. Thieme, Jr. and much of his writing on the subject is out of print. I am going to begin posting on different topics raised by Pastor Barnhouse as I work my way through his book.

I will start by saying that Pastor Barnhouse believed, like Colonel Thieme did, that the Bible teaches not only that we humans have free will but that our purpose for being here is to use our free will! Many Christians believe that we don’t have a truly free will (they will call it “libertarian free will”). In fact they will go so far as to say that for us to have a free will diminishes God’s sovereignty. So, they claim, the very idea that we can have even one thought independently of God is blasphemous. All I can say to that is POPPYCOCK!

The general theme of the Invisible War is that Lucifer (who became known as Satan) chose of his own free will to revolt against God before man was created. After Lucifer’s rebellion God created man and will use man to prove that God’s way is the only way. There is God’s will and Satan’s will. Following God’s will brings contentment and happiness while following Satan’s will brings misery and destruction.

I will close this post with a quote from Pastor Barnhouse:

The world cannot solve any of its own problems because it is subject to the one who is the god of this age (II Corinthians 4:4), who blinds the minds of them who believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. The great problems that leave the world in misery can, therefore, be solved by God alone. This is the lesson that God must teach by man’s repeated failures throughout all the ages of history. Time must continue until it has been thoroughly demonstrated that there is no health or hope apart from God. Though it will mean the final chaos of all that man holds dear in civilization, the total bankruptcy of ability of both Satan and men to do anything for man must be thoroughly and conclusively demonstrated.

When we understand that God is continuing in patience with man until this lesson is fully set forth before the universe, we can understand the real purpose of history. Every thought and device conceivable to the mind of Satan and man must be explored and found wanting. Here is the essence of a relativity which is more important than that set forth by Einstein. One of the most visible differences between eternity and time is the difference between one will and more than one will.

The Invisible War
Donald Grey Barnhouse
p. 38

Explore posts in the same categories: Angelic Conflict, The Invisible war

3 Comments on “Introduction to the Invisible War”

  1. heavenbound Says:

    Glenn: angels and of course demons. I have a question that leads upon some pretty interesting thought. When Christ went into the lower bowels of the earth and closed out paradise and led captives from captivity, did it include all creation. Since sin covered all creation and angels being created beings were they included in the total forgiveness. The church has this ongoing fight with Lucifer. I really think that this is such a mute point. The fight is over, game, set and match and it really ocurred over 2000 years ago. The final resolution was the cross. I know it was for humanity but did it also include the Angelic realm and if not why not?

    • Glenn Says:

      Hi Heavenbound,

      I will try and pull together a coherent answer for you but it may be a day or two. It is a crazy time at work right now. Keep checking back!


  2. Glenn Says:

    Hi Heavenbound,

    I do agree that the resurrected Christ went to Paradise and brought the Old Testament saints to heaven with him. Before I give the rest of my answer I want make sure that I am clear about the definitions I am using (I tend to confuse people if I don’t do this). In the Old Testament all souls went to Sheol but Sheol has two separate compartments. The compartment where Old Testament saints went is called Paradise or Abraham’s Bosom. The unsaved went to another compartment called Torments.

    Christ did indeed take the residents of Paradise to heaven with him but not the residents of Torments. So I don’t see this as being an argument for everyone going to heaven.

    In fact I believe that Christ did go to Torments and announce that his saving work was complete. There is a book on it that I don’t currently have a copy of (I probably need to remedy that) but I would recommend to you called the Victorious Proclamation. Here is the summary:

    History’s most unique testimony to the Gospel occurred shortly after Jesus Christ rose from the grave. Christ embarked on a remarkable journey to make “proclamation to the spirits in prison.” Who were these spirits? Why and where were they incarcerated?

    The spirits were the “sons of God” of Genesis 6, Satan’s minions, who waged war in the antediluvian civilization to prevent the advent of Jesus Christ through whom God would fulfill His promise of salvation. When God judged the earth with a worldwide flood, He imprisoned these transgressing demons in Tartarus.

    Jesus Christ’s pronouncement of His victory on the cross resounded against the gates of hell. The resurrected Christ was visible proof to the incarcerated demons of the utter failure and defeat of Satan’s strategy. Jesus Christ had paid the penalty for sin so that anyone can express faith in Him and enter into a relationship with God for all eternity.

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