The Spiritual Warfare
By Arlen L. Chitwood
Participants in the Conflict
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places [against the spirit forces of wickedness in heavenly places]. (Ephesians 6:10-12)
Christians are presently engaged in a battle against powerful angelic rulers in the spirit world. These angels, ruling in the kingdom of Satan, are striving for the souls of men; and the outcome of this conflict, like any conflict, is determined by proper or improper preparation as one engages the enemy.
A properly prepared Christian can enter the conflict and consistently win battle after battle, but an improperly prepared Christian entering the conflict can only experience defeat time after time.
Victory is achieved by engaging the enemy within the framework of the Lord’s instructions in Ephesians 6:10ff. A Christian though who engages the enemy after any other fashion is entering the conflict apart from the Lord’s instructions, leaving himself in a very vulnerable position, one in which the enemy can consistently achieve victory.
Thus, in this respect, victory on the one hand or defeat on the other is determined by the Christian’s preparation for the conflict at hand. A Christian can either heed the Lord’s instructions or he can ignore the Lord’s instructions. There is no middle ground (Matthew 12:30; Luke 11:23). The former will produce readiness for battle and result in victory, but the latter will leave the Christian very vulnerable to attack and can only result in defeat.
Victory for the Christian will actually be determined by how badly he wants to win. The overriding thought in Ephesians has to do with individuals being saved for a revealed purpose. Christians have been saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8) in order to realize an inheritance in heavenly places (1:3, 11, 18; 2:6, 7; 3:1-6). The task of a pastor-teacher is to lead Christians into a mature knowledge of this inheritance, a mature knowledge of the things surrounding the purpose for their salvation (4:11ff), resulting in their being filled with the Spirit (5:18ff) and being able to engage the enemy after the fashion given at the end of this epistle (6:10ff).
How badly do Christians really want to achieve victory over the enemy and one day realize the proffered inheritance with God’s Son? That is the question that will determine what a Christian does about the Lord’s instructions concerning proper preparation for the battle at hand.
Confronting the Enemy
Knowing one’s enemy and his objective is all-important when one enters into a battle. The enemy, in this case, is identified in very graphic terms at the outset of the Lord’s instructions, and the enemy’s objective is a major subject of Scripture. Christians are to be “strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might”; and they are to properly clothe themselves with provided armor as they move about in this fashion (being strong in the Lord, relying upon His power and might) in order that they might be able “to stand against the wiles of the devil” (vv. 10, 11). And the crafty ways that Satan uses as he lies in wait to deceive are brought to pass by and through the actions of powerful fallen angels, world-rulers in his kingdom (v. 12; cf. Ephesians 4:14).
Satan is the great imitator. He ever seeks to counterfeit the work of God as he and his angels move against Christians. God has innumerable angels at His command who perform activities in His kingdom; and Satan, “the god of this world age” (2 Corinthians 4:4 [“the god of this age” in relation to the earth and his rule]), has innumerable angels at his command who perform activities in his kingdom.
(The kingdom of Satan is actually a part of the overall kingdom of God. Angels rule domains throughout God’s kingdom, and their rulership over domains is looked upon and referred to as the rule over a kingdom. Delegated power and authority of this nature has to do with numerous kingdoms within one overall kingdom.
Satan, in time past, was among the angels given a kingdom and dominion. However, dissatisfied with the extent of his delegated power and authority, Satan sought to “exalt his throne and “be like the most High [be like God Himself, the supreme Ruler over all].”
And today Satan is a rebel ruler within his kingdom, along with one-third of his original contingent of ruling angels, who followed him in his attempt to increase his hold on power and authority [cf. Isaiah 14:12-14; Revelation 12:4].
Satan’s present kingdom is referred to as “the kingdom of the world” or “his kingdom.”
Christ, at His first coming, called attention to both the present kingdom under Satan and His coming kingdom when he said, “My kingdom is not of this world [lit., ‘not out of this world,’ referring to the present world kingdom under Satan]” [John 18:36a]. And this will explain that which is involved in 1 John 2:15ff, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world . . . .”
It is this present kingdom under Satan that will one day become “the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ” [Revelation 11:15, ASV; 16:10; cf. Matthew 6:10]. And it is this kingdom, which Christ and His co-heirs will rule with a rod of iron for 1,000 years in order to bring the kingdom back into conformity with the way God has established individual kingdoms within His overall kingdom [cf. Psalm 2:6-9; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28; Revelation 2:26-28].)
In God’s kingdom, it is evident that angels perform various activities within the scope of fixed laws in order to fulfill the perfect will of God concerning matters, apart from any immediate command from God; and by so doing, their actions are looked upon as those of the Lord Himself.
(For an example of the preceding, note that the destruction of the cities of the plain during Abraham’s day was carried out by angels, who could only have been acting under fixed laws. And, though angels destroyed these cities, the Lord Himself is also said to have been the One who performed the act. That which was performed by these angels acting under fixed laws became the actions of the One who established these laws [Genesis 19:13, 14, 29].)
It appears evident that the same thing occurs in Satan’s kingdom. Satan, “the god of this age,” is the one who moves against Christians in a deceptive manner, the one who ever stands ready to devour them (cf. Ephesians 6:11; 1 Peter 5:8). But our warfare is revealed to be, more specifically, against the innumerable host of angels in Satan’s kingdom rather than against Satan himself, as an individual (Ephesians 6:12).
This can only be carried out by Satan’s angels acting within the scope of fixed laws in order to fulfill the will of Satan, apart from any immediate command from Satan; and by so doing, their actions are looked upon as those of Satan himself.
(Note that these fixed laws, operable in Satan’s kingdom, would have their origin and basis in laws established by God in the beginning. And the manner concerning how these laws operate, though continuing to be operable in a system that had become corrupted under Satan, could not change.)
Thus, by warring against angels in Satan’s kingdom, Christians are actually engaged in a battle against Satan himself. Because of the apparent manner in which command has been established in Satan’s kingdom, there would be no difference between warring against his angels or warring against him personally.
1) Description of the Enemy
Different terms are used in Ephesians 6:12 to describe the angels in Satan’s kingdom against whom Christians are engaged in battle. They are called “principalities,” “powers,” “rulers of the darkness of this age,” and “spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
These four different descriptions do not form references to various gradations of angels ruling in different territorial domains under Satan, though Satan’s kingdom is structured after this fashion. These descriptions merely constitute four different ways that the Lord uses to describe the enemy, providing various facets of information.
a) “Principalities”: This is a translation of the Greek word arche, which refers primarily to “a beginning” (e.g., Genesis 1:1 [Septuagint]; John 1:1, 2). When the word is used in the sense that it appears in the text though, the reference is to “a ruler.” This is the same word used earlier in Ephesians (1:21; 3:10), referring to world-rulers. This is also the word used in 1 Corinthians 15:24, revealing the purpose for Christ’s coming reign over the earth — “when He puts an end to all rule [arche] and all authority and power.” That is, Christ is going to reign until all world-rulers, those holding positions of power and authority, have been completely subdued.
(Though Satan and his angels will be bound in the abyss during this future time [Revelation 20:1-3], Gentile nations, with their rulers, will still be present on the earth. And rebellion will, at times, as it presently does during Man’s Day, still exist within their ranks [Ezekiel 14:16-21; Revelation 20:7-9].)
The Greek word arche, referring primarily to “a beginning” — used as the opening word to describe the incumbent world-rulers in heavenly places — would undoubtedly be an allusion to the fact that those described have held their positions since the beginning. They form part of the original contingent of rulers.
(Those referred to by the word arche form one-third of the original contingent of angels that God deemed necessary to rule the earth with the one later known as “Satan.” Two-thirds of this original group of angelic rulers refused to follow Satan in his attempt to exalt his throne. This is dealt with in “Objective of the Enemy” on pp. 24-31[Editor’s note: next page] in this chapter and also Appendix 2 in this book.)
b) “Powers”: This is a translation of the Greek word exousia, meaning “power” or “authority,” and is simply another way to describe those occupying positions of governmental power. They are not only “rulers,” but they are “powers,” “authorities.” This is also the same word used with arche in the previous references (1 Corinthians 15:24; Ephesians 1:21; 3:10). Exousia not only calls attention to the “power and authority” held by an arche, “a ruler,” but it is also used as a synonym for the arche.
c) “Rulers of the darkness of this age”: The word “rulers” here is the translation of a different word in the Greek text than the word “principalities” appearing earlier in the verse. The word used here is kosmokrator, a combination of two words — kosmos, meaning “world”, and kratos, meaning “to rule.” Thus, kosmokrator means “world-ruler,” shown as such in the KJV text, though the word “rulers” is separated from the word “world.” The expression, “rulers of the darkness of this age,” could perhaps be better translated, “world-rulers of the present darkness,” or “rulers of this present dark age.”
d) “Spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places”: The words “spiritual hosts of wickedness” could be better translated “spirit forces of wickedness,” referring to Satan and his angels. And these individuals are said to reside in “heavenly places,” literally “in the heavenlies,” or “in heavenly places” (identical expression in the Greek text as used in Ephesians 1:3).
Thus, Christians are at war against, not flesh and blood (individuals on the earth), but against the powerful world-rulers of this present dark world who occupy various positions of power and authority under Satan in heavenly places. It is these individuals with whom we are engaged in battle; and because they evidently act within the scope of fixed laws as they seek to carry out Satan’s plans and purposes, our warfare is equally against Satan himself.
2) Objective of the Enemy
Battles between opposing armies are normally fought for territorial rights, which would include governmental control over that territory. The objective in battle is to either retain one’s presently possessed territory or acquire new territory through victory over the opposing side.
And the warfare in Ephesians chapter six is no different. On one side there are powerful world-rulers seeking to hold onto presently possessed territory, along with their positions as rulers over this realm. Then, on the other side there are those called into existence to one day move into and occupy this territory, ruling over this same realm in the stead of the incumbent world-rulers.
Satan and his angels have ruled over the earth from the very beginning of God’s established government in this one province in the universe. Satan was created and positioned over this earth as the “anointed cherub [‘messianic (ruling) angel’]” by God in the beginning (Ezekiel. 28:14), and a great host of other angels were also created and placed in positions of power under him (cf. Daniel 10:13, 14, 20; Matthew 25:41; Revelation 12:7-9). And the scepter has been held by Satan and his angels, without interruption, since that time.
However, because of Satan’s aspirations to be “like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:14), major changes have occurred in his kingdom. Disruption, producing chaos in God’s government, entered at one place in the universe by and through the unlawful actions of one provincial ruler.
The first major change in Satan’s kingdom was in the sphere of active rulership — his governing power structure. Two-thirds of the angels originally ruling under Satan refused to follow him in his God-dishonoring, rebellious act, leaving only one-third of the original number (Revelation 12:4). Thus, at the very beginning, Satan’s ranks were depleted by two-thirds from that number that God had originally deemed necessary to properly rule this province in His kingdom.
The second major change was in the domain itself. Because Satan had attempted such an act — which was actually an attempted coup, an attempted takeover of the government of the universe — his kingdom was reduced to a ruin. God had no choice other than to act in accordance with His perfect justice and righteousness, executing judgment of a nature that reduced Satan’s kingdom to the ruin described in Genesis 1:2a. And though Satan continued to hold the scepter, he and the angels who had allied themselves with him, could only rule over a ruined domain.
These things occurred during an age or during ages preceding man, and Scripture provides no revelation concerning “time” during this period. Scripture is silent concerning how long Satan and his angels ruled over the earth in its original state, and Scripture is equally silent concerning how long the earth lay in its ruined state following Satan’s move to exalt his throne.
God has deemed “time” within events prior to the restoration of the earth to be of no moment [Editor’s note: consequence] insofar as His plans and purposes for man are concerned. Thus, “time” begins to be reckoned in God’s revelation to man only when God begins His act of restoring the ruined creation in Genesis 1:2b, anticipating man being created to take the scepter.
Almost 6,000 years ago God restored the earth over a six-day period; and on the sixth day, after God had completed His restoration work, man was created for the express purpose of ruling the earth in the stead of Satan and his angels. An entirely new creation, created in the image and likeness of God — a creature unlike any other in the universe — was brought into existence to take the scepter and rule over the restored province, the restored domain.
Satan knew exactly why the earth had been restored and why God had created man. Following the restoration of the earth, both before and after the creation of man, God made matters very clear through His announced plans and purposes.
God, prior to the creation of man, said,
Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion . . . .” (Genesis 1:26a)
Then following the creation of man, and the removal of the woman from the man,
Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion. . . .” (Genesis 1:28a)
The word translated “dominion” from the Hebrew text, in both instances (vv. 26, 28), is the word radah, meaning “to rule.” This is the same word used in Psalm 110:2, translated “rule,” referring to Christ’s coming rule over the earth as the second Man, the last Adam.
The earth had been restored for man, and man had been created to take the dominion that Satan possessed; and since the one to take the scepter of the earth within God’s planned economy was now present, Satan possessed only one recourse to retain his position: Man must be disqualified.
Disruption within God’s plans concerning His new order of rulers, rendering man unfit to hold the scepter, is the reason Satan approached and deceived Eve in the beginning. Such resulted in Adam’s fall, disqualifying man and placing him in the same fallen position as Satan — a position in which man could not assume control of the government.
In man’s case though, following his fall, God acted after an entirely different fashion than He had acted when Satan fell. God, in His condemnatory remarks to Satan, because of that which had occurred through his deception of Eve, promised a Redeemer for man (Genesis 3:15); and He then acted in a redemptive capacity by slaying animals and providing coats of skins for Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:21). These things were done immediately after man sinned, before he was barred from Eden; and they were done with a view to redeemed man one day holding the scepter in the stead of Satan and his angels.
Satan knew exactly why God had promised a Redeemer and why a redemptive act had been performed for fallen man, and this is the reason he continued his move against man and has continued it to this day. Satan’s move to retain his position, which began against Adam through Eve, has continued against Adam’s descendants on an uninterrupted fashion for the past 6,000 years. Man is the one whom God brought into existence to replace the incumbent rulers, and the battle has to do with regal rights over a territory — rulership over the earth.
The gifts and calling of God are “without repentance [‘without a change of mind’]” (Romans 11:29). God is not going to change His mind concerning the reason He called man into existence. God has provided redemption for man, with a view to man one day taking the scepter.
Regality was the purpose for man’s creation, this was the purpose underlying man’s subsequent fall, and this is equally the purpose for his redemption. Everything is regal in nature and has to do with the earth.
Man’s Redeemer has shown Himself fully qualified to replace the incumbent ruler, Satan (Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13); and God has provided redemption for man, with a view to allowing redeemed individuals the opportunity to qualify for positions on the throne with the Redeemer when He takes the kingdom. Individuals qualifying for these positions will, in this respect, also replace incumbent rulers, for the angels presently ruling under Satan must also be put down.
(Actually, Christians qualifying to rule in the kingdom with the One who has redeemed them for this purpose will replace all angels associated with a rule over the earth within God’s economy, not just the angels presently ruling with Satan. Two-thirds of the original contingent of rulers over the earth refused to follow Satan, and they, even though not actively ruling today, still retain their crowns, which they must relinquish.
The principle of biblical government necessitating that an incumbent ruler hold the scepter until he is actually replaced would require this to be the case; and the crowns worn by these angels, along with the crowns worn by angels presently ruling in an active capacity under Satan, will be worn by Christians during the coming age.
Matters surrounding Christians about to assume these positions of power can only be why the twenty-four elders are presented arising from their thrones and casting their crowns before God’s throne after the manner and at the time seen in Revelation 4:10. There has to be definite reasons why this event not only occurs but also why it occupies a place in the book of Revelation at this particular point.
The entire matter can only have to do with regality and the earth. It can only have to do with a transfer of power over a domain, for that is not only what is seen in the overall outworking of the central subject matter of the book [chapters 19ff] but that is also what is seen through the elders’ actions as well [relinquishing their crowns to the One who had originally placed them in a crowned position on thrones, showing a relinquishment of regality over a territory].
The time when the twenty-four elders arise from their thrones and cast their crowns before God’s throne, chronologically, is immediately following the judgment of Christians [at the end of this dispensation, preceding the Tribulation] and immediately before God begins to deal with the earth-dwellers [during the Tribulation].
Contrary to popular interpretation, the twenty-four elders do not represent Christians. Such would be impossible. Christians will not be seated on thrones and possess crowns at this time; nor would they arise from their thrones and cast their crowns before God’s throne if they did. Christians will wear crowns during the coming age, not cast them before a throne preceding the age.
These elders can only be identified as representing those angels, still crowned up to that point in time, who did not go along with Satan in his attempted coup. The earth and its government are in view, and the fact that these elders are crowned shows that they occupy ruling positions associated with the earth’s government [biblical revelation concerns itself with regality and the earth, not with regality and other provinces in the universe].
Also, the Greek word used for “crowns” in Revelation 4:10 is stephanos, not diadema, showing that although these elders are associated with the earth’s government [which itself identifies them as angels], they are not actively involved in this government at the time they cast their crowns before God’s throne [a crown worn by one actively occupying a governmental office is called a diadema, not a stephanos]. They are presented at this particular point in the book as willingly relinquishing their crowns, with a view to others about to take the kingdom [Christians having previously been shown qualified to rule at the judgment seat (Revelation 1-3)]; but crowns worn by Satan and his angels will have to subsequently be taken by force.
Refer to Appendix 2 of this book for a more comprehensive discussion of Revelation 4:10 and crowned rulers.)
God has set aside an entire dispensation to call out the rulers who are to ascend and occupy the throne with His Son during the coming age. Christians, those individuals comprising the “one new man” in Christ, are the ones presently being extended the offer to realize the very purpose for man’s existence. The Church, on which God’s present dispensational dealings center, was called into existence for this purpose (Israel, at Christ’s first coming, rejected heavenly promises and blessings; and the Church was called into existence to be the recipient of that which had been rejected — i.e. the offer to move into and occupy positions in heavenly places in the kingdom).
Accordingly, God’s primary work in the world today surrounds acquiring a group of qualified individuals from the human race who, during the coming age, will be able to ascend the throne with His Son and rule from heavenly places in the stead of angels. The “world [‘inhabited world’] to come” will not be placed under the rule of angels, as the present inhabited world. Rather, it will be ruled by Man (Hebrews 2:5-10).
And the Holy Spirit has been sent into the world by the Father to acquire a bride for His Son (the antitype of Eve, the one who will reign as consort queen with the second Man, the last Adam). That is the primary mission of the Holy Spirit in the world during the present dispensation (cf. Genesis 24:1ff), and all of God’s activity surrounding Christians throughout the dispensation has this one objective in view (Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:12-27).
Thus, the primary purpose for the present dispensation and the primary mission of the Holy Spirit during the dispensation are one and the same — to acquire a bride for God’s Son, allowing the Son to take the scepter and rule the earth as the second Man, the last Adam, with His bride (comprised of His co-heirs).
(For a more detailed discussion of the present ministry of the Holy Spirit in the preceding respect, refer to the author’s book, Search for the Bride.)
Is it therefore any wonder that Christians today find themselves in a battle against the present world-rulers? Christians are the destined heirs of a kingdom presently occupied and controlled by these rulers. Christians are the ones destined to exercise regal power from the same heavenly sphere occupied by these angels, ruling in their stead from the heavens over the earth (a restored earth in the latter case, one removed from the present curse).
And the enemy, the present world-rulers, know these things. And these world-rulers, as never before, in all their fury, presently move against those Christians who aspire to occupy heavenly positions as co-heirs with the coming World-Ruler.
The dispensation is almost over. Man is about to move into that period beyond the 6,000 years, into the seventh 1,000-year period, into the Messianic Era; and God is performing an end-time work in the closing moments, as it were, of not only the dispensation but the entire 6,000 years comprising “Man’s Day.”
Satan and his angels know these things; and they also know that unless they can thwart God’s plans and purposes concerning man, decreed in the eternal council chambers of God before man was even created (Hebrews 1:2), they are about to relinquish positions and territorial rights that they have held since time immemorial. It thus can only naturally follow that their attack would be centered against those about to move in and usurp these positions.
Christ cannot be attacked on a personal level today, for He is at the right hand of the Father in heaven, waiting for that coming day (Psalm 110:1, 2). However, Christians are presently here on the earth, within Satan’s domain. They are in a position where the attack can come at any time, on any front. And for this reason, Christians have been commanded to properly clothe themselves with the provided armor.
The enemy is at hand, the warfare is very real, and victory or defeat is dependent upon Christians following the Lord’s instructions concerning the battle.
On the Battlefield
The battle lines have been drawn, but something seemingly rather strange appears to exist in the world today. There doesn’t really seem to be an ongoing battle between Christians and the forces of Satan such as Ephesians 6:10ff describes. Christendom is seemingly in a state of non-combat, more at peace than at war in and with a world ruled by Satan and his angels.
Is this really the case though? And if so, Why?
1) The Laodicean State of Christendom (Revelation 3:14-21)
The absence of any real spiritual warfare, seemingly out of line with Ephesians 6:10ff, is generally very much the case throughout Christendom; and the reason is quite evident. Where there is no move on redeemed man’s part to realize the purpose for his salvation — aspiring to one day occupy proffered positions in the heavenlies — there would be no reason for an ongoing warfare of the nature described in Ephesians 6:10ff.
Satan continues to bring the entire matter under his control and sway, with a diminishing necessity for any type of continuing battle. And the nearness of the complete leavening process, seen in Matthew 13:33, would determine the nearness of both sides simply laying down arms.
Satan has worked for almost two millennia to bring Christendom into its present decadent condition — the Laodicean state of the Church prophesied to exist at the end of the dispensation. And, as previously stated, such has resulted from the continuous working of the leaven that the woman placed in the three measures of meal very early in the dispensation in Matthew 13:33, working through centuries into millennia of time.
Leaven works best in a place where the temperature is neither too hot nor too cold, and the “lukewarm” condition of the Laodicean church (Revelation 3:15, 16), fostering the working of the leaven, is today allowing the leaven to do its damaging work almost unchecked.
Not only has Christendom already been permeated through and through with leaven, but the leaven continues to work and is today producing the most rapidly deteriorating and damaging work in the entire 2,000-year history of the Church.
One sad, revealed fact is that those comprising this Laodicean state of Christendom today, for the most part, are not even aware of their own “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” condition. And they are equally unaware of that which has occurred and is continuing to occur (Revelation 3:17).
The whole of the matter has to do with two kingdoms — the present kingdom of Satan and the coming kingdom of Christ (ref. Colossians 1:13) — and those described in Revelation 3:17 know very little about either kingdom. In short, they lack the spiritual insight to analyze the situation as it exists.
Satan seemingly has Christendom exactly where he wants it; and with the rapidly deteriorating work continuing to be produced by the leaven, the matter is becoming even more so with each passing day. Thus, there is really no battle per se going on between Christendom at large and the world-rulers of this present darkness. All that these world-rulers have to do is maintain the status quo — keep matters in check, and let the leaven continue its work, until such a time as even that will no longer be necessary.
2) But, “If any man hear My voice . . . .” (Revelation 3:20)
There is, however, another side to the matter, one which is very much in keeping with that which is revealed in Ephesians 6:10ff. There are those Christians who refuse to go along with the status quo, those who have enough spiritual insight to know what’s happening, those who understand and aspire to realize the goal of their calling, as Caleb and Joshua in the camp of Israel in Numbers chapters thirteen and fourteen. Those comprising this segment of Christendom, not those within Christendom as a whole, are the ones engaged in open warfare. These are the ones against whom the present world-rulers move in all their fury.
(For material on the Israelites under Moses at Kadesh-Barnea, refer to Chapter 3 in this book, or to the author’s book, From Egypt to Canaan.)
Aside from the account of Caleb and Joshua, the matter can be seen very graphically in typology in the books of 1, 2 Samuel; and types, established by God in order to teach His people great spiritual truths, will always be fulfilled in exact detail by and through that which they foreshadow, by and through the antitype.
David, the anointed king of Israel, destined to one day ascend the throne and take over the government, replacing Saul (who had been disqualified to continue occupying the throne), found himself temporarily in a place of exile, in a place of rejection, out in the wilderness. He, though already anointed king, found himself separated from Israel and its government under Saul.
Certain men during this time gathered themselves to David. These were individuals described as being “in distress . . . in debt . . . and discontented [dissatisfied with the existing state of affairs in Saul’s kingdom]” (1 Samuel 22:1, 2). These men remained in the wilderness with David, separate from the kingdom under Saul, and were faithful to David.
In the antitype, Christ has been anointed King over the earth. He is the One destined to one day take over the government, replacing the incumbent ruler, Satan. But today, Christ, as David in the type, finds Himself in a place removed from the kingdom, separated from the earth and its government under Satan (who, as Saul in the type, has been disqualified to continue on the throne).
And just as in David’s case, there are those who find themselves dissatisfied with the existing state of affairs and have gathered themselves unto Christ. These are the ones who remain in the place of exile, the place of rejection with Christ, separate from the present world system under Satan, and are faithful to Christ.
Saul and his men set themselves specifically against David and his men because Saul knew the identity of those destined to one day take over the government (cf. 1 Samuel 23:13, 14, 17, 26; 24:2, 20). David and his men during this time continually relied on the Lord; and the Lord, accordingly, delivered them out of the hands of Saul and his men (1 Samuel 23:7-14).
In the antitype, Satan and those allied with him have set themselves specifically against Christ and those allied with Him, for Satan knows the identity of those destined to one day take over the government. Christ though is in the heavens, and Satan cannot touch Him; but those allied with Him are here on the earth and very open to attack. However, as David and his men, relying upon the Lord, were delivered from the enemy, so will the followers of Christ, relying upon the Lord, be delivered from the enemy. Deliverance in both instances occurs in the same way, after the same fashion.
When the day arrived that Saul and his men were finally put down, David and his faithful followers moved in and took over the government.
And it will be the same in the antitype.
When the day arrives when Satan and his angels are finally put down, Christ and His faithful followers will move in and take over the government.
That which Saul knew concerning David and his faithful band of men in the type precipitated a battle, and that which Satan knows about Christ and His faithful band of men in the antitype also precipitates a battle.
This is where the real battle lies — type or antitype, with the outcome predetermined.
And the type, fulfilled in history, demands that the antitype be fulfilled in prophecy. Biblical completeness, in this respect, is not seen apart from the latter being fulfilled as well.