Your hand-to-hand combat is not with human beings, but with the highest principalities and authorities operating in rebellion under the heavenly realms. For they are a powerful class of demon-gods and evil spirits that hold this dark world in bondage.(Ephesians 6:12 TPT)

There is an invisible war going on all around us, and most people are completely oblivious. It is a war for the heart and soul of men, women, and children – a war initiated by Satan to get back at God by inflicting pain and suffering on His crowning creation. Every day, Satan is fighting to destroy as many souls as possible. And because we are ignorant, millions are dying and populating hell.

The unsaved have no idea that there is an invisible realm that affects people here on earth. Unfortunately, many Christians are likewise ignorant. They may read about it in the Bible, and yet, they have never seen nor experienced the spiritual realm. So, they think it must not be real. Satan does his best to keep people in the dark, as he disguises himself as an angel of light to deceive the whole world.

What the world witnessed on October 7, 2023, was not of human origin. It was an unprovoked attack on Israeli citizens, followed by unbelievable atrocities that defy imagination. People were gunned down in cold blood, and yet, that was the least of the violent attacks. We now have footage taken in the aftermath and firsthand eyewitness accounts from the few who escaped. The depth of the depravity was beyond imagination. People had their hands tied behind their backs and then were ignited. Others were burned alive in their cars. And still others were tied together and set on fire. All of this was for the pleasure of witnessing the pain and agony of those being tortured. Girls were raped while being recorded for the world to see. People were forced out of hiding and mowed down with machine guns. Babies were riddled with bullets and others were beheaded. Many were tortured and maimed before being brutally annihilated.

If it was not for the video footage, most people would not believe the level of depravity enacted on October 7th. Even so, we cannot help but question why… Why would any human do such a thing? How could any human do such a thing? War itself is horrible, but this was beyond imagination. War involves armies fighting each other – not the wholesale slaughter of civilian families. This was a level of depravity rarely seen throughout history.

What we witnessed on that first Saturday in October was a level of depravity that was not human. The carnage was the evidence of pure evil. It was demonically inspired, far beyond human imagination. But how is that possible? How can the devil act in that way through human beings? It is only possible when the conscience of a person is seared to the degree that reason and human civility no longer exist. Some have referred to the terrorists as animals, but animals don’t kill for the pleasure of inflicting pain and suffering. Animals only kill out of necessity to eat and live.

For those who understand the reality of the spiritual world, what took place on October 7th, was the wrath of Satan poured out on God’s chosen people. Satan hates God and will do everything in his power to kill those who believe in Him – both Jews and Christians. History reveals the hatred of Satan and his ability to use men to accomplish His purposes. One such account is found in Exodus 17:8-16.  

In this passage, we read about an attack on the children of Israel. It, too, was unprovoked, similar to what happened on October 7, 2023. This was the first battle Israel was to face after coming out of Egypt. Israel didn’t have an army; they were slaves who escaped their master. They weren’t prepared to fight an enemy! Scripture tells us that Satan is like a roaring lion looking for whomever he can devour. (1 Peter 5:8) The devil attacks when people are most vulnerable. He knew that on October 7th Israel would be asleep, militarily speaking. They were completely caught off guard.  

Let’s read about the attack in Ex 17:8-16…

While the people of Israel were still at Rephidim, the warriors of Amalek attacked them. Moses commanded Joshua, “Choose some men to go out and fight the army of Amalek for us. Tomorrow, I will stand at the top of the hill, holding the staff of God in my hand.” So Joshua did what Moses had commanded and fought the army of Amalek. Meanwhile, Moses, Aaron, and Hur climbed to the top of a nearby hill. As long as Moses held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites had the advantage. But whenever he dropped his hand, the Amalekites gained the advantage. Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset. As a result, Joshua overwhelmed the army of Amalek in battle. After the victory, the LORD instructed Moses, “Write this down on a scroll as a permanent reminder, and read it aloud to Joshua: I will erase the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” Moses built an altar there and named it Yahweh-Nissi (which means “the LORD is my banner”). He said, “They have raised their fist against the LORD’s throne, so now the LORD will be at war with Amalek generation after generation.”  (NLT)

Moses understood the spiritual world. He knew that this war was not initiated by just another nation.

He knew the Amalekites were inspired by Satan to attack and destroy Israel. Yes, they were a ruthless people, but they demonstrated an uncanny hostility toward Israel – and they didn’t get that way overnight.

Historians say that Amalek was the first nation to demonstrate intense hatred toward Israel.

By the way, the Amalekites were cousins of the Jews. Amalek was the grandson of Esau, the brother of Jacob. According to the Midrash (Jewish Bible exegesis), the Amalekites were sorcerers who could transform themselves to resemble animals to avoid capture. If that was true, we can understand the power of Satan working through these people in their fight against Israel. It was not human…but a supernatural, evil force operating through these people.

So, this may be why God directed Saul through Samuel to kill all of Amalek, including all their livestock. (1Samuel 15:3) In Jewish folklore, the Amalekites came to represent the archetypical enemy of the Jews and a symbol of pure evil. They became known as an “eternal irreconcilable enemy” who has one purpose in life: to murder Jews. In this modern age, the spirit of the Amalekites has been identified with the Nazis, Stalin, ISIS, Iran, and now most notably, Hamas.  

In the book of Esther, Haman was motivated by that same spirit. He demonstrated intense hatred for the Jews during the time of Esther. He even manipulated King Xerxes to order the extermination of all Jews throughout all 127 provinces of the kingdom. Guess where this occurred? Persia – which is modern-day Iran. Oh, and by the way, Haman was a descendant of the king of Amalek. The same spirit that was in Haman is alive in Iran, Hezbollah, and Hamas. Spirits don’t die; they just find more people to influence, generation after generation.

And so, back to our story in Exodus 17… Two battles were fought that day. Joshua was commissioned to choose some men to go out and fight the army of Amalek. At the same time, Moses went up on the top of the hill overlooking the valley with the staff of God in his hand. This was the staff Moses used to strike the river Nile and turn it into blood. On this occasion, his staff was the banner of God, a declaration of war in the heavenly places. When Moses held up the staff, the Israelites gained the advantage. When he lowered the staff, Amalek prevailed.

As the day wore on, Moses’ arms grew weary, so Aaron and Hur had him sit on a rock while they held up his hands. And so it was, until sunset. As a result, Israel prevailed in the battle that day. After the victory, God told Moses to write down what happened as a permanent reminder for the children of Israel. And then, He told Moses to recount it in the hearing of Joshua. Why? Because from Joshua’s perspective, he and his fighting men won the battle. However, Moses knew that it was God who brought about the victory – and Joshua needed to know that, as well. The battle had to be won in the spirit before it could be won in the natural world. Two battles were fought that day, but the real battle was fought through the intercession on the mountain as Moses pressed in for the power of God.

Throughout history wars have been fought against the evil forces in the world. And yet, they are often fought in ignorance of the invisible war taking place in the unseen realm. However, during World War II, God found a man much like Noah who had ears to hear what the Spirit was saying. His name was Rees Howells. He was a Welsh coal miner who heard the call of God to pray…and pray he did!

Rees Howells learned to pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and he later opened a school of intercession to teach others to do the same. In reading the accounts from that school of intercession, their prayers may have been the key to the Allied victory, as they fervently prayed against the evil forces operating through Germany and Japan. They were a picture of Exodus 17 in this modern era.

One man had learned that lesson – a man listening to God. A victory was won, and those who fought on the ground were given all the credit. However, no one was there to rehearse in their ears how the battle was actually won by people on a hill with hands raised to heaven in intercession.

America was also praised for fighting in that war, and rightly so, as many lives were sacrificed for the freedom of others. Historians attribute the victory to human might and power, honoring America as a superpower and modern-day savior of the world. God, on the other hand, didn’t get a lot of credit… and as a result, America has become a proud nation. That pride, however, may eventually lead to our downfall…

It’s amazing how quickly we forget the lessons of God. If we wind the clock ahead from the days of Moses to Ezekiel, we learn that God could not find a man to stand in the gap on behalf of Israel. Only this time Amalek was not the enemy: It was God Himself who would bring judgment. If you read Ezekeil 22, you might think God is talking about America today.

Israel had turned away from God and become altogether corrupt. Every part of the nation had become perverse. They were guilty of shedding innocent blood, oppressing the fatherless and widows, worshipping idols, and committing adultery. They were a nation filled with lust and dishonest gain, despising what was holy, and profaning the sabbath. The priests violated the law, princes were like wolves devouring their prey, and the prophets prophesied lies to lead the people astray. Ezekeil warned of judgment to come as God was about to scatter the nation.

So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. Therefore I have poured out My indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; and I have recompensed their deeds on their own heads,” says the Lord GOD.” (Ezekeil 22:30-31 NKJV)  

God was looking for one man – one man to intercede for the nation –  but He found none. And so, Israel fell into the hands of the Babylonians and live in bondage for 70 years until the judgment was completed.

Spiritual battles often precede victories in the natural world. Exodus 17 was a valuable lesson for Israel, but one they quickly forgot. It should serve as a lesson to us, as well. Human beings are not our real enemy; the evil powers operating in them are. Yes, people are involved, but the real battle is in the invisible realm. That is why Ephesians 6:12 is a profound revelation from God. Here it is in another translation: “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.”(NKJV)

Right now, we are witnessing an evil war in the Middle East. Israel has been forced into a battle with modern-day Amalek. The brutality on October 7th revealed the degree of hatred and barbarism in the group call Hamas. Recently, we have learned that “Hamas” is in the Bible. It is not written as Hamas but instead is translated “violence,” the actual meaning of the word, ‘hamas’ in Hebrew.Isaiah 60:18 says, Violence (Hamas) will disappear from your land; the desolation and destruction of war will end. Salvation will surround you like city walls, and praise will be on the lips of all who enter there.” Violence best describes what they are all about, a people filled with evil and hate. Like Amalek, they are a people determined to torture and kill as many as they can, especially the Jews. 

Our prayers, along with the intercession of others, could very well determine the outcome of this war. Satan knows his time is short and has come down with great wrath. (Revelation 12:12) This is why we see the enhanced level of conflict and atrocities. It’s time for the Church to rise up in the battle and fight the forces of darkness on our knees. Like Israel, this is a fight we would not choose – but one we have been drafted into. Are you willing to join the fray? The lives of many, even a nation, may be determined by our prayers.

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