The prophetic agenda is God’s plan of restoration and redemption of the earth. The earth belongs to God but at the present time God does not have all the earth. That is, its people. In other words, although the earth belongs to God, at the moment, God does not exert full control of the earth. Therefore, the Bible is God’s recovery plan for the earth. It is important to know that Satan is in control of the earth but not the owner. Gen 1:1 is the proof of God’s ownership of the earth while Psalm 24:1 is the claim of God’s ownership of the earth.
After creation, God left the earth to man (Psalm 115:16) but man disobeyed God and obeyed Satan and became a slave to him and therefore lost control of the earth Satan. When Adam rebelled, nature also rebelled and animals began to eat flesh. Satan now dominates the earth with his evil forces (2 Cor. 4:4, Eph. 2:2, and 1 John 5: 19). Ever since, there has been an ongoing conflict to recover the earth from Satan. Nevertheless, the good news is that the earth will soon experience an invasion from heaven someday (Zachariah 14, Rev. 19).
The Genesis of Crisis
When Eve was deceived by the serpent (Satan) to disobey God, man fell. However, one may ask, “where did Satan come from?” It is interesting to know that Satan was one of the angels that witnessed the creation of the earth, and he also shouted for joy (Job 38:7). At the beginning God created Satan as angel Lucifer and all other angelic beings. It is logical to say that the creation of the angelic beings preceded the creation of the earth since we are told that the angels were thrilled at the creation of the earth.
In Genesis 3, we are told that the serpent was more subtle than other creatures. And for this reason, we believe that the serpent may have been influenced by an external personality. God instructed Adam to tend and guard the garden because God knew that there was an evil influence. God called this evil influence “Satan”.
In Isaiah 14:12, the Scripture shows us how Lucifer, who later became Satan, rebelled and was cast out heaven to the earth. Before he was cast out of heaven, Lucifer had weakened the nation of the earth. At this point, Adam was not created. Lucifer had proposed to ascend to heaven to rule. This means that his throne was on earth. It should be noted that after the creation of the earth, Satan had access to both the heaven and the earth.
According to Ezekiel 28:11, Lucifer was created as an anointed cherub that covered the throne of God. For this reason, he had access to the throne of God. When he was created, he was perfect until when he chose to rebel against God. The rebellion was mustered from the earth. God destroyed the first earth as a result of the rebellion. Hence, the renovation of the earth as recorded in Genesis 1:2. The earth became formless as a result of the sin of angels. It should be noted that the earth that began in Genesis 1:3 was not the original earth but a recreated earth. Psalm 104 also tells us about the recreated earth:
Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain: Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind: Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire: Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever. Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains. At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away. They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them. Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth. He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills. They give drink to every beast of the field: the wild asses quench their thirst. By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, which sing among the branches. He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works. He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth. The glory of the LORD shall endure for ever: the LORD shall rejoice in his works. He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth: he toucheth the hills, and they smoke.
God’s Instrument to Recover the Earth
The battle of the ages is centred on the Title Deed of the earth. The battle is already taking place in Jerusalem because this is where God chose to put His name. Satan has unsaved men and his demons spirit as instruments of dominion. Luke 4:6 speaks about Gen. 3:6. Before the event in Gen. 3:6, there was no law; God was in control of the earth and the possessor of the earth. God’s instrument of recovering of the earth is Jesus. However, before Christ died on a tree (cross), God had been using trees in different forms as a means of escape from judgement for man. In the preceding sections, we shall look at some of these trees.
The Two Trees (Gen 2:16-17)
In Gen 2:16-17 there were two trees—the tree of life and the tree of death. The tree of death was the only symbol of God’s authority on earth to remind man of God’s authority. The earth was only leased to man. The reason why man fell was that Eve did not call the tree of good and evil as God called it (Gen. 3:1-3). She called it “the tree in the mist of the garden”. This reduced the authority and sacredness attached to the tree. When Satan took dominion of the earth from man, he took over the dominion of the estates of the earth. The death from the tree of death produced deaths. Jesus also died on a tree (cross) to produce life. Adam died by the tree of death but Jesus died on the tree of life. The cross therefore became the altar on which Christ died to produce life for man.
The Ark of Noah (Genesis 7)
The ark of Noah, another form of tree, was an instrument of deliverance to Noah and his family when God used the flood to punish the sinful and godly generation in the time of Noah. The ark was also both an instrument of escape and that of judgment. This was a type of Christ who is both the means of deliverance and a stumbling block to many (Is. 8:14).
The Rod of Moses (Exodus 4)
When Moses threw the rod on the ground, it became a serpent, which is a symbol of sin; cf. the serpent that deceived man to disobey God. The rod of Moses was a type of Christ but when it was cast on the ground, it became a serpent or sin (He that knew no sin became sin). The rod of Moses later became an instrument of deliverance at the Red Sea; cf. the ark of Noah.
The Rod of Aaron (Exodus 7:9)
Aaron’s rod was another form of tree that God used to judge the Egyptians. It is amazing to know that it was Aaron’s rod that performed the miracles in pharaoh’s palace. This is because Aaron represented the High priesthood of Christ. When the rod was dropped, it became a serpent and swallowed up the serpents in the palace of Pharaoh. Again, Aaron’s rod was a type of Christ who “takes away the sins (serpents) of the world”. Pharaoh was a type of Satan. This event prefigured how Jesus would make a show of the power of Satan (Col. 3).
The Rods from the Twelve Tribes of Israel (Numbers 17:1-10)
The symbol of tree continues to appear in Numbers 17:1-10:
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and take of every one of them a rod according to the house of their fathers, of all their princes according to the house of their fathers twelve rods: write thou every man’s name upon his rod. And thou shalt write Aaron’s name upon the rod of Levi: for one rod shall be for the head of the house of their fathers. And thou shalt lay them up in the tabernacle of the congregation before the testimony, where I will meet with you. And it shall come to pass, that the man’s rod, whom I shall choose, shall blossom: and I will make to cease from me the murmurings of the children of Israel, whereby they murmur against you. And Moses spake unto the children of Israel, and every one of their princes gave him a rod apiece, for each prince one, according to their fathers’ houses, even twelve rods: and the rod of Aaron was among their rods. Moses laid up the rods before the LORD in the tabernacle of witness. And it came to pass, that on the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds. And Moses brought out all the rods from before the LORD unto all the children of Israel: and they looked, and took every man his rod. And the LORD said unto Moses, Bring Aaron’s rod again before the testimony, to be kept for a token against the rebels; and thou shalt quite take away their murmurings from me, that they die not.
It was amazing to know that it was only the rod of Aaron that blossomed. This represented the resurrection of Jesus. Like the first tree that had fruits unto death, the second tree, which was a type of Christ, died to bring forth fruit of the Holy Spirit. Again, Moses in the above passage was a type of Christ as a leader and messenger of deliverance (Deuteronomy. 18:15).
The Genesis of Conflict
The Woman (Gen. 6:1-8)
As the conflict to recover the earth gathered momentum, the woman was introduced into the scene (Gen. 3:15). For this reason, Satan began to use fallen angels to corrupt the woman in order to abort God’s prophetic plan to recover the earth from Satan through the seed of a woman (Gen. 6:1-8):
And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
The event recorded above was the beginning of an invasion to defile the woman by Satan so that there would not be any undefiled woman left to produce the promised Seed. To save the situation, God had to destroy the entire corrupt human race with the flood. Arguably, there was cancer in the human community; so, God had to destroy it to save life.
Abraham (Genesis 12)
After the flood, God shifted His attention to Abraham and his family and as usual, Satan fought to abort God’s plan in that family. He used a heathen king, Abimelech to defile Sarah but God did not let him succeed.
Isaac (Genesis 25)
After the births of Isaac and Ishmael, the age-long invisible conflict became a physical conflict to possess the earth in Jerusalem. Satan used Ishmael to fight Isaac because all the inheritance of Abraham was given to Isaac.
Jacob (Genesis 27)
After the death of Isaac, the conflict shifted to Jacob’s family as Satan used his twin brother, Esau to fight him because he was supplanted by his brother. To achieve his aim, Esau married one of the daughters of Ishmael and their marriage gave birth to the wild tribe of the Amalekites, who were the mortal enemies of the Israelites.
The Jews in Exile (Esther 3)
As Satan could not destroy Jacob vis-à-vis the nation of Israel, he used Haman, a nobleman in Persia, to abort God’s plan by attempting to destroy the Jews who were in exile. Again, God intervened by using Queen Esther to save the lives of the Jews.
Jesus (Mathew 2:13-18)
Despite Satan’s attempts to abort God’s plan to recover the earth through the Seed of a woman in the Old Testament, the tribe of Israel finally produced a family from where the promised Messiah was born. Although Jesus came to die to bring salvation to the world, Satan used King Herod to abort God’s plan by wanting to kill the infant Jesus outside the cross. Again, God intervened and spared the life of Jesus before the cross.
The Church (Acts 8)
After the ascension of Christ, the church was established and the conflict shifted to the church because Satan knows that the church is the chosen nation (1 Pet. 2:9).
The Conflict Continues
After the death and resurrection of Jesus, one would have expected the conflict of dominion of the earth to end; but God wanted a gradual process that would culminate in the final destruction of Satan (Rom. 16:20). In other words, despite the birth, death and resurrection of the Messiah, Satan is still fighting Israel so that the Messiah will not rule the earth through the nation of Israel (Zech. 13:8-9). He does this in two ways: (1) by trying to stop them from being a nation and (2) by hardening their hearts from believing in Christ.
*This article was originally published in the Prophecy Conference Manual