Satan's Mighty Men
Satan’s Mighty Men
Understanding the enemies of God
Who are “mighty men” in the Bible?
Most people familiar with the Bible, or those who have been in church for any length of time, are familiar with the term “mighty men.” We hear sermons about David’s mighty men and how they were champions for their king. This stirs us to action as we are encouraged to be warriors for Christ and honor him with our lives. We’re exhorted to be like them but in spiritual warfare rather than the physical battles those unique men fought.
But are there other types of mighty men?
The phrase is not isolated to David’s soldiers, whom can be found in 1 Samuel 23 and 1 Chronicles 11. Jesus is called “The mighty God” in Isaiah 9:6. But doesn’t it stand to reason that--if there are mighty warriors on God’s side--there are probably mighty warriors in the other army? Should it come as a surprise that there is another army? Here’s a verse we rarely pay close attention to:
“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,” (Revelation 12:7).
Who is the dragon? Verse nine of the same chapter makes it clear, by name, that the dragon is Satan. But did you notice that Satan has angels? I won’t take the time to go into it in this particular post, but angels are sometimes referred to as stars in the Bible (Job 38:7). So how did Satan acquire an army of angels? In the same chapter, it says the dragon’s tail drew a third of the stars of heaven. “Well, at least it’s only a third. That can’t be very many. Right?”
Wrong. According to the book of Hebrews, the angels are innumerable (Hebrews 12:22). So we’re talking about a lot of angels in Satan’s army. By the way, I’m not saying those angels are the mighty men; I’m simply pointing out that Satan is not without help in his mission to destroy us. But the havoc caused by the old serpent runs a lot deeper than that. Now that we know there are mighty men on both sides of this eternal war, let’s see how they appear.
What is Satan’s goal?
Every good fisherman knows how to bait a hook and disguise a lure. No one goes hunting with a sign written in deer that says, “Here to shoot deer.” Skilled athletes in competition sports know how to fake left and then go right. The point? Satan is subtle (Genesis 3:1), and he knows how to play the long game.
Let’s back up and learn a little something about warfare. Every army has a mission. That’s what they build their forces for. That’s what they train for. Satan’s army is no exception, but to understand his motivations, we need to go back to the book of Genesis and look at where the war started.
After deceiving the woman, after Adam had eaten the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, God came through the garden in Eden and dished out the consequences of disobeying his command. We know the story. Adam now had to earn his food by the sweat of his brow, the woman had to suffer the pains of birth, and they were cast out of the garden. Satan (the serpent) got stuck eating dust and was issued a warning:
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15).
That was a prophecy to Satan, foretelling his demise at the hands (or heel, if you want to get technical) of Jesus Christ. How do we know this is referring to Jesus Christ? Because a woman doesn’t have a seed. The man carries a seed, so the reference here is not to a normal, human birth. According to God, one day a child would be born that was not the seed of men, and that happened through Mary (Matthew 1 and Luke 1). For Satan, that’s when his mission started. When God spoke that prophecy, the devil began his hunt for the seed.
Up to the very point of the death of Jesus Christ, the devil had one mission: destroy the seed that would one day crush him. His attempts were many, but they ultimately failed. A prime example of this is the slaughter of all children under two years old when Christ was born. And here you thought it was a jealous king who didn’t want to lose power. Sure, but that king was manipulated by something (or someone) far more powerful than his own greed and lust for position. Let’s explore some of the more subtle ways the serpent sought to seek and destroy the seed.
Appearances of the mighty men
There are many ways Satan’s mighty men appear, but the warrior class really shows up in two forms: giants and princes.
Let me say this: Satan is not stupid. Again, he’s subtle. He knows how to play the long game. He strategizes. He’s never going to win an open battle with Jesus Christ, and he knows that, so he has attempted to corrupt the seed. The Bible can be broken down in many ways, but one of the key ways of unlocking its truth is by realizing that it is about a King and his kingdom. That means, when you read about the nation of Israel, you’re reading about the nation God chose to bring forth his seed. Along the way, you hear about God wiping out entire nations and warning Israel not to mingle with the nations.
Why? It had nothing to do with racism. Plenty of study has made it clear to me that God couldn’t possibly care less about the color of our skin. No, it was about keeping the seed pure from the corrupt religions and practices of those nations. For the purposes of this post, suffice it to say that Satan was doing whatever he could to mingle with the nation of Israel and corrupt the seed. One byproduct of this mingling was giants. Let’s read what the Bible has to say about these giants, when they first showed up.
Genesis 6:1-4- “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.”
There are various schools of thought as to what the “sons of God” in these verses are, which you can read about in this post, but the only one that fits with scripture is that these are fallen angels who have mingled with human women. The results? Giants. These are the warriors, Satan’s might men that show up physically. We’ll talk more about these giants in a minute. But there is something going on behind the scenes, and Satan has mighty men there, too.
I’m not going to lie. I might lose some people on this one, but if you’re with me so far, you might as well hear me out. Most people, if they read the Bible at all, read familiar passages. They might read the New Testament, and they skim over the parts that seem strange. This is why most people don’t know that the Bible is full of things that cannot be explained easily. But, if you read the entire Bible and trust that it’s true, this idea of spiritual warfare opens up in a brand new way.
In the book of Daniel, chapter 10, God allows us insight into some of the things he has hidden from our mortal sight. Daniel is by the river bank, and a man appears to him that has a face like lightning and eyes like lamps of fire (vs. 6). His body is like a jewel (beryl), and his arms and feet are like polished brass. Oh, and his voice? It sounded like a multitude. The people with Daniel were so startled by this “man’s” appearance that they fled, and Daniel himself became physically weak.
Daniel has been praying for help, and this man tells him that his prayers have been heard, but he was withheld from coming to Daniel by “the prince of the kingdom of Persia” for three weeks (Daniel 10:13). How did this man defeat this prince? He was helped by Michael, “one of the chief princes.” He talks to Daniel, telling him what is going to happen, and one of the things he tells him is that the prince of Grecia will come. He also says that Michael is Daniel’s (Israel’s) prince.
Listen, you can try your best to convince yourself that this is just some guy in a fight with the son of the the king of Persia if you want. You can close your eyes and tell yourself that the prince of Grecia is the same thing and that Michael and this whole “chief princes” thing is just a fraternity of future kings that get together, if that’s what you want. But remember the part where Satan drew a third part of the stars of heaven? Remember how those stars are angels? You know what Michael is called in the New Testament? An archangel. Hmm. Like a chief angel?
I know. This is a lot to take in. I understand that, and I’m not saying that I totally understand this doctrine. I don’t think anyone does. The point here is to understand the enemy so that we can wage a good warfare. You can’t fight if you don’t know who you’re fighting against.
Do you know one of the other names of Satan? He’s the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2). In the book of Ezekiel, the prophet is told to speak to the prince of Tyre, but he’s commanded to say is very interesting. He refers to this prince as a man that has called himself God. Bad, but normal, so far. Well, then he starts talking about delivering that prince to the pit, and then he talks about the king of Tyre. Look at what he says:
Ezekiel 28:12-14- “Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyre, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou are the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou was upon the holy mountain of God; thou has walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.”
This cannot be referring to a man, for a few reasons:
No one has seen the garden of Eden since God sent the flood.
He’s covered in jewels.
He’s a cherub (angelic being).
He was in the mountain of God.
He walked up and down the stones of fire.
We’re not talking about a man. This is clearly an immortal being, an angel. The next verse says he was perfect when he was created. So, these princes, are not referring to men who are born to kings. They are angels or angelic creatures. They are powerful, and they are at war with one another.
When do Satan’s mighty men appear?
Remembering that the goal here is not to identify some obscure passages of scripture and come to some new revelation; the goal is to be aware of the enemy in order to properly prepare for the fight. Knowing the enemy entails understanding its mission, its capabilities, and its habits. You have to prepare for all possible scenarios. So when do these giants and princes show up?
When God is about to make significant changes
Back in Genesis six, God saw that man was totally corrupt, except for one man and his family. He knew what would happen: that family would die off, and no one would be left to bring forth the seed to redeem man. Man’s heart was corrupt, so was the earth, so God wiped it all out in a flood but spared Noah. Remember that he did this for the benefit of man, not as a merciless killer. He also gave the space of 120 years for people to repent, but no one listened. But let’s not forget that some giants got wiped out in that flood. Remember, though, Satan’s mighty men are not just giants.
After the flood, God commanded Noah and his sons to replenish the earth by multiplying, and that’s what they did. One of the three sons was Ham, and he had a descendant named Nimrod. Interestingly enough, the Bible says that Nimrod “began to be a mighty one in the earth” (Genesis 10:8). The next verse says that he was “a mighty hunter before the Lord.” That doesn’t mean he hunted with the Lord. “Before,” in that verse, means to the face, as in opposition. He had a kingdom, and it was in Shinar. Shinar is an important location in the Bible. Keep that in mind. For one, this is the land where they attempted to build the tower of Babel and reach heaven on their own, and God had to come down and confound their language.
Time passed, and God called Abram (Abraham) out of the Chaldees. He had a colorful journey, including a trip to Egypt where he messed up significantly, and he ended up in Canaan. He and his nephew, Lot, had some trouble, so he gave Lot his choice of the land. Lot chose the plain of Jordan, with Sodom and Gomorrah to boot. The very next chapter is extremely interesting. Four kings (one of which was the king of Shinar) go to war with five kings. And who do they fight against? The Rephaims. Comparing scripture with scripture, a quick study shows that these were a race of giants, and they appear when Abraham (patriarch of the nation of Israel) had come into the land God chose for him.
The Promised Land
Fast forward past many battles and circumstances (plenty of which included run-ins with giants), and the nation of Israel is in bondage in Egypt. They cry out to God, and he sends Moses to deliver them. They come out of Egypt after God’s great triumph over Pharoah, and they travel through Sinai. Before they go into the Promised Land (Canaan), they send out spies. The land is exactly what God said it would be, but ten of the twelve spies sent by Joshua return with an evil report. What did they report? There are giants in the land. This is the nation of Israel (the chosen nation that God intends to bring forth the redeeming seed through) about to go into the land God has chosen, and giants are in the way.
And so they murmur and complain, they are fearful, and God tells them that they will now have to wander in the desert for forty years, and their children will get to go instead of them. Time passes, and the new generation goes into Canaan. Guess who they had to fight? The same giants. There’s no way around it: Satan’s mighty men show up when God is making moves to bring forth the promised seed, the seed that will become a man and crush Satan under his foot.
After David is crowned king
Saul was king, but he rebelled against God and was removed, so God sent Samuel to anoint a new king: David. The very next chapter there is a war between Israel and the Philistines, and the Philistines send? That’s right. A giant. David, the king whose descendants will be the line that brings forth that promised seed, fights that giant.
Before David purchased the threshing floor
David wanted to build a temple for the Lord, but God told him he wouldn’t. David was a man of war, but his son would have a reign of peace. David went about gathering materials, but it’s interesting when you think about what happened for him to gain the location for where the temple would be built. The circumstances leading up to the purchase are incredible, really.
David fights a battle...against four more giants! (2 Samuel 21)
There’s a whole chapter all about David’s mighty men and their exploits (2 Samuel 23)
David numbers the people and causes a pestilence that kills thousands (2 Samuel 24). The significance of that particular incident is that 1 Chronicles 21:1 says that Satan himself led David to number the people, which is what brought on the anger of the Lord. Hmm, a temple is going to be built, and David is about to purchase the land it will be set upon. That temple will be the very spot where Jesus is brought to be condemned to die. Speaking of Jesus…
At the birth of Christ
When Jesus was born, wise men came from the east. They came to Herod, the king in Jerusalem under Roman authority at the time. They were looking for the child, Jesus. Herod found out about him, asked the Bible scholars of his time what that was all about, and they told him, basically, that the real king was about to show up. Herod’s response was to slaughter all of the children under two years of age. Prior to this, God sent word to Joseph to get out of there and go down into Egypt until the threat had passed.
“Well, Chad, that’s not Satan’s mighty men. That’s just a king worried about losing his power.”
Remember the prince of Tyre and the king of Tyre? Remember the unseen war of the princes going on behind the scenes? They’re called the princes of particular nations for a reason. King Herod may have been a jealous king, but don’t think for a second he wasn’t influenced by a certain serpent who was worried about a certain seed coming forth to end his party.
After Jesus’s baptism
It has always been interesting to me that, as soon as Jesus was manifested to the nation of Israel, he was led into the wilderness to be tempted by none other than Satan himself. Here comes the Prince of Peace, and he is being challenged by the Prince of the Power of the Air. And what does Satan do? He tries his best to get the Lord to commit sin. I’m telling you: when you’re aware that Satan and his devils are all through the Bible, it’s almost difficult to miss the amount of references there are.
At the cross when Jesus died
This is where some people may jump ship, but that would actually be a shock, considering the fact that you’ve read this much! If Hollywood is allowed to tell the story (and, unfortunately, it has and continues to do so), we would all believe that the day Jesus died on the cross was just a normal day with a typical Roman crucifixion taking place. Jesus was this very weak, perfect looking guy with some scars. He drags a cross up a hill, it gets cloudy, he suffers for a while, screams, and dies.
Listen to me: That is NOT the way it happened! The Bible tells a very different story. Before he was delivered up by the temple guards, Jesus was grieved so heavily and under such pressure that an angel came and ministered to him (Luke 22:43). When he was on the cross, Jesus was surrounded by the bulls of Bashan (Psalm 22). A study of Bashan traces to...you guessed it: a land of giants. When he died (the Bible says he gave up the ghost), one of the strangest things in the Bible took place, and you’ve probably never heard any preacher spend much (if any) time on this. There was an earthquake, the veil of the temple was torn in two, and then the bible says,
“And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many” (Matthew 27:52-53).
People usually say the next verse, which discusses how the Centurion remarked that Jesus truly was the Son of God, is just because he was impressed by the way the Lord died or something else they make up. No, the supernatural series of events that took place made it clear to that man that a common thief had not just died.
They will appear before Christ’s physical return and reign
(I must give credit to Pastor James Knox, who has preached about this and explains it very well in a messaged titled: “Giants in the Earth”)
The book of Daniel gives so much insight into spiritual warfare and prophecy that it would be impossible to interpret a significant amount of the Bible without it. Once such place is Daniel chapter two, in which King Nebuchadnezzar has a strange dream. In his dream, the king sees an image, shaped like a man. It has a head of gold, arms and chest of silver, stomach and thighs of brass, legs of iron, and feet of iron and clay. Each of these pieces, according to Daniel, represents a kingdom. The head of gold represents Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom. Many scholars have gone into detail about the prophecy of this image, so I won’t go into detail here. For our purposes, I will focus on the feet of the image because of what it says about the iron mixed with clay.
“And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay” (Daniel 2:41-43).
Did you catch that? A “they” is going to mingle with the “seed of men.” Well that’s interesting. Still think that reference in Genesis six is a reference to Cain’s children? I have no idea how you could. Whomever “they” is, “they” are not human.
This may not seem significant, but if you look at the next verse, you may see it in a different light.
“And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever” (Daniel 2:44).
That’s right. Before the Lord shows up to set up his reign on earth, Satan will gather his mighty men, once again, to try and stop him. There is a great deal of prophecy to support this. All one has to do is look to the book of Revelation to see that the kings of the east will gather in Armageddon, and the Lord himself will return and crush them beneath his feet (Revelation 19). By the way, THIS is the Supper of the Great God, not to be confused with the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. This is when the carrion eaters will feast on the bodies of the Lord’s enemies (not a dinner party you want an invitation to).
What does this mean for you?
The spiritual war is real
While I don’t think you should spend your life hiding from the boogeyman, it would be unwise to convince yourself that there isn’t one. You have a real enemy, and he is walking about, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). He has angels. They are corrupt. There are physical angels trapped in chains of darkness in the lower parts of the earth (2 Peter 2:4). Spirits can and have been on this earth (Mark 5, 1 Samuel 28, and many others). This is why it is so important that you are outfitted with the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). Go here to read more about the meaning of the Armor of God.
God is still in control
Before you run for the hills or panic, remember that, one day, every knee shall bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Yes, there were a lot of devil possessed people when Jesus was walking the earth, but he also cast them out. He transferred that same power to his apostles. I don’t think that this is something we have to deal with in the same way they did during that time, but it was real. Those spirits are still real. In 1 Kings 22, God sent out a lying spirit to convince the king to take action. Granted, there’s an entire blog post worth of material there, but the idea we’re focused on is that God commanded the spirits.
You are not powerless
Jesus spent a lot of time praying. His disciples asked him to teach them to pray. When they failed, it was usually a lack of prayer. God opened the door for the gentiles to be saved when he sent Peter to Cornelius, but never forget that he called to Peter while he was praying. Paul spent a lot of time in prayer, and he frequently admonished the churches to pray. Prayer is your free access to the Creator of the universe. It’s how you tell him your needs. It’s also a weapon against the attacks of the enemy.
Of course, prayer may not always be enough. In fact, there was a time when the disciples were not able to cast a devil out of a child. Jesus came and dismissed the spirit. When his disciples asked why they were not successful, the Lord told them that there are some spirits that can only be cast out through prayer and fasting. Many Bibles have failed to include references to fasting. This is removing a weapon from your arsenal, and it’s one of the reasons I know that Satan has his hands in corrupting the word of God. Know this: In order to fight the spiritual battles, you need all of the weapons.
The warfare is real. The question is: Will you do as author Cliff Graham says and “do good battle?”