For several years now our family has met to worship the Lord in our home on the Sabbath in what the church calls a cell group. I teach our grandchildren and yesterday it became necessary to tell them about the existence of Lucifer. Michael Joseph and Erica had been fighting as they came in our door that morningshe pushed him down in the yard, and he said he hated her. Those are strong statements from a six-year-old. They both know much about Jesus, both have seen him, and now I knew it was time to tell them about the other guy.
We opened the class with prayer for God to especially bless us so the little ones could understand, and He did. The story began with the war in heaven,1 how God made all of Creation in the spirit world first and then He was going to make the earth like we know it now.2 I told them of how Lucifer wanted to come down and force everyone to do good, and he wanted God to give Him God's power and glory for doing ithe wanted to be God. The following describes that lesson.
Michael Joseph builds Legos and just finished making a big airplane that can move its flaps and has springs on the wheels. Hes very happy with it, and shows it off with pride. His father bought the Legos for him and helped him put it together, but he did most of the work, kind of like God and Jesus working in the creating of the earth.
I said, Michael, what would you think if Erica took your airplane and told everybody she made it and it was hers.
He frowned and said emphatically, Thats a lie!
Well, I said, Thats just what Lucifer wanted to do with what God made.
Neither of them liked that at all.
Then, I explained, Lucifer got mad when God told him he couldnt do that, and he went around telling everybody about it until everybody started taking sides. One out of every three people believed Lucifer and joined his army.3 The others joined Gods side. We were up there with them and we saw it, and we joined on Gods side.
Michael spoke up, I didnt see it.
Oh, yes, you did, we all saw it, and we promised God we wanted to stay in His army. Thats why were down here now, to choose whether or not we want to stay in Gods army or go with Lucifer.
They both listened intently as I explained that Lucifer and his army had to leave heaven 4 because there cant be anything bad up thereno fighting or anything wrong because its so beautiful, and God wont allow fighting.
Little Erica sat wide-eyed as I described the beauty of heaven.
And nobody gets hurt or angry, and everybody is so happy and can play and sing. Can you just imagine what it would be like to go sit and watch a fireworks show that God would make? The sky would be full of beautiful colors. Lucifer cant do that because he doesnt know what beauty is, I explained. He only knows ugliness and how to hurt people.
Erica moved over and was now sitting nearly on top of me, totally absorbed in what we were talking about.
Did you know Jesus is going to give you anything you ask for when He comes?
Michael was lying across the bed and having forgotten his anger at Erica, said, Erica, Jesus can give you a big Barbie car. She looked at me with a big grin. I thought, Why not? and assured her, The Scriptures say whatever they ask, so I guess thats O.K.
I was on my knees with the book lying on the bed in front of me where I could show them some pictures, and if ever they paid attention to anything, they were all ears now.
Jesus is going to give you a stone with your name in it, that only you and he knows what it is.
Whats a stone? Erica asked.
A rock, I answered, And its going to be something special, just between you and Him.
I want two of them, Michael, the rock hound, piped up.5
I suppose if thats what you want, I answered.
Now, Grandma wants to tell you what happened in heaven after Lucifer got his army together. What do you suppose God did?
Michael spoke up, Made him get out?
Yes, and hes down here and cant have a body like you and I do, so you cant see him, but hes still trying to get more of us to join his army. He goes around whispering to people to do bad things.
They frowned and Michael looked out the window to see if he could see anything. By now invisible Lucifer was becoming real, and they were understanding that they were on the wrong side when they fight. They fight constantly and now their little brother, Andrew, is joining in to battle. We are always correcting them.
Erica asked to hear again the testimony of Olive Hubbard, so I got out the childrens book and read the story.
Erica loved that story and had come over to look at the book.
Michael, I said, What did God tell Olive He will do if she is naughty?
He will leave.
And can He still see her if he leaves?
And if God isnt there, who can come?
Lucifer, he answered.
Thats right, you cant see him but you can hear him, I explained, and he wants you in his army, and will tell you to do bad things. Thats how you know whos in whose army. Lucifer tells his army to fight, lie, cheat, steal things, say bad words, watch bad movies and do anything bad they can.
I cant remember the next question they asked but it had to do with the power of the two, God and Lucifer. My reply to them was that when God came around, Lucifer fled in fear. God has the most power.
In fact hes so afraid of God that he runs when you tell him to leave, in Jesus name.
They were listening and thinking. Now Michael was practically sitting on top of the book with interest.
And thats why were down here, to see if we will change our minds about whose army we want to be in. Whose army do you want to be in?
They both grinned and answered, Gods.
And did you know Gods army rides on white horses, and people have seen them.7
They were fascinated. Michael, the more dramatic of the two, knowing he couldnt see anything, began imagining, and said, Lucifer is standing over there, Grandma, and pointed to my desk.
No, he isnt! I answered.
Yes, he is! he insisted and scooted over to the corner of the bed, pulling a pillow over his head.
No, he isnt, I again reiterated. He cant come in Grandmas house because its dedicated, and God put a big bubble over it to protect it. Thats the only way I could explain it to him.
Michael Joseph, Grandma is in Gods army and Gods army doesnt lie, I said firmly. Many years ago I was sitting at the feet of Jesus and he wrote His name in my forehead.
That brought Michael out from under the pillow. He scrambled over and they both examined my forehead.
Where, they both questioned. We cant see it, they said.
Its there, I answered. And all of Gods army is going to have that seal on their heads. 8
So I again asked him, Whose army is Grandma in?
Do they lie?
And Im telling you, Lucifer is not standing there.
That settled it. He forgot his fear, and about that time his father came in serving the sacrament wine. Michael got his face nearly in the plate and watched me drink it. I smiled at him and said, All of Gods army takes sacrament. You can too, soon.
For closing prayer, we all joined in a circle prayer on our knees which makes the children, if theyre standing, about eye level with their parents. After closing prayer, Michael and Erica went over to their parents looking to see if they had Jesuss seal on their foreheads too. And from that day on, their actions, parents as well as the children, will be compared to whose army they are inwhom they are following.
A Mother's Prayer
The story of Gods army is important to illustrate that Gods servants are sealed in the forehead, that we are in the army of the Lord. God is marshaling His army for the rescue of the truth.
Years ago my mother-in-law told me the following testimony of some saints she knew. It reveals how God warns parents of the danger their children are in, and how careful we should be where we go. As God told Olive, there are some things we shouldnt do, and places we shouldnt go because He wont be near if we do. And the prayers of loved ones protect us through the power of God.
One day the mother of a teenage girl named Carrie was told to go pray for her daughter. The mother obeyed, and was most anxious for several hours until Carrie returned home. Where have you been? her mother asked most relieved that she was home safe, and said that God had warned her that Carrie was in danger. Carrie, still somewhat shaken, answered, Jill, (one of her classmates) and I went to a fortune tellers house. Jill thought it would be great fun. I didnt know, but I didnt want to hurt her feelings, so I went with her.
Carries mother discerned the Spirits warning and admonished her, Carrie, that "being unsure if its right" feeling was the Holy Spirit guiding you. You must listen to it! It will protect you from danger.
Carrie responded in humility, I know that now, Mom, but at the time...well, the place was really strange. The woman came in, looked at me and told me to go home. She said she saw the name of Jesus written on my head, or above my head, I dont remember which, and to get out of there. She said something likeI belonged to Jesuss church, or something. Anyway, she didnt want me in her house, so we left. As we were walking to the bus stop, a man started following us and we felt really creepy. I was so glad when the bus got there, that we hurried and got on. The man kept walking toward me, and just as he got to the door, the driver closed it and the bus pulled away. I looked back and he was still standing there.
Shivers ran up my spine when my mother-in-law told me this story, for the man was most likely invisible, and thats why the driver closed the door. He couldnt see himSatan.
Elisha and God's
A most fascinating story of Gods army is found in the testimony of Elisha when Israel was at war with Syria.9 The king of Syria plotted to kill the king of Israel and told his men where to lay siege. Elisha warned the king of Israel, more than once, and the king stayed away from those places of ambush. The Syrian king believed there was a spy among them, but one of his servants told him it was Elisha, the prophet of God, warning the Israelites.
The Syrian king then found out where Elisha lived and during the night surrounded the city. The next morning Elishas servant saw them and was afraid. Elisha said, Fear not; for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. He than asked God to open the spiritual eyes of his servant, and he saw the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire. The angels came down to him and Elisha asked them to blind the army. They did.
Elisha then told the Syrians that they had come to the wrong place and he would lead them to the prophet of God. He led them into the Israelite capital city, Samaria. Elisha then asked God to open their eyes, and the Syrians saw they were surrounded by their enemies. The king of Israel asked Elisha what to do with themcould he kill them? Elisha told them to go get food and water and feed their enemies. This band of Syrians received a great feast and the hospitality of Israel, then returned home favorably impressed. Although other Syrian troops came to fight against Israel, this group never returned.
Other Scriptures Tell Of God's Heavenly Army
- Joshua sees the captain of God's heavenly army. (Joshua 5:13-16)
- John Beloved saw the army led by Christ. (Rev. 19:11-14,16,19)
- Michael, the archangel, will gather the army and fight Lucifer in the end time battle. (D.C. 85:35d)
- In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus said he could call a legion of angels to fight for him. (Matt. 26:51)
- The king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, in 600 B.C. said he knew God reigns in heaven and in the armies on earth. (Daniel 4:35 )
- God said He rules in the armies in heaven and earth. (D.C. 60)
Then there's the testimony of men in the Missouri Militia who were heading to Far West to arrest Joseph Smith. The Militia was obliged to wait until God's army passed them by.
1. Gen 3:1-5
2. Gen. 2:5-9; D&C 49:3 and 85:4
3. Rev. 12:4, D&C 28:10b
4. Rev. 12:8
5. Michael, his dad and I always look for pretty rocks. In 1994 the family went to Disney World and on the way we went pebble hunting on a beach in Georgia. I picked up a shell that looked like it was filled with dirt so threw it back. Michaels mother came along a few minutes later and picked it up also. The shells were few, so she brought it home thinking she could wash it out later. Wed been home a couple of days and she heard scratching noises in the sack of rocks. She phoned me and asked, What do I do with this crab?
6. I Will See You, by O. Hubbard, Restoration Voice, July/August 1981
7. 2 Kings 6:17; Rev. 19:14
8. Rev. 14
9. 2 Kings 6:8-23