The Fight Ahead: Spiritual Warfare

February 4, 2019

Welcome to episode #8 of our basic training series where we’ve been teaching you everything the new Christian needs to understand about the faith. So we’ve given you a glossary of terms, taught you how to pray, how to read your Bible, what to expect at church and why we go, baptism, communion and tithing. Now we’re entering in to a tougher topic ahead as today we talk about what’s known as spiritual warfare.

 

 

 

Ephesians 6:12 “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.”

 

Who is/are our enemy(ies)?

  • Satan, also known as the Devil or Lucifer.

    • Tempts you to sin

      • Genesis 3:1-5

    • Accuses you of your sin before the Lord

      • Job 1:6-12

    • Discourages you to keep you from doing the right things

    • Lies to you, even to the point of twisting Scripture

  • The World

    • Propaganda celebrating sin

    • Persecution for not conforming to their system

    • Distracts you from the important matters by debating science and politics, etc…

  • The Flesh, also known as yourself

    • Your own desires and weaknesses war against you. Romans 7:23-25 “But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

    • Your sinful nature feeds off your sin

    • You are always prone to twist Scripture to justify whatever ends+ you want.

 

Examples of spiritual warfare in the Bible

Daniel praying for an interpretation of a vision.

Daniel 10:7-14

Summarise

7And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.
8Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength.
9Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face t

And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling.
12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for froward the ground.
10And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands.om the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.
13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.

 

What can we learn from this?

  • Not all spiritual interference is from the devil himself

  • Their have a heirarely of rank

  • Certain spirits are assigned areas or countries in which to rein

    • Ephesians 6:12 KJV — For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

    • Romans 8:38-39 KJV — For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    • Colossians 1:16 KJV — For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

    • Colossians 2:15 KJV — And having spoiled principalities and powers, he (Jesus) made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

  • Evil spirits can delay or frustrate an answer or plan from God.

  • The unseen spiritual realm is  real

  • God uses angels to make sure His plans happen

  • There are different kinds of angels with different responsibilities. ( Should I seek out scripture to prove this point?)

  • Angels can bring messages from God for a specific purpose

  • People cannot stand in the presence of angels as long as they do not disguise themselves as mankind. They have a similar holiness that God has and so our true unholy condition is exposed. If you get a visitation from a spiritual being, and do not fall on your face in fright or faint,  are it is an unholy spirit. Satan himself pretends to be an angel of light (If someone can point out an example in the Bible where mankind wasn't terrified, I may change my mind)

  • Angels can strengthen

  • Angels can communicate with us so we can be certain of what God says.

  • Angels can communicate with certainty the interpretation of visions and dreams

  • Angels can communicate is a way that will be understood sometime in the future.

    • Dan 12:8-9 And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?
      9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.

The ultimate lesson from this example: be patient!

 

Job

Job 1:6-12

6Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.
7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?
9Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?
10Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.
11But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.
12And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

 

What can we learn from the book of Job? Go read the book. It has a great purpose in the library which is the Bible. I will limit my commentary on spiritual warfare.

  • God rules supreme.

  • Satan has to go to God

  • God can put a hedge of protection around someone which limits demonic activities

  • Satan does not have omnipresence

  • Satan has to ask God permission to affect mankind

  • God sets limits on the work of Satan

  • Satan can affect the weather and manipulate the physical world

  • Satan can murder with  intent and foresight

  • God allows Satan to buffet believers; Not For God to see what kind of faith the subject has, but to show the subject and the world what kind of faith they have. “Believers” left the Apostles under tribulations

    • 1 John 2:19 NKJV — They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.

    • Deuteronomy 13:13 KJV — Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known;

      Psalm 41:9 KJV — Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.

      Matthew 13:20 KJV — But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;

      Luke 8:13 KJV — They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

      Acts 20:30 KJV — Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

      2 Peter 2:21 KJV — For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

      Jude 1:19 KJV — These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.

       

    • Gen 22:9-11 9And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.
      10And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
      11And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.

    • 2 Corinthians 12:7 KJV — And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

    • Rev 12:10-12And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
      11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

God is not as interested in one’s earthly comfort, but the eternal destination of the world.

  • God will use someone as an object lesson

  • Satan will use “friends” to shipwreck our faith

    • 1 Peter 3:16 NIV — keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

    • 1 Timothy 1:19 NIV — holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith.

    • John 13:27-29 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.
      28 Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him.
      29 For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.
      30 He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.

  • Satan will use faulty logic to manipulate our thinking

    • Genesis 3:1-5 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
      2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
      3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
      4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
      5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

    • Ephesians 5:6 KJV — Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

    • Colossians 2:8 KJV — Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

    • 1 Timothy 1:6 KJV — From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;

    • 1 Timothy 6:20 KJV — O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:

    • 1 Timothy 6:20 KJV — O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:

    • 2 Timothy 2:16 KJV — But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

    • Titus 1:10 KJV — For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:

    • Titus 3:9 KJV — But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.

Quick note:

How do we war against the schemes of the Devil?

  • Know the truth, and meditate on it

    • John 8:31-32 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
      32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

    • Philippians 4:8 KJV — Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

    • Ephesians 5:17-18 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
      18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
      19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
      20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

 

What do we do about it?

 

  • James 4:7-10 “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”

    • Jesus fought temptation with Scripture (the correct use of it) even when Satan used it against Him.

Jesus's 40 days in the desert

 

Luke 4:13

13And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.

 

What can we learn?

  • Victory comes from rightly using God's word.

  • Each Christian must fight the good fight.1 Timothy 6:12 KJV — Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

  • Spiritual attacks are executed with malice and forethought.

  • When God gives you a victory, celebrate it. Satan will return at a time when you are weak.

  • Spiritual attacks will happen if you live with faith and obedience to Jesus's commandments.
     

    • Therefore, soak yourself in the Word of God so you aren’t deceived.

      • John 8:31-32 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
        32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

      • Philippians 4:8 KJV — Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

      • Ephesians 5:17-18 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
        18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
        19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
        20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

  • Don’t conform to this world. Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech[a] you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your [b]reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

  • Rejoice in the face of persecution, but don’t ask for it.

    • Matthew 5:10-12 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

  • If you join in on the world’s discussion of distraction, stay focused on sharing the Gospel. The victory isn’t in winning the argument, or even winning a political office, but rather it’s on winning the soul for the Kingdom of God.

    • Titus 3:9 KJV — But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.

  • In dealing with temptation, find someone in your fellowship who is mature in the faith and you trust to hold you accountable.

    • Same gender as you to avoid any additional trouble. A girl has no business having a private conversation about his or her sexual struggles.

    • This person needs to be able to have those tough conversations with you about the sin you’re struggling with so you can   work through them.

    • Avoid too much screen time. The internet is a dangerous place if you’re not careful. Turn your computer/phone/ipad/tablet/etc… after a certain time so you’re less likely to get sucked into temptation.

    • If it’s a really serious issue, get rid of it all entirely. If you need the internet, use the library’s computers. Or come over to your accountability partner’s house to use it there. Either way, the sin is not worth the convenience of having access to a computer.

  • Finally, be busy about the Lord’s work and you’ll find yourself struggling with sin less. If you keep moving forward into the battle, you’re less likely to fall.

 

 

 

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