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An Invisible War ?

Spiritual Warfare is it real ?

“For our struggle is not against flesh

and blood, but against the rulers,

against the authorities, against the

powers of this dark world and against

the spiritual forces of evil in the

heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12)

Introduction

The reality of spiritual warfare is attested to by both Scripture and the testimonies of many individuals. Scripture speaks of “good” and “evil”  

(Matthew 5:45, John 3:20) of two opposing “kingdoms”

(Mark 4:26-30, Luke 11:18) and of agents for good and evil,

“battling” against each other: that is, God and Satan (Job 1-2), angels and demons (Revelation 12:7, Daniel 10) and also “sons of the kingdom” and “sons of the evil one”

(Matthew 13:38, 1 John 3:2, 1 John 3:7-10).

The Bible is full of the language of war, such as battle, fight, struggle, strive, resist, attack, enemy, armour, soldiers, advance, oppose and confront.


The warfare is real. However, it is not material but spiritual: forces of evil and evil philosophies.


“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against

the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual

forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12)


“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary,

they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” (2 Corinthians 10:4)


Jesus’ words and experience also attest to the reality of spiritual warfare.

He often spoke about it and He experienced/engaged in it.

He was tempted by the devil (Matthew 4, Mark 1:12, Luke 4),

He was resisted by evil men (Herod and the Roman authorities)

He confronted the kingdom of darkness by Casting Out Demons,

Healing The Sickand Raising The Dead.

His supreme confrontation was, of course, on the cross

and His supreme victory over the forces of evil was demonstrated by His resurrection.

Many individuals, believers and unbelievers, the demonised, the delivered and the delivering,

Testify to the reality of spiritual powers, whether of good or evil.

In fact, it is a hunger for the reality of spiritual power which tempts people to dabble in the occult.

The enemy will do everything in his power to destroy the Church.

The Warfare

.

He usually tries to do this in one of two ways.

He Destroys Believers Himself or He Gets Us To Destroy Ourselves

1. He Destroys Believers Himself

Satan destroys us through robbery.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life,

and have it to the full.”(John 10:10)

This includes disease, death (wars, abortion, crime, disasters and evil rule)

and destruction (property, finances, relationships and family).

It is possible for Christians to be demonised,

that is, to be hindered and influenced by demonic forces in an ongoing way;

until released from their power. The enemy gains access to our lives in three ways:

Shown As A, B, And C. below

A. -. When we give him access

(a foothold becomes a stronghold).

This may be through Sustained Sin Of Which We Do Not Repent

(including, but not limited to:)

    -   Sexual Immorality, (Spirit of Prostitution)

    -    Pornography,

    -    Gambling,

    -    Drunkenness,

    -    Anger,

    -    Unforgiveness,

    -    Bitterness,

    -    Manipulation, (Jezebel Spirit)

    -    Domination, (Controlling Spirit)

    -    The Love Of Money. (Mammon)

    -    Judgemental Attitude (Critical Spirit)


We can also give the enemy access through Involvement In The Occult

(including, but not limited to:)


    

    -    Ouija Boards,

    -    Tarot Cards,

    -    Fortune-Tellers,

    -    Chrystology,

    -    Alternative Medicines (such As Reflexology),

    -    Martial Arts,

    -    Yoga,

    -    Cults,

    -    Eastern Religions,

    -    Ancestor Worship,

    -    Divination,

    -    Spiritualism,

    -    Black And White Witchcraft And Satanism.

See Acts 5:3, Ephesians 4:27 and James 4:1-10

where the context is carnality giving the devil access.


B. - Through generation curses:

Demonic strongholds can sometimes be passed down to second and third generations.

Experience shows that Involvement In Secret Societies like

    -     Freemasonry,

    -     The Rosicrucian order

Can cause women to battle with gynaecological difficulties such as:

severe menstrual pain, complicated births or barrenness.)

Other Examples of Problems That Come About From Generational Curses include:

    -    alcoholism,

    -    drug addiction,

    -    immorality,

    -    divorce,

    -    manipulation,

    -    suicide,

    -    physical and sexual abuse.

See Exodus 20:5and Exodus 34:7.

See also Hosea 4:12-13 where Scripture talks of a “spirit of prostitution”

and “therefore your daughters turn to prostitution.”

C. - Through traumatic experiences, such as

    -    rejection,

    -    divorce,

    -    murder,

    -    rape,

    -    emotional, physical and sexual abuse.

See John 10:10and 1 Peter 5:8-9.

The way we deal with these is usually deliverance.

However, Be Careful Of Having A Neurotic Attitude To Difficulties And Issues In Your Life:

The cause may not be demonisation but simply:

Immaturity, weakness of character, the sinful nature or unrenewed thinking.

If the cause is demonic it will usually become obvious to others, who are Spirit filled believers.

The following actions can be sufficient to cut off an individual from;

The Influence Of Demonic Powers:

• Repent

(confess, completely turn away from sin and go in the opposite direction).

See James 4:1-10.

• Renounce

(this includes destroying any artefacts connected to the sin, occult practice, curse or trauma).

See Acts 19:17-20.

• Receive the Holy Spirit(for complete healing, restoration and wholeness).

See John 4:4.

• Resist The Devil.

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Come near to God and He will come near to you.”

(James 4:7-8a)

• Continue To Walk In Righteousness And Freedom.

Self Destruction

2. He Gets Us To Destroy Ourselves

    • Temptation:
In Luke 4 we can identify at least three ways in which the enemy tempts us.


First, testing God, that is, pride (Luke 4:9-12),

Second, lust of the flesh (Luke 4:3-4, Genesis 3:6)

Third, corrupting the means to get the end (Luke 4:5-8)

for example,

money by fraud,

getting your spouse’s co-operation by manipulation or domination,

gaining success by cutting corners or by cheating,

gaining position by promoting yourself

grasping for leadership rather than serving and waiting for God’s promotion.


The way we Resist Temptationis Through Self-Control

(Galatians 5:22-23, 2 Peter 1:5-7, 1 Corinthians 7:5) and vulnerability.

It Is The Hidden Areas Of Our Lives Which Keep Us In Bondage.

Our armour against this attack of the enemy is the Breastplate Of Righteousness

(Ephesians 6:14):

we are declared Holy Through Faith In Christ’s Atoning Death On The Cross

We are being made holy by the work of the Holy Spirit in us

(1 Corinthians 1:2, Colossians 1:22, Romans 12:1).

Also, in fighting temptation we need not despair

“for we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses,

but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin.

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence,

so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need”

(Hebrews 4:15-16).

• Accusation

(Rev 12:10, Zechariah3:1): “Satan” in Hebrew means “accuser.”

Satan brings false accusations (lies, see John 8:44)

or he comes and accuses us about past sins and failures.

The way we reject accusation is through the Word of God, that is, Scripture and prophecy

(1 Timothy 1:18-19). Our armour against accusation is theBelt Of Truth

(Ephesians 6:14)

• Deception

(2 Corinthians 4:4, Genesis 3:4-13, Galatians 3:1):

We overcome deception in unbelievers by

preaching the gospel and praying for revelation (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).

We prevent deception in believers by

being devoted to doctrine and fellowship (Acts 2:42, 1 Timothy 4:13-16).

Our armour against deception isThe Sword Of The Spirit,

which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17).

• Doubt

(Genesis 3:1, Mark 4:15, James 1:6-8):

We resist doubt with faith

(John 20:27-29, Matthew 17:20, Mark 11:22, 1 Corinthians 16:13,

2 Corinthians 16:13, 2 Corinthians 5:7).


Our faith needs to increase (2 Corinthians 10:15, 2 Thessalonians 1:3)

How does it grow?

“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message,

and the message is heard through the Word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17)

Our armour against doubt isThe Shield Of Faith (Ephesians 6:16).

A shield is useless unless lifted up and placed in a protective position:


We Need To Activate Our Faith.

• Discouragement:

Discouragement often follows after accusation, doubt and unresolved difficulties

(Psalm 42:3, Psalm 42:9-10, Psalm 77:7-9, Lamentations 3:19-20).

We overcome it with praise.  

We worship God, we take our eyes off the difficulties and focus on

the greatness and faithfulness of God, we stop listening to accusations

and wallowing in doubt and begin to remind ourselves of God’s Word, that is, the Truth

(Psalm 42:5-6, Psalm 77:10-15, Lamentations 3:21-24, Isaiah 61:3)

as we clothe ourselves with: praise we conquer despair.

Another way we combat discouragement is with prophecy

(1 Corinthians 14:3): the Word of God encourages!

Our armour here is, therefore, The Belt Of Truth

(praise brings us back to the truth about God and His promises)

and The Sword Of The Spirit which is The Word Of God

(Ephesians 6:14,17)

• Rebellion: Rebellion is Independence From God:

Doing things Our Way Instead Of His Way, refusing to believe or obey God’s Word,

Resisting God’s pattern

(see, the story of Saul’s rebellion in 1 Samuel 15, especially 1 Samuel 15:22-23).

Independence From God Is In Fact Co-Operation With The Devil

(1 Samuel 15:23, Deuteronomy 18:10)


The devil who was the first rebel and he seeks to sow rebellion in:

both believers and unbelievers.

We warfare against rebellion with humility and submission to

the Lordship of Christ (Obedience, see Hebrews 12:9 and James 4:6-7).

(Acknowledging Who We Really Are, see Philippians 2:3-8 and Isaiah 14:14:

Satan’s ambition)

We also need to submit to one another,

especially to those placed in authority over us by God

(Romans 13:1-5, Hebrews 13:17, 1 Peter 2:18, Ephesians 5:21, Colossians 3:18, 1 Peter 5:5-6).