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machew

Understanding Spiritual Warfare

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Great posts everyone! Very informational and encouraging! These posts were just what I needed right now. Thank you so much and God Bless you.

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i have dealt with the dark side for a good part of my life. I would disagree that any of the authority was given back to us that Satan managed to get in this world. We as humans have no authority in the spiritual realm whatsoever and everyone who attempts to enter that realm and fight will learn that lesson very quickly. The only authority or power that we can effect comes directly from the Holy Spirit, and that's not something to take lightly. A true Christian who is in step with the Holy Spirit has no fear from the spirit world at all, but the devil sometimes can convince your neighbor that you need your backside kicked physically.

Long story short from my perspective is that if the Holy Spirit is not directing you to interfere in the Spirit world, you should not be involved......... If he is not directing you to deal with the Spirit world you might want to find out why. Hope that makes sense....... I'm on antihistamines..

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That's a good post Other One.......I would add to it by saying that those of us who have had to fight the demonic have most likely had no choice

We all should put on the armor of God (Ephesians) and spiritual warfare is likened to a wrestling match in Ephesisans...and that is NOT the same as

a sucker punch and your opponent goes down........it is continual

I would not advise anyone to go poking around in that world......if you think you have the devil by the horns, he has already run you through

Even the angel said "The Lord rebuke you!"...as Other One said, we do not have power other than through the Spirit of God

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Before I start with Spiritual Warfare, I need to lay down some Biblical Context:

We will start in Genesis:

Genesis 1:26-30(NASB)(emphasis mine)

26Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."

27God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

28God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

29Then God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you;

30and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food"; and it was so.

So what is the point I want to make in this passage? God gave Adam and Eve delegated authority to rule over the Earth. We all know how this story ends, the devil comes in the form of a serpent and Adam and Eve eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and they fall because of sin. The devil had no authority over the Earth before the fall. So how did he get his authority?

When Adam and Eve came into agreement with the devil’s assessment of reality, they sinned. And because there was no atonement for sin at the time, they were separated from God and their agreement with the devil essentially handed over their delegated authority over the Earth to the devil.(John 12:31, John 14:30, 2 Corinthians 4:4, Matthew 4:8-10)

Next I will give some basic groundwork to what spiritual warfare is.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5(NASB)(emphasis mine)

3For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh,

4for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.

5We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,

So according 2 Corinthians spiritual battles happen in our mind and thought life. Why is this the case?

In Matthew 4:8-10 Jesus is tempted by the devil, as the devil offers Jesus all of the kingdoms of the world if he bows down to him and worships him. The devil still had the authority and rulership over the Earth from Adam and Eve. But after the resurrection of Jesus, He says to His disciples in Matthew 28:18 "...All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me

If Jesus now has “all authority” over the Earth, this means that the devil now has no authority. Jesus took back Adam and Eve’s authority from Satan. He was able to do this because their sin was now completely atoned for.

So the question you probably have now is: “How then is the devil able to do so much evil on the Earth?”

The question to ask is: How did the devil gain authority in the Garden of Eden?

He hasn’t changed his strategy at all. Look at 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 again. The battle is in our mind. The weapons formed against us are thoughts and speculations that exalt themselves above the knowledge of God. Why are these weapons used? Because the devil needs your agreement in what he wants to do before he has authority to do it. Jesus gave back authority over the Earth to humans. Before Jesus dies on the cross He states the following to His disciples:

Matthew 16:19(NASB)

19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."

So the devil is able to steal, kill, and destroy when humans come into agreement with what he says(thoughts, emotions manifested from thoughts).

This is what 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 is talking about when it says the weapons of our warfare are not carnal. The fortresses that it is referring to are areas in our thought life that we are in agreement with the devil. The devil builds on your current agreements with him, to bring in more deception into your life. Essentially the agreement with the devil(fortress) is a place where he can hide in your life and have authority in that area of your life. This fortress is what the enemy hides behind to assault you with more lies, to try to gain more ground in your life.

So to review: The devil is only able to operate on the Earth through human agreement.

So what does this mean?

The devil is only able to operate in your life through your agreements with his lies, and the agreement of lies that the people in authority over you believe(ie: parents, teachers, government authorities).

This is why it is so important to constantly be studying and filling your heart and mind with the Word of God. The Word of God is what reveals deceptions you are believing, that allow the enemy into your life, and the lives of those under you.

Hebrews 4:12(NASB)(emphasis mine)

12For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

For this to work though, you need to be born again and filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit’s help is a necessity in understanding the Bible and to know how it applies to everyday life.

The current situation we face is having a whole world of people where most people are not born again, and the devil is able to wreak havoc over the Earth because people are constantly in agreement with him. But God has given believers the keys to His kingdom. God’s Kingdom is superior to this kingdom(the Earth), and Jesus tells us to model our prayer like this:

Matthew 6:9-10(NASB)(emphasis mine)

9"Pray, then, in this way:

'Our Father who is in heaven,

Hallowed be Your name.

10'Your kingdom come

Your will be done,

On earth as it is in heaven.

So then we are to bring the dominion of God’s Kingdom to Earth(God’s government/way of doing things), whether it be through the salvation of others, loving the unlovable, giving all of your possessions, or worshiping Him through praise. In the words of Matthew 6, His "...Kingdom Come...Will be done...On Earth As it is in Heaven." So if it is happening in heaven it should be happening here. If it is not happening in heaven it shouldn't be happening here. When God’s kingdom is brought to Earth it enforces what Jesus did on the cross and destroys the work of the devil in our lives, and in the lives of others. Spiritual warfare cannot be won by human strength as 2 Corinthians 10 tells us, but as indicated, only by divinely powerful weapons. And we have no divinely powerful weapons by ourselves. But we do have God's Word; whether it is from the Bible, something God has spoken to you recently, or something God told you before. God always backs up His Word with the resources of His superior Kingdom. But just reciting God's word isn't enough!

His Word Becoming Who We Are:

When we read the Bible, have relationship with Him through prayer(conversation), and meditate on what He has said or is saying, it opens our hearts to receive His Word and Truth. Truth that we only believe conceptually or intellectually will falter when tested. But Truth that has become a part of us deep down in our core, our very being, and heart can never be shaken. This is why we are not only supposed to hear and read the Word but receive it implanted into our hearts(James 1:21). And as James 1 describes the Word of God given to us will be tested but proven true to us by experience through perseverance in the testing trial. Once we have God's Word truly implanted in us, because it has proven to be true under testing and trial, no argument, emotion, or lofty thing will ever be able to get us to doubt what God has said. And we are then able to stand firm, in boldness, and in confidence against the devil's lies. When we are able to fully believe God's Word deep in our very being, we are finally actually fully capable to "Submit...to God" which is when God uses His divinely powerful weapons, giving us what we need to "Resist the devil" causing him to "flee from you"(James 4:7) Until we truly believe what God has said and have the faith to believe it, it is impossible to submit to God(specifically submitting to what He has said to us). As Hebrews 11:6 says it is impossible to please God without faith.

God brings every believer through this process for our benefit, that His Word would literally become a part of us, so that we would become the walking Word of God. God's plan is that we would literally become the image of the Living God. The devil has no weapon that works against this kind of believer.

Blessings,

Machew

Is there a discussion somewhere in this that I fail to see? This is a discussion forum, not a platform to teach.

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... If he is not directing you to deal with the Spirit world you might want to find out why. ...

I didn't take the OP as offensively battling demons, but rather as daily living. How many thoughts run through our minds that do not line up with God? (Fears, discouragements, accusatory thoughts towards the brethren, temptations, etc.)

I believe this is what the OP was tackling.

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good post!

I find it strange alot of Christians don't believe the devil is a real person, that his abilities to manifest inside a human as we see in the actions of Judas, conspiring with the Pharisees to betray Jesus (they had no idea the were making a deal with the devil himself)

or satans ability to manifest himself as an angel of light (possibly what Joseph Smith experienced)

or as a talking snake in the garden of Eden, we see demons entering pigs and people

yet to alot of Christians, they have this notion that demon possesed people all act like the girl portayed in the movie "The Exorcist"

and that their heads spin around and are spewing projectile vomit

when in reality we see satan entering Judas and he calmly makes a deal with men who should of been able to discern such an evil presense as the devil himself, yet they are completely unaware who they are dealing with

much like the man in the synogog with the evil spirit who Jesus cast out, Its plainly seen that only Jesus was able to see this man was not alone in his spirit

my point is that demon possessed and people with evil spirits can walk amongst us, work with us, have jobs in high positions, even high governmental jobs, and nobody would be the wiser

personally I think this kind of thing has always been going on from the days we see king Saul being led by an evil spirit to pin David to the wall

Edited by back2thebible
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The hardest thing to grasp seems to be that the devil's main tool is deception. and after that seduction (not necessarily meaning sexual)

Both deception & seduction are ongoing processes that require participation and an interest by the one under the influence of demonic 'teaching' spirits

I don't know how many times we read in scripture of people being deceived......began in the garden with Eve and has only gained momentum

The problem with deception, is that those who are (deceived) will very often not put their false gods and wrong teaching under the strong light of truth and the Holy Spirit

There is no protection for people who insist on doing their own thing, following after signs and wonders (which will be the trademark of the anti-Christ) and oohing and ahhing

after anything they 'think' is supernatural...

BTW, demon possession is not the correct translation from what I understand in studying the subject and reading about it...it is actually the person having the demon and not the

demon having the person..which makes perfect sense when you think about it...Christians are not possessed yet I believe that they absolutely do have demons and need to

deal with it...and I realize that makes some people rather angry but until I admitted my own need, years ago, I could not understand why the devil had so much ground in my life

Today, after living through one very large and several smaller paradigm shifts, I proceed with caution and can only advise anyone else who enters into the spiritual realm via

praying in tongues or like gifts, to be wary and exercise discernment.

The devil (and his demons) comes as an angel of light after all. If he showed up with an ugly face and cursing God, there would be no problem...but he quotes and distorts

scripture and gives lying dreams and visions because he knows that people like that sort of thing....so, if you don't understand what the devil is capable of, and you think

that God would not allow such things because you are a Christian, then, you are off guard and have your door open so to speak

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Before I start with Spiritual Warfare, I need to lay down some Biblical Context:

We will start in Genesis:

Genesis 1:26-30(NASB)(emphasis mine)

26Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."

27God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

28God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

29Then God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you;

30and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food"; and it was so.

So what is the point I want to make in this passage? God gave Adam and Eve delegated authority to rule over the Earth. We all know how this story ends, the devil comes in the form of a serpent and Adam and Eve eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and they fall because of sin. The devil had no authority over the Earth before the fall. So how did he get his authority?

When Adam and Eve came into agreement with the devil’s assessment of reality, they sinned. And because there was no atonement for sin at the time, they were separated from God and their agreement with the devil essentially handed over their delegated authority over the Earth to the devil.(John 12:31, John 14:30, 2 Corinthians 4:4, Matthew 4:8-10)

Next I will give some basic groundwork to what spiritual warfare is.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5(NASB)(emphasis mine)

3For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh,

4for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.

5We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,

So according 2 Corinthians spiritual battles happen in our mind and thought life. Why is this the case?

In Matthew 4:8-10 Jesus is tempted by the devil, as the devil offers Jesus all of the kingdoms of the world if he bows down to him and worships him. The devil still had the authority and rulership over the Earth from Adam and Eve. But after the resurrection of Jesus, He says to His disciples in Matthew 28:18 "...All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me

If Jesus now has “all authority” over the Earth, this means that the devil now has no authority. Jesus took back Adam and Eve’s authority from Satan. He was able to do this because their sin was now completely atoned for.

So the question you probably have now is: “How then is the devil able to do so much evil on the Earth?”

The question to ask is: How did the devil gain authority in the Garden of Eden?

He hasn’t changed his strategy at all. Look at 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 again. The battle is in our mind. The weapons formed against us are thoughts and speculations that exalt themselves above the knowledge of God. Why are these weapons used? Because the devil needs your agreement in what he wants to do before he has authority to do it. Jesus gave back authority over the Earth to humans. Before Jesus dies on the cross He states the following to His disciples:

Matthew 16:19(NASB)

19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."

So the devil is able to steal, kill, and destroy when humans come into agreement with what he says(thoughts, emotions manifested from thoughts).

This is what 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 is talking about when it says the weapons of our warfare are not carnal. The fortresses that it is referring to are areas in our thought life that we are in agreement with the devil. The devil builds on your current agreements with him, to bring in more deception into your life. Essentially the agreement with the devil(fortress) is a place where he can hide in your life and have authority in that area of your life. This fortress is what the enemy hides behind to assault you with more lies, to try to gain more ground in your life.

So to review: The devil is only able to operate on the Earth through human agreement.

So what does this mean?

The devil is only able to operate in your life through your agreements with his lies, and the agreement of lies that the people in authority over you believe(ie: parents, teachers, government authorities).

This is why it is so important to constantly be studying and filling your heart and mind with the Word of God. The Word of God is what reveals deceptions you are believing, that allow the enemy into your life, and the lives of those under you.

Hebrews 4:12(NASB)(emphasis mine)

12For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

For this to work though, you need to be born again and filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit’s help is a necessity in understanding the Bible and to know how it applies to everyday life.

The current situation we face is having a whole world of people where most people are not born again, and the devil is able to wreak havoc over the Earth because people are constantly in agreement with him. But God has given believers the keys to His kingdom. God’s Kingdom is superior to this kingdom(the Earth), and Jesus tells us to model our prayer like this:

Matthew 6:9-10(NASB)(emphasis mine)

9"Pray, then, in this way:

'Our Father who is in heaven,

Hallowed be Your name.

10'Your kingdom come

Your will be done,

On earth as it is in heaven.

So then we are to bring the dominion of God’s Kingdom to Earth(God’s government/way of doing things), whether it be through the salvation of others, loving the unlovable, giving all of your possessions, or worshiping Him through praise. In the words of Matthew 6, His "...Kingdom Come...Will be done...On Earth As it is in Heaven." So if it is happening in heaven it should be happening here. If it is not happening in heaven it shouldn't be happening here. When God’s kingdom is brought to Earth it enforces what Jesus did on the cross and destroys the work of the devil in our lives, and in the lives of others. Spiritual warfare cannot be won by human strength as 2 Corinthians 10 tells us, but as indicated, only by divinely powerful weapons. And we have no divinely powerful weapons by ourselves. But we do have God's Word; whether it is from the Bible, something God has spoken to you recently, or something God told you before. God always backs up His Word with the resources of His superior Kingdom. But just reciting God's word isn't enough!

His Word Becoming Who We Are:

When we read the Bible, have relationship with Him through prayer(conversation), and meditate on what He has said or is saying, it opens our hearts to receive His Word and Truth. Truth that we only believe conceptually or intellectually will falter when tested. But Truth that has become a part of us deep down in our core, our very being, and heart can never be shaken. This is why we are not only supposed to hear and read the Word but receive it implanted into our hearts(James 1:21). And as James 1 describes the Word of God given to us will be tested but proven true to us by experience through perseverance in the testing trial. Once we have God's Word truly implanted in us, because it has proven to be true under testing and trial, no argument, emotion, or lofty thing will ever be able to get us to doubt what God has said. And we are then able to stand firm, in boldness, and in confidence against the devil's lies. When we are able to fully believe God's Word deep in our very being, we are finally actually fully capable to "Submit...to God" which is when God uses His divinely powerful weapons, giving us what we need to "Resist the devil" causing him to "flee from you"(James 4:7) Until we truly believe what God has said and have the faith to believe it, it is impossible to submit to God(specifically submitting to what He has said to us). As Hebrews 11:6 says it is impossible to please God without faith.

God brings every believer through this process for our benefit, that His Word would literally become a part of us, so that we would become the walking Word of God. God's plan is that we would literally become the image of the Living God. The devil has no weapon that works against this kind of believer.

Blessings,

Machew

Is there a discussion somewhere in this that I fail to see? This is a discussion forum, not a platform to teach.

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Discussion is meaningless if there is no personal growth.

Spiritual growth requires scriptural instruction and rebuke.

From my phone...

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Discussion is meaningless if there is no personal growth.

Spiritual growth requires scriptural instruction and rebuke.

From my phone...

Why would you say that discussion is meaningless if there is no personal growth?

Really not sure what your point is...Hi by the way :)

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