March 22, 2015 - A. V. Rauf
Some Biblical Guidance Concerning Spiritual Warfare
Ephesians 6:10-18— Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 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. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints….
We wrestle not against flesh and blood. We do not fight people. The enemy will use people. He will tempt you to fight people and not him.
2 Corinthians 2:10-11—To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; 11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
When satan deceived Eve, he did it by planting suggestions in her mind to the point that she began to believe the suggestions and not what God had said….As we mature in Christ we must be able to distinguish between the voice of our human spirit (conscience), the voice of our soul, the voice of God, the voice of the enemy…..Your conscience will often tell you the truth, but it can be perverted if you do not continue to renew your mind, study the Scriptures, and pray in the Holy Ghost. We must learn to discern the enemy’s strategies in order to live a victorious life in Christ here on earth.
I have come to this realization that our adversary will plant seeds earlier in your life (pre-salvation)….seeds of anger, bitterness, un-forgiveness, rejection, division and if not dealt with, it may stifle your growth. (i.e. divorce, death, bad, traumatic experience from the past). Remembeber at conversion a Christian’s “Spirit,” is born again and not the mind.
Romans 12:1-2—I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
The enemy has a 2-fold strategy: To attack and then to plant seeds in the midst of the attack that he will want to use later on.
When under the midst of an attack ask the spirit of God to reveal to you what seed(s) is the enemy attempting to plant in your mind. This is how during an altercation, the enemy will try to sow seeds of discord, division, strife and the next thing you know, you are not getting along with your peers. As you meditate on these thoughts, you unknowingly now and with the God-given authority you have are beginning to “water,” these seeds.
Matthew 15:13—But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.
We have to learn to discern what is behind the thoughts, motives, intentions of people and then especially discern what is the motive behind the attack of the enemy.
In the same manner a citizen is EXPECTED to know the laws of his/her community, we must know and understand the laws and the Biblical Principles taught in the Word of God. Not knowing does not make you exempt.
Hosea 4:6—My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
We have a responsibility to not be ignorant.
Always guard your heart.
Prov. 4:23–Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
1. Regression: an arrested development; an abnormal state in which development has stopped prematurely; This occurs when a saint retreats and is becoming apathetic and complacent; no longer resisting, withdrawing from the battle; to revert to a formal level; to reverse a trend or to shift to a lower state. In contrast, GOD wants us to move forward and advance, to increase and not decrease.
In psychology, through regression one reverts to a defense mechanism in which one flees from reality by assuming a more infantile state; The opposite if regression is PROGRESSION!!!!
2. Repression: lessened and quenched expression; joyless, lifeless & apathetic. Characteristics of a religious spirit. Religious spirits appear to be holy and pious but they often are dry and lifeless, no joy, in bondage. Demons want to create an atmosphere of bondage in one’s spirit. Religious devils cause repression; they repress the things of the Spirit. Paul said to turn away from such. We can love them ,but we do not have to fellowship with them. Repression is an outward sign that regression has taken place. Burying into your conscience, painful or disagreeable ideas, memories, feelings or impulse. The enemy will make you keep them bound within your conscience. We need to release these things. (it’s ok to vent.) Self-control is not repression. If you don’t let something out that is the enemy now planting seed. People that are repressed can become, critical of others, judgmental and religious.
3. Suppression: at this level, you know something is wrong with you, however, you conceal. You pretend one day and you are different another. A hypocrite. At this level one is obviously being tormented by demonic suppression. Suppression cannot be simply defeated by will-power. Now you need deliverance. It has to be broken off. Prideful sin, lustful sin and the like now controls one and yet the individual is simply wearing a mask and concealing it. If this is not broken off,it leads to the next stage:
4. Depression: a severely damaged spirit. The enemy uses trauma and previous pains to make you feel condemned and completely helpless. A person who has been depressed is suppressed and burdened down with feelings of hopelessness.
ONE VERY IMPORTANT POINT TO MAKE HERE: THE ENEMY MAY BRING THESE ATTACKS AND THEY DO NOT NECESSARILY HAVE TO BE IN ANY GIVEN ORDER. BUT AS SAINTS OF THE MOST HIGH GOD WE MUST UNDERSTAND THAT ALTHOUGH THE ATTACK MAY BE AGAINST THE SOULS (MIND, WILL INTELLECT, EMOTION & IMAGINATION) OUR SPIRIT MAN WILL RISE TO THE OCCASION AND TAKE AUTHORITY OVER THESE ATTACKS.
Part of the spiritual maturation process is to recognize these attacks and take authority over them.
This is what separates being a babe in Christ from spiritually mature saints. A psychotic/neurotic condition characterized by an inability to concentrate, feelings of extreme sadness and dejection.
5. Oppression: To weigh one down with a load they are not carrying. (i.e. lust, occult, sleepless nights, fear, etc.) The oppression is much, much stronger now.
6. Obsession: A pre-occupied mind. Totally given in to something. A mind haunted with preoccupation that has taken the place of God.
7. Possession: The enemy has captured the faculties of one’s souls to be under control. Your will-power may be partially owned by a spirit that is now controlling you.
Luke 8:26-39—And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee. 27 And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not. 29 (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness. 30 And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him. 31 And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep. 32 And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them. 33 Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked. 34 When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country. 35 Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. 36 They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed. 37 Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear: and he went up into the ship, and returned back again. 38 Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.
Even though the man of Gadera had legion in him, he still bowed down to Jesus and worshipped him. He willfully came to the Lord.
Again , one is not under TOTAL control of the devil. I do not believe that a Christian who is filled with the Holy Ghost can be “possessed.”
Nonetheless, it is important to confess your sins, to repent and to be sure there are no open doors. One must understand their new identity in Christ. I believe many Christians today are struggling with condemnation when they sin and do not know how to handle their guilt/shame and are frustrated as a result.
1 John 1:9— If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
We are overcomers, more then conquerors, greater is He that is in us then he that is in the world. Looking forward through the lens of Scripture and the end of times, yes, the anti-Christ, the false prophet, the time of Jacob’s Trouble (what many refer to as the tribulation); The return of Jesus Christ; the end time battle against the enemies of Israel and of God; the Millennial reign; the new heaven and new earth are coming. They are not here yet. These events will occur on God’s time.
But be sure of this–we are to be ready and to stand, overcoming evil with good. We are to continue to make disciples. And we must persevere. And we study and learn the principles and truths of our Bible.