Learn Spiritual Warfare for Today’s World
The religious, social, and political world today is ripe with many kinds of evil and deceptions, lying signs and wonders that believers must protect against using the armor of God.
The religious, social, and political world today is ripe with many kinds of evil and deceptions, lying signs and wonders that believers must protect against using the armor of God. The church is always under attack and individual believers also, face multiple spiritual wars on many fronts; in the family, the church, the workplace, and in their communities against neighbors.
According to the Bible, spiritual warfare is seasonal, meaning it is not a continual battle but comes in phases, some phases stronger than others. When Jesus was tempted of the devil the scripture says that “when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.” St. Luke 4:13. However, the word encourages us to; “preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” 2 Timothy 4:2.
We must stay prepared to war at any given time. Sometimes God warns us of battles to come and sometimes we walk into a battle without notice. Nevertheless, God has given us the armor to wear for spiritual battles, which includes truth, righteousness, a sense of peace, faith, the confidence of salvation, the word of God, and the encouragement of prayer. Ephesians 6:14-18. In the mist of battle, sometimes these spiritual tools may seem like weaknesses against the aggressiveness of evil, lies, violence, division and even doubt, but they work on a level we do not realize right away.
The test of the believer’s faith is tried using these weapons of spiritual war. If the believer falls and drops one of these weapons, they are vulnerable to works of the flesh and may strike back in anger with shouting or even in violence, or they may retreat in fear and doubt. Believers must always know that while they are strapped with the weapons of spiritual warfare, they have power over all the works of the enemy and they must stand strong in faith. The passage of scripture in Ephesians 1:17-22 should be read and memorized by each believer to empower them when in battle.
One passage in particular reads: “and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,…” verse 19. The entire passage of Ephesians reassures the believer that they are empowered by God’s power and to learn how to use that same power, over principalities, against rulers of the darkness of this world and against spiritual wickedness in high places, and all the works of the enemy. These demonic forces are at work in the real world and believers must recognize them and use our weapons of warfare against them.
These evil forces roam the earth seeking to destroy people, communities and societies. Demonic forces can perceivably be as small as a mouse and as large as a mountain. Their existence and activity are based on what they are working to destroy, either an individual or an entire city. They are evil characteristics, fleshly lusts, and lies that wander the spiritual realm seeking physical vessels and minds to occupy. They can possess the smallest of living things and the largest of governments, including animals, individual people and groups of people of like minds.
For instance, we are currently up against church leadership that wants to take political power and enforce their interpretation of God’s will on the unrighteous. Yet they do not realize that legalities of the political powers will not stop immoral behavior, only criminalize them. The purpose of God is to change people from within their souls, not by punishing them to prisons or ostracize them from society. They have a distorted view of what Jesus would do in many situations society faces today. Jesus would not reject refugees who flee from oppressive countries, he would take them in and protect them.
Jesus would not despise, hate or oppress the poor as does the rich; “But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?” James 2:6. The scripture further warns the wealthy against stealing from their workers to heap riches unto themselves. “Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.” James 5:3, 4. Yet, church leaders and politicians work together to protect their wealth against working people and the poor.
We war against lies and injustices that have shaped our political policies and deepened the divide in the justice system creating two systems, one for the wealthy and the other for the poor who cannot pay. Debt peonage and prison labor of the poor feed wealthy companies that provide goods and services we use everyday unknowingly. Government authorities armed with military grade weapons patrol poor communities and kill on sight taking the law into their own hands, and are protected by unjust judges, lawyers, politicians and church leaders.
Hypocrisy is at its highest level among church leaders who cannot seem to decipher between what is good and what Jesus would do and what is evil and what the devil has normalized. They have left off righteousness and judgment and compromised their beliefs for power and political prestige. They back candidates who are in favor of a government controlled by religious doctrine and rule even though much of the doctrine they use is not warranted in the Bible or anything that Jesus would teach and do. Many so-called social media preachers have also compromised by trading the gospel truth for members, likes, and monetized payments.
As a result, we encounter family members, co-workers and neighbors who have been deceived by the lying powers of spiritual wickedness in high places coming from government authority, infamous church leaders who support unjust policy and new laws passed that criminalize instead of redeeming people in need of deliverance. An incarcerated homosexual is still a homosexual and a doctor, woman, or accomplice to abortion are just imprisoned people. Political law does not stop the behavior. We war against lies, misinformation, greed, carnal power trips, discouragement of the gospel and a delegitimization of the word of God and his power. There are preachers who even teach against God’s power and that no miracles or healings or spiritual gifts are operating any longer.
We war against a media industry that seek to confuse our children on gender issues, teaching them reprobation of the mind that men with men and women with women is a normal part of life and a choice to be considered. Gun violence and the desensitizing of life is normalized through video games, social media videos and Hollywood theater; personal insults, bigotry and name-calling are used against perceived enemies and becoming normal. These forces of evil are taking hold of millions of people, even children and people of elderly status in every race, religion, and culture throughout the world.
When standing against these forces a believer must understand how to use each of the weapons of warfare in the armor of God. Truth exposes lies, righteousness (doing what is right) overpowers the unrighteousness of the wicked, seeking peace prevents division and violence, having faith in God defeats doubt and discouragement, confidence in salvation cast out fears of damnation and condemnation, and knowing the word of God places fear in the devil. But above all, a believer must pray fervently, daily and fast to strengthen themselves against the spiritual battle they face each day. When we do this on a consistent bases, the devil will flee and depart for a season.
Demons number in the millions, but do not outnumber the angels and messengers of God. They have no power despite what many preachers teach, Jesus said he has all power. “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” St. Matthew 28:18. They operate effectively through lies, lying signs and wonders, things that people think they see but is actually not there or in words that are not true. They are antithetical to the truth of God which is why believers must know the truth of the word of God when confronting demonic forces.
Most believers envision casting out devils using loud prayer and laying on of hands like we see in the movies, at given times by God that will work but most times a demon can be bound by simply talking to the thing, individual or group of individuals using the word. The word of truth cast out lies and the light of righteousness overshadows darkness. Love also, is a power that demonic forces fear. They have no love, nor appearances of peace, joy, or any of the other fruit of the spirit, so a believer can confront and defeat a demon with any of the fruit that opposes the works of the flesh.
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18. Once a believer has perfected the fruit and power of love, they have no fear when confronting or being confronting by a demonic force. If they have love for others; brethren, family members, neighbors and friends, or even a cause that helps society, they can war against the demonic forces by seeking the will of God for that reason. Desiring the will of God in all our lives helps in combating the forces of evil.
Demons want to eliminate God and truth from the world. So, he saturates the world with lies until he gathers an audience for those lies. And as the saying goes, a lie can travel around the world before the truth can gets its boots on. Unbelievers and any believer that doubts God or his powers are vulnerable to the lie and can be overtaken by the powers of darkness and deceived by lying signs and wonders. If the lie is successful, this causes people to disregard any truth on whatever subject and resist people who choose the truth over the lies of the demon. Once they have chosen the lie over the truth, they will defend their choice even if it means dying for that lie.
People who chose to believe a lie have now been taught to hate the truth and have entered into a state of perdition or disillusionment. Anger against anyone who challenges them with the truth are now considered enemies and worthy of punishment or even death. If more people believe the lie over the truth, then society has entered a state of apostasy; or godlessness.
"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God" (2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4).
“…even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2: 9-12.
The time is coming, and is now, that God will be completely eliminated by man and the false prophet will convince the world that he is God, and many who resisted the truth will worship the false prophet who claims to be God. They will not and cannot comprehend that they have been deceived because of their adamant belief in the lie and hatred of the truth, and they can no longer see truth or comprehend it. Because they have rejected God and the truth, God will blind them with the same delusion they wanted to believe.
“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;” Romans 1:28, 29.
There is another form of denial that has spread throughout society in these last days called cognitive dissonance. When people have reached this level of deception, they are not only lying to others who see the truth, but they are lying to themselves. As a result of cognitive dissonance, people seek hard to defend their position of the lie and in the process lose their conscience and cannot hide or see their own shame, but everyone else can.
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;” 1 Timothy 4:1, 2. Most unbelievers become bound by these evil spirits and have compromised with demons to resist the truth. These are those who were preordained to condemnation by pride and hatred for the truth.
“For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jude 4. Demonic forces are spirits that from the beginning of the creation were cast down from heaven and bound for eternal damnation. They are not redeemable. These spirits walk the earth today in search of vessels (people) they can operate through and who are faithless enough to control.
Believers must walk in the spirit and resist the lust of the flesh or they can become used by these evil forces. Unbelievers can be redeemed and delivered because many are merely angry at God for something that has happened in their lives or because they associate with people who have them bound by something they value. Persistence with these type people sometimes payoff if a believer has been ordained to help them become free. Only God can deliver them, however, but the believer must follow the guidance of the Lord. As stated earlier, simply talking to people can free them from bondage.