SPIRITUAL WARFARE
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THE SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION OF THE BATTLE

     There is a battle, a war-Ro 7:23; a struggle, a wrestling match-Eph 6:12; a fiery trial-1 Pe 4:12; a fight-1 Tim 6:12; being fought inside you.  It is between Satan’s deceptions and God’s truth (the Bible).  It is a battle of victory to those who read and obey the Bible, and of defeat to those who do not.  This battle rages in your mind-Ro 7:23, your flesh-1 Pe 2:11, and your feelings-Eph 6:16.  At times, you may feel like two ropes are pulling you apart.  You get uptight (darts in your stomach)-Eph 6:16.   Jesus wants you to follow Him.  Satan wants you to refuse.  It is a war between obeying God and doing your own desires.  Your soul is at stake.  You are either in the battle on the Lord’s side or on Satan’s side.  It is a conflict between truth and error, between the true God and the god of this world (Satan).   It is between the Word of God, and half truths, error, and wrong thinking.  It is between sound doctrine and doctrines that suit your own desires-ref 2 Tim 4:3.   Satan puts wrong thoughts in your mind like he did to Peter and to Eve.  If you wish to draw closer to God, he will try to stop you.  He will try to keep you from reading your Bible, going to church, fellowshipping only with other believers, Bible studies, praying and fasting, serving God, and obeying the Gospel.  Some of Satan’s weapons include: worry, cares of this world, pleasures, lusts of your flesh, depression, hardships, fear, and riches.  These choke God’s Word.  Satan uses people and clergy to persecute, embarrass, and deceive others.  Pride, sex outside of marriage, loving this world, watching wickedness on TV, rock music, stubbornness, smoking, drugs, alcohol, astrology, pornography, and attending spiritually dead churches (which mix the Bible with deceit) need to be forsaken.  If your job causes you to disobey God, cut it off.  People provoke God to anger through the work of their hands (their job)-Deut 31:29.  It is written, WHO HATH BEWITCHED YOU, THAT YE SHOULD NOT OBEY THE TRUTH?-Gal 3:1.  HOW LONG HALT YE BETWEEN TWO OPINIONS?   IF THE LORD BE GOD, FOLLOW HIM: BUT IF BAAL, THEN FOLLOW HIM-1 Ki 18:21.   Jesus makes it clear who are His.  HE THAT HATH MY COMMANDMENTS, AND KEEPETH THEM, "HE" IT IS THAT LOVETH ME-Jn 14:21.  Which voice do you follow, God’s voice or Satan’s voice?  God’s SHEEP HEAR HIS VOICE; they FOLLOW HIM-Jn 10:3,4.

     There is a war going on for your soul.  There is a war going on for the souls of many.  As it is written, God is NOT WILLING THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH, BUT THAT ALL SHOULD COME TO REPENTANCE-2 Pe 3:9.  It is a spiritual battle.  You need to be prepared.   You need to read the Bible, meditate in the Word, study the Word, and rightly divide the Word.  You need to put away the things of this world and learn how to fight Satan, lest you fall.  It is written, THE LORD SAID UNTO SATAN, WHENCE COMETH THOU?  THEN SATAN ANSWERED THE LORD, AND SAID, FROM GOING TO AND FRO IN THE EARTH, AND FROM WALKING UP AND DOWN IN IT-Job 1:7.  Why does he do this? BECAUSE YOUR ADVERSARY THE DEVIL, AS A ROARING LION, WALKETH ABOUT, SEEKING WHOM HE MAY DEVOUR-1 Pe 5:8.  Satan is looking for someone to devour.  Satan is an expert at his job.   He is well prepared.  He has thousands of years of practice in causing people to fall.  He knows how to do his job and does it well.  He has a vast arsenal of worldly weapons, a huge following, and much practice.  He wants to devour you, sift you as wheat, cause you to be an unprofitable servant, cause you to fall, and cause you to come over to his side.  He seeks to cause you to return to sin, to become stubborn and rebellious toward God, and follow his will.  He seeks to cause you to forsake God.

     God’s advice to us is, WHOM RESIST STEADFAST IN THE FAITH, KNOWING THAT THE SAME AFFLICTIONS ARE ACCOMPLISHED IN YOUR BRETHREN THAT ARE IN THE WORLD-1 Pe 5:9.  SUBMIT YOURSELVES THEREFORE TO GOD. RESIST THE DEVIL, AND HE WILL FLEE FROM YOU-Ja 4:7.  COME NEAR TO GOD AND HE WILL COME NEAR TO YOU.  WASH YOUR HANDS, YOU SINNERS, AND PURIFY YOUR HEARTS, YOU DOUBLE-MINDED.   GRIEVE, MOURN AND WAIL.  CHANGE YOUR LAUGHTER TO MOURNING AND YOUR JOY TO GLOOM.  HUMBLE YOURSELVES BEFORE THE LORD, AND HE WILL LIFT YOU UP-Ja 4:8-10 NIV.

     Fight a good warfare.   FIGHT THE GOOD "FIGHT" OF FAITH-1 Tim 6:12.  I THEREFORE SO RUN, NOT AS UNCERTAINLY; SO FIGHT I, NOT AS ONE THAT BEATETH THE AIR: BUT I KEEP UNDER MY BODY, AND BRING IT INTO SUBJECTION: LEST THAT BY ANY MEANS, WHEN I HAVE PREACHED TO OTHERS, I MYSELF SHOULD BE A CASTAWAY-1 Cor 9:26,27.

     As a follower of Jesus Christ, you have been chosen to be a soldier in a war against Satan and his forces.   It is a bitter conflict.  Satan will do all he can to discredit you, to hinder you, to buffet you, to persecute you, to deceive you, to tempt you, to snare you, to beguile you, to oppress you, to provoke you, to bring sickness on you, to embarrass you, to make you ashamed, and to make you afraid.  Satan will try to entangle you with lusts, pleasures, and the cares of this world.  He may use the deceitfulness of riches against you.  Satan can give you false dreams.  He can try to cause you to develop pride, to become stubborn, to become rebellious, and to despise correction.   Satan can be expected to send all types of his forces against you to try to stop you.

     But remember, GREATER IS HE THAT IS IN YOU, THAN HE THAT IS IN THE WORLD-1 Jn 4:4.  AND THIS IS THE VICTORY THAT OVERCOMETH THE WORLD, EVEN OUR FAITH-1 Jn 5:4.

     And, ultimately, God wants you to be able to say, I HAVE FOUGHT A GOOD FIGHT, I HAVE FINISHED MY COURSE, I HAVE KEPT THE FAITH-2 Tim 4:7.  Let us press on in the battle, so we may hear the words of Jesus, saying, WELL DONE, THOU GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT: THOU HAST BEEN FAITHFUL OVER A FEW THINGS, I WILL MAKE THEE RULER OVER MANY THINGS: ENTER THOU INTO THE JOY OF "THY" LORD-Mt 25:21.

WHAT IS TRUTH?

     Jesus said, I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE: NO MAN COMETH UNTO THE FATHER, BUT BY ME-Jn 14:6.

     It is not the Bible plus someone’s writings.

     It is not the Bible plus another gospel.

     It is not the Bible plus the traditions of a church or people.

     It is not the Bible plus the traditions of a denomination.

     It is not the Bible plus someone’s interpretation.

     It is not the Bible plus what man says.

     It is not the Bible plus dreams, visions, or prophecies.

     It is not parts of the Bible, but the entire Bible of sixty-six books.

     The Bible stands alone.   The Bible is the Authority by which all things are to be judged.  This is "truth."

SPIRITUAL WARFARE
(Eph 6:10-17)

(Scripture)

Eph 6:10-FINALLY, MY BRETHREN, BE STRONG IN THE LORD, AND IN THE POWER OF HIS MIGHT.

     11-PUT ON THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD, THAT YE MAY BE ABLE TO STAND AGAINST THE WILES (or schemes) OF THE DEVIL.

     12-FOR WE WRESTLE (or struggle) NOT AGAINST FLESH AND BLOOD, BUT AGAINST PRINCIPALITIES (or authorities), AGAINST POWERS, AGAINST THE RULERS OF THE DARKNESS OF THIS WORLD, AGAINST SPIRITUAL WICKEDNESS IN HIGH PLACES (or spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms-NIV).

     13-WHEREFORE TAKE UNTO YOU (or put on) THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD, THAT YE MAY BE ABLE TO WITHSTAND (or stand your ground) IN THE EVIL DAY, AND HAVING DONE ALL (or everything), TO STAND.

     14-STAND THEREFORE (firm), HAVING YOUR LOINS GIRT ABOUT WITH TRUTH (or the belt of truth buckled around your waist-NIV), AND HAVING ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS;

     15-AND YOUR FEET SHOD (or fitted) WITH THE PREPARATION (or readiness) OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE;

     16-ABOVE ALL, TAKING THE SHIELD OF FAITH, WHEREWITH YE SHALL BE ABLE TO QUENCH (or extinguish) ALL THE FIERY DARTS (or flaming arrows) OF THE WICKED.

     17-AND TAKE THE HELMET OF SALVATION, AND THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, WHICH IS THE WORD OF GOD.

(Scripture with commentary)

     Eph 6:10-These passages are addressed not to all people, but to the believers, MY BRETHREN.  God then commands the brethren to BE STRONG.  However, that "strength" does not come from ourselves but from IN THE LORD.  Further, our "power" comes from THE POWER OF HIS MIGHT.  Our power comes from being in union with Jesus.  We are in a struggle, and we need to defend ourselves using God’s ways, not man’s ways.   We need His strength and His power.

     Eph 6:11-Again a command comes forth, PUT ON THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD.  The armor we are to put on is not worldly armor, not worldly ways, not worldly defenses; but God’s ways, God’s armor, God’s defenses. God’s armor is referred to as the ARMOR OF LIGHT-Ro 13:12.  It is also called, THE ARMOR OF RIGHTEOUSNESS ON THE RIGHT HAND AND ON THE LEFT-2 Cor 6:7.  Armor is for protection.  This is how we can get the victory.   That protection is so we can STAND and not fall.  We are to STAND AGAINST THE WILES (or schemes) OF THE DEVIL.  Note the words, STAND AGAINST.  The strongest defensive position is usually standing still, feet firmly planted on the rock, while watching, being ready, and alert.  The devil is scheming and planning how to cause each of us to fall.  He wants to knock us off our feet.  He wants us to fall back into the bondage of sin and disobedience against God.  Satan is the enemy of every born-again Christian.  He is clever and sneaky.  He often attacks in ways that do not come to our mind until it happens.  Satan masquerades and IS TRANSFORMED INTO AN ANGEL OF LIGHT-2 Cor 11:14.  When he puts thoughts into your mind, he does not tell you it is him.  He tells you it is your own thoughts or the thoughts of God.   He mixes truth and lies together and tries to make you think it is all truth.   Satan is a master of deception.  Satan often speaks to you through ministers that appear to be ministers of God, but they are not.  THEREFORE IT IS NO GREAT THING IF HIS MINISTERS ALSO BE TRANSFORMED AS THE MINISTERS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS-2 Cor 11:15.   Satan seeks to take what is the pure truth and make it something different, such as a compromise or a lie.

     Eph 6:12-FOR WE WRESTLE (or struggle).  We are in a war, a battle, a fight.  In a wrestling match, one person tries to throw the other down and defeat him. We are in a personal match or battle with the most cunning, deceitful foe ever created.  It is a life and death struggle.  That battle is for our soul.  God, in His love, is not willing that any should perish.  His will is that we follow "Him."  Satan, on the other hand, wants us to follow him.  Thus, we are in a struggle.  At times, it feels like we are being pulled in two different directions at once.  At times, it feels like we might be torn apart.  God is telling us how to win this struggle.   We wrestle NOT AGAINST FLESH AND BLOOD.  Our battle is not physical.  FOR THOUGH WE WALK IN THE FLESH, WE DO NOT WAR AFTER THE FLESH-2 Cor 10:3.  Our struggle is really against PRINCIPALITIES (or high ranking demonic authorities), AGAINST POWERS (those that have certain powers or authority), AGAINST THE RULERS OF THE DARKNESS OF THIS WORLD (the unseen rulers of darkness), AGAINST SPIRITUAL WICKEDNESS IN HIGH PLACES.   We are in a struggle with unseen wicked spirits.  Satan has a vast army of demonic forces that he uses in the unseen realm of darkness.  He is THE PRINCE OF THE POWER OF THE AIR-Eph 2:2.  He also has access to heaven at this time-ref Job 1:6, but will be cast out during the Tribulation-ref Rev 12:7-9.

     Often our mind becomes filled with wicked thoughts.  It becomes filled with thoughts of wrong things to do.   Then our emotions become involved.  We may yield to sin.  We often think these thoughts are our own, when in reality, they come from the darkness of this world.   During the millennial reign of Jesus Christ, Satan will be bound and a seal shall be upon him, so he should DECEIVE THE NATIONS NO MORE-Rev 20:3.  For one thousand years there will be peace upon the earth.  Sin, as it is today, will almost disappear.  The world will love the Jew.  You might wonder how this can be?   It is because Satan will no longer be able to fill a person's thoughts with wickedness.  We wrestle or struggle against these things.  There is a spiritual realm—a whole unseen world of darkness that we cannot see, yet can feel.  The evil thoughts people have, cause much of the wickedness that is in the world today.

     Let's say, for example, that you are walking down the street.  You hear a still, small voice say to walk up to a certain person and witness to him about Jesus.  Immediately, this seems like a wonderful idea.  This is from the Lord.  You begin walking toward that person.   As you do, other thoughts come into your mind.  Thoughts telling you not to witness to that person.  Then as you get closer, you begin to be afraid.  You begin to wonder how the person will respond.  You may think he will become violent toward you and hit you if you try to witness to him.  All of a sudden, it feels like you need to use the toilet.  As you approach the person, you are now almost shaking with fear.  It becomes hard to speak.  You have trouble thinking what to say.

     There is a struggle going on inside of you.  The Spirit of God is telling you to witness to this person.   Satan is telling you not to.  Your faith is being tested.  Your heart is being tested.  You can "feel" the darkness screaming in your thoughts.   You can "feel" your emotions rising.  Although you cannot see the rulers of the darkness, you can hear them in your thoughts telling you to disobey God and sin.  You can "feel" the pressure they can exert against you when you seek to do God’s will.  You can observe the obstacles they put in your path to try to stop you.  You can see many things coming against you, including people trying to turn you away from obeying God.  Satan has a whole arsenal at his command to try to defeat us.  He uses fear, the lusts of the flesh, the pleasures of this world, the cares of this world, the desires for other things, and the deceitfulness of riches to lead us astray.  But behind it all, is Satan speaking to us in our thoughts with the things he knows we are susceptible to.  Satan can be very persuasive when he puts thoughts in our mind.  We WRESTLE.  We struggle against the forces of the darkness.  Nevertheless, by faith we overcome all things.

     Why do many people never get saved?  Because they choose to believe the lying thoughts that Satan puts in their mind rather than God’s Word.

     Why did Eve sin?   Because she chose to believe the lying thoughts that Satan put in her mind rather than God’s Word.

     Do not underestimate the power of the devil to deceive.

     Eph 6:13-WHEREFORE TAKE UNTO YOU (or put on).  God’s Word has told us to be strong.  It has already told us to put on the whole armor of God.  It has told us to stand.  It has told us that we struggle.  Now, it is further telling us to take THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD.  We need to understand that THE WEAPONS OF OUR WARFARE ARE NOT CARNAL, BUT MIGHTY THROUGH GOD-2 Cor 10:4.  Why should we take the whole armor of God?  THAT YE MAY BE ABLE TO WITHSTAND (or stand your ground).  Verse 11 said, that we may be able to stand.  Here we are being told that we may be able to WITHSTAND.  In addition to the normal onslaught that comes against the born-again Christian, there are certain evil days when the Christian seems to get hit with a barrage of things.  It is written, the RAIN DESCENDED, AND THE FLOODS CAME, AND THE WINDS BLEW, AND BEAT UPON THAT HOUSE, which is you-Mt 7:25.  The Christian feels like they are beaten down and can take no more.  The rains keep coming, the floods never seem to stop, and the winds keep blowing.  Nevertheless, God’s Word is telling us how to withstand such days.  God’s Word is showing us what to do to prepare for these things, so when Satan blasts us (remember Job), we do not fall and turn from God to the enemy and perish.  It is written, that ye may be able to withstand IN THE EVIL DAY.  This verse, Mt 7:25, is describing specifically the evil day mentioned in Eph 6:13.  The verse continues with AND HAVING DONE ALL (or everything), TO STAND.  Most Christians have not obeyed this command.  They have not done everything to stand.  Does your faith in Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, Who is come in the flesh, reflect itself in the following?

     Have you truly repented of all sin?  How about drinking?  How about smoking?  How about astrology?

     Do you have an overwhelming thirst to read God’s Word?  Have you been faithful in both reading and studying many chapters in your Bible every day?  Do you truly believe that all of the Bible (sixty-six books) is God’s Word and that it is all true?

     Do you hate people?   Are there people you refuse to forgive?

     Are you attending a Bible-believing and teaching church faithfully?  Are you attending a dead church and refuse to leave, because you are of that XYZ denomination and you will die in that XYZ denomination?  Do you refuse to leave a church that teaches false doctrines because your friends or relatives go there?  Do you go to a church that puts any other book on the same level as the Bible?  Do you go to a church that combines church traditions with God’s Word?  Do you go to a church that is a political arena rather than totally centered on and led by Jesus?

     Are you ready always to give an answer to any person that asks you about the reason of the hope that is in you?   That hope can only be Jesus.

     Are you still using filthy language?  Is your conversation centered on Jesus or the things of this world?

     Do you still love this world or Jesus?  Are you laying up treasures in heaven or upon the earth?

     Is Jesus the center of your universe, your thinking, your life, or are "you" the center of your universe?

     Are you still fellowshipping with the unsaved?  Are you dating an unsaved woman or man?  Are you planning to marry an unsaved person?

     Do you watch garbage on television or listen to it on the radio?  Do you find pleasure in evil, or do you hate every evil way?

     Do you pray daily?   Do you pray over all your meals and give thanks, or are you embarrassed, especially when others are present?

     Do you acknowledge Jesus in all your ways?  When a person looks at you, do they see a reflection of Jesus, or do they see a reflection of the world?  Does Jesus come out of your mouth, but the world shines forth in what you do?

     Do you fear God?   Do your actions show you fear God?

     Do you love all born-again Christians, no matter what denomination or church they may be in?

     After you believed on Jesus and repented of your sins, have you obeyed the Bible and been baptized by full immersion in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost?

     Are you soft and childlike towards correction from God’s Word?  When being corrected, do you have a sweet spirit or another spirit?

     Do you obey God’s Word, or do you argue with God’s Word and say it does not mean what it says?   Does your love for God reflect itself through obeying "His" commandments?

     Do any of these questions offend you?  Do you disagree with any of them?

     Have you truly DONE ALL (or everything), TO STAND?  Are you giving a place to the devil to attack you?

     Eph 6:14-STAND THEREFORE (firm).  Again, we have a command to STAND.  HAVING YOUR LOINS GIRT (or buckled) ABOUT.  Jesus spoke these words, LET YOUR LOINS BE GIRDED ABOUT, AND YOUR LIGHTS BURNING-Lk 12:35.  Peter spoke these words, GIRD UP THE LOINS OF YOUR MIND-1 Pe 1:13.  It is the girdle around the loins that holds all things together.   It is not an ornament.  Our loins are to be girt about WITH TRUTH.  Truth is to govern the struggle we are in.  Standing in Jesus must be based on truth.   It must be based on being FOUNDED and BUILT upon "the" ROCK-Jesus.   Jesus is the Word-ref Mt 7:24,25; Jn 1:1,14.  It is written, HE THAT BELIEVETH NOT THE SON (or the Word) SHALL NOT SEE LIFE-Jn 3:36.  HE THAT BELIEVETH NOT GOD (the Word) HATH MADE HIM A LIAR-1 Jn 5:10.  AND YE HAVE NOT HIS WORD ABIDING IN YOU: FOR WHOM HE HATH SENT, HIM YE BELIEVE NOT-Jn 5:38.  Our loins must be GIRT ABOUT WITH TRUTH (or the belt of truth).  Our waist is to be belted with truth.  Truth should reflect righteousness.  It is written, AND RIGHTEOUSNESS SHALL BE THE GIRDLE OF HIS LOINS-Isa 11:5.  The sword, which represents God’s Word-ref Eph 6:17, can be fastened to the belt-ref 2 Sam 20:8.  The Word is fastened to truth.

     AND HAVING ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.  A breastplate is part of our armor.  The breastplate protects our vital organs in the chest area, including our heart.  That armor or breastplate must be of righteousness.  It is written, HE PUT ON RIGHTEOUSNESS AS A BREASTPLATE-Isa 59:17, and also PUTTING ON THE BREASTPLATE OF FAITH AND LOVE-1 Thes 5:8.  Note, "faith and love."  Love is the fulfilling of the Law, thus, righteousness.  The righteousness here is denoting the righteousness of Christ coming forth in the believer’s life.  The fruits we should bring forth are those of the Spirit of God.  Our integrity, character, and conduct should reflect Jesus.  We should walk worthy of the calling we have received-ref Eph 4:1.  Our righteousness is of Jesus.

     Note-LOINS GIRT-WITH TRUTH-which holds all together.

     Note-The Word-fastened to truth.

     Note-BREASTPLATE-RIGHTEOUSNESS-which covers the chest, including the heart.   Faith in Jesus Christ and love denote righteousness.

 

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