Know Your Enemy – Real Spiritual Warfare

There is a great cosmic battle raging right now. We are part of this war. We have enemies. Rabbi Paul described it like this: We are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6).

Satan and the other fallen angels are real. They are old. Strong. Intelligent. Cunning. Devious. Evil. These evil spirits are in rebellion against God. They oppose Him and what He is doing. They are spirits − non-physical beings who have access to this physical realm. They are organized. Satan is their leader. The Adversary is the god of this world. Serving under him are other fallen angels who control various parts of this world. There are a lot of demons − enough of them for them to be aware of each one of us; enough of them for them to be involved with each one of us.

They oppose God by destroying human beings − because we are made in the image of God and have the potential to live with God forever. The fallen angels destroy us in various ways. They destroy us by keeping us away from God, from the truth, from the salvation that only is possible through Messiah Yeshua. They destroy us by using lies, deception, confusion. They cultivate false religions, ideologies and philosophies to keep us trapped in those false beliefs. If the truth sets us free, then false beliefs keep us enslaved to the evil spirits and dead in our rebellion and sins.

The evil spirits destroy us by corrupting us. They try to corrupt our character. Instead of being virtuous and godly, they want us to have bad character − to be liars, cheaters, thieves, disloyal, untrustworthy, unkind, unloving, cruel. They destroy us by enhancing our weaknesses. If we struggle with pride, greed, anger, selfishness, laziness or other sins − if we’re attracted to money, power, fame − if we’re tempted by sexual immorality, drugs, alcohol, gambling or other vices − the evil spirits know our weaknesses and tempt us in those areas. If we yield to the things that tempt us, our weaknesses get worse and our willpower and self-control are diminished. We get weaker, more corrupt, less human, more wicked, more demonic.

They destroy us by encouraging us to go from the natural, the God-designed, to the unnatural. God designed us male and female. Going from male-female sex to homosexual or lesbian sex is rebellion against God’s design. Men dressing as women, women dressing as men, men trying to be women and women trying to be men is rebellion against God’s design. The demons love this and encourage it because it’s so destructive to us.

They destroy us by breaking down the God-designed family unit: one man and one woman who raise God-fearing children. Absent fathers, single mothers and divorce make things so much more difficult for us and harm our children.

They destroy us by stirring up anger, hatred, division, disunity, murder and war − things our fallen nature is prone to. They love us hating each other, murdering each other and engaging in unjust wars. They adore, adore, adore abortion.

If we go down the path of evil far enough, the demons may be able to completely control us. Demon possession is a reality. If you think someone is demon possessed, understand that casting out a demon is not something to be engaged in lightly. Involve the leaders of your Yeshua-community and ask for their help. Never talk to demons − they lie. They confuse. They deceive. Talk to God and ask Him to send the demon out. Before you try to exorcize a demon, understand that the person must be willing to become a follower of Yeshua or, if after the demon leaves, he will come back and the situation for the person will be worse.

The good news is with God’s grace, we can overcome these powerful enemies. We overcome them by believing the truth about Messiah Yeshua, by being born again, by receiving a new, godly nature, by being filled with the Spirit, by being empowered by the Spirit to resist evil and do what is right. Greater is the Spirit of God who lives in us than all the evil spirits who live in the world.

When we are saved, the Spirit helps us understand the Word of God, and we’re able to go on the offensive in this cosmic battle. We’re able to demolish strongholds of false beliefs and turn thoughts that were disobedient to Messiah into thoughts that are obedient to Him. That is real spiritual warfare.

Real spiritual warfare is different from the unbiblical teachings and practices of many of today’s so-called deliverance ministries. Real spiritual warfare does not engage in “binding and loosing” demons. Binding and loosing refer to spiritual authority delegated by God to the leaders of Messiah’s Community to make authoritative decisions. Binding and loosing means allowing things or not allowing things, permitting things or not permitting them. Binding and loosing has nothing to do with restraining evil spirits.

Real spiritual warfare does not engage in talking to demons and asking them for their names or what sins they specialize in order to exorcize them. When demons who were in people tried to speak, Yeshua did not allow them to speak. When Messiah asked the demon-possessed man his name, I’m sure He was talking to the man − not the demon.

Real spiritual warfare is not involved in identifying demonic rulers in an area where sins or occult practices have taken place, and casting out the evil spirits of that area that specialize in those sins or occult practices. The Lord Yeshua and His disciples never did that − nor should we.

Real spiritual warfare does not engage in casting out demons of pride, greed, lust, anger or selfishness. We do not exorcize evils spirits of alcohol, nicotine, cocaine or anything similar. These are sins to be resisted over a lifetime by living by the Spirit − not demons to be exorcized in a moment.

Humanity is already under the control of the fallen angels. However, there are things we do that strengthen their control over us even more. When we hear the truth and reject the truth, we go farther from the light and closer to the darkness. When we get involved in occult practices like talking to dead people, including dead relatives or saints, or grave soaking, we open the door to the demonic. I understand that “After School Satan Clubs” are becoming a thing in some public schools. When we sin, and then sin more and more, we go farther from God and goodness and get closer to the evil spirits. Altered states of consciousness like meditation techniques that empty one’s mind, or trying to separate the soul from the body, or using mind-altering drugs, open the door to the demonic. I consider marijuana a mind-altering drug.

Let’s talk about believers. The fallen angels try to prevent us from being saved. If we get saved, the demons try to prevent us from being spiritually successful. If the Lord wants us to be like a 100-watt bulb that gives a lot of light, the demons want us to be like a 10-watt bulb, or better yet a one-watt bulb that barely gives any light. Yes, there are one-watt bulbs. The demons want to prevent us from doing what we should be doing − being filled with the Spirit; reading the Bible and thinking about it each day; praying without ceasing, talking to God throughout the day; witnessing to everyone we can; pouring our time and energy and finances into being actively involved in and building Messiah’s Community.

The evil spirits prevent us from doing what we should be doing by distracting us with the cares of this world and the desire for pleasures, comfort, power and wealth. They encourage the fear of man in us so we don’t proclaim the Gospel, the Good News about Messiah the way we should. They want us to hide our light. What the Lord whispers in our ears they don’t want us to shout from our roofs.

The fallen angels derail us by getting us involved in bizarre religious expressions, since many can’t distinguish the bizarre from the miraculous. They get us involved in hysterical laughing (laughing in the Spirit), falling down on the floor (getting slain in the Spirit), screaming, yelling, jumping, running around the building (being moved by the Spirit).

They derail us by redirecting our faith in God and the need to live by the Holy Spirit and be obedient and proclaim the Gospel and love our brothers and sisters in Messiah’s Community, to seeking angels, miracles and charismatic gifts − which in many cases are not real gifts from God at all. Or if they are real gifts, consider these words of our Lord: On judgment day many will say to me, “Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.” But I will reply, “I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.”

What is true for individuals can be true for nations. Nations can be closer to God or farther from God; closer to the devil or farther from him; more controlled by God or more controlled by fallen angels. What happened to Germany under Hitler and the Nazis is an example of a nation getting farther from God and embracing evil. Our nation is going the same way. In the past 70 years we’ve gone from God fearing to God opposing We’re no longer a Christian nation. We’re an anti-Christian, anti-Christ nation. We’ve rejected the Word of God. We’re controlled by atheists, sexual deviants and freedom-hating elites. Like Nazi Germany, we’re not far from being demonized. The demons must be absolutely thrilled at the progress they’ve made.

Lord, help our nation repent, turn to You and Your good ways. Help us stay alert, watching out for our great enemy, the devil, who prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Help us resist the devil, be strong, stand our ground, even go on the offensive. Like wise spiritual soldiers, help us put on all of the armor You have available for us so that we will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil and be able to resist our enemies. Help us put on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, help us put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that we will be fully prepared. Help us hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil, put on salvation as our helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Help us pray in the Spirit all the time.