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Spiritual warfare...

Discussion in 'Bible Study Forum' started by setfree, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. setfree

    setfree New Member

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    The Bible reveals that there is a spiritual realm which is unseen but which affects the physical world. The devil and his demons are waging a vicious and evil spiritual battle all around us, trying to thwart God's plans and trying to prevent people from becoming saved and entering God's kingdom. We as Christians need to know about this spiritual battle so that we are aware of the devil's schemes (2 Corinthians 2:11), so that we can take our stand against the devil's schemes (Ephesians 6:11), and so that we can protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our ministries (Ephesians 6:16). If we are blind to the battle and unaware of what is going on around us simply because we cannot directly see it, then it becomes easy for the devil to deceive us in clever, subtle ways and to prevent us from being effective at saving people and doing God's work here on earth. We need a deeper understanding of who we are in Christ and the authority that we have over the demonic realm. Our focus must always be on Jesus, but in order to be effective soldiers for Christ it is helpful for us to understand the nature of our enemy. Scripture tells us that Jesus has already defeated the devil and his demons, and it says that Christians are God's warrior kingdom here on earth. The idea of evil spirits and demonization is difficult for many people to accept. The "demon-possessions" mentioned in the Gospels are often considered to be nothing more than unscientific first-century explanations for physical diseases or mental illnesses. However, the Bible is perfectly clear that demons exist. Consider the following passages: "He [Jesus] called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness." (Matthew 10:1) "[Jesus is speaking] Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.' Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give." (Matthew 10:6-8) "[Jesus is speaking] And if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you." (Matthew 12:27-28) "Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, "What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are--the Holy One of God!" "Be quiet!" said Jesus sternly. "Come out of him!" The evil spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek." (Mark 1:23-26) "When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don't torture me!" For Jesus had commanded the evil spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places. Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" "Legion," he replied, because many demons had gone into him. And they begged him repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss. A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into them, and he gave them permission. When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned." (Luke 8:27-33) Notice that Jesus Himself confirms the existence of demons. The argument could be made that the people of the first century were not very scientific or sophisticated and did not have our modern medical understanding when diagnosing diseases, but that argument cannot be used with Jesus, the Son of God! Either Jesus was lying or being deceptive (which is impossible for God - Hebrews 6:18), or else demons really do exist.What are demons?
     
  2. panjelina

    panjelina New Member

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    Amen to that! it is true there is a spiritual world around us in which we can not see. I personally, not to sound weird or anything, have at times been givin the gift to see into the spiritual world. And friend, I can fully assure you, there are demons. I have seen them large and small, and each time it took much strenght for me to fight being fearful of them. As I have grown in the Lord and know more about the authority I have in Christ, I have been able to find peace when facing these fears. I also believe though, that we should not walk around being fearful of being attacked or having a demon or something evil influencing our lives. Jesus' told us not to fear. To case all worries upon Him. And i fully believe that is what we should do. But also know, that God has say in all things that happen in our lives as long as we are obiedent, and living under his protection. Look at Job. He was tight with God, they where good friends. Then Satan asked to basically make his life a living nightmare, which it was. Yet through it all, Job knew that God was good, and His will would come as long as he continued to allow God to lead his life. I pray to be more like that! [​IMG] Good post friend.
     
  3. setfree

    setfree New Member

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    I hope I never encounter a demon! But they are real here are some scriptures that show that God is a spirit, that angels are spirits, and that the devil and his demons are angels: "God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." (John 4:24) "Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?" (Hebrews 1:14) "'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.'" (Matthew 25:41) "And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down--that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him." (Revelation 12:7-9) "For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago" (1 Peter 3:18-20) "For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment" (2 Peter 2:4) "And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home--these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day." (Jude 1:6) So demons are actually angels (spirits) who made the decision to follow the devil in his rebellion against God. They are now dedicated to pure, vicious evil, which is why the Bible refers to them as "evil spirits."
     
  4. sj1

    sj1 New Member

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    I don't think anyone could ever argue about Satan's power. It doesn't take long to look around in today's world to see the true effects of evil. This conversation is really valuable. The evil one is alive and well. We need to be vigilent ALWAYS.sj.
     
  5. setfree

    setfree New Member

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    In the popular imagination, in cartoons and comic strips, in books and TV shows and movies, the devil is pictured as living in and ruling from a place of fire and brimstone called "hell." This is an incorrect notion, however, because he has never been there! The place of "eternal fire" (Matthew 25:41, Jude 1:7), also called the "lake of fire" (Revelation 20:15), is a place of eternal punishment that has been "prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matthew 25:41). The devil and his demons are not in hell, and in fact they have never been there before (Revelation 20:10). This "lake of fire" is also where those who died without Christ will go after Judgment Day (Revelation 20:15), where "the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever" (Revelation 14:11). This is why it is so incredibly important not to let opportunities for evangelism slip through our fingers! "In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire." (Jude 1:7) "If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:15) "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.'" (Matthew 25:41) "[After Christ has physically reigned on earth for a thousand years] And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever." (Revelation 20:10) "And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name." (Revelation 14:11)
     
  6. GeneralJ

    GeneralJ New Member

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    I see it necessary to shed some light on this subject because of the way we have been "programmed" to understand it. It was sometime in the 70’s when the idea (of Spiritual warfare) really caught on in force with a multitude of denominations. However, it also gained a corrupted definition by those who were not mature or able to understand what we are taught in Scripture. Sadly that corrupted idea still persists today and many flee from the Idea of Spiritual Warfare. For example when someone brings up in conversation “Spiritual Warfare” most of their audience presumes they are talking about exorcism or deliverance from demonic possession. This is how we have been programmed to react to this idea. In reality the exercise of warfare has many facets other than just an aggressive outing of enemy occupation. There is defensive operations, rescue, healing, equipping, supply etc. etc. Yet for some reason we have all attached our obsession to that of authority over demons. This is definitely something we truly have been given the authority to exercise by Jesus Christ, according to scripture, but it is not the “whole” of our Spiritual Warfare doctrine given by Scripture. We each have a unique perspective influenced by the way we have been educated. But when we bring all of those perspectives and offices together they form a single working force with a singular goal they all labor in together to accomplish. The scriptures call this “the Body of Christ.” I am formerly a soldier, in light of the knowledge I have gained with that occupation the Holy Spirit teaches me the truth in light of that understanding. Truly my calling from God came to me before I ever became a soldier for this country, and I see how he has directed my steps to finish this work in me. My calling was not a result of my service in “mans” military, but because God has directed my life I benefit from every event and am given to understand how we are to operate as “soldiers for Christ.” In modern militaries we see a multitude of different offices, lawyers, doctors, supply officials, etc. just because they are not bristling with guns does not mean they are not military, or soldiers. They have a duty or office they execute that in its own way is a fight to support, teach, protect, govern, what-all. Some truly are front line soldiers, and at times we are all called to run to the front in direct support. When I study the Scriptures I can, by the understanding given me by the Holy Spirit, see how each office of the Body is designed to support the “Warfare of the Saints.” A unique perspective I have been given by God because of my calling. Many struggle with this Idea and claim there are no responsibilities for us as Christians and like to quote Scripture out of context and say that there is no need to fight or struggle. Ephesians says otherwise. I would sincerely like to meet any Christian that has never struggled “against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Eph 6:12 If there is such a person then only two things can be certain; they are not a Christian, for why would Satan resist against his own? Or they are immature in the faith and do not understand what is really occurring in the Spirit. In a great many forums there is a reflection of the myriads of corrupted beliefs that somehow what was addressed or occurred in New Testament times was indigenous only to their day and age and is inappropriate for instruction to the modern Christian. If that truly is the case, as they surmise, why is Satan still tearing at this World? Why is there still sin? Should I wait for a Third Testament to equip me with “modern righteousness” to fight this “new Satan?” God forbid, it is true that ALL Scripture is for us now. We need to break free from these “programmed ideas” and set out to find the truth the Spirit would have us know. For as long as we are captives of the imaginations and denominational restraints of men we literally cripple the ability to grow and function as a healthy Christian Body whose head is Jesus Christ. I hope this is helpful,This is always a good topic to discuss and understand, thanks for bringing it up.God bless
     
  7. setfree

    setfree New Member

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    According to the Bible, the spiritual forces of evil include rulers, powers, and authorities which live in the heavenly realms: "In that day the LORD will punish the powers in the heavens above and the kings on the earth below." (Isaiah 24:21) "His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 3:10) "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Ephesians 6:12) "For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him." (Colossians 1:16) "And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross." (Colossians 2:15) "And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home--these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day." (Jude 1:6) The fact that the spiritual forces of evil include rulers, authorities, and powers indicates that there is a demonic hierarchy or chain of command. But what do these rulers rule over?
     
  8. GeneralJ

    GeneralJ New Member

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    QUOTE
    The fact that the spiritual forces of evil include rulers, authorities, and powers indicates that there is a demonic hierarchy or chain of command. But what do these rulers rule over?
    Disregarding the "hierarchy" for now, consider this condensed point.Satan is the father of lies. All the angels that fell with him are subject to him, all those that reject Christ are subject to him.Regardless of their ranking they all serve his purpose;Joh 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.Satan and his followers all use the most powerful weapon in their arsenal to accomplish this purpose; DECEPTION,(lies).Satan and his demons "rule" over all those "subjected" to him.Joh 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.Now consider the consequences when one of Satans subjects are in a position of authority here on earth...Ps 12:8 The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted.God bless,General-
     
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