Spiritual Warfare (Overview of the Battle)
By Calvin Bergsma (Pastor at Georgetown Christian Fellowship)
“And there was war in heaven (heavenlies): Michael and his angels fought against the dragon (Satan); and the dragon fought and his angels,” Revelation 12:7
What does this verse mean? It means there is more going on than we can see with our eyes. II Kings 6:8-23
This diagram might better help you understand what the Bible describes as the two kingdoms that are now at war, the Kingdom of Light and the Kingdom of darkness. As you read the Scripture references you will see that you too are involved in this battle. It is important to not only be aware of this spiritual struggle, but also to align yourself with God's Kingdom. Receiving and obeying His commands and using the weapons He provides will assure that you will not only survive, but will be victorious.
Kingdom of God (Matt. 12:28) (Col. 1:12-13) (Luke 11:25)
- Commander of the Kingdom of God (Jos. 5:14) (Heb. 1:8) (1 Cor. 15:24-25)
- Supreme ruler of everything He has made (1 Chr. 29:11) (2 Chr. 20:6)
- The Creator of ALL things. (Including Satan) (Col. 1:16)
- He is all powerful (Matt. 28:18) (Ps. 62:11) (Prov 8:15) (Rom 13:1) (Gen 17:1)
- He is all knowing (Acts 15:18)(Matt. 10:30) (Ps 139:1-6) (1Jn. 3:20)
Spiritual beings (not having physical bodies) designed to be servants of God. (Ps. 91:11) (Mark 1:14) (Luke 16:22)
Origin: Created by God before the earth (Col. 1:16)
Purpose: To minister to (or serve) God and whomever else He directs them to assist. (Heb. 1:14) (Matt. 13:39) (Matt. 4:11)
- Angels have different rank, power and authority (Dan. 10:13)
- They have a free will (Ref. Satan's angels )
- They are eternal beings (Ref. Satan's angels )
- They do not reproduce, since they are neither male nor female (Matt. 22:30) (Mark 12:25)
- They can appear in human form (Heb. 13:2)
- Their performance will someday be judged by humans. (1Cor. 6:3)
Kingdom of Darkness (Matt. 12:26) (Eph. 2:2)
Commander of the Kingdom of darkness (Luke 11:18)
Aliases: Lucifer, the Devil, Prince of the power of the air, Beelzebub, Lord of the flies, God of this World, Dragon, Prince of this world, King of Tyrus (John 14:30) (Luke 4:6) (Rev. 12:9) (Matt. 12:24)
He is of the highest rank of the angels created by God. Because of his pride (for he was very beautiful), he rebelled against God. It was not enough to be the cherub that covered, he wanted to be equal with God. Because of his sin Lucifer and the angels that were aligned with him were cast out of heaven (God’s presence) into the heavenlies where they continue their rebellion (war) against God. (Luke 10:18) (Is. 14:12-14) (Rev. 12:9) (Ezek. 28:12-19) (Rev. 12:9) (Jude 1:9)
He is a defeated foe for we have power over him in Jesus’ name although he is not to be taken lightly. (Jude 1:9) (Acts 19:14-16
God will eventually throw Satan and his allies into Hell for that’s what Hell was made for. (II Thes. 2:8) (Matt. 25:41) (Heb. 2:14) (I John 3:8)
- He is a finite created being and operates temporarily with God’s permission (Ezek. 28:13) (Rev.12:12)
- He is powerful but his power is limited (Job 1:12) (Job 2:6)
- His knowledge is limited (If Satan knew that crucifying Jesus would destroy his own evil kingdom he never would have done it.) (1 Cor. 2:8)
- He is a deceiver and often comes masquerading as an angel of light (pretending to be one of God’s angels) (2 Cor. 11:14) (Rev. 12:9)
- Christians have power over him, in Jesus name (Mark 16:17-18) (Luke 10:19)
Satan attempts to deceive people to following after anything except God (i.e. money, fame, lust, power, or themselves). He knows if they follow after these things they’re really following him. (Mark 4:13-9) (Matt. 13:18-22) (James 4:4)
Spiritual beings (not having physical bodies) designed to be servants of God's servants but now give allegiance to Satan. (Matt. 25:41)
Aliases: Principalities, Powers of Darkness, Powers, Dominions
Origin: Created by God before our earth’s creation
Their Own Purpose: To assist (or serve) Satan and whomever else he directs them to hinder.
Characteristics: (same as the angels that did not fall but evil)
- They have different rank, power and authority; (Dan. 10:13)
- They have a free will (i.e. since these are the angels who rebelled against God and followed Lucifer); (Jude 1:6)
- They are eternal beings and have already been sentenced to Hell and will be placed there after the final judgment. (Matt. 25:41)
- They do not reproduce, since they are neither male nor female; (Matt. 22:30) (Mark 12:25)
- They can take on the appearance of a human or an animal (Gen. 3:1)
Some assume that the fallen angels are the demons that are made mention of in the scriptures, while a number of Christians who have studied the subject feel that demons are of undefined origin. They believe this because of a demon's apparent need to be attached to a host in order to function effectively, in a similar way that a parasite attaches itself to a host (victim). (Matt. 12:43) (Luke 11:24) (Matt. 8:31) Whereas angels do not need a physical body because they function effectively as spirits, since that is the way God designed them. The Scripture is not clear on this but it is clear that demons exist and are a real factor in our personal spiritual battles.
Disembodied spirits seeming to have intense craving to cause evil of every kind.
Aliases: Evil spirits, devils, tormentors
Origin: Created by God before our earth’s creation. At that time they were not evil. (Col. 1:16)
Purpose: To bring people into bondage to the evil appetites they propagate thereby serving Satan’s interests and because of this are aligned with him against God. (John 10:10)
Demons seem to receive vicarious pleasure from tormenting and generally ruining a person's life.
Note: It seems that many are driven by a particular appetite, and seem to have different interests in the way they torment their victims. They also have names that it appears relate to their individual carnal cravings. (Mark 5:9) (Luke 8:30)
At times Jesus asked for them to identify themselves yet at other times he did not allow them to speak. (Mark 1:34) (Luke 4:41)
Everywhere that Jesus went He set free those oppressed by demons. (Matt. 12:22-23) (Matt. 8:16)
It is noteworthy that 1/4 of the acts of Jesus mentioned in the Bible, were of Him casting evil spirits out of those who He ministered to. Jesus taught that we were to continue in the example that He showed us. In fact He said “greater things shall you do” and what He intended that to mean is made clear by His final instructions to His followers at the time of His ascension. (Luke 10:17-21) (Mark 9:17-29)
Characteristics Of Demons Or Their Involvement:
- Many times a person oppressed or possessed by a demon displays unhealthy or unnatural cravings or actions. The result of such oppression or possession by a demon will always have a destructive effect on the victim (spiritually, emotionally and physically). (Mark 9:17-29)
- They have different degrees of power. (Matt. 17:18-21)
- They are eternal beings, already sentenced to Hell and will be placed there after the final judgment. (Matt. 25:41) (2 Pet. 2:4) (Jude 1:6)
- They seek to in-dwell or attach themselves to humans or animals in order to influence their actions. (Matt. 12:43-45) ( Matt. 8:30-32) (Luke 11:25)
This Overview Of The Spiritual Battle Is Given Because:
Jesus the commander of the Lord's army commissioned us to be aware of the way that Satan’s forces wage battle, and to set free those he has already ensnared. (Mark 16:15-20) (2 Cor. 2:10-11)
Though men cannot normally see into the spiritual realms, they are very real (Col. 1:16). In fact, we had better be aware of them for we are locked in a life and death battle with this kingdom of darkness for the souls of men. How we fight (live) has real consequences, real casualties and real victories.
Example: Read (Daniel 6) an intriguing story of the interactions between God’s Kingdom and Satan’s Kingdom. Examine how Daniel was somehow destined by God to have an integral role in the struggle actively involved in what could only be called Spiritual warfare. Daniel prayed that God fulfill his promise to end of the captivity of Israel in Babylon because the 70 years of captivity God predicted was now complete. This man’s prayer brought on war in the heavenlies.
What Weapons Are Effective:
Eph. 6 tells us what weapons to use to assure victory as we fight this spiritual enemy. It also instructs us to protect ourselves with the costly armor he has specially provided. He assures that no weapon formed against us shall prosper. (Is. 54:17)
We Have A Special Forces Team :
1 Corinthians 12 describes several special supernatural gifts that various solders within the church have to assist in this battle. One example of these special forces is those with the gift of discerning of spirits, which enables them to actually see what is going on in this invisible spiritual realm. (II Kings 8:8-23) There is more going on than we can see with our natural eyes.
Another example of these special forces is those with the gift of word of knowledge, in which the Holy Spirit gives someone important information (that we would not normally know) concerning situations that we find ourselves in and because of this insight we can respond in an effective manner. (II Kings 6:8-12)
For the Christian, being a soldier is not an option. It is our only option. We are born into the battle when we become Christians. (Eph. 6)
Do not be devil conscious, but be God conscious. (Is. 26:3) (Rom. 12:21)
Read your Bible, learn what God expects of you His soldier. (2 Tim. 2:15)
At all times thank God who gives us the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Cor. 15:57) (Is. 54:17)
Don't get too excited because you (as a Christian) have power over Satan and his kingdom, but instead get excited that you are part of God's Eternal Kingdom. (Luke 10:17-21)
ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS!