The ABC's Of Spiritual Warfare
An Old Tattered Bible
A Found Study
Yesterday, while running errands I stopped at one of my favorite thrift stores. While there I was looking through the used book section when I came across an old, tattered Bible.
When I find old Bibles, especially those that show a lot of wear, I'm always fascinated by the idea of who owned it before it ended up in a pile of used books. Obviously, this old Bible had a lot of wear and there were several highlighted verses and passages. Of course, I couldn't pass it up and I bought it.
Many times when I've come across old used Bibles I find a wealth of information inside. People tend to highlight verses and passages that hold deep meaning to them. For whatever reason, I always look for highlighted or underlined verses. I also look for notes and other writing that the previous owner may have written while doing a personal study. I've come across older bibles that are in pristine condition, and show little signs of wear, which is a sure sign that it likely sat on a shelf or in a drawer for many years.
When I arrived home, I was flipping through the pages when an old folded piece of paper fell out onto the table. I picked it up and saw that it was a Bible study on "Spiritual Warfare." I have no idea if this study is thirty years old, or just a few years old as it could have been placed in the Bible not long before it was donated. It also could have been placed in the bible purposely by the person who donated it hoping that it would be a valuable study for whomever purchased the Bible.
Of course I'm going to study it right now and share the study with you. The study is an outline, with the verses and passage numbers listed, and some basic notes. In an effort to keep this from being too long, I'll use some of the full verses in this study, I'll list some of the full chapters so that those who read through this study can read them for themselves. If anyone has anything to add, please feel free to do so.
The ABC'S of Spiritual Warfare: Introduction
Directly transcribed from the piece of paper I found, exactly as it was written. Here is the introduction.
"Every person who has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is involved in a continuous battle. Unlike normal warfare, this enemy cannot be seen, but his existence is absolutely real. The Bible is quite explicit in its description of both the enemy and the battle he rages as well as the means of victory. This information is vital to all Christians. IGNORANCE OF THESE TRUTH IS NEITHER AN EXCUSE NOR A MEANS OF AVOIDING THE CONFLICT! God calls all of His children to "Stand firm against the schemes of the devil." Failure to learn these spiritual truths will result in frustration, defeat, and unhappiness; While knowledge of these principles will lead to victory and satisfaction. Christ has provided the victory; but, it is up to us to use that which He has furnished. All of God's children are involved in this daily struggle but only those who learn and apply God's truths in this area will experience victory in their walk. Thus we must look at our Adversary, the Battle that he wages against us daily, and the means through which we become Conquerors."
Beginning with A, of the ABC'S:
1. The Adversary
A battle fought without prior knowledge of the enemy is a battle lost. Since "our struggle" is not "against flesh and blood" we need to turn our attention to the Bible for instruction. The following verses deal with the Person and the Power of the Devil.
A. The Person:
The Sheet lists two separate chapters of the Bible Ezekiel 28, and Isaiah 14.
Ezekiel 28 is a book I often reference in discussions about the anti-Christ. If find this fascinating as one of my last studies is on this very subject.
I've personally spoken with people who believe that they are "Christ," many times over the years. Some even believe that they are "gods" and this is one of the references I always use during such discussions. I've even seen Christians at times doing this using one single verse from Psalms that goes into the same subject, but they fail to read the rest of the very same passage, which makes the reference clear. That is another study all together. Right now, I'll focus on this particular study.
[My Notes] What I noted in this chapter is 3 main points.
1. A man who was lifted up in his heart.
2. The evil that was in him was of Satan, and that is who God addressed. (Not flesh and blood.)
3. Those who had become like thorns to Israel would be no more, and Israel would dwell in safety and peace.
Of course Paul said this:
Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. Galatians 3: 7
[I encourage anyone reading this study, to read the full chapter of Ezekiel 28.]
The second chapter listed in this study is Isaiah 14.
The chapter begins with a promise of restoration made to Israel. I encourage anyone reading this to read the full chapter listed.
This chapter is very interesting as it speaks of Israel who has been oppressed, being set free. It also includes a proverb:
That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!
The Lord hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers.
He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hindereth.
Babylon is often tied to the end times. The "Mystery of Babylon," goes all the way back to the days following the great flood, when all the people of the earth lived with one language and as one nation.
(I have an article that goes into the Mystery of Babylon that I'll link at the end of this study.)
Much of what the bible says about Babylon is exactly what we are seeing today. Many have said that we are in a time of great spiritual warfare, and I agree.
Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. Isaiah 14:9
This passage immediately reminded me of what Paul said here:
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Thessalonians 4: 16
Back to Isaiah 14:
12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
[My Notes] This is definitely what we are currently witnessing, the "weakening of nations."
I'm so thankful that we know the end of the story, and the evil powers of the enemy will fall.
Back to Isaiah 14:
13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
Those are the exact words spoken to the "prince of Tyrus in the other chapter mentioned in this study. Ezekiel 28.
Isaiah 14 goes on to speak of destruction, and a the slaughter of people by the enemy. I believe that it's referencing a man, The anti-Christ. Like the Prince of Tyrus, who is used by Satan who raises him up, but he will "be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit."
Back to Isaiah 14.
24 The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand:
25 That I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders.
Assyria is a land that was located in Mesopotamia.
Assyria. Assyria, kingdom of northern Mesopotamia that became the center of one of the great empires of the ancient Middle East. It was located in what is now northern Iraq and southeastern Turkey.
The same location as ancient Babylon. both Iraq and Turkey are Islamic nations. We are currently seeing a lot happening with Islam in several nations.
Back to Isaiah 14:
26 This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations.
27 For the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?
28 In the year that king Ahaz died was this burden.
29 Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpent's root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent.
30 And the firstborn of the poor shall feed, and the needy shall lie down in safety: and I will kill thy root with famine, and he shall slay thy remnant.
[My Notes] This is a very interesting passage, considering that vs.29 speaks of "Palestina." There is a battle between Israel and the Palestinians currently raging, I can't help but associate the above passage to the Palestinians. However, there is also a "Palestrina" with an "r" that is a city in Rome, in the region of Lazio in Italy. (Just thoughts.)
The last two verses of Isaiah 14.
31 Howl, O gate; cry, O city; thou, whole Palestina, art dissolved: for there shall come from the north a smoke, and none shall be alone in his appointed times.
32 What shall one then answer the messengers of the nation? That the Lord hath founded Zion, and the poor of his people shall trust in it.
The Power of Praise
In the first part of this study we covered the "A" of the ABC'S of Spiritual warfare.
We learned that people can most definitely be affected by the devil, and though we can see the traits of those affected, we also must remember that "our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities in high places."
The Letter B of the ABC'S Is about the "Battle."
The first verse listed is 1 John 5:19
19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.
And Ephesians 6:12
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
[My Notes] Though it's easy to see any person who attacks us as "the enemy," we should all try to remember that our battle isn't against flesh and blood. Jesus is the "power," and if we know we are God's children, prayer is incredibly powerful.
We all still see trials and tribulations throughout our lives, and in spiritual warfare, glorifying God, and prayer brings comfort. When we know that God has comforted us in tribulations, we can definitely help to comfort others who are going though difficult times.
2 Corinthians 1: 3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
2 Corinthians 1: 4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
Also, there's an account in Acts ch. 16 where Paul and Silas were imprisoned. They were chained to a wall in a cold, dark prison after being beaten.
Instead of being defeated and sitting on the cold ground engulfed in self pity, Paul and Silas did something Amazing! They sang songs and glorified God!
When they did this, the chains fell off, and the prison doors opened.
When times are very difficult, it's even harder to "make a joyful noise," but there is power in doing so.
I also want to mention that even a believer can be affected by the enemy. The best example of this is this passage:
Matthew 16: 21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
Matthew 16: 22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
Matthew 16: 23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
Jesus was here for a sure purpose and Peter at that time didn't realize that there were some things that must take place.
This is no way means that God has abandoned us. Peter was seeing the natural side of what would take place, and not considering the very much larger purpose of it all.
Most all of us would not want to see such a tragedy befall anyone close to us, it would be difficult to not rebuke it. In this case, Jesus was telling the disciples of an exact event that would take place and the very important reasons for it.
Simply because we as believers can be in the flesh at times, it does not mean that we are not saved. Peter went on to deny Jesus three times upon His arrest. Yet Jesus forgave him and when He arose from the dead, He even comforted Peter.
God knows we are flawed, and make mistakes. Even those whom we believe to be "enemies," can repent. As long as we are alive, there's hope.
Ecclesiastes 9: 4 For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion.
About The Battle
As Christians we are constantly under attack. Satan is waging an all out war in order to render us useless for God, THERE ARE NO INNOCENT BYSTANDERS IN THIS STRUGGLE! The following verses contain some of the enemies tactics.
A. His Objective.
1. 1 Peter 5:9
2. Mark 4:15
1 Peter 5: 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Mark 14: 15 And he will shew you a large upper room furnished and prepared: there make ready for us.
We really do have to be "sober," and "vigilant." The enemy does bring on sneak attacks. Sometimes these attacks are so confusing and twisted that there's really nothing we can do but pray.
I had an experience several years ago when I was in college. Two other ladies who were studying the same subject as myself became very close friends with me. One of these ladies confided something to me, that I would never repeat.
A few days later we were having lunch with another person from our class, and the person mentioned the subject that my friend told me, only she was making just a simple reference involving someone else. I was surprised by it but I never associated it with my friend based on our previous conversation. Suddenly this friend of mine because very cold and distant, and I couldn't figure out what I'd done.
One thing I can't stand is when someone is angry or upset at me, and that person doesn't tell me the reason behind the anger.
It actually took me a few days to realize that she thought that I had told this other woman what she had confided in me, and she was completely convinced that I had.
I hadn't, of course, but she continued to be angry with me and there was literally nothing I could do to fix it with my own words. All I could do is pray. I was very hurt that she would even think that I'd repeat anything she told me. She knew me well enough by that point to know that I'm not that type of person. Still our friendship ended, and I'm still sad that it went the way that it did.
I can now see how the enemy was in it. First by the other person bringing up the exact same subject, and then by my friend's reaction to it. I've actually seen this happen a few times now in other ways. Slander and gossip is certainly one of the devil's tactics. I think we're seeing this now on a massive scale within our nation with all the lies and deceit we all hear daily about the President. Those of us who know that what the news reports know that they are twisting the truth and sometimes outright lying, and it feels much the same way as it does when these tactics are used against us.
We see the outright manipulation taking place, and it's very frustrating to watch as many easily fall for it.
Back to the Study:
B. His Tactics
1. Revelation 12:10
2. John 8:44
3. II Corinthians 4:4
4. II Corinthians 11:3
5. II Corinthians 11:14
Revelation 12: 10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
And in that verse we see that one tactic of the enemy is accusations. "The accuser of the Brethren."
There are several other examples of this throughout the scriptures where the Pharisees looked for ways to accuse Jesus.
Back to the next verse in the study:
John 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.
Satan is a liar and the "father of it." he was a liar from the beginning. Remember that in the Garden of Eden, the serpent lied and told Eve, "You shall not surely die," after Even told him that God told her and Adam not to eat of the fruit of the tree of "good and evil."
She believed the devil's lie, and she ate the fruit, and also gave it to Adam who also ate of it.
Next Verse in the study:
2 Corinthians 4: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
2 Corinthians 11: 3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
2 Corinthians 11: 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
[My notes] We see that Satan is a liar, he twists God's word, and can even seem very wise "an angel of light."
People always tell me, "even Satan knows the scriptures." They usually say that as though it means they are defeated.
My response it always, "KNOW THEM BETTER," and believe them. When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, He answered each temptation with "It is written."
Temptation is also a tactic of the enemy.
Christ died and rose again to give us the victory over Satan daily as well as ultimately. Only by applying His resources and fulfilling our own responsibility can we experience this victory in our lives.
A. The Resources.
1. Hebrews 2:14
2. 1 John 3:8
3. Colossians 2:15
Hebrews 2: 14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
1 John 3: 8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
Colossians 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
Revelation 12: 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
We are partakers of flesh and blood and Jesus took on the same form as us on this earth. He lived and breathed and felt the same sun shine on his face, and the same wind blow that rustles our hair. He lived like us, and after His death, He arose again.
Ephesians 4: 10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
Revelation 1: 18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
The death and Resurrection of Jesus he arose and "filled all things,' He took back the dominion of the devil, even the "keys of hell." Those who are in Christ allow His power to defend us, we trust that He does indeed have power over "all principalities and powers." And in Him we most certainly are overcomers.
Back to the Study:
1. James 4:7-8
2. Ephesians 6:13-18
3. Colossians 3:16
4,1 Thessalonians 5:17
5. Hebrews 10: 24-25
6. 1 Peter 3:15
7. 1 Peter 5:8
James 4: 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
(This is how we battle the enemy when temptation is present.)
Ephesians 6: 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Ephesians 6: 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; Ephesians 6: 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Ephesians 6: 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. Ephesians 6: 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Ephesians 6: 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Ephesians 6: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
(The subject of the full armor of God is an in-depth one. It covers the characteristics on each part of the armor. I encourage everyone reading this to study the details of the above passage. I'll also soon go into more detail just on that passage in another article.)
Colossians 3: 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
The way we get the "word of Christ," to dwell in us is through study and "hearing." Faith comes by hearing the word of God." I mean really hearing through seeking of a full understanding of what it is we read and hear.
1 Thessalonians 5: 17 Pray without ceasing.
I've always loved this verse. We can pray without ceasing. We can pray in our hearts as we work, grocery shop, walk, do chores etc...
Hebrews 10: 24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
Encouraging others who are in the battle as well is something we can all do to help comfort others, as God comforts us.
Hebrews 10: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
There is power in numbers. Jesus said:
Matthew 18: 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
1 Peter 3: 15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
The above passage goes along with the Passage where Paul said "study to show thyself approved unto God..." There is nothing like learning for ourselves. We can be told what any subject means, or says, but when we study for ourselves and gain the understanding that only comes from God there is nothing that can take that understanding away. I will even say that it's then when we study prayerfully and gain understanding on any given biblical subject, God's word is written on our hearts and minds.
1 Peter 5: 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Being watchful of the different tactics the enemy uses against us can stop an attack before it becomes a situation that causes a person to be completely discouraged.
The minute we see any of the enemies tactics at work, we should immediately start rebuking those things, and pray that God will halt whatever it is the enemy is using against us.
I hope you enjoyed this study as much as I did. If you'd like to share anything on the subject of "Spiritual Warfare," please feel free to do so.
This study is called the ABC'S of Spiritual Warfare. It covered the "A's" and the "B's,"
The "C'S" are clearly Christ and His power.