The Rules of Engagement for Spiritual Warfare (Bible Study) (Part 1)
When it comes to this subject, there are different schools of thought. Some Christians are of the opinion that we are not supposed to engage in spiritual warfare at all because Jesus Christ defeated the devil once and for all on the cross.
But there are those who believes that our number one duty as Christians is to wage war against the kingdom of darkness. The devil is the central theme of their messages. Greater percentage of their programs are centered on satan, not on Jesus Christ.
My assignment today is to help us to understand how to live a life of dominion. Should Christians engage in spiritual warfare? Yes, of course. Should Christians make the devil the center of their Christian experience? Not at all. Jesus Christ is the center of everything we do as Christians.
Before Jesus died, He said,”Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons…” Mark 16:15-17.
While praying for His disciples before He was crucified, Jesus said: “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.” John 17:15.
If Jesus the Christ talked about it, then it is important. We should engage in spiritual warfare, but it must be from a place of scriptural understanding, not emotion. We must follow due process outlined in the Bible.
Our anchor scripture is 2 Corinthians 10:3-5:
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…” (NKJV).
To give the devil permanent spiritual uppercut, you must pay attention to these five important scriptural guidelines:
(1). We are Already Victorious before the War Begun.
To win the war against the kingdom of darkness, you must understand your redemption rights and standing. If you don’t know that by redemption, the devil is already defeated, you will keep binding demons and devils until you die.
Look at the process that gave you victory before the war started. This is for Christians who are already saved. If you are not saved, you cannot experience what you are about to read because the devil is still your lord and master.
This is what happened when you got saved:
“He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:13-14.
What happened after salvation?
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21.
Christ’s righteousness was given to you for free. You became righteous immediately. You are not going to be righteous; you are already righteous. You didn’t earn it, you received it. (I will teach the difference between righteousness and holiness in subsequent articles).
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:4-9.
Righteousness is a gift, not a product of human effort.
Three times Paul used the word “Together.” God loves us, made us alive together with Christ. As He rose from the dead, we rose from the satanic captivity Adam entered in on our behalf. Then He raised us up together with Christ. As Jesus ascended into heaven, we too ascended with Him. He made us sit together with Him in heavenly places. So, by virtue of redemption we are sitting with Christ in heaven right now.
How far is the heavenly places?
Ephesians 1:19-23: “And what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”
Dear believer in Christ, rejoice! You won the war and the battle before it even started. You are not fighting with satan because he is not your match. By your spiritual standing, the devil is below you. His kingdom is below you. His powers are inferior to your own power.
All you have to do is “Hey, satan, get lost in Jesus name!” “Satan, you have no part in this family, therefore, get out now, in Jesus Christ name!” And he will run immediately. But you must believe that you are free. You must believe that the devil is gone. The problem is that some people will engage in 21 nights of spiritual warfare, yet, they are still afraid of the devil. You need to order my book, Wonders of Faith to build your faith immediately.
(2). Stop Fighting with Natural Weapons.
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.”
There are churches that ask their members to come with cane or weapons for a special vigil to flog satan. No, you don’t fight spiritual being with physical weapon. You deal with satan with a weapon that is superior to his own weapon.
Can you imagine fighting satan with armored tanks or fighter jets? That will be a waste of resources. Stop using physical weapon to fight a spirit. You cannot slap the devil because he is not human begin like you.
For Jesus Christ to live and walk among men on earth, He needed our earthly suit—the body. God is a Spirit being. Jesus Christ is a Spirit being. Angels are spirit beigns. Satan and his demons are spirit beings. Stop fighting spirits with natural weapons—you are sweating for nothing.
For Jesus to live among men, He needed our earthly suit. For the Holy Spirit to operate in the church, He uses human body—ministers of God and Christians. For the devil to operate on earth, he must use human body—his agents. No spirit can operate on the earth without human body. That is the rule of engagement.
Therefore, stop flogging the devil, it is a waste of time. You are using a wrong weapon to fight him. In fact, I think he will be laughing at you while you are sweating. Ministers of God who tell people to use natural weapon to fight spirits should go back to their Bible and ascertain their claims. As Christians, the Bible is our guide, not human opinion no matter how highly placed.
(3). Human Being is Not Your Enemy—the devil is.
“…Mighty in God for pulling down strongholds…”
One of the fiercest arguments in the body of Christ especially in Africa is whether we should pray against human being to die or not. In fact, there are places you will argue against it and people may stone you.
One thing you must do from today is to stop being emotional anytime an issue you don’t agree with is discussed. The Bible is our guide, not your priest, pastor, bishop, evangelist or apostle’s opinion.
To properly understand the Bible and apply it appropriately, there are rules you must understand. Firstly, you are not mandated to apply everything in the Bible. Some of the incidents in the Bible are there to guide us. Paul said, “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” Romans 15:4.
If you decide to apply everything in the Bible you may end up in hell fire. You may wake up one day and say, David killed Uriah and took his wife, therefore, let me kill my neighbor and take his wife. Those incidents were included in the Bible for our learning. When you see what David did and the resultant effect, you won’t repeat it.
To properly apply the Bible, you must consider this; what did Jesus say about the subject? What did the Apostles say about the subject? Who is saying what and what happened then? When you engage in an in-depth study to ascertain what happened when the author penned the book, you will have deeper understanding and apply it correctly.
In the Law, Moses said to the people; “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” Exodus 22:18.
If you insist that this scripture must be applied today, then you must be ready to apply the other 612 Laws too. When it comes to the Law, you don’t pick and choose. If you break one you break all. Let me show you scriptures.
“For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.” James 2:10.
“Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.” Hebrews 10:28.
You can’t pick and choose the part of the Law you will obey. If you agree that some portions of the Law should be applied, then you must apply all. Otherwise, you will be killed once two or three people confirm that you disobeyed a portion of the Law.
Paul said, “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” Galatians 3:10
If you do not OBEY THE 613 LAWS, it means you are cursed. That scripture is in Deuteronomy 27:26; “Cursed is the one who does not confirm all the words of this law by observing them.’ “And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’”
If you obey Exodus 22:18 and fail to obey verse 19, you are guilty. You must pray with pigeons and obey other laws and practices.
The Bible is Jesus’s book. He is the central theme of the Bible right from Genesis to Revelation. So, before you apply the Bible, you must consider what He said about the subject and what His disciples said about it. Concerning Exodus 22:18, this is what He said about your enemies.
Matthew 5:43-45: “You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”
Luke 9:51-56: “Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village.”
By the way, some of us were ‘eviler’ than the people we are binding. Some of us harmed others with charms before we got saved. Some of us carried charms for our fathers, mothers, grandfathers or grandmothers. Some of those charms were used to render people useless. Would you be happy if you were killed with Holy Ghost fire then? You would have gone to hell.
Look at the way Paul (the apostolic) puts it:
Titus 3:1-7: “Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men. For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
He also said: “See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.” 1 Thessalonians 5:15.
Romans 12:14-21: “14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.17 Repay no one evil for evil. Haveregard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;If he is thirsty, give him a drink;For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
I wish to share more scriptures to buttress my point, but I don’t want this discussion to turn into a book. Actually, I am writing a book that will help believers to understand and apply the Bible intelligently.
So, your enemy is not your uncle that hates you. Your enemy is not your neighbor that hates you. Your enemy is satan and his demons. They are the ones using people. So, when you engage in warfare, look beyond the person and address the devil that is using him. (Mark 5:1-20).
If you have ever engaged in deliverance before you will understand what I am saying. I once encountered a lady that was highly possessed by the devil. In fact, while I was preaching, she fell under the anointing and her voice changed to that of a man. All we did was to cast out the devil that was using her, and she was free. The lady is not my enemy, my enemy is the devil that occupied her spirit because she was not saved.
To be continued…
What did you learn today? Share your thoughts with others at the comment section below.
See you at the top!
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Well understood sir, victory is what we have in christ Jesus…..
I learnt that everything written in the bible is not for my application rather is for me to learn. God bless you sir.
1. Before the fight we are already victorious.
2. Our warfare is never physical, it is spiritual. So, fight the spirit and leave the person.
A great teaching indeed and has shifted my mindset. Thank you sir.
Before we conclude on any point/opinion in the bible, we should first of all consider what Jesus Christ (the central theme of the bible) and his disciples say about the subject