Spiritual Warfare: The Battle Preparations

I. The spiritual battle is waged against angelic creatures, not humans.

A. The initial battle qualification for the spiritual warrior might well be translated: “brothers, be increasingly endowed with our Lord’s dominion and ability…so that you can stand against the wiles of the devil.”

B. The “wrestling” (vibrate, writhe) is to “stand against” the “wiles of the devil”

1. We are fighting against “principalities” – the “chief” angels.

2. We are fighting against “powers” – angels with “authority to rule”

3. We are fighting against “rulers of the darkness of this world.

a. Angels with “world power”
b. Angels with “dark power” for this “age”

4. We are fighting against “spiritual wickedness in high places.”

C. Note:  Humanity can and does submit itself to angelic manipulation and in some cases to angelic control and even possession.  Since we do not “see” the angelic principalities, powers, and rulers, we often focus on their human puppets and forget that the real battle is a spiritual one against spiritual enemies.

II. The spiritual battle is more effective with an understanding of the enemies.

A. Angels are SPIRIT Beings created to serve.

1. They are created by God (Colossians 1:16-17)

2. They are created to be “ministering spirits” (Hebrews 1:14)

3. They are a “higher order” than Man (Hebrews 2:5-9)

a. Sexless -- Matthew 22:30
b. Stronger -- 2 Peter 2:11; 2 Thessalonians 1:7
c. Smarter -- 2 Samuel 14:20

4. They are “terrible” in sight (Hebrews 12:21)

5. They are innumerable -- “billions” (Revelation 5:11)

B. Angels can become visible in Human form.

1. Abraham and Lot -- Genesis 18

2. Hagar -- Genesis 16

3. Jacob -- Genesis 32

4. Nebuchadnezzar -- Daniel 3; Daniel 6

5. Women at Tomb -- Matthew 28

C. Angelic activity should not be taken lightly.

1. Expect resistance and serious battles (Matthew 10:16-33).

2. Expect casualties (Matthew 24:9-12).

3. Expect defections and desertions (2 Timothy 4:3, 4, 10, 14).

D. Angelic resistance does not always result in defeat.

1. We are “pressed” but we “see” eternal victory (2 Corinthians 4:8-18).

2. We “walk” by faith and “persuade” others (2 Corinthians 5:7-11).

3. We are “workers” and “display” the power of God (2 Corinthians 6:1-10).

4. We have the “general orders” to “take captive” the minds and thoughts of men (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).

E. Angelic evil is led by “the” Enemy.

1. SATAN (The “Adversary”) is the Enemy.

a. Satan is your adversary (1 Peter 5:8).
b. Satan can look like an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14).
1) Identified as the “Anointed Cherub that Covers” (Ezekiel 28:13).
2) Thought he could overthrow God (Isaiah 14:12-15).

2. Satan has many titles and various roles in our age.

a. The “god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4)
b. The “prince of this world” (John 12:31)
c. The “prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2).

3. Lucifer is thrown out of heaven (Luke 10:18; Ezekiel 28:16-17; Isaiah 14:12-14).

a. There was War in Heaven (Revelation 12:7-9)
b. Probably 1/3 of the angelic host followed Satan in rebellion (Revelation 12:2-4, 9)
c. Satan entered or controlled the body of the “Serpent” (Genesis 3)

4. Satan is recognized in Scripture by three main Titles.

a. The Dragon (Revelation 20:2; 12:3-9; Isaiah 27:1)
b. The Devil (Matthew 4:1-11; John 8:44; Ephesians 6:11; 1 Peter 5:8).
c. The Adversary [“Satan”] (Job 1, 2; Zechariah 3:1-2; Luke 22:3, 31; Revelation 20:7).

III. The spiritual power of spiritual warfare very real.

A. Satan is able, under certain circumstances, to do the following:

1. He can blind minds (2 Corinthians 4:4)

a. Can snatch the Gospel out of men’s hearts (Matthew 13:19)
b. Can deceive nations (Revelation 20:3, 10).
c. Can take some captive at his will (2 Timothy 2:26)

2. He can perform counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders (2 Thessalonians 2:9)

a. Fill our heart with evil (Acts 5:3; John 13:2)
b. Gain an advantage over us (2 Corinthians 2:11)
c. Transform himself & ministers into messengers of light (2 Corinthians 11:14)
d. Plant false Christians in Christian ministries (Matthew 13:39)

3. He can hinder our efforts (1 Thessalonians 2:18)

a. Can bring physical injury (2 Corinthians 12:7 and Luke 13:16)
b. Wield the power of death (Hebrews 2:14)

4. He can, through his demons, possess and/or control human beings (Matthew 4:24; 8:16, 28; Luke 8:2, etc).

B. Satan is thwarted only by spiritual armor (Ephesians 6:13)

1. We are to “take up” the whole armor.

a. The Greek word is analambano
b. The emphasis is on the personal, conscious appropriation.
1) This is an active word, not passive; we must put it on.
2) This always necessitates personal action

2. We are to take up the “whole armor”

a. The Greek word is panoplia – used only 3 times
b. The emphasis is on the “complete” armor – all there is.
1) We should use our “members” as “instruments” (weapons) of righteousness (Romans 6:13)
2) We should see these weapons as tools of “light” (Romans 13:12)
3) We should be assured that these weapons are “mighty” (2 Corinthians 10:4)

C. Satan is part of the “evil day” that we are to “withstand”

1. The Greek word choice is important.

a. The word translated “evil” is poneros
b. The word emphasizes strong, active, destructive evil.
1) We are to “redeem the time” because the days are “evil” (Ephesians 5:16)
2) We can see a clear example in the life of Cain – his “works” were “evil” (1 John 3:12)
3) We are warned that “perilous times” will come – and get worse (2 Timothy 3:1-13)

2. The other Greek words for evil are not nearly as strong.

a. Kakos is the word for “bad” – as in not good.
b. Phaulos is the word for “worthless” – as in no value.

IV. These implements of spiritual armor are the keys to our appropriating God’s Spiritual Power.

A. The Girdle of Truth

1. This is simply “the” TRUTH – not the Bible Itself

2. This our use of TRUTH – Ephesians 4:25

B. The Breastplate of Righteousness

1. This is both IMPUTED righteousness and PERSONAL righteousness.

2. Isaiah 59:16-17

C. The Shoes of Preparation

1. Romans 10:15 – good tidings of good things

2. 2 Timothy 2:21 – prepared unto all good works

D. The Shield of Faith

1. This is the main “defensive” and “protective” armor

2. Psalm 28:7 – the Lord Himself makes this “shield”

E. The Helmet of Salvation

1. The key piece for every soldier

2. This is the hope, the assurance of victory (1 Thessalonians 5:8)

F. The Sword of the Spirit – The Word of God

1. This the “offensive” weapon – Hebrews 4:12

2. This is also requires “training” – Psalm 119:9

G. The Continual Prayer for Spiritual direction

1. Praying “in all seasons” for others

2. Praying “in all seasons” for leaders

Series: 
Identity
Lesson: 
#15
Book: 
Ephesians
Verses: 
6:12-13

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