Waging Spiritual Warfare

 

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The following bible study was given at Marshall, MI on April 23, 2006 by Mike Vinson

Make no mistake about it, we are at war!

Pro 20:18 Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war.

Pro 24:6 For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety.

Luk 14:31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?
Luk 14:32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.
Luk 14:33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

All of these verses on how to “make war” are really just another way of saying this:

1Co 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
1Co 12:14 For the body is not one member, but many.
1Co 12:15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
1Co 12:16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
1Co 12:17 If the whole body [were] an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole [were] hearing, where [were] the smelling?
1Co 12:18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
1Co 12:19 And if they were all one member, where [were] the body?
1Co 12:20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.
1Co 12:21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.

After we get good counsel, we still have to be equipped to face our enemies:

Eph 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Eph 6:12 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.
Eph 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.
Eph 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
Eph 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Eph 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
Eph 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Eph 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Prison In Egypt and Time In Tarsus

But what are those who have just come to see that everything they have ever been taught is wrong? Are these brothers in Christ ready to do battle with the serpent himself? No, they certainly are not. So what are they to do? They are to wait until the Lord puts them in a position to do battle. Until that time there are several scriptural guidelines for what we are to be expected to do:

1Ti 5:22 Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure.
1Ti 3:1 This [ is] a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
1Ti 3:2 (a) A bishop then must be blameless…
1Ti 3:4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
1Ti 3:5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
1Ti 3:6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

Paul, like Joseph, was given great promises at the very beginning of his walk with Christ:

Act 9:15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
Act 9:16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.

This sounds vaguely familiar to the promises of rulership Joseph received. But just notice how else these two men’s lives are used to typify our experience:

Gen 37:2 These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad [was] with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report.
Gen 37:3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he [was] the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of [many] colours.
Gen 37:4 And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.

And how old was Joseph when he came out of prison?

Gen 41:46 (a) And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt.

Seventeen from thirty leaves us with 13 years in slavery in Egypt for Joseph. How old then was Saul when he was “separated unto the work God had for him?” We are not told Saul’s age, but we are told this about how many years Paul waited to be placed into a position to do battle for Christ

Gal 2:1 Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.

What is not told us in this verse is that Paul and Barnabas had spent the past year doing battle for Christ in traveling around the Mediterranean. So fourteen minus one is again 13 years in which Paul had done apparently little until He and Barnabas were “separated unto the work” the Lord had prepared for them. But even when we are prepared to do battle with “the whole armor of God”, we will still be faced with spiritual warfare when we least expect it:

2Pe 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

No Christian overtly denies Christ. What denying the Lord that bought them means is to deny any part of His doctrine:

2Pe 2:2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
2Pe 2:3 And through covetousness shall t hey with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

2Pe 2:12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;
2Pe 2:13 And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;
2Pe 2:14 Having eyes full of [ spiritual] adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:
2Pe 2:15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;

Jdg 1:11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.

Jdg 1:16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.
Jdg 1:17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Jdg 1:18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
Jdg 1:19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
Jdg 1:20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
Jdg 1:21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

Rev 2:14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

1Co 5:1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.
1Co 5:2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.
1Co 5:3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,
1Co 5:4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
1Co 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
1Co 5:6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?
1Co 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
1Co 5:8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
1Co 5:9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
1Co 5:10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.
1Co 5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
1Co 5:12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?
1Co 5:13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

How does it work when you “put away from among yourselves that wicked person?” Here is how it worked in Corinth:

2Co 2:4 For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you.
2Co 2:5 But if any have caused grief, he hath not grieved me, but in part: that I may not overcharge you all.
2Co 2:6 Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many.
2Co 2:7 So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.
2Co 2:8 Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.
2Co 2:9 For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.
2Co 2:10 To whom ye forgive any thing, I [ forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;
2Co 2:11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

1Ti 5:20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.
1Ti 5:21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.

“Another gospel which is not another…?” Most Christians cannot cope with such apparently contradictory statements. Such statements as these are throughout the New Testament. “I know you are Abraham’s seed… If you were Abraham’s children… The beast which is, which was and which is not… seeing they see not… let the dead bury their dead… she is dead while she liveth, bread from heaven is not the bread from heaven, Light within you becomes darkness”etc. etc.

How Christ’s Doctrine Is Perverted

Are these statements true?

“Coming out of Babylon is coming out of the flesh and into the spirit.”

“Only through grace can we have our eyes opened to see the need to do battle with the beast.”

These statements never mention the source that empowers the flesh and the beast.

It is this part of our struggle which so few are willing to face. Facing the beast is elementary. Facing the force which empowers the beast is an entirely different matter which our fellow Christians will not tolerate. This force has sons and daughters, and no one to this very day is willing to admit to being the son or daughter of this powerful force.

The flesh and the beast are forces to be reckoned with to the extent that it will require a ‘rod of iron’ to keep the flesh in line without the benefit of God’s spirit in that flesh both now and during the millennium. But the scripture tells us plainly that this beast is not our worst enemy. The way it is worded would lead one to believe that “flesh and blood” are not really that hard to control as compared to our real enemy who strengthens and empowers the beast:

Rev 13:1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
Rev 13:2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as [the feet] of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

“The dragon gives the beast his power and seat and great authority.” So who, then, is our true enemy? Against whom are we truly wrestling?

Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood [the beast within], but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].

Is Paul telling us that the flesh is not our enemy? Of course not! What he is pointing out to us is that if we think that flesh is Babylon, then we do not know who our real enemy is. “We wrestle not against flesh and blood.” Coming out of the “world” is coming out of Babylon. And coming out of Babylon is not coming out of the flesh. If it were, then there would be no need to even mention a second beast with “two horns LIKE a lamb but speaking like a dragon.”

Rev 13:11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

Our wrestling is “not against our flesh and blood beast. It is against another much more powerful creature. Our real struggle is on a spiritual level against a spirit world which gives our fleshly beast his power and his throne and great authority. Our real struggle is against the seed of the serpent. Our real struggle is against powers and principalities in the heavens. This is where the warfare is really being fought, and very few are even aware that the Adversary has always worked within God’s people to destroy God’s elect through the spirit world.

Cain was the son of Adam, who was the son of God:

Luk 3:38 Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.

Cain killed his brother whom God had honored above Cain.

It was Joseph’s brothers who would have killed Joseph, whom God had also honored above his brothers. Esau would have killed Jacob whom God had chosen while he was in his mother’s womb.

And Christ was slain by “those Jews which believed on Him.” And it is here where we finally find out who is and where is “the seed of the serpent?” It is here that we finally come to see where these “powers and principalities” are which are our real enemy who actually give our beast within “his power and throne and great authority.”

Rev 13:11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

The ‘earth’ is God’s own people, the church:

Jer 22:1 Thus saith the LORD; Go down to the house of the king of Judah, and speak there this word,
Jer 22:2 And say, Hear the word of the LORD, O king of Judah, that sittest upon the throne of David, thou, and thy servants, and thy people that enter in by these gates:

Jer 22:29 O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the LORD

But ‘the earth’ is God’s people who want to kill all the prophets and saints who are sent to the church. Here is what Christ told “those Jews which believed on Him” but had no room for His word:”

Joh 8:44 Ye are [the seed of the serpent] 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.

“Fathers” have children. That is why they are ‘fathers.’ Children are “seed.” The “seed of the serpent” is always in God’s church. Christ was speaking to “those Jews [of the ‘church in the wilderness’] which believed on Him.”

Joh 8:31 a) Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him…

Joh 8:37 I know that ye are Abraham’s seed [Christians – Gal 3:29]; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.

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.

“When he speaks a lie, he speaketh of his own” just as “those Jews which believed on Christ” in His day were the church of His day, so those Christians who believe in Christ today “have no truth in them” when they teach contrary to His doctrine. Here is the scripture:

Isa 3:1 For, behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah [the church] the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water,

“The whole stay of bread and the whole stay of water” have been taken away from Babylon. Virtually every single doctrine they profess has been tainted with heresy. They don’t even really believe that Christ died for our sins. They believe that Christ or you or me are incapable of dying.

So what do those who are still in Babylon do to hide from themselves the fact that they are the rejected children of God? What they do is talk long and loud about ‘love’ and ‘Let’s just all love each other. Love is the great commandment. Why if we can’t all just love each other, then we don’t even know who Christ is.’ This is said most whenever someone notices that these ‘loving’ people have no use for the words of Christ.

This is the language of Babylon. The emphasis is on love and faith at the exclusion of all of the hundreds of admonitions to the effect that God Himself “chastens and scourges every son He receives.” Those who are still in Babylon talk about love and faith as if any scripture which plainly commands God’s elect to “purge out the old leaven” is something less than ‘love.’ And if anyone is so foolish as to point to all of the scriptures which admonish and command God’s chosen sons to “reject and mark and have no company with others who are “called brothers” but show no regard for “the doctrine of Christ,” that person is immediately labeled as a self-righteous heretic hunter. The seed of the serpent despises the mention of doctrine. ‘Love’ is all that matters. This is not the voice of the true shepherd. These very people who are trumpeting the virtues of ‘love’ at the expense of “the sum of thy Word” are the very ones who will “kill you thinking that they do God a service.” These are the people who hate the very mention of doctrine. To these people doctrine is opposed to love. This is especially true of doctrines like these:

Joh 7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or [whether] I speak of myself.

1Co 5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

2Th 3:14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.

Tit 3:10 A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject;

“First and second admonition?” Shouldn’t that read “seventy times seven?” Wouldn’t that be more loving? No, putting the fornicator out of your midst is the most loving thing you can do for him. Yet simply ‘loving him and forgiving him seventy times seven is how many in Babylon think 1Co 5:11 should read. But a brother asking for forgiveness is not heresy, and heresy leavens the whole lump.

This constant banter about love without ever defining the word is the spirit of antichrist. This is the world of powers and principalities of which Christ and the apostle John and Paul and Peter and Jude all warn us:

1Jn 2:18 Little children, it is [2000 years ago] the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

“We know that it is the last time because there are many antichrists.” And what and where is this “power and principality” called Antichrist? According to Jesus Christ, the children of the serpent are those who believe on Him but in whom His words have no place. They are the children of their father, and when he speaks [through his children], there is no Truth in what he says. He speaks a lie even while he speaks of nothing but ‘love.’ Tax collectors and sinners loved Christ and could talk peaceably with Him. But there was one group with whom he was not welcome. Who was it that wanted to kill Christ? This is the real enemy we are up against today. This is the “powers and principalities” with whom we are really wrestling.” “We wrestle not with flesh and blood.” Those who wanted to kill Christ are the very same people who want to kill Christ today. Those who would kill Christ today are the “many antichrists” John spoke of which demonstrate that we are living in the last time. It is these “powers and principalities” we are most apt to be seduced by. They are a far greater threat to our salvation at this time than is our inward beast without their influence. Where are these powers and principalities” who want to kill Christ? Is it the “beast coming up out of the sea?” That is the beast which is our flesh. But no, it is not that first beast which wants to “devour the manchild who is to rule all nations with a rod of iron” dead. This is who wants to “devour the manchild as soon as it is born:”

Rev 12:3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
Rev 12:4 (b) And the dragon [not the first beast] stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

Paul speaks concerning having put the fornicator out of their midst:

2Co 2:10 To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive [the fornicator] also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave [it], for your sakes [forgave I it] in the person of Christ;
2Co 2:11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

All of this unfounded talk about love without any regard for what love is, is one of his devices. But those who know the voice of the true shepherd will always remember these words straight from the mouth of the true shepherd:

Luk 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

And those who know the voice of the true shepherd will also remember this verse whenever they hear a lot of talk about ‘love:’

1Jn 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

His commandments are His doctrine. Those who know the voice of the true shepherd do not see any lack of love in Christ’s doctrine and ‘love.’ As a matter of fact, it is only through His doctrine that true chastening love can be shown. It is only by “trying the spirits that we are able to properly show the love of Christ and “do the things which He says.”

1Jn 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
1Jn 4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
1Jn 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
1Jn 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
1Jn 4:5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.
1Jn 4:6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
1Jn 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
1Jn 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

Despite the fact that few to none want to admit it, there is a ‘they’ and a ‘we’ in God’s church. ‘They’ talk ‘love’ and with the same mouth tell you to go kill your country’s enemies. ‘They’ talk ‘love’ and then as if Christ’s doctrine were unloving, they will tell you that to be loving, you do not judge the ‘tree’ by its fruit at all. They talk ‘love’, but they tell you that if you bother to “try the spirits” to see if it is “the doctrine of Christ,” then you are being judgmental and setting yourself up as a judge of others. They talk ‘love’ but cannot tell you how to discern the “spirit of truth and the spirit of error.”

2Jn 1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
2Jn 1:10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
2Jn 1:11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

All who want to ignore and play down these verses do so at their own risk. Christ does not take being ignored lightly:

Joh 8:37 I know that ye are Abraham’s seed [Christians – Gal 3:29]; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.

Luk 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

Joh 8:26 I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him.

[For more on this subject of waging spiritual warfare, you may like to read this article.]

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