Sept 4 - James Lam - Spiritual Warfare

ESC Adult Sunday School
August 14 & 21
September 4, 2011
James Lam
 Spiritual Warfare NEWT/SPIR 529 Dr. Roy Matheson
 Boyd, Gregory. God at War: The Bible and Spiritual
Conflict. IV Press, 1997.
 Arnold, Clinton. 3 Crucial Questions About Spiritual
Warfare. Baker, 1997.
 Anderson, Neil T. The Bondage Breaker. Harvest
House, 2000.
 Anderson, Neil T. and Warner, Timothy. The
Beginner’s Guide to Spiritual Warfare. Regal, 2008.
 MacArthur, Jr. John. How to Meet the Enemy. Chariot
Victor, 1992.
 Rankin, Jerry. Spiritual Warfare: The Battle for God’s
Glory. B&H, 2009.
 Murphy, Ed. The Handbook for Spiritual Warfare.
Thomas Nelson, 2003.
 Biblical worldview of spiritual warfare
 Tension between the two ages
 Our three enemies  world, flesh, devil
 The Christian life as a struggle
 Recognizing the dominion of darkness
 Resisting the dominion of darkness
 Putting on the full armor of God
 Making your home a spiritual refuge
A Working Definition
Spiritual Warfare is an
awareness of the spiritual
dynamics taking place around
us in order to engage in spiritual
conflict using our God given
Another definition
“A war of universal proportions pitting God and His
truth against Satan and his lies. It’s a battle of wills
between God and Satan. It’s a cosmic conflict that
involves God and the highest creature He ever made
and it filters down to every human being. Satan and
his army of demons are fighting Christ, His holy
angels, the nation of Israel, and believers. The battle
lines are clearly drawn.”
John MacArthur, How to Meet the Enemy
Biblical Worldview
 Versus Western worldview  overly scientific,
naturalistic, humanistic, individualistic
Versus Animistic worldview  overly superstitious
Biblical worldview collides head-on with above
Biblical worldview corresponds to reality
Avoids two extremes
Scripture be our guide
Preliminary Cautions
 We may foster a fascination with evil
“Be wise about what is good and innocent about what is
evil” (Romans 16:19)
“Do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you but rejoice
that your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20)
 We may give the devil more than his due
Tension between the Two Ages
 The Present Evil Age
 Satan as “the god of this age” (2 Cor. 4:4)
 The Age to Come/Kingdom of God
 Jesus as inaugurator and King of a new age and reign of
 “There will be no more death or mourning or crying or
pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Rev.
 Already…
 Kingdom has come
 Jesus in principle won the war, struck the decisive deathblow,
vanquished Satan, restored humanity, established the
kingdom; set in motion forces that will overthrow
 We are now participants in the age to come
 Not yet…eschatological
 Kingdom not yet full manifested
 War is not finished; conflict does not cease
 Battles must still be fought before ultimate victory
 Eternal life
Some of kingdom manifestations –
 Empowering presence of the Holy Spirit
 Union and close relationship with Christ
 Reception and manifestation of the gifts of the Holy
 Ability to break free from the bondage of sin
 Authority over evil spirits
Our Three Enemies
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and
sins, in which you used to live when you followed…
[the world] the ways of this world and of
[the devil] the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit
who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All
of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying
[the flesh] the cravings of our sinful nature and
following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we
were by nature objects of wrath
(Ephesians 2:1-3)
Devil’s Influence Ignored
Devil’s Influence Exaggerated
Balanced View of Evil
The flesh
 Inner propensity or inclination to do evil
 Part of our creatureliness tainted by the fall that
remains with us
 Continuing connection to this present evil age, which
is destined to perish but against which we struggle
 As Christians we are new creatures and influence of
flesh has been broken by Christ’s death on the cross
 Resist inner compulsion by power of the Holy Spirit
The world
 Unhealthy social environment in which we live
 Represents the prevailing worldview assumptions
contrary to biblical understanding of reality and
biblical values
 Our culture has profound influence on the way we
think and act
 Christians embark on lifelong task of discerning
worldly influence and adopt godly attitudes and values
The devil
 Angelic network – angels, archangels, cherubim,
seraphim, rulers, principalities, powers
 Highest angel blameless from day of his creation; sin
was NOT an inherent part of the being God created
 The fall of Satan (Ezek. 28:12-18; Isa. 14:12-15)
 Rebelled against God because of his pride
 Lucifer means “star of the morning” and “son of the
 Lucifer became Satan when God cast him out of heaven
 “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning”
(Lk. 10:18)
The Army of Satan
When Satan fell, he did not fall alone
“swept away a third of the stars of heaven” (Rev. 12:4)
Fallen angels or demons allied with Satan
Angels neither procreate nor die (Matt. 22:30)
Army of demons highly organized…believers struggle
“against the rulers, against the authorities, against the
powers of this dark world and against the spiritual
forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 6:12)
 Unseen spiritual global conspiracy (tight-knit lethal
Satan’s rule
 Satan has illegitimately seized the world and exercises a controlling
influence over it (1 Jn. 5:19)
“god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4)
“ruler of this world” (Jn. 12:31; 14:30; 16:11)
“ruler of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2)
“strong man” (Mk. 3:27)
“tempter” (1 Thess. 3:5)
“roaring lion” (1 Pet.5:8)
“accuser” (Ps. 109:6; Rev. 12:10)
“deceiver of the world” (Rev. 12:9)
“father of lies” (Jn. 8:44)
“murderer” (Jn. 8:44)
NOT omnipresent like God
Jesus did not dispute Satan’s rulership of the earth, but He refused to
give in to Satan’s temptation and worship him (Lk. 4:5-8)
Nature of Evil Influences
Three Stranded Rope
 3 influences do not work separately, but in concert
 Large area of overlap
 Holds us in bondage prior to coming to Christ
 Satan works in harmony with the flesh
 Activity of the devil closely connected to the world
 Implications for life and ministry
The Christian Life as a Struggle
 “our struggle is not against flesh and blood (Eph. 6:12)
 Involves strenuous effort, stamina, and proper spiritual
 Struggle is a daily affair
 Supernatural opponents  hierarchy/rankings
 Rulers (principalities)
 Authorities
 Powers of this dark world
 Spiritual forces of evil in heavenly realm
Warfare in the Garden
 The world (God created a perfect environment)
 The flesh (God created a perfect man and woman –
before they sinned)
 The devil (Satan, disguised as a serpent)
 Attacks against the mind of Eve
 Assaults God’s motives and God’s character
The Enemy’s Strategy - Deception
Recognizing Satan’s Lies (Gen. 3:1-5)
 Lie # 1 – “Did God really say?”
 Satan wanted Eve to doubt God
 Undermined God’s character and credibility
 Lie # 2 – “You must not eat from any tree in the
 Distorted God’s commands
 Questioned fairness of God’s commands – God had a
selfish, ulterior motive in forbidding Adam and Eve to
eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil
 Lie # 3 – “You will not surely die”
 There is no death, no afterlife, no hell, no consequences
for sin
 God will not see your sin
 God is too merciful to punish sin
 Lie # 4 – For God knows that when you eat of it…”
 God is keeping important knowledge from you
 God is not concerned for what is good for you or
 Lie # 5 – “your eyes will be opened”
 You will share in exclusive mystery knowledge
 You will attain true enlightenment
 Lie # 6 – “you will be like God”
 God is your equal
 There is something wonderful and exciting awaiting you
which you have not experienced before
 Lie # 7 – “knowing good and evil”
 God is both good and evil
 You can decide for yourself what is good and evil
 Good and evil are two sides of the same coin
 There are no absolutes
Eve’s response:
 “when the woman
saw that the fruit of the tree was good
for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for
gaining wisdom, she took some and
it. She also
gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.”
Gen. 3:6
 Satan’s lies to Eve appeal to Eve’s flesh – food, eye (“For
everything in the world – the cravings of sinful man, the
lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has or does –
comes not from the Father but from the world”
1 John 2:15)
 Deception  Disobedience  spiritual death
The Enemy’s Strategy
 Doubt His Word, power, grace, mercy, forgiveness, love
 Hardship, difficulties, trials
 Physical, mental, emotional, spiritual
 Distorted gospel (other sources of “spirituality”)
 False prophets (Mt. 7:15; 24:11; 24:24)
 Trust in our own resources, rather than God
Symptoms suggesting spiritual
 Unusual fatigue
 Hopelessness
 Suicidal tendencies
 Screaming
 Frightening nightmares
 Persistent fear
 Internal voices
 Oppressive depression
 Pain that cannot be explained medically
Symptoms …
 Headaches
 Dizziness
 Extreme anger and rage
 Pornographic enslavement
 Compulsive behaviours
 Speaking with another voice
 Sexual perversions
 growling
How to know if there is spiritual
 Experience unusual discomfort, watering eyes,
emotional confusion and/or distraction when reading
Scripture or spiritual warfare prayers
 Spiritual discernment
 Analysis of opportunities where spiritual involvement
could have been given access – e.g. involvement in the
occult, drugs, habitual sexual sin, inviting of spirits
into one’s life, curses, hexes, spells, involvement with
witchcraft or satanic ritual, worship or blood sacrifices
 Possible that access are passed down through ancestral
How do spirits of darkness
influence us?
 See our imperfections and weaknesses
 Piggyback (latch) on our woundedness and augment
the problem
 Secondary problem as they pile on and attack our
minds (with deception) and add to our feelings and
accentuate our emotions
 End result being separate from God’s truth and
spiritually blinded
Can a Christian be demonpossessed?
 Are those symptoms of the typical struggle believers
have with the flesh? Or is it possible the influence of
actual spirit beings?
 Advances in medicine and behavioural sciences help
see variety of alternative explanations
 Numerous accounts of demonization and exorcism in
every century of the history of the church
 Strong assumption demon possession was a
phenomenon associated with the lands where idolatry
Demon possession…
 Debate and controversy among evangelicals
 Arguments against demon possession:
 A Christian cannot be demon-possessed because his or
her body is a temple of the Holy Spirit
 A Christian cannot be demon-possessed because he or
she is already owned by God
 “possession” = ownership ?
 “demon possession” – English translation
 “daimonizomai” – Greek word (tormented, vexed,
troubled); words for ownership or possession are
absent in the original text
Reframe the question…
 “Can Christians come under a high degree of influence
by a demonic spirit?”
 “Is it possible for Christians to yield control of their
bodies to a demonic spirit in the same way that they
yield to the power of sin?”
Chrisitians CANNOT be owned by
 The issue of ownership is settled once and for all when
a person turns to Christ; Satan loses any legal claim to
ownership on the basis of the blood of Christ shed on
the cross
Legally acquitted by God from our guilt due to sin
(Rom. 5:1)
Transferred from the domain of Satan into the
kingdom of God (Col. 1:13)
Sealed with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13)
Nothing can separate us from the love of God (Rom.
Temple of God, but a dwelling for
 Misconception that a demon cannot occupy the same
space as the Spirit of God
 Sin can “reign” in your mortal body (Rom.6:12)
 After conversion, “flesh” continues to be present with
the believer; the locus of much of the struggle for the
believer; resident in the same body as the Holy Spirit
 Demons will take as much room as we will give to
The Old Self
The New Self
The New Self
 Core transformation (new identity as child of God,
citizen of heaven, a saint) has occurred, the continued
impact of the presence of sin still felt
Still retains a structure of the present evil age (flesh)
Sinner nature still present (Rom. 7:18; 8:8)
Inner conflict between God’s law and law of sin (Rom.
Demonic spirits cannot penetrate to the core of the
person’s being and snatch away what belongs to God
A believer can choose to embrace sensual desires and
succumb to the flesh, or to resist evil impulse
My heart – Christ’s Home
Christians can be inhabited and
controlled by demons
 Giving turf to the devil
 “In your anger do not sin; do not let the sun go down
while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a
foothold” (Eph. 4:26-27)
 Foothold – inhabited space
 Allowing evil to reign
 “Do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you
obey its evil desires” (Rom. 6:12)
 Sin attempts to reassert its control
 Evil asserts its influence in 3 different but related ways –
flesh, world, and Satan
Deliverance Ministry
 Deliverance is part of a bigger COUNSELING process.
Counseling is part of a much bigger HEALING process of
moving towards wholeness.
Deliverance should not be practiced as an isolated event.
Wherever possible, deliverance should be set in the context
of the larger HEALING process.
COUNSELING should take place in partnership with a faith
45% pre-deliverance counseling
10% deliverance
45% post-deliverance counseling
Deliverance Team – individual, discerner(s), contronter,
support person (spouse, minister, friend)
 Have you ever questioned God’s Word and asked if He
actually said “this”? Have you rationalized your belief or
have you looked into Scripture to finds answers?
How easy or hard it is to detect Satan’s lies?
Have you bought into Satan’s lies? How can you discern
God’s truth has been distorted?
What kind of doubts do you have about God’s character or
truths? What makes believing His Word difficult?
Re-trace your story of succumbing to temptation…does it
follow a similar pattern?
Have you experienced similar kind of “demonic” influence?
How did you handle it?
How have you given the devil a foothold?
Resisting the dominion of
Endure Hardship
 “Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ
Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in
civilian affairs – he wants to please his commanding
officer.” (2 Tim. 2:3-4)
 Taking up the cross daily  costly, sacrifice,
persecution, ridicule
 Hymn “Onward Christian Soldier”
Fight the good fight
 “Fight the good fight of the faith.” (1 Tim. 1:18-19;
1 Tim. 6:12)
Struggle continually to uphold the truth of Scripture
Concentration, effort, and discipline needed to win
Keep the faith (uphold sound doctrine) and a good
conscience (live holy lives)
“contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to
the saints” (Jude 3)
J.C. Ryle’s quote from Holiness, 1989, p.62
Resist the devil
 “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil,
and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7; 1 Pet. 5:9)
 Spiritual resistance  spiritual bodybuilding
 “no discipline seems pleasant at the time, but
painful…produces a harvest of righteousness and
peace for those who have been trained by it” (Heb.
 Resist  to stand against, begins with self-control
 Resist the devil, not people
Put on the full Armor of God
Repeated twice (Eph. 6:11, 13)
“take your stand against the devil’s schemes (Eph. 6:11b)
“stand your ground” (Eph. 6:13)
“stand firm…” (Eph. 6:14a)
List of combat equipment (Eph. 6:14-17)
 Belt of truth
 Breastplate of righteousness
 Shoes of the gospel of peace
 Shield of faith
 Helmet of salvation
 Sword of the Spirit
Belt of Truth
 Tunic – large square piece of material hung low and
Girding one’s loins – pull the four corners of his tunic
up through the belt; cinch up the loosely hanging
Reference to preparation, readiness, and commitment
Refers to attitude of truthfulness, sincerity, honesty,
and integrity
Condition of your private life; having a pure heart
Commitment to fight and win without hypocrisy
Breastplate of Righteousness
 Tough, sleeveless piece of leather or heavy material
 Covers the soldier’s full torso, protecting the heart and
other vital organs  protect your mind and emotions
 Righteousness  imputed righteousness assures us of
ultimate victory over Satan – God’s clothing a person
in the righteousness of Christ at the moment of
salvation (2 Cor. 5:21 – “He made Him who knew no sin
to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the
righteousness of God in Him”)
 Produces practical righteousness through holy living
Gospel of Peace
 Proper footwear equipped for battle
 Feet suggests idea of spiritual authority
 Feet are to be shod “with the preparation for the
Gospel of peace”; won’t slip or fall
God took the initiative to make peace (2 Cor. 5:19)
Good news that believers are at peace with God (Rom.
5:1); He is on our side
Confidence of divine support to stand firm
Commissioned with the ministry of reconciliation
(Matt. 5:9)
Shield of Faith
 Rectangular shield 4 ½ ft x 2 ½ ft
 Thick plank of wood covered on outside with metal or
Deflect flaming arrows
Reference to endurance faith – steadfastness and
Faith is trusting completely and unconditionally in God
and His word
James 1:3 – “the testing of your faith develops perseverance”
Ability to remain under fire of long, drawn out trial without
breaking down or blowing up
Helmet of Salvation
 Protects the head, a major target in battle (fatal blow)
 Satan seeks to destroy believer’s assurance of salvation
with weapons of doubt and discouragement
 Salvation is eternally protected and secured through
the finished work of Christ on the cross
 Security (fact); assurance (feeling comes to obedient
 By appropriating this salvation as their helmet,
believers have every reason to be confident of the
outcome of the battle
Sword of the Spirit
 The Word of God (Ps. 19:7-11)
 Infallible  has no mistakes in its entirety; faultless,
flawless, without blemish
Inerrant  no errors, fallacies, blunders or delusions
(Prov. 30:5)
Complete  nothing needs to be added or taken away
from it
Authoritative – God is final authority; to listen and
Sufficient (2 Tim. 3:16-17)
Power of the Spirit
 Sword is spiritual because it was given to us by the
Holy Spirit
 God’s word has divine origin, nothing can overpower it
 Acts 1:8 – “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit
come on you…”
 Truth of Scripture used defensively (to fend off Satan’s
attacks) and offensively (to help destroy enemy’s
Weapon of Prayer
 Eph. 6:18 – “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all
kinds of prayers and requests…”
Has militant purpose  to overcome the dominion of
Spiritual blindness  prayerlessness
Growing awareness of spiritual warfare  increasing
commitment to pray
Common elements – listening to, talking with God;
asking (Jam.4:2); believing (Mk. 11:24)
Jam. 5:16 – “the prayer of a righteous man is powerful
and effective”
The Necessity of Prayer
 Prayer is not a 7th piece of spiritual armor
 Prayer is woven into the armor; foundational for the
deployment of all the other weapons
As we put on the full armor, we are to be engaged in
The atmosphere in which all our fighting occurs
The key to appropriating our resources in Christ
Spiritual armor is neither mechanical or magical; must
be infused with divine power and energy
The Commands for Victory
 Be alert (Eph. 6:18)
 For temptation
 For false teachers
 For Christ’s return
 Be firm (1 Cor. 16:13)
 Being rooted or grounded in God’s Word
 Be mature (Eph. 4:14-15)
 Be strong (1 Cor. 16:13)
 Be loving (1 Cor. 16:14)
Grand Finale
Satan shall be eternally punished in
the lake of fire
(Matt. 25:41; Rev. 20:10)
But until then….
We are always in spiritual warfare.
 Are you aware you are always in spiritual battle ?
 Are you fit for spiritual battle ?
 Are you ready for spiritual battle ?
 What part (s) of the full armor do you need to develop
or sharpen ?
What are the challenges you’re facing ?
What are the resources to help you win the battle ?
What is your appetite for God`s Word ?
What is the condition of your prayer life ?
Make your home a spiritual refuge
 Acts of cleansing
 Acts of consecration
 Acts of protection
Prayer for the Home
Almighty and Sovereign God, God and Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ, I/we come to you in the power of the Holy Spirit. We ask
you to search out and bring to light any unconfessed in or act of
wickedness committed in this place and drive away any lingering
spirits of the kingdom of darkness. In Jesus’ name I bind any
spirits who would seek to exert any influence in this dwelling.
We acknowledge Father that this is your property. Cleanse and
sanctify this place through the blood of the cross and fill it with
your presence and glory.
Use this home for your purposes. Set angels at the
boundaries of this property to shield and protect the members of
my family (give names) from all evil influences. I proclaim that
the scepter of the wicked will not remain over this home. I pray
this through the name that is above every name, that of our Lord
and Saviour Jesus Christ.
From Tom White, Believers Guide to Spiritual Warfare

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