Summary: Strategies for dealing with our enemy in the realm of spiritual warfare.
The Invisible War
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
I don’t have to tell you that we are at war in America! It’s a dirty war—in some ways, worse than Viet Nam or Korea ever thought of being. Its being fought right here on our soil as well as in many other nations. It’s a war for the minds and hearts of people—between the forces of good and evil—between God and Satan.
And the stakes in this war are high because the price is heaven or hell, life or death, darkness or light, freedom or slavery, reward or punishment, Christ or Satan.
One thing is certain—we cannot afford to be ignorant of this invisible war because it is waged right here and now! The enemy of our souls wants to gain control of our hearts and minds. Look at verse 12 of our scripture.
Nearly two out of three adults—62%—agreed that Satan “is not a living being but is a symbol of evil.” This response has remained relatively consistent throughout the Nineties. Among the more surprising findings, however, are that a majority of born again Christians deny Satan’s existence (52%); nearly three-quarters of Catholics say the devil is non-existent (72%); and women are more likely than men to reject Satan’s existence (64% vs. 59%).
Barna Research Group, Ltd., Oxnard, CA
I want us to consider this warfare by looking at 4 things:
1. Our Adversary
2. Our Armor
3. Our Allies
4. Our Plan of Attack
1. Our Adversary
A. His Many Names
Satan (opposing spirit)
Devil (one who seeks to cast down)
Prince of this world
Prince of demons
Father of lies
Angel of light
Accuser of the brethren
B. His Power
A fallen angel (highly intelligent)
Power over kingdoms of the world
Power to afflict people w/sickness
Able to sift the saints
Limited—not God, therefore he is not omnipotent, omnipresent, or all-knowing
C. His Work
Tempts: does not make one to sin
Opposes God’s purpose and people
Assumes many disguises
Hinders the Gospel
Creates doubt, denial, and confusion
Blinds multitudes to the truth
Seeks to destroy faith
Makes sin attractive
Tries to break up families
Tries to discredit the church
Tries to give the world another gospel
Alive on planet earth
-abortion of demand
D. His Angels (demons)
Bound (kept prisoners in darkness until day of judgment)
Free—to roam the earth, fulfilling Satan’s commands
E. His Defeat
The explicit purpose of the coming of Christ into the world was to “destroy the works of the devil” (I John 3:8)
Satan’s initial defeat came in the wilderness temptation (Matt.4 and Luke 4)
He tried to have Jesus killed at Nazareth
Jewish leaders tried to kill Jesus before His time
Agony of Gethsemane
Decisive defeat of Satan came in the cross of Christ (John 12;31; 16:1).
While judgment has already been pronounced on Satan, he is still permitted to operate as a usurper until the time of his final imprisonment.
F. His Doom
After the rapture of the Church, the earth will experience increased Satanic activity. But when Christ comes to usher in the 1,000 year reign of peace, Satan and his followers will be bound and imprisoned for this time. At the end of this millenium, Satan will be released for a little season. He will go out to deceive the nations. God will then cast him into the lake of fire, never to return again.