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Understanding Spiritual Warfare In Today's Church

Author: Apostle Kelvin Franklin
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    B. Don't Fight in our Own Strength

     Don't fight in our own strength. We need to use the authority that was given unto believers like us by Jesus Christ.

     Jesus always commanded the demons to leave. He never left a choice. God has given us that authority. Many time we pray for situations that God has already given us the power to handle.

ACTS 1:
     8. He told us that "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

     This power gives us the ability to live right. Many times we try to live right before God, but we find ourselves getting weak and becoming tempted. We need to take authority. Then we can live in peace.

     Let us look at the situations where Jesus dealt with evil spirits:

     In ST MATTHEW 4:1-10, when the devil confronted Jesus, he dealt with him using the Word of God.

     First he told him: "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."

     Then he told him, "It is written, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God."

     Finally he told him, "Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve."

     Notice what is written in the next verse, "Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him." The devil had to leave Jesus because he was commanded to do so.

     Yes, there are angels. Take a look at the references to angels throughout the bible and study their purpose.

     We need to go in our prayer closets and pray to Jesus, and then command those spirits that are troubling us to leave us. Common ones are divorce, anger, jealousy, envying, and hatred.

     C. Learn to Speak out Loud to the Spirits

     SPEAK TO THE DEVIL AND EVIL SPIRITS. COMMAND THOSE SPIRITS TO BE GONE. RESIST THE DEVIL AND HE WILL FLEE FROM US

     Some are persistent so keep doing it until you have peace.

     We can say something like, "I reject the thought and spirit that is causing __________ (say the particular situation and be specific) to happen in my life. My mind is under the protection of the blood of Jesus. I bind you from my thoughts. I take authority over you and the name of Jesus and command you to depart from me, in Jesus's name.

     The Devil will not want you to do this. He will tell you that it is stupid. He will tell you that he is not real so there is no need to fight spiritual warfare.

     But, study the word of God that I've presented and then search deeper for yourself. Put the word of God into action and watch peace come to your life.

     D. Learn to Recognize God

     The bible tells us to try the spirits (many) by the Spirit (one) to see if it be of God. There are many spirits and where there are many, there is confusion. God, Jesus (the Word) and the Holy Ghost are one so there is no confusion. If there is confusion in a situation, that is not the Spirit of Christ at work. If there is fear or anger, that situation is not of God (I JOHN 4:1-3.)

     E. Accept the Truth of Demon Possession

     Realize that people can be demon possessed, even today.

     ST MATTHEW 8:28-33: Even in the old days, they recognized people as being possessed by the devil. He commanded them to go from two men and allowed them to go into the swine.

     ST MATTHEW 9:32: He cast the devil out of a dumb man possessed with a devil. (Notice he said a devil and not the Devil, there are many.) After the devil was gone, the dumb spake.

     ST MATTHEW 12:22: Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw.

     F. Pray and Fast on a Regular Basis

     Begin to pray daily and fast on a regular basis or as God leads.

     We only have power to cast out some spirit after we have fasted and prayed: ST MATTHEW 17:21.

     Pray, fast, and communicate with God on a regular basis.

     Study the word of God and learn how to fast. It seems to be a lost art in today's church but I assure you that it is very necessary.

     G. Use the Power of Binding and Loosing

     Remember that we have the power to bind and loose. Use it !!

     In people who have never accepted Jesus, we should only bind the devil. This will remove his authority to blind the mind, inflict injuries, or cause sicknesses.

     Binding up the Spirits. A good friend of mind was concerned about a situation that was going on. He recognized the spirit of satan at work. The Lord spoke to him and told him that if you bind it (the evil spirit) it won't move. He proceeded to do that and the situation immediately changed.

     Speak the words to bind the spirit so that it cannot operate in a particular situation. Many people cannot make decisions because satan has blinded their minds. We can take authority in the name of Jesus and bind those spirits so that the person's mind can be free of demonic influence to make a decision for Christ. We can do this either in a prayer that is barely audible [it should be out loud as satan cannot read our thoughts] or out loud as the Spirit of God leads.

     If a person has not accepted Jesus, and made him Lord and Saviour of their life, then satan has legal right to their life and we should not cast the devil out of that person.

     This is the reason for the power to bind. We should bind the demon to keep it from operating in their lives and blinding their mind. Then they will have a better chance of coming to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

     Once a person has accepted Jesus, then we should take up our authority and loose the person from that demon (cast the demon out in the name of Jesus.)

ST MARK 3:
     27. No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.

     These scriptures gives us the authority: ST MATTHEW 16:16-19 and ST MATTHEW 18:18-20

     If we cast a spirit out of a person who has not accepted Jesus, since they have no foundation, Satan will come back in and take over that house again. Scriptures say that he will take seven other spirits. If the house is empty, meaning that Jesus is not dwelling in their lives, they have nothing to fight with and they will be taken back into their previous situation (ST MATTHEW 12:39-45.)

     H. Renew our Minds

     We need to renew our mind with the Word of God.

     We need to begin bringing every thought into obedience unto Christ. If the thought that is entering our mind is not in line with the word of God, we need to bring it into line with it.

2 CORINTHIANS 10:
     5. Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

     IF WE BEGIN TO READ ENOUGH OF THE WORD OF GOD, OUR FAITH WILL GROW. FAITH COMETH BY HEARING AND HEARING BY THE WORD OF GOD.

     EPHESIANS 4:23-24, 1 PETER 2:1-2, ROMANS 10:17, and 2 TIMOTHY 2:15.

HOSEA 4:
     6. MY PEOPLE ARE DESTROYED FOR LACK OF KNOWLEDGE: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
ST MATTHEW 13:
     15. For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

     Study the Word of God and see how Jesus and the Apostles dealt with these situations

     We need to individually take a look at our lives and see where satan has tried to infect it. We then need to enter our prayer closets and ask God for spiritual insights so that we can see satan's attack. Then we need to take up the authority that God has given us as believers and war against the devil.

     I. Pray for Spiritual Insight

     We need to pray that God would give us spiritual insight.

     Remember the story of Elisha? The king of Syria warred against Israel. He would move his camp around and try to catch Israel off guard. However, God would shew Elisha what he was saying and Elisha would send words to warn the king of Israel. The king of Syria thought he had a spy in his ranks. They told him that Elisha was telling the king of Israel what he was speaking in his bed chambers. Because of this, he wanted Elisha. He sent horses, chariots, and a great host to capture him. They went to the city of Dothan where he was and surrounded him.

2 KINGS 6:
     15. And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?
     16. And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
     17. And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha. (Divine protection)

     If we could look into the spirit world, we could see God's divine protection all around us. We would also be able to see those evil spirits that are trying to trouble us. God just wants us to rely on him and used the authority that he has given us.

     J. Deny Ourselves and Follow Jesus

     We need to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Jesus.

ST MATTHEW 16:
     24. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
     25. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

10. How to Gain Deliverance

     These are the steps to gaining deliverance for ourselves and then we can begin to help others. These are the actions that David took after he murdered Bathsheba's husband and committed fornication with her. Notice the humbleness that David portrays by his actions.

     A. Turn to God and Repent

PSALMS 51:
     1. Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
     2. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

     When you recognize where you are, you need to turn to God and repent.

     B. Be Honest and Acknowledge Your Sin (REPENT)

PSALMS 51:
     3. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
     4. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when though judgest.

     When you repent, be sure to be honest and acknowledge your sin. Honesty is very important to God. Also note that when we sin, we are sinning against God. God is justified in chastising us for the evil that we do.

     C. Ask God to Cleanse You

PSALMS 51:
     7. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
     8. Make me hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
1 JOHN 1:
     9. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

     Ask the Lord to cleanse you from all sins and any evil that we may have allowed into our lives.

     D. Ask God to Renew You

PSALMS 51:
     10. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
     11. Cast not me away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
     12. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

     God is the only one that can renew us. We must turn to him. We need to ask him to create this newness in us again.

     E. Now We Are Equipped to Fight

PSALMS 51:
     13.  Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

     After we have done this, we are ready to tackle satan and assist others. Don't stop yet. There are still a few more steps we need to take.

     F. Submit to God and Resist the Devil

JAMES 4:
     6. But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
     7. Submit yourselves to therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

     G. Get Rid of the Evil Items

ACTS 19:
     18. And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds.
     19. Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.
2 CORINTHIANS 6:
      16. And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be there God, and they shall be my people.
      17. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, AND TOUCH NOT THE UNCLEAN THINGS; AND I WILL RECEIVE YOU.

     When the people recognized that they were entangled in satan's web of deception, they burned all the items associated with it. They cleaned out their lives. They did this openly in public. God wants us to clear all evil things out of our lives.

     H. Pray to God

JOEL 2:
     32. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.   
ST MATTHEW 6:
     13. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

     When we pray and call upon the name of the Lord, he promises to deliver us from all evil. The scripture from ST MATTHEW is part of the Lord's prayer. Notice how we are asking God to deliver us from evil in it.

     I. WARFARE -- Prayer and warfare are two separate and distinct activities. PRAYER IS TOWARD GOD WHILE WARFARE IS TOWARD THE ENEMY. Many times we are praying for situations that God has already given us the power to handle. When Peter and John saw the lame man while on their way into the temple, they did not stop to say how sorry they were and that they would pray for him while they were in the temple. No, they spoke directly to his situation and commanded him to be healed. They had spent enough time in prayer to know the will of God and they knew his voice. We must walk close enough with the Lord so that we will know from moment to moment what his will is. Then we would not be timid, but bold, in rebuking the devil and all manner of sickness as the Holy Ghost leads (ACTS 3:1-10.)

PSALMS 18:
     2. THE LORD IS MY ROCK, AND MY FORTRESS, AND MY DELIVERER.

     Let the Spirit of God guide us. Move patiently and slowly and allow God to teach us about spiritual warfare.

11. We must Strive to Grow Spiritually

1 CORINTHIANS 3:
     1. And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
     2. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
     3. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

     In these scriptures, Paul is letting them know that the spiritual truth will not be revealed to the Corinthian people as long as they walk carnally.

     God will not reveal his spiritual truths unto us unless we begin growing in the knowledge of him and start walking according to his word.

     Listen to the verses from the previous chapter.

1 CORINTHIANS 2:
     9. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
     10. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
     11. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
     12. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
     13. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
     14. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

     Study also ROMANS, chapter 8 and ST JOHN, chapters 14, 15 and 16 to understand the purpose of the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost) in your life.

     God did not want us to be controlled, by some preacher, or some evangelist, or by our own whims. Rather, he wants us to be lead and controlled by the Holy Spirit. This theme of being controlled by the Holy Spirit is dominant throughout the new testament. Its foundation is laid in the old.

We must begin to grow spiritually. We can only do this as we let the Holy Spirit fill, rule, and guide our lives.

12. Wear the Clothes of Warfare

     Study EPHESIANS 6:13-22. Anyone could easily write a book on just the explanation of the clothes of warfare. I suggest that you study these scriptures and let God reveal things unto you.

     Also, gain access to a good commentary, and read what it has to say in this area. I recommend the Matthew Henry Commentary Set. Depending on the area of the country that you are in, you can find his six volume set for $40 to about $80.

     If you will permit me to get on my soap box, before we were saved we wasted a lot of money on the ways of the world and buying different items for entertainment. But now, we are on the Lord's side. Let's spend money on his program. I suggest a good study bible, dictionary, commentary, and other books as the Holy Spirit leads you. There is a list of books that I recommend at the end of the pamphlet.

13. The Principle of the Hedge

     God has given each of his children a hedge to protect them. Before we got saved, we were open to all of satan's attack. Now that he is our Lord and Saviour, he protects us. Remember that satan was complaining that God had put a hedge around Job (JOB 1:10.) The Lord has given us an angel that encamps round about those that fear him (PSALMS 34:7) and he will deliver us. Remember ST LUKE 10:19!!!!!!

     The danger in all of this is that we can break the hedge through sin. Take note of the following scripture:

ECCLESIASTES 10:
     8. He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him.

     We all understand the first half of this scripture. The last part seems to get a little more difficult. Well, we know that satan is the serpent. When we break God's rules, we open up the hedge and now satan can come in and possess us. When a serpent bites, he injects his victim with his venom. When satan bites, he possess us with one of his evil spirits. His spirits try to dominate our lives to the point of controlling it. He does not want us to do good.

     Why do you think that God speaks to the church that it should not live in sin (ROMANS the 6th chapter.) Satan becomes our master if we live in sin. The idea of living free from sin, Holy, is a predominant theme throughout the new testament.

     All sin is equal in that it separates us from God. But, next to blasphemy, I believe that the two most dangerous sins are those of fornication and adultery. The following scripture should give insight to this:

1 CORINTHIANS 6:
     15. Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.
     16. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.
     17. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
     18. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
     19. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
     20. For ye are brought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

     Let's discuss why these sins are so dangerous.

     In the natural, think of all the different and deadly diseases that can be transmitted through sexual contact. The natural portrays what happens in the spiritual. We become one in flesh and spirit with whatever person (and God forgive us but I must say animal also) that we commit a sexual act with. Whatever is in their spirit, we will pick up. It is no wonder that sex and orgies are a big part of the satanist movement. What better way to pass demons along. They have harlots living in their temple. Many people have been infected unknowingly.

     We sin against our own bodies. We break the hedge by disobeying God's Word. Look at what David did after he committed adultery with Bathsheba. He wrote PSALMS 51 and asked the Lord to forgive him of his sin. He wanted him to create in him a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within him. This scriptures portrays the steps to getting delivered of demons and being brought back into a right relationship with God.

2 CORINTHIANS 7:
    1. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God

     Some people feel that christians can not be indwelt by demons. I will not discuss that here, but I know the danger of sin and I feel the bible is very clear about that.

14. Remember, Jesus Came to Set the Captives Free

ST LUKE 4:
     17. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
     18. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
     19. To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

15. Spiritual Revelation

     Have you ever wondered why many of the people in the Revelations and other prophetic books are described as beasts. I believe it was for the following reason.

     John was up in the Spirit of the Lord and thus they were able to see out into the spirit world. Also, remember that demons are hideous looking creatures. When he looked out he didn't see the people as we would see them but he saw the demons that would inhabit the bodies of different people, like the antichrist.

     We will be able to recognize those people because the demons will produce in them the fruits of what they are. Whatever we read in the revelations as revealed by the Spirit of God, that is the work that they will do. Then we will be able to know them.

     Look at how Jesus was described in the old testament. He became all that was spoken of him. He fulfilled every prophecy.

16. Other Good Reading Materials

! ! ! ! ! ! ! W A R N I N G ! ! ! ! ! ! !

HE CAME TO SET THE CAPTIVES FREE and PREPARE FOR WAR are books recommended only for strong christians who are settled in their knowledge of God and his word. IF YOU DO DECIDED TO READ THIS BOOK, ENSURE THAT YOU PRAY REGULARLY WHILE READING IT.

! ! ! ! ! ! ! W A R N I N G ! ! ! ! ! ! !

     I highly recommend these books, however, please note the warning above.

     My first contact was with the book, He Came to Set the Captives Free. My wife came home with this book and then proceeded to read it in 2 days. She was excited about its content and would seldom put it down. I decided that I had to read that book. I did and it opened a whole new door to me. I knew the word of God and this book expanded and confirmed my understanding in many areas.

     It is a true life story about how God saved satan's top bride in the United States. Rebecca Brown is a doctor who God was able to use because of her total commitment to him. Through it you will learn how satan operates, and some of the things that you can do to combat him. I know it will change your life and open up the door to a new and wonderful understanding of God's Word.

     Prepare for War, is the sequel to her first book. If you think that the first book is good, this one will set your soul on fire for the Lord.

     This Present Darkness, is a novel that is untrue. But, if you read it after reading He Came to Set the Captives Free, and Pigs in the Parlor, you will begin to realize that it could very well line up with the word of God. This book taught me of the great need of prayer on a day to day basis.

     When I was in the world, before I accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour of my life, I spent a lot of money on the things of the world. In the 10 years that Jesus has been saviour of my life, I have spent very little on things for his glory. I realized that this was the wrong attitude to have.

     I challenge you to spend some money on books and other things of the Lord that will bring you edification and joy to your life.

     HE CAME TO SET THE CAPTIVES FREE, by Rebecca Brown, MD, Published by Chick Publications, P.O. Box 662, Chino, CA 91710, Copyright 1986, ISBN 0-937958-25- 5

     PREPARE FOR WAR, by Rebecca Brown, MD, Published by Chick Publications, P.O. Box 662, Chino, CA 91710, Copyright 1987, ISBN 0-937958-26-3

     THIS PRESENT DARKNESS, by Frank E. Peretti, Published by Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wetchester, Illinois 60135. Copyright 1988, ISBN 0-89107-390-6

     PIERCING THE DARKNESS, by Frank E. Peretti, Published by Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wetchester, Illinois 60135. Copyright 1989, ISBN 0-89107-527-5

     PIGS IN THE PARLOR, A Practical Guide to Deliverance, by Frank and Ida Mae Hammond, Published by Impact Books, Inc., 137 W. Jefferson Ave., Kirwood, Mo. 63122, Copyright 1973.

     Check our Online Book Store for some of these resources.

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