Introduction to Spiritual
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are the Lordís Army on earth; we are under our commander the
Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus has given us authority to wage war in
spiritual realms, advancing the Gospel of Christ. Satan
understand the battle, he knows when the Gospel advances, he and
the fallen angels loose. Therefore, the battle rages for the
souls of humanity, Satan seeks to keep souls captive, in
darkness, while Christ through His people chooses to free the
When Jesus was in the synagogue in Nazareth,
Jesus read from the book of Isaiah, declaring the fulfillment of
the following scripture (Luke 4:17-21).
The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because
the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek;
he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim
liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them
that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD,
Jesus came to free the captives, every lost person is a
captive of Satan, as the Lordís army we represent the kingdom of
God, in a lost and fallen world.
No wonder the Church, the Bible and Christians
are so hated in this world. This world is under Satanís
authority (Luke 4:6), he does not want to give up territory.
Therefore, it should surprise no warrior of the Lord why the
world hates the God
of the Bible, His people and His words is Satanís method, to
preempt the advance of the Gospel. Since the Gospel advances
through Godís people, Satan goal is prevent the advance, through
the war on Godís people. Satan accomplishes this through
strongholds, which can dominate and defeat the Lordís people.
in the life of the believer
Israel is an example to all saints, Israel was
told to go into the Promised Land, remove the idols from the
land, unless they become a snare to Israel (Deuteronomy 7:1-5).
This is exactly what happened, Israel began to copy the ways of
the land, and their neighbors, worshipping their gods, sinning
against the Lord. Their sins brought Godís judgment, God judged
His own people. It might have seemed like Satan won to any
outside observer. However, God was purifying his people through
Israel failed for two reasons, one they did not
follow the Word of God, with their heart. Second, they did not
remove the strongholds from their midst, Satan was able to use
the people of the land to lead people astray.
For this reason, Godís people need to strive to
seek and destroy strongholds in their life. Satan understands,
if he can defeat Godís people, they will be prevented from
advancing the Gospel. They will live a life of bondage and
defeat, never experiencing the victorious life. Why does this
happen? Simple, because we fail to take God at His Word, it is
that simple. If we live life Godís way, we will have a
prosperous and successful life.
7 "Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe
to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded
you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that
you may prosper wherever you go. 8 "This Book of the Law shall
not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day
and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is
written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous,
and then you will have good success. 9 "Have I not commanded
you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be
dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
Satan tries to keep strongholds in our life, so
we cannot complete our assignment, advancing the Gospel. When we
let strongholds, control our life, we tend to be self-focused,
always being defensive, struggling to maintain, rather then
Scripture tells us more then conquerors through
Jesus Christ, Jesus came to set us free from our captivity. We
are to advance the Gospel through our victorious life. Once we
have victory over our strongholds, we can spend our energy
engaging the enemy, this is what Satan wants to prevent.
As part of the Lordís army, our commander has
given us our marching orders, along with his authority, to take
dominion from the enemy. The Holy Spirit in
presents the equipment of our warfare. In the Spiritual war, the
Lordís soldier need to be equipped with the armor of God, not
the armor of flesh.
For this reason, we need to plan and prepare for
battle. Overcoming the Strongholds in our own life is training
for those, who choose to advance the kingdom of God. We are now
to apply the lessons we learned in defensive warfare, and apply
them in offensive warfare.
any battle, there are two sides, offensive and
defensive. For example, Rome conquered territory from
tribes and nations, starting from the city-state of Rome. They
took territory from defending forces, which resisted Romeís
advance. Rome was on the offensive, however once territory was
taken and held, Rome would setup strongholds, to keep territory.
Eventually over time, other nations and groups
rose up with sufficient power and strength to resist Rome.
Rather then defending themselves, they went on the offensive,
conquering territory from Rome. For example the Carthaginian
general Hannibal (247-183 B.C.), led an army into Italy, after
crossing the Mediterranean Sea, to the very gates of Rome.
The history of nations and kingdoms can be traced
to offensive and defensive campaigns. Israel, the descendents
of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, were literally claiming territory
for the Kingdom of God, by advancing in the land of Canaan.
Canaan was a land dominated by darkness; Israel was to displace
the darkness, establishing a kingdom of Priests and Kings
obeying the righteous commands of the Lord. They did not
complete the task.
In the same way, we have the opportunity not only
to defend ourselves from Satan Defensive Spiritual Warfare.
We can advance the Kingdom of God on Satanís kingdom, claiming
territory he controls. This is offensive; we are taking away
Satanís domain, with the authority given to us by Jesus Christ
this is Offensive Spiritual Warfare.
Defensive Spiritual Warfare
Defensive Spiritual Warfare, as I would define it is, the war
around us, where Satan and his angels are attacking. They are on
the offensive; we (the saved) are on the defense. Satan has
established stronghold in our life, which we are not able to
overcome or pull down. He is on the offensive, seeking, hunting,
and looking for our weakness.
We are commanded to be vigilant, and resist the Devil (I
Peter 5:8-9). Further, Paul commands to wear the full armor of
God to stand against the wiles (methods, strategy) of the Devil
(Ephesians 6:11). Both of these verses refer to defensive
warfare. When the armies of Rome advanced, the first thing they
would do is establish a base camp, where they camped in the
night. The base camp was itself a fortress, which the legion
would be able to defend against offensive attacks.
Offensive warfare does not displace Defensive
warfare; they are both part of the same battle. Defensive
warfare, gives us the ability to go on the offensive against
Satan, without being surprised by his attacks. We are to expect
his attacks, even while we are on the offensive.
The problem with Defensive warfare is too many
times, Christians find themselves constantly on the defensive,
never learning how to advance on Satanís territory. Satan goal
is to keep us on the defensive, without an offensive. Spiritual
warfare is to reverse this principle, meaning we stay defensive
while learning to become offensive.
Through defensive warfare, we learn how to
repulse these attacks, pulling down personal-strongholds in our
own life, claiming territory from Satan. From the principles of
pulling down personal strongholds, we learn the principles of
warfare, allowing us to take these principles for offensive
purposes. God allowed Israel to battle, that they would learn
warfare. God could have removed their enemies, but he used the
vehicle of the nation Israel, to be His instrument of wrath and
In the same way, God does not need us to be His
offensive weapon He chooses to use us, to advance the Gospel on
enemy territory. He gives us the honor, of having our names
associated with His Son of being His agents of Spiritual
13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's
sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be
glad with exceeding joy. 14 If you are reproached for the name
of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God
rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part
He is glorified. I Peter 4:13-14
Therefore, those who hold back, from the
Spiritual battle, because they fear human rejection, loose the
blessings of the Holy Spirit. Rejection for Christ is a sign of
Godís blessing, therefore the warrior in Christ needs to learn
how to rejoice, at being Godís servant. (Acts 5:31)
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness'
sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 "Blessed are you
when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil
against you falsely for My sake. 12 "Rejoice and be exceedingly
glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted
the prophets who were before you. 13 "You are the salt of the
earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be
seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and
trampled underfoot by men. Matthew 5:10-13
This is the perspective; we need to take into
Offensive Spiritual Warfare, we have the honor and privilege to
advance the Kingdom of God, on enemy territory.
Offensive Spiritual Warfare
Now how do we advance the Kingdom of God on
Satanís domain? First lets review, what is the battle about?
The aim of the war is for the souls of humanity. Jesus came to
set us free, to redeem us from our captivity. His death on the
Cross did exactly that, our sins were paid for. We (the saved)
are no longer under Satanís dominion, we are under the Christís
dominion. Satan goal is to prevent, the lost from being saved,
as I Corinthians 4:3-4 declares.
3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who
4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not
believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ,
who is the image of God, should shine on them. II
Second Corinthians divides the world into two
groups, one, those who are perishing, secondly, and those
who believe. The ďPerishingĒ are kept in blindness, by
the god of this age.
Now we have authority, through Christ over Satan dominion, to
remove his authority. Through Jesus Christ we have authority to
set the captive free, to pull down strongholds of the enemy.
19 "Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents
and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing
shall by any means hurt you. Luke
18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority
has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 "Go therefore
and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the
name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20
"teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you;
and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
Amen. Matthew 28:18-20
Offensive Spiritual warfare, is going on enemy
territory, pulling down strongholds, setting Satanís captives
free. This is the point Paul makes in
2 Corinthians 10.
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in
God for pulling down strongholds,
5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts
itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into
captivity to the obedience of Christ, 2nd
Paul was a
great example of taking the Gospel to areas, where it was
unknown, setting captives of free, establishing churches in
enemy territory. Paul was strategic, as he intentionally looked
for way to bring Christ to the Gentile world. Take for example
chapter 17 of Acts; here we see Paul waging war in enemy
territory. He is on the offensive, going into regions
controlled by Satan, establishing the Church.
Spiritual Warfare in Acts 17
In Thessalonica, Paul reasoned with the Gentiles
from the scriptures, explaining the ďSuffering MessiahĒ. Notice
the battle is in the minds, as people make decisions for Christ,
others became opposed. Opposition arose to the Gospel; this was
a satanic assault on Paul. Satan knew his territory was under
assault, so he raised people up. God allowed this to happen,
because Paul leaves the Church established there, and heads to
Berea, waging war there.
1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia,
they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the
2 Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for
three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures,
3 explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer
and rise again from the dead, and saying, "This Jesus whom I
preach to you is the Christ."
4 And some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of
the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading women, joined
Paul and Silas.
5 But the Jews who were not persuaded, becoming envious, took
some of the evil men from the marketplace, and gathering a mob,
set all the city in an uproar and attacked the house of Jason,
and sought to bring them out to the people.
6 But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and
some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, "These who
have turned the world upside down have come here too.
7 "Jason has harbored them, and these are all acting contrary
to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king-Jesus."
8 And they troubled the crowd and the rulers of the city when
they heard these things.
9 So when they had taken security from Jason and the rest,
they let them go.
Paul flees Thessalonica, goes to Berea. You
might think Paul is tired of running at this point, he might
want to just relax and catch his breath. Not so! Paul goes
right back into the war being waged. He is claiming territory
from Satan. Paul like the Legions understood, the territory he
stood on belonged to the Lord.
Paul uses scripture as his weapon of assault on
Satanís territory. Wherever Paul arrived, he looked for an
opportunity to introduce the Gospel. The Gospel of Jesus Christ
set the captives free. Here again, Satan pursues Paul sending
people to prevent the Gospel, from being established. We
watching spiritual war in action, as Satanís territory is being
assaulted by Paul.
10 Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by
night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue
of the Jews.
11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in
that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the
Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.
12 Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the
Greeks, prominent women as well as men.
13 But when the Jews from Thessalonica learned that the word
of God was preached by Paul at Berea, they came there also and
stirred up the crowds.
14 Then immediately the brethren sent Paul away, to go to the
sea; but both Silas and Timothy remained there.
Paul is sent
from Berea to Athens, there he waits for Silas and Timothy.
Paul however, could
just wait; he knew he was in enemy territory, so he began to
wage war. First Paul takes the Gospel to the synagogue, again
using scripture as his assault weapon. The war was in the
minds of the people, as Paul reasoned (vs.17), Paul was
not worried about offending people, he was taking the authority,
he had in Christ.
Paul looked for
a place, of assault, he choose two, the synagogue and the
marketplace, he daily waged war, while waiting for Silas
and Timothy. Because of daily waging war, Paul met people there
at least that are how it seemed on the outside. Spiritually,
God sent people, who took Paul to the Areopaqus, there Paul
introduced to the philosophers Jesus Christ. Paul was prepared
to present the Gospel to whichever group he was placed. Paul
allowed the Spirit of God to direct his life. He was not worried
the circumstances, he knew his mission was to advance the
Paul was not
worried about offending his new friends in Athens; he introduced
Christ to them, by looking for a bridge of commonality. He saw
this bridge in the altar to the ďUNKNOWN GODĒ. Some mocked the
message (Vs.32), others believed. That is the nature of
Spiritual warfare, because it is a battle for souls, some will
believe others will not. We are just required to be obedient to
the command of Christ, by advancing the Gospel.
15 So those who conducted Paul brought him to Athens; and
receiving a command for Silas and Timothy to come to him with
all speed, they departed.
16 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was
provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to
17 Therefore he reasoned in the synagogue with
the Jews and with the Gentile worshipers, and in the
marketplace daily with those who happened to be there.
18 Then certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered
him. And some said, "What does this babbler want to say?" Others
said, "He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods," because he
preached to them Jesus and the resurrection.
19 And they took him and brought him to the
Areopagus, saying, "May we know what this new doctrine is of
which you speak?
20 "For you are bringing some strange things to our ears.
Therefore we want to know what these things mean."
21 For all the Athenians and the foreigners who were there
spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear
some new thing.
22 Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and
said, "Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very
23 "for as I was passing through and considering the objects
of your worship, I even found an altar with this
inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you
worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you:
24 "God, who made the world and everything in it, since He
is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with
25 "Nor is He worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed
anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.
26 "And He has made from one blood every nation of men to
dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their
preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings,
27 "so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they
might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each
one of us;
28 "for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also
some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also His
29 "Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought
not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or
stone, something shaped by art and man's devising.
30 "Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now
commands all men everywhere to repent,
31 "because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the
world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has
given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead."
32 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead,
some mocked, while others said, "We will hear you again on this
33 So Paul departed from among them.
34 However, some men joined him and believed, among
them Dionysius the Areopagite, a woman named Damaris, and others
with them. Acts 17:1-34
From Acts 17,
we can see Paul in action, Paul did not just talk the talk, he
was a doer, who waged war until his last day in Rome. There he
was executed for the sake of the Gospel.
Offensive Spiritual Warfare
There are quite a number of ways offensive
warfare can be waged; the first thing is to pray about being on
the offensive. God wants us to not just be defensive, but to
take territory from the enemy. So we need to seek Him, and ask
God where we are needed. Like Isaiah, who heard God ask, whom
shall I send? He immediately replied, ďHere am I! Send meĒ.
Isaiah wanted to be used by God, he was willing to face the
hardships. God even told him the people would not listen to
him, it did not matter Isaiah wanted to be on the Lordís side.
8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: "Whom shall I
send, And who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send
me." 9 And He said, "Go, and tell this people: 'Keep on hearing,
but do not understand; Keep on seeing, but do not perceive.'
Then I said, "Lord, how long?" And He answered: "Until the
cities are laid waste and without inhabitant, The houses are
without a man, The land is utterly desolate, Isaiah 6:8-9,11
Preparing for service
When a new
soldier joined the Roman army, he was not immediately a
legionnaire; he first had to train intensively for six-month,
day an night to bring him to the level of a legion. The same
goes with the Gospel, we have to be willing to invest time and
energy to be effective with the Word of God.
Athens, Paul reasoned from the scriptures, because Paul knew the
Word of God, he was able to wage war with. Paul was prepared to
give an answer for his faith. To be effective for the kingdom,
we need to heed the words of Peter.
In I Peter,
Peter uses two words, which are translated defense and
reason. The Greek word for defense is
meaning answer or defense. The other word reason, comes from
the Greek word
meaning word or command. From this word we get our word
14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you
are blessed. "And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be
troubled." 15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and
always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks
you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness
I Peter 3:14-15
Our faith in
Christ is not blind faith, but reasoned faith, based on logic.
We need to prepare to answer those around us, for the reason we
believe. Ask yourself these questions,
Why do you believe Jesus is the Son of God?
Why do you believe the Bible is true?
Why do you believe Jesus is God?
How do you know what happens after you die?
Were you able
to give reasoned arguments for your faith? If not, this is an
area you need to begin with.
a new recruit would join the legions, the would learn to use the
armor of the legions, many times he would specialize learning
about one aspect of warfare, more then others. In todayís
military, they call them Special Op, short for Special
Operations. These are soldiers prepared for special service or
operations. We have the same in the spiritual realms, a
missionary, an evangelist, an apologist, a youth pastor, youth
worker and more. Someone whose goal is to reach a specific
group or target with the Gospel is a spiritual, ďSpecial OpsĒ.
Specialized training is often times necessary to
reach specific groups of people. Cults for example, capture
people using arguments which may seem biblical, but they are
false. Many times these groups present, ďanother JesusĒ or a
false gospel. So training in reaching Muslims, is necessary to
tear down the strongholds.
The same goes with Atheism and other strongholds,
the more experience the soldiers of the Lord acquire the more
effective their presentation of the Gospel.
Another area of spiritual warfare, often
overlooked is the power of offensive prayer warfare.
are not limited by physical terrain, in our service to the
Lord. Daniel was a prayer warrior, even in his old age.
Daniel was in his eighties when he was thrown into the den of
lions (Daniel 6).
Whatever our circumstance, we can always wage
prayer warfare on enemy strongholds. We can target our prayers,
like Daniel, who prayed for his nation, in opposition to the
rulers of pagan Persia.
What to pray
How is the advance of the kingdom