SPIRITUAL WARFARE
WHAT TO EXPECT ONCE YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD
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SATAN DECEIVES MANY PEOPLE
WITH THESE LYING THOUGHTS AND DEVICES

     Satan does all he can to keep an unsaved person deceived and in darkness.  As it is written, SATAN, WHICH DECEIVETH THE WHOLE WORLD-Rev 12:9.  There is a battle between truth and error going on inside of each person.  That battle is for a person’s soul.  The devil persuades many in their thoughts that evolution is how we came into existence.  The adversary puts in the minds of others that the Bible is not God’s Word but just a book written by men.  He makes some believe that it is too difficult to understand.   And if you do believe the Bible is the perfect Word of God, Satan will do everything possible to stop you from studying it, by using many distractions and other devices.  If you study the Bible, Satan will try to cause you to believe certain passages do not mean exactly what they say.  If you do believe God’s Word, he will try to choke the Word that is in you, by using the lusts of this world, the cares of this life, the pleasures of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and many other devices.  Satan is a master at mixing the truth with deception in your mind and causing confusion.

     Satan persuades many people that there is no heaven, hell, judgment, or God.  He causes many to think that he does not even exist, or that, if he does exist, he is nothing more than a little red cartoon character with horns and a pitchfork, who is mischievous but not dangerous.   He causes some people to be bitter toward God.  He causes many others to be deceived on how to be saved.  He blinds their eyes.

     There are many people that look like they are led of God, but they are not.  They themselves think they are being led of God and deceive many.  Many people go to churches that have blind leaders of the blind.  These blind clergy OUTWARDLY APPEAR RIGHTEOUS "UNTO MEN"-Mt 23:28.  They APPEAR BEAUTIFUL OUTWARD, BUT ARE WITHIN FULL OF DEAD MEN’S BONES-Mt 23:27.  They ARE AS GRAVES WHICH APPEAR NOT, AND THE MEN THAT WALK OVER THEM (people that go to their churches) ARE NOT AWARE OF THEM (they are not aware these are blind leaders)-Lk 11:44.  It never occurs to most people that their ordained minister is, himself, on the way to hell.  Paul told us very clearly, MANY...CORRUPT THE WORD OF GOD-2 Cor 2:17.  These blind clergy combine God’s Word with deception and traditions.  Multitudes of people attend these dead, ceremonial, entertainment, people-pleasing churches and are confident they will be in heaven when they die.  It just never occurs to most people that their church is leading them to hell.  They put their faith in their church or denomination and its half-truth doctrines.  Only after they die, do these realize they were deceived and made an eternal mistake.

     Satan puts in many people’s minds that he can never deceive them; therefore, they are deceived already and let their guard down—as an army that is caught by surprise and is defenseless when the attack comes.  Not only does Satan speak to you in your thoughts, but he speaks to you through many people, and you may never know it.  People can be extremely gullible and lack knowledge in the ways and devices of the devil.  Satan puts in people’s mind that they never sin, and many believe this, even though the Bible says, ALL HAVE SINNED, AND COME SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD-Ro 3:23.  Satan has created numerous false religions throughout the world that have led billions of people to hell.  Others may go to good, Bible-teaching churches, yet they are never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.  Many of them believe they are saved, but the light that is in them is really darkness, and the darkness has blinded their eyes. They know not where they are going.  There is a battle going on for their soul, but most of them will never understand this until it is too late.

THE STRAIT GATE AND NARROW WAY

     Only through Jesus Christ can a person be saved.

     It is written, Mt 7:13-ENTER YE IN AT THE STRAIT GATE: FOR WIDE IS THE GATE, AND BROAD IS THE WAY, THAT LEADETH TO DESTRUCTION, AND MANY THERE BE WHICH GO IN THEREAT.

     You can only enter heaven through the "strait gate," BECAUSE STRAIT IS THE GATE, AND NARROW IS THE WAY, WHICH LEADETH UNTO LIFE, AND FEW THERE BE THAT FIND IT.

     The STRAIT GATE and NARROW...WAY is a total commitment to Jesus Christ. It is not just saying, "Lord, Lord."  It is not just saying you have accepted Jesus as your Savior.  Many name the name of Jesus, but they perish.  The STRAIT GATE and NARROW...WAY is: BE YE DOERS OF THE WORD, AND NOT HEARERS ONLY, DECEIVING YOUR OWN SELVES-Ja 1:22.  As Jesus tells us, AND WHY CALL YE ME, LORD, LORD, AND DO NOT THE THINGS WHICH I SAY?-Lk 6:46.  It is doing THE WILL OF MY FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN-Mt 7:21.

     Mt 7:15-20-BEWARE OF FALSE PROPHETS, WHICH COME TO YOU IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING, BUT INWARDLY THEY ARE RAVENING WOLVES.

     YE SHALL KNOW THEM BY THEIR FRUITS.  DO MEN GATHER GRAPES OF THORNS, OR FIGS OF THISTLES?

     EVEN SO EVERY GOOD TREE BRINGETH FORTH GOOD FRUIT; BUT A CORRUPT TREE BRINGETH FORTH EVIL FRUIT.

     A GOOD TREE CANNOT BRING FORTH EVIL FRUIT, NEITHER CAN A CORRUPT TREE BRING FORTH GOOD FRUIT.

     EVERY TREE THAT BRINGETH NOT FORTH GOOD FRUIT IS HEWN DOWN, AND CAST INTO THE FIRE.

     WHEREFORE BY THEIR FRUITS YE SHALL KNOW THEM.

     Mt 7:21-23-NOT EVERY ONE THAT SAITH UNTO ME, LORD, LORD, SHALL ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN; BUT HE THAT DOETH THE WILL OF MY FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN.

     It is written, MANY WILL SAY TO ME (to Jesus) IN THAT DAY, LORD, LORD, HAVE WE NOT PROPHESIED "IN THY NAME"? AND "IN THY NAME" HAVE CAST OUT DEVILS? AND "IN THY NAME" DONE MANY WONDERFUL WORKS?  AND THEN WILL I PROFESS UNTO THEM, I NEVER KNEW YOU: DEPART FROM ME, YE THAT WORK INIQUITY.

     Understand, it is not a matter of, if you know Jesus.  It is a matter of, does Jesus know you?-ref Mt 25:12.  Jesus shall say to many that are absolutely positive they are saved, "I KNOW YOU NOT"-Lk 13:25.

     You might ask, "How can this be?"  It is because people base their belief that they are saved on emotions, or what someone tells them, or on lying thoughts in their mind from the devil, or on a lack of understanding of God’s Word, or on other things.  They may say, "I feel I am saved.  I can feel the Holy Spirit inside me.  God is my Father.  God has answered my prayer.  Jesus has done this or that for me.   I have suffered for Jesus.  I serve the Lord.  The Spirit of God leads me.  I sing in the church.  I teach a Sunday school class."

     Their feelings mean nothing at the judgment.  The Word of God (the Bible) shall judge.  As it is written, THE WORD THAT I HAVE SPOKEN, THE SAME SHALL JUDGE HIM IN THE LAST DAY-Jn 12:48.

     Mt 7:24-27-THEREFORE WHOSOEVER HEARETH THESE SAYINGS OF MINE, AND DOETH THEM, I WILL LIKEN HIM UNTO A WISE MAN, WHICH BUILT HIS HOUSE UPON A ROCK:

     AND THE RAIN DESCENDED, AND THE FLOODS CAME, AND THE WINDS BLEW, AND BEAT UPON THAT HOUSE; AND IT FELL NOT: FOR IT WAS FOUNDED UPON A ROCK.

     AND EVERY ONE THAT HEARETH THESE SAYINGS OF MINE, AND DOETH THEM NOT, SHALL BE LIKENED UNTO A FOOLISH MAN, WHICH BUILT HIS HOUSE UPON THE SAND:

     AND THE RAIN DESCENDED, AND THE FLOODS CAME, AND THE WINDS BLEW, AND BEAT UPON THAT HOUSE; AND IT FELL: AND GREAT WAS THE FALL OF IT.

ONCE YOU ARE SAVED,  THERE IS A BATTLE TO BE FOUGHT:
IT IS CALLED SPIRITUAL WARFARE

     Yet despite Satan’s vast arsenal of devices and deceptions, a few, by the grace of God, come to Jesus when "He" calls.  They come by faith and surrender all to Jesus.  They follow Him.  They have overcome the many devices and deceptions of the devil, by the mercy of God, through faith.

     Now they face a new battle.  Satan can be expected to attack the new Christian in ways that do not even come to his mind.  As it is written, BELOVED, THINK IT NOT STRANGE (do not be surprised) CONCERNING THE FIERY (or painful) TRIAL WHICH IS TO TRY (or test) YOU, AS THOUGH SOME STRANGE THING HAPPENED UNTO YOU: BUT REJOICE, INASMUCH AS YE ARE PARTAKERS OF CHRIST’S SUFFERINGS; THAT, WHEN HIS GLORY SHALL BE REVEALED, YE MAY BE GLAD ALSO WITH EXCEEDING JOY.  IF YE BE REPROACHED (or insulted) FOR THE NAME OF CHRIST, HAPPY ARE YE; FOR THE SPIRIT OF GLORY AND OF GOD RESTETH UPON YOU: ON THEIR PART HE IS EVIL SPOKEN OF, BUT ON YOUR PART HE IS GLORIFIED-1 Pe 4:12-14.

     This fiery trial or battle that a person goes through is called "spiritual warfare."

SPIRITUAL WARFARE:
THE BATTLE

     We are in a spiritual battle, a spiritual war, a spiritual fight, a spiritual wrestling match, a spiritual struggle.

     THEREFORE ENDURE HARDNESS (or hardship), AS A GOOD SOLDIER OF JESUS CHRIST.  NO MAN THAT WARRETH ENTANGLETH HIMSELF WITH THE AFFAIRS OF THIS LIFE (or civilian affairs); THAT HE MAY PLEASE HIM WHO HATH CHOSEN HIM TO BE A SOLDIER-2 Tim 2:3,4.  As a follower of Jesus Christ, you are a soldier.  You are in a war.  That war is against Satan.  It is against the forces of darkness.

     This battle never ends until we die.  If we are on Satan’s side, the Lord may deal with us to get us to repent.  If we are on the Lord’s side, Satan tries to cause us to fall, as the SOW THAT WAS WASHED...returned TO HER WALLOWING IN THE MIRE-2 Pe 2:22. Do not underestimate Satan and his powers to deceive.  As it is written, BE SOBER, BE VIGILANT (be on your guard, be alert); BECAUSE YOUR ADVERSARY THE DEVIL, AS A ROARING LION, WALKETH ABOUT, SEEKING WHOM HE MAY DEVOUR-1 Pe 5:8.

     Do not underestimate Satan and his powers of deception.  His ability to put obstacles in your path is great.  He deceives some that are going to hell into believing there is no hope.   He also deceives others that are going to hell into believing they are really going to heaven.  Those that are saved, Satan often tries to deceive them into thinking they are not.

     An army going to war that teaches nothing but victory, health, and success will lose the war.  An army that is prepared for the battle will win.  The army needs to know about the enemy; they need to know who the enemy is.  The army needs to know how the enemy will attack and what weapons he will attack with.  The army needs to know when the enemy will attack and from where, and to be ready at all times.  The army needs to know, if they get wounded, what they must do to get healed.  The army needs to know, if they get captured, what they must do to get free.  The army must know what weapons they have available and how to use them.  This comes from first being trained, then practice, and finally engaging the enemy, and on to victory.

     All facets of warfare must be taught and practiced, lest the enemy gain an advantage and win the war.  We need to know who the enemy is and all there is to know about him, his tactics, and his capabilities.  We also need to know our own weapons and capabilities.  We need to know the consequences of surrender to the enemy.  We need to know when to use our weapons and when not to.  We need to be ever vigilant, for our enemy the devil goes about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour or conquer.

     A person that is never taught about the battle he is in will probably lose.  A person that is taught nothing but victory, success, health, and prosperity will go forth with great zeal but little knowledge.  He will be unprepared for the onslaught of the enemy.  You may go forth with the most advanced and powerful weapons, but these are of little value, if the enemy successfully sneaks up behind you and takes you by surprise.  This is exactly what the enemy is planning to do.

     Jesus had the victory, but do you?  Will you hold firm to the end, or will you fall into Satan’s cunning deceit working in your mind?  Will you be defeated and never realize it till the judgment?  Beware, lest it happen so slowly that you never recognize you are backsliding.  THROUGH KNOWLEDGE SHALL THE JUST BE DELIVERED-Pv 11:9.  "MY PEOPLE" ARE GONE INTO CAPTIVITY, BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE...THEREFORE HELL HATH ENLARGED HERSELF-Isa 5:13,14.

     Beware.  Satan will try to keep you from reading your Bible, as it is your spiritual warfare instruction manual.  It covers everything you need to know.  Read it, study it, hear it, meditate on it, and obey it.

     There is strife between people in the churches today.  There are battles between the preachers and elders.  There are arguments in Bible studies and in church business and planning meetings.  What is going on?

     The battle inside you rages.  Once you are saved, there shall be a battle fought inside you.  It is a battle between the forces of darkness (Satan’s realm) and the forces of light (Jesus is light).  It shall be a battle of victory to those who overcome all things through faith.  It will be a battle of defeat to those who do not obey God’s Word.

     This battle will rage in your mind, in your feelings or emotions, and in your flesh.  If you are unsaved, things may happen to you for the purpose of bringing you to repentance.  If you are about to be saved, you may feel like you are being torn apart.  You may feel like a rope is pulling on one arm to go in a certain direction, and another rope is pulling on the other arm in the opposite direction; you are in the middle being torn apart.   Jesus wants you to repent and follow Him.  Satan wants you to refuse.  It is a battle for your soul.

     If you submit to Satan, you will probably grow harder toward God.  Sin hardens a person against God and against His Word.  Yet the war will go on.  If you submit to God, then Satan will keep trying to pull you back into sin.  The battle will rage inside you.   Because of events stemming from this battle, many turn to drugs and alcohol, instead of to God.  For those who submit to God, He gives them His Spirit and power to overcome evil.  GREATER IS HE (God’s Spirit) THAT IS IN YOU, THAN HE (Satan) THAT IS IN THE WORLD-1 Jn 4:4.  Till the day you die (or are raptured), this battle can be expected to continue for your soul.  The conflict inside you, at times, may seem almost unbearable, but do not give up or despair.  For the Lord Jesus said, THESE THINGS I HAVE SPOKEN UNTO YOU, THAT IN ME YE MIGHT HAVE PEACE.  IN THE WORLD YE SHALL HAVE TRIBULATION: BUT BE OF GOOD CHEER; I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD-Jn 16:33.

     There may be four people.  One may say no to the claims of Christ.  The other three say, yes.   Of those three that say yes, one may fall as a result of persecutions, embarrassment, false doctrines, or wrong thinking.  Another may begin to crumble as the cares, pleasures, lusts, and deceitfulness of riches hinder him.  Only one may grow and bear good fruit—fruit that will remain.  Yet it is written, THERE HATH NO TEMPTATION TAKEN YOU BUT SUCH AS IS COMMON TO MAN: BUT GOD IS FAITHFUL, WHO WILL NOT SUFFER YOU TO BE TEMPTED ABOVE THAT YE ARE ABLE; BUT WILL WITH THE TEMPTATION ALSO MAKE A WAY TO ESCAPE, THAT YE MAY BE ABLE TO BEAR IT-1 Cor 10:13.

     Of those that forsake the right way, some will turn on their fellow servants and verbally abuse them and worse.   Their countenance will change.  Their joy in the Lord disappears.  They may become angry, self-willed, and rebellious.  You can see it on their faces, but Satan may have convinced them in their minds that they have not fallen or that they cannot fall.  They will usually justify their bad attitude by pointing fingers at others.

     A woman may say, "My life is torn apart.  What is happening to me?  I’m frustrated.   My family is falling apart.  My children are out of control.  My husband’s job is in jeopardy.  It seems everything is going wrong."   What is happening is, we are in a spiritual war.

     We need to look at God’s Word and see what spiritual warfare is, in order to understand what is happening to us.  The Bible shows that spiritual warfare is between God and Satan.   This began when Satan said, "I WILL ASCEND INTO HEAVEN, I WILL EXALT MY THRONE ABOVE THE STARS OF GOD"-Isa 14:13.  He was actually seeking to dethrone God.   Yet God tells us that Satan will be BROUGHT DOWN TO HELL-Isa 14:15.

     The deceptive powers of Satan are so great, that one-third of the angels of heaven followed him.  This spiritual conflict between God and Satan goes on today.  You are involved.  You cannot get away from it.  There is no place you can go to get out of this battle.   You cannot withdraw.  If you withdraw from God, you go into Satan’s territory.  There is no neutral ground.  You are either in the battle on God’s side, or you are in the battle on Satan’s side.  Satan is so expert in deceiving people that they do not even realize they are in a battle at all.  Why?   It is because most people know very little of what the Bible says, or they do not believe what the Bible says.  This includes priests, rabbis, and preachers.  As it is written, HE THAT IS NOT WITH ME IS AGAINST ME-Mt 12:30.

     If you are a fruitful, born-again Christian, whose light is shining, you are under attack because you represent Jesus Christ.

     If you are carnal (or worldly), lukewarm, and like a wave in your walk with Jesus, you are on very dangerous ground.  When people remain depressed a great deal, whether they are a Christian or not, this shows that their fellowship with God is broken.

     Satan attacks you, trying to get at God.  But remember, SUBMIT YOURSELVES THEREFORE TO GODRESIST THE DEVIL, AND HE WILL FLEE FROM YOU.  DRAW NIGH TO GOD, AND HE WILL DRAW NIGH TO YOU.  CLEANSE YOUR HANDS, YE SINNERS; AND PURIFY YOUR HEARTS, YE DOUBLE-MINDED.   BE AFFLICTED, AND MOURN, AND WEEP: LET YOUR LAUGHTER BE TURNED TO MOURNING, AND YOUR JOY TO HEAVINESS.  "HUMBLE" YOURSELVES IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD, AND HE SHALL LIFT YOU UP-Ja 4:7-10.  BUT SEEK YE "FIRST" THE KINGDOM OF GOD, AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS; AND ALL THESE THINGS SHALL BE ADDED UNTO YOU-Mt 6:33. THE BATTLE IS THE LORD’S-1 Sam 17:47.  To be on God’s side is to be on the winning side.

     When the battle moves on the inside of you, then you need to purge yourself.  You need to move the battle back to the outside, so you can have victory on the inside.  Dwell in God’s Word.  Obey God’s Word.  Keep your mind and focus upon Jesus.  It is written, THOU WILT KEEP HIM IN PERFECT PEACE, WHOSE MIND IS STAYED ON THEE: BECAUSE HE TRUSTETH IN THEE-Isa 26:3.

     Consider fasting for 7, 10, 14, 21, or 40 days as God guides you.  Also consider fasting two half days or one full day a week.   When fasting for several days, get alone into seclusion.  Study God’s Word and pray.  Those big fiery darts or uptight knots in your stomach should leave toward the end of a seven day fast.  Eat no food at all.  Drink water only.   Consider doing this at least once a year.  If you have any special medical problem, consult a doctor (preferably born-again) before fasting.

    The devil is a military strategist.  He has his schemes to wage spiritual war.  He has been a warrior from the beginning.  He has a plan for the overthrow of God, for the overthrow of Jesus Christ, and for the overthrow of every believer in the church of the Lord Jesus Christ.

     Do not underestimate the enemy, "Satan."  Do not think he is haphazard in his plan and his effort.  He has a plan, and he is out to make it work.  But God has told us through the Scriptures, WE ARE NOT IGNORANT OF HIS DEVICES-2 Cor 2:11.   God has given us this knowledge in the Scriptures so we can fight a good warfare and come out victorious.

THE CONFLICT OR TEMPTATIONS COME FROM

     The Bible describes this battle as a conflict between truth and error.  It began with Adam and Eve.   Satan deceived Eve with, "HATH GOD SAID?"  Eve responded.  Then Satan told her that God was not telling her the truth, or God did not mean what He said.   You shall not surely die.

HERE IS THE CONFLICT BETWEEN TRUTH AND ERROR

     It is between the clear Word of God and anything that conflicts with it.

     It is between the clear Word of God and the wrong thinking you have.

     It is between the clear Word of God and your emotions.

     It is between the clear Word of God and your flesh.

     It is between the clear Word of God and your circumstances.

     It is between the clear Word of God and your personal needs and desires.

     It is between the clear Word of God and lusts, cares of this life, pleasures of this life, and the deceitfulness of riches.

     It is between the clear Word of God and things your family, boss, fellow workers, friends, and other people say to you or ask you to do.  BLESSED IS THE MAN THAT WALKETH NOT IN THE COUNSEL OF THE UNGODLY-Ps 1:1.

     It is between the clear Word of God and the traditions of men.

     It is between doing "God’s will" and between doing "your will."

     It is between God’s will for you and your own will.

     It is between the clear Word of God and the voices or thoughts you hear in your mind, which contradict God’s clear Word.  These voices—which you may think are your own—are really from Satan.

     This conflict is between the true God and the god of this world.  You are in the middle of this spiritual battle.  People need to understand that our time on this earth is a time of testing.   You are being tested to see if you will obey God or not.  You are being tested to see if your faith is genuine.  Yet Satan will do what he can to persuade you that it is not a test of obedience.  He may even try to persuade you that God’s Word does not even apply to your situation. Satan puts lying thoughts in your mind.  Your understanding of God’s Word will manifest itself by what you do.

     You will hear God’s truth.  You will hear Satan’s lies.  "You" are the battle ground.  You need the Holy Spirit, for He will lead you into all truth.  That truth will "always" be in harmony with God’s Word.

     Measure every message you hear by the Word of God.

     Measure every thought you have by the Word of God.

     Measure every thing you say and do by the Word of God.

     It is the Word of God that will judge you at the judgment.  Your excuses of why you did not obey God will not hold up then.

TEMPTATIONS

     Ja 1:2-MY BRETHREN, COUNT IT ALL JOY WHEN YE FALL INTO DIVERS TEMPTATIONS;

     3-KNOWING THIS, THAT THE TRYING OF YOUR FAITH WORKETH PATIENCE.

     4-BUT LET PATIENCE HAVE HER PERFECT WORK, THAT YE MAY BE PERFECT AND ENTIRE, WANTING NOTHING.

     12-BLESSED IS THE MAN THAT ENDURETH TEMPTATION: FOR WHEN HE IS TRIED, HE SHALL RECEIVE THE CROWN OF LIFE, WHICH THE LORD HATH PROMISED TO THEM THAT LOVE HIM.

     13-LET NO MAN SAY WHEN HE IS TEMPTED, I AM TEMPTED OF GOD: FOR GOD CANNOT BE TEMPTED WITH EVIL, NEITHER TEMPTETH HE ANY MAN:

     14-BUT EVERY MAN IS TEMPTED, WHEN HE IS DRAWN AWAY OF HIS OWN LUST, AND ENTICED.

     15-THEN WHEN LUST HATH CONCEIVED, IT BRINGETH FORTH SIN: AND SIN, WHEN IT IS FINISHED, BRINGETH FORTH DEATH.

     16-DO NOT ERR, MY BELOVED BRETHREN.

     22-BUT BE YE DOERS OF THE WORD, AND NOT HEARERS ONLY, DECEIVING YOUR OWN SELVES.

 

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