Let's talk about spiritual warfare part 2- What does the Bible say?
When forming our own views about spiritual warfare, we should begin by understanding how it is described in the Bible. As Bible-believing Christians, we cannot disregard what scripture tells us throughout its pages, from Genesis through to the New Testament. Let’s review a few of those passages now:
The warfare here on earth is discussed as early as the Garden of Eden:
Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You can’t eat from any tree in the garden’?” Genesis 3:1
It continued throughout the Old Testament. This happened when Moses and Aaron were confronting Pharaoh:
So Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord had commanded. Aaron threw down his staff before Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a serpent. But then Pharaoh called the wise men and sorcerers—the magicians of Egypt, and they also did the same thing by their occult practices. Each one threw down his staff, and it became a serpent. But Aaron’s staff swallowed their staffs. However, Pharaoh’s heart hardened, and he did not listen to them, as the Lord had said. Exodus 7:10-13.
In Daniel’s time this happened:
“Don’t be afraid, Daniel,” he said to me, “for from the first day that you purposed to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your prayers were heard. I have come because of your prayers. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me for 21 days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me after I had been left there with the kings of Persia. Daniel 10:12-13.
Jesus certainly believed in and experienced spiritual warfare:
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil. After He had fasted 40 days and 40 nights, He was hungry. Then the tempter approached Him and said, “If You are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” But He answered, “It is written: Man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Then the Devil took Him to the holy city, had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: He will give His angels orders concerning you, and they will support you with their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” Jesus told him, “It is also written: Do not test the Lord your God.” Again, the Devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. And he said to Him, “I will give You all these things if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus told him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve only Him.” Then the Devil left Him, and immediately angels came and began to serve Him. Matthew 4:1-11
“If You drive us out,” the demons begged Him, “send us into the herd of pigs.” Matthew 8:31
“When an unclean spirit comes out of a man, it roams through waterless places looking for rest, and not finding rest, it then says, ‘I’ll go back to my house where I came from.’ And returning, it finds the house swept and put in order. Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and settle down there. As a result, that man’s last condition is worse than the first.” Luke 11:24-26
And Paul had much to say about spiritual warfare:
For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. Ephesians 6:12.
Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. Resist him and be firm in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are being experienced by your fellow believers throughout the world. 1Peter 5:8-9.
For though we live in the body, we do not wage war in an unspiritual way, since the weapons of our warfare are not worldly, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to obey Christ. 2Corinthians 10:3-6.
These are just a few of the instances where the Bible confirms that there are evil spirits, and that they oppose and wage war upon God, Jesus Christ, and those whom He has redeemed. Spiritual warfare is discussed repeatedly throughout the Bible. It has existed throughout man’s history, and it continues today. The question for us is how that knowledge should affect our day to day lives. Do we ignore the reality? Do we live in fear of it? Or ?? We will tackle those questions in detail in part five of this series.
Next week we will explore how the Christian church has viewed spiritual warfare throughout its history, up to the modern day.
See you then!