Spiritual welfare is probably the most misunderstood area of the Christian Life .why some Christians live in fear of demonic forces, others are so sure of themselves that they seek out opportunity for confrontation with evil spirits.
Still others blame every problem or sickness on the devil .some even tried to cast demons out of fellow Christians. In reality
this radically different approaches or exhibit and ignorance of the true nature of Satan and the extent of his power.
Christians especially those emissions must be equipped in four areas :
1.Think by biblically, not just culturally
-must accept the supernatural worldview that depicts a cosmic conflict between God and his Angels; Satan and his demons; with womankind caught in between .
– must come to understand that resistance to the message of the gospel is attributable not only to intellectual and life style choices, but also to spiritual welfare.
-John state the fact that believers have an anointing from the holy one (1John chapter 2:20 -27) and can tell the difference between light and darkness ,truth and falsehood.
ii.That he or she will become a target of the enemy’s opposition .
-must learn to detect when under supernatural attack.
-learn how to use God’s armour and mighty weapons to deal with these attacks. effective use of God’s mighty weapons of the word, prayer and Faith to overcome the enemy’s head winds.
iii.becoming better at discerning and dealing with the demonic birds of the air that steal away the precious seed of the word -Matthew 13:19
-need instruction on how to penetrate the veil of supernatural deception and set captives free.
-to be effective in plundering the enemy’s camp, one needs to know how to turn souls from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God -Acts 26:18
-skills of spiritual welfare must be sharpened in this current climate of philosophical relativism and new-age metaphysics.
iv.understand that the powers ofp darkness employ specific skins among particular people and places on Earth.
-There are territorial strongholds of evil that condition the way people think and govern their lives. This is virtual ideological air pollution.
-we are to be better informed or the discernment that guides our intersection for the unsaved. We are not to get involved in getting the names of presumed territorial spirits or wailing and flailing against them.
-we are to seek wisdom in knowing how to precisely pray for the release of God’s power to diminish the darkness and advance his kingdom.
Definition of spiritual warfare:
Tom white (president of Frontline ministries) defined “spiritual warfare” in this way
Spritual welfare describes the prehistory storage and ongoing conflict between the sovereign God and the rebellion of a created, angelic being ,Satan .
The adversary and other fallen angels aggravates sin within the human personality, and promote ungodly values through human cultures to divert the unredeemed from salvation and hinder the redeemed from enjoyment of the fullness of Christ and fruitfulness in ministry.
The savants of Jesus is called to expose (Ephesians 5:11), resist (Ephesians chapter 6 to 18) and overcome (1John 2 verse 12 to 14) schemes of the enemy that oppose God purpose, thereby giving witnesses to Jesus triumph ( Acts 1:8; 26: 17 to 18).
In the light of this definition ,any servant of Jesus Christ that poses a threat to the powers of darkness will likely be targeted and must be fully equipped to discern and deal with the resistive schemes of evil.
The origin of spiritual warfare
Conflict that originated spiritual warfare; Revelation chapter 12 Chronicles a warfare,which apparently occurred sometime around the creation of the Earth.
And there was one in heaven. Michael and his angel fought against the dragon and the dragon and his Angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven .
The great dragon was hurled down – that ancient serpent called The devil or Satan who leads the whole world astray.
He was hurled to the earth and his Angels with him -Revelation 12:7-9
Additional passengers are alluding to the same incident in Isaiah and Ezekiel.
How you have fallen from heaven ,oh Lucifer, star of the morning, son of the down, you have been cut down to the earth, you who have weakened the nation’s!
But you said in your heart, I will ascend to heaven ;I will raise my throne above the stars of God and I will sit on the mount of the assembly in the recesses of the North.
I will ascend above the height of the cloud !I will make myself like the most high.
Nevertheless you will be trust down to show, to the recesses of the pitch. Those who see you will gaze at you, they will ponder over you, saying, is this the man who made the Earth tremble, who sook kingdoms- Isaiah 14 verses 12 to 16.
The Bible does not shed a lot of light into the specific issue being disputed in heaven. many Christians have the impression that Satan try to overthrow God.
This is extremely difficult to believe since God is the all-powerful creator and sustainer of all life.
We have no example in scripture of satan and possessing ominipotents or any other divine attributes, but we do have adequate evidence that he is an intelligent being.
Given this intelligence would satan think that he could possibly overthrow far greater being possessing infinite attributes?
To depose the one who sustains you would be the equivalent of suicide. Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14 are most commonly cited passages for insight into the persistence and Fall of Lucifer (satan) .
But while looking at these passages as references to Lucifer readers often overlooked the fact that the authors are primarilyy given prophecies concerning literal nation that will soon oppress Iseral (Isaiah 14 verse 4; Ezekiel 28 verse 12)
Therefore,to take the passage as referring only to a spiritual principality can be misleading. Note that both passages fit better when taken ,as referencing a little king and kingdom on this earth.
In actuality, the word “Lucifer” does not occur anywhere in the original test. the word translated to “Lucifer” actually is “shining one” and can be taken as a reference to a spirit personality or an earthly being .
Noet the last portion of the quote,” is this the man that made the Earth tremble?” Obviously the primary reference of Isaiah is to a person.
However, the fact that an illusion to Satan exist here is undeniable. The reason we apply this passage to setan at-all is that the
prophet are writing first of all about literally earthly Kings, but also making references to the spiritual principalities ,which is the influencing Force behind the nation.
The influenced and the influencer have come to share so much purpose in common. they are addressed as one in what will might call a split reference.
In this case the influencing principality seems to be satan himself.
With the realization that Isaiah is writing to Israel concerning an earthly kingdom the first explanation of the phrase “I will be like
the most high”(Isaiah 14: 14 )would be that some earthly Babylonian king has a giant eagle. Full of pride over his conquests and
accomplishment he considers himself to be in sovereign control of his own destiny and is seeking to exalt his throne even higher.
As evidence that this could realistically be the case as the story of Nebuchadnezzar in the narrative of Daniel 4 verse 23 to 32 and Daniel 5 verse 18 to 21.
The Daniel four messages is one of the strongest insight into the sovereignty of God in the entire Bible.
Only in a secondary sciences we can apply Isaiah14 to Satan as well. Notice the 5″ I will” phrase there versus what God willed.
the phrase ”I will be like the most high” bears a striking similarity to the phrase “you” will be like God in Satan’s temptation of Man (Genesis 3 verse 5).
That decision foe man was to take control of his life separate from God. We have no reason to doubt that the decision settlement was very different, especially since the divine overthrew would seem to be impossibility.
In other words ,we would be inconsistent if we said the phrase “I will be like the most high” means something different for satan than it did for Adam and the King of Babylon.
They all desireed to exercise and uninhibited control over themselves in the same way that God is excerises sovereign control over his kingdom.
Satan tempted Jesus as the second Adam and similar fashion (Matthew 4). If the devil could get Jesus to violate the will of the Father ,Jesus will effectively be ruling himself apart from God.
If Satan could get Jesus to usurp that authority for himself, if he could get Jesus to “be his own man” he has made Jesus a follow partaker of the same form of rebellion and eliminated him as a fite Redeemer.
instead christ stayed with the will of the father and became the author of our internal salvation.
When Satan lost that intial contest in heaven he was “cast down” from his lofty position of service to God along with the angels who followed in his rebellion.
At the time of Adam sin something happened to his nature. A similar change seems to have happened to satan (Ezekiel 28:15-16).
His nature apparently become twisted and he now is given over to doing evil continually. from the point of his loss in the heavenly warfare satan set his course according to His evil perverse nature interfering where possibly in human arena with enticements aimed at introducing a self-centered will to man.
This was the impetus of his attack in the garden of Eden when he ask, “has God said?” and successfully on the mind the attitude of man towards God’s leadership.
Thus Satan, by his act of disobedience, became the father of the classic struggle will call spiritual warfare .
Satan and the demons:
The devil, Satan, and demons are same and interchangeable words a usage . According
to James Hastings the world devil came into English from Greek either directly or through it latin transliteration.
Hasting said its original meaning was that of the accuser or transducer of Men and soon came to denote the supreme spirit of evil, the personal tempter of man and enemy of God.
Satan is Hebrew and means adversary. In Job 1 and 2 prologue ,satan appears as a member of the celestial council of angelic
beings that have access to the presence of God with a special function to watch over human affairs and beings with the sole aim of exposing mens sin and accusing them in the celestial Court.
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Satan is investes with malevolent (malicious) and the malignant character but has no power to act without the Divine permission of God.
The original meaning of the Greek word demon stands for any malignant being of super human nature and powers.
Hastings said the idea of malignancy at first was not necessarily associated with these beings, some being regarded as harmless and others are wielding influence but gradually they were considered as operating exclusively in the Spher of mischief and as needing to be guarded against by magic right or religious observations.
Demons are spirit beings without bodies. Their nefarious and super evil plans can only be achieved by living in the bodies of man or animal .
The key to the presence or entrance of a demon into a person is authority .people in inadvertently in many ways give authority to demons to enter their bodies and exercise control over them.
Other names used for satan in the New testament especially in the book of Revelation 9:12 are great dragon, ancient serpent and iverse 10b -accuser of our brothers .
Angels and fallen angles:
Angels are known as celestialr being. in existence of Angels is taking for granted in old testament and there account of their origin is not giving.
Believe in Angels may therefore be based on the early animalism that is common to all races in the pre-polytheistic stage of culture.
Angel are represented as appearing in human form and as having many human characteristics; they speak like man(1 Kings 19 verse 5)!they eat (Genesis 18 :8);they fight (Genesis 32 verse ,1 2 Samuel 5: 24-);rhey possesses wisdom ,with which that of men is compared( 2 Samuel 13:17,20) ; they have imperfections (job 4: 18); they can become invisible (2 Kings:13-18, Psalms 104:4), and they can fly, if as appears to be the case, seraphim are to be included under the category of Angels. (Isaiah 6:5).
Satan is believed to be archangel Lucifer and the fallen Angels are Satan’s cohort that were driven from the presence of God do to there misdemeanor and his obedience to the Divine commandments.
Falling Angels or deprived angels are the ones cast out from heaven’s together with setan(Revelation 12:9 ).
In Corinthians 10 verse 21, pauls warns believers against the worship of Angels, which he compare with the worshipping of demons. Revelation 12 verse 7 -12 gives us the reason for the fallen Angels verse 7-9 says:
and there was war in heaven. Michael and his Angels fought against the dragons, and the dragon and his Angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven.
The great dragon was hurled down – that ancient serpent call the devil, or the Satan, who leads the whole world astray.
He was hurled to the earth, and his Angels with him.
Demons and demonism / satanism:
A cursotly survey of the old testament point to the Jewish demonology. This is evident from the account in Genesis 3: 1-5 showing that some animals are believed to be endowed with the demonic powers, though here The serpent is seem to be demonic and not possessed by an evil spirit( Romans 16:20).
The demonology of letter Judaism become elaborate. The conception of demon or devil or Satan embraces three species of existenceses:
1. National deities, conceive as falling but not always stripped of all powers exodus 12 verse 12, Isaiah 19:1, 24:12.
2.Angels that were once attendant upon the true God but have falling – 2 Peter 2 verse 4, Jude 6
3.modification of primitive and animism- the spirit of the wicked dead (Josephus,) who hunts the tombs or at last cause men they possess to do evil(Mathew 8:28).
The devil’s of letter Judaism are invisicible spirit to whom every I’ll, physical or moral is attributed. These spirits are Quasi independence in relation to God; in that they
at times do his bidding as ministers of his wrath, but in this sense are not classed in scripture as devil example, the demon of pestilence( 2nd Samuel 24 verse 16 ,2nd Kings 19 v 23, Isaiah 37 verse 36 , palms 78v49).
In the New testament,the belief in devil’s as spirit, evil and innumerable was withinall Nations(Jewish and gentile). The fourth gospel is free from demonic element.
Thrice in John 7 verse 20, 8:40, 10:28, possession was use to explain christ work and influence; but evil is traced back to the activity of the devil.
The synoptic especially Luke abounds in reference to demons as personal spirit be setting or possessing man.
The demon enters into a man (luke8:20) or certain animals (Mathew 8 verse 32) and to pass out( Matthew 17 verse 18 , Luke 11:14) or be cast out (Matthew 9 verse 34).
This demoniacal possession is referred to as the cause of various diseases such as symptoms of psychical disease in association with physical.
Paul speaks of doctrines emanating from devil (1Thimoty 4:1).The devil’s of 1corinthians 10:20 were demigods or deposed idol.James recognizes the existence of a number of devils .
To James in 4:7 the devil is an antagonist who upon resistance takes to flight. In the old testament the evil process advanced so far that the personal name is used in the letter books with some freedom.
It is Satan who temptedChrist (Mathew 13 verse 39 ),snatch up the good seed( Luke 8:12), and for Satan and his Angels (falling) and appropriate destiny is prepared (Matthew 25 verse 4.
John says the devil promoted Judas to commit treason and is Vicious in his lusts, a liar, and a murderer, a sinner in both nature and art(1john 3:8,10); he prolongs the
tribulation of the faithful who do not yield to him ( revelation 2:18);after he’s grateful fall ,he is goaded by defeat into more venomous activity, but eventually meet his doom.
Peter present the devil as prowling about in search of preys (1st Peter 5: 8), and the standing adversary of man battled by Jesus(Acts 10:38).
To give opportunity to the devil (Ephesians 4 verse 27 ) may lead to a share in his condemnation(1 Timothy 3:6).
Paul considered devil’s snares (1timothy 3:7,2timothy 2:26)and his wiles (Ephesians 6 verse 11) real.
Devil is the moral adversary of man (Matthew 13 verse 39, luke 10:19, Ephesians 4 verse 27, and 1st Peter 5:8) acting according to the old testament with the permission of God( job 1:9-12).
Devil is also called the tempter(Mathew 4:3,1 thessalonians 3:5) and the accuser of those who listen to his solicitations(Rev.12:10).
In Chronicles 21,Satan stood against Israel and moved David to number Israel. In the synoptic tradition,Jesus recognised the
existence and the power of the kingdom of evil, with organised demonic agencies under the control of a supreme personality,satan or Beelzebub.
This demonic agencies are the source of every variety of physical,moral, social and spiritual evil.
The messiah’s principal function is to destroy the works of the Satan and his subordinates in ( Mark 1 verse 24, 34;3:11,12,15etc) .
The works of the evil is classified as works of darkness. The light of the gospel and the power of Christ operate to destroy the works of darkness.
In apocrypha( the extracanonical literature), satan tendency becomes more pronounced.
In the book of Enoch(Chronicles 1:36), the origin of the demon in stressed to the fall of angelic watchers, the sons of God who corrupted themselves with the daughters of men Genesis 6.
it was from the ofsprings of this sinful unions, the Giants that the demons were Strong,accordig to James Hastings.
In order to have the victory over demonic power,we recognised and take away such authority from the demon using the higher power and authority given to us by Jesus Christ as His disciples.
This is clearly stated by Jesus in Luke 10 verse 19″ Ihave given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you”.
Satan, devil, demons etc. Are an unclean spirit and are classified as evil spirit. Evil spirits are organised under satan and in the kingdom of darkness. Their works are:
1.To the work of God h Zechariah; said “And he showed me Joshua the high-priest standing before the Angel of the lord, and satan standing at his right hand to resist him”.
2. To serve as adversary of God ;”And He jJesus )was there in the wilderness fourty days tempted of Satan”- Mark 1:13a.
3.To serve as adversary of God’s people;” And the lord said,simon simon, behold, satan desire to have you,that he sift you as wheat”. Luke 22:31
4.To serve as adversary of mankind; “Jesus said “then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for 18 years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?” luke 13:16.
5. To oppose the work of God in creation, through temptation – Genesis 3 verse 40- 6.
6.To oppose the work of God in redemption by opposing the prayer of the saints Daniel 10: 12 and 13.
7. To fight against the saints – 1st Peter 5:8.
8.To blind people to the truth -Paul said” but if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost; in whom the gods of his world has
blinded the minds of them which believe not, least the light of glorious gospel of Christ,who is the image of God should shine unto them” .