This month, we are covering a seemingly simple concept that has powerful, revelatory, and wide ranging applications: Right-Right vs Right-Wrong...Right WHAT-Right HOW/WHY vs. Right WHAT-Wrong (or NO) HOW/WHY.
In the previous post, we summarized the WHOLE armor of God:
EVERYTHING that Paul mentioned that was in the WHOLE armor of God was based on WORDS and SENTENCES!
Today, we will begin looking at the offensive perspective of Spiritual Warfare...
SPIRITUAL WARFARE: OFFENSE BACKGROUND
Some people don't believe we are supposed to intentionally confront the spiritual enemy. So, before we look at SPECIFICALLY how to confront the enemy tomorrow (Offensive Spiritual Warfare), we will spend today's post showing how the Bible consistently stated there is a spiritual enemy that needs to be confronted.
In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit was in the prophets, so people were not supposed to participate in offensive Spiritual Warfare...only the prophets. Here were some verses showing that people were NOT supposed to engage at all with the spiritual enemy:
"31 Turn ye not unto them that have familiar spirits, nor unto the wizards; seek them not out, to be defiled by them: I am Jehovah your God."
"6 And the soul that turneth unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto the wizards, to play the harlot after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people."
"9 When thou art come into the land which Jehovah thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.
10 There shall not be found with thee any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, one that useth divination, one that practiseth augury, or an enchanter, or a sorcerer,
11 or a charmer, or a consulter with a familiar spirit, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
12 For whosoever doeth these things is an abomination unto Jehovah: and because of these abominations Jehovah thy God doth drive them out from before thee."
"36 And served their idols, Which became a snare unto them.
37 Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto demons,
38 And shed innocent blood, Even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, Whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan; And the land was polluted with blood."
However, in the New Testament this changed because Jesus and his followers had the Holy Spirit. Tomorrow we will look at the SPECIFICS of these encounters. Today's passages were focused on proving the need to confront the spiritual enemy:
I John 4
"1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but prove the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world."
"1 And it came to pass soon afterwards, that he went about through cities and villages, preaching and bringing the good tidings of the kingdom of God, and with him the twelve,
2 and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary that was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out,
3 and Joanna the wife of Chuzas Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, who ministered unto them of their substance."
"11 And the unclean spirits, whensoever they beheld him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God.
12 And he charged them much that they should not make him known."
"17 And the seventy returned with joy, saying, Lord, even the demons are subject unto us in thy name.
18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan fallen as lightning from heaven.
19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall in any wise hurt you.
20 Nevertheless in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."
Testing the spirits, casting them out, charging them to not make Himself known, and having demons subject unto us in Jesus' Name all require a person to confront the spiritual enemy. The final passage of today's post was a long (and familiar) one. I'm going to comment in parenthesis...
"22 Then was brought unto him one possessed with a demon, blind and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the dumb man spake and saw."
(Jesus healed a blind and dumb man who was possessed of a demon to the point that he was able to see and speak. This definitely involved confronting the spiritual enemy.)
"23 And all the multitudes were amazed, and said, Can this be the son of David?
24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This man doth not cast out demons, but by Beelzebub the prince of the demons."
(The people recognized that Jesus was able to help this man. The Pharisees looked for a reason why Jesus was NOT able to help the man EVEN THOUGH HE CLEARLY DID. The Pharisees got so desperate to ignore a person who got helped that they stated that Jesus must be from the prince of demons!)
"25 And knowing their thoughts he said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:
26 and if Satan casteth out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then shall his kingdom stand?
27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges.
28 But if I by the Spirit of God cast out demons, then is the kingdom of God come upon you."
(Notice, this passage began by establishing that Jesus knew their thoughts...so He was not projecting...He was responding to facts. Jesus used non-contradiction to state that the Pharisees needed to establish if helping people was from God or not because these people claimed to help people. They couldn't say their help was from God but they could say Jesus' help was from the devil. Which one was it? Then Jesus closed with a HUGE point and it was stated in IF/THEN: IF Jesus was casting the demons out BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD, THEN the kingdom of God had come upon you...which meant the Pharisees were in REAL trouble.)
"29 Or how can one enter into the house of the strong man, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.
30 He that is not with me is against me, and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.
31 Therefore I say unto you, Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.
32 And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever shall speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in that which is to come."
(Jesus just warned these people that speaking against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven...which meant these people better be careful when they told Jesus that His act of casting out demons by the Holy Spirit was ACTUALLY by the prince of demons!)
"33 Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or make the tree corrupt, and its fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by its fruit."
(This was a clear statement that people need to resolve their contradictions. Either say the tree is good because the fruit is good OR say the tree is bad because the fruit is bad. Then Jesus made a causality statement: a tree (CAUSE) is known by its fruit (EFFECT). I would not want to be a religious leader who tries to rationalize away people getting help apart from the religious leaders's traditional way of dealing with people.)
"34 Ye offspring of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
35 The good man out of his good treasure bringeth forth good things: and the evil man out of his evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
36 And I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned."
(Jesus was stating that EVERY WORD we speak will be JUDGED! WORDS will justify and WORDS will condemn. Considering that this statement came after the explanation of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, this was a HUGE statement.)
"38 Then certain of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, Teacher, we would see a sign from thee.
39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given it but the sign of Jonah the prophet:
40 for as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
41 The men of Nineveh shall stand up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, a greater than Jonah is here.
42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, a greater than Solomon is here."
(Jesus just used all four God-given principles to PROVE the Pharisees were wrong. Jesus used non-contradiction, contrastive thinking, and causality to facilitate the Pharisees' growth. The Pharisees ignored Jesus' proof that they had the wrong causes and they tried to convince Jesus that He needed to justify Himself to them with a sign (effect). Jesus responded by saying that an evil and adulterous generation sought after signs (effects). Jesus was explaining to them they ought to be about the causes. This was the passage we looked at earlier this month concerning false prophets. Now we see it came out of a confrontation after Jesus healed a man.)
"43 But the unclean spirit, when he is gone out of the man, passeth through waterless places, seeking rest, and findeth it not.
44 Then he saith, I will return into my house whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.
45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man becometh worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this evil generation."
(Jesus pulled the entire situation together by saying that when an unclean spirit was cast out, it wandered looking for a place to rest. When it could find none, it went back to the original person with seven other spirits MORE evil and they dwelt there. Jesus said the person was ACTUALLY worse off after getting the evil spirit cast out. Then Jesus said the generation He was speaking to was the same...they got relief because of Jesus, but if they didn't keep growing, their situation would be worse.)
Clearly we ought to be able to confront the spiritual enemy in a way that results in people being better off in the Long Term.
However, there is a way to confront the spiritual enemy in a way that appears to be good in the short-term, but the person actually ends up worse in the Long Term.
Tomorrow, we will look at SPECIFICALLY how the spiritual enemy is confronted...