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SPIRITUAL WARFARE LESSONS

SPIRITUAL WARFARE LESSONS

ULTIMATE POWER GOSPEL  ASSEMBLY

COVENANT OF POWER EVANGELICAL MINISTRY INTERNATIONAL

Ancient of Days Avenue, Idi-Mangoro  Area, Ibadan

www.upgamissions.mixxt.com         ultimatepowergospelassembly@gmail.com

 

 

STUDIES ON SPIRITUAL WARFARE

 

 

 

A SYSTEMATIC AND INDUCTIVE STUDY FOR

BIBLE SCHOOLS AND SEMINARIES

 

 

 

 

                                         BY

 

 

 

              BISHOP  DR.  JULIUS  O. SOYINKA

                                                            LESSON I

                                     Introduction to Spiritual Warfare 

A.        What is Spiritual Warfare? 

-           In general, spiritual warfare is the conflict between good and evil.  It is the ongoing battle between two diametrically opposed kingdoms: God’s kingdom (good) and Satan’s kingdom (evil).

-           Though it is inherently a spiritual conflict, spiritual warfare also manifests in the natural realm of flesh and blood.  Humans are caught in the midst of this conflict and may participate in the struggle on either side.  

B.        Origin of the conflict

1).        Before Man

-           The origin of the conflict between good and evil goes back before the creation of Man.  One of God’s powerful angels, Lucifer, played a key role. 

-           Read Ezekiel 28:12-13. What are some details about Lucifer’s original character and appearance? 

-           Please describe Lucifer’s original position in heaven and on earth according to the below verses:   Ezekiel 28:13: Ezekiel 28:14-15:    Isaiah 14:11-12:   

 -          Lucifer’s first mistake was that he entertained sin in his heart.  Ezekiel wrote, “You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you” (Ezekiel 28:15 NIV).  

-           Read Ezekiel 28:17-18. What were Lucifer’s sins and how did they affect him? 

-           What were the five things Lucifer purposed to do? Isaiah 14:12-15: 

-           Read Revelation 12:3-9. What did Lucifer apparently do to some of God’s angels?

-           What did God do to Lucifer (and his evil angels) because of his sin / rebellion?

Ezekiel 28:16-19: Isaiah 14:12,15, Revelation 12:7-9: 

 -          Lucifer was in the Garden of Eden in the form of the serpent.  Apparently he had already rebelled against God, becoming Satan (i.e. The Adversary).  His goal was to deceive Eve and ultimately Adam.   

2).        Creation of Man 

-           Read Genesis 1:26-27. In whose image and likeness did God create humans?

-           Read Genesis 1:26,28, Psalm 8:4-8. What authority/power did God give to man? 

3)         The Fall of Man and Satan’s assumption of power 

-           Read Genesis 3:17-19, 2 Peter 2:19, Romans 5:6,12-14,17,20-21.What were three things that happened as a result of Adam and Eve’s sin?

-           Read Romans 8:19-21. How was the rest of creation affected by Adam and Eve’s sin? 

 -          What power and authority did Satan gain after deceiving man? Luke 4:5-6:   John 12:31:  Ephesians 2:2:  Hebrews 2:14-15:  1 John 5:19:  

-           With such an array of powers, it is easy to see how many people might fall under Satan’s influence. 

-           Thankfully, Jesus Christ came to undo the works of the devil and bring salvation to all those who would believe on his name.  Let’s examine Christ’s work and how it affects those who believe in him. 

4) Mission of Jesus Christ, the 2nd Adam, restoring dominion to Man

-           How was Jesus like a second Adam?  Read the following passages and comment on what they reveal about Jesus:

1 Corinthians 15:21-22:    1 Corinthians 15:27:    1 Corinthians 15:45-47:  Romans 5:12-19:    

 -          Read 1 Corinthians 15:22-28. As a “second Adam”, what are Christ’s objectives from now until the end times?

-           Read Luke 4:18-21. What were 5 of Jesus’ initial mission objectives as he began his earthly ministry?

-           One of the first things people noticed about Jesus in the beginning of his ministry was that he preached the word of God with authority (Luke 4:31-32). 

-           Next, he demonstrated that authority in many different ways.   

-             For each verse, briefly discuss what Jesus did: Luke 4:33-37,41, Luke 8:26-33:    Luke 4:38-39:   Luke 4:40:  Luke 5:4-8:  Luke 5:20-26:  Luke 7:12-15: Luke 8:22-25:   

 -          What did Jesus “inherit” as a result of his victory on the cross and his resurrection? Philippians 2:9-10:   Ephesians 1:20-23: Hebrews 1:3-4:

-           What did Jesus accomplish on the cross for those who believe in him?

John 1:12:  John 3:16:  Romans 5:1:  Romans 6:4-5:  Romans 8:9-13:  Romans 8:16-17:   

-           It is awesome to think that we are co-heirs with Jesus, with all the authority and power that he has.

-           Unfortunately, some Christians don’t fully understand the scope of their inheritance in Christ, or worse, they understand it but don’t believe it. 

-           As with many aspects of the Christian walk, faith is the key to moving into our inheritance.    

-           Read Matthew 28:18-20.  What mission did Jesus confer upon us as his believers to carry out on earth?   

-           Read Genesis 1:28.  How is our mission similar to Adam and Eve’s mission prior to The Fall? 

 C. Spiritual warfare is occurring today

-           Satan is certainly opposed to our fulfillment of God’s mission, as it will ultimately contribute to his final demise. 

-           As expected, Satan attacks people in a variety of ways in hopes of destroying their faith, alienating them from God and sabotaging them with temptation.  

-           Here are some examples of ways in which Satan attacks people. For each verse, mention the kind of the attack described.  Matthew 13:24-30,36-43:   Luke 8:12: Luke 22:31-32:  John 10:10:  Ephesians 6:12:  Ephesians 6:16:  Revelation 2:10:  Revelation 12:17:  

-          Those are just a few of the many ways that Satan and his forces oppose God’s kingdom.  We’ll further discuss enemy tactics later in this study. 

-           Though God has declared victory over Satan and his forces, the process of bringing them under Christ’s feet is still underway (1 Corinthians 15:25). 

-           As members of God’s family and army, we have an important role in that process.  

 

                                                           

 

 

 

 

                                                            LESSON II

                                                            Basic Training

A.        Purpose

-           Now that we have reviewed the origin of the spiritual conflict between good and evil, we can begin the “Basic Training” of our preparation for spiritual warfare.

  -         In the previous section we learned how our enemy, Satan, opposes and attacks us in a variety of ways. 

-           As God’s adopted children through faith in Jesus Christ, we receive a commission in God’s army to continue the work of Christ in bringing every enemy under Christ’s authority.  With that in mind, we are given several instructions concerning readiness for battle.   

-           What instructions concerning battle readiness do each of the following verses give us?  Matthew 10:16:  Ephesians 6:10,11,13:  James 4:7:   1 Peter 5:8:  

-           We can assume that our enemy is well skilled in warring against mankind, and has about 6000 years of experience!

-            Training is an essential activity for the warriors who hope to succeed in resisting the enemy and advancing God’s kingdom. 

-           In this section, we’ll explore some fundamental areas that we should be familiar with for warfare, including the forces, their capabilities and the enemy’s typical tactics.  

B.        Kingdoms in Conflict

-           In conventional warfare, military intelligence is often a key ingredient to victory. 

-           As spiritual warriors, it is important for us to understand the two kingdoms in conflict and the relative capabilities of each.   

1).        God’s Kingdom

a.         Characteristics

-           Jesus used many parables to describe the characteristics of God’s kingdom. 

-           For each of the scripture passages, please mention the aspect of God’s kingdom that is described:  Matthew 13:31-33:   Matthew 18:3-4, James 4:6:   Mark 16:17, Philippians 2:9-11:   Hebrews 1:8:  Hebrews 12:28:   

-           Jesus’ many parables illustrated a kingdom that was radically different from earthly kingdoms. 

-           This difference is especially evident in the concept of greatness in the kingdom. 

-           In earthly kingdoms, military might, wealth and political power are typical measures of greatness.

-             In God’s kingdom, such things are foolishness, as God has unlimited power and resources.  So how is greatness measured in his kingdom? 

-           Please read the below verses and mention how greatness is measured in God’s kingdom:  Matthew 5:19:   Matthew 18:3-4, James 4:6:    Matthew 20:25-28, Matthew 23:11:   

b.         The Commander-in-Chief

-           Read Ephesians 1:20-23 and Revelation 19:11-16. Who is in command of God’s army?     What are some of the names he is known by?  Describe the commander’s current position and authority: 

 c.        Angels

-          Holy Angels are created spiritual beings that do God’s bidding.  God can give angels great power and authority to carry out missions (ex. Revelation 18:1).

-          Listed below are some of the typical missions angels are sent to do, along with an example from scripture. 

-           For each verse, please briefly summarize what happened.   

1.         Execute God's judgment on the earth   1 Chronicles 21:15-27: Genesis 19:13, Numbers 22:22,31-32 

2.         Serve in God’s army, which may intervene in human conflicts  2 Samuel 5:23-25:  2 Kings 19:35, Joshua 5:13-6:5  

3.         Fight against Satan and his angels  Daniel 10:11-13,20:   Revelation 12:7-9

4.         Help God’s people

-           Helping God’s people is an angelic role particularly relevant to spiritual warfare. God’s angels are "flames of fire" that minister to Christians (Hebrews 1:7,14). 

-             For each of the below verses, summarize how the angels assisted people: 

a.         Give instructions Daniel 8:15-27:  Acts 1:10-11:  

b.         Protect  2 Kings 6:17:  Psalm 34:7, Psalm 91:11-12 

c.         Respond to prayer  Daniel 10:12:  Acts 12:5-11:  Matthew 26:53 

d.         Strengthen people  Daniel 10:18-19:  Matthew 4:11:  Luke 22:43 

-           We should remember that God directs the holy angels (Psalm 91:11), not us. We are to pray to God, not to the angels. 

-           Many non-Christian religions involve praying to deities who in fact are not gods but demons or “fallen angels.” (ex. Deuteronomy 32:17).     

d.         People

-           People who believe and obey Jesus Christ are among the most effective troops in God’s army.   

-           What is our identity in Christ?     Galatians 4:7:     Philippians 3:20-21:   

-           Read 2 Timothy 2:1-4.  What is our role in God’s army?   Read 1 John 4:4. What do we have in us that is greater than Satan? What are we commissioned to do? Mark 16:15:   Acts 1:8:    

2).        Satan’s kingdom

a.         Characteristics

-           Satan’s kingdom is basically opposed to God’s kingdom in every way. 

-             For each of the below verses, mention the characteristic of Satan’s kingdom that is illustrated:  Daniel 10:13, 20:   Revelation 20:10,14:   Matthew 12:24-30:   

14.       What are five objectives of Satan’s kingdom?

1. John 10:10:   2. Luke 4:6-8:   3. Ephesians 2:2:   4. Revelation 20:7-8:   

5. Revelation 12:17:   

b.         The Commander

-           As we studied previously, Satan was formerly the angel, Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12), who was the covering cherub for God's throne (Ezekiel 28:12-16). 

-           Created perfect in beauty, Lucifer was full of wisdom. Lucifer became Satan, meaning the adversary, when he sinned by pride (Isaiah 14:13-14, Ezekiel 28:17).  He was cast out of heaven to earth and now fights against God’s followers.

-            He is the current ruler of the earth (Luke 4:5-6, John 12:31) and is referred to as the "prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience" (Ephesians 2:2).    

-           In addition to his typical work of stealing, killing and destroying, Satan accuses Christians before God day and night (Revelation 12:10).  He is the “Father of Lies” and has been a murderer since the beginning of creation (John 8:44). 

-           He has authority, power and a throne (Revelation 13:2), and may give his authority over the earth to whomever he wishes (Luke 4:5-7).  He will ultimately give his throne, his power and authority to the beast (Revelation 13:2).  

Even though Satan is a fallen angel, he still has power that we should be cognizant of. 

-           What Satanic powers are mentioned in the following verses? 

Job 1:12,16,19:   Job 2:7:   Luke 4:5, John 13:2:   2 Corinthians 4:4, Revelation 20:2-3,8:   2 Corinthians 11:14:   1 Thessalonians 2:18:   2 Thessalonians 2:7-10:   

-           Satan’s power, though considerable, has notable limitations. 

-           Please note how Satan’s power is limited according to the below verses:

Luke 4:13:   Hebrews 2:14-15, 1 Corinthians 15:24-26:   James 4:7:  Revelation 20:7-10:    

c.         Forces

-           Satan has a well organized group of forces to carry out his schemes on the earth. 

-           With the exception of people who serve his purposes, Satan’s forces are spiritual entities. 

-           Read Ephesians 6:12.  What are the various groups of evil forces under Satan’s control? Who are these forces “wrestling” with? 

i.          Evil Angels

-           Satan’s angels are involved in cosmic and human events, just as God’s angels are. Scripture suggests the number of Satan’s angels is one third of God’s original population of angels in (Revelation 12:3-9). 

-           Since there are "myriads and myriads" of God's angels, it follows that there is a large number of evil angels as well (Hebrews 12:22, Revelation 5:11). 

-           Please briefly summarize the conflicts that evil angels were involved in for each of these references:

Daniel 10:13,20:   Revelation 12:9:   

-           Some rebelling angels were imprisoned just before Noah's flood and now await final judgment (2 Peter 2:4, Jude 6). 

-           Read Genesis 6:1-6. What did these angels do to deserve incarceration? 

 -          Read 1 Peter 3:18-20. Who came and proclaimed his finished work to these angels while they were in prison? 

-           Read Matthew 25:41. What will ultimately happen to evil angels?

 

 

 

 

                                               

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                            LESSON III 

                                        Demons/Evil Spirits

-           While demons and evil spirits could be the same beings as evil angels, there are enough references to them in the New Testament to warrant further study.   

a.         Examples

-           By studying some particular incidents we can learn much about demons and evil spirits.   

-           Read Luke 8:26-35.  How were the demons able to communicate with Jesus? What was their demeanor as they confronted Jesus? 

 -          How had the demons apparently affected the man they inhabited? 

-          What was the corporate name that the demons went by? Why was this used? 

-          Did the demons obey Jesus immediately?  If not, what did they do in response to his command? 

-          What was the one place the demons definitely did not want to go?  

-          From the demons’ bargaining attempts, what can we conclude about the “home” they preferred to inhabit? 

-          What does the final condition of the man tell us about how the demons had affected him?

 -          Mark’s account of the Gerasene demoniac gives us further details. Read Mark 5:1-13.

-          What additional details do we find concerning the demonized man’s strength? 

-          What did the man do constantly, night and day? What did he do that was self-destructive? How many demons were in the man? 

-           Jesus took a few moments to teach about evil spirits, while replying to the Pharisees’ request for a sign.  Read Matthew 12:43-45.

-           When an evil spirit leaves a person, where does it go and what does it look for?

 -          What are two reasons it returned to the person it left?

-           How did the evil spirit regard the body of the person it left? 

-           What reason does Jesus suggest or imply for the spirit being able to re-enter the house? 

 -          Who does the evil spirit recruit to come with it when it re-enters its host? How is the host person affected? 

-           In summary, what does Jesus’ explanation tell us concerning the characteristics and capabilities of evil spirits? 

 b.        Purposes of demons and evil spirits

-          From the examples we just studied, we can get a feel for the purposes of demons and evil spirits.

-            From the story of the Gerasene demoniac and Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 12 we know that one purpose of demons is to torment their victims, even to the point of causing death. 

-          This may not be their main objective, however, as torment could simply be a means by which to achieve a “higher” purpose. 

-          We find a hint of such a purpose in Paul’s first letter to Timothy.  

Read 2 Timothy 2:24-26.  What had happened to the people in opposition to Paul? 

-           Considering that Satan’s forces serve him, what can we surmarise concerning a purpose of demons based on the above scripture?

-           Read Ephesians 2:1-3. What Satanic work in mankind is revealed in this passage? 

 -          Again, assuming that Satan’s forces assist him in this work, what purpose might demons have when inhabiting or influencing people?

 -          As we have seen in the examples we’ve studied, demons tend to be communal and defensive of their territory. 

-           With the Gerasene demoniac, the group of demons named “Legion” resisted being cast out. 

-           The Matthew 12 demon recruited seven additional demons to come and live with it in the host. 

-           We also know from Mark 16:9 that Jesus cast seven demons out of Mary Magdalene.   

-           From a military perspective, what might be the purpose for multiple demons inhabiting a location / host? 

-           Read 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.  What are our spiritual weapons intended to “pull down”?   

 -          A stronghold can exist where a person has allowed sin to rule his or her life or simply has tolerated its existence. 

-           By repeatedly sinning in a given area, a person builds a stronghold, which then in turn may allow demons to enter. 

-           Based on the examples we’ve studied, what are some ways that demons might reinforce strongholds in people?  

 -          One final purpose that demons and evil spirits fulfill is illustrated in Acts 16:16-18.  What purpose did the evil spirit apparently have? 

 

c.         Responses to spiritual warfare

-           As we’ve seen in previous examples, demons resist being expelled in a variety of ways. 

-           One of the reasons for this is that they apparently vary in power level. Let’s examine another example which illustrates this. 

 Read Mark 9:17-29.  What did the spirit do when it saw Jesus? Why do you think it did this? 

-           How did Jesus deal with the spirit? How did the spirit respond? 

 -          Matthew’s account of this story reveals some additional information.

-           Read Matthew 17:19-21. What were two reasons Jesus gave for the disciples being unable to cast out the demon?

-           From Jesus’ reply we can conclude that some demons are “stronger” than others.   

-           A final point concerning demons and evil spirits concerns their “recognition” abilities. 

-           Read Mark 1:23-24.  Who did the demons recognize? 

-           Read Acts 19:13-16. By whose authority did the Jewish exorcists attempt to expel the spirit? Who did the evil spirit claim to know or recognize? Who did they not recognize?

 -          What was the implied reason that the spirit was able to beat up the exorcists and chase them away? What can we conclude about evil spirits’ recognition abilities? 

 iii. People: 

-           People can knowingly or unknowingly further the plans of Satan by doing evil. 

-           Read Matthew 13:24-30,36-43.  What two groups of people does Jesus describe in this parable?  What were the implied missions of the sons of the wicked one? 

 -          Perhaps the most dangerous sons of the Devil are those who pose as church people. By infiltrating God’s people, they may gain positions of trust and respect, from which they can do great damage to the body of Christ.

-           Read 2 Corinthians 11:13-15.  What types of positions do Satan’s servants seek in ministry? 

 -          We find a detailed description of false prophetesses in Ezekiel 13.  Working somewhat “under cover,” these women were practicing magic against God’s people. God instructed Ezekiel to prophesy against these false prophetesses.  

-          Read Ezekiel 13:17-23.  What were some of the notable things that these women were doing? 

-            Jesus called a group of Pharisees and Scribes sons of the Devil in John 8.  Read John 8:38-47.  What were the Pharisees and Scribes doing that indicated they were sons of the Devil?

 -          The Devil’s sons are not all trying to masquerade as followers of Christ.  Paul encountered such a person in his ministry on the island of Cyprus.  Read Acts 13:8-10. What two things did Elymas the Magician do?

-          Speaking through Paul, what did the Holy Spirit say about Elymas?  What were Elymas’s ongoing evil efforts aimed at doing? 

 -          Satan is perhaps a master opportunist.  Though he has many dedicated servants, he apparently uses unwitting people often to carry out his will.  We find examples of this in scripture. 

-          For each example below, please summarize how the people served evil purposes:  

Matthew 16:22-23:    John 13:27:  Acts 5:3:  

-           We should also take a moment to consider the spiritual powers that the Devil’s servants can potentially wield. 

-           Read Exodus 7:8-24 & Exodus 8:5-6. What 3 feats were Pharaoh’s magicians able to accomplish?

-           There is one final “force” that can work to further the Devil’s purposes in every person.  In fact, the devil crafts his temptations to appeal to this force in hopes of persuading us to sin. 

-           This enemy has the greatest potential to ruin our walk with God and destroy our lives.

-           Read James 1:14-15 & 1 Peter 2:11-12.  What or who is this enemy?  

 -          Read Matthew 15:19-20.  What is a source of our inherent evil desires?   

C.        How the enemy attacks us

-           The devil uses many tactics to accomplish his mission.  By studying examples of the devil’s tactics from scripture, we can better recognize them when we face them in spiritual warfare.    

1)         Tempt through lust of eyes, lust of flesh and pride of life

-           Tempting through lust and pride are perhaps the more obvious ways that Satan and his forces attack us.   

-           For each verse below, give a short description of the temptations used:

Genesis 3:1-6:  Proverbs 6:23-28:  Acts 5:3, 1 Timothy 6:9-10:  Acts 20:30,2 Timothy 3:6-7:  Colossians 2:8:  

2)         Steal, Kill and Destroy

-           In teaching about the Good Shepherd, Jesus contrasted himself with false shepherds who were thieves. 

-           Jesus said, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

-           As the ultimate thief, Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy God’s people, just as the thief did to the sheep in Jesus’ metaphor. 

-           Let’s consider some examples from scripture of Satan’s work in these areas.  

-           Read the below examples and briefly describe what was stolen, killed or destroyed:

Job 1:9-12, Job 2:1-7:   Matthew 13:19:  Matthew 13:24-30,37-42:  Luke 22:2-4:   John 8:37-44:   Titus 1:10-11:   

3)         Oppose the Gospel of Christ

-           Another way the enemy attacks is by opposing the Gospel of Christ.  Satan opposes the Gospel in order to stop it from strengthening and expanding God’s kingdom. 

-           The Gospel is the truth that sets people free from the bondage of sin and enables them to become the sons of God they were created to be. 

-           This greatly threatens Satan’s kingdom.  Let’s examine some examples of his opposition to the Gospel. 

-           Read the below examples and briefly describe the tactic used to oppose the Gospel:

Acts 14:2:   Acts 14:3-6:    2 Corinthians 11:12-15:   Colossians 2:8, 2 Timothy 2:17-18:  1 Thessalonians 2:18:  

4)         Veil the mind from truth

-           One tactic that is particularly effective in warfare is to veil or blind the mind from truth. 

-           Satan has notable power to deceive people, i.e. to influence what people see and believe.  Let’s look at some examples of this “mind control” in the scriptures. 

-           For each scripture, please describe how people’s minds were influenced: 2 Corinthians 4:3-4:   1 John 2:11:  2 Thessalonians 2:9-10:  1 Timothy 4:1-2:   2 Timothy 2:24-26:  

5)         Weaken faith in God

-           Our faith is potentially a very powerful weapon against the enemy.  When we believe God and his word, all things are possible to us.  It makes sense therefore that one of Satan’s strategies is to weaken our faith in God.  He does this in a variety of ways.    

-           Please read the below passages and describe how the enemy (and his forces) tried to weaken people’s faith: 

Genesis 3:1-6:   Job 2:1-7:  Ezekiel 13:17-23:    Luke 4:3,9-12:  Luke 8:13, 1 Thessalonians 3:4-5:    Revelation 2:10:  

 

                                               

                                               

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                            LESSON IV

                                     Introduction to Spiritual Weaponry - Part 1

A.        Foundational weapons

1)         The Authority of Christ

-           Having studied the kingdoms in the conflict and the enemy’s tactis, let’s now study our spiritual weapons.

-             Perhaps the greatest weapon we have is the authority that God has given us through Jesus Christ. 

-           Mention the aspects of the authority in Christ that God has given us in each of the below passages:

John 1:12-13:   Matthew 18:18-20:   Mark 16:17-18:

 2)        The indwelling of the Holy Spirit

-           In addition to the authority of Jesus, God has given us the Holy Spirit. 

-           For each passage below, identify the functions of the Holy Spirit that are mentioned:

John 14:15-17, 26:  John 16:13:  Romans 8:11-13:  

-           Read Acts 13:6-12.  In what ways did the presence of the Holy Spirit in Paul influence what happened?

 -          Armed with the authority of Jesus and the Spirit of God living in us, we have many additional spiritual weapons at our disposal to fight the enemy. 

-           It is up to us to learn about these weapons and use them.  If we wait for a crisis to get familiar with our weapons, our lack of skill will likely result in our defeat. 

-           Our enemy is a highly skilled adversary and his forces are experienced veterans. They know our weaknesses and how best to exploit them. 

-           God calls us to be good warriors, trained and skillful in using the weapons he has given us. 

-           Read 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.  What does the Bible say about our spiritual weapons? What are they capable of doing?

 

B.        The Armor of God

1)         Introduction

-           Like the “general issue” gear that a new soldier receives when enlisting, the Armor of God is a foundational group of spiritual weaponry. 

-           Primarily defensive in function, the armor increases our endurance on the spiritual battlefield. 

-           Read Ephesians 6:10-18.  What are the 7 components of the Armor of God?         Read Ephesians 6:11. What is the purpose of the Armor of God?

 2)        Armor Specifics

a.         The Shield of Faith

-           What are two definitions of faith presented in the below verses? Hebrews 11:1:  2 Thessalonians 1:11:   Considering the Hebrews 11:1 definition, why is faith a key ingredient for the entire set of the armor of God? 

 -          Read 1 Peter 1:3-5.  Our faith hooks our shield up to what power source?  Read Ephesians 6:16. What does the shield of faith do?

-           Read Psalm 91:2-10. What are some examples of the “arrows” the enemy may send our way?  Read Mark 9:23-25 & Hebrews 12:2.  If our faith is weak, who can we ask for help in strengthening our faith? 

-           Jesus used several illustrations to show the potential power of faith.  Please read these two examples and summarize:  Luke 17:6:   Matthew 17:20:   

b.         The Helmet of Salvation

-           The helmet of salvation covers our heads which contain our minds.  Our minds are highly significant in spiritual warfare. 

-           For each passage below, please describe the aspect of mind’s significance to spiritual warfare:  2 Corinthians 10:3-5:  Romans 8:5-7:  

 -          Read 2 Corinthians 4:4.  As we studied previously, what has Satan done to the minds of many people?

 -          Our salvation through faith in Jesus brings us justification and peace with God (Romans 5:1-2), such that we can have eternal life with God (Romans 6:23).

-           It also gives us access to God’s throne so that we may petition him by prayer, without fear of judgment (Hebrews 4:15-16, Hebrews 10:19-22). 

-           The value of having open access to God cannot be understated, yet so often people fail to make use of that access through prayer.   Prayer is one of the ways we engage God’s protection that comes with the helmet of salvation.

-           Read Philippians 4:6-7.  Please describe how prayer engages the protection of the helmet of salvation.

 -          Read Isaiah 26:3. What is the key to remaining in God’s peace?  What are three or four ways you can foster a God-focused mindset?

 c.        The Breastplate of Righteousness

-           Read Genesis 3:7-10. When Adam and Eve sinned, what was their initial reaction?    

 -          In a sense, Adam and Eve lost their “spiritual covering” by sinning, because God’s glory (i.e. righteousness) no longer clothed them. 

-           Their sin caused separation between them and God, which ultimately led to them being driven out of the garden.   

-           Read Isaiah 59:15-17. Who was the man whom God sent to first put on the breastplate of righteousness?            How did righteousness affect this man? (verse 16)

 -          Jesus was the first Son of God who made the way possible for us to become sons (gender neutral) of God through faith in him.  With that in mind, we too can put on the breastplate of righteousness.  

-           Read Philippians 3:8-9.  What is the source of the righteousness in our breastplate?

 -          Through our faith in Jesus Christ, we are “re-covered” with God’s righteousness and have peace with him. What significant “spiritual organ” does the breastplate protect?  Read Proverbs 4:23. Why is the heart so important?

 -          One of the traps people sometimes fall into is trying to earn God’s acceptance by being good.  No matter how hard we try, we can not earn righteousness that God will accept. 

-           Through faith in Christ, however, God confers righteousness upon us.  Though we can’t earn our salvation by being good, God still expects us to live in a righteous manner out of love and devotion to him.  Read Romans 6:13. How are we to “present ourselves” each day?

d.         The Belt of Truth

-           Read John 17:17.  God’s word is the Christian’s source of truth.  What does God use it to do in us?  Read John 8:31-32. What effect does truth have on us when we know it?

 -          Read John 8:31-32. What is the key to knowing the truth?  There are several practical actions we can take to foster our abiding in God’s word.  Please read the below verses and summarize the action taken: Joshua 1:8:  Psalm 63:1, Isaiah 26:9:  Deuteronomy 30:16:  2 Timothy 3:16-17:  Hebrews 10:24-25:  

-           How will knowing the truth help us fight temptations? Read John 16:13.  What “helper” has God given us to assist us in knowing and clinging to the truth?

e.         Feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace

The Amplified Bible explains the meaning of this piece of our armor:

"And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace"  Ephesians 6:15 

-           Read Romans 5:1-2. What is the “Gospel of peace”? Read Ephesians 2:18-19. In addition to having peace with God through Christ, what other benefits do we enjoy? 

 -          Knowing we are members of God’s own family, with direct access to him should help us stand confidently in battle against the enemy’s forces.  We have his resources at our disposal!

-           Read Philippians 4:6-7. When trials, tribulations and other challenges come up in our lives, how are we to respond?

 f.         The Sword of the Spirit

34.       Read Ephesians 6:17. What is the Sword of the Spirit?

 -          To better understand the Sword of the Spirit, let’s examine the meaning of the Greek words Logos and Rhema, which are often used for the "word" of God in the New Testament: 

  • Logos - the word of God  Logos is often used to identify the written scriptures in the Bible, which were given to people under the inspiration of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17).  Collectively, the Bible, as God's "word," is the written, divine expression or revelation of God to humanity.  Jesus completed this expression as the literal embodiment of God's word, logos (John 1:1-5,14).  
  • Rhema - the word of God :  Rhema is the spoken word of God, and is the Greek word used in the Sword of the Spirit verse (Ephesians 6:17). The  rhema is "that which is or has been uttered by the living voice." 

-           Applying those definitions, using the Sword of the Spirit is verbalizing specific scripture verses (logos) to the situations we are facing.  This can be done through declaration, prayer or song. 

-           Jesus gave us a striking example of how to use the Sword of the Spirit in defeating temptations.  Read  Luke 4:1-13.  Please describe what happened.   

 -          The Sword of the Spirit may also be used in general ministry activities such as prayer and preaching.  Mention what happened in these two examples of the Sword of the Spirit: Acts 4:24-31:  Acts 13:38-43:  Read Genesis 3:1-6. How did Eve fail to use the Sword of the Spirit effectively?   

-          Throughout history, God demonstrated the power of his word.  In the below examples, briefly describe what God’s word did/does:

Hebrews 11:3:  Isaiah 55:11:  Jeremiah 23:29:  

-           Read Numbers 23:19.  How reliable is God’s word?

 -          As God’s adopted children (Romans 8:17) who are made in his likeness (Genesis 1:26), we too have the ability to release power through speech.  

-          Describe the power of words described in the below verses: Proverbs 18:21:  James 3:8-10:

-           In order to use the Sword of the Spirit properly, we must be familiar with God’s word.  Knowing the context of a scripture will help us in properly using it in the situations that we face.  In the below verses, what habits are mentioned that we can practice to strengthen our ability to use the sword? Joshua 1:8:  Matthew 22:29:  Acts 17:11:  

g.         Prayer in the Spirit 

-           Prayer is both a communication link with God and a powerful strategic weapon. 

-           In warfare, communication is extremely important.  Prayer in the Spirit is a special type of communication that goes beyond our understanding and connects us with the Holy Spirit for intercession and edification. 

-           It is activity that we do with our spirit, in concert with the Holy Spirit.  It may be done through spoken prayer or in our thoughts. 

-           Read Ephesians 6:17-18.  How did Paul describe prayer in the Spirit? How often are we to pray in the Spirit?   What are the purposes of prayer in the Spirit according to this passage?  

 -          The definition of supplication is "asking for humbly or earnestly, as by praying" .  Read James 4:6-8. Why is humility an important element in prayer and in spiritual warfare activities in general?

 -          Prayer is an acknowledgement that we are not in control and need God to intervene.

-           This attitude of humility opens the door for communication with God, who can direct and apply our prayers in ways far beyond our understanding. 

-           Read Romans 8:26-27. Prayer in the Spirit is especially profitable when we don’t know how to pray in a situation, and/or we’re not sure what God’s will is for the outcome.  With that in mind, what does the Holy Spirit do when we pray in the Spirit?

 -          What aspect of praying in the Spirit did Paul discuss in 1 Corinthians 14:14-15?

-            Read 1 Corinthians 14:5,18.  How often did Paul speak in tongues?  What did Paul wish that other Christians would do?

-           Speaking/praying in tongues is another way of humbling ourselves before God, as we usually will not know what we are praying (1 Corinthians 14:2).  

-           Praying in tongues is one example of the types of prayer Paul linked with praying in the Spirit in Ephesians 6:18. 

-           The beauty of tongues is that our will isn’t able to corrupt our prayers.

-           Jude mentioned prayer in the Spirit as one of the tools to accomplish what spiritual warfare tasks in Jude 1:18-23?

 -          Of all the spiritual armor, prayer in the Spirit is something that we’re to be doing continually. 

-           Therefore, if you feel that you have not fully experienced prayer in the Spirit, please take a moment to ask the Lord to help you learn and discover how to pray in the Spirit.

3)         Putting on the Armor of God

-           As previously mentioned, faith is the power-link on which the armor of God relies.  Reading 2 Corinthians 4:13-14 & Romans 10:9, what are two actions associated with faith? 

-           With those actions in mind, we can put each peace of the Armor of God on each day by “speaking it on” and believing that we are covered by it.  Here is an example prayer/declaration we can make:

-           Heavenly Father, I praise and worship you because you are God. I am honored to be your servant and I take my stand today against the devil and his schemes against me, my family and my ministry. 

-           Father, as I take up each piece of the armor, please secure it in place on me.  

-           I take up the shield of faith and extend it over myself. It extinguishes all the fiery darts of the evil one. 

-           I put on the helmet of salvation, which protects my mind from the enemy's attacks.  I have the mind of Christ. 

-           I put on the breastplate of righteousness, which covers me with the righteousness of God.  In Christ, every foothold of evil has been washed away and I am clothed in righteousness!  

-           I gird my loins with the belt of truth. Your word, O God, is truth.  Please sanctify me according to your word and remind me of the truth that destroys the lies of sin.    

-           I shod my feet with the preparation of the Gospel of peace.  I have peace with God through the blood of Jesus.  I walk in my inheritance as an adopted son of God and have authority over evil in Jesus' name.  

-           I will use the Sword of the Spirit by speaking the Word of God as it applies to whatever situation I may face today.  Father, please remind me of your Word today.  

-           I will continue to pray in the Spirit throughout the day, and intercede for all Christians as the Holy Spirit prompts me. I believe that the Holy Spirit is interceding on my behalf according to my prayers.    

-           Thank you, Father, for the whole armor of God.  Please surround me with your hedge of protection as I move forward on the spiritual battlefield today.  I praise and worship you now and forever, Amen.

 

                                               

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                LESSON V

                         Introduction to Spiritual Weaponry - Part 2

 Other Spiritual Weapons 

-           In addition to the armor of God, there are a number of other important weapons for spiritual warfare.   

1) Hope

-           Definition"to cherish a desire with expectation of fulfillment; trust; to long for with expectation of obtainment. 

-           Hope is closely linked with faith, as hope expects fulfillment of what we are believing for.   Our hope is, or should be, based on the various aspects of our salvation in Jesus Christ. 

-           In general, hope is the expectation of the fulfillment of God’s promises.   

-           For each scripture below, write down the aspect of salvation that we can hope in:  

Romans 5:1:    Romans 8:15-17:   2 Corinthians 1:10, Psalm 91:14-15:   Colossians 1:27:   Titus 1:1-2:   Titus 2:13:   

-           The story of Abraham gives us insight into how hope functions and what it produces.  Please read Romans 4:16-22 and summarize how Abraham hoped and what happened as a result. 

 -          As we see in Abraham’s life, hope is faith in action; it is the employment of our faith. 

-          Read Hebrews 6:18-20.  How does the hope of salvation affect our soul?  Read Romans 5:1-5. What vital benefit does the hope of salvation give us for spiritual warfare? 

-           Please summarize the additional benefits of hope in the following passages: Psalm 31:24, Isaiah 40:31:  Psalm 42:5,11:  Psalm 146:5:  

-          Losing hope can be devastating to us.  From the below passages, what are some possible effects of losing hope? Psalm 42:5:   Proverbs 13:12:   Acts 27:19-22:   

Sources of hope

-           Read Romans 15:13.  What is the Holy Spirit’s role concerning our hope?  

-           Read Romans 15:4.  What is another source that will encourage us in our hope?

2) Praise

Definitions

Praise: "Glorify by the attribution of perfections" (Webster's

-           Praise is more than mere words.  Hebrews 13:15 refers to praise as a sacrifice that we should continually offer to God.   

-           Read Psalm 34:1. What did David say to praise the Lord?   Who should praise the Lord?  Psalm 117:1-2:   Psalm 150:6:   How are we to praise the Lord? Psalm 33:1-2, Psalm 92:1-5:  Psalm 100:4-5:  

-           As a spiritual warfare weapon, praise can do many things. Please read the below verses and mention what praise did/does: 2 Chronicles 20:21-22: Psalm 8:2 : Psalm 22:3: Psalm 63:3-5: Isaiah 61:3:  Acts 16:25-26:  

-           The Bible has plenty examples of praise in spiritual warfare.  Please read the below scriptures and mention the elements of praise mentioned and the results that followed: Psalm 149:    2 Samuel 6:12-15, 2 Samuel 7:1:   2 Chronicles 20:15-22:    Isaiah 30:31-32:   

 -          Take a moment to evaluate your efforts at praising God.  In what areas can you improve?   

 3) The Blood of Jesus   

-          Read Revelation 12:10-11. What were the means by which the Christians (i.e. “brethren”) overcame Satan and the fear of death?   

 -          Just as the Christians in Revelation did, we too can use the blood of Jesus and our personal testimony of Christ in the spiritual battles we face.  

-          It is when we testify personally to what the blood of Jesus does for us that we can claim all the benefits that God has provided for us through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.

-           Our bold, continuing personal testimony becomes the hyssop that applies the blood of Jesus to our lives."  

67.       Please read the below passages and mention what the blood of Jesus does for you:  Romans 5:9:   Ephesians 1:7:   1 John 1:7:   Hebrews 9:14:   Hebrews 10:19:   

-           Believing in all that the blood accomplishes, we can “pray it” or “speak it” in warfare situations. 

4) Love

-           Using love as a spiritual warfare weapon may seem paradoxical, but it is in perfect harmony with God's way of fighting battles. 

-           Before we attempt to use love as a weapon, we must understand how God loves us. 

-           Jesus said that the greatest love is shown when a person will lay down his life for another (John 15:13).  Jesus demonstrated that love, as well as taught about God’s love in several parables.   

-           Read Luke 15:11-32.  What does this parable tell us about God’s love?  Read 1 John 3:1.  What manner of love is God’s love described here as?

-          When we combine these different pictures of God’s love, it gives us a better idea of how amazing God’s love is. 

-          Through Jesus, God laid down his life for us.  As the Father of Jesus, God loved us so much that he allowed his Son to undergo a great deal of agony on our behalf. 

-           If we should fall into trouble such as the wayward son, we have the picture of a merciful, forgiving Father who will welcome us back when we return.   

-          Following in Jesus’ footsteps, we have the important mission of showing God’s love to people. 

-          For each of the below passages, mention the specifics of our mission of love that are mentioned: 

Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:27,35:   Luke 10:25-27:   Ephesians 3:14-19:  

 -          In short, love is to characterize everything we do (1 Corinthians 16:14).  This is a difficult task, especially when we have to deal with enemies. 

-           Thankfully, God didn’t leave us on our own to come up with this supernatural kind of love.  Read 2 Timothy 1:7.  How does God equip us to love others? 

 -          We have God, the God of love, in our hearts through the Holy Spirit; he gives us the power to love the unlovable .       Read Romans 12:19-21. What happens when love is used in spiritual warfare? 

-           John described an amazing process of love that results in fear being “driven” from us.  Please read 1 John 4:14-19 and describe this process in your own words.

-           Read Romans 8:35-39. What are the things that can separate us from God’s love? 

 -          What are some practical ways you can practice love with the people in your life? 

5) The Gifts of the Spirit

-           Though not always regarded as spiritual weapons, the gifts of Spirit can be instrumental in driving evil back and reclaiming lost territory for God’s kingdom.

 -          This is in line with our mandate from the Lord to overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21).   

-           What are the nine gifts of the Spirit (or manifestations) mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:7-11?

-           What seven spiritual gifts are mentioned in  Romans 12:6-8? Read 1 Corinthians 12:7. What is the purpose of the gifts of the Spirit?

 -          The gifts are given to build up or edify the Body of Christ.  This can range from preparing people for spiritual battle to helping them heal from wounds received in warfare. 

-           When used properly the gifts of the Spirit will increase our battlefield endurance and reduce our recovery time from warfare wounds.   

-           Read 1 Corinthians 12:11.  Who decides what gifts are given to each person? What specifics does the Bible give us in the below verses on the attitude we should have toward the gifts of the Spirit?  Romans 12:6-8:   1 Corinthians 12:1, 1 Corinthians 14:1:   1 Corinthians 12:12-27:  1 Corinthians 13:1-3:   

-           Since love is the foundation for the operation of the gifts of the Spirit, anything that detracts from love can be a possible corrupting influence on the gifts of the Spirit. 

-           Some examples include greed, lust, desire for power or control, love of men’s praise and fear.   What spiritual gifts do you think/know God has given you? 

-           If you are unsure of what your spiritual gifts are, you are encourage to take a moment to ask God in prayer to reveal your gifts to you and teach you how to use them for his purposes. Here is an example prayer you can use: 

-           Father in heaven, thank you for creating me with special gifts to minister to your people.

-           I ask for wisdom concerning my spiritual gifts.  Please reveal to me what my spiritual gifts are and teach me how to use them in the body of Christ.

-           Please help me to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit throughout the day and obedient to your convictions. 

-           Please protect me from the enemy’s deception and temptation. 

-           Father, I praise you and thank you for including me in your wonderful work on earth!  In Jesus' name, Amen. 

6) Anointing with Oil 

-           Anointing with oil is a physical act that we do to symbolize a spiritual dedication or consecration of a person, object or location to God’s purposes. 

-           As a spiritual weapon, it is a way of staking claim to a territory for God’s kingdom. 

-           Oil is the most commonly used substance for anointing.  In the Old Testament law, God gave a special, exclusive recipe for holy anointing oil.

-           Under the new covenant, however, we see that other substances may be used for anointing as well.  For example, Jesus anointed the blind man in John 9:6 with clay and spit! 

-           Read Exodus 40:9-11,13,15. What did God instruct Moses to do with the tabernacle, utensils and priests to prepare them for God’s service? 

 -          Read 1 Corinthians 6:19. Under the new covenant through the blood of Jesus Christ, where is God’s tabernacle / temple?   

-           As living tabernacles through Jesus Christ, we can use our bodies and possessions to honor or dishonor God.  By anointing them, we consecrate them to serve God and not evil.  

-           Anointing with oil can be a key element in the healing process.  What do the following scriptures say concerning anointing sick people with oil?  James 5:14:  Mark 6:13:  

 -          In addition to church leaders and the disciples, who else may anoint people with oil?

2 Samuel 12:20:   Luke7:37-38:  

When to anoint

-           Describe the occasions in which anointing was performed in the following verses:

Exodus 40:9-11:   Exodus 40:13:   2 Samuel 1:21, Isaiah 21:5:  2 Samuel 12:20:Ezekiel 16:9:   

-          Prior to using oil or any other substance, we should ask the Lord to bless it and use it as a holy medium for his purposes.

-          The significance of anointing is not in the substance used, but rather in the spiritual reason behind the anointing.   

How to anoint

-          Matthew 28:19 & James 5:14 instruct us to anoint "in the name of the Lord." 

-          Since we typically express the name of the Lord in the three persons of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, we can say this when anointing:  

“I anoint ___________ in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”   

-          Again, it matters not so much what you do or say when you anoint as much as what your intent is spiritually.   

-          We can anoint people, places and things to consecrate them to God’s purposes.  Here are some suggestions of things to anoint:

  • People (family members, ministry workers, etc.)
  • Buildings (house, church, office, rooms, etc.)
  • Objects: Furniture (esp. beds), computer, monitor, TV/VCR, cars, gifts from others, etc.
  • Pets 

-           Anointing is a significant act and should be taken very seriously.  What warning was given in Leviticus 21:10-12 to the head priest? 

-           Likewise, it behooves us to do our best to ensure that the things we anoint will not be used to dishonor God. We should honor the dedication we have made to the Lord when we anoint. 

7) Prayer

-           We previously examined the benefits of praying in the Spirit.  Prayer in general is a powerful weapon for spiritual warfare.   

-           Read Luke 5:16. How frequently did Jesus pray?  Read 1 Thessalonians 5:17. How often are we to pray?  

-           There are many reasons to pray. The following passages highlight several of them which relate to spiritual warfare situations. 

-           Please read each example and then mention the purpose of the prayers that were offered.

Matthew 18:18-20:  Mark 14:38: John 17:13-15:  Romans 1:9:  Acts 4:21-33:  Acts 12:1-11: Philippians 4:6-7:  James 5:13-16:  

8) Fasting

-           Christian fasting is primarily a tool by which we humble ourselves before God.  -   Humility invites God to draw near to us and work through us as opposed to pride, which repels God from us (James 4:6-7). 

-           By denying our flesh its desires for food and/or water, we fortify our commitment to following God. 

-           It is a way of exercising our spirit’s will to serve God over the flesh’s will to serve sin. 

-           Jesus expected that his followers would fast after he left earth.  How do these two examples show that expectation? Matthew 6:16-17:   Matthew 9:14-15:  

Purposes and examples of fasts in the Bible

-           For each of the below Old Testament examples, please summarize the circumstances and the fast that was done. 1 Kings 21:25-29: 2 Chronicles 20:2-4: Ezra 8:21-23: Jonah 3:5-10:

 -          There aren’t many examples of fasting in the New Testament, but there are some significant ones.

-           Read Matthew 17:14-21.  How was fasting linked to the disciples’ failure at casting the demon out of the boy?

-          Read Acts 13:2-3.  How was fasting used in this example and what were the results? 

-           Read Luke 4:1-2. How was fasting involved with spiritual warfare in this example?  

 

 

                                   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                LESSON VI

                         Using your spiritual weapons in warfare

1) Proper context for spiritual warfare: submission to God’s will

-           Now that we’ve examined our spiritual weapons, we should take a moment to explore the proper context for using them.  

-           Read John 5:19.  What general rule did Jesus use in determining what he would do each day? 

 -          Jesus completely submitted to the Father’s will.  Part of the Lord’s prayer that Jesus taught included the phrase, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10 ). 

-           Jesus ultimately surrendered his will to the Father to the point of dying on the Cross (Matthew 26:39,42). 

-           Likewise, we’ll need to surrender our will to God, especially when it comes to spiritual warfare situations.   

-           Considering the below verses, what can happen if we take spiritual warfare into our own hands, using it for our own desires and purposes? Luke 9:51-56:  Acts 19:13-17:  

-          Even as redeemed people, we still must daily put off our old self and its sinful desires. 

-           Spiritual warfare is likely to generate temptations toward revenge, anger, pride and other destructive desires. 

-           If we yield to these destructive desires and attempt to wage spiritual warfare, we’ll undoubtedly be giving the enemy a foothold in us.   

-          As an interesting side note, the occult realm often draws people seeking power and/or knowledge to use for their own purposes. 

-          This power and knowledge is real, yet people often don’t realize that it comes with the price of slavery to the devil.   

-           Read Genesis 3:1-6. The temptation for power and knowledge beyond what God has given us appeals to our pride of life.  How is this similar to Satan’s temptation of Eve in the Garden of Eden? 

 -          As we considered earlier, Jesus demonstrated how to live for God’s will and avoid getting ensnared in carnality and pride of life.   

-          Read Luke 4:3-12.  How did Satan tempt Jesus to act on his own initiative, apart from the Father? 

 -          It behooves us to stay as close to God as possible and continuously look for indications of where he is working and guidance on what he wants us to do. 

-           This information may come through prayer, an inner impression, a word of knowledge or wisdom, circumstances, another person or the scriptures. 

-          Charging into the enemy’s camp on our own initiative without orders or covering from God could be disastrous for us and our families. 

-           Our presumption and pride could give the enemy sufficient footholds to counterattack in a variety of ways. 

2) Mindset for Battle

-           It is very important for us to adopt a “kingdom mindset” if we’re to fully engage our potential as sons of God and be effective in spiritual warfare. 

-           Read Matthew 6:25-34. As God’s sons (or children), what is to be our primary focus? 

 -          When we focus on the cares of the world or other carnal interests, our ability to wage effective spiritual warfare for God’s kingdom is diminished. 

-           Additionally, when we’re being distracted from God, we’re susceptible to hijack by the enemy.

-           As you consider your own situation, what are some areas of carnal distraction that you need to guard against? 

 -          Another important area is our attitude toward sin and temptation.  What do the following scriptures tell us concerning the attitude we should have? Romans 6:11-14:   Galatians 4:7:  

-          Since sin and temptation are clearly vehicles of the enemy, what are we to do with the sin that holds us back from living for God? Romans 13:12:  Hebrews 12:1-3:   

-           It behooves us to adopt a “no mercy” attitude toward the sins that entangle us, especially in areas that we’ve dabbled with in the past.

-             We can no longer give pet sin and temptation a place in our lives, especially if we’re planning to wage spiritual warfare for God’s kingdom. 

-           As you consider your weaknesses, are there any areas of sin and temptation that you have been tolerating?  If so, what radical actions can/will you take to rid yourself of them? 

 3) Case Studies in Spiritual Warfare

-          Let’s now look at some key examples of spiritual warfare to see how the weapons can be used.  For each example, please answer these questions:  

  • Who was fighting?
  • What spiritual weapons were employed?
  • What enemy tactics were used?
  • What happened?

-           2 Kings 6:8-23:  2 Chronicles 20:1-30: Ezekiel 13:17-23: This example shows a rare glimpse of how occult powers can be used against God’s followers, and in some cases even cause death!

  Mark 5:1-13:  Mark 9:14-29:  Luke 4:1-13:  Acts 13:1-12   Acts 16:16-18:

 

 

                                     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                LESSON VII

                                      Warfare Disciplines

-           In this section we’ll examine disciplines that will help us in combat.  Conventional military armies typically spend much time training in the various skill areas needed to fight wars. 

-           In this fashion they are best prepared to face potential threats when war comes.  Similarly, spiritual warriors can train in key skill areas, i.e. warfare disciplines, so that they are prepared to face the enemy when he attacks. 

-           We know that we are already at war and the devil is prowling around like a lion, looking for whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8).

-            If we train in the various disciplines needed to fight him, we’ll be better prepared for his attacks. 

A.        Our Trainer and trainers

1)         God as the Master Trainer

-           As with most disciplines, it makes sense to be trained by a master.  God is the Master Trainer in spiritual warfare and works through the “person” of the Holy Spirit.      Read Psalm 18:28-39

1.  Who trained David how to fight the enemy?    

2. What was David specifically trained to do?    

 3. How was David equipped for battle?    

 -          God will provide all of the equipment we need, so that we may stand against the devil’s schemes, survive and overcome!  

-           Read Luke 3:21-23, Luke 4:1-2. Who trained Jesus and prepared him to face the devil in spiritual warfare?  

-           Read Hebrews 4:14-16.  How did Jesus prove his own expertise in spiritual warfare?  

-           Read John 14:15-18. Who has God sent to live in us and act as a counselor?  

-           Read John 14:26, 1 John 2:27. What will the Holy Spirit do for us? How can this help us in spiritual warfare? 

2)         People as trainers

-           God will also work through godly people in our lives to facilitate our warfare training.  While these people are not our “masters,” they can be agents of The Master in our lives. 

-           In the following verses, what people are mentioned who could be involved in our spiritual training?

Ephesians 4:11-12:   1 Corinthians 4:14-16:   1 Corinthians 12:27-28:   

-           Read Acts 13:1, 1 Corinthians 12:28. Where are we most likely to find people who can train us?   

-          With that in mind, what does the scripture exhort us to continue doing? Read Hebrews 10:23-26:    

-          Considering the above verses from Hebrews 10, how can being involved with a church help you when you fail or get discouraged in warfare?    

-          Take a moment to evaluate your current church situation.  If you are not attending a church, how might this affect your training in spiritual warfare?   

 B.       Disciplines to promote combat readiness

-           In this section we will look at five disciplines that will help us in fighting spiritual warfare battles.

-           Specifically, mastering these disciplines will contribute to increased endurance on the battlefield, quicker recognition of the enemy’s schemes, more effective response in battle, and sharper discernment of God’s guidance.     

1) Quiet times

-           It is important for us to meet with God, our commanding officer, each day in order for us to meet our mission objectives in spiritual warfare. 

-           Though not a difficult task, it can be a big challenge for people to simply have a Quiet Time consistently. 

-           The cares of the world, lack of sleep, or busy schedules so often vie for priority over time with God.  If we hope to be valiant warriors in God’s army, we can’t afford to miss our daily quiet time with him!  

-           Read John 15:4. What happens when we fail to connect with God? 

 

-           Read Psalm 63.  What was the condition of David’s soul and body (while being chased by Saul in the wilderness)?   What did he do in response?    What were the results? 

 -          Quiet times can be a strategic time for us to seek God’s wisdom about the challenges we’re facing in the natural or spiritual realms.   

2) Testing doctrine, spirits and people

-           Satan often uses false doctrine, deceiving spirits and people to divide churches and lead people away from Christ.

-             If we plan to survive and be victorious in spiritual warfare, we’ll need to develop the skills of testing doctrine, spirits and people.   

-           God’s word is the most important source we can study in order to recognize the various counterfeits that the devil uses. 

-           Read 2 Timothy 3:16-17. How relevant or useful is God’s word to the challenges that we face in life?

 -          What were the key phrases that Paul used to describe God’s word in Hebrews 4:12?   

-           Read Luke 4:1-14.  How did Jesus use the word of God to fight Satan’s temptations?   If Jesus had not known the scriptures, how might the outcome of this confrontation be different? 

 -          Read Acts 17:10-12.  How did the Bereans test the apostles’ teaching? 

 3) Controlling our thoughts

-           Controlling our thoughts could be the most difficult discipline to master in spiritual warfare.  It is particularly difficult because there are three different sources that can feed evil thoughts into our minds.   

-           What are the three sources of evil thoughts mentioned in the below verses?

1. Matthew 15:18-20:    2.  Matthew 16:21-23:    3.  Acts 5:3:    

-           No matter what the source of an evil thought, once it is in our mind we have the choice of whether or not to entertain it.  If we entertain an evil thought with our imagination, we sin. 

-           Jesus explained this principle of “thought-sin” in Matthew 5:27-28.  What  thought-sin did Jesus equate adultery with?  

-           What other example did Jesus use to illustrate the thought-sin principle in Matthew 5:21-22?   

-           Take a moment to evaluate your track record in controlling your thoughts.  How well have you been guarding your heart, casting down sinful imaginations and re-directing your thoughts toward pure things?  In what areas can you improve?   

4) Exercising Godliness

-           Read Romans 7:21-25.  What is the internal resistance we face in exercising godliness? 

 -          Read 1 Timothy 4:6-8. What did Paul instruct Timothy to do regarding godliness?  What did Paul liken spiritual training to? 

-           In what way is spiritual exercise superior to physical exercise?  1 Corinthians 9:24-27. Paul used the comparison of physical training to illustrate spiritual training principles here, just as he did in1 Timothy 4:6-8.

-           The race analogy of the Christian life emphasizes the ongoing battle we must fight against our flesh.  The body constantly is gravitating toward sin and will resist yielding to the desires of the Holy Spirit. 

5) Continuous Prayer 

-           Prayer is the Christian’s lifeline, an open communication link with God.  It seems that human nature gravitates away from staying in touch with God, reverting to self-reliance through practical solutions to the daily challenges we face.

-           It’s all too easy to forget God while trying to do things on our own.  This is actually a form of pride that we must resist if we hope to grow in our relationship with God and be fruitful for his kingdom.   

-           Prayer helps us be in tune with God.  It can open our eyes and ears to sense where he is working in the situations around us.  For spiritual warfare, prayer is the battle communication link that gives us important and possibly life-saving info to help us fight the enemy.   

-           If we can master the skill of continuous prayer, we’ll be more effective in spiritual warfare and more efficient as an agent of God’s kingdom. 

-           Continuous prayer is like an open dialogue with God throughout the day, whether spoken or in our thoughts.  It’s where we share our feelings, concerns, thoughts and dreams with God.    Philippians 4:6-7.   

-           What instructions did Paul give concerning the challenges of life and prayer?  

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                            LESSON VIII

                                                 Battle Wounds and Recovery

-          In fighting spiritual warfare and in serving Christ in general, we should be aware of the real possibility of being wounded. 

-           Wounds can come from a variety of sources, including the devil, his forces and people.  As we saw in the story of Job, just about anything can be a target for the enemy, including our health, family, possessions and livelihood. 

-           Here are some examples of battle wounds:

  • Sickness & disease
  • Rejection from friends, family or fellow church members
  • Offenses / hurt feelings
  • Physical harm
  • Depression/Despair/Hopelessness (weakened faith, hope deferred)
  • Hardened heart or closed heart
  • Love grown cold
  • Pierced with harmful/sinful desires (ex. lust, desire for riches, etc.)
  • Financial problems
  • Family problems
  • Death of close relatives or friends
  • Turning away from the faith (A.K.A. apostasy)
  • Corruption from false doctrine

-           Obviously such things may not always be the result of spiritual warfare, but they certainly can be.  Such wounds can be part of the “sufferings of Christ” that scripture says we will share in when we follow Christ. 

-           The enemy’s intent, short of destroying us, is to convince us to lay down our arms and turn away from God.  Knowing this in advance, we can prepare ourselves mentally for the attacks and wounds we may suffer.  We can also familiarize ourselves with how to heal and recover from attacks, such that our relationship with God remains intact and ever-growing.    

A.        Sharing in the sufferings of Christ

-           The reality is that as believers in Christ, we will suffer to some degree for our allegiance to him.  When we start going on the offensive against the enemy in spiritual warfare, we can expect that the enemy will try to retaliate. 

-           Thankfully, in Christ we have the power of faith and hope working from within us to help us endure and overcome the sufferings we may face. 

1. Read John 15:18-21.  What did Jesus say we could expect from the world? 

 2. Read John 16:32-33.  Though we may have trouble in the world, what will we have in Jesus?  What truth will help us endure the trouble?

 3. Read Philippians 1:27-30.  What did Paul say had been “granted for Christ’s sake”?   

 4. Read Romans 8:16-18. What promise can we cling to as we face the possibility of suffering for Christ’s sake? 

 1) Examples of Suffering

-           The Bible offers many examples of suffering.  Let’s look at a few of them here.  Notice that many are tied to spiritual warfare and God’s kingdom work in general. 

-           For each reference, please summarize the suffering that occurred and note if it was linked to spiritual warfare/God’s kingdom work. 

2 Corinthians 11:22-28: Galatians 4:12-15:  Acts 5:12-41: Acts 6:8-12, Acts 7:57-60:    

 Acts 8:1-3: Acts 14:1-6,19-20:   Acts 16:16-24:

2) What suffering accomplishes

-           Knowing the positive results of suffering will help us prepare ahead of time mentally for what we might face. 

-           In general, suffering can deepen our relationship with God, verify our identity as his followers and ultimately bring him glory.

-             Let’s consider some passages that further discuss the purpose and results of suffering.   

-  Read 2 Corinthians 1:3-11.  Once we’ve suffered, what can we then do for people who are suffering? 

-   Read 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.  What truth was God impressing on Paul through the thorn experience?  How did Paul choose to react?  How did the suffering impact Paul’s relationship with God?

 -   Read James 1:2-4.  What purpose of suffering does James discuss?  What is the result of this suffering when we endure it?  What attitude should we have when we encounter various trials? 

 Summarizing, suffering can:

  • Enable us to comfort others who suffer
  • Cause us to put our hope in God instead of ourselves
  • Increase our dependence on God
  • Test our faith, causing increase of patience, which leads to perfection and completion

3) How to go through suffering

-           As with other aspects of our spiritual walk, our mindset during suffering can make all the difference.  Our survival of the enemy’s attacks and recovery from battle wounds will likely depend on our mindset.  

-           No matter what suffering we may go through, we should remember that God will comfort us.  He knows what it is like to suffer!    

-           Read 2 Corinthians 1:3-5.  What does this verse say concerning God’s comfort to us? 

 -          God is especially well equipped to comfort us in times of suffering. Through Jesus, he endured every type of temptation known to man and suffered greatly.  He sympathizes with us and makes intercession for us (Hebrews 2:14-18, Hebrews 4:14-15, Hebrews 7:25). 

-           Read 2 Timothy 2:1-13.  Though God sympathizes with our condition, what does he instruct us to do as good soldiers of Jesus Christ? What promise do we have if we do so? 

-           Read Revelation 2:10.  What did Jesus tell the people not to do regarding suffering? What would the people receive if they were faithful even to the point of death? 

-          Read 1 Peter 4:12-14.  What instructions did Peter give to the Christians concerning the trial they were facing? 

 -          A great example of rejoicing in suffering is found in Acts 5:12-41.  After having been imprisoned and beaten for doing the work of the ministry, Peter and the apostles rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for Jesus’ name. 

-           Read Philippians 1:27-30.  What did Paul tell the Philippians to do in facing suffering and adversaries? 

-          This scripture underscores the importance of staying connected with the body of Christ when trials and tribulations come (also Hebrews 10:24-25). 

-          Often when wounding comes from others in the body of Christ, the temptation is for us to disconnect and isolate ourselves.  Doing so will only increase our vulnerability to the enemy.   

-           Being around other Christians who can minister to us will help us endure and recover from suffering.  1 Thessalonians 3:1-5.  What did Paul send Timothy to do for the Thessalonians during their afflictions?

 Summarizing, when going through suffering, we should:

  • Receive God’s comfort
  • Endure hardship
  • Do not fear
  • Rejoice
  • Stand fast with other Christians in one spirit and one mind

B.        Recovering from Battle wounds

1) Battle damage assessment

-           When we take a hit from the enemy, it behooves us to inspect the damage and evaluate its impact on our lives.  We also should consider how to repair the damage so that we can return to full combat readiness.   Applying this idea, we can ask ourselves some key questions when we’re wounded, such as:

  • How did the wound affect me emotionally, spiritually and physically? – or - What were the fruits caused by this wound in my life?
  • How was my faith (or trust in God) and hope affected?
  • Did the wound cause me to harbor resentment, bitterness, hatred or malice toward others or God? 
  • Did the wound cause me to want to isolate myself from the Body of Christ?
  • Did the wound spawn new passions or desires that are conflicting with my walk with God?
  • Did the wound cause me to love people less than before?
  • Did the wound cause me to sin with my words? (ex. cursing God, complaining, speaking ill of others, etc.)

-           We can use such questions to explore the nature and extent of the damage in the wounds and then pursue healing and recovery in the affected areas.   

2) Unforgiveness and other sin

-           A common area involved in recovery is forgiveness.  When we are wounded, there can be a tendency to blame people or God for the hurt we’ve suffered. 

-           Our human nature is to desire justice and hold on to our right of vengeance by not forgiving those who have hurt us.   Our desire for justice may also be expressed in anger.  It is OK to be angry when we’ve been wronged. 

-           Read Ephesians 4:26-27.  What practical steps does Paul give concerning anger?

 -          The reality is that true justice can only be carried out through God, who is the one and only true Judge.

-          By forgiving those who have hurt us, we release our right to vengeance to God, who will settle the score in his perfect timing.  We also clear the way for God to forgive us and heal us from our wounds.   

-           Read Matthew 6:12,14-15 & Mark 11:25.  When we have been hurt by people, what are we required to do?  If we will not forgive others, how does this attitude impact our relationship with God? 

 -          Forgiving someone does not mean we are condoning what they did.  What it does mean is that we are turning the case over to God, the righteous Judge, to handle it as he sees fit.   

-           Read Romans 12:17-21.  What is God’s promise concerning vengeance?  When we surrender a situation to God for vengeance, what does that require us to give up? 

 -          If there are other sins that we’ve committed during battle or as a result of our wounds, we must also repent of them.  Examples might include:

  • Sinning with our words (speaking ill of others, voicing doubt, cursing others, etc.)
  • Attempting to repay evil for evil
  • Using our spiritual gifts with selfish or vindictive motives (i.e. not in love)
  • Pride (cometh before a fall)
  • Manipulation
  • Entertaining evil thoughts about others (lust, malice, etc.)

3) Rejecting the enemy’s lies

-           The enemy loves to capitalize on our battle wounds by offering faulty conclusions that are designed to sabotage our faith in God and isolate us from other Christians.  Some common lies the devil uses include:

  1. "God doesn't love you"
  2. "If God loved you, he would have protected you from this"
  3. "You can't trust anyone in church to help you.  They'll only judge and reject you"
  4. "God has finally given you what you deserve!"
  5. "You've sinned so much that God could never use you now.”
  6. "A good God wouldn't have let this happen to you"

-           We must discern the devil's lies and reject them.  It will help greatly if we will find and state the scriptures that refute the lies we’re being tempted with (i.e. use the Sword of the Spirit!).  

-           Read 2 Corinthians 10:4-5.  What two actions are we to take with the lies of the enemy when they enter our thoughts? 

-           If you’ve been wounded in warfare, what are the lies that the enemy has been telling you?  What is the truth about each lie?  Can you think of or find a scripture reference that expresses the truth about each lie? 

4) Reconnecting with the Body of Christ

-           It is vital that we connect with the Body of Christ, especially during recovery from battle wounds.    Read John 15:4-5.  What does our fruitfulness to God depend on? 

 -          Read 1 Corinthians 12:27, Romans 12:4-8.  How is abiding in Christ linked to remaining connected with other Christians?   

-          Read Hebrews 10:24-25.  What are two purposes mentioned here for meeting with other Christians regularly?

-          During recovery from battle wounds, we’ll need the help of the other members of the Body of Christ.  For example, meeting together affords us much need encouragement, which strengthens our faith and stirs up our resolve to return to the battlefield once we’re healed.   

5) Seeking God for Healing

-           God’s will for each of us is that we are restored to wholeness in our body, soul and spirit. Do you believe this?  Let’s examine what the scriptures say concerning this.   

-           Read Psalm 103:2-5. What four “benefits” of following God are mentioned? 

-           Read Isaiah 61:1-3.  Jesus recited this passage when he began his earthly ministry in Luke 4:14-21.  What specific tasks did God want to accomplish for his people?   

 -          Consider that God’s desire for the wounded warrior today is that he or she would be healed and whole. 

-          With that in mind, as you consider your own situation, what wounds have you received from spiritual warfare or from living for God?   

-          Prayer (preceded by worship) is the best way for approaching God and seeking healing from the wounds we’ve sustained. 

What to Pray 

Taking your list of wounds from the above section, you can now go to Jesus in prayer and ask for healing.  You can use a simple set of prayers that include:

  • Asking Jesus to heal you from any negative effects of the wound that continue to affect you, including inner wounds in the conscious or subconscious states
  • Asking God to help you see things from his perspective
  • Releasing all the pains of the wound to God
  • Asking God to fill you with his love, peace, joy, life and light

 

TagsTags: SPIRITUAL WARFARE

Last changed by Julius Soyinka on 26/11/2014

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    Igniting the Fire of Apostolic Signs and Wonders to Reconcile Men to Their Destiny in God.

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