Spiritual Warfare Bible study – part 2

Notes for teaching are below the video

 

I.  Intro

  • I am not here to tell you what to believe regarding spiritual warfare
  • I am simply challenging you to make your understanding of IT IS FINISHED bigger than it is right now.
    • I believe as it gets bigger what you currently believe about warfare will change
  • Peter said in 2 Peter 3:18 grow (increase) in grace and knowledge (the intimate first hand knowledge) of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
    • We should always be growing in what we know to be true about Jesus and what He accomplished
  • Last week we talked about the fact that IT IS FINISHED or tetelestai in Greek was a loud battle cry to lay your weapons down and go home because the war was over… the enemy had been COMPLETELY defeated… it was a FINAL and FULL victory!
    • Warfare only takes place between two undefeated foes. Once an enemy has been CONQUERED, the war is OVER!
    • IT IS FINISHED!
    • Such beautiful, COMPLETE, FINAL words
  • Our Father said similar words in Genesis IT IS GOOD!
    • IT IS TOV!
      • Tov is good in Hebrew and means good, beautiful, working the way it is supposed to
      • the root is tet-bet and means to prepare something to receive
    • He prepared this earth good, beautiful and working the way it was supposed to…. complete
      • He prepared it this way… whole – lacking nothing… nothing missing, nothing broken for his son Adam to simply receive.
  • David also prepared something complete, finished, in good working order for his son to receive
    • In 2 Samuel 8-10 David (a type of Christ) establishes his kingdom by prevailing over the enemies
    • He prepared a victorious kingdom for his son Solomon to receive
    • Solomon’s reign was peace and rest from the enemies (1 Chron 22:9)
      • Peace is shalom meaning completeness, soundness, ease; root is shalem meaning complete, finished, make an end; restore
      • Quiet at its root means to rest; to be still
II. We need to be FINISHED conscious
  • We’ve become very demon conscious as a body of believers
    • Thinking we’re always in a supernatural battle against evil forces
    • Believing we’re attacked when we are “out of the will of God” and also attacked when we are “in the will of God”
      • Which produces either condemnation or self-righteousness in our thinking.
  • Our life is not lived on a battlefied… even if you spiritualize that with the fact that it’s fought from the position of seated in heavenly places.
    • Our life is VICTORY! The battle has already been won!
  • Instead of being demon/devil conscious and warfare conscious, we need to be FINISHED conscious! Victory conscious!
    • The enemy is 100% COMPLETELY defeated… stripped and rendered powerless
  • The pagan nations of the Old Testament were very demon/devil conscious and Israel picked up a lot of their beliefs and mixed them with their belief in God
    • Some of these ancient pagan beliefs aren’t much different from things we believe in Christianity today
III. Pagan Beliefs
  • Israel absorbed the religious beliefs of the pagans around them
    • Numbers 25:3 says that Israel yoked herself, joined herself, to Baal-peor (a Canaanite god)
  • Defense against evil “spirits” was a big concern in ancient Mesopotamia.
    • To them a “demon” was an evil god.
      • And they had different classes and levels of demons
    • They believed that sickness came from demonic possession and demons carried the name of the specific sickness they bring i.e. “headache,” “fever,” etc.
  • Canaanite demonology had a demon who had “two horns and a tail.”
    • Much of the pagan magic of these ancient religions was “protective,” in other words, to keep demons away or to expel them
  • Israelites also believed that demons lived in deserts or ruins, inflicted sickness upon people, troubled men’s minds, and deceived them. The only difference between their beliefs and pagan beliefs was they believed that these “demons” or “evil spirits” were sent by the Lord.
    • Seems like they mixed the beliefs they picked up in Egypt during their captivity and their belief in God and came up with a warped, distorted thinking about God
  • As for the “name” satan, in Hebrew thought it was an adversary, for instance a foreign king opposing the king of Israel was said to be a satan (1 Kings 11:14) or when Jesus called Peter satan when he opposed Him.
    • It was not referring to “Prince of Darkness” but a flesh and blood human in opposition to God’s purposes.
    • By the time of the 2nd Temple, the Jews picked up the beliefs of the Persians, mingling it with their belief in God
      • The Persian religion was Zoroastrianism which is the belief that sees the universe as a battleground between two opposing supreme gods – one who was the wise lord and one who was the destructive spirit.
    • Around 70 AD, satan evolved into the Antichrist – God’s antithesis, who is behind all evil, the master of hell.
    • Then English translations of the Bible began capitalizing the S in satan and the D in devil… making it a proper noun… a person, or an entity.
  • Last week we saw that in the New Testament the word devil which is diabolos in the Greek is not a proper noun or even a noun but rather an adjective and means slandering or accusing.
    • NOT “the” Slanderer or “the” Accuser… except 3 different times where it is talking about human behavior and calling the person a false accuser (noun).
  • And we saw that in Eph 6 where our translations say the fiery darts of the “evil one” isn’t a noun either but an adjective describing the darts…. evil darts.
  • We can see from these pagan beliefs that spirits were evil spirits… Israel believed these evil spirits were sent by God and the pagans believed
  • But what does the word of God say about spirits?
IV. Spirit
  • The word spirit all through Genesis referred to either the Spirit of God and life or the spirit of man and the emotions of the soul.
  • Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed the man out of the dust of the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and the man became a living being
    • God breathed the Breath of Life into man and he became a living being
    • A living being is chayah nephesh (soul)
      • Nephesh means soul, life, person, it includes desires, appetites, emotions
      • It’s our inner man which is comprised of spirit AND soul (mind, will, emotions, and conscience)
  • So, in Genesis when spirit is mentioned it is referring to God’s spirit or man’s spirit and a few Scriptures it is referring to wind
    • When it is talking about the Spirit of God it is connected to creating (Gen 1:2); intimate fellowship with man (Gen 3:8); and the breath of life in His creation (Gen 7:15,22)
    • Then in Genesis 26:35 we see the word “spirit” translated mind: Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah.
      • Esau had married foreign wives and Isaac and Rebekah’s MINDS were grieved (bitter) – an emotion of the soul
    • Then we see in Gen 41:8 Pharaoh’s spirit was troubled (agitated, anxious) – this would also be an emotion of the soul
      • and he called for ALL the magicians of Egypt and ALL it’s wise men (would include astrologers and men skilled in those types of things)
  • So, spirit is connected to God… life, creation, and intimate fellowship/communion with His mankind AND to man’s inner man and his emotions and thinking
    • And then we see that the first time it speaks of spirit in connection with man it is in reference to the “mind” and emotions
    • Now in a pagan nation the “cure” (for these emotions of the soul) is to call on magicians, sorcerers, and astrologers
  • Exodus 6:9 – the children of Israel won’t listen to Moses who is telling them that God is going to deliver them from bondage of Egypt and bring them into the Promise land
    • They can’t hear Moses because it says their spirit had been broken because of cruelty and bondage – slave labor
    • We see that having a broken spirit (feeling discouraged and despondent) interfered with their being able to hear about the goodness of God towards them
    • Their slave life in Egypt for 400 years affected their inner man… their spirit and soul
      • It affected how they would hear and respond regarding the goodness of God
      • It also affected their minds, producing despondency or loss of hope and courage
        • 400 years of slavery – the hard, brutal physical labor as well as being immersed in a pagan culture that worshipped over 2000 gods and was known as the “mother of magic” – their inner man would definitely be affected
  • Numbers 5:14 is another mention of spirit
    • Instead of the emotion affecting the spirit or mind like we saw above with Isaac and Pharaoh and the children of Israel, now it is being referred to as a “spirit OF something”
      • In this case a spirit of jealousy
    • It is in reference to a spirit of jealousy coming upon a husband and he accuses his wife of adultery.
      • He takes her and sits her before the priest who makes her drink bitter ink water and then ash water
      • If her belly swells up and her thigh rots, then she is guilty of adultery!
    • All of this is presented in v. 11 as And the LORD spoke unto Moses saying!
      • I think Moses misheard!
      • In these ancient pagan religions, the rivers (waters) were thought to have magical powers and adulterous women were thrown into them and if she drowned then she was guilty.
      • Seriously! The LORD said!?! NO! Moses said!
    • Those verses are filled with aleph-tav’s all through it
      • Aleph tav’s are prophetic pointers… in Hebrew it is the word et and means signs; it is untranslatable in our English Bibles.
        • It is like in NT when Jesus said He is the Alpha and the Omega… Aleph tav is the first and last letter of the Hebrew Alphabet
      • These prophetic pointers sprinkled through these verses are saying “Hey… look at Jesus! He’s the only One who knew the Father! This shame and condemnation aren’t His nature”
        • In the Gospels a woman caught in adultery is brought and thrown before Jesus – He reveals the Father’s heart toward her – Mercy and Love!
    • Acts 7:22 says that Moses was instructed with ALL the wisdom of Egypt…. all means all
      • That would’ve included training in the magic arts.
      • Maybe some of it was still a part of his thinking
    • Paul called jealousy as well as adultery a work of the flesh in Galatians 5
      • He also called witchcraft and idolatry a work of the flesh… which this prescription for determining the woman’s guilt or innocence was definitely witchcraft!
  • So, we’ve seen that man’s spirit is affected by his mind (thoughts) and his emotions
    • And we’ve seen how 400 years of bondage to a pagan nation can cause them to believe in “spirits of this and that” – making them entities; and how the “cures” resembled the magic practiced in these pagan religion
  • Go with me to Proverbs 20:27: The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.
    • It’s in the spirit of a man that communication with God takes place
    • So, the spirit of the man is the lamp of the Lord – that’s where the light goes on and the way is clear
      • Where revelation becomes clear and we’re able to go forward and walk in continual victory
      • He didn’t design us to walk and stumble, walk and stumble, walk and stumble
    • This verse goes on to say searching all the inner depths of his heart
      • Literally it says searching all the rooms (chambers) of his belly (inward parts, mind, being)
      • So, in other words, God’s communication is going to be in any and all of the rooms of the inner man
      • Remember the inner man includes the spirit and the soul – so when it’s talking about all the rooms of the belly, it’s about the fact that the spirit and soul are made up of many rooms
    • Soul is made up of the mind, will, emotions, and conscience
    • So, in these rooms, or inner depths, different sound patterns emerge
      • Spiritual sound patterns are thoughts, ideas, reasonings, dreams and visions
      • Those are the 5 areas that are clear in Scripture of how God communicates with us
      • These are all spirit realm communications
  • And the writings of the Apostles of the New Testament called them “spirits”
    • All spiritual realm communications that have the potential to be from God
      • But they can be contaminated and unreliable – God didn’t create us that way, it’s all the hundred and thousands of years of living outside of communication with
      • We can see from above that not all that we “hear” is from God… our spirits can become affected by harsh circumstances (like the children of Israel), wrong teachings (as with Moses being taught ALL the wisdom of Egypt), bitterness (like Isaac and Rebekah).
    • Jesus said in Matt 15:19 that out of the heart (the inner man, the mind, will, intention, etc) comes forth evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual immorality, thefts, false testimony and slanders or blasphemies.
    • All communications or “spirits” come from our inner man (spirit and soul) and come forth out of our thinking, our emotions, our self-will, our past experiences, and our future fears.
      • The apostles weren’t talking about “a spirit of such and such.”
  • Why is this important? Because we are so demon/spirit conscious that spirit only has one meaning apart from Holy Spirit and that is “demon.”
    • Demon in Greek is daimon, from daio meaning to distribute fortunes
      • To the Greeks daimon was the same meaning as god.
  • Isaiah 40:18-21 God asks them why they are likening Him or comparing His likeness with an idol made by human hands. He said have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning?
    • What was told from the beginning? That mankind was made in the image and likeness of God
      • There was no need to carve and make idols, gods, demons to secure their destinies
  • God made us in His image and likeness to rule and reign in our lives… masters of our own lives (destinies)
    • Gal 4:1: Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;
    • We have been given absolute control over the outcome of the events of our lives
    • that means that I am the master of my own destiny IN HIM
      • not apart from Him – but IN HIM because of what He’s done
  • I’m the master of all in my life IN HIM
  • And as master of all in my life, I reign from a seated position (like Him) of COMPLETE and FINAL victory.
V. Warfare FINISHED!
  • So, we can see that some of our beliefs in modern Christianity about spirit warfare is rooted in pagan religious beliefs of ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt.
  • We say that Jesus defeated the enemy but our need to enforce that victory through constant warfare says that we don’t believe it was a FINISHED defeat.
    • Just how FINISHED IS FINISHED?
  • Isaiah 40:2: “Speak kindly to Jerusalem; And call out to her, that her warfare has ended, That her iniquity has been removed, That she has received of the LORD’S hand Double for all her sins.”
    • Speak kindly to Jerusalem… speak to Jerusalem’s heart is what it really says
    • Her warfare is ended
      • Warfare is tsaba meaning warfare, army, battle
        • The root means to wage war
      • Ended is mala meaning fulfilled; completed; FINISHED!
  • Col 2:15: And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
    • Spoiled is plundered; despoiled
    • That means stripped of EVERYTHING!
  • Heb 2:14: Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
    • He destroyed them through His death
      • Destroyed is katargeo meaning render inoperative;
      • Devil is diabolos which is dia + ballo; dia meaning because of or through; and ballo meaning thrown down, fallen;
        • The power of death came through the fall
        • Romans 5:17 says that because of the trespass of the one man (Adam – referring to the fall), death reigned (had power).
    • Jesus completely destroyed that… made it of no effect;
    • The power of death that came through the fall… sickness, disease, poverty, addiction, fear, etc has no effects in our life; it has been rendered inoperable; it has ceased and been abolished.
  • Col 1:13 says He HAS delivered us from dominion (mastery) of (THE) darkness (the absence of light) and brought us (exchanged us) into the kingdom of His beloved Son
  • There WAS a real enemy against man
    • Genesis 3 – the serpent deceived Eve; she believed the false accusation that she wasn’t like God
    • Paul wrote about it in 2 Cor 11:3: But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
  • Eve was beguiled – thoroughly, whole deceived
    • Her mind became corrupted, she believed a lie about herself
  • The enemy against man was the false accusation that he was not made in the image of God
    • And when they embraced that lie… a false perception of themselves… their perception of God changed.
    • They no longer saw God as He truly was, a loving Father who was passionate about them.
    • That perception caused them to think they were separated from God
      • Col 1:21- And you, that were once alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now has he reconciled
      • The perception that they were alienated and enemies of God was in their minds only
  • There are various words in the New Testament to describe this enemy… satan, devil, adversary, thief, etc.
    • I would suggest you look them up in Scripture and read them in context to see what the writers are referring to… rather than just automatically thinking it is referring to a demonic agent that is against you
    • For example, thief is used as the enemy in John 10:10 but is referring to the false teachings of the Pharisees
  • And read the Scriptures you believe are about warfare… read those in context and in light of who the writer is talking to, and in light of IT IS FINISHED.
    • For example… Paul says in 1 Timothy 6 that he was to fight the good fight of faith
      • 1 Timothy is talking about false teachings that were going on
    • 1 Tim 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith
      • Fight is referring to a struggle in the soul (mind, will and emotions); from the root word ago meaning lead;
      • I love that – in the meaning of the word fight or struggling in the soul, is the answer for how to navigate that fight or struggle… it’s in the root word “ago”
        • Ago in Greek is equivalent to the Hebrew word nachal which also means lead AND rest
        • The more literal meaning of the word is a combination of both of these ideas – to lead one to a place of rest;
    • He has already fought and won for us AND as us!
      • The reason you don’t need to warfare is because IN HIM you have ALREADY won the battle
      • His victory is YOUR victory!
    • As we come to the understanding that IT IS FINISHED, and understand that He has led us to a position of rest, requiring nothing on our part… no warfare THEN the fight, the struggle we go through at times in our soul – in our minds, will and emotions won’t be a struggle
      • Because His faith, and co-knowing and co-seeing with Him leads us to the place of rest where our testimony is IT IS FINISHED!
      • 2 Cor 2:14 thanks be to God who ALWAYS, AT ALL TIMES, is leading us in triumph
        • Leading in triumph is publically exalting the victor (us) who leads the victory procession and putting the conquered on display – exhibiting him as totally defeated
  • 1 Timothy 1:18 describes what good warfare… ideal warfare looks like in light of the finished work
    • 1 Tim 1:18: “This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare…”
      • He says that you may war the GOOD warfare
        • Greek Interlinear says, that you may be warring in them the IDEAL warfare
    • v. 19 says holding faith and a good conscience
      • holding faith – His faith… it’s always about His faith in you
        • Gal 2:20 this life I now live, I live BY THE FAITH OF THE SON OF GOD
        • Understanding that takes the pressure off of having great faith… or trying to increase our faith
        • It’s his faith IN us… just like it’s His strength, His peace, His wisdom, etc… HIS FATH
      • Conscience is suneidesis which is two words sun meaning together with and eido meaning to see, to know; a co-knowing and a co-seeing;
    • In accordance with the prophecies
      • Revelation 19:10 says that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy
      • Revelation 21:5-6: And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. (7) And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
      • The testimony of Jesus is IT IS FINISHED
    • The good “warfare” is the report or the message of the finished work of Jesus
      • It is resting in His faith and co-knowing and co-seeing what He sees and knows to be true
VI. In Closing
  • Exodus 14:13: And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more forever.
    • Here we see a picture of the children of Israel being delivered out of bondage
    • And their enemy (Egyptians) were COMPLETELY defeated… never to be seen again
      • The word see is raah meaning to see, to take heed, to discern, to experience, to perceive, to think;
  • 1 Cor 2:16 says we have the mind of Christ
    • We have the mind of Christ – Amplified says we hold His thoughts, purposes and intents of His heart.
  • Our minds are not a battlefield. We have HIS mind
    • When we believe that, our minds will begin to reflect His thoughts, purposes and intents of His heart
    • And our minds will be thinking FINISHED thoughts
  • We have been given an eternally SECURE victory
  • Hebrews 2:6-8: What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? 7Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: 8Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.
    • Sometimes in life it doesn’t seem like we walk in the victory that is ours
      • It doesn’t look like everything is always under our feet
    • V. 9 – but we see Jesus!
      • See is blepo – to observe, watch carefully
    • The key is waking up to who we already are sons, victors, ruling and reigning FROM a seated position of rest… a FINISHED position of FULL VICTORY
  • 1 Jn 4:17 As He is so are we in this world!
    • He is seated… He is not arming Himself still against a defeated enemy
    • We are seated with Him… so why are we still arming ourselves against a defeated enemy?
  • We are seated VICTORS
  • IT IS FINISHED

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