Spiritual Warfare - Temptations, Trials, & Tests

Spiritual Warfare - Temptations, Trials, & Tests - SO4J-TV -

 SPIRITUAL WARFARE, TEMPTATIONS, TRIALS, TESTS  - helps Believers to understand Spiritual Warfare, and how to Overcome these BATTLES of: Temptations, Trials, & Tests through Jesus Christ (Philippians 4:13). We are to always Cling to Jesus and God's unfailing Word, but especially when we are going through these difficult: Temptations & Trials of this Life. MORE: TESTS - LIFE IS A TEST

  • Philippians 4:13 (NASB) "I can do ALL things through CHRIST who STRENGTHENS me."



  23. THE WAR IS


  17. NARROW GATE - FEW EVER FIND IT (Matthew 7:13-14)
  18. FEAR GOD
  20. DENY SELF - LUKE 9:23
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Battle - Spiritual Warfare


1 - Once You Are Saved, There is a Battle to be Fought - It is Called Spiritual Warfare

Yet despite Satan’s vast arsenal of devices and deceptions, a few, by the grace of God, come to Jesus when "He" calls. They come by faith and surrender all to Jesus. They follow Him. They have overcome the many devices and deceptions of the devil by the mercy of God through faith.

Now they face a new battle. Satan can be expected to attack the new Christian in ways that do not even come to his mind.

  • 1 Peter 4:12-14 "Beloved, think it not strange (do not be surprised) concerning the fiery (or painful) trial which is to try (or test) you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached (or insulted) for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified."

This fiery trial or battle that a person goes through is called "spiritual warfare."



2 - Spiritual Warfare - The Battle

We are in a spiritual battle, a spiritual war, a spiritual fight, a spiritual wrestling match, a spiritual struggle.

  • 2 Timothy 2:3-4 "Therefore endure hardness (or hardship), as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life (or civilian affairs); that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

As a follower of Jesus Christ, you are a soldier. You are in a war. That war is against Satan. It is against the forces of darkness.

This battle never ends until we die. If we are on Satan’s side, the Lord may deal with us to get us to repent. If we are on the Lord’s side, Satan tries to cause us to fall, as:

  • 2 Peter 2:22 "Sow...that was washed"...returned "To her wallowing in the mire."

Do not underestimate Satan and his powers to deceive.

  • 1 Peter 5:8 "Be sober, be vigilant (be on your guard, be alert); because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour"

Do not underestimate Satan and his powers of deception. His ability to put obstacles in your path is great. He deceives some that are going to hell into believing there is no hope. He also deceives others that are going to hell into believing they are really going to heaven. Those that are saved, Satan often tries to deceive them into thinking they are not.

An army that is going to war that teaches nothing but victory, health, and success will lose the war. An army that is prepared for the battle will win. The army needs to know about the enemy; they need to know who the enemy is. The army needs to know how the enemy will attack and what weapons he will attack with. The army needs to know when the enemy will attack and from where, and to be ready at all times. The army needs to know, if they get wounded, what they must do to get healed. The army needs to know, if they get captured, what they must do to get free. The army must know what weapons they have available and how to use them. This comes from first being trained, then practice, and finally engaging the enemy, and on to victory.

All facets of warfare must be taught and practiced, lest the enemy gain an advantage and win the war. We need to know who the enemy is and all there is to know about him, his tactics, and his capabilities. We also need to know our own weapons and capabilities. We need to know the consequences of surrender to the enemy. We need to know when to use our weapons and when not to. We need to be ever vigilant, for our enemy the devil goes about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour or conquer.

A person that is never taught about the battle he is in will probably lose. A person that is taught nothing but victory, success, health, and prosperity will go forth with great zeal but little knowledge. He will be unprepared for the onslaught of the enemy. You may go forth with the most advanced and powerful weapons, but these are of little value, if the enemy successfully sneaks up behind you and takes you by surprise. This is exactly what the enemy is planning to do.

Jesus had the victory, but do you? Will you hold firm to the end, or will you fall into Satan’s cunning deceit working in your mind? Will you be defeated and never realize it till the judgment? Beware, lest it happen so slowly that you never recognize you are backsliding.

  • Proverbs 11:9 "Through knowledge shall the just be delivered"

  • Isaiah 5:13-14 "My people" are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge...Therefore hell hath enlarged herself"

Beware. Satan will try to keep you from reading your Bible, as it is your spiritual warfare instruction manual. It covers everything you need to know. Read it, study it, hear it, meditate on it, and obey it.

There is strife between people in the churches today. There are battles between the preachers and elders. There are arguments in Bible studies and in church business and planning meetings. What is going on?

The battle inside you rages. Once you are saved, there shall be a battle fought inside you. It is a battle between the forces of darkness (Satan’s realm) and the forces of light (Jesus is light). It shall be a battle of victory to those who overcome all things through faith. It will be a battle of defeat to those who do not obey God’s Word.

This battle will rage in your mind, in your feelings or emotions, and in your flesh. If you are unsaved, things may happen to you for the purpose of bringing you to repentance. If you are about to be saved, you may feel like you are being torn apart. You may feel like a rope is pulling on one arm to go in a certain direction, and another rope is pulling on the other arm in the opposite direction; you are in the middle being torn apart. Jesus wants you to repent and follow Him. Satan wants you to refuse. It is a battle for your soul.

If you submit to Satan, you will probably grow harder toward God. Sin hardens a person against God and against His Word. Yet the war will go on. If you submit to God, then Satan will keep trying to pull you back into sin. The battle will rage inside you. Because of events stemming from this battle, many turn to drugs and alcohol, instead of to God. For those who submit to God, He gives them His Spirit and power to overcome evil.

  • 1 John 4:4 "Greater is he (God’s Spirit) that is in you, than he (Satan) that is in the world."

Till the day you die (or are raptured), this battle can be expected to continue for your soul. The conflict inside you, at times, may seem almost unbearable, but do not give up or despair.

  • John 16:33 For the Lord Jesus said, " These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."

There may be four people. One may say no to the claims of Christ. The other three say, yes. Of those three that say yes, one may fall as a result of persecutions, embarrassment, false doctrines, or wrong thinking. Another may begin to crumble as the cares, pleasures, lusts, and deceitfulness of riches hinder him. Only one may grow and bear good fruit—fruit that will remain. Yet it is written,

  • 1 Corinthians 10:13 "There hath no Temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the Temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."

Of those that forsake the right way, some will turn on their fellow servants and verbally abuse them and worse. Their countenance will change. Their joy in the Lord disappears. They may become angry, determined, and rebellious. You can see it on their faces, but Satan may have convinced them in their minds that they have not fallen or that they cannot fall. They will usually justify their bad attitude by pointing fingers at others.

A woman may say, "My life is torn apart. What is happening to me? I’m frustrated. My family is falling apart. My children are out of control. My husband’s job is in jeopardy. It seems everything is going wrong." What is happening is, we are in a spiritual war.

We need to look at God’s Word and see what spiritual warfare is, in order to understand what is happening to us. The Bible shows that spiritual warfare is between God and Satan. This began when Satan said in,

  • Isaiah 14:13 "I will ascend into Heaven, I will exalt my thrown above the stars of God." He was actually seeking to dethrone God." Yet God tells us that Satan will be,

  • Isaiah 14:15 "Brought down to Hell"

The deceptive powers of Satan are so great, that one-third of the angels of heaven followed him. This spiritual conflict between God and Satan goes on today. You are involved. You cannot get away from it. There is no place you can go to get out of this battle. You cannot withdraw. If you withdraw from God, you go into Satan’s territory. There is no neutral ground. You are either in the battle on God’s side, or you are in the battle on Satan’s side. Satan is so expert in deceiving people that they do not even realize they are in a battle at all. Why? It is because most people know very little of what the Bible says, or they do not believe what the Bible says. This includes priests, rabbi and preachers. As it is written, HE THAT IS NOT WITH ME IS AGAINST ME - Matthew 12:30.

If you are a fruitful, born-again Christian, whose light is shining, you are under attack because you represent Jesus Christ.

If you are carnal (or worldly), lukewarm, and like a wave in your walk with Jesus, you are on very dangerous ground. When people remain depressed a great deal, whether they are a Christian or not, this shows that their fellowship with God is broken.

Satan attacks you, trying to get at God. But remember,

  • James 4:7-10 "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. "Humble" yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up."
  • Matthew 6:33 "But seek ye "first" the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

  • 1 Samuel 17:47 "The Battle is the Lord's"

To be on God’s side is to be on the winning side.

When the battle moves on the inside of you, then you need to purge yourself. You need to move the battle back to the outside, so you can have victory on the inside. Dwell in God’s Word. Obey God’s Word. Keep your mind and focus upon Jesus.

  • Isaiah 26:3 It is written,"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee."

Consider fasting for 7, 10, 14, 21, or 40 days as God guides you. Also consider fasting two half days or one full day a week. When fasting for several days, get alone into seclusion. Study God’s Word and pray. Absolutely no television or radio. It is a time to draw closer to God. Those big fiery darts or uptight knots in your stomach should leave toward the end of a seven day fast. Eat no food at all. Drink lots of water only, preferably bottled water. Consider doing this at least once a year. If you have any special medical problems, consult a doctor (preferably born-again) before fasting. Consult your born-again pastor before fasting as he should be able to give you good advice, because he surely would have done much fasting himself. In doing a very long fast such as 21 or 40 days, it might be helpful to consult someone that has done this himself so he can give you good advice.

When coming off a fast of 3 or more days, do not eat a big meal but possibly a little soup and bread. Then eat again about two or three hours later another light meal. After this you should be able to resume normal eating. Expect Satan to try and stop you from fasting for 7 or more days as it helps break his power over you. Expect to have dreams of eating food. A 7 day fast is something you might consider doing once a year. Before attempting a 10 day fast, do 7 days. If you would be one of the few that senses God calling you to do a 40 day fast, be sure to do a 10 day first. Then a year later you might consider a 40 day.

Only a small percentage of born-again Christians have ever done a 40 day fast.

Again, we state, in all cases of fasting 3 or more days, consult your born-again pastor as he should be able to give you good advice on what to expect from his own experiences.

The devil is a military strategist. He has his schemes to wage spiritual war. He has been at this for a very long time. He has a plan for the overthrow of God, for the overthrow of Jesus Christ, and for the overthrow of every believer in the church of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Do not underestimate the enemy, "Satan." Do not think he is haphazard in his plan and his effort. He has a plan, and he is out to make it work. But God has told us through the Scriptures,

  • 2 Cointhians 2:11 "We are not Ignorant of his devices."

God has given us this knowledge in the Scriptures so we can fight a good warfare and come out victorious.



3 - The Conflict or Temptations Come From

The Bible describes this battle as a conflict between truth and error. It began with Adam and Eve. Satan deceived Eve with, "HATH GOD SAID?" Eve responded. Then Satan told her that God was not telling her the truth, or God did not mean what He said. You shall not surely die.



4 - Here is the Conflict Between Truth and Error

It is between the clear Word of God and anything that conflicts with it.

It is between the clear Word of God and the wrong thinking you have.
It is between the clear Word of God and your emotions.
It is between the clear Word of God and your flesh.
It is between the clear Word of God and your circumstances.
It is between the clear Word of God and your personal needs and desires.
It is between the clear Word of God and lusts, cares of this life, pleasures of this life, and the deceitfulness of riches.

It is between the clear Word of God and things your family, boss, fellow workers, friends, and other people say to you or ask you to do.

  • Psalm 1:1 "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly."

It is between the clear Word of God and the traditions of men.
It is between doing "God’s will" and between doing "your will."
It is between God’s will for you and your own will.

It is between the clear Word of God and the voices or thoughts you hear in your mind, which contradict God’s clear Word. These voices—which you may think are your own—are really from Satan.

This conflict is between the true God and the god of this world. You are in the middle of this spiritual battle. People need to understand that our time on this earth is a time of testing. You are being tested to see if you will obey God or not. You are being tested to see if your faith is genuine. Yet Satan will do what he can to persuade you that it is not a test of obedience. He may even try to persuade you that God’s Word does not even apply to your situation. Satan puts lying thoughts in your mind. Your understanding of God’s Word will manifest itself by what you do.

You will hear God’s truth. You will hear Satan’s lies. You are the battle ground. You need the Holy Spirit, for He will lead you into all truth. That truth will "always" be in harmony with God’s Word.

Measure every message you hear by the Word of God.
Measure every thought you have by the Word of God.
Measure every thing you say and do by the Word of God.
It is the Word of God that will judge you at the judgment.

Your excuses of why you did not obey God will not hold up then.



5 - Temptations

  • James 1:2 "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers Temptations"

  • James 1:3 "Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience"

  • James 1:4 "But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing"

  • James 1:12 "Blessed is the man that endureth Temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him"

  • James 1:13 "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

  • James 1:14 "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed"

  • James 1:15 "Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death"

  • James 1:16 "Do not err, my beloved brethren"

  • James 1:22 "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves"



6 - Temptations Come From Satan

Satan is called the tempter. It is written,

  • Matthew 4:3 "And when the tempter (or Satan) came to Him."

Satan will tempt you or trick you to disobey God. Jesus was—

  • Matthew 4:1 "Led be tempted of the devil."

Satan wants to cause you to fall.

  • 1 Thesselonians 3:5 It is written, "Lest by some means the Tempter have tempted you, and our labor be in vain."

Often his Temptations come like they did on Eve. It is very subtle. It is a very small Temptation. It involves just a little disobedience. The disobedience or Temptation may prompt you to do something that is so insignificant, you do not even consider it as a Temptation or a test. Once you disobey or listen to a little thing, then a little bigger Temptation should follow later. Satan tempts you in very subtle ways, because he knows if you recognize the Temptation as it really is that you should resist it and not give in. Giving in to a little Temptation can result in a little blindness. Then it can grow and grow until total darkness sets in. Beware of Satan’s devices. You cannot say you did not know.



7 - Temptations Come From Satan Working Through People

  • Matthew 16:1 "The Pharisees...Came, and Tempting (Him) desire Him that He would show them a Sign from Heaven."

  • Matthew 19:3 The Pharisees...Came, and Tempting Him...Saying...Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause"

  • Matthew 22:35 "One of them...Asked Him a Question, Tempting Him"

  • John 8:6 "This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him"

  • 1 Corinthians 10:9 Beware, for it is written,"Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents."

Satan will tempt you through people such as your wife or husband, your children, your parents, your relatives, your boss, your fellow workers, your children or your teachers in schools or colleges, your friends, and other people. The bottom line of these Temptations is to try to cause you to disobey God in some way (even in something very minute) that will ultimately lead to more disobedience later. And through your example of disobedience, someone else may be tempted and fall. Be an example of Christ in "every" way.



8 - Temptations Come From the Lusts of the Flesh

These are the natural lusts of the flesh, but often prompted by Satan. Again, these Temptations may be small even insignificant in the beginning, but as you give in to sin, it can increase more and more.



9 - Temptations: We Pray that we Should not be Tempted

  • Matthew 6:9,13 As it is written, "Our Father...Lead us not into Temptation."

  • Matthew 26:41 Jesus tells us to "Watch and Pray. that ye enter not into Temptation"

    Why then would we be so foolish as to lead ourselves into Temptations?



10 - Temptations: We Lead Ourselves into Temptations;
The Pretty Girl and the Chocolate Eclair

Consider the following. A person is married. A pretty girl or a good-looking guy lives on a road that is on the way the person travels to work. They have a choice to take another way or take the way that leads them into Temptation.

Are you a "chocolate eclair" Christian? A chocolate eclair is a delicious cream-filled type of donut (or pastry) with chocolate frosting, but it is very fattening. Now a person who is overweight knows they should not eat chocolate eclairs. They may pray to God, "God, lead me not into Temptation." Then one day they pass a bakery shop that sells these chocolate eclairs. They walk in only to look. Then they decide to buy some, but they promise themselves they will not eat them. They take a box of them home and put it in the refrigerator, but they are determined they will not eat them. Every time they walk by the refrigerator, they think of those delicious chocolate eclairs. Every time they open the door to the refrigerator, they can see these delicious chocolate eclairs just waiting to be eaten and enjoyed. As a couple days pass, the thought comes into their mind, "You better eat them soon, or they will go bad." Finally, the Temptation becomes too much. The person runs to the refrigerator, opens the door and eats just one. But then it was so delicious, they eat another and another.

Are you a "chocolate eclair" Christian, who prays to God, "Lead me not into Temptation," but then you lead yourself into Temptation by being disobedient to God’s Word in some way?

Do you go places you should not go and, as a result, lead yourself into Temptation? When you arrive, Satan is waiting for you.

Do you associate with people that you should not associate with and, as a result, lead yourself into Temptation? When you do, Satan is waiting for you.

Do you do things you should not do and, as a result, lead yourself into Temptation? When you do, Satan is waiting for you.

  • Ephesians 4:27 It is written, "Neither give place to the Devil."

Do you disobey this command, yet ask God not to lead you into Temptation? Are you a stubborn and rebellious person when it comes to obeying God’s Word?

  • 1 Samuel 15:23 It is written, "For Rebellion is as the sin of Witchcraft, and Stubbornness is as iniquity and Idolatry."

  • Proverbs 17:11 "An Evil Man seeks only Rebellion."



11 - Temptations or Tests can Come From God

It is written, GOD DID TEMPT (or test) ABRAHAM - Gen 22:1. As a result of the Temptation, Abraham and his seed became a blessing to all nations of the earth, because he obeyed the voice of the Lord - Gen 22:18. When God tries us, He does not give us all the answers. He simply says, "This is the way, walk ye in it." He says, "Climb that mountain. Make that sacrifice." You may be in pain and agony for what you are going through. Your soul may be troubled, but you obey God. The testings of God are to prove your faith genuine, enabling you to come out of it stronger than before. Stay with God and in His will, no matter how you hurt on the inside, no matter what the pain.

  • 1 Corinthians 10:13 It is written, "There hath no Temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be Tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."



12 - We Tempt God

God forbid, then there are times when we tempt God. It is written,

  • Exodus 17:7 "They tempted the Lord, saying, is the Lord among us, or not."

  • Numbers 14:2,22 The people said, "Would God we had died in this wilderness!" God said, these men "Have tempted Me now these Ten Times, and have not hearkened to my voice."

  • Psalms 78:18 "And they tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust."

  • 1 Corinthians 10:9 Beware, as it is written, "Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents"



13 - The Earth is a Spiritual Battlefield

The battle begins in your mind. BUT I SEE ANOTHER LAW IN MY MEMBERS, WARRING AGAINST THE LAW OF MY MIND - Rom 7:23. Rev 20:2-3 shows that deception comes from the devil. A battle rages in your thoughts. Your flesh, your feelings, and your thoughts may all say to turn aside from the right way, but you need to obey God. You need to learn to discipline your mind, to bring your thoughts in line with the Bible. CASTING DOWN IMAGINATIONS, AND EVERY HIGH THING THAT EXALTETH ITSELF AGAINST THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD, AND BRINGING INTO CAPTIVITY EVERY THOUGHT TO THE OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST-2 Cor 10:5.



14 - Temptations in our Mind

Jesus struggled in His mind hours before He was crucified. Jesus prayed,

  • Matthew 26:39 "O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt."

  • Luke 22:44 "And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground."

Here was the conflict. Satan wanted Him to say He would not obey God,

  • Luke 22:42 Jesus said "Not My will, but thine, be done."

Jesus went to the cross. You must go to the cross and crucify your desires, your will, and your flesh; you must begin living in God’s will.

Satan will lie to your mind (or put thoughts in your mind), that you must not do this or that, or you must do this or that. Satan may say, "You must leave that Bible-teaching church, or that Bible school, or that Bible study, or you must move away. You must not listen to the correction of that spiritual Christian who is coming to speak to you. He can never understand your problem. You must work on the Lord’s day, and forsake going to church. Your finances are so bad, you’ll never pay your bills unless you work." Satan will lie to a person in his mind, and say, "You must, you must, you must." Your emotions may rise as they also say, "You must, you must, you must." Satan will contradict God’s Word in your thoughts. You need to let God take charge of your mind. Bring your thoughts into harmony with the Gospel. Read and obey God’s Word.



15 - Temptations in Solitary Places

Another place Satan wages his battle is in solitary places. He gets you alone, apart from spiritual Christians. It is written,

  • Ecclesiastes 4:10 "But woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up."

He likes to tempt you in the darkness of the night. He may tell you that you’re a fool for doing those things God has led you to do. He sows doubt. He may tell you not to go to that church service or Bible study. Remember: Job was tempted at home; Paul was tempted in prison; and Jesus was tempted in the wilderness. In solitary places, Satan also wages his war.

Whenever you go somewhere that is not in God’s will, Satan can be expected to be waiting for you. Whenever you go to a place to fulfill God’s will, you may be joyful and excited, but don’t forget: Satan can be expected to confront you. He may try to stop you from going. He may try to stop you during your trip. He may confront you when you arrive and while you are there.



16 - The Carnal or Worldly Lifestyle

This lifestyle is very vulnerable to spiritual warfare. When a Christian is carnal, he still thinks of ways to satisfy the desires of the flesh. He may be either a newborn babe in Christ, a long-time Christian that has not grown much in Christ, or a backslidden Christian. He has ambitions that are not God’s will for him. It is when you are in this carnal state, that you may fall. You may come to "spiritual indifference." You may say, "I don’t care anymore." You may be at ease in Zion, as was spoken by Amos the prophet. You may have a spiritual attitude of, "Don’t count on me. I’m not getting involved. Let someone else do it." This indifference can cause you to fall. Beware of Satan’s cunning devices. He tries to wear a person down day by day, and they wither away (Mark 4:6). He may wear them down and then, at their weakest point, tempt them with something they are very susceptible to. Then they may fall.



17 - Beware of Stubbornness and Self-Confidence

A person must become totally unyielding to Satan, the Temptations of this world, and the flesh, but must remain totally yielded unto the Lord Jesus Christ. When you become stubborn to God’s will, you provoke God. Stubbornness makes you susceptible to Satan, and you may fall.

Beware of self-confidence. It is written,

  • Philippians  3:3 "We...have no confidence in the flesh"

Beware of an attitude of, "I can make it on my own. I am a self-made man." Your confidence needs to be placed in Christ. When fighting Satan, if your feet are not firmly planted on the "Rock," you may fall.

Beware of humanistic, self- confidence.

  • Romans 14:23 "For whatsoever is not of Faith is Sin."



18 - Beware of Having to Fight the Devil on Two Fronts

One of the tactics in warfare is to divide the enemy, to cause him to divide up his forces in order to fight in two or three areas at the same time; thus, he becomes weaker in each area. Then the enemy will determine which of the areas is the weakest and concentrate all his power at that weakest point. We might say, divide and conquer. Many Christians are trying to fight Satan on the front lines, while they are struggling with guilt, fear, misgivings, unbelief, and not dealing with their own problems. As long as you do this, you may meet one defeat after another. You need inner peace.

You may be asked a tempting question. Before you can even answer, someone else hits you with another tempting question, and before you can answer, yet another person asks you a tempting question. Confusion sets in, and you may speak something wrong and trap yourself. Satan seeks to confuse, then divide and conquer. Be slow to speak. When Jesus was tempted with lying accusations, He sometimes answered nothing.



19 - "I Don't See It That Way"

"WARNING, WARNING, WARNING," if you have an apathetic attitude when you are being corrected by God’s Word (regarding something in your spiritual walk that is not right). Beware, if you say to yourself, "It’s not so bad," or "It will all work out all right, don’t worry." If you do this, you are on very dangerous ground. Someone might warn you not to go here or there, which is in harmony with God’s Word, but you believe it will be all right. You have an indifferent attitude. So you go, fully persuaded nothing will happen. Then an unexpected accident happens; your vehicle is smashed. You are hospitalized, or permanently injured, or some other thing happens that had not even entered your mind. The unexpected happened. You chose to ignore God’s warning. You did not have God’s protection; you gave a place to the devil to attack you, because you were in disobedience to God’s Word.

Little did Israel suspect, when they brought up an evil report, that it would cause them to have to wander in the wilderness for forty years. Later on, Israel would not follow God’s ways. They were warned, but they chose to take an attitude of, "It will be all right." They were wrong. Little did they suspect that their nation would be destroyed. Little did they suspect that they would be carried away captive. Little did the rich man suspect that he would be in hell, in Luke chapter 16. Little did Ananias and Sapphira suspect that they would be struck dead for lying, in Acts chapter 5. When a person chooses to disobey God, even in something small, he is giving a place to Satan to attack him. Neither does Satan put in the person's mind how he plans to attack him. Disobedience brings judgment, and

  • James 2:13 "Mercy rejoices against Judgment"



20 - Spiritual Warfare: We Fight

God’s Word tells us we are in a spiritual battle: a war, a fight, a wrestling match. This battle rages in our mind, in our flesh, and through our feelings.



21 - The War or Battle Rages in Our Mind

  • Romans 7:23 "But I see another "law" in my members, warring (or waging war) against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members."

Note the words, "Members, Warring Against...Mind". A battle, a war, a conflict is going on in our thoughts. Satan puts lying thoughts in our mind. Our defense is to know, understand, and obey God’s Word. You need to be

  • Romans 12:2 "Transformed by the renewing of your mind."

  • Colossians 1:21 (NIV) For "Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior."

  • Ephesians 2:2-3 "Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
    3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others."

In the past, prior to submitting to God, you were enemies against God; your behavior was evil. You fulfilled the desires of the flesh and mind. But now, you have become transformed and renewed in your thinking. Again, the Bible describes a battle going on in your thoughts. The outcome should be a transformation taking place in your thinking. That transformation is from worldly, carnal, doubtful thinking, to thinking that is in line with God’s Word, even as the "mind of Christ."

  • Romans 8:7 For "the Carnal Mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the Law of God (or God’s Word), neither indeed can be."

  • Romans 8:6 "For to be Carnally Minded isDeath; but to be spiritually minded isLife and Peace."

The war rages in your mind. It is a war between a worldly mind, as opposed to a spiritual, Christ-centered mind. It is a war between truth and error, between right and wrong, between the holy and the unholy, between the clean and the unclean. God commands the Christian,

  • Ephesians 4:22-24 "Put off concerning...the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."

Put off the old thinking and put on new thinking, which is after righteousness and true holiness. A person needs to be "in God’s Word." In America and much of the world, people’s minds are full of thoughts of the world, of the programs on radio and television, of certain movies, of what is in the newspapers, but not of Christ. And when the time of testing comes, they easily fall away. Their foundation (their thinking) is not built on or filled up with God’s Word. For it is written,

  • Philippians 2:5 "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus"

The battle, the struggle, the war, the fight goes on in our thinking. It is also written,

  • Colossians 2:18 "Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility (do not let anyone beguile you who delights in false humility) and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his "fleshly" mind."

This is another illustration of the war that goes on in our mind. It is between truth and error. Our emotions and feelings are involved. Again, it needs to be said, Satan is a master at deceiving people.

  • Colossians 2:4 "And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words."

  • Colossians 2:8 "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments (or basic principles)of the world, and not after Christ."

Again, the Scriptures are showing us a battle and a war going on in our mind. It is a battle between the lies of Satan and the truth of God’s Word. These lies enter our mind directly from the spiritual realm and through others, including clergy. It is a battle that goes on in our mind, our flesh, and our emotions.

  • Ephesians 6:12 "For we WRESTLE (or struggle) Not against Flesh and Blood, but against Principalities (or authorities), against powers, against the Rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (or spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms-NIV)-

There is a war going on in our mind. We wrestle against Satan and his forces.

  • 1 Peter 4:12 "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the "fiery" trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you"

  • Hebrews 10:32 "But call to remembrance the former days, in which, "after" ye were illuminated (after you received Christ), ye endured a Great "Fight" of afflictions."

Once you surrender to Jesus, you are going to have to wrestle against Satan’s forces. It is a fiery trial, and fiery darts will come at you. It will be a great fight, as Satan lies to your mind. Big knots will come into your stomach. The lusts of the flesh seem to be on fire. The affairs and cares of this life want to swallow you up. The pleasures of this life will try to draw you away from God. Riches from Satan may enter the picture to draw you away from God. Riches are deceitful. You may become afraid, even ashamed. You may be persecuted, beaten, or thrown into jail for your faith in Jesus Christ. But hold fast till the end, your most precious faith.

  • 2 Corinthians 7:5 Paul tells us, "For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were TROUBLED ON EVERY SIDE; WITHOUT WERE FIGHTINGS, WITHIN WERE FEARS."

  • Beware, for Satan goes out to "DECEIVE THE NATIONS" (Rev 20:8).

  • For, indeed, he "DECEIVED THEM" (Rev 20:10). The Scriptures tell us,

    One way he does this is in our mind, our thinking.



22 - A Summary of What We Should Do

Yet despite all we will go through, the seemingly endless struggle in our minds, we are to "Be Fully Persuaded" in our mind (Rom 14:5).

We are not to walk as "Other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind." (Eph 4:17)

We are not to be of a "Doubtful mind" (Luke 12:29).

  • Romans 8:7 For the "Carnal Mind is enmity (or hatred) against God."

  • 2 Thessalonians 2:2 We are not to be "Soon shaken in mind, or be troubled."

  • 1 Peter 1:13 "Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ"



23 - The War Is

  • The DESIRES OF THE...MIND - Eph 2:3
  • The VANITY OF THEIR MIND - Eph 4:17
  • The FLESHLY MIND - Col 2:18
  • The DOUBTFUL MIND - Luke 12:29
  • The CARNAL MIND - Rom 8:7
  • The SHAKEN...MIND - 2 Thess 2:2



24 - For Our Weapons Are

  • 2 Cor 10:4 "Not Carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds."



25 - What Should We Do?

  • BE YE TRANSFORMED - Rom 12:2
  • PUT OFF...THE OLD MAN - Eph 4:22
  • BE RENEWED IN...YOUR MIND - Eph 4:23
  • PUT ON THE NEW MAN - Eph 4:24
  • Let the mind of Christ be in you - ref Phil 2:5
  • Let no MAN SPOIL YOU - Col 2:8
  • BE FULLY PERSUADED in your mind-ref Ro 14:5
  • Do not have a DOUBTFUL MIND - Luke 12:29
  • Do not be SOON SHAKEN IN MIND - 2 Thess 2:2
  • Do not BE TROUBLED - 2 Thess 2:2
  • BE SOBER - 1 Pet 1:13



26 - The Result Should Be

  • A spiritual mind (Rom 8:6)
  • A mind without doubts - (Luke 12:29)
  • A mind that IS NOT SOON SHAKEN - (2 Thess 2:2)
  • A TRANSFORMED...MIND - (Rom 12:2)
  • A RENEWED...MIND - (Eph 4:23; Rom 12:2)
  • A FULLY PERSUADED...MIND - (Rom 14:5)
  • A MIND...IN CHRIST - (Phil 2:5)
  • A GIRD UP...MIND - (1 Pet 1:13)
  • A NEW MAN - (Eph 4:24)
  • Hoping TO THE END FOR THE GRACE - (1 Pet 1:13)



27 - The War or Battle Rages in Our Flesh

Adultery is running rampant. Homosexuality continues to increase. Illicit sex is out of control. Drunkenness, drugs, and wicked things to please the flesh seem to be what many desire. They are ignorant that Satan is behind these. He prompts us to sin. Our flesh also lusts after material things. Many people will lie, cheat, steal, and worse in order to get worldly possessions and money.

The Scripture asks us,

  • Galatians 5:7 "Who did hinder you that ye should not Obey the Truth?

We are in a war. Will we obey God? Will we become a servant of righteousness or a servant of sin?

  • James 4:1 The Bible asks us, "From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?"
    Note the words, "Which war in your Members" (in your body)

  • 1 Peter 2:11 "Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul."

  • Galatians 5:17 "For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other."

There is a war going on between the lusts of your flesh and your soul. There may be a war going on between your flesh and mind. There is a war going on between the flesh and the Spirit. You may determine in your mind not to yield to your fleshly lusts. The fleshly lusts then war against those thoughts. The inner conflict continues. It is a spiritual war. It is a battle between doing God’s will and doing Satan’s will.

  • Ephesians 2:3 As unbelievers, "We all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the "flesh" and of the "mind"; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others."

God gives us a Warning of Judgment:

  • Romans 8:13 "For if ye live after the Flesh, ye shall Die"

  • Romans 8:6 "For to be Carnally (or worldly) Minded is death"

  • Galatians 6:8 "For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption"

So What Should We Do?

  • Matthew 26:41 "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."

  • Romans 13:14 "But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof."

For we should no longer live the rest of our time:

  • 1 Peter 4:2 "In the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God."

  • Galatians 5:16 "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit (or in the Word), and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh."

  • 1 Peter 2:11 "Abstain from fleshly lusts"

  • Galatians 5:17 Know this, "ye cannot do the things that ye would. Ye cannot do the things (that you want)."

  • Jude 1:23 Indeed, we should hate "even the garment spotted by the flesh."

    The good news is,

  • Galatians 5:24 "They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections (or passions) and lusts."

  • Romans 8:1 The good news is, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, WHO WALK NOT AFTER THE FLESH, but after the Spirit."

  • Galatians 6:8 For "he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."

  • Romans 8:14 For "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."

The Spirit of God will never lead a person contrary to the Word of God. Many say they are being led of the Spirit, but they do not obey God’s Word. They are deceived. To be led of the Spirit of God is to be led by the Word of God. To be led by the Word of God is to "follow Jesus."



28 - The War or Battle Rages in Our Feelings, Our Emotions

  • Ephesians 6:16 It is written, "Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked."

Thoughts trigger our emotions. Often, we may get big knots in our stomach or mid-section. It can feel like a big, flaming arrow inside or a fiery dart. You may get ready to witness to someone about Jesus, and your emotions get tense. Whenever you are about to do what God wants you to do, you may get fiery darts inside you. Your emotions can get stirred. You have a thought to give a person a tract. Your emotions become stirred. Satan uses fiery arrows to try to stop a person from obeying God. The person that is ignorant of spiritual warfare does not understand these things, so when they "feel" through a fiery dart that something is wrong, they go by their emotions rather than God’s Word. Nevertheless, the shield of faith can quench these fiery arrows.

Beware when these knots, these feelings, these thoughts are not in harmony with the Scriptures. It is God’s Word that will tell you if your thoughts and feelings are from God or Satan. A person needs to study God’s Word, so he can discern what is right and wrong. Examine everything by God’s Word.

Beware when these knots, these feelings, these thoughts are not in harmony with the Scriptures. It is God’s Word that will tell you if your thoughts and feelings are from God or Satan. A person needs to study God’s Word, so he can discern what is right and wrong. Examine everything by God’s Word.

Paul witnessed to Felix. "Felix Trembled" (Acts 24:25). His emotions rose up. He was uptight.

Stephen testified of God. And those that heard him "Cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their Ears" (Acts 7:57). Their emotions rose up. They had fiery darts. They were uptight.

The unprofitable servant of God said, "I Was Afraid" - Matt 25:25. He had fiery darts. He was uptight.

Jesus said, "Let us go into Judea again. His Disciples...said...Master, The Jews...Sought to stone thee Thee; and goest thou thither again?" The disciples' emotions rose up. They had fiery darts. They were uptight. Thomas said, "Let us also go, that we may die with him." ( John 11:7,8,16). His emotions rose up. He had fiery darts. He was uptight.

The fiery darts hindered Felix, those that heard Stephen, and the unprofitable servant.
The disciples also had fiery darts and were afraid, but they did not turn back.
Thomas also, it appears, had fiery darts and was afraid, but he did not turn back.

Obey God’s Word, not your emotions. For often your emotions will run contrary to God’s Word. Wrong thinking can prompt your emotions to be in disagreement with the Word of God.



29 - There Was War in Heaven

Remember, as followers of Jesus, we are called soldiers. We are in a war here on the earth.

There is also war in heaven. During the Tribulation, it is written,

  • Revelatian 12:7 "And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon (Satan); and the dragon fought and his angels"

The Scriptures have shown us a war going on between God and Satan. It is a war between light and darkness. It is a war between spirituality and carnality. It is a war between truth and error. This war takes place in the heavens and inside you.

During the Tribulation, it is written, "And it was given unto him (the beast or Antichrist) to make war with the Saints" (Rev 13:7). And THESE (the beast, who is called Antichrist, and the ten kings of the Tribulation period)

  • Revelation 17:14 "Sshall make war with the Lamb (Jesus), and the Lamb shall overcome them."
  • Daniel 8:25 "He (the Antichrist) shall also stand up against the Prince of princes (Jesus); but he shall be broken without hand."



30 - What is Spiritual Blindness?

One definition of "spiritual blindness" is this: not being able to examine yourself correctly by God’s Word.



31 - The Summary and Conclusion of the Battle

There is a battle, a war - Rom 7:23; a struggle, a wrestling match - Eph 6:12; a fiery trial - 1 Pet 4:12; a fight - 1 Tim 6:12; being fought inside you. It is between Satan’s deceptions and God’s truth (the Bible). It is a battle of victory to those who read and obey the Bible, and of defeat to those who do not. This battle rages in your mind - Rom 7:23, your flesh - 1 Pet 2:11, and your feelings-Eph 6:16.

At times, you may feel like two ropes are pulling you apart. You get uptight (darts in your stomach)-Eph 6:16. Jesus wants you to follow Him. Satan wants you to refuse. It is a war between obeying God and doing your own desires. Your soul is at stake. You are either in the battle on the Lord’s side or on Satan’s side. It is a conflict between truth and error, between the true God and the god of this world (Satan). It is between the Word of God, and half truths, error, and wrong thinking. It is between sound doctrine and doctrines that suit your own desires - ref 2 Tim 4:3. Satan puts wrong thoughts in your mind like he did to Peter and to Eve. If you wish to draw closer to God, he will try to stop you. He will try to keep you from reading your Bible, going to church, fellowshipping only with other believers, Bible studies, praying and fasting, serving God, and obeying the Gospel. Some of Satan’s weapons include: worry, cares of this world, pleasures, lusts of your flesh, depression, hardships, fear, and riches. These choke God’s Word. Satan uses people and clergy to persecute, embarrass, and deceive others. Pride, sex outside of marriage, loving this world, watching wickedness on TV, rock music, stubbornness, smoking, drugs, alcohol, astrology, pornography, and attending spiritually dead churches (which mix the Bible with deceit) need to be forsaken. If your job causes you to disobey God, cut it off. People provoke God to anger through the work of their hands (their job) - Deut 31:29.

  • Galatians 3:1 It is written, "Who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth."

  • 1 Kings 18:21 "How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him."vJesus makes it clear who are His--

  • John 14:21 "He that has My Commandments, and keepeth them, "He" it is that loves Me."

Which voice do you follow, God’s voice or Satan’s voice?

  • John 10:3-4 God’s "Sheep hear His Voice; they Follow Him."

There is a war going on for your soul. There is a war going on for the souls of many. As it is written,

  • 2 Peter 3:9 " God is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." 

It is a spiritual battle. You need to be prepared. You need to read the Bible, meditate in the Word, study the Word, and rightly divide the Word. You need to put away the things of this world and learn how to fight Satan, lest you fall. It is written,

  • Job 1:7 "The LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it."

    Why does he do this?

  • 1 Peter 5:8 "Because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.."

Satan is looking for someone to devour. Satan is an expert at his job. He is well prepared. He has thousands of years of practice in causing people to fall. He knows how to do his job and does it well. He has a vast arsenal of worldly weapons, a huge following, and much practice. He wants to devour you, sift you as wheat, cause you to be an unprofitable servant, cause you to fall, and cause you to come over to his side. He seeks to cause you to return to sin, to become stubborn and rebellious toward God, and follow his will. He seeks to cause you to forsake God.

God’s advice to us is,

  • 1 Peter 5:9 "Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world."

  • James 4:7 "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

  • James 4:8-10 NIV "Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up."

    Fight a good warfare

  • 1 Timothy 6:12 "Fight the Good "Fight"

  • 1 Corinthians 9:26-27 "I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
    27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway."

As a follower of Jesus Christ, you have been chosen to be a soldier in a war against Satan and his forces. It is a bitter conflict. Satan will do all he can to discredit you, to hinder you, to buffet you, to persecute you, to deceive you, to tempt you, to snare you, to beguile you, to oppress you, to provoke you, to bring sickness on you, to embarrass you, to make you ashamed, and to make you afraid. Satan will try to entangle you with lusts, pleasures, and the cares of this world. He may use the deceitfulness of riches against you. Satan can give you false dreams. He can try to cause you to develop pride, to become stubborn, to become rebellious, and to despise correction. Satan can be expected to send all types of his forces against you to try to stop you.

  • 1 John 4:4 But remember, "Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world".

  • 1 John 5:4 "And this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."

And, ultimately, God wants you to be able to say, I HAVE FOUGHT A GOOD FIGHT, I HAVE FINISHED MY COURSE, I HAVE KEPT THE FAITH - 2 Tim 4:7.

Let us press on in the battle, so we may hear the words of Jesus, saying,

  • Matthew 25:21 "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of "thy" Lord."



32 - What is Truth?

  • John 14:6 Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me."

It is not the Bible plus someone’s writings.
It is not the Bible plus another gospel.
It is not the Bible plus the traditions of a church or people.
It is not the Bible plus the traditions of a denomination.
It is not the Bible plus someone’s interpretation.
It is not the Bible plus what man says.
It is not the Bible plus dreams, visions, or prophecies.
It is not parts of the Bible, but the entire Bible of sixty-six books.

The Bible stands alone. The Bible is the Authority by which all things are to be Judged. This is "truth."




 Copyright 2000 BibleDesk and Gospel Truth Publishing



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