September 15, 2016
We all know how important it is to be aware of what’s going on around you. When walking through the woods you need to be aware of poison ivy, rattlesnakes, and skunks. When driving you need to be aware of your speed, the traffic around you, and which lane you need to be in. When you’re in a battle you need to be aware of the enemy and the weapons he uses against you. You also need to be aware of your own weapons and how to use them to fight the battle. We are in a battle every day, but do you know who the enemy is? “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” 1 Peter 5:8-9.Peter tells us in plain language that the devil is our enemy and that we need to stay vigilant and resist him. The battle is spiritual and so are the weapons. Faith in Jesus Christ is a powerful weapon in the battle.
Many people say that to learn about Satan is to give him power. I disagree. If you don’t know the enemy you give him the edge in battle. He masquerades as an angel of light, but he is pure evil. His lies can make wrong seem right, but it never is right to live in opposition to God. If you are blind to the wiles of Satan you stand a real chance of getting sucked into his lies. How do you combat such an enemy? Study God’s word. If God didn’t want us to have knowledge of this evil enemy He wouldn’t have told us so much about him. We tend to think Satan is everywhere and personally causes our sufferings. Satan cannot be everywhere; only God is omnipresent. Satan needs help to work his evil hatred against mankind. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12. The “principalities, powers, and rulers of darkness” are demons. Demons are real and like Satan are evil. In order to fight the spiritual wickedness in high places, you need to come to grips with the fact that it is real.
Demon possession is as real today as it was when Jesus confronted them. People don’t like to admit it, but it’s becoming more common. Today it may be labeled with some big Latin name, but when a person gets naked, murders, and then eats their victim, that’s demonic. When that person has superhuman strength and growls like an animal, that’s demonic. Ouija boards are becoming popular again and they are invitations to demons. Mind altering drugs also make it easy for demons to take possession of a person. Many doctors prescribe drugs for everything. Can’t sleep? Take a drug. Down in the dumps? Take a drug. Overweight? Take a drug. You get the idea. Drugs are acceptable to society, yet God’s word says “No” and equates drugs to witchcraft. Even Christians can be harassed by demons if they open themselves to it. Paul warned against the works of the flesh, such as adultery, fornication, etc. and in that list he included “Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,” Galatians 5:20. The word “witchcraft” is translated from the Greek word “pharmakeia” which is using or administering drugs, poisoning, sorcery, and magical arts. Drugs are weapons of Satan. If you’re taking prescription drugs, I’m not telling you to stop taking them, just be cautious. If you’re taking “recreational” drugs, stop.
God is the authority on spiritual warfare, and if you aren’t using the weapons He gave you then shame on you. What are those weapons? You’ll find them in God’s word. Paul wrote to many congregations encouraging them to stand against the pagan culture around them. Pay attention because we are also living in the midst of pagans who would have us ignore God and buy into satanic lies. “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;” Ephesians 6:13-14. By having your loins girt and wearing a breastplate you protect vulnerable body parts. God’s truth will enable you to see the lies of Satan and fight against them, and it isn’t your own righteousness that protects you, but the righteousness that only comes from Jesus. “and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;” Ephesians 6:15. You don’t want to enter a battle wearing flip flops. The Gospel is a weapon that the enemy hates…he was defeated at the cross. Have your feet properly shod with the Gospel and always have it with you. “Above all taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:” Ephesians 6:16-17. Faith. This is the shield that will protect you against the nagging thoughts of “Am I really saved” or “It won’t hurt to just try marijuana”. Satan doesn’t always use big things like disease or famine to cause you to question God, but uses the fiery darts of doubt. Wear the helmet of salvation so those fiery darts don’t penetrate your thoughts and fight with God’s word. The sword of the Spirit will never fail. “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” Ephesians 6:18. Did you know prayer is a weapon against Satan? It is, but too many Christians only use it when they find themselves in trouble because they’ve neglected all of their armor. Our enemy knows his weapons and how to use them, and you need to become skilled with the weapons of God in order to stay strong in the battle. If you don’t study God’s word and sharpen your weapons then, quite frankly, you’ve chosen defeat.
In times past men would sit on the wall surrounding a city and watch. If the enemy approached, the watchman would recognize the enemy and sound an alarm calling everyone to battle. Where are those watchmen today? Playing video games? Watching enemy-honoring movies? We need to stop living in a false sense of peace and sound the alarm that the enemy has surrounded us. Thank God Almighty that there are a few watchmen still sounding the alarm, but I’m always surprised at how many Christians mock them. Paul warned that during the last days there would be perilous times. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” 2 Timothy 3:1. We are living in the last days and need more watchmen trained to know the enemy and sounding the alarm calling Christian soldiers to battle. We need Christian warriors who have their weapons ready for battle.
In these last days we live in we see ungodly attitudes increasing, even within our congregations. “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” 2 Timothy 3:2-5. None of these traits should be found in a Christian. By denying His power you surrender to the enemy allowing the other traits in the list become commonplace. We are in a spiritual battle and the Holy Spirit will fight for us. We need watchmen who haven’t been blinded by Satan’s lies and we need Christians who aren’t afraid to fight the battle. We are in the last days and evil is growing more powerful, but there’s no doubt that Satan will lose. Brethren, know the enemy and don’t surrender to him. Don’t deny the power of God, but allow the Holy Spirit to fight through you.
No matter where you live, chances are that satanic forces are infiltrating your neighborhood. The fools who participate in satanic rituals are becoming bolder and Christians are running from the fight. It isn’t unusual for a public black mass to take place or for occult leaders to demand that public meetings be opened with a demonic prayer. If Christians protest these abominations we are called haters and are accused of political incorrectness. Instead of standing firm for Jesus we quietly slink away. We pretend that Jesus wouldn’t have stood against evil. Jesus recognized the battle and knew that He needed to send warriors into the fight. “Then he called his twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all devils and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.” Luke 9:1-2. Those twelve men must have been amazed at what was accomplish through the power and authority given to them by Jesus. Today people think that only those twelve received the power and when they died, so did the power of God. To believe this you have to buy into Satan’s lies. Jesus also sent out seventy who returned with joy over the things they did in Jesus’ name. Jesus told them “Behold I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” Luke 10:19. The serpents and scorpions represent demons. Jesus gave power to the twelve disciples then to the seventy to be victorious in battle against them. That same power is available to us. Don’t deny your authority in Jesus Christ. Demons haven’t gone away and neither has the power of Jesus Christ working through you.
After Jesus conquered death He was very busy. He appeared to the women at the tomb and then to two disciples walking to Emmaus. “Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.” Mark 16:14. Jesus knows what you do and if you deny Him. Unbelief weakens a person’s fitness for battle. After confronting their disbelief He gave them their marching orders to spread the Gospel. “And these signs shall follow them that believe; in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” Mark 16:17-18. These gifts did not stop with those first disciples. If you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, the power to cast out devils, speak in tongues, take up serpents, and all the gifts of the Spirit are still available. The qualifying remark is you must believe. He hasn’t left us defenseless, but disbelief is a weapon of the enemy. “And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.”Mark 16:20. After He ascended, Jesus still worked with them. He still works with us.
Are you ready for battle? Know the enemy. More than that, know the power that you have through Jesus Christ to fight in the battle. Don’t deny His power.
God bless you all,
Ron Graham’s previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.