Biblical Spiritual Warfare Session 3
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My name is Basie Martins. I trust that you are all well and I want to thank you again for listening to this series. For you who do not know, this series is about spiritual warfare. In the previous session, we discussed the Scriptures that were taken out of context through the years as an attempt to prove or to support the doctrine of generational curses. We have seen that most of those Scriptures are still being used to support the false variation of generational curses although the law of generational curses was repealed later in the Old Testament already. We have also seen that the decisions and actions of a nation can influence the descendants of the fathers in that nation in a very bad way. We have seen that it is not about generational curses but all about the mistakes of people and leaders within a nation. We also looked at how the devil oppresses people. Although he has absolutely no power over people he manages to cause them to bring bad things over themselves by tempting them to sin and to doubt the word of God.
In today’s discussion, we need to analyze the complicated issues regarding punishment and the role that God plays in all this, the role that evil plays in all this and the role that we play in all this. These issues are very complicated and people get confused if they do not know exactly how all the pieces fit together. It is this complexity that caused all the false beliefs and false doctrines in this regard.
The generational curses law was all about punishment. The fathers sinned and now we are punished. Punishment comes in in another sense as well. When people die the curse hits them and they are punished immediately when they die. Remember the rich man in the Old Testament begged for water whilst he went through the torment in Hades. It is still happening today. Punishment comes in another sense as well. God punishes his children because He loves them. In another sense, punishment is also a natural result of sin. It comes automatically when people are involved in bad things and when they are living reckless lives. This is now the fourth reason why people are punished.
So if people are suffering, and they do not know what caused it or who caused it, they get involved in spiritual warfare and they start breaking curses and they act in certain ways, all for nothing. For instance, they might have picked up a certain condition in their bodies because of substance addiction. They blame the devil for it and they start a very energetic spiritual warfare against evil spirits and satan, they break generational curses, just in case the sickness was caused by the sins of their forefathers but they do not have any success. They just stay sick and they keep doing nothing about their substance addiction. Can you see what is happening here? If we do not understand this aspect of our faith-walk in Christ we cannot deal with a lot of issues in our lives successfully.
In another scenario, a child of God is being punished by God because of some bad things he has been doing for a very long time. God tried to deal with this issue many times in the past but this man just ignored all warnings. So God put sickness on this man.
This man blamed his forefathers for the disease because he was told that many people in his bloodline suffered from the same disease. So he started breaking generational curses but no matter how many times he does it, he just stays sick.
So we can see that punishment is very complicated and if we do not understand it we will not be able to deal with it.
Another factor that complicates matters is the curse that comes onto people. Yes, God took the curse away but there are four ways that people can put the curse onto themselves. To make it even more complicated, two of the curses are not punished until a person dies and the other two curses are punished all the time.
Let’s discuss the curses that are punished when a person dies first. Gentile unbelievers live in the time of grace all their lives. If they, however, reject the blood of Christ, the day that they die the curse hits them with full force. They did not live under the law but it came into effect the moment they died. So they are punished immediately the moment the demons come to get them and take them down to Hades.
Then some gentiles live legalistic lives, They are part of the Christian church but they rejected the blood of Christ for legalism. So they chose to live under the law by choice. The day that they die the curse hits them with full force. So they are punished immediately the moment the demons come to get them and take them down to Hades.
Then some gentiles adopt the faith of Judaism. They reject Christ and they embrace Judaism. So they live under the law by choice. Of course, we know that the Jews rejected Jesus Christ and they live under the law by choice as well. They could have embraced Christ and be rescued from the law as well as the curse of the law but they chose not to.
Now we all know that God gave the nation of Israel a choice in the Old testament. Life or death, blessings or curse. They chose death and the curse. And that is why there is a curse on the Jews since the Old Testament already and that is why the Jews are being persecuted and that is why antisemitism is such a problem even today. God promised it and He kept his word and that is why history tells us of the atrocities and difficult circumstances the Jews had to endure throughout history. It did not stop yet. The nation of Israel did not yet repent as prophesied. It did not stop in 1948 but I do admit that at this stage things are not too bad for the Jews. However, I am not sure if it will stay that way.
To come back to gentiles who chose to embrace the Jewish faith. They either brought the curse of the law over themselves and like the Jews they are suffering because of that even today or, the curse will hit them when they die. I am not sure.
So how do we answer this question? Does God punish people today? My answer to this question will be as follows:
No, He does not punish people because Jesus Christ was punished in our place. So God cannot punish us.
Yes, He does punish people today because people are dying every day. The moment they die they are taken to Hades where the curse kicks in immediately. Unsaved people who die do not wait for the big white throne judgment to be punished. The great white throne judgment is the final judgment when God creates hell.
Yes, God does punish even living people today, the Jews, because of the national curse that kicked in, in the Old Testament already. Even gentiles that embraced the Jewish faith are also already being punished while they are still alive because of their faith. They chose to embrace the Jewish faith and they do suffer the consequences for that decision.
There is a third group of people who are also punished while they are alive today, but before we discuss this group of people, we need to look at a few matters. We need to lay a foundation about the will and ways of God in this regard. We need to realize who and what God really is. How does He view all these issues? What is his will regarding these issues? We do need to check what the Bible says about this. Let’s do it right now. Let’s look at who God is.
Should we fear God? My answer to this question is, “Absolutely! He should be feared and some people should be terrified of Him! As I already said, this friendly force actually did create bad things. The Bible is clear on this. He created hell and He created sicknesses and a whole lot of other bad things. This force expects all creatures to worship Him and to be obedient to Him. In a sense, He is a dictator. What I mean by that is that He governs and will govern the Universe forever. He is not going to allow any other creature to take over from Him ever.
Those that are disobedient to Him will be cast into hell where they will burn in hell’s fire forever.
Some people do not know God like this. To some people, God is a lot like Santa. Always laughing, always happy and always blessing His children no matter what they do. To some, He is a tyrant who is always ready to hurt and punish people who are disobedient to Him.
Well, through the years I have learned quite a lot about God. I have learned that He is a bit of both. He loves and He forgives and He is full of grace but He is and always has been ready to punish those who have been disobedient and who oppress people. I have learned that He does not leave sin unpunished. He eventually and ultimately punished His own Son for the sins that we have committed. He also punishes those who rejected the blood of Christ. He is doing it right now. At this very moment, people are suffering in a place called Hades. Punishment and suffering never stop.
The Bible says that no sin will be left unpunished. Jesus took all sin upon Him and He was punished by Father God for all those sins. Eventually, everybody that reject Jesus Christ will be punished in hell for their sins because they rejected the blood of the Lamb of God. Should God be feared? Should people be scared of God? Absolutely? We should not do both though. People should either fear God or be scared of God but people can never be ignorant of God. This mystical force out there is awesome but also fearsome. There is a Scripture that says it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
When God first introduced Himself to the nation of Israel, He chose to show them the strict and judgmental characteristics or side of Himself. In Exodus 19 and 20 we read that three months after the exodus, Moses introduced the nation of Israel to God for the first time. We see in this Scripture that the nation was very scared of God. He came in a thick and heavy cloud. There were lightning and thunder and the sound of an extremely powerful trumpet was exceedingly loud. They were not allowed to touch the mountain otherwise they would die. The whole nation was trembling. Then the mountain started to shake as in a strong earthquake. Fire and smoke went down and up from the mountain. The sound of the trumpet became louder and louder and the mountain was shaking tremendously.
Then God, in his own powerful voice started to read the ten commandments. This scared the living daylights out of the nation of Israel. They no longer wanted to see Him or talk to Him because they feared for their lives.
God subsequently introduced very strict laws and if it was disobeyed the people who contravened these laws, in some cases had to be killed. Even mothers and fathers who struggled with their stubborn and rebellious children had to take them to the elders so that these children could be stoned to death.
Then we read in Leviticus 9 about the first sin offering, burnt offering and peace offering that had to be carried out there right in front of the whole nation. They were going to see how Aaron carry out these offerings and they were going to see how God Himself stand there next to the altar and consume the ram (burnt offering) on the altar with fire from his face. This must have been an awesome but scary experience. Just imagine it. The whole nation stood before this altar. Although they could not see Him they knew that God was standing there next to that altar. And then, the next moment fire came from God’s face and it consumed the ram upon the altar right there in front of the eyes of the whole nation. In verse 24 we read that the nation immediately shouted and fell on their faces. This must have been a scary incident. Just imagine the fear and respect for God the nation experienced that day.
Boy, how He did show them the strict and fearsome God that He was in the years to come. Just after this incident that I mentioned above, He consumed the sons of Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu with fire because of their disobedience just as He did with the ram on the altar.
And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.
God numerously punished the nation as a whole or families or individuals because of disobedience. He created all sorts of diseases and other methods to punish them. He caused the earth to swallow whole families alive with all their belongings and He numerously attacked the camp with fire:
And when the people complained, it displeased the Lord: and the Lord heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the Lord burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp.
And the people cried unto Moses; and when Moses prayed unto the Lord, the fire was quenched.
And he called the name of the place Taberah: because the fire of the Lord burnt among them.
Just imagine that! Here you are walking in the desert as part of the procession and suddenly your body starts burning and you cannot quench the fire.
The ten spies who were responsible for the bad report were struck dead with a plague before the LORD. Just read what happened to the nation of Israel in Numbers 16. First God caused the earth to swallow a lot of people (So they gat up from the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, on every side: and Dathan and Abiram came out, and stood in the door of their tents, and their wives, and their sons, and their little children. And Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the Lord hath sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of mine own mind. If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; then the Lord hath not sent me. But if the Lord make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down quick into the pit; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the Lord. And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that was under them: And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods. They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation. And all Israel that were round about them fled at the cry of them: for they said, Lest the earth swallow us up also), then He consumed the 250 people who made incense with fire (And there came out a fire from the Lord, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense), then the next day God killed more than 40 000 people with a plaque (But on the morrow all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron, saying, Ye have killed the people of the Lord. And it came to pass, when the congregation was gathered against Moses and against Aaron, that they looked toward the tabernacle of the congregation: and, behold, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the Lord appeared. And Moses and Aaron came before the tabernacle of the congregation. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Get you up from among this congregation, that I may consume them as in a moment. And they fell upon their faces. And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein from off the altar, and put on incense, and go quickly unto the congregation, and make an atonement for them: for there is wrath gone out from the Lord; the plague is begun. And Aaron took as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the congregation; and, behold, the plague was begun among the people: and he put on incense, and made an atonement for the people. And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed. Now they that died in the plague were fourteen thousand and seven hundred, beside them that died about the matter of Korah. And Aaron returned unto Moses unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and the plague was stayed).
Through the years in the desert, God literally killed thousands and thousands of Israelites! He burnt them alive with fire. He caused the earth to swallow them up alive. He hit them with plaques and sicknesses and diseases. We are not talking about the devil here. We are talking about the things God did to the nation of Israel. We are talking about what He did himself. He did not even use the angels to do it for him.
Now if God is the same, yesterday, today and forever, surely the New Testament will reveal this side of God as well. Absolutely! The New Testament does reveal that not only God the Father but that even Jesus Christ is still like this God of the Old Testament. Why is Jesus like God the father in this regard? Because Jesus is like the Father. When you see Jesus you see the Father. And this is how God is. He loves, and He is full of mercy and full of grace but He is a strict God and He does not tolerate sin and disobedience. It will always be punished.
“How can this be?”, you may ask. Surely the New Testament God is a God of love and grace! Surely this God does not punish people! The Bible says in James 1:17 that Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of course, He is a God of grace! All the good things in life come from him. Does this mean that He does not punish or chastise people? No, believe me, He does. No matter what you do, God just loves you with every fiber of his being. He is “madly” in love with you! Nobody loves you more than God, including yourself. However, do not think for one moment that you can take advantage of that.
People just do not want to believe that God causes sicknesses and other calamities. They believe that the devil does these things. In fact, the devil would have given everything that he’s got to obtain this power. But, he cannot do any of these things. He can only cause you to bring it over yourself and he does that very effectively.
People think that because of this Scripture in the Bible, God does not bring calamities and diseases over or upon people. He is like Santa that gives only good gifts. Well, I am going to show you Scriptures in the New Testament to prove to you that this belief is simply not true. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He brought sicknesses and disease upon people in the Old-Testament and He did it in the New-Testament. In fact, He still does it today. The Scripture above (James 1:17) speaks of the general goodness of God. It does not refer to His will and actions in terms of punishment and judgment.
Just read the following Scriptures:
I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things
He is also the One who created Hades, a very bad place where people and demons are being tortured and tormented as we speak. He is also the one who created sickness and diseases as tools to punish people. He did not even spare His own Son. He punished Jesus Christ in our place. He is also the one who will create hell where people will be punished and tormented forever. This is what the Bible says.
Now let us discuss the group of people who are being punished today even though they are alive and living in grace. This group is the children of God. This is the group of people who cannot be punished because Christ was punished in their place. And God cannot punish them because Jesus Christ was punished for their sins already. He took the curse on him so that we can receive the blessings. Yet, God does chastise them. He does not chastise unbelievers. He chastises those that He loves. We read about that in
For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth
This is the reason why we see so many Christians suffer. Many of them are poor, sick and suffer all sorts of hardships. However, it is not God’s will that Christians should suffer. No, His will for us is to prosper and to lack nothing. The problem is that when Christians get lost or when they are tempted into committing all sorts of sins, God needs to step in and protect us. He does it by warning us against the danger of our actions. He speaks to us. He urges us not to sin but if we stubbornly ignore His pleas, He will eventually get more serious with us. He will chastise us exactly as He did with the nation of Israel. He will make us poor and He will cause us to get sick if we do not listen to His warnings and His pleas.
It is usually at this point that Christians strongly disagree with me. They argue that the chastisement of God does not include sicknesses and diseases and death, they quote the scripture about only good gifts coming from the father of lights and then they give me a list of things that God does chastise us with. Well, it is usually at this point that I tell them that there are in fact Scriptures in the New Testament that explicitly confirm that the chastisement of God is indeed sicknesses, diseases, and even death. Let’s have a look at those Scriptures:
An example of this we find in Revelations 2:20-23
Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
The Scripture that we just mentioned is the letter that the Lord Jesus Christ wrote to the church of Thiatire. Yes, this letter was addressed to the church by none other than Jesus Christ Himself. In this church or congregation were children of God who did not stay obedient to His will and His commandments. God gave a woman in this church a chance to repent but she did not. He declared that He will cast her on a sickbed. He promised that He will kill her children. He also threatened that He will cast those people in this church, who were committing adultery with her, into great tribulation if they did not repent. This was Jesus Christ making these threats. His message to the congregation of Thiatire was clear, “repent or face the consequences”. Those consequences were sicknesses, tribulations, and even death. This was the New-Testament God showing His character! Were you under the impression that Jesus Christ was or is different in this regard? What caused you to be under that impression? No, He is not different than God the Father. Jesus is like God the Father who never changes. Who is the same yesterday, today and forever.
This is exactly what the Holy Spirit did with Ananias and Sapphira. They were Christians who lied to the Holy Spirit. As a result of that God killed them both. I believe that they were still saved but they had to be punished for what they did. Even today many Christians die because of sicknesses that God put on them as a result of a stubborn refusal to repent. On a sickbed, people have a chance and a choice to repent and to ask God to heal them. He will heal them and they will be restored if they truly repent.
God does not change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. We already saw in our discussion that the God of the Old-Testament did bring sicknesses, diseases, poverty, death and all sorts of calamities over His own (the children of Israel). We also saw that the God of the New-Testament did exactly the same. We also see it in the letter Paul wrote to the church of Corinth who is New Testament Christians.
1 Corinthians 11:30-32
For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. (which means they died)
For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world
So this Scripture proofs that New Testament Christians became sick and died because of the chastisement of the Lord.
Let’s read it again: For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world
So what happened here? The Christians did not judge themselves, so God judged them and then He chastised them by putting diseased upon them and He even had to kill some of them. Why did He kill some of them? To make sure that they are saved and not condemned with the world.
The congregation of Corinth was known to be a lukewarm congregation. These Christians were involved in all sorts of bad habits, sins and things that really did not fit blood-washed, Spirit-filled children of God. God had to chastise them! The chastisement served to bring them to their senses. Chastisement was orchestrated by God to cause Christians to repent. Many of them became sick and some even died because of this.
So, Jesus warned Christians to repent otherwise he will cast them onto a sickbed and even kill them. Paul told Christians that they must judge themselves and repent otherwise God will judge them and chastise them by casting them on sickbeds and even kill some of them. The next Scripture is another proof of this.
This is what Paul meant when he wrote the following:
It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.
And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.
For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,
In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
In this Scripture Paul states that it is better for the flesh to be destroyed so that the spirit may at least not be condemned but saved. This is exactly why God does cast people on a sickbed as we have seen in Revelations 2 and 1 Corinthians 11. In this Scripture however, the congregation officially, after a meeting, handed a person over to satan for the destruction of the flesh so that he can repent. If he repents at least his spirit is saved although he suffered in the flesh. So this a third confirmation that sicknesses and diseases were created and used to get children of God to repent.
Let’s look at a fourth Scripture. According to James 5:14-16 there is also healing available if we repent.
Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
In the book of Mark we see this same principle (the breaking down or the sacrificing of the flesh to save the soul) from another angle:
And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
So this was a fifth Scripture that confirms the same thing. In a Christian’s life, sicknesses, diseases, and calamities always mean one thing: Something is wrong! This is usually a wake-up call! It is red lights flashing! It means repent! Repent and change your way of living. If we do not repent then God has no other choice but to judge and chastise us to, at least, save the soul, although the body may suffer and even die in the process. This is God’s will for his children. New testament Spirit-filled Christians. Why is this God’s will for us? Because He loves us so much, He wants to make sure that we do not go astray.
So God is really not like Santa! He is not a God with only good gifts! Although He is such a good, loving and gracious God, although He is full of mercy and grace, although He is slow to anger, although He is quick to forgive, although His mercies are new every morning, God is still just as strict as He was in the Old Testament. It never changed. It will never change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He still brings evil upon people, even His own. In fact, especially His own.
When we look at people’s lives we find it very confusing when we see good things in the lives of bad people and bad things in the lives of good people. It is because God punishes some and others not. Christians are chastised and bad people not but the curse will hit them at an old age anyway. So they do not get away with it. To complicate this, even more, bad people and even Christians bring a lot of bad things over themselves and they suffer a lot more than other people as a result of that, especially those who are really reckless and bad, like violent criminals, drug addicts and those who live by the sword. That is why the lives of Christians and bad people sometimes look a lot alike when it comes to sickness, diseases, and calamities in their lives.
Is this another doctrine that turned out to be false because we do not know the will and the word of God? It was in my life. For many years I believed that all things bad come from the devil and all thins good from God. I blamed the devil for everything and I did not blame God for anything bad that happened to me.
So the situation is like follows: Yes, the devil is bad and he does play his part in all of this. Yes, God does chastise his children but, the real blame can only be put on our own shoulders. We can only blame ourselves for any bad thing that happens to us. We are never innocent or just a victim of bad circumstances. On that cross, Jesus made it possible for us to live as kings and priests of the Most High God in the kingdom of God. In his kingdom, we enjoy divine protection, divine healing, divine maintenance, and divine provision. We can conquer all things and we can live victoriously for the rest of our earthly lives and in the hereafter if we live holy and obedient lives in the kingdom of God. That is only possible if we actively and aggressively apply the true word of God in our lives. It is only possible if we storm heaven and aggressively and violently claim our inheritance.
So the truths that you learned today should change your views when it comes to generational curses and spiritual warfare. As soon as we realize that it is not so much the devil or what he is doing that determines our lives but our own conduct in terms of living holy and obedient lives in the sight of God that determines how victorious and successful we live on earth.
This is all for today. In the next session, we will look at the danger that Christians put themselves in when they start to get involved in the false variation of spiritual warfare.
Thanks for listening. See you next time.