The ASR Martins Spiritual Warfare Course image Session 5

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Session 4

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 danger of unbiblical spiritual warfare. We have seen that by stepping down from our position of rest and divine authority in Christ, to start a war against evil, we move down to the level of evil spirits and we enter the world of witchcraft where spells and curses and lies and deception are the main forces and factors that govern this evil world. It is the domain and kingdom of darkness.

So the illegitimate false variation of spiritual warfare brings us in contact with the demonic. Instead of realizing that the war or the battle has been won and that the enemy has been defeated by Jesus Christ, we get involved in a war all over again. We have seen that this war is actually witchcraft and that Christians are using curses and spells just like satanists and evil spirits. The only difference is that they use it in the name of Jesus Christ. Instead to reign as kings in Christ from a position of rest, we are forever busy fighting demons and evil and the war never ends.

In this session, we will be discussing the way and the methods and the strategies that Jesus Christ used to conquer evil.

This is very important because it gives us some very important information on how we should deal with the devil and with demons in our faith walk with Christ.

Are we really involved in a warfare against the enemy? The Bible sometimes uses words that is directly linked to warfare. in Ephesians 6 we read about the spiritual armor that all Christians need to put on daily in order to protect themselves against the enemy. The spiritual armor mentioned in this verse is none other than weapons of warfare.

We also read that the Bible specifically mention the word “warfare” in 2 Corinthians 10:4

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds

This is what this word means in the Greek:

LSJ Gloss: an expedition, campaign

Dodson: warfare, military service

Strong’s: military service (figuratively) the apostolic career (as one of hardship and danger)

Thayer: an expedition, campaign, military service, warfare
metaphor (Paul likens his contest with the difficulties that oppose him in the discharge of his apostolic duties, as warfare) military service, that is, (figuratively) the apostolic career (as one of hardship and danger)

Ephesians 6 also compares our struggle as a “wrestle” against the enemy:

Ephesians 6:12

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.

Paul really succeeded in getting our attention with these Scriptures. He really had to carry it over to us that the enemy should not be underestimated. He is serious and he plays for keeps. He also succeeded in making us understand that we should understand what we let ourselves in for when we report for duty as workers of Christ. We should count the cost first. It really is not easy to do the work of a New-Testament apostle. To plant churches and to equip the saints or the workers for the work of the ministry are not easy.

So although we are not involved in a warfare against evil, Paul thought it fit to compare our struggle against the enemy with warfare. He used this metaphor to prepare us for life’s battles and hardships as a Christian and to be alert and ready as a soldier. This is how serious it is.

Paul however did bring the necessary balance and the reality of Christ’s victory over evil in the equation. He did bring all factors and the reality of the victory that we have in Christ into perspective. The church however seems to have missed that. People went overboard with the whole thing and they started getting involved in all sorts of spiritual warfare and strategies and methods that are not from God. In the process they hurt themselves and instead of victory in Christ they suffer defeats and they suffer losses. This statement indicates that many Christians are doing something wrong when it comes to resisting the enemy. Something does not add up. Are some Christians following the wrong strategy? I think they do. We are missing a very important key when it comes to spiritual warfare. What is this key? This is what this chapter is all about and this brings me back to the question that I asked in the beginning of this chapter: “How did Jesus Christ conquer the enemy?” I need to ask this question because this gives us a very good indication on how we should deal with the enemy.

Another question might be, If Christ conquered the enemy, why must I still do anything at all? Scriptures are clear on the fact that Christ Jesus did in fact defeat the enemy once and for all that day on the cross.

Colossians 2:15

And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

We really do not have to fight the enemy. We do not have to be involved in any warfare with the enemy. Christ conquered him once and for all. It is finished. It is done. We have been set free and we have been delivered. This suggests that the warfare in the New Testament is a metaphor and not literal. We need to look at how Jesus Christ managed to defeat the enemy? It is not just a matter of dying on the cross. Things happened before the cross and things happened just after the cross that caused satan to be completely and utterly defeated forever. We are going to look at each aspect that led to victory for Christ and for the church.

Have you ever read in the Bible that Jesus Christ was involved in a warfare with satan? Have you ever read that Jesus Christ, with His angels, and satan with his demons, gathered together against each other in battle? How many of these battles occurred before satan raised the white flag?

No, this never happened. Jesus Christ did not need angels to assist Him defeating the enemy. Jesus did not have to face the enemy in any kind of a warfare. Satan and all his demons did not attack the Son of God ever. They knew they could not attempt to perform such an outrageously suicidal act. Why not? Because spiritual supremacy and spiritual power are not attained or decided on the battlefield. Spirits cannot be killed and they do not loose their power by means of a sword or a spear going through their hearts. This is how the movies have it but this is not how God determined it to be in real life. So what were satan and the demons afraid of? What made them back down and what made them shiver with fear when Jesus Christ moved into their direction, even before the cross? This answer is a mystery but also so liberating.

Through all Jesus’ days on earth as a human being Jesus did not sin even once and He did not doubt in the word of His Father at all. That brought the victory! Good defeated evil. In His wisdom and in His power God the Father made good to reign over evil. It is a law in the kingdom of God. There is something awesome in the goodness of God. This is a principle or a law like Newton’s law of gravity. There is power in righteousness! Purity and holiness is righteousness. This means righteousness defeats evil. There is an inherent power in righteousness. Whenever a person is righteous, which, in our case means the presence of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, such a person possesses an inherent power which always overrules evil power. That power that we possess is the Holy Spirit. That power is also Christ in you. It was exactly for this reason that, even before the cross, demons always fearfully begged Jesus Christ not to punish them before their time or not to cast them into hell immediately. Sin took righteousness away from Adam and Eve and every human being that ever lived. We all sinned and fell short of the glory of God.

If Jesus did sin, only once, and if He did doubt in God’s word, only once, He would have been defeated. He would have gone to hell not to be raised up again. He wouldn’t have been able to carry our sins and He wouldn’t have been able to pay the penalty for our sins. He also wouldn’t have been able to set us free. Not only Jesus Christ Himself but even us would have been lost forever. We would have died in our sins and we would have been cast into hell forever. Not only us but Jesus Christ with us.

If this happened I think God the Father would have cast the devil and the demons in hell with us and He would have been alone with the angels forever. What a wonderful Man Jesus Christ was! As a mere human being 100% a human being, He came to this world to take the sins of this world away. He was obedient to God from His birth, right until the day He was nailed to that cross where He paid the price for all sin. As a Lamb without any blemish, He was found worthy to be slain for the sins of the world.

This is how He conquered the enemy? Because He did not sin the enemy could not find any foothold in His life. There was no battle at all ever between God the Father or Jesus Christ against evil. Jesus Christ went down to hell and He took the keys of death and of hell and of dominion away from satan. Satan did not put up a fight at all. He just handed over the keys to Christ and he begged Him to leave immediately. He could not bear standing in the presence of such holiness!

Jesus went down to hell where He was punished and where He paid the price for us. Father God punished Him in our place. The moment Father was satisfied that each and every sin had been paid for, He sent His Spirit to raise Jesus from the dead. At that moment we were included in the life and triumph of Jesus Christ. He brought us absolute and permanent victory! From there the saying, “There is victory in Christ”

Jesus then went into the house of the strongman and He bound him. He then stripped him of all his weapons and He took it all away. In His triumphal procession all across the universe He publicly displayed the enemy as being defeated once and for all. They were part of this triumphal procession as a defeated foe on display. Why? So that every living creature could be a witness of Christ’s victory over evil:

Colossians 2:15

And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

Is this how Jesus defeated the enemy? What are you saying? Not even one battle? Didn’t Jesus break generational curses and did He not shout all sorts of war-cries? Didn’t He bind satan and his demons every morning? Didn’t He cast down strongholds and didn’t He break all plans of evil? Didn’t He stand against evil forces and didn’t He break the enemies works of evil? Didn’t He carry out important rituals like anointing people, property and doorposts of houses with oil? Didn’t He prevent housebreakers and evil criminals, who are influenced by evil spirits, from entering His property by anointing His car and His windowsills with holy oil?

No, not even once. The enemy had no foothold in Jesus’ life because Jesus did not sin and He did not doubt in God’s word. Jesus was and still is righteous. The enemy tempted Him but he failed when Jesus went to fast in the desert for 40 days. He did not visit Jesus in the desert to make war against Him. He visited Him to deceive Him. His purpose was to make Jesus doubt in God’s word and instructions and to make Jesus sin. He wanted Jesus to sin against God in order to loose His righteousness.

Does that differ from our struggle today? Not one bit. We are in exactly the same situation Jesus was when He had to deal with the enemy. Just as Jesus we should not give the enemy any foothold in our lives. We should not sin and we should not doubt in God’s word. That is how we stay victorious over the enemy in our personal lives. We do not need to get involved in any kind of warfare against the enemy. He is a defeated foe. Jesus Christ defeated satan and all his demons once and for all on the cross for us. He gave the dominion back where it belongs; in the hands of the sons of God.

Yes we put on the whole armor every day according to Ephesians 6:13-18 because we need that armor to stay strong and to stay in faith. Paul did in fact use the term “warfare” as a metaphor but he did not literally mean that we are physically involved in a warfare with evil. Even if that warfare is spiritual it is still a warfare. This is not what Paul had in mind when he used the term “warfare” as a metaphor. It is just a metaphor.

Take a good look at the armor that God gave us: (This is now going to be a wonderful revelation to many people. Look what the spiritual armor really is)

Ephesians 6:13-18

13 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.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

So in verse 14 the spiritual armor is truth and righteousness.

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

So in verse 15 the spiritual armor is peace. It means to live in peace and harmony with God and men.

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

So in verse 16 the spiritual armor is faith.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

So in verse 17 the spiritual armor is salvation and the word of God.

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

So in verse 18 the spiritual armor is prayer, perseverance and supplication.

Let’s repeat the spiritual armor that God gave us: truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, the word of God, prayer, perseverance and supplication.

Can you see that these words have nothing to do with warfare or the enemy. It is all about God and His word and faith in that God and His word.

This is really easy. It is not difficult at all. We all know that Jesus did not sin but many Christians do not know that we can also live a sinless life. Many people think it is impossible for human beings to live a sinless life. Scriptures are in fact quite clear on this:

1 John 3:9-10

Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest…

So we only have to do two things, do not sin and do not doubt the word of God. The wonderful thing is that God made the first part so easy for us. He made sure that his children cannot sin. Did you know that the Bible says that a child of God cannot sin? It is actually impossible for a child of God to sin. The Bible is as clear as daylight about this.

The Bible says that he who is born of God does not commit sin and cannot commit sin. It also tells us why such a person cannot sin. Really? Why can such a person not sin? There are two reasons for this. Because the seed of Christ is in us and because we are born of God. These are the two reasons why we cannot sin. This suggests that it is impossible to sin in Christ. There is of course important conditions that we need to comply to but the important reality is that it is absolutely possible to live a sinless life in the presence of God.

Now the conditions that need to be complied to in order for us to live a sinless life is not that difficult to maintain in our walk of faith. We have already seen that it is possible to live a sinless life according to these two verses above. We see the conditions that we need to comply to in the following verses:

1 John 3:21-22

Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

The key factor in this Scripture is the following: if our heart condemn us not.

1 John 3:2-3

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

The key factor in this Scripture is the following: every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

These two portions of Scriptures make it all clear to us. It says that if we walk in faith in such a way that our hearts do not condemn us then we have all the confidence we need. It is also important that we keep our hope in Christ to maintain righteousness. We do not somewhere along the way start seeking other means of attaining righteousness. We do not suddenly start to rely on own works. No, we keep our eyes fixed on Christ as the only way, through grace and through faith, to maintain our righteous stand before God. This is a very important condition to comply to. If we really comply to these conditions we have confidence in the presence of God. If we keep these two conditions than it is impossible to sin in Christ Jesus. This way we keep our confidence.

It means that the moment we do something wrong, we look at Christ. We are not condemned but we hope in him. Hope purifies us when we are in Christ. If our hope is in Christ we are constantly purified. Because of that hope, sin cannot germinate in our lives. The blood of Christ is like the most dangerous and potent acid. As soon as sin comes into contact with the blood of Christ, it is instantly evaporated. It cannot germinate in our hearts and in our lives. It is destroyed whilst it is still a dead substance. It cannot live or germinate in us. All because of our hope being in Christ. So if your hope for salvation and righteousness is in Christ, even if you sin you do not sin because of the blood and the hope we have in Christ. So sin cannot live in us. It is always dead in us.

So we always have confidence and we are always righteous because we cannot lose our confidence and we cannot be condemned, even if and when we sin.

What is so important about confidence? When do we need confidence? We need confidence when the enemy sits on our shoulders cunningly trying to condemn us. If we do not sin he will try to con you into thinking that you have sinned and that you are living in sin. The mere fact that many Christians do not believe that they can live a sinless life takes their confidence away already.

1 John 3:2-3 also says that any man who has put his hope in Christ, purifies himself and is as pure as Christ Himself. So according to this Scripture, as long as our hope is in Christ we rely on grace and not on works and that is why we cannot sin and why we purify ourselves and why we keep ourselves pure.

Now how is this possible? How can the Bible say that I can be just as pure as Christ Himself and that I can live a sinless life just as Christ Himself?

Let’s read this Scripture again: 1 John 3:2-3

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

So the danger for all of us is condemnation. This is what defeats us and this is what the enemy uses against us. When we feel condemned we lose our confidence. When our hearts do not condemn us we have confidence in Christ and in the word of God. Can our hearts condemn us? When does our hearts condemn us? This happens when we contravene one of the principles of salvation. We find this principle in Romans 8:1

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

This portion of Scripture tells us exactly when our hearts start to condemn us. The moment that we start walking after the flesh then our heart starts to condemn us. Please take note, “It is not when the devil condemns us but when our own hearts condemn us that we loose our confidence”. What does this mean? It means that as soon as a sin starts to be a way of life, our hearts (spirit) knows that we are no longer resisting that particular sin. This means that we are in fact living in sin. It does not mean that we are not Christians anymore. It only means that we are starting to lose our confidence. Why? The moment our hearts starts condemning us there is condemnation according to Romans 8:1.

When there is condemnation we lose our confidence and at that moment we, through sin, give the enemy a foothold in our lives. This is when we lose our victory over the enemy. As you can see it has nothing to do with spiritual warfare. It has everything to do with abstaining from sin and believing God’s word. At this point we need to repent of this particular sin in order to restore our confidence. We also need to resist this particular sin with everything we have in us. We have to “fight” against this sin. This fight is the “wrestle” that Paul mentioned in Ephesians 6:12. We do not get engaged in a wrestle against a demon! Not physically and also not spiritually. The demon is not our problem. Our wrestle is against temptation. We resist the temptation! We resist the lies and the temptation.

When we give in to the temptation we lose our confidence and then we cannot ask God whatever we want to. Suddenly we lose our confidence because we know that we do not keep His commandments anymore and we know that we do things that are not pleasing in His sight. (1 John 3:22)

Did you know that it is absolutely possible to get anything you ask from God if you adhere to or comply to only two very important conditions?

Hebrews 11:6

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

1 John 3:21-22

Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

These two verses above are the ultimate test for any man of faith. If you meet the condition of the first condition you are halfway there. If you adhere to the second condition also you will receive whatsoever you ask God. This promise is actually guaranteed! I will even go so far as to say that it is absolutely impossible not to receive the desires of your heart, in more clear terms; whatsoever you want from God, if you comply to both these conditions. This is guaranteed! I do not doubt this fact at all.

Lets repeat these conditions, if you have faith and if your heart does not condemn you, you can ask God whatever you want to and you will receive whatever you ask from him.

These promises go hand in hand with the following two Scriptures:

Psalm 37:4

Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Philippians 4:6

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

The correct translation for the Greek word in this verse is “desires” and not “requests”. It makes this promise a bit more clear. There are actually quite a few other Scriptures that also makes it super-clear that we, when we walk in righteousness and in obedience, can and may ask whatsoever we want from God and we will receive it. It is absolutely guaranteed! Faith and obedience open doors that nobody can close. It is the key to victory. This gives the enemy absolutely no foothold at all. Such a person lives a victorious life.

If you know that God exists but not only that, you also know that He is a good God who rewards those who diligently seek Him, and you live a holy obedient life, then you can and may ask Him whatever you wish and you will receive it.

There is of course one other condition that we need to comply with in order to ask and to receive whatever our hearts desire from God: Patience.

James 1:4

But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Just look at the world that these three conditions open for us:

John 14:13-14

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

Matthew 21:21-22

Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

James 5:15

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.

Romans 8:37

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

John 10:10

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Mark 10:27

And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.

John 16:24

Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

Matthew 7:7-8

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

John 15:7

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

Luke 18:1

And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;

Mark 11:23-24

For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

2 Timothy 1:7

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

2 Corinthians 1:20

For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.

John 8:36

If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Jeremiah 1:12

Then said the LORD unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it.

Romans 8:31

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

This last Scripture summarizes it all, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Jesus Christ really did set us free indeed. “Who can be against us?”, means nobody can come against us. Does that stop the enemy from attempting to deceive us? Unfortunately not. Even Jesus was tempted by the enemy. Jesus however showed us that if we resist the temptations the enemy has no other choice but to flee from us. Why does he flee from us? Why does he not just give up? He flees from us because of fear. Why does he fear? Righteousness always causes the enemy to fear. This is a principal in the kingdom of God.

The enemy does not fear a Christian who is breaking all sorts of curses and who shouts all sorts of war-cries. No, he fears righteousness. He fears a Christian who abstains from sin and who refuses to doubt in the word of God. Righteousness destroys and removes all strategies from the enemy. Righteousness is absolutely devastating and absolutely intimidating to evil. This is how Jesus conquered evil and this is how we should conquer evil in our lives. The false variation of spiritual warfare is a lie from hell.

We do not have to do “fight” in order to obtain any redemption or deliverance of any kind. Jesus Christ did it all for us. If you still think that you need to carry out all sorts of acts and rituals called “spiritual warfare” in order to obtain some kind of deliverance you really are not free yet. This is not true. You are being conned into believing that you need to stand against the enemy. The truth is that you, as a righteous child of God, only have to submit yourself to God, abstain from getting involved in sin, live an obedient live in Christ and you will see that by resisting the devil this way, he will flee from you. You do not have to be devil-conscious at all.

If you experience defeat in your life it is not because you lost a “spiritual battle” or are still loosing a “spiritual battle” against the enemy. No, it is caused by giving in to temptation, it is caused by believing the lies of the enemy, it is because of a lack of faith or a lack of ability to change circumstances in your life.

We change circumstances in our lives by being obedient to God and by taking control over such circumstances. Not by starting to fight evil spirits. We speak to the mountain. We speak to the problem. It has nothing to do with the enemy. We remove the mountain or the obstacle in our lives through faith and through the word of God. We do not fight demons and evil in order to remove obstacles and mountains in our lives.

I hope that the truths in this session will enable you to take up and to possess this very important key of victory in Christ. This is how we reign in Christ. This is the key to victory. Victory and dominion are indeed in Christ and not in all sorts of strategies and tactics called “spiritual warfare” or “spiritual battles” against evil forces.

This is all for today. In the next session, we will look at how and why Christians have been deceived into believing the false doctrine of generational curses and the false variation of spiritual warfare.

Thanks for listening. See you next time.

Session 6

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