Ministering: Pastor SeyiOsanyinbi
Through this series, we are trying to understand the nature of the enemies we will fight with as we obey Jesus. Jesus taught his disciples to pray that the kingdom come. That means the establishment of God’s kingdom and His will being done is paramount in the mind of God. Jesus commanded that we go into the world, preach the gospel and make disciples of all nations. That is an apostolic mandate on us and it has not changed. There is no way you will be anointed and the devil will not come against you. The anointing always deals with demonic entities.
Let us see the difference in how Saul and David used the anointing. Saul was anointed and began to prophesy. He passed in front of the garrison of the Philistine still prophesying but did nothing. On the other hand, David was anointed and went to the battle field to kill Goliath. The anointing is for confrontation. It is always given to confront the enemies of the kingdom. The anointing causes you to fight and it is a choice we have to make but in the present Pentecostal system, no one is ready to fight. The anointing is for warfare as it is the only way to move the kingdom forward.
Again when we look at the word “wrestling”, we should remember that it gives us the impression of a hand to hand combat with the intention to make the opponent fall. That is the objective of the fight (verse 13). The only way to fight an unseen entity is to use unseen weapons. We observe from Romans 1:11-12 that Israel fell from grace because the enemy took a position against them.The spirit of unbelief came upon them but they did not realise that demons were fighting against their salvation. We further observe that Paul warned against allowing a novice to exercise authority in the church because Pride will make him fall and render him ineffective (1 Timothy 3:12). The armour of God is the only means to fight against the spirits of pride.
Operations of demons
Let us look at examples of some of the demons that the early church contended with without realising that they were up in arms against these spiritual wickedness in high places.
- The Lying Spirit (Genesis 3; Galatians 5:7-10)
Satan operated through the serpent to cause the fall. He still uses the same methodology today. The decision to follow Jesus brings you to a position of opposition. For an unbeliever, he is not wrestling because he is already captured. Satan’s job is to ensure you fall from grace and the spirits responsible for this are lying spirits. In the case of the Galatians, these spirits sponsored teachers to emphasis that they could not be saved if they are not circumcised. They lie to you and make you act against what is the intentionor spirit of the law. When you see people fall from grace due to faulty theology, be sure you are confronting a lying spirit. When you meet with lying spirits, you must know how to shut them up.
- Seducing Spirits and Doctrine of Devils (1 Timothy 4:1)
These are two of the most paramount things we will fight against in the end time, which we are already doing without realising it. A doctrine is a teaching or an organised body of knowledge. It is a creed, dogma, ideology or philosophy. It is not only in religion that we see or hear of doctrines. We hear such in politics e.g capitalism, socialism, democracy, human right etc. and in the military. These teachings or doctrines control and direct the way we behave in the society. In the realms of Christianity, these doctrines from these spirits seem good but when you check them against God’s word they are anti-christ. Unfortunately, people do not know they have been following the doctrine of devils to run their lives. There are also cultural beliefs that are against God’s will. People will fall for these doctrines because it will appeal to common sense.
Seduction is being given something that is appealing to your senses to draw you away or an enticement to do wrong (James 1:13). An analogy is with insects and light. Something in insects always draw them to light. If that thing is not in you, you cannot be drawn. Only a thing with a metallic nature is drawn to a magnet (John 14:30). Fame, women, power, food can always be used against you. The devil is always looking for your weaknesses. Samson and Solomon both loved strange women and those women were the basis for their fall.
- Spirit of Strife (1 Corinthians 1:10-16)
In the story of the Corinthian church, we observed wrong moral conduct but behind the scene is the devil attacking them. When people do things contrary to the word of God, don’t assume they are the ones misbehaving. Usually there are satanic spirits behind people’s misbehaviour. The church in Corinth had the spirit of strife leveraging on their immaturity and promoting division amidst them. They could not discern that the spirit of strife was leading them into contention. Their fleshy attitudes drew the spirit towards them. By accepting Paul’s correction could they break free of its hold over the church.
- Spirit of Immorality (1 Corinthians 5:1)
The same Corinthian church also had the spirit of immorality wrestling against them, aiming that they fall from grace. Paul could discern how it came in. Remember the serpent brought Satan into the garden. Satan could not have entered by himself, someone brought him in. Achan brought death into the camp of Israel. You must be careful not to allow anyone bring an accursed thing into the church, else the church will be destroyed. If you are aware that a person is actively involved in fornication and you do not judge the matter, that act will spread (Matthew 12:45; 1Corithians 5:6)
- Spirit that exalts Worldly Wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:22-27)
This church had a problem with wisdom. They were Greeks and worshipped wisdom. The same way many of us feel inferior when we stand with unbelievers. They had inferiority complex and Paul had to teach them that the wisdom of God is not comparableto worldly wisdom. Paul had to encourage them that though they do not look attractive to men, they are acceptable to God. Every time you compare yourself with an unbeliever, God gets angry. You should not feel inferior to an unbeliever. Your glory should be in that you know you are in the Lord.
We will continue next week as we will look at the churches in the book of Revelation.