Spiritual Warfare 2022: the World, the Flesh, and the Devil

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Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:10-12)

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In the battle between Russia and Ukraine all types of warfare are being used, including conventional, economic, and information warfare. But, there is another kind of battle – invisible and deadly, with the aim of destroying souls. That is spiritual warfare. 

The topic of Satan and spiritual warfare is one that some Christians find challenging and even difficult to consider. However, one must consider the truth: By choosing to ignore that the devil exists and that his sole aim is to ruin us, we set ourselves up to fall victim to his ploys. In particular, his use of lies that makes us doubt God and His promises over us. In Hosea 4:6, it states, “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.”

Our struggle is ultimately against “spiritual forces of evil,” meaning the real battle is the spiritual warfare of good versus evil. There is a spiritual war ongoing for the hearts of man, as the forces of evil want to turn us away from God and separate us from Him.

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Ephesians 6 includes a description of the spiritual armor God gives us. What do these pieces of spiritual armor represent in spiritual warfare? We are to know the truth, believe the truth, and speak the truth. We are to rest in the fact that we are declared righteous because of Christ’s sacrifice for us. We are to proclaim the gospel no matter how much resistance we face. We are not to waver in our faith, trusting God’s promises no matter how strongly we are attacked. Our ultimate defense is the assurance we have of our salvation, an assurance that no spiritual force can take away. Our offensive weapon is the Word of God, not our own opinions and feelings.

Our battleground is the world, the flesh, and the devil:

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The World

Do not love the world or the things that belong to the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For everything that belongs to the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s lifestyle—is not from the Father, but is from the world. (1 John 2:15-16)

When John writes and tells the Christian “do not love the world”, he’s not talking about planet Earth. The Greek word kosmos as it is used by the apostle John and others most often refers to that which is hostile to God and at odds with anything divine. The world, or world-system, originated with Satan and consists of those philosophies and values that perpetually influence humanity to think and behave contrary to God and His Word. The world-system is mankind and society functioning without God.

In the Book of Revelation, John describes the final manifestation of the world-system as “Babylon the Great.” In the Book of Daniel, he had a vision of it as the “fourth kingdom on the earth, different from all the other kingdoms. It will devour the whole earth, trample it down, and crush it.” (Daniel 7: 23)

In the 21st century, what qualifies as Babylon the Great and the fourth kingdom?

The European Union (EU) is a trade and monetary union that enables its member nations to send goods, services and people across the bloc’s collective borders with minimal friction.

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The European Union is a “superstate” that rivals the United States and China in global military, economic, and soft power.

Europe consistently deploys military troops within and beyond its immediate neighborhood. It manipulates economic power with a skill and success unmatched by any other country or region. And its ability to employ “soft power” to persuade other countries to change their behavior is unique.

The evolution of what is today the European Union from a regional economic agreement among six neighboring states in 1957 to today’s hybrid intergovernmental and supranational organization of 27 countries across the European continent stands as an unprecedented phenomenon in the annals of history. As of 1 February 2020, the population of the EU is about 445 million people.

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Although the EU is not a federation in the strict sense, it is far more than a free-trade association, and it has certain attributes associated with independent nations: its own flag, currency (for some members), and law-making abilities, as well as diplomatic representation and a common foreign and security policy in its dealings with external partners.

Interestingly, the Roman Empire, at its height (c. 117 CE), covered much of the same area, and was the most extensive political and social structure in western civilization.

Roman Empire in 117 ad

Now begins the Revived Roman Empire, also known as “Babylon the Great”

The Christian understanding of apostasy is a willful falling away from, or rebellion against, Christian truth. What is happening here is a rebellion against Christianity by society at large. The apostasy reaches the point where the “man of lawlessness” declares himself to be God.

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Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me: “Come, I will show you the judgment of the notorious prostitute who sits on many waters. The kings of the earth committed sexual immorality with her, and those who live on the earth became drunk on the wine of her sexual immorality.” So he carried me away in the Spirit to a desert. I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and 10 horns. The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, adorned with gold, precious stones, and pearls. She had a gold cup in her hand filled with everything vile and with the impurities of her prostitution.

Pope Francis Chalice 2

On her forehead a cryptic name was written:

BABYLON THE GREAT
THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES
AND OF THE VILE THINGS OF THE EARTH.

Then I saw that the woman was drunk on the blood of the saints and on the blood of the witnesses to Jesus. When I saw her, I was greatly astonished.

Then the angel said to me, “Why are you astonished? I will tell you the secret meaning of the woman and of the beast, with the seven heads and the 10 horns, that carries her. The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up from the abyss and go to destruction. Those who live on the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast that was, and is not, and will be present again.

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“Here is the mind with wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated. They are also seven kings: Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come, and when he comes, he must remain for a little while. The beast that was and is not, is himself an eighth king, yet he belongs to the seven and is going to destruction. The 10 horns you saw are 10 kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they will receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour. These have one purpose, and they give their power and authority to the beast. These will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will conquer them because He is Lord of lords and King of kings. Those with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.” (Revelation 17:1-14)

The 7 mountains can also refer to the 7 hills of Rome, and the G-7, which consists of the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, Italy, France, and Canada. Also, there are 10 core members of the European Union.

Bible prophecy foretells a 10-nation military alliance that will rise out of a revived Roman Empire (the European Union) and will come under the control of the Antichrist (Daniel 7:23-24). Unknown to many Christians, a 10-nation military alliance appeared in Europe in 1995, called the Western European Union (or the Brussels Treaty Powers).

These 10 nations are members of both NATO and the European Union. What bound them together was a mutual defense obligation under Article Five of the modified Brussels Treaty, which meant that an attack against one would be an attack against all.

Yet, on March 31, 2010, the 10 nations announced that they had agreed to terminate their alliance and transfer the Western European Union’s powers to the European Union – which, under the Lisbon Treaty, has developed a mutual defense obligation that includes all the EU member states.

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He also said to me, “The waters you saw, where the prostitute was seated, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and languages. The 10 horns you saw, and the beast, will hate the prostitute. They will make her desolate and naked, devour her flesh, and burn her up with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to carry out His plan by having one purpose and to give their kingdom to the beast until God’s words are accomplished. And the woman you saw is the great city that has an empire over the kings of the earth.” (Revelation 17:15-18)

The 10 core members of the European Union, known as the “Berlin Group” (Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Spain) just lost Britain. Soon, they will add Turkey as it reconciles with Israel and promotes a Middle East peace plan.

Pope Francis Meets Israeli President Shimon Peres, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas And Patriarch Bartholomaios I To Pray For Peace

Chrislam is our 21st century act of syncretism, by trying to promote a culturally designed combination religion of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism in the interest of peace. This interfaith apostasy is our modern version of the worship of the golden calf (created by Aaron as a combination of  the Egyptian bull deity and the God of Israel). The Lord ordered Moses to go down the mountain at once to stop this abomination.

The stated goal of the “Chrislam” interfaith movement was to promote understanding between different religions to increase acceptance of others, and to facilitate cooperation between faiths for humanitarian service projects. The actual result is the preaching of Islam in many Christian churches – and the beginnings of a umbrella organization that will ultimately form a one-world religion.

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Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

This is how you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit who confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God. But every spirit who does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist; you have heard that he is coming, and he is already in the world now. (1 John 4:1-3)

The foundation for a one world religion already exists now, in the form of the United Religions:

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Pope Francis and the United Religions Initiative / Michael J. Matt, April 11, 2014

Pope Francis and United Religions Initiative

It is no secret that the Holy Father has his supporters in radical organizations such as the Council for a Parliament of the World Religions. He is also regularly praised for his extensive experience in interreligious relations in Argentina.

And then there is this strangely underreported connection between Pope Francis and a global organization called the United Religions Initiative (URI)—which, according to their website, “envisions a world at peace, sustained by engaged and interconnected communities committed to respect for diversity, nonviolent resolution of conflict and social, political, economic and environmental justice.”

Pope Francis, while still Cardinal Bergoglio, was reportedly a friend and supporter of the San Francisco-based URI, which has regional offices in 83 countries and seems to have as its ultimate objective the establishment of what conspiracy theorists used to call the One World Religion, whereby Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Shintoists, Bahá’is, Sikhs, Hindus, Zoroastrians, New Agers, Wiccans, representatives of aboriginal religions, etc., would set aside all doctrinal differences or claims of religious supremacy in order to engender universal peaceful coexistence.

According to an article written by Lee Penn in the December 1998 issue of the New Oxford Review, The United Religions Initiative, A Bridge Back to Gnosticism, the URI hopes to enroll “60 million people in what it describes as ‘a Worldwide Movement to create the United Religions as a lived reality locally and regionally, all over the world.’”

In 2007, URI celebrated its 10th anniversary in the Metropolitan Cathedral in Buenos Aires, Argentina. And guess who was there. “Little did we know,” writes an enthusiastic Maria Eugenia Crespo of URI in Argentina that “one of our esteemed participants and friends, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, would be named Pope just five years later! Felicitations, Papa Francis!”

According to the Covenant of Faith blog site, Cardinal Bergoglio was a known supporter of the United Religions Initiative in his diocese for some time. Maria Crespo, an Argentine Catholic and Global Support Coordinator for the URI said in an article last March that she had “worked directly with Bergoglio on interfaith efforts. He hosted a meeting of Crespo’s URI Cooperation Circle, which fosters interfaith cooperation, at the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral. ‘He is so open and welcoming and humble at the same time,’ she said.” (Laird Harrison, Bay Area Catholics May Find the New Pope a Mixed Bag, KQED News Fix, March 13, 2013.)

Are we now witnessing an alliance that will become the revived Roman Empire?

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The Flesh

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Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar.

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I tell you about these things in advance—as I told you before—that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)

In Paul’s writings, the flesh stands for the natural desires of a person operating apart from God. A person who has not been raised to life spiritually is still “in the flesh.” To Paul, a person who is spiritual is one who has been born by the Spirit, even if that person will occasionally fail to live up to that reality.

The Word of God teaches us that we are spirits that have a soul and live in a body. Using modern terminology, we could say that the soul can be compared to software, and the body is our hardware. For our spirits to interact with the world, we need our body.

What is our flesh?

Then the Lord God formed the man out of the dust from the ground… (Genesis 2:7)

What is the “dust”? Dust is even finer than silt, about 2 microns. Considering the size of our DNA (the nuclear volume of an entire sperm cell containing an entire molecule of DNA, is only about 30 microns) the use of dust to identify man’s body in Scripture is significant. DNA has a crystalline structure. DNA, absent any of the other biological systems that make for a living cell, is nothing more than dust.

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Thousands of years before the cell was discovered, the Bible explained that we are made up of microscopic particles.

Science has determined that you are made up of 7 octillion atoms (that’s 7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 atoms). You have 37 trillion cells, and there are 86 billion neurons powering your brain. Your heart beats 100,000 times per day. If all the DNA in your body were uncoiled, it would stretch out to about 10 billion miles, which is from Earth to Pluto and back. There are  37 thousand billion billion chemical reactions per second in the human body. The human body is a miracle!

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Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.”

So God created man in His own image;
He created him in the image of God;
He created them male and female. (Genesis 1:26-27)

The Hebrew language of verse 27 makes it clear that God’s image in mankind depicts humanity as distinct from animals. It is only regarding the creation of mankind that God says, “Let us make man in our own image,” and God only directly breathed into man’s nostrils the breath of life.

Creation-man

God’s secret for constructing the Universe is the Golden Ratio.

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The divine proportion creates a harmony with the environment, contributes survival value to life, and is perceived as beautiful.

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Science has proven that the Golden Ratio provides a solid, stable base for function and order in living and non-living systems. The spiral it generates gives rise to self-similarity, and is fractural in nature.

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Modern humans reflect this “image of God” in many ways. The Golden Ratio is found throughout the design of Man:

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Golden ratio observed in human skulls / Johns Hopkins University, October 3, 2019

Golden ratio observed in human skulls

In a new study investigating whether skull shape follows the Golden Ratio (1.618 … ), Johns Hopkins researchers compared 100 human skulls to 70 skulls from six other animals, and found that the human skull dimensions followed the Golden Ratio. The skulls of less related species such as dogs, two kinds of monkeys, rabbits, lions and tigers, however, diverged from this ratio.

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There was nothing evil in the design of the flesh of Man.

God saw all that He had made, and it was very good. (Genesis 1:31)

The war between flesh and spirit did not start until Adam and Eve sinned.

The Lord God took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden to work it and watch over it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.” (Genesis 2:15-17)

There were two trees in the garden. The first was the Tree of Life (a symbol of the Holy Spirit).  The second was the Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil (a symbol of the law).  This was the only tree in the garden that God told them they were not to eat the fruit of. There was no sin until Eve was tempted by Satan (an evil angel) to eat the forbidden fruit of that tree.  Adam followed her in the sin of disobedience to God.  They knew they had rebelled.

Fall of Man

They lost their innocence and realized that they were naked. They covered their nakedness with fig leaves. That is when man first sinned (disobeyed the known will of God).  God had to sacrifice an animal to cover their sin and nakedness.  This was the first sacrifice to cover sin, and a lesson from God that the payment for sin will always be death.  They died spiritually and morally and where alienated from God. They transmitted their sin nature to all of their offspring. Since then, sin has remained in the world, all people are sinners, and death remains the punishment for sin.

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The Devil

Our introduction to the Devil happens very early in the Holy Bible:

Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the Lord God had made.  (Genesis 3:1)

But, isn’t the very idea of a serpent and the Devil a myth?

Interestingly, the Bible never portrays Satan as a humanoid with horns and pitchfork. This notion actually comes from Greek mythology, and this distortion helps the Devil.

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When Lucifer fell to Earth, he took the form of the most terrifying creature he could find.

Amazingly, the mythological sea serpent is a direct match for the Spinosaurus – the biggest of all the carnivorous dinosaurs, larger than Tyrannosaurus and Giganotosaurus.

Longer than an adult Tyrannosaurus rex, the 50-foot-long, seven-ton predator had a large sail on its back and an elongated snout that resembled the maw of a crocodile, bristling with conical teeth.

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Spinosaurus: The Largest Carnivorous Dinosaur / Live Science, March 18, 2016

Recent fossil evidence shows Spinosaurus was the first dinosaur that was able to swim, and likely spent most of its life in the water, according to a study published September 2014 in the journal Science. “Spinosaurus had short hind limbs (like early whales and other animals that spent more and more time in the water), dense and compact bones (penguins show a similar bone profile in cross section), wide and flat claws and feet (possibly used in paddling), and a long and slender snout with conical teeth (perfect for catching fish),” said Nizar Ibrahim, a University of Chicago vertebrate paleontologist and lead author of the study.

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In a 2005 study in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, researchers estimated Spinosaurus was 52 to 59 feet (16 to 18 m) long and weighed 7.7 to 9.9 tons (7 to 9 metric tons), based on extrapolations from skull measurements.

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The Devil coming to Earth as a serpent is not a myth.

The Devil knew that the Lord was setting up humans to one day rule the Universe with Him, and so he targeted the first people by turning them against their God. He then released his followers to mate with Earth women and infect the human race with his offspring, the “weeds” that would look human. The Lord rounded up these fallen angels and has kept them in His cosmic prison, but the Devil and his remaining angels are still loose. Right at this moment, the Devil, his angels, and his human agents are planning to destroy all of the Christians – the Lord’s seed.

The history of the Devil and his angels, along with their final destiny, is best understood by looking at the big picture:

The Parable of the Wheat and the Weeds

He presented another parable to them: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while people were sleeping, his enemy came, sowed weeds among the wheat, and left. When the plants sprouted and produced grain, then the weeds also appeared. The landowner’s slaves came to him and said, ‘Master, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Then where did the weeds come from?’

“‘An enemy did this!’ he told them.

“‘So, do you want us to go and gather them up?’ the slaves asked him.

“‘No,’ he said. ‘When you gather up the weeds, you might also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At harvest time I’ll tell the reapers: Gather the weeds first and tie them in bundles to burn them, but store the wheat in my barn.’”

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Jesus Interprets the Wheat and the Weeds

Then He dismissed the crowds and went into the house. His disciples approached Him and said, “Explain the parable of the weeds in the field to us.”

He replied: “The One who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; the field is the world; and the good seed—these are the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the Devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. Therefore, just as the weeds are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather from His kingdom everything that causes sin and those guilty of lawlessness. They will throw them into the blazing furnace where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s kingdom. Anyone who has ears should listen! (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43)

The actual weed Jesus spoke of was the darnell, a ryegrass that in its early stages resembles wheat.  The sabotage, the sowing of the darnell, was not unheard of in the first century.  Roman law prohibited it.  While allowing darnell to grow with wheat may not be the preferred solution for a farmer, it is God’s solution to the problem of evil.

So, where did these “sons of the evil one” come from?

The Temptation and the Fall

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Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You can’t eat from any tree in the garden’?”

 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit from the trees in the garden.  But about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden, God said, ‘You must not eat it or touch it, or you will die.’”

 “No! You will not die,” the serpent said to the woman.  “In fact, God knows that when you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

 Then the Lord God said to the serpent:

Because you have done this,
you are cursed more than any livestock
and more than any wild animal.
You will move on your belly
and eat dust all the days of your life.
I will put hostility between you and the woman,
and between your seed and her seed.
He will strike your head,
and you will strike his heel. (Genesis 3:1-5, 14-15)

Note the reference to “your seed”…

Sons of God and Daughters of Men

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When mankind began to multiply on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of mankind were beautiful, and they took any they chose as wives for themselves. And the Lord said, “My Spirit will not remain with mankind forever, because they are corrupt. Their days will be 120 years.” The Nephilim were on the earth both in those days and afterward, when the sons of God came to the daughters of mankind, who bore children to them. They were the powerful men of old, the famous men. (Genesis 6:1-4)

Watch what immediately happens when the “sons of God” have children:

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Judgment Decreed

The Lord had to wipe out the Earth population because of the infection – Noah’s flood.

Noahs flood

When the Lord saw that man’s wickedness was widespread on the earth and that every scheme his mind thought of was nothing but evil all the time, the Lord regretted that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. Then the Lord said, “I will wipe off from the face of the earth mankind, whom I created, together with the animals, creatures that crawl, and birds of the sky—for I regret that I made them.” Noah, however, found favor in the sight of the Lord(Genesis 6:5-8)

Note that the angels who mated with the daughters of men were already judged:

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Now I want to remind you, though you know all these things: The Lord first saved a people out of Egypt and later destroyed those who did not believe; and He has kept, with eternal chains in darkness for the judgment of the great day, the angels who did not keep their own position but deserted their proper dwelling. (Jude 5-6)

For if God didn’t spare the angels who sinned but threw them down into hell and delivered them to be kept in chains of darkness until judgment… (2 Peter 2:4)

The Devil’s seed is spread throughout the world. The weeds look just like the wheat. From our human perspective, we can’t tell the difference. Only the Rapture and the End Times that follow will separate them:

The Woman, the Child, and the Dragon

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A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of 12 stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in labor and agony as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: There was a great fiery red dragon having seven heads and 10 horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. His tail swept away a third of the stars in heaven and hurled them to the earth. And the dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she did give birth he might devour her child. But she gave birth to a Son—a male who is going to shepherd all nations with an iron scepter—and her child was caught up to God and to His throne. The woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared by God, to be fed there for 1,260 days.

The Dragon Thrown Out of Heaven

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Then war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels also fought, but he could not prevail, and there was no place for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was thrown out—the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the one who deceives the whole world. He was thrown to earth, and his angels with him.

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 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:

The salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God
and the authority of His Messiah
have now come,
because the accuser of our brothers
has been thrown out:
the one who accuses them
before our God day and night.

How do we have victory over the dragon?

They conquered him
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony,
for they did not love their lives
in the face of death.

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Therefore rejoice, you heavens,
and you who dwell in them!
Woe to the earth and the sea,
for the Devil has come down to you
with great fury,
because he knows he has a short time. (Revelation 12:1-12)

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Right at this moment, the Devil, his angels, and his human agents are planning to destroy all of the Christians – the Lord’s seed. They are following a One World Plan that will make it impossible to survive as a Christian. The Plan has always been to “devour” the Christian offspring – through abortion, war, imprisonment, martyrdom, debt slavery, and any other method that will kill, steal or destroy.

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Welsh_Dragon

In the very near future, a real version of Star Wars will rock the Universe. The Lord’s angels will round up the Devil and his angels, and cast them to the Earth. At the same time, the Rapture will remove all of the Lord’s true believers. This is symbolized by the child being caught up to God and His throne.

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In the gap between now and the Rapture, what is a Christian to do to get the victory over the Devil and succeed in daily life? Our weapon is PRAYER.

Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. What man among you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? (Matthew 7:7-10)

Jesus is our ultimate example of resisting temptation in spiritual warfare. Observe how Jesus handled direct attacks from Satan when He was tempted in the wilderness:

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil. After He had fasted 40 days and 40 nights, He was hungry. Then the tempter approached Him and said, “If You are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

But He answered, “It is written:

Man must not live on bread alone
but on every word that comes
from the mouth of God.

Then the Devil took Him to the holy city, had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:

He will give His angels orders concerning you,
and they will support you with their hands
so that you will not strike
your foot against a stone.

Jesus told him, “It is also written: Do not test the Lord your God.

Again, the Devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. And he said to Him, “I will give You all these things if You will fall down and worship me.”

Then Jesus told him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written:

Worship the Lord your God,
and serve only Him.

Then the Devil left Him, and immediately angels came and began to serve Him. (Matthew 4:1–11).

Each temptation was combatted with the words “it is written.” The Word of the living God is the most powerful weapon against the temptations of the devil. “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11).

tempted in the wilderness

A word of caution concerning spiritual warfare is in order. The name of Jesus is not a magic incantation that causes demons to flee from before us. The seven sons of Sceva are an example of what can happen when people presume an authority they have not been given (Acts 19:13–16). Even Michael the archangel did not rebuke Satan in his own power but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” (Jude 1:9). When we start talking to the devil, we run the risk of being led astray as Eve was (Genesis 3:1–7). Our focus should be on God, not demons; we speak to Him, not them.

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Pray using the Model Prayer as a guide

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He was praying in a certain place, and when He finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John also taught his disciples.”

He said to them, “Whenever you pray, say:

Father,
Your name be honored as holy.
Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves also forgive everyone
in debt to us.
And do not bring us into temptation.
But deliver us from the evil one” (Luke 11:1-4)

Father: This signifies approaching God on the basis of intimate relationship. Only children can call the master “Father”.

Your name be honored as holy: This is worship. Our prayer must include worship. Though children of God, we must devote ourselves to worship, service and praise of His name. To worship means to submit yourself to God’s will and His plan.

Your kingdom come: Jesus before His ascension said to His disciples, “the Kingdom is within you” (Luk.17:21). He was referring to the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of those who believe. There is a work of sanctification by the Holy Spirit (2 Thess.2:13).

Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven: God’s will is that everyone becomes saved and comes to the knowledge of truth (1 Tim.2:4, 2 Pet.3:9). Heaven is a perfect place, and God desires that the earth be perfect just like heaven. Every good thing that is in heaven he desires for His people on earth.

Give us each day our daily bread: After you have put God first in worship, devotion to His kingdom, and saving of souls, then you can ask for your own daily bread. This refers to your daily needs. God is committed to providing our needs, but we need to put His will and His desires first. When we make God’s desires our desires, He will in turn give us the desires of our heart.

And forgive us our sins: When a person becomes saved, God wipes away all their sins of the past. Sin breaks the fellowship of God with man. Following salvation, it is not expected that there be any sins in your life.

If there has been opportunity for sin, either by commission or omission, we can trust God’s Holy Spirit to reveal this sin to us so we can confess it and make the necessary amends.

for we ourselves also forgive everyone in debt to us: God expects that there be no grudge in your heart as you approach Him in prayer. We are instructed by Scriptures to love one another as the mark of the new life we have in Christ Jesus (Joh.13:35). Unforgiveness is deadly.

And do not bring us into temptation. But deliver us from the evil one: God is the one who keeps us from the afflictions of the evil one. James 4:7 says “submit yourselves to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you”. Your submission to God’s authority in the place of prayer will commit Him to protecting you.

man worship ani

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What are the keys to success in spiritual warfare? We rely on God’s power, not our own. We put on the whole armor of God. We draw on the power of Scripture—the Word of God is the Spirit’s sword. We pray in perseverance and holiness, making our appeal to God. We stand firm (Ephesians 6:13–14); we submit to God; we resist the devil’s work (James 4:7), knowing that the Lord of hosts is our protector. “Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken” (Psalm 62:2).

If you are not sure that you are a member of the family of God, you can accept Christ into your life right now, by praying:

“Lord Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins.  Please forgive my sins and give me the gift of eternal life.  I ask you in to my life and heart to be my Lord and Savior.”

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3 thoughts on “Spiritual Warfare 2022: the World, the Flesh, and the Devil

  1. The “sons of God” were of the fallen race of mankind – from Adam’s seed – because the Biblical description for “sons of God” is “heirs to salvation.” That leaves out aliens and giants who are from other planets. Angels are not heirs to salvation. They “minister to the heirs” but are not heirs. Also, “To which of the angels said He (God) at any time, “thou art My son, this day have i begotten thee?” -(Psalms/Hebrews 1:5) He never has and never will call angels His “son(s).” So that leaves those from Adam’s seed. “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His (Jesus’) name.” -John 1:12 They have to believe on Jesus to be saved and to become “sons of God.” Aliens and angels don’t have that offer made to them. Good angels don’t need saving and the bad angels can’t be saved. There is no in between.

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    1. Genesis 6:1-4 refers to the sons of God and the daughters of men. There have been several suggestions as to who the sons of God were and why the children they had with daughters of men grew into a race of giants (that is what the word Nephilim seems to indicate).

      The three primary views on the identity of the sons of God are 1) they were fallen angels, 2) they were powerful human rulers, or 3) they were godly descendants of Seth intermarrying with wicked descendants of Cain. Giving weight to the first theory is the fact that in the Old Testament the phrase “sons of God” always refers to angels (Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7). A potential problem with this is in Matthew 22:30, which indicates that angels do not marry. The Bible gives us no reason to believe that angels have a gender or are able to reproduce. The other two views do not present this problem.

      The weakness of views 2) and 3) is that ordinary human males marrying ordinary human females does not account for why the offspring were “giants” or “heroes of old, men of renown.” Further, why would God decide to bring the flood on the earth (Genesis 6:5-7) when God had never forbidden powerful human males or descendants of Seth to marry ordinary human females or descendants of Cain? The oncoming judgment of Genesis 6:5-7 is linked to what took place in Genesis 6:1-4. Only the obscene, perverse marriage of fallen angels with human females would seem to justify such a harsh judgment.

      As previously noted, the weakness of the first view is that Matthew 22:30 declares, “At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.” However, the text does not say “angels are not able to marry.” Rather, it indicates only that angels do not marry. Second, Matthew 22:30 is referring to the “angels in heaven.” It is not referring to fallen angels, who do not care about God’s created order and actively seek ways to disrupt God’s plan. The fact that God’s holy angels do not marry or engage in sexual relations does not mean the same is true of Satan and his demons.

      View 1) is the most likely position. Yes, it is an interesting “contradiction” to say that angels are sexless and then to say that the “sons of God” were fallen angels who procreated with human females. However, while angels are spiritual beings (Hebrews 1:14), they can appear in human, physical form (Mark 16:5). The men of Sodom and Gomorrah wanted to have sex with the two angels who were with Lot (Genesis 19:1-5). It is plausible that angels are capable of taking on human form, even to the point of replicating human sexuality and possibly even reproduction. Why do the fallen angels not do this more often? It seems that God imprisoned the fallen angels who committed this evil sin, so that the other fallen angels would not do the same (as described in Jude 6). Earlier Hebrew interpreters and apocryphal and pseudopigraphal writings are unanimous in holding to the view that fallen angels are the “sons of God” mentioned in Genesis 6:1-4. This by no means closes the debate. However, the view that Genesis 6:1-4 involves fallen angels mating with human females has a strong contextual, grammatical, and historical basis.

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