Spiritual Warfare

Yeshua has chosen us to be his soldiers and fight his enemies until his return from heaven. We are to fight well as we concentrate on defeating our enemies rather than getting distracted and entangled in the affairs of this life.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through [Elohim/God] to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of [Elohim], and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Messiah; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 

Believers in Messiah Yeshua experience warfare on at least three fronts. In other words, the enemies of our faith will attack us from at least three sides. We need to be prepared for the spiritual warfare mentioned above by knowing our enemies and guarding against their attacks. We are not to use guns, knives, or any other type of physical weapon to fight our wars. Instead, we use spiritual weapons like prayer and obedience to our Creator Yahweh and His Son, Messiah Yeshua.

Warring with Satan

And the Master said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: Luke 22:31 

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour:  1 Peter 5:8 

To deny Satan’s existence and influence is to deny Yeshua’s teaching concerning him. It is clear from the Savior’s words that Satan desires not only to have his way with Yahweh’s people, but to destroy them.

From that time forth began Yeshua to show unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.

Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from you, Master: this shall not be unto you. But he turned, and said to Peter, Get you behind me, Satan: you are an offense unto me: for you savor not the things that be of [Elohim], but those that be of men.  Matthew 16:21-23 

Satan used Peter to speak words against Yahweh’s plan of salvation. In that plan, Yeshua was to die as a sin offering for mankind so that their sins could be forgiven through his shed blood. Yahweh would then resurrect Yeshua from the dead paving the way for all who believe in him to receive the gift of eternal life via their own resurrection from the dead.  Satan does not want that plan to be fulfilled which is why he has tried throughout the centuries to destroy Yahweh’s people and the Savior of the world.

Submit yourselves therefore to [Elohim]. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  James 4:7 

The devil, Satan, will continue to attack believers in an attempt to get them to sin and fall. We are to submit to Yahweh and His rule over us by obeying His commandments. By doing so, we resist Satan who will eventually flee from us knowing we choose only to serve Yahweh and that he has no power over us.

Warring with the world

The believer will also be attacked by the world in various ways. One way is by the world presenting itself as our friend. You have heard of the phrase “fraternizing with the enemy”. A tactic in the world of espionage is to use an attractive woman to get valuable secret information from a male enemy or vice versa. A similar attack takes place with believers. The world presents itself in such an alluring way that the believer falls prey to its delicacies whether they be sex, food, entertainment, money, power, etc.

You adulterers and adulteresses, know you not that the friendship of the world is enmity with [Elohim]? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of [Elohim]. James 4:4

The believer is espoused to Yeshua. He is our future husband. To choose the world, its company and what it has to offer that is contrary to Yahweh’s ways, is to commit spiritual adultery.

Believers in Yahweh and Messiah Yeshua are no longer to be of this world. We are not to be partakers of its spirit, principles or practices. It is because we will not live as they do that they hate us.

If the world hates you, you know that it hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love his own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. John 15:18-19 

How does the disciple of Messiah Yeshua overcome the world?

For whatsoever is born of [Elohim] overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcomes the world, but he that believes that Yeshua is the Son of [Elohim]? 1 John 5:4-5 

Warring with our flesh

The last major battleground resides within us. It is a war against our flesh or our old nature and is our greatest and strongest enemy.

Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul; 1 Peter 2:11 

But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. Romans 7:23 

As long as we live in this body of flesh our old nature will be at war with our new nature given to us through the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit. We are not to satisfy the flesh and give into its cravings and lusts. As time goes by, the world develops more and more ways to arouse our flesh and its lusts (forbidden sexual relations, forbidden foods, unrighteous entertainment, assorted schemes to produce great wealth, opportunities to acquire power, etc.). Those carnal desires must be crucified (put to death).

For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; You shall love your neighbor as yourself. But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you be not consumed one of another.

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that you cannot do the things that you would. But if you be led of the Spirit, you are not under the law.

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance (quarreling), emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of [Elohim].

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Messiah’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Galatians 5:14-25

The following passage shows us all three major battlegrounds and the way to be victorious.

From whence come wars and fightings among you? Come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? You lust, and have not: you kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: you fight and war, yet you have not, because you ask not. You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it upon your lusts.

You adulterers and adulteresses, know you not that the friendship of the world is enmity with [Elohim]? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of [Elohim].

Do you think that the scripture says in vain, The spirit that dwells in us lusts to envy. But He gives more grace. Wherefore He says, [Elohim] resists the proud, but gives grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to [Elohim]. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Draw close to [Elohim], and He will draw close to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of [Yahweh], and He shall lift you up. James 4:1-10

When we humble ourselves and acknowledge that we are powerless against these enemies and ask for Yahweh’s help through Yeshua in overcoming them, He will stand and fight our battles for us through faith.

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Master, and in the power of his might.

Put on the whole armor of [Elohim], that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  Ephesians 6:10-12 

It is the power of our Master Yeshua working through us that will lead us to victory as we war, not against man, but against a spirit world of darkness ruled by Satan.

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