Spiritual Warfare 101…and Beyond!

2 Corinthians 10:4, The weapons of our warfare…spiritual. 

A Redeemed Believers Authority Through Yeshua—The Biblical Concept of Spiritual Warfare

Is the concept of spiritual warfare a biblical one? Perhaps no scripture of the Bible states the fact that it is more clearly than 2 Corinthians 10:3–5. (Eph 6:10–18 would be a close second!)

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:(for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal [but, by implication are spiritual], but mighty through Elohim 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 Cor 10:3–5, emphasis mine)

Obviously, Paul understood and taught that redeemed believers are in an ongoing spiritual battle against something or someone, but what and who? James reveals that there are three possible sources of conflict for the redeemed believer: the world, the flesh and the devil (Jas 3:15). The flesh (man’s sin nature) is the greatest enemy that the saint faces. Paul discusses his struggles we face with the carnal man in Romans 7. The world is also a formidable enemy of the redeemed righteous ones. In John 17, Yeshua tells his disciples that though they are in the world, they are not to be of the world (John 17:11,14). He then goes on to describe the conflicts they would have with the world because they are his disciples. Finally, in Ephesians six, Paul describes the spiritual combat the saints face with Satan and his cohorts (Eph 6:10–18). He is constantly seeking to destroy us (1 Pet 5:8), and to find opportunistic inroads into our lives to establish a spiritual beachhead (Eph 6:16; 1 Pet 5:8). It is this latter subject which we will discuss in the following study.

The foundation for waging effective spiritual warfare is to have a deep spiritual relationship with Yeshua — to be loving him by obeying is laws through him (Rom 7:25–26).

The Legal Basis for the Believer’s Spiritual Authority

(Taken from Destined for the Throne by Paul E. Billheimer, pp. 71–80 with additional comments by NL.)

Universal Jurisprudence. It is vitally important for every redeemed believer to know the fullness and extent of the victory over sin, death and the devil that Yeshua secured for us at the cross. To fully understand this, we must comprehend the legal basis for that victory. Elohim is an El (God) of total justice. He established the universe to be governed by a legal system. As Supreme Judge of the universe, he must follow the laws of justice he established that keep order in the universe.

Adam’s Commission. It all started in the Garden of Eden where man was created in YHVH’s image and was given authority and dominion over the entire earth and all thereon (Gen 1:26; Ps 8:6).

Adam’s Failure and Fall. YHVH gave man legal authority to rule the earth. But then Adam “fumbled the ball” and submitted to Satan’s authority by sinning, YHVH could not step in (though he had the authority to do so). To go over man’s head and to forcibly repossess the title to this earth from Satan would have been to do so without due process of law. At that moment, Satan became the god of this world. Even Yeshua, when confronting the devil in Matthew 4:5 did not question Satan’s authority.

The Search for a Legal Challenger. Adam chose to obey Satan and to sin against Elohim, and thus became the devil’s slave. Whatever we yield ourselves to we become the slave to (Rom 6:16). Once a slave to Satan, man lost all his legal rights to his person and to his domain (the earth). If Satan’s dominion was to be revoked, a way had to be found to redeem fallen man and recover his lost authority without violating universal principles of justice. YHVH had to abide by his own moral code of justice. He could not simply annul it and at the same time remain just and righteous. Only a member of Adam’s family could enter into this universal court and wrest Adam’s lost inheritance and dominion away from Satan, the usurper and slave master. The government of man was lost by man and had to be reclaimed by man. But where could such a man be found? All men had forfeited this right when they had sinned (Rom 3:23) and become a slave to Satan, as their forefather Adam had done at the Tree of Knowledge. A slave has no legal standing and cannot enter a court or lawfully participate in litigation. Thus a member of the human race had to be found upon whom Satan had no legal claim—one who had not endorsed Adam’s rebellion.

The Problem Solved: The Incarnation. With man it was an impossible situation, but with YHVH, all things are possible (Matt 19:26). “But when the fullness of the time was come, Elohim sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the [penalty of] the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons [of Elohim, as Adam and Eve were]” (Gal 4:4–5). YHVH solved this dilemma through the incarnation. Yeshua was conceived by the Spirit of Elohim, and YHVH’s divine nature was present in him. Because he was sinless, Satan had no claim upon him, but because he was “made of a woman,” he was an authentic human being and could therefore qualify as a bona-fide member of the human race to enter the legal fight to reclaim Adam’s lost estate. This is why it was necessary for Yeshua to be born of a virgin.

Yeshua’s Sinless Life. Satan’s challenger not only had be a member of the human race, but he had to have lived a perfectly sinless life so that Satan could have no legal claim on him. If Yeshua were not the son of Elohim through Mary by virtue of supernatural conception, then he was merely the son of Adam. A mortal man, if he lived a sinless life, could redeem his own life only, but one man’s life is not of sufficient worth to redeem the entire human race. Only the Creator of man can do that. Only if Yeshua was fully man, and fully divine and fully the Creator of man would he have the power to redeem man, since the life of the Creator is of greater worth than all that he created. Though tempted by Satan at every place in is life, Yeshua remained sinless. That is why, when he died, the power of death had no legal claim on him and the could not legally stay in the grave. Because of Yeshua’s sinless life, his death resulted not only in defeating Satan’s purpose to obtain a legal claim on him, but it also canceled all of Satan’s legal claim on this earth and for those of the human race who put their trust in Yeshua for salvation and redemption (Heb 2:14; Col 2:14–15).

Though Yeshua has not yet enforced that legal claim over the physical earth and the kingdom’s thereof (this will occur at his second coming when he defeats Babylon the Great, the devil, and becomes King of kings), he is establishing his spiritual kingdom in the lives of his redeemed one’s — the saints or called out ones (the ecclesia). As such, they have the power of Yeshua in them to begin to reclaim the world for Yeshua away from Satan. It is called “kingdom authority.” Yeshua gave his disciples that authority when he sent them forth to regather the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Luke 9:1; 10:17; Mark 16:15–18).

Identification With Messiah’s Death and Resurrection. To access this victory of Yeshua over Satan and death, one has to identify spiritually with Yeshua from his death on the cross to his enthronement at the right hand of power in heaven. We are to be crucified with him, buried with him, raised with him, and exalted with him (Rom 6; Eph 2; 2 Cor 5:14,17; Gal 2:20; 2 Tim 2:11).

Identify With Messiah’s Exaltation and Enthronement. 

Because of his victory at the cross, all things have been put under Yeshua’s feet:

Rom 16:20, And the Elohim of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah be with you. Amen.

1 Cor 15:25, For he must re.g. till [Yeshua] hath put all enemies under his feet.

1 Cor 15:27, For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.

Eph 1:22, And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

Heb 2:8, Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.

Yeshua is the head of the body of called out ones, and we are part of that body (Eph 1:22). The body of Yeshua contains the fullness of him and has same the power and authority on earth. Yeshua is not full or complete without his body (that’s you and me). The body cannot function without its Head, and likewise, the head needs the body to do that which the head directs. We are Yeshua’s hands and feet on this earth. He has given us legal and spiritual power to accomplish the purposes that he, the head, directs. This is why we must follow the leading of his Spirit in all that we do, because he is the head. If we follow our soulish nature, then we are walking in disobedience against the head.

For Spiritual Warfare to Be Effective You Must Know Who You Are in Yeshua

The redeemed believer in Yeshua must know the rights and responsibilities that they have through being purchased by the blood of Yeshua and now being Yeshua’s representative on earth. On the basis of who we are because of whose we are, we have legal power and authority over the powers of Satan based on the written Word of Elohim. Yeshua used that written Word to defeat Satan (Matt 4:4,7,10–11). We must do the same.

To defeat the enemy, we must know the Word and be able to counter the enemy with it, just as Yeshua did. Read and internalize (and memorize) the following biblical verses to use against the evil one next time he attacks you!

  • I am complete in Yeshua who is the head of all principality and power. Col. 2:10
  • I am free from the law of sin and death. Rom. 8:2
  • I am alive with Yeshua. Eph. 2:5
  • I am far from oppression, and fear does not come near me. Isa. 54:14
  • I am born of Elohim, and the evil one does not touch me. 1 John 5:18
  • I am set-apart (kadosh) and without blame before him in love. 1 Peter 1:16; Eph. 1:4
  • I have the mind of Yeshua the Messiah/the Anointed One. Phil. 2:5; 1 Cor. 2:16
  • I have the peace of Elohim that passes understanding. Phil. 4:7
  • I have the Greater One living in me, greater is he who is in me than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4
  • I have received the gift of righteousness and reign as a king in life by Yeshua Mashiach. Rom. 5:17
  • I have received the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Yeshua, the eyes of my understanding being enlightened. Eph. 1:17-18
  • I have received the power of the Ruach HaKodesh (Set-apart Spirit) to lay hands on the sick and see them recover, to cast out demons, to speak with new tongues; I have power over all the power of the enemy and nothing shall by any means harm me. Mark 16:17-18; Luke 10:17,19
  • I have put off the old man and have put on the new man, which is renewed in the knowledge after the image of him who created me. Col. 3:10
  • I have given and it is given to me good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, men give into my bosom. Luke 6:38
  • I have no lack, for my Elohim supplies all of my need according to his riches in glory by Messiah Yeshua. Phil 4:19
  • I can quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one with my shield of faith. Eph. 6:16
  • I can do all things through Mashiach Yeshua. Phil. 4:13
  • I show forth the praises of Elohim who has called me out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9
  • I shall do even greater works than Yeshua the Messiah. John 14:12
  • I am Elohim’s child, for I am born again of the incorruptible seed of the word of Elohim which lives and abides forever. 1 Peter 1:23
  • I am Elohim’s workmanship, created in Messiah unto good works. Eph. 2:10
  • I am a new creature in Messiah. 2 Cor. 5:17
  • I am a spirit being—alive to Elohim. 1 Thes. 5:23
  • I am a believer and the light of the gospel shines in my mind. 2 Cor. 4:4
  • I am a doer of the Word and blessed in my action. James 1:22, 25
  • I am a joint-heir with Messiah. Rom. 8:17
  • I am a conqueror through him who loves me. Rom. 8:37
  • I am an overcomer by the blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony. Rev. 12:11
  • I am a partaker of his divine nature. 2 Peter 1:3-4
  • I am an ambassador for Yeshua. 2 Cor. 5:20
  • I am part of a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a set-apart (kadosh) nation, a purchased people. 1 Peter 2:9
  • I am the righteousness of Elohim in Yeshua the Messiah. 2 Cor. 5:21
  • I am the temple of the Set-apart Spirit; I am not my own. 1 Cor. 6:19
  • I am the head and not the tail I am above only and not beneath.  Deut. 26:13
  • I am the light of the world. Matt. 5:14
  • I am his elect, full of mercy, kindness, humility and longsuffering. Col. 3:12; Rom 8:33
  • I am forgiven of all my sins and washed in the blood of Yeshua. Eph 1:7
  • I am delivered from the power of darkness and translated into Elohim’s kingdom. Col. 1:13
  • I am redeemed from the curse of sin, sickness and poverty. Gal. 3:13; Deut. 28:15-68
  • I am firmly rooted, built up, established in my faith and overflowing with gratitude. Col 2:7
  • I am called of Elohim to be the voice of his praise. 2 Tim. 1:9; Psa. 66:8
  • I am healed by the stripes of Yeshua. 1 Peter 2:24; Isa. 53:6
  • I am raised up with Messiah and seated in heavenly places. Col. 2:12; Eph. 2:6
  • I am greatly loved by Elohim. Col. 3:12; Rom. 1:7; 1 Thes. 1:4; Eph. 2:24
  • I am strengthened with all might according to his glorious power. Col 1:11
  • I am submitted to Elohim and the devil flees from me because I resist him in the Name of Yeshua James 4:7

Satan is not going to give up his kingdom without a fight. When and wherever YHVH’s kingdom is advanced there will be clashes with the kingdom of Satan. It must be expected.

More Pointers on Spiritual Warfare

(Taken from Spiritual Warfare by Timothy M. Warner with additional comments by NL.)

Everything we do including all spiritual warfare activities should be only for the purpose of bringing glory to YHVH and for advancing his, not our, kingdom. For example, this was the purpose of the power encounter on Mount Carmel between Elijah and the prophets of Baal. YHVH’s might acts of power on behalf of himself in the Tanakh (OT) spoke very loudly to Israel’s enemies (e.g. Josh 2:10–11; 1 Kgs 20:23,28; pp. 34–35)

In the Tanakh, ancient Israel was in a spiritual/physical conflict with the surrounding heathen/demonized nations. Today, since YHVH’s people do not belong to the physical nation of Israel, but are part of the spiritual kingdom of Elohim, our struggle is spiritual, against the spiritual kingdom of Satan (Eph 6; 2 Cor. 10:3–5). Even in ancient Israel, behind each physical enemy was a spiritual enemy—a demonic spirit, as we see in Daniel who was praying against the Prince of Persia (a demonic spirit). The gods of the nations were in reality fallen angels masquerading as gods, attempting to bring the people into bondage to them by keeping them ignorant of the truth about [YHVH] and by keeping them in bondage to sin. The real issue was between God and the gods, not just between the people in the nations of Israel and the people in the other nations. This is why the battles were always won or lost on the basis of spiritual power, not military power (p. 37).

Elohim’s strategy in the Tanakh was to place his one special nation, Israel, in the midst of the other nations, and through Israel to demonstrate his glory to the peoples around them. In this manner, he would reveal himself to those nations. Now he has the body of Yeshua scattered throughout the nations to be his witness the heathens. The heart of the great commission is to make disciples of all the nations (Matt 28:19). That is like a commanding officer ordering his troops to liberate prisoners of war from the enemy. In order to do that, it is necessary to overcome the power by which the enemy holds those prisoners. It would be folly to suppose that the enemy was going to allow us to invade his territory and free the captives without resistance. Engaging our spiritual enemy in an offensive manner is to liberate enemy-held territory and to possess it for the kingdom of Elohim (p. 51). [The enemy will fight us every step of the way, but YHVH has given his people the spiritual tools to defeat him.] Such an invasion of enemy-held territory is not undertaken on a person-by-person initiative. Is is done under the command of the Yeshua, our Commander-and-Chief, who has ultimate authority in the Kingdom of Elohim. He is the one who has been given all power and authority in heaven and on earth (Matt 28:18). It is because of this authority that he can commission us to go into this battle (pp. 51–52).

Satan knows that he is defeated and he knows his time is limited. But this does not stop him from attacking YHVH’s people. He attacks us in several ways. 

He attacks us because we have an open door in our lives, and chinks in our spiritual armor, because of sin in our lives. He will hold YHVH’s people in bondage because of guilt, unless they repent of their sin and come under the blood of Yeshua (Rev 12:11).

He can attack us when our lives are self-centered, not YHVH-centered. Self centeredness (selfishness) is rebellion against YHVH, which takes us out of YHVH’s spiritual covering/protection. To defeat Satan, we must submit to YHVH’s authority in our lives, and then we can resist the devil and he will flee. If we are not submitted to YHVH, then we have no power to be able to resist Satan and expect him to flee from us.

Satan can attack us based the following spiritual “open doors,” chinks in our spiritual armor or spiritual strong holds that we may have in our lives. 

  • any involvement in the occult we have had in the past
  • any involvements in false religions
  • any occult or false religious objects or material in our possession
  • any generational or ancestral sins and curses that have come down to us
  • personal unconfessed sin, or sinful addictions and habits
  • any spiritual sinful strongholds in our mind, will or emotions (e.g. unforgiveness, bitterness, fear, doubt, unbelief, lust, greed, anger, pride, self-centeredness, rebellion against authority, etc.)

These areas of sin must be confessed and repented of even if we are to thwart the attacks of the enemy and have spiritual victory. Furthermore, we need to pray and ask the Father to reveal any other areas of sin in our lives that may be a spiritual weak point and which is acting as an “open door” to allow demonic attack against us.

When engaging in offensive spiritual warfare, we mustn’t rely on rote methodologies for fighting the enemy. In the OT, YHVH never had ancient Israel use the same battle plan or tactic twice. This is to keep YHVH’s people aware that it was not human strength or cleverness which was accomplishing the victory—it was YHVH and reliance upon him for wisdom and direction. When Israel didn’t bother to ask YHVH what to do, that is when they got into trouble. Their defeat at Ai and their deception by the Gibeonites are clear example of this (Josh 7,9; 9:14; 2:10–15; pp. 113–114).

Before spiritual warfare can be successful in a person’s life and for YHVH to act in miraculous power on that person’s behalf, sin has to be dealt with (p. 127).

Warfare prayer is one of the greatest weapons in the believers spiritual arsenal.

As Followers of Yeshua, We Must Do What He Did

Yeshua defeated the devil through use of the Word of Elohim, which is the sword of the spirit (Eph. 6:17). Even as we used the words of our mouths to confess belief in Yeshua and receive his free salvation (Rom. 10:9–10), so we can use the power of our words (as we speak the Word of Elohim) to defeat the devil (Rev. 12:11) even as Yeshua our example did in Matthew 4:1–11. The devil could not stand up against the Word of Elohim when it was spoken by faith with authority at him. So we must do the same.

Many times, we will direct our words at situations or people. Remember, it is not the people that are necessarily our enemies, but the demonic spirits behind them. Often in spiritual warfare, we must discern the spirit behind the scenes and then battle against that through prayer and prophetic declarations using the Word of Elohim as we find the right Scripture verse to bring to bear like a pinpoint laser beam directed at the situation.

Basic Spiritual Warfare Scriptures

These biblical references teach us that from ancient times, the people of Elohim have been in a constant battle against the world and the devil. At the same time, YHVH promised to help them fight and win their battles if they obeyed him. When they were obedient to his commandments, they were victorious over their enemies. When they were disobedient, they were not.

Exod 33:2, And I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite:

Deut 7:12–24, Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that YHVH thy Elohim shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he sware unto thy fathers: And he will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee: he will also bless the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy land, thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep, in the land which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee. Thou shalt be blessed above all people: there shall not be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle. And YHVH will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee; but will lay them upon all them that hate thee. And thou shalt consume all the people which YHVH thy Elohim shall deliver thee; thine eye shall have no pity upon them: neither shalt thou serve their Elohims; for that will be a snare unto thee. If thou shalt say in thine heart, These nations are more than I; how can I dispossess them? Thou shalt not be afraid of them: but shalt well remember what YHVH thy Elohim did unto Pharaoh, and unto all Egypt; The great temptations which thine eyes saw, and the signs, and the wonders, and the mighty hand, and the stretched out arm, whereby YHVH thy Elohim brought thee out: so shall YHVH thy Elohim do unto all the people of whom thou art afraid. Moreover YHVH thy Elohim will send the hornet among them, until they that are left, and hide themselves from thee, be destroyed. Thou shalt not be affrighted at them: for YHVH thy Elohim is among you, a mighty Elohim and terrible. And YHVH thy Elohim will put out those nations before thee by little and little: thou mayest not consume them at once, lest the beasts of the field increase upon thee. But YHVH thy Elohim shall deliver them unto thee, and shall destroy them with a mighty destruction, until they be destroyed. And he shall deliver their kings into thine hand, and thou shalt destroy their name from under heaven: there shall no man be able to stand before thee, until thou have destroyed them.

Deut 9:1–3 1, Hear, O Israel: Thou art to pass over Jordan this day, to go in to possess nations greater and mightier than thyself, cities great and fenced up to heaven, A people great and tall, the children of the Anakims, whom thou knowest, and of whom thou hast heard say, Who can stand before the children of Anak! Understand therefore this day, that YHVH thy Elohim is he which goeth over before thee; as a consuming fire he shall destroy them, and he shall bring them down before thy face: so shalt thou drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as YHVH hath said unto thee.

Deut 31:6–8, Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for YHVH thy Elohim, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which YHVH hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it. And YHVH, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.

Josh 24:12–18, And I sent the hornet before you, which drave them out from before you, even the two kings of the Amorites; but not with thy sword, nor with thy bow. 13 And I have given you a land for which ye did not labour, and cities which ye built not, and ye dwell in them; of the vineyards and oliveyards which ye planted not do ye eat. 14 Now therefore fear YHVH, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the Elohims which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye YHVH. And if it seem evil unto you to serve YHVH, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the Elohims which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the Elohims of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve YHVH. 16 And the people answered and said, Elohim forbid that we should forsake YHVH, to serve other Elohims; For YHVH our Elohim, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed: 18 And YHVH drave out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore will we also serve YHVH; for he is our Elohim.

In the Tanakh (OT), Israel’s battles were a physical because Israel was a physical nation. David (in the Psalms) and the prophets not only discusses the physical struggle between Israel and the surrounding nations, but YHVH begins to reveal to us through David and the prophets the nature of the spiritual struggle that YHVH’s children must face. Additionally, they begin to prophesy about Yeshua and the redemptive work he would do and how that would involve the return of Israel from the grip of Satan under whom they had been enslaved among the nations where they had been scattered.

Ps 91, He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of YHVH, He is my refuge and my fortress: my Elohim; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made YHVH, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

Isa 43:1–7, But now thus saith YHVH that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am YHVH thy Elohim, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

Isa 54:14–17, In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee. Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake. Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy. No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of YHVH, and their righteousness is of me, saith YHVH.

Isa 59:19, So shall they fear the name of YHVH from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of YHVH shall lift up a standard against him.

In the Testimony of Yeshua (NT), the nature of this spiritual struggle becomes clear. It was primarily a struggle for the soul’s of men, but occasionally this struggle broke out into the natural world and involved the religious and political systems. We see this in the Gospel’s and the Book of Acts. This spiritual struggle clearly centers around the redemptive work of Yeshua at the cross and involves expanding the spiritual kingdom of Israel by searching out the lost and captive sheep of Israel and bringing them back into Israel through Yeshua the Messiah. This is how the kingdom of Israel is being re-established, and the tabernacle of David is being lifted up. Satan does not want the two sticks of Israel to be rejoined, for it signals his ultimate and final defeat at the hands of Yeshua the Sovereign Master and King and the redeemed Israel. 

This is why there is so much strife and contention between the people of Ephraim and Yehuda as well as between people of Ephraim. This strife and division reveals the carnality and soulishness still existing in Ephraim (those returning from Christian backgrounds to the Hebraic roots of their faith). It reveals the degree to which YHVH’s children are still feeding from the Tree of Knowledge and catering to the dictates of their mind, will and emotions and not submitting to the will and Spirit of Elohim. The self-centeredness, the self-agrandisement, self-promotion, self-exaltation, and self-sufficient spirit that still exists to a large degree in the Messianic Israel movement underscores the need to oppose the the work of the devil and to fight him spiritually.

The key to having a powerful and miraculous victory in this eternal battle between YHVH’s kingdom and that of the devil’s kingdom is to place yourself and your ministry squarely in the center of this struggle. This is what the disciples of Yeshua did. Yeshua gave them (and us!) divine power over the demonic forces of evil who would thwart the advancement of the kingdom of Elohim. When we are in that battle, we too can have the victory that Yeshua promised. The problem is that too many redeemed Israelite believers are not in this spiritual battle. The have become sidelined biding their time until Yeshua comes for them. Instead, Yeshua commanded us to “Go ye therefore …” (Matt 28:19), and to “Occupy” until he comes (Luke 19:13)! The saints are to be overcomers (Rev 2:7,11, 17,26; 3:5,12,21).

Here is a list of Scriptures that show us the authority that Yeshua gave us over the powers of the evil one, and teach us how to do effective spiritual battle. It is important to know these Scripture verses, to understand well the legal authority Yeshua has given to his people to over come Satan. I recommend that you memorize many of these verses so that you can use them as verbal weapons against the devil as Yeshua did when he quoted the Word of Elohim against Satan in Matthew 4:1–11.

Luke 9:1, Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.

Luke 10:18–19, And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Rom 8:31,37, What shall we then say to these things? If Elohim be for us, who can be against us? Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

2 Cor 10:3–6, 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 to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of Elohim, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Messiah; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

Eph 6:10–18, Finally, my brethren, be strong in YHVH, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of Elohim, that ye 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. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of Elohim, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of Elohim: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

2 Tim 1:7, For Elohim hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

James 4:6–10 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, Elohim resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to Elohim. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to Elohim, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye 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 YHVH, and he shall lift you up.

1 John 3:8, He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of Elohim was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

1 John 4:4, Ye are of Elohim, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

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

Rev 12:9–11, And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our Elohim, and the power of his Messiah: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our Elohim day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

Additional Notes on Spiritual Warfare

The genesis of spiritual warfare goes back to the prophecy Elohim made about the enmity that would occur between the serpent and the woman, and between their offspring (Gen 3:15). This spiritual conflict between Satan, the Serpent, and his seed or offspring and that of the woman would continue down through the ages. Who are the seed or offspring of the devil to which Elohim makes reference here? Today, redeemed Israelite saints are in battle with these people whose father is the devil. Yeshua, in rebuking the Antichrist Jewish leaders of his day, referred to the devil as “your father” (John 8:44). Perhaps Yeshua’s statement may shed some light on who the sons of the devil are today; namely, hypocritical religious leaders. Furthermore, Yeshua referred to Judas as “a devil” (John 6:70), and Paul called Simon the magician “you child of the devil” (Acts 13:10), and John refers to those who commit sin (the violation of the Torah, 1 John 3:4) as “of the devil” (1 John 3:8). The Scriptures teach that there are those who are spiritual children of the devil and those who are children of Elohim (1 John 3:10). Abraham has children that are his spiritual seed or offspring (Gal 3:29), as does Elohim (1 John 3:9). The demarcation between these two spiritual families is that the children of Elohim practice righteousness (i.e. Torah-obedience, Ps 119:172) and love their neighbors (the Torah defines what love is; see Mark 12:29–31), and are therefore not sinning, which is the opposite of Torah and love, while the children of the devil do not. It is the conflict between the these to sides that is the basis of all spiritual conflict or warfare.

The roots of this conflict between the children of Elohim and the children of the devil originate from Satan’s jealousy of Eohim leading to his rebellion against his Creator. Satan could also have been jealous of humans who were created in Elohim’s image, and though made a little lower than the angels, had the potential to be raised to a glorified state as sons of Elohim to a position of glory, power and authority even over the angels including Satan himself. Hence Satan’s hatred for both Elohim and mankind, and his desire to destroy both. It is impossible for Satan to make a frontal attack on Elohim, so he attacks him by attacking humans. This Satan does through lies and deception — the method he first used against Adam and Eve in the garden, against Yeshua, the Second Adam, in the temptation in the wilderness. Satan has refined perfected this method and institutionalized it in the political, economic, religious and educational systems of men.

The conflict between Israel and the surrounding nations is one of the dominant themes in the Tanakh. For the redeemed believer, the conflict is still just as real, but is spiritual (2 Cor 10:4). As with ancient Israel, Elohim’s intervention on our behalf will be based on our faith and obedience to his will. Because the real battle in spiritual warfare is between Elohim and the Satan, between Elohim’s saints and the demonic powers that rule behind men and their worldly systems, the battle between the two sides is one or lost on the basis of spiritual, not military power. That is why saints must be lined up with the word and will of Elohim in order to experience his power over their spiritual adversaries. If they are not, their satanic enemy will triumph.

Spiritual warfare doesn’t begin with the first signs of overt demonic activity, but step away from subservience to the world, the flesh and the devil and begin to obey and worship Elohim. The more we serve the Creator, the more opposition we can expect from realm of evil. If we are not experiencing any opposition in our spiritual walk, either it is because our spiritual walk isn’t very high, or that we merely playing at religion, but are not seriously committed to our walk and are thus not enough threat to the enemies of Elohim to arouse their attention. 

As we invade the enemy’s territory through ministry, the more push-back opposition we will experience. If we’re not experiencing this, likely it is because we’re not being a profitable servant in doing Elohim’s work.

Know Your Enemy

To engage in effective spiritual warfare, one must know the enemy — Satan the devil. Here are some things that Bible says about him. We must resist him (Jas 4:7). Resist means “to set one’s self against, to withstand, oppose.” Resisting is not a passive activity, but involves submission to the word and authority of Elohim, and then actively opposing the Satan, the evil one. He doesn’t give up ground easily. Knowing who he is and is modus operandi is crucial to winning the battle against Satan.

He’s Elohim’s (and our) adversary; that is, he is opposed to or hostile to all that is good, and to those who walk in righteousness (Job 1:6,12; 2:1; Zech 3:1). He’s constantly prowling around like a hungry lion seeking to destroy us (1 Pet 5:8).

  • He is an accuser (and uses human instruments to accuse as well) of the righteous (Rev 12:9–10).
  • He’s a deceiver, and he deceives the whole world (Rev 12:9).
  • He’s called the great dragon; he’s mean and vicious (Rev 12:9).
  • He’s totally evil and is called the evil one (Matt 13:19,38).
  • He’s the father of lies (John 8:44).
  • He’s a murderer (John 8:44). 
  • He’s the god (or prince) of this world; that is, the world is under his control (2 Cor 4:4; John 12:31; 14:30).
  • He’s likened to a snake (Rev 12:9).
  • He’s the prince of the power of the air (Eph 2:2).
  • He controls demonic forces in the heavenly realm that are attacking the redeemed (Eph 6:12,16).
  • He tempts people to sin (Matt 4:4; 1 Thess 3:5).
  • He is called the devil meaning “slanderer.”
  • He comes as an angel of light (2 Cor 11:14).
  • He twists and perverts the word of Elohim (Gen 3:1–5).
  • He wants to influence, control, and, if all possible, possess people at one level or another and use them to accomplish his anti-Elohim purposes on planet earth.

Christian “Divination” and “Witchcraft”

The aspect of Christian “divination” and I might add “witchcraft,” as well, I was referring to at the end of my Torah portion (and I should explain it better), is where Christians take the legitimate gifts (especially the gift of prophecy) of the Spirit of Elohim, and either a) use them to control or manipulate other people for unrighteous purposes, b) people operate in counterfeit gifts of the Spirit (either out of their psyches or souls—i.e. their mind, will and emotions, or under demonic influence) to control, manipulate or subvert others for unrighteous purposes, or c) people attempt to ascertain the future through means other than direct revelation of the Spirit of Elohim, as he wills to make the future known to human vessels (1 Cor 12:11). This is what I mean by this term. I will add this definition to my teaching. 

Sometimes, within a church group, some who operate under what I term “Christian divination” will subvert an inexperienced pastor who knows little or nothing about the legitimate operations of the Gifts of the Spirit, and who does not understand biblical principles of demonization, spiritual warfare and deliverance. They will influence/manipulate the pastor to accomplish their nefarious agendas within the congregation including getting rid of people they don’t like. If a pastor does not understand these things from a scriptural and an experiential basis, he can easily become victim to spiritual divination as exercised by those in his group who are wolves in sheep’s clothing.

On the other hand, if one of the congregates is practicing spiritual divination or is demonized, how does the pastor deal with it? If he has no experience in these areas, he may choose to deny its existence, or he may attempt to deal with it in a blundering manner. This can get real messy, if he does not know what he is doing.

I have also seen where the inexperienced pastor will do one of two things: He can counsel or he can do deliverance. There is a time for each, and sometimes both. Those inexperienced in deliverance, often will counsel. You can’t counsel demons out of someone. They have to be cast out, as Yeshua did. Those inexperienced in counseling may view deliverance as a panacea or cure-all. This happens a lot in some Charismatic/Pentecostal where they will see a demon “under every rock.” Demons are not the cause of every problem. Sometimes, it is our own sin that causes the problem, and not a demon. Not every person Yeshua healed had a demon cast out of them. Some he told the demon to leave, and sometimes he told them to be healed, their sin was forgiven. We have to be discerning in these things. Inexperienced pastors can make some huge mistakes if they don’t understand some of these principles.

With regard to your situation, I would pray and ask the Father for revelation into your life, ask others who to whom you are spiritually accountable and who have understandings in these areas biblically for counsel to see if they see blind spots in your life that you’re missing. It sounds like you’re doing this. If you have done this and nothing comes onto your spiritual radar screen, then we may be dealing with an inexperienced, naive shepherd who has come under the control of some wolves in sheep’s clothing. If that is the case, then you’d best look for another congregation.

Also, be sure you understand the basics of spiritual warfare and the idea generational curses (the sins of the fathers being passed on down to subsequent generations through demonic influence, or through behavioral influences, see Exod 20:5). If there some generational sins (e.g. witchcraft, cult or addictive behaviors, to name a few) in your family past, you may need to get these broken off of you and close those spiritual doors. There are many good books on this subject in Christian bookstores. You can do it yourself with the help of these books.


3 thoughts on “Spiritual Warfare 101…and Beyond!

  1. Thanks Natan, a very enlightening article. HaSatan is using his present dominion he has over the world, to create temptations for the flesh. There seems to be a never ending array of things that feel good, that creates unrighteous desires.
    Can you recommend any specific books in regard to your last paragraph? I am very interested in reading them.
    My very best friend, a Christian lady, has lost her first born and her daughter lost her first baby before it was born and her mother and aunt also lost their firstborn. I mentioned to her that there might be a generational curse going on and she agreed. Her son’s firstborn had problems in the womb, but because of her prayers, I believe, was saved so far. It demonstrates that Elohim is in charge overall. Unfortunately, the mother of his children is into predicting people’s future; I believe, prohibited by Elohim. I would love to know what can be done for this sad situation; of course, we are praying. Sometimes, one needs to know exactly how to pray. I very much love my friend and her children.

    • I don’t have any books to recommend.

      The Bible alludes to generational curses——i.e. the sins of the fathers being passed on down generationally, along with the accompanying curses. Many books have been written on this subject. I can’t recommend any, though, since I haven’t read them to see if they line up with Scripture. If you do, please recommend one to me.

      When we see a pattern, like you see in your friend’s family, this is suspicious of something going on in the spiritual realm that is not good and needs to be countered through spiritual warfare. Confessions and repentance of sin and then living a sanctified and obedient life under the blood of Yeshua is the surest way to break those curses. There is much more that could be said on this, but I’ll leave it there. I think I cover most of this in my article.

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