Soldiers Training Manual

 

classified

God’s Prayer Warriors

Terms and Rules

of

Enemy Engagement

Our Arsenal of Major Weapons of Our Warfare:

"Know Your Enemy" is a concept taught in a book entitled The Art Of War, written 2,700 years ago by a Chinese general named Sun Tzu. This ancient book is still studied in our United States military academies and war colleges. It simply means that in warfare we must learn as much as we can about our enemy's basic character, mission, strategies, preferred tactics, and battle plans in order to defeat him. We must always correctly identify our enemy and his tactics before engaging him in battle. If we fail to do so, we can easily lose any battles.

Many battles throughout history have been lost because they were fought against the wrong enemy or against an enemy about whom not enough was known. To truly know our enemy is to know both his weaknesses and his strengths. Strengthen yourself in Jesus (Philippians 4: 13) to experience his inner strength, and—from that position of strength—prepare to strike at our enemy's weaknesses. To tackle and defeat any enemy, in some respects we must learn to think like the enemy. Simply put, our task is to thwart the enemy's advances and force his retreat.

I hope the thoughts and references in this Soldiers Training Manual will help you know our enemy better. Do not foolishly presume to begin any battle without first assessing the strength of our adversary. Find out all you can know about our enemy: his character, his "fighting style," his tactics, his troop strength, his "equipment," his "field of battle," his plans for offensive and defensive action, etc.

That's just good battle planning on your part. Learn and know all you can about our enemy, for he is a formidable warlord. Yes, you must learn the rules of war; the first rule to learn about war is that there are no rules—at least as far as our enemy is concerned.

[NOTE: I want to point out that this is a t-r-a-i-n-i-n-g manual. Please don't simply read it and then place it on your bookshelf or in a file drawer. If you're going to do that, I'd rather you just toss it into the nearest trash container. It's designed to be much like a brief correspondence course you might take or like a training manual at your place of employment.

Please, please, use it for t-r-a-i-n-i-n-g: study it, refer to it often, take notes, place your own notes in the margins as the Holy Spirit gives you additional thoughts and input. If you're not going to study it and trust the Holy Spirit to teach you about how to engage in prayer-warfare, then don't bother even reading this Manual.]

Okay, let's continue . . . Beyond simply knowing your enemy, I hope the thoughts you find in this Soldiers Training Manual help in some way to train you to engage in the battle itself; even the bravest and most knowledgeable of soldiers must be trained. Our enemy is a master at warfare and, unfortunately, many Jesus believers, brave though they may be, are often untrained and ill-equipped to engage our enemy in battle.

I encourage you to study this Manual with even more intensity than the men who studied the maps of Iwo Jima before our troops hit the beaches of that Pacific island during World War II. To live in ignorance or deny that we are engaged in actual prayer warfare with our enemy is the most naïve and dangerous thing a Jesus-believer can do. This Soldiers Training Manual is based solidly upon what the Bible—taken as a whole—teaches about our enemy.

I know it is human nature to first read through all the written text in this Manual and then—maybe—look up the biblical references I have cited near the end of this Manual—maybe. Actually, it is human nature to read only the written text and then completely neglect looking up all the biblical texts I have cited. But I tell you truly, you will not learn what God really wants you to learn from this Manual unless and until you look up all the biblical texts, put them together as a whole, and then form your own conclusions about the veracity of my written text.

Do not simply take my word for what I have written; look up the biblical texts! If you do not, you will lose any "power" God wants to give you through his written Word; God's power is not transmitted through my written words, only through His Written Word, the Bible . . . The Bible, God's Word (not my faulty, limited human words) is one of the three offensive weapons in your arsenal—along with prayer and faith.

Fear Not!

At the very beginning of this Soldiers Training Manual, I want to encourage you in one matter right "up front": Do not be afraid of our enemy and his minions! God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power . . .!" (2 Timothy 1: 7). Fear of our enemy is nonsense. Fear of demons is foolish. With the Spirit of the Living God in us, we are impregnable to the powers of darkness. You know your Bible: "Greater is the Holy Spirit in us, than he who is in the world." (1 John 4: 4) The overwhelming "almighteousness" of God flows in and through us—as Jesus in his unbodied (non-corporeal) form of the power-full Holy Spirit!

All we need to do in battle with our enemy is maintain, live, and "walk in" the abiding consciousness of triumph, the awareness of victory, the power of mastery over our enemy. He is already a defeated foe, and in and through our Lord Jesus we already have the victory! We battle with Satan from the position he is already a defeated foe, and we already have victory through Jesus. Please understand that important fact at the very beginning of your study of this Manual. Fear Not!

Having said that, please remember that during our mortal lives here on planet earth all of our journeys all too often have some dark places we must pass through. We are wounded. We bleed. We suffer. It is the price we pay to remain alive during our earthly pilgrimages in order to engage in battle with our enemy. Our mortal, earthly pilgrimages are often accompanied by pain as well as pleasure. The more we love and live, the more we might suffer. Just because our battles are prayer-battles doesn't mean they are not real; we are engaged in real battles!

The wounds we suffer in prayer-battles are in some ways more ugly than those that occur in an earthly soldier's firefight. To lose a leg is nothing compared to losing heart; to be crippled by shrapnel need not destroy your soul or spirit, but to be crippled by shame, embarrassment, and unknowing may. You will be wounded by our enemy. He knows the wounds of your past, and, as you engage in prayer-battle with him, he will try to wound you again in the same places. But these wounds are different; these are honor-wounds.

There is no equivalent now for a Purple Heart of prayer-warfare, but there will be one. One of the most humbling moments that await us will come at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb. Jesus will rise from his throne and begin to call those forward who were wounded in prayer-battle for his Name's sake and they will be honored, their courage rewarded.

This is the "Calvary Road" of sacrifice Jesus calls us to trod with Him, "sacrificing" ourselves in prayer for others just as He sacrificed Himself for us. Great love requires great courage in battle. We will be wounded. Some might die untimely deaths, knowing full well nothing is really untimely with God. But Fear Not! At the end of our journey . . . at the end of our brief pilgrimage . . . at the end of the day . . . We win! The Battle is not ours', but the Lord's!

There is an agelong struggle between God's believing children and the powers of the evil one. This calls us to a commitment to steadfast battle, a mixture of victories with setbacks, but a consummate triumph at Jesus' return to earth. He will return as He promised! In the meantime, as we engage in battle with the enemy, we will make intermittent gains mixed with some setbacks and retreats.

That's just the way it is as we live our mortal lives during our earthly pilgrimage, but we will be victorious in the end: through his virgin birth, through his sinless life, through the cruel death on the cross, through the Resurrection of Jesus, through his ascension, through his present ministry, through the inner empowerment of the Holy Spirit, through Jesus' coming again in glorious victory!

Know Our Enemy

The first thing we need to learn are all the names and titles of our enemy. The listing below discloses ALL the names and titles of our enemy found in the Bible. They clearly reveal and disclose that he is the invisible, quintessence and personification of evil; he is consummate evil; his battle tactics lie behind and motivate much (not all) human evil. Yet—because humans have free will—no human can ever claim "the devil made me do it," a very popular expression in our society not long ago.

The following names and titles fully disclose our enemy's character, mission, strategies, tactics, personality, and motives; remember, in many cultures one's name or title discloses much about who the person really is—a person's name is what that person is really like:

Satan. Serpent. Dragon. Murderer. Tempter. Lion. Father [originator] of Lies. Deceiver. Ruler of this World. Accuser of Jesus believers. Prince of the Power of the Air. Devil. Beelzebub [a pagan deity whom the Jews ascribed supremacy among evil spirits]. Thief. Adversary. Seducer. god of this age (or world). Destroyer. Killer. Strong Man. Ruler of Demons. Wicked One. Evil One. Belial [lawless one]. Slough Foot. (Did you catch that last one? I just threw that in to see if you were alert about what you're reading! It's not in the Bible. It's an expression an old friend of mine uses to describe Satan . . . )

Yes, our enemy's names and titles readily reveal and disclose who he truly is—what he's actually, unequivocally like. Dear reader, our enemy is literally and unquestionably a dark, dark being—much like the Darth Vader character in the Star Wars movies, but exponentially much darker in character and nature. He is subtlety itself—keen, vigilant, and tireless, having many resources. But . . . he very often overreaches himself greatly, sometimes not remembering that the High King of Heaven bends all purposes to his own, working through all things evil to turn the ends of all things back to good and to God Almighty!

Please understand Satan is a vulnerable and fallible created being. He is not God! His limited power does not even begin to approach or equal that of Almighty God. He does make mistakes. He cannot see the "big picture" as only God can. There is no great, timeless, cosmic battle being waged between Satan and God, with the final outcome somehow in question! The real battle—the titanic battle—is between humans (empowered by the Holy Spirit) and Satan.

At the very outset of engaging in battle with our enemy, one danger we face is that our enemy can very cleverly masquerade as just the opposite of his dark nature; he and his minions often masquerade as "angels of light"! (2 Corinthians 11: 14)

You see, that's why sin, wrongdoing, and transgression appear so enticing and have such an appeal to our five senses. Our enemy takes what is actually "dark" and extremely harmful to us, and makes it appear to be "bright" and delightful and good for us, just like he caused that "forbidden fruit" in the Garden of Eden appear to be desirable and pleasant to the five senses of Adam and Eve. (Genesis 3: 6)

Satan very skillfully makes sin, wrongdoing, autonomy, rebellion, and independence from God appear very enticing and delightful to the five senses! When people believe his enticing lies, they mistakenly choose to become radically autonomous, independent, and separate from God! Since the creation of humanity, most people have believed Satan's lies that they can live full, complete, and satisfying lives without a vital "connection" and ongoing relationship with the Living God Who created them.

The enemy commander is a created, invisible, unbodied, spirit being with no face or form—as are all evil, unclean spirits—demons, his soldier-minions. They are living phantasms—wraiths.

They cannot be present everywhere at one time, they are not all-powerful, they are not all-knowing—as only God is. They are sovereignly limited by God in all their activities; they are "on a leash," so to speak, and can only go so far as God permits. They were specifically created to be that way. A reading of the first two chapters of the Old Testament Book of Job readily discloses valuable "military intelligence" in that regard.

Satan and his minions cannot move forward and backward in time, nor can they see into, nor predict, the future—as only God can do; they are bound to the present just as we humans are. Satan and his minions are not prescient. They cannot be everywhere at once, as only God can be. But, it seems they do have a very sophisticated, almost instantaneous, worldwide "communications system." They cannot read the thoughts of humans, as only God can do.

They definitely cannot anticipate the tactics of God and his Spirit-directed and empowered sons and daughters. However, I am quite certain they are extremely skilled at reading all human body languages and all other nuances of human behavior; they cannot read our minds and our thought-lives. But, they certainly can hear what we speak and pray aloud. Watch what you say!

The cartoon-like caricatures of the devil in a red suit with horns, a long forked tail, and a pitchfork are imaginative, childish nonsense. No one but God and Jesus have ever "seen" him as he really is, although throughout church history, various people claim to have seen what appear to be apparitions of Satan and demons; how can an artist who hasn't seen him dare presume to paint pictures of him? For example, just this evening I watched on television a preview for a new horror movie about demons. It portrayed an ugly-looking demonic beast attacking an unsuspecting human. Where did the artist get his ideas about how a demon looks? From medieval artistry, tradition, and mythology! Satan and his demons are invisible to humans. Period!

Two Worlds In Conflict

Without going into a lot of detail (rather, just a little information to sort of whet your appetite to learn more about the matter), I want to mention this: not only are our enemy commander and his minions themselves invisible, they live and move and have their being in a dimension which is invisible, too, but in many respects more real than the natural, material, physical domain in which we live. The Bible clearly teaches that we live our brief, mortal lives here in "ShadowLand" or "DarkWorld" which is only a dim, murky, opaque, physical and material reality perceived by our five senses compared to the very real, but eternal and invisible domain in which God, angels, Satan, and demons live.

ShadowLand is a place of ruined glory. Here where we live and move and have our mortal being is only a dim shadow of what it ought to be. It is only a shadow of heaven, a shadow of itself, where we often find ourselves longing for the True Light which shines very dimly here. We know instinctively that we do not belong here, that we belong in a Better Place—a place of Light—for which our hearts cry out for release, for restoration, for homegoing.

T. S. Eliot once wrote, "We shall never cease from our explorations, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive at where we started . . . and know the place for the first time." Yes, we all journey toward our True Home which we once left. Again, as T. S. Eliot once stated: "I have had a tremor of bliss, a wink of heaven, a whisper, and I would no longer be denied; all things proceed to a Joyful Consummation." That "Joyful Consummation" is found in 1 Corinthians 15: 24 – 28. In the Greek language, the "end" (telos) in the 24th verse is "the final consummation."

If I were to ask you to turn to the end of the Bible, you would most likely turn to Revelation 22. Actually, that is not the end of the Bible. No, 1 Corinthians 15: 24 – 28 is the true "end" of the Bible. That is the final—the Joyful—consummation of all things! Just as Malachi is really not the end of the Old Testament. No, the Old Testament actually "ends" with the Book of 2 Chronicles. All the remaining books of the Old Testament actually "fit" within the chronology of the books of 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, and 1 and 2 Chronicles, the latter being the true "end" of the Old Testament.

In contrast to where we live in ShadowLand, I call that dimension in which God, Satan, and demons live RealRealm. I'm not writing about some science fiction figment of the imagination, but of a very real, literal realm which we simply cannot perceive with our five senses—and which we do not know a great deal about. RealRealm is a "place" of scintillating, bright Unseen Things which cast shadows here. It is a place of AngelSpeak, where Morning Stars sing together: where all of RealRealm and the entire created universe resonate together in unimaginable harmony of Music beyond music.

One example of the brightness of RealRealm is when Jesus was transfigured on the Mount of Transfiguration. Jesus gleamed with the glory of RealRealm. His clothes were shining, glistening, and exceedingly white. His countenance was bright, streaming forth the Light of Heaven. (Mark 9: 2 – 13; Luke 9: 28 – 36). For some of Jesus' disciples, it was just a brief glimpse into RealRealm.

Occasionally, humans today get a "glimpse" into that domain by means of visions, "angelic visitations," or when that "great cloud of witnesses" spoken of in Hebrews 12 "draws near" to earth, but we simply don't know very much about that realm . . . well, because we can't see it . . . After all, for humans "Seeing [relying on our five senses] is believing."

Satan is the NightBringer who has brought deep spiritual darkness to ShadowLand. By contrast, Jesus is the LightBringer Who has stepped out of the scintillating white light of eternal RealRealm—through GreatGate—to bring true spiritual Light to mortal ShadowLand. The Bible and the Holy Spirit are that true spiritual Light.

From where we live in ShadowLand, the Bible alone is GreatGate that lets us "see" into or "connect" with RealRealm. Still, even with the Bible, we see only murky glimpses into that Realm. Here are just a few biblical references that refer to that invisible domain: Romans 1: 20; 2 Corinthians 4: 18; Colossians 1: 15 and 16; 1 Timothy 1: 17; and Hebrews 11: 27.

If you're interested in knowing more about the overall subject of both literal and spiritual light, I invite you to read one of our companion teachings on our web site: Let There Be Light.

Behind the Scenes

Let me furnish you just one example (among many!) found in the Bible of what goes on "behind the scenes," so to speak, in RealRealm; what really goes on in that invisible realm where the real battles need to be fought. For example, it's one of the reasons why Paul prayed in Ephesians 1: 18 that our "inner eyes" of faith would be opened so we could really "see" into RealRealm—see what's really going on behind the scenes.

Here's just one example of a biblical glimpse behind the scenes into RealRealm. In finite, historical time and space, when Jesus was born in a cave-stable on the outskirts of the village of Bethlehem, anyone just passing by and glancing in at that scene would have observed what appeared to be a normal human birth—a young woman giving birth to a male son. That's how it would have appeared to an observer here on earth in finite time and space. But here's what it seems likely was really going on behind the scenes in infinite RealRealm, in that unseen world:

Now a great wonder appeared in heaven [in RealRealm]; a woman [Mary] clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a tiara of twelve stars. She was pregnant and she cried out in her birth pangs, in the anguish of delivering her baby [Jesus].

And another wonder was seen in heaven. There was a huge, fiery-red dragon [Satan], with seven heads and ten horns, and seven kingly crowns upon his head. His tail swept across the sky and dragged down a third of the stars and flung them to earth. And the dragon stationed himself in front of the woman who was giving birth so that he might kill the baby as soon as it was born. [Remember King Herod's attempts to kill the young child, Jesus? That attempt was orchestrated by Satan behind the scenes.]

And the woman gave birth to a male son who is destined to rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her newborn baby was caught up to God and his throne . . .

Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels went forth to battle with the dragon, and the dragon and his minions fought, but they were defeated. And there was no longer any room for them in heaven. And that huge dragon was cast down and out of heaven. He was that age-old serpent who is called the Devil and Satan—who deceives and seduces all humanity; he was forced out and down to the earth, and all his minions with him . . .

Then the dragon was enraged with the woman and he went away to wage war against the rest of her offspring [believers in Jesus]—those who obey God's commands and hold fast to the testimony of Jesus." (Revelation 12: 1 – 5, 7 – 9, and 17)

I don't pretend to understand even a small part of that brief biblical glimpse into RealRealm, nor will I make a futile attempt to explain it to you. Nor will I argue with anyone who believes that it's actually part of a future, "end-time" scenario in ShadowLand, having nothing at all to do with Jesus' human birth in Bethlehem.

All I want you to see is a little bit of what might have been going on behind the scenes in infinite, eternal RealRealm when Jesus was born in finite, historical space and time. Friends, we are battling against an unseen, invisible foe.

3 Weapons In Our Arsenal

Our major weapons against this rather formidable foe are prayer; our skillful use of the Word of God, the Bible; and our faith.

The Bible, faith, and prayer help us see beyond the veil—GreatGate—that separates ShadowLand and RealRealm so we can better know our enemy. There are great and terrible forces from RealRealm at war against us in our world. Praise God that He allows us to see into that invisible world from time to time so we can know our enemy's character, strategies, and tactics, and engage in victorious warfare against him and his minions! Through Jesus, the victory is ours! By means of our faith-sense we must learn to become extremely "sensitive" to dark beings and events which inhabit that invisible realm.

A Fourth Formidable Weapon

There is another form or method of prayer that is all too often overlooked and not used. It is the power-full prayer weapon of "praying in the spirit." (1 Corinthians 14: 14 and 15) Yes, it is a power-full weapon of warfare, but used by only a relatively few prayer warriors in light of the overall population of Jesus-believers. Why is that? It seems clear to me from my understanding of the Bible and common human experience that Satan has deliberately caused many Jesus-believers to look askance at this weapon, to feel it was "only for the early, first-century believers," that it is no longer valid in our day and age, that is a "minor" gift of the Holy Spirit that is too often abused and misused by "wild-eyed, holy roller" Pentecostal or Charismatic believers, etc.

If I were Satan, I would certainly attempt to undermine the use of this weapon of praying in the spirit, making it appear to be a useless weapon—when, in fact, it is a very power-full weapon in our arsenal.

All I can say to you is that is a weapon available to any authentic Jesus believer who chooses to use it in prayer warfare. One doesn't have to have some initial or introductory "ecstatic experience" in order to implement its use in one's life. One simply needs to make a quality decision, an act of one's will, to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in its usage. However, often people first begin to use this gift after having had an experience called "The Baptism In The Holy Spirit."

The Holy Spirit who lives within the spirit of every believer is perfectly willing to "operate" the gift of praying in the spirit from within any believer. To pray in the spirit is to tap into invisible RealRealm and use AngelSpeak in one's prayers—a pure, untainted, unspoiled heavenly language understood by God and angels, but not by Satan and his minions.

One other thought about prayer in general needs addressed herein, but I will not go into a great detail. It is the simple matter of the "power" of our spoken words as we are engaged in the process of prayer. Let me state the matter simply and succinctly: Our spoken words can generate either life or death in others! The Bible is replete from Proverbs to James to Revelation about the power of our spoken words for good or ill. There are hundreds of biblical references about such matters. Let us be very careful with our use of words spoken aloud as we engage in prayer warfare for and on the behalf of others and as we speak with others about prayer matters.

In every situation, when we open our mouths to speak aloud—at that instant in time we are faced with a decision which words to choose: words which will create life and beauty in ourselves and others. Or, words which will create death and ugliness in ourselves or others. Every situation. Every time we choose to speak aloud.

For more complete information about the use of our words, see our companion teaching on our web site entitled Speak The Word.

I state this as simply as I can: In prayer-warfare, our prayer must not be sussurant; it must be spoken out loud in order for Satan and his minions to hear what we are praying and proclaiming! It's okay for non-warfare prayer to occur in our minds or thoughts (as subliminal speech) or sussurant, but warfare prayer must be boldly spoken aloud!

The Weapon Of Faith

Continuing on with our third weapon, faith (in addition to prayer and the Bible), please turn to a reference in your Bible, but not in the King James version; that version was written almost 400 years ago. English is a "living" language, which means the language is constantly changing and growing. In some respects, early 21st century English is much different from what it was in the early 1600's. Having said that, please turn to your own Bible's definition of faith. It is Hebrews 11: 1.

Here's that definition of Hebrews 11: 1 in modern English: Faith is being confident of what we hope for—the evidence of the reality of phenomena we cannot perceive with our five senses. Let's analyze that definition. Before we do, though, please turn to Romans 4: 18 – 21 and read that reference, too; it's about Abraham's faith being a "model" or "prototype" for our faith. It's one of the Bible's own examples of how faith "works."

Notice that Abraham had given up hope by reason of his five senses, but he hoped by his faith-sense; he was confident—his faith did not weaken. He didn't waver by unbelief or distrust, but was strong, enlightened and informed by faith to trust that God would keep his word and do what He had promised. That is why his faith was credited to his account as right standing with God. That's just a little bit about what this reference teaches us about how our faith works. There's more, much more . . .

From the instant you were conceived, everything you have ever learned or experienced has come to you through your five senses; think about that: besides your inherited genetic, biological being—your entire self-ness, your person-ness, your me-ness—that which makes you "you," has all occurred as a result of data entering you from outside you by means of your five senses. Your five senses are how you primarily perceive all the data coming into you from your external world.

Yes, everything outside your skin comes to you through your five senses. In other words, by means of data entering you through your five senses you have "constructed" the person living inside your skin whom you call "me" (and whom others call "you") out of the quadrillions and mega-quadrillions of bits of data you have received from outside your skin since the instant you were conceived. Of course, we must always take into account our biological and genetic heritage, too, when we're considering how we each have developed as unique individuals.

Wait a minute, though, doesn't the Bible's definition (Hebrews 11: 1) say faith perceives as real fact what is not revealed to the five senses? Yes, it does say that. So where does faith come from? It comes from inside of us. Faith comes to us from God who lives inside of us in unbodied (non-corporeal) Spirit form.

For purposes of illustration at this point, let's say that in manner of speaking faith is another "sense" (not the traditional sixth sense, however) that receives data from inside our skin rather than from outside our skin by means of our five senses.

The Bible says in Romans 12: 3 that God has given every human being a certain "measure" of faith as an unmerited, free gift. Ephesians 2: 8 and 9 addresses the same matter. You have a certain measure or portion of faith. I have a certain measure or portion of faith.

Everyone has faith. Another way of putting it is that God has given each of us an appropriate amount of faith. None of us can say we don't have faith. Every human ever born has had an appropriate amount of faith. The important point about the faith each of us has is how we "use" our faith.

The Holy Spirit who lives inside each of us "transmits" spiritual reality (by means of faith) to our "inner person" from the inside; this is in addition to our "outer person" physical and material reality which comes to us from the outside by means of our five senses.

There's another way in which faith is transmitted to us, too. Yet, it originates from the same Holy Spirit who lives inside each of us. Faith also comes from the Bible. Look at Romans 10: 17. Who caused the Bible to be written? The Holy Spirit. So . . . faith originates from the Bible, too. As we read and study it—and obey it—the Holy Spirit makes it real to us.

That's how we know the Bible is the "Word of God," not by means of our five senses, but by means of our greater, inner "sense"—faith! The Bible is unlike any other book ever written; it is actually the world's only "living book" full of power, and is LIFE-giving as the Holy Spirit uses it to "grow" and strengthen our faith. (see Hebrews 4: 12, especially in The Amplified Bible)

Yes, from inside of us the Holy Spirit makes the Bible come alive as we read, study, and obey it. He's the one who causes the Bible to actually become vital and necessary "food" for our inner persons. (See Matthew 4: 4) He's the One who causes the Bible to be more than mere paper and ink—as are all other books. By means of our faith-sense, the Bible is a power-full, living book the Holy Spirit uses to help transform and "grow" our lives—and which He uses as a sharp, two-edged sword to help us do battle with our enemy.

Why do we need our faith-sense in addition to our five senses? We need faith because it is the only "sense" with which we see through GreatGate into the invisible dimension of RealRealm. For example, Hebrews 11: 6 says that whoever comes to God must believe God is.

Faith is the only means by which we believe God is and by which we can "see" into the invisible realm in which He lives. Empericists (people who believe all knowledge comes only from the five senses) teach that the five senses provide no evidence of God; they're right: only by our inner faith-sense can we know God, Jesus, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit!

Education, empiricism, science, logic, reason, intellect, and philosophy—each of these has to do with the five senses, and they all have their places in God's grand scheme of things for human life on planet earth. God created our five senses.

But our five senses cannot "find" God or "prove" He exists. Only by using our faith-sense can we believe God exists and believe the Bible to be God's Word. Again, where do we get our faith in God? God who lives inside of us in the unbodied form of the Holy Spirit freely gives each of us faith to believe He is. That's the only way we can really know and experience a vital, living relationship with God.

You see, God is Spirit (John 4: 24). Anyone or anything which is "composed" of spirit cannot be perceived or known by the five senses—only by means of our faith-sense. That's why we need the faith God has given to each of us; it's the only means by which we can know Him. In addition to the Bible and prayer, faith is one of the connecting links (through GreatGate) between the material universe (ShadowLand) and the spiritual universe, the invisible Kingdom of God (RealRealm).

There is an entire, totally other, "alternate universe," so to speak, known as the Kingdom of God (RealRealm). It is a Kingdom within us, and it is also a Kingdom outside of us: a Kingdom greater, larger, and more real than the physical or material universe we know by our five senses, but "small" enough to be within us, too. That unlimited, invisible Kingdom of God within and around us can be known and understood only by means of faith.

In addition to the Bible and our faith-sense, prayer is also the other GreatGate or connecting link through which we can enter and exit RealRealm from ShadowLand. It is the Bible "mixed" with prayer and our faith that allows us to see into the unseen, hear which cannot be heard with our physical ears, "taste" that which cannot be tasted, "touch" what cannot be touched, and experience that which we cannot experience with our five senses alone.

As stated above, in our world and universe (ShadowLand)—which is a physical, material world and universe—we perceive everything by our five senses; we all grew up and live our mortal lives learning to rely almost 100% upon our five senses. Through our own life experiences, through our education, through our relationships with other people, we came to believe that if we can't know or experience something with our five senses, it either doesn't exist or isn't real. We believe that if we can't perceive something with our five senses then it isn't real.

The challenge for us in doing battle with our enemy is that he and his minions cannot be known by our five senses in the same way we know and perceive most material reality. We haven't been conditioned to trust our faith-sense like we've been conditioned to rely upon our five senses. It's not that our faith-sense isn't as real as our five senses; actually, it's more real.

In many cases, we simply haven't trained ourselves how to use our faith, rely upon it, exercise it, focus it—like we have done with our five senses.

When God dispenses the appropriate amount of faith to each of us, it comes to us at first in sort of a vague, diffused "form." For most of us when we became new Jesus believers, at first our faith is "weak," unfocused, and undifferentiated. God wants us to exercise it and focus it toward Him and RealRealm. He wants us to train ourselves to use our faith properly.

Let me try to explain it this way. Light takes various forms. For example, light in a common household light bulb is unfocused; it's called radiant light, meaning it radiates out from its source equally in all directions; it's not focused in any manner. On the other hand, there is light such as laser light which is very narrowly focused into a compact, powerful beam which can be pointed or focused in a specific direction. God wants us to learn how to focus our faith like laser light—pointed specifically at Him. He doesn't want our faith to spread out randomly in all directions (and thus be "weakened" and lose some of its "power"). Rather, He wants our faith to be narrowly and powerfully focused towards Him.

We know a little about how our five senses function. We know a little about auditory nerves, olfactory lobes, tactile nerve endings, optical apparatus, taste buds, etc. But what do we know about how faith works and functions? More than you might think. How do we know? From the Bible. From the Holy Spirit communicating to us from within us and showing us how to apply the Bible to our lives and how to wage prayer warfare.
For example, we have already pointed out that God gives each of us an appropriate amount of faith. The Bible teaches that we must "exercise" that faith just as we exercise our muscles and minds. We exercise our faith by "releasing" it and focusing it toward God: by believing in Him, trusting Him, praying to Him, obeying Him, "listening" to Him with our "inner ears," seeing Him with our "inner eyes," etc.

As we exercise our faith in those ways, our faith is honed, sharpened, and focused; it becomes more use-able and more power-full. God becomes more "responsive" (in a sense) to our prayers, to our trust, to our use of our faith. Not that we manipulate God or that He is some sort of cosmic servant who responds to our every whim; no, nothing like that!

It's just that as we open up our inner selves and use our faith more often and in a more focused manner, we become more and more aware of just how the entire, invisible, spiritual realm of faith operates. We become more aware of "spiritual laws" and how they operate in both ShadowLand and RealRealm, just as we have become aware by means of our five senses of how natural laws operate in the material universe.

Just as we read, study, experience, and learn more about our physical, material universe by "exercising" our five senses, we perceive and comprehend more and more about God and the non-physical, non-material, invisible, spiritual universe (RealRealm) by exercising our faith-sense. By our five senses we are aware of our connectedness with other people, with planet earth, with the material universe. In contrast, by our faith-sense we are aware of our connectedness with another universe—the limitless expanse of the Kingdom of God—which transcends the material universe and yet is within us.

So . . . we have the Bible, prayer, and our faith-sense to connect with RealRealm and engage in battle with our enemy.

Continuing with our disclosure about Satan and demons, It's important for us to know that Satan is not able to create something out of nothing as only God can do. He is incapable of any truly creative act. Rather, he can only twist, disfigure, mar, and alter what is already present in any given circumstances, persons, or objects. Be wary of ascribing to our enemy miraculous creative powers that only the One, True and Living God possesses—especially in any fanciful, imaginative "end-time" scenarios your or others might fabricate without any factual basis in the Bible.

Continuing on, our enemy commander-in-chief and his minions are decidedly not "fallen angels" or dead humans who have somehow "morphed" into demonic beings—as a lot of fiction writing, television shows, and movies have deceived many humans into believing such fanciful notions about their origins. They were created "as is" to play specific parts in God's sovereign, overarching, eternal plans and purposes for his entire creation—just as angels were created "as is" in the same manner and also for God's eternal, sovereign purposes.

For a fuller disclosure of Satan's origin, please see our companion teaching on our web site entitled Satan: From Beginning To End.

The enemy commander and his minions were totally disarmed and soundly defeated by Jesus at the cross-event (actually, perhaps at the time He was born, but that's somewhat speculative . . . ), and we who are Jesus-believers are engaged in a military mopping up operation against them in order to prepare the earth for the Kingdom of God to be fully established and culminated at Jesus' second coming as King of kings and Lord of lords. Again, in military terms, we are God's Kingdom militia, using prayer—and skillfully wielding the Bible, and exercising our faith—as power-full offensive weaponry to give us present victories over our enemy and his soldier-minions.

In a sense, those who are prayer warriors . . . Bible warriors . . . faith warriors . . . are God's Rangers, trained prayer warriors stealthily infiltrating behind the enemy's lines, ranging time and space with the "eyes" of faith and "wings of prayer"; by faith, Rangers roam throughout ShadowLand, always protecting their loved ones and their churches. They covertly traverse the realm of the worldwide Church, keeping things safe from the assaults of the enemy; they furtively move through time and space in prayer, seeking "hot spots" where the enemy has assaulted individuals and churches, and striking at various weak spots of the enemy. Their "inner radar" is always on "scan," seeking where they are needed by God to pray, to use their Bible-weapons, and exercise their faith. Rangers are mostly unknown, and certainly unheralded, by those whose lives they protect daily in prayer warfare.

The Ranger "award ceremony" will be held when Jesus returns in power and glory and unveils them to the world, heralding and honoring the "fighting" and suffering they have engaged in for Jesus through the centuries of time since Genesis 4: 26 when humankind (after Adam and Eve) offered up its first prayer toward God. (1 Corinthians 3: 12 – 15; Revelation 5: 8; 8: 3 and 4)

Prayer also leads the way to the ultimate destruction of our enemy's kingdom of darkness at the victorious, second coming of Jesus. Our enemy has no power over us except that which God sovereignly permits and we knowingly or unknowingly relinquish to him. Since the enemy and his "soldiers" are spirit-beings, our most powerful weapons against them are ardent, triumphal prayer (and sometimes fasting); deftly and skillfully wielding aloud the Word of God, the Bible!; and faith by which we can "see" our enemy. Yet, in another sense, prayer-warfare is not so much a weapon as it is the very battle itself . . .

How To Wield The "Sword Of The Spirit"

What exactly do I mean when I say we are to wield the Bible skillfully as an offensive weapon against Satan and demons? Let me give you one simple example. When I engage in prayer warfare, I often turn in my Bible (remember, the Bible is God's power-full, super-natural LIFE-giving book!) and open it to specific references that seem to "fit" the matter about which I'm praying.

For example, let's say I'm praying about a friend who is struggling with addiction to pornography. I will pray aloud something like this:

"God, cover me and protect me with Jesus' blood as I pray right now. I put on your full armor. I take up the 'sword of the Spirit,' the Bible. [at this point, I might actually hold up the Bible or point to it, "getting right in Satan's face," so to speak].

I am relying upon the power of the Holy Spirit who lives inside me. Satan, you are trying to destroy [Bob or Sam or whoever] with your temptation of pornography; I forbid you to do that. The Bible says in James 4: 7 [I'll read the passage aloud] to resist you and you have to flee. I command you in the Name of Jesus cease trying to tempt [insert name]. You must flee from him; it says so right here in God's Word. Satan, Jesus said in Luke 10: 19 [again, I'll read the reference aloud] that I have power over you through Jesus; I tap into that power and tell you to leave [insert name] alone.

I hereby break the power of your temptation. I banish you. Flee now. Leave [insert name] alone! Holy Spirit, now release your inner power from within [insert name] so he will be able to continue to resist temptation in that particular area of his life. Help him to memorize 1 Corinthians 10: 13 so he can successfully use it's LIFE-giving power aloud to resist future temptation in this area of his life. I pray this in Jesus' power-full and victorious Name!"

There you have it—just one simple example of how to wield the Bible aloud in prayer as an offensive weapon against Satan and his minions. Does this method of prayer warfare always work? Yes . . . sometimes. No . . . sometimes. But we must keep working at it . . . by faith, by use of the Bible, and by prayer.

Speaking of speaking aloud, in the next couple of paragraphs I will write something you may find either objectionable, weird, or theologically unsound, but at various times throughout my teaching career I've been labeled all three of those epithets, so I'm going to go ahead and write the following few paragraphs anyway . . .

As soon as possible after I get out of bed every morning, I say OUT LOUD these words (or something similar—I don't have them memorized or say them by rote) as part of my prayer-warfare strategy for the day: "Good morning, Holy Spirit! I turn total control of my life over to you for the next 24 hours; You are in absolute charge of my life today."

Continuing on, I also say OUT LOUD: "Satan, I know you or one of your minions are listening; I place a hedge of protection around me, my family, and my loved ones [at this point I name out loud all my family and loved ones] for the next 24 hours; I place a 'wall of fire' around us. You cannot penetrate that hedge—that 'wall of fire'—without God's specific permission. I am surrounding us with God's favor as a shield." (Job 1: 9; Zechariah 2: 5; Psalm 5: 12)

In addition, I also say OUT LOUD every morning: "Thank You, God for always being totally present with me. Thank You for sharing with me today your very own uncreated, self-existent, eternal, abundant LIFE with me today by living inside me in the unbodied form of the Holy Spirit.

You are a good God who loves me deeply and always has my highest good in mind. Everything—all!—that will happen to me today will always be filtered through your eternal love for me. I love working with You in transforming and changing my life to become wholly (holy) complete in Jesus."

Finally, I also say OUT LOUD every morning: "God I cast all of today's burdens on you. I ask you to give 'rest to my soul.' I will live soaked in your supernatural peace all day today. I know You will be with me and in me all day today in the 'unbodied 'form' of your Holy Spirit." (Psalm 23: 3; John 14: 26 and 27; John 16: 33; Colossians 3: 15; 1 Peter 5: 7)

Returning to our general teaching about prayer, if our prayer should seem to "fail" on a given occasion, we must never let temporary failure discourage us from exercising prayer, the Bible, and faith in engaging in battle with our enemy. Temporary failure must not cause us to retreat; instead, it should cause us to advance on the battlefield.

If it becomes necessary to temporarily retreat, never retreat with any sign of fear! Never! Retreat as if you dare the enemy to pursue you. The ability to remain calm and at peace in the midst of both battle and retreat will, alone, make you a worthy prayer-soldier. God alone can give you such calmness and peace arising from the Holy Spirit who lives within you.

As we engage our enemy in warfare, we will often have questions about why certain things might be happening to us and to others for whom we pray . . . while we are praying. To answer such questions would take an entire other teaching. Suffice it to say that part of the answers to such questions is for us to always realize with steadfast certainty that God will never permit anything to happen to us or to others that is "against" our eternal wellbeing and our ultimate good—and that is not "filtered" through God's timeless and eternal love for all humankind!

God cannot ever act apart from his eternal love and righteous, divine justice for all humanity, because his core character is Love, Goodness, and Divine Justice!

Psalm 119: 68 boldly proclaims that God is [always] good and never bad. And, all God does is good. Genesis 18: 25 asks the rhetorical question, "Shall not the Judge of all the earth execute fair and righteous judgment?" The answer is, "Yes, God always executes fair and righteous judgment." If you hold fast to those certainties as you engage in battle with our enemy and his minions, through the power of the Living Lord Jesus within you, you will emerge victorious from the battle . . . Remember, God the Father has delegated to Jesus all power in heaven and on earth! (Matthew 28: 18)

Our good God—whose core character is love, goodness, and divine justice—has absolutely everything in his control, and there is absolutely nothing that is out of his control!

His eternal love and his righteous divine justice—tempered with mercy and grace—are the driving forces underlying everything He does throughout his vast creation. If those statements are not true, then God is not absolutely sovereign over the entire creation. If He is not absolutely sovereign over the entire creation, then He is not Almighty God!

The listing of biblical references toward the end of this Manual—they must be taken as a whole!—clearly teach that Jesus has already defeated our arrogant, malevolent enemy and his warrior-minions and completely disarmed them. Further, they teach that Jesus has already "overcome the world," the domain of our enemy. He has already invaded, overcome, defeated, and disarmed all the enemy's "principalities, powers, strongholds, and dominions."

Yes, our enemy's defeat and disarmament have already happened, but not yet . . . He has already been soundly defeated, but not yet completely . . . until Jesus returns in glory as victorious King of kings and Lord of lords. Our true Stronghold from which we emerge each day to do prayer-battle is our Omnipotent Redeemer, our Master, Jesus, our Impenetrable Fortress and the Rock of all Ages!

God's Kingdom Is Here Now . . . But Not Yet

Let me explain the "already, but not yet . . . " concept in the paragraph above in this manner. The Bible clearly teaches, for example, that Jesus-believers are already "complete in Christ." (Colossians 2:10) Yet, the Bible also clearly teaches that we are not yet complete in Christ (2 Corinthians 13: 11)—that we must continue to grow and mature and become "complete" as believers. That is the concept of "already, but not yet . . . " It is a paradox.

On the one hand, God, The Alpha and Omega who inhabits eternity, sees the beginning from the end (and everything in between), and from that perspective in eternity regards us as already complete in Christ. Yet, in our day-to-day practical experiences in time and space "before" we arrive in the next age upon our resurrection when Jesus returns to earth, we are still growing into completed believers; we are not yet "complete" believers.

It is the difference between God's infinite vantage point and perspective from the RealRealm of eternity (unlimited by time and space) and our finite perspective from where we live our present, mortal, limited lives in ShadowLand, limited by time and space. Thus it is with our enemy's defeat: it is already complete, but not yet . . .

As to the principle of "already, but not yet" as it applies to the Kingdom of God, please refer to Colossians 1: 12 and 13 where we read that God has already delivered us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of Light.

But . . . we are not yet fully entered into the Kingdom of Light until King Jesus victoriously returns in power and glory. At the present time—by means of prevailing prayer, skillful use of the Bible, and exercising our faith we are actually pitting God's coming "world system" (the Kingdom of God) against the present world systems (the kingdoms of darkness) and their inherent worldviews which lie in the power of the evil one. However, God's Kingdom is prevailing now . . . and will ultimately prevail!

The Kingdom of God is not something yet to be created and offered to humankind in the distant future. As long as God has been King over the created order, there has been a Kingdom of God "over" and "above" all creation. On the other hand, until the King—God the Son—personally returns and establishes His throne and dominion on this planet, from our ShadowLand perspective the fully realized Kingdom of God is in the future. Yet, in another sense the Kingdom of God is always "parallel" to this world's governments—including Satan's "government." And the Kingdom of God is presently within us who are new-creation sons and daughters of the King.

The Kingdom of God is always both present and prospective (future). God is now restoring humankind in two areas of our lives: our relationship with God, and the rulership of God. The Kingdom is being realized now—presently—in both partial and personal ways as it is spread through all the earth by the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through the Church and its individual prayer warriors. But . . . the Kingdom will be realized finally in consummate and conclusive ways only at the return of Jesus and his Kingdom reign over all the earth. What little we experience of his triumph now, in part, will be fully experienced at his coming.

Jesus said there is "violence" in the agelong process of bringing God's Kingdom fully to earth. (Matthew 11: 12) What did He mean by that? He meant that the Kingdom of God makes its penetration into this world by a kind of violent entry opposing the human status quo and Satan's worldviews in each generation. The upheaval of the status quo is not caused by political provocation or armed conflict, but by the Holy Spirit's power working in people.

Opposing Worldviews

I may be stretching a point now by merely mentioning my thoughts about worldviews in the following few paragraphs—without also providing ample evidence to support my thoughts; I do believe, however, that there is sufficient historical evidence to support my thoughts, but space does not permit me to say much more about this next point. Here goes . . .

In every "generation of believers"—or perhaps in a more general way, in every century or so since the Old Testament Exodus-Event, there have been one or two prevailing "worldviews" which have been initiated and propagated by Satan to infiltrate and deceive the Church of Jesus Christ.

What is a worldview? It is our personal presuppositions about God and the universe—and everything in it—which underlie all our decisions and behavioral actions. It is our overall, personal "view" of God and of all his creation, including earth and humankind.

A biblical worldview is when we learn to think God's thoughts and perceive the entire creation as He does by reading, studying, and obeying our Bibles—when we "put on" the mind of Jesus, when we learn to think his thoughts. To name one example only of a anti-biblical, Satanic worldview, during the latter part of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century, the so-called rational thinking of the "Age of Enlightenment" Or "Age of Reason" became a strongly held worldview which made many destructive inroads into the worldwide Church (such as, for example, "Deism" instead of the One True and Living God of the Bible), thus weakening the Church of some of its power.

Such "enlightening" views did much to discredit the Church's supernatural origins, led people to believe the biblical accounts about Jesus were fairy tales or myths, sought to discredit the authenticity and validity of the Bible, excluded the miraculous intervention of God in the affairs of earth, etc. As only one example among many, during the "Age of Enlightenment" or "Age of Reason," many of the world's so-called "Secret Societies" were first formed, drawing many Jesus believers away from the Bible and the God of the Bible. Those Secret Societies and worldviews are still seducing Jesus believers—such societies as the Masons, Rosicrucians, esoteric cult-like religious groups, the Ku Klux Klan, and the like.

In it's most basic form, what happens when Satan foists such worldviews into human culture and society is that he simply "exchanges God's truth for a lie," as we read in Romans 1: 25. It's just that simple, and Satan is very skilled at what he does. He's a consummate liar. It's one of his most effective battle plans against the Church and individual Jesus believers, as his lies infiltrate and permeate the thought processes and worldviews of many unsuspecting Jesus-believers, distorting and weakening their biblical worldviews. He and his minions constantly pick at our minds with spectral fingers, probing for weaknesses in our biblical worldviews.

As another example of his battle plans, during the 20th century and continuing right up until this present time the concepts of the "Theory of Evolution" first set forth by Charles Darwin in the 19th century came to fruition around 1940 (when Darwin's theories were reinvigorated by some new genetic research) and have made many inroads into the Church—again, thus weakening the 20th century and early 21st century Church. For example, many believers have tried to modify Satanic evolutionary views by espousing so-called "Theistic evolution," which is an oxymoron.

Many believers don't yet realize how very, very serious prevalent and destructive evolutionary worldviews are, both within and outside the Church. My own view is that the theory of evolution (which led to naturalism, humanism, moral relativism, and modern empiricism) is one of the most clever and deceptive lies Satan has ever foisted upon humankind!

It's tenets have infiltrated and permeated all areas of culture and society: economics, music, entertainment, science, politics, religion, medicine, philosophy, etc., and have led to the insidious, pervasive, naturalistic, humanistic worldviews of moral relativism and empiricism.

It has displaced the biblical, Judeo-Christian worldview that was held throughout "Christendom" (the western world) for many centuries. Under the tenets of naturalism, humanism, moral relativism, and empiricism, there are no "absolutes" because there is no God.

On the other hand, the good news is that I believe the theory of evolution may be Satan's "last-ditch," all-out effort to deceive the world because he senses his time may be short. In a manner of speaking, he has "taken his best shot," and it is doomed to failure like all his other worldviews . . .

For an excellent modern docu-movie about the theory of evolution's effect on world culture, I encourage you to rent the DVD of the movie Expelled, available at any movie rental establishment. It's a fascinating look into how the theory of evolution has made tremendous inroads into all modern thought—into all modern cultures and societies.

Modern worldviews based on Enlightenment, Reason, Evolution, Naturalism, Humanism, and Empiricism have also removed from the thinking of most Jesus-believers the core biblical teaching that we are engaged in genuine warfare with a real enemy. The modern "enlightened" worldviews of many Jesus-believers has simply removed prayer warfare as a practical category, and so it shouldn't surprise us that we simply cannot "see" spiritual strongholds after we first say we believe they don't really exist. If we deny there are battles to be fought, well, Satan simply goes on his merry way wreaking havoc throughout time and space.

In fact, if you polled many modern, "enlightened" Jesus believers they would respond that such warfare really doesn't exist; they would say it's just unenlightened thinking based upon a misunderstanding of what the Bible "really" teaches about the "presence of evil" in the world.

The enemy's lies are so pervasive that many Jesus believers have come to believe they are true. He has spread lies that there isn't such a thing as prayer-warfare. "There is no warfare" is the subtle—but very pervasive—lie sown by the enemy, a lie so familiar that we don't even see behind the lie to the father of lies. For too long he has penetrated the ranks of the Church and we haven't even recognized him!

Yes, sadly, many Jesus believers have completely jettisoned a biblical, "warfare" worldview. Oh, they may feel that as a biblical doctrine there is such a personage as Satan, but they feel what we know of him is essentially mythological. He has been deleted from their thinking and day-to-day consciousness.

In reality, Satan has cleverly and silently infiltrated our ranks dressed as an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11: 14 and 15; Galatians 1: 8) As just one small example, did you know that the great old prayer warfare hymn, "Onward, Christian Soldiers," has been removed from the latest versions of many denominational song books? In some respects, many Christians have simply acquiesced, surrendering to the enemy without a single shot being fired!

Continuing on with this discussion of opposing worldviews, let's examine how they originated in the first place. Of course, we know the clear focal point of origin in time and space occurred in the Garden of Eden when Satan first questioned the godly worldview held by Adam and Eve; I won't elaborate on that scenario in this Manual.

Such opposing worldviews gained impetus in historical time and came to the forefront during the time of the Tower of Babel and Noah, and, later, at the biblical Exodus-event between the true and living God and the Egyptian god-man who ruled over the first great world empire. The Pharaoh was considered to be god because of his soul's "divine union" with the sun. He was considered more than mere man, and more than nature. He was considered the ultimate Sun-Man or Sun-God.

But when the true and living God of the Hebrews came on the scene and confronted Pharaoh, God became Pharaoh's nemesis—an enemy that rigorously defied his claim to deity. That's when the true battle between Satan and humankind intensified in all it's fury, the titanic battle which we are continuing to wage with Satan to this very day many thousands of years after the Exodus-event.

The Exodus-event was the ageless collision of the forces of good and evil with the world's first "evil empire." People who would not kneel in homage and reverence to the true God began to accuse Him of being the product of a condemning moral code (the ten commandments) propagated by foolish people who in their weakness must create an imaginary God that is beyond themselves.

Yahweh (Hebrew title for God) was condemned in the old world as the foolish, false creation of weak people who were simply unable to survive or rule by the "power of the universe" (think Oprah who on her daily program slowly and insidiously changed the word "God" to the substitute word "Universe" . . . ) and by their own hand.

It was a conflict of decision, of decided faith or non-faith. And it was on this ground of the unknowable that the battle between worldviews heightened and intensified in its raging fury. I say "unknowable" because God will always remain the ultimate Mystery, known only by our faith-senses. Faith, alone, in the Unknowable is forever the final step during this mortal pilgrimage.

Thus rampaged the battle between a godly world view of faith and Satan's worldview that regards Yahweh's (Jehovah's) very existence as a hated and mortal threat to man's moral autonomy. The very idea of an omnipotent and holy God is an attack upon the ground of what godless people hold most dear: Them-selves. Me. I. Myself. They proclaim, "I'm in charge of my own life. I don't have to account to some imaginary God."

That latter view holds that evolved Man himself should be the ultimate measure of good and evil . . . while Jesus believers believe that a holy and righteous God has given humans the commandment that we must worship Him with all our hearts, minds, and spirits, abide by such laws, and claim no moral sovereignty for ourselves. One side claims that they themselves are God as Man, the ultimate expression of what is good and true.

The other side simply chooses to worship and serve the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jesus who steadfastly proclaims that we must worship no other God but Him.

Satan from the beginning has always held out to humans that they themselves are the all-embracing absolute of good and evil, the decider of their own destiny by the strength of their own arm. He leads people to reject the concept of an invisible, omnipotent God who created humanity and then revealed Himself to humanity, a God who established codes of conduct that could not be altered. Humanity has always faced the choice to serve the one true and living God or the false god-man.

Enlightenment is not new. An Age of Reason is not new. Naturalism is not new. Humanism is not new. Evolution is not new. Oprah's widely held view of the nebulous universe as a "living being" (instead of God) is not new. They are all simply ancient worldviews that have been around since the Tower of Babel and Noah and the Egyptian kingdom (the latter being the first "evil empire"), and have been "dressed up" and newly packaged at various times through human history to contest a biblical, godly worldview.

Finally, in connection with this matter of one's worldview, we need to think about the following . . . Based upon such biblical references as Psalm 24: 1 (compare 1 Corinthians 10: 26 and 28), for centuries the God of the Bible was seen by Jesus believers and pre-believers alike (at least in general terms) in the western world as absolutely sovereign over the universe and planet earth and all it's affairs.

But in the past 125 years or so (since the beginning of the so-called "Age of Enlightenment"), many Jesus believers have been deceived by Satan into believing that Jesus is an "absentee King" who is concerned exclusively with building His Church until He returns to earth.

Such Jesus believers teach God is not doing anything else on the earth except working in and through his Church. Every other pursuit Christians might engage in (such as politics, music, business, secular education, etc.) is considered to be sinful and "worldly."

They see Jesus as having the authority and right to rule, but as having yielded to Satan temporary powers to subjugate the world and its peoples. In reality, Jesus is—and always has been and will be—the absolute and sovereign Ruler of the entire creation and planet earth, and Satan a defeated foe. One's worldview about this issue is of paramount importance, because it affects what one believes and practices in every area of life. Here, "in a nutshell," is the contrast:

If You see God (Jesus) absolutely Sovereign over the earth and its people:

· Your commission is to subdue the earth and build godly nations through evangelizing and discipleship.

· You see biblical beliefs and values as leavening and influencing all areas of life, replenishing the earth and blessing all humankind.

· All of this world is God's, and every activity is to be seen as ultimately a spiritual work of God.

· Reformation, renewal, and restoration are expected if a nation is obedient to God's Word.

If you see Satan sovereignly ruling the earth and its people:

· Your commission is merely to concentrate on "saving souls" from this evil world.

· You see Christian culture and the Church as a counter-culture, an isolated, persecuted minority in an evil world.

· Church activity is primary and spiritual, while "worldly" pursuits are secondary and secular, and we are to be involved in any pursuits outside the Church only out of sheer necessity.

· Reformation is impossible since things must get worse and worse because Satan is in control of this earth and its peoples.

Now, please take a few moments to read and meditate upon Romans 1: 25 and 2: 8. The ultimate end result of a worldview based upon the theory of evolution, naturalism, humanism, moral relativism, and empiricism is to produce a world of people who are sin-seeking, self-seeking, and self-centered rather than God-seeking and God-centered.

When that happens, the world's governmental systems end up first with "socialism" (possibly with some sort of dictatorship) and then with total anarchy, leading to a reign of chaos and further rebellion against God—if the onslaught of those worldviews is not stopped by the Church's prevailing prayer and offensive action. As the last verse in the Old Testament Book of Judges puts it: "Everyone does what is right in his own eyes!"—without any personal responsibility to the God who created them.

I could share many other types of deceptive and destructive worldviews that have surfaced and come against the Church in almost every century for the past 5,000 years.

I am personally convinced that such dark, prevailing worldviews have been initiated by our enemy primarily to infiltrate, deceive, and weaken God's people, specifically, and the Church, in general, robbing them of their power and witness to the world! I could go into much more detail about this matter, but perhaps these few paragraphs about worldviews will serve to whet your thinking and help you engage in more effective prayer-warfare against such strategies of Satan.

In respect to Satan foisting his worldviews upon us, it is always God's will to "root out" of us (by prayer, the Word of God, and the inner power of the Holy Spirit) the prevailing worldviews of whatever age we live in, i.e., our "present evil age" and replace them with a godly, biblical worldview. (The word "deliver" in Galatians 1: 4 is "root out.") Perhaps we can say a KingdomView rather than any type of worldview.

See the paragraphs later in this teaching where I discuss the step-by-step process of exactly how Satan deceives people . . .

Anti-Christ!

One other matter needs addressed in general in this Soldiers Training Manual, but I will not go into great detail; this is the subject of antichrist. If you are even slightly aware of eschatology or so-called "end time theology," you know that many "end-time teachers" predict that a time will come (perhaps soon) when a person named "the Antichrist" (called "the Beast" in the book of Revelation) will arise on the world scene and inflict all sorts of terrible atrocities upon people living in a brief time-frame before Jesus' return.

Some have even predicted that God has told them where and when the antichrist will be (has been?) born and how he will rise to power before the "great tribulation." All one need do is look through any copy of two major Christian magazines, Christianity Today and Charisma, to see what I write is true about the end-time scenarios which have been fabricated about the antichrist.

Let me put it to you as simply as I know how: The Bible does not teach that there is a coming Antichrist! It is a lie. It is a total fabrication. There is not a coming person called "the Antichrist"! I won't take the time to discuss how that lie got started by the "Father of Lies" . . .

The word "antichrist" appears only 4 times in the Bible: 1 John 2: 18; 2: 22; 4: 3; and 2 John 7. These references teach that there are many antichrists. Who is an antichrist? It is any person who denies the existence of the Father and the Son. Moreover, it is anyone who believes Jesus Christ did not come in the flesh.

So . . . anyone is an antichrist if they do not believe in the existence of the Father and the Son and if they do not believe that Jesus came in the flesh.

Moreover, these texts indicate that demonic spirits are behind such beliefs. That is to say, "antichrist spirits" deceive people into believing such lies about The Father and Jesus . . . To use a simple example: if you have a neighbor who does not believe in the Father and the Son and who does not believe Jesus came in the flesh, your neighbor is anti-Christ.

He's been deceived into those beliefs by an antichrist spirit. Millions of people have been—and are—antichrists. There is no one, great, evil Antichrist to come before Jesus returns to earth! It's that simple . . . In fact, those who teach about a coming antichrist during the so-called end-times do most of their teaching about the antichrist from the Book of Revelation. Would it surprise you to learn that the word "antichrist" does not appear anywhere in the Book of Revelation?!

In every age, such deceiving antichrist spirits blind the eyes and minds of people to the truth about the God the Father and Jesus the Son. What bothers me personally is the number of professing Jesus believers who have been deceived into such false thinking—false views about the "Trinity," false views about Jesus' Incarnation, and false views about Jesus' resurrection from the dead and ascension to heaven.

It's bad enough that pre-believers believe such falsehoods about God, but it's vastly more destructive when "non-believing believers" believe such lies and deceptions. We must continually engage in prayer-warfare against such deception and lies.

There's another interesting aspect about antichrist which I'll just throw in for free . . . It's kind of speculative, but I feel there's some biblical basis for it. There's kind of an interesting "play on words" in the original Greek language in which these texts about antichrist were written. It goes something like this . . . If you should come to me and say that you are a fellow believer—that Jesus lives in you—inside you "in your flesh,"—and I deny that to be true because you're not my "brand" or "type" of Jesus believers or you don't believe exactly like I do, then I am—in effect—saying, "No, I don't believe that Jesus has come into your flesh in the unbodied form of the Holy Spirit because you're not quite my type or 'brand' of Jesus believer."

That means that I am "anti-Christ" about you—that I am denying Jesus has come into your flesh because you're not my "brand" of Jesus believer. It's something to think about . . .

Finally, under the subject of antichrist, some (not all) counterfeit Christian religions as a whole would qualify for the title antichrist, also, but not necessarily all the individuals espousing or embracing such a religion.

I hasten to state, however, that not all such counterfeit Christian religions are patently false; some are merely incomplete in terms of acceptable "orthodox" biblical teaching and doctrine. As well as engaging in outright lying, Satan and his minions sometimes simply don't tell the "whole truth and nothing but the truth" to gullible persons.

The antichrist is not a single person. It's more like a sickness, a plague, which assails people and tries to destroy them. It's a "spirit of wickedness" which sometimes wields extraordinary power over various individuals. It's a spirit of immense evil which arises to work its wicked will on various humans. Very often this vile spirit finds refuge among well-intended, but theologically wrong, Jesus believers who teach of a coming great "beast" or individual who they claim will be the antichrist appearing on the world's scene shortly before Jesus returns. Such teachers have deceived many Jesus-believers who are all too quick to believe the sensationalism being taught about the antichrist.

I haven't yet written a full teaching on this subject of "AntiChrist;" all I have so far are some notes I've been jotting down for a few years. If you're interested in visiting me about this matter and sharing some of your own thoughts, please contact me via our "Contact" icon on our web site and let's visit a bit by e-mail or telephone, okay?

Back to our general subject at hand: the nature of Satan and demons . . . Since the time when God called Abraham and commissioned him and his "seed" (physical and spiritual descendants) to bring God's blessings to all humanity, God-believers are part of a worldwide, military divine resistance movement. As prayer-soldiers in that movement, we are driving back the enemy's kingdom of malignant evil in preparation for God's Kingdom to be fully consummated on earth.

The Kingdom of God on earth was brought to the fore and began to be fully unveiled when Jesus was here the first time. He is continually establishing and spreading his Kingdom through the work of his Church and "kingdom-believers." The Kingdom will finally be consummated on earth when Jesus returns. Meanwhile, as King Jesus' Kingdom increases here on earth, to that extent Satan is roused to wrath; he seeks always to keep us from the knowledge of God and his spreading Kingdom, for then he knows we are defenseless before him.

The Church

Speaking of the Church, let me mention something about the overall role of the Church in the type of warfare I am describing. First, let me define "Church" so we are clear on what I mean when I use the word.

The Church is comprised of all people everywhere and everywhen in whom Jesus dwells by means of the Holy Spirit, Jesus' unbodied other Self.

Turn to Matthew 16: 18 where Jesus says " . . . I will build my Church, and the gates of Hades [the power of the realm of the dead] will not be able to hold out against it."

In the old King James version of the Bible the wording of this reference is such that a person reading the reference might mistakenly get the word-picture in their mind that the "gates" of Hades are on the offensive against the Church, and the Church will barely be able to hold out defensively against Hade's onslaught. Not so!

The actual word-picture is just the exact opposite. The Church is on the offensive and the gates of Hades are on the defensive, unable to hold out against the Church's onslaught! Quite a difference, isn't It? Yes, the Church is God's strong, offensive "weapon" against the powers of the realm of the dead (Satan's domain) and Satan will go down in utter defeat against that power-full, victorious onslaught! The Church on earth is not dead or dying. It is alive, victorious, thriving, and growing by means of the indwelling Spirit of God!

For example, by the end of the first century—approximately 70 years after Jesus' resurrection and ascension back to heaven—there was approximately 1 Jesus believer for every 35 persons in the "known world." Today, 2,000 years later, there is approximately 1 Jesus believer for every 7 people in the entire world! (When I use the term "Jesus believer," I mean all those people comprising what we loosely term "Christendom;" who am I to judge who is and who isn't an authentic believer in Jesus throughout Christendom? If I were to make such judgments, that might make me an "antichrist!")

From 1 Jesus believer for every 35 people 2,000 years ago to 1 in 7 people today. That sounds like victorious progress to me. No, the Church is not dead or dying. It's alive and well. It's still on the victorious offensive against our enemy and his minions. It will be a strong, beautiful Church without spot or wrinkle presented and wedded to Jesus when He returns to earth.

Back again to the subject of prayer warfare . . . There are no distance-limitations in prayer warfare. We can do prayer-battle anywhere on this planet (or in the atmosphere) and in RealRealm from wherever we are located. The Bible makes it abundantly clear that we do not war against evil in other humans, but against invisible spirit-beings who have clearly defined spheres of authority on the earth and in earth's atmosphere.

Watch What You Say . . . And Who You Say It To!

It is an extremely serious mistake, when—instead of conducting prayer warfare directly against Satan and his minions—we mistakenly choose to fight and war against him indirectly by fighting other humans with either physical means or by slander, libel, rumor, lies, gossip, and backbiting.

In fighting directly with other humans instead of with evil spirits, we play right into the hands of the enemy's strategies and tactics, advancing his dark kingdom instead of God's!

Satan causes many a wagging tongue to spit poisonous lies in order to exploit such persons to his own advantage. Never permit yourself to be among those who spread lies in such a manner. Never be involved in slander, libel, rumors, lies, gossip, and backbiting; you will do so to your own detriment and ruin . . . and to Satan's military advantage!

This brings up a point we must not overlook, but which I will not address in detail; we'll take just a glimpse at the following matter. It is clear that our enemy is a liar, the originator of lies, the consummate liar. But we don't tend to think of him as that in our day-to-day thought lives. Not every thought that is in your mind originates with you. Some, of course, originate with the Holy Spirit. But . . . some originate with our enemy, too. Those thoughts he seduces us into thinking will always be lies, some very subtle and devious, but lies, nevertheless. We are being lied to by our enemy and his minions throughout our waking moments and even in our dreams sometimes.

In our pride-filled enlightenment, naturalism, moral relativism, and empiricism, we are often too "modern" to take such matters very seriously, but we must not be unaware of such schemes by Satan (2 Corinthians 2: 11). In our so-called enlightened worldviews, we tend to look at such matters as being merely psychological or sociological phenomena. A genuinely enlightened thinker named William Gurnell once wrote: "It is the image of God reflected in you that so enrages [Satan]; it is that at which the demons hurl their mightiest weapons."

There is a whole lot more going on in our thought patterns and minds than most of us have been led to believe by our "enlightened" theology. True biblical theology teaches very clearly that Satan is a liar and skillfully "broadcasts" his thoughts into our minds. Period!

We must always bear in mind we are engaged in prayer battles with invisible forces we can't see or fully understand—not engaged in battles with other humans. If we're to succeed in our warfare, we have to see "behind" the humans involved and fully trust in God. He's the only one who can give ultimate victory in our battles with the enemy! Don't be trapped into spending your time fighting against human enemies; a strange thing happens when we mistakenly spend our time fighting human "enemies;" when we do that, we fail to recognize and know who is our real foe; we end up fighting the wrong enemies, sometimes even ourselves!

Definitions

In biblical references to Satan and demons, "principalities" denotes the enemy's sphere of jurisdiction; it is not a geographical term. "Powers" represents the enemy's limited authority—limited by the sovereignty of God. "Might" is the limited strength of the enemy. "Strongholds" are concentrations of the enemy's soldier-minions.

"Dominion" represents the enemy's governed sphere of influence. "Hosts of wickedness in heavenly places" refers to the enemy's invisible activities in the atmosphere surrounding the earth. "Rulers of the darkness of this age" means the enemy's sphere of activity anywhere the liberating light of the Gospel of God does not shine. The "kingdom of darkness" is slowly, but inexorably being displaced by God's Kingdom of Light.

I won't go into this "sub-subject" in detail, but I want to point out that it seems that the Bible—taken as a whole!—teaches that Satan has a complex military command structure. Satan is the commander-in-chief, so to speak. Directly under his command is a higher level "general staff "(again, using military terminology). The next "level of command" is a field officer staff. Finally, there is a staff of lower ranking officers, "non-commissioned" officers, and many "legions" of "foot soldiers and cavalry," so to speak. (See Luke 8: 30 as one example)

In this regard, I might point out that at the time of Jesus, a Roman legion consisted of anywhere from 3,000 to 6,000 foot soldiers with additional cavalry under the command of a Tribune. A "cohort" was comprised of 300-600 soldiers, and a "century" was comprised of 100 soldiers under the command of a Centurion. Satan has a large "army" which will some day go down in utter and decisive defeat under our prayer-onslaught against him and his foul legions!

Next, in a non-military manner of speaking, it can be said that Satan is the "administrator" or "governor" of the world's systems (the "kingdoms of this world"—see Luke 4: 5 and 6 where Satan tempted Jesus). He has limited but powerful control of the world's systems and their prevailing worldviews; Jesus calls him the "ruler of this world" (John 12: 31; 16: 30). We are to engage in prayer-warfare against him in order for his limited control to be steadily and consistently diminished and relinquished to the Kingdom of God under Jesus' reign and control.

Spirit, Soul, And body

Yes, we are to engage in warfare for the control of the world, but we must also understand there is another sphere of warfare taking place on a much "smaller" scale. Paul wrote there is constant warfare occurring inside all of us who are Jesus believers—in our "smaller," inner world. (see Romans 7: 15-20; 2 Corinthians 10: 3-6; 1 Peter 2:11) That warfare is occurring in our souls as God continues the process of transforming us, re-creating us, and restoring us into his image.

The word soul in the Bible generally describes our minds, our personalities, our emotions, our wills, our person-ness, our "self-ness," our "me-ness," our consciences, characters, etc. Our souls and our spirits are not one and the same!

When the Bible uses the word heart in a symbolic sense, it generally means both our spirits and souls combined. Do not confuse the biblical words soul and spirit, thinking they are one and the same. They are not; they are distinct and separate parts of our tri-une being.

The salvation of our spirits is over and done with; it's a settled, completed, accomplished fact. But the salvation of our souls (minds, personalities, etc.)—well, that's another matter altogether. A matter involving a lifetime of intense prayer-warfare—and study and obedience to the Bible's teachings.

For a fuller teaching about the matter of our souls and spirits, see our teaching, Whole In One, on our web site.

By the way, the commonly accepted term "spiritual warfare" is a misnomer. Contrary to what many Jesus believer writers and speakers teach, we are, instead, engaged in "soul warfare" and "body warfare" (the latter as evidenced by disease, illness, sickness, and disabilities.)

Yes, our enemy can attack our bodies as well as our souls—but only with God's specific permission. We are not engaged in spiritual warfare, per se! I encourage you to drop the term "spiritual warfare" from your lexicon; it is a misleading term. Instead, use "prayer warfare."

We are engaged in soul warfare, body warfare, and prayer warfare against our own dark natures, and, yes, against unbodied, nonphysical, darkened, evil, unclean spirit beings who whisper in "voices" inaudible to the human ear thoughts of lies, fear, hopelessness, rebellion, independence from God, autonomy, and suicide.

Yes, there certainly are dark, malignant forces which war against our soul's growth and development, but, in a sense, our greatest enemy is our sinful, "old nature" selves—not Satan, not evil spirits. As the old comic strip character, Pogo, once put it: "We have met the enemy, and they is us!"

The vast majority (but not all) of our problems, struggles, setbacks, losses, heartaches, addictions, dependencies, harmful and destructive habits, co-dependencies, neuroses, psychoses, schizophrenia, depression, despair, fear, hate, bitterness, revenge, rage—you name it—these are all matters of the regressive effects of sin, rebellion, and radical autonomy in our souls, not matters of the human spirit.

If we are authentic Jesus-believers, the salvation of our spirits is a finished, accomplished fact. It is our souls that need transformation, change, renewal, and restoration as we spend our lifetimes growing, developing, and maturing in Jesus, becoming more and more like Him Who is the express visible image of the invisible God.

The devil doesn't make us do things. He tempts us (tests us) to commit sin, lawlessness, wrongdoing, and rebellion against God's plans and purposes for our lives. Then, we engage in such wrongful, sinful behavior and transgressions by our own wrong choices and decisions.

The devil and his minions are merely formless voices with which they insidiously whisper into our thought-lives their foul accusations, temptations (tests), and deceptions. But, even though he merely accuses, tempts, and deceives us, for too long we have often blamed the devil for our own challenges and thus have avoided facing up to them and making the positive inner changes in our souls (minds) we ourselves need to initiate with the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.

3 Most Effective Tactics

Among the multitude of our enemy's nefarious tactics among all humans—the Bible, history, and the chronicles of common human experience readily disclose that three of our enemy's most effective tactics primarily directed at Jesus-believers are accusations, temptation, and deception.

If we are honestly attempting to please God in all we do . . . If we are praying for the indwelling Holy Spirit's daily assistance as we work in cooperation with Him at the inner changes God wants us to make . . . If we are regularly and consistently reading and studying our Bibles and applying what we read and memorize to our everyday lives . . . If we are regularly and consistently meeting and fellowshipping with other Jesus-believers for mutual strength and encouragement . . .

If we are doing those things—and more—yet we still feel inner accusations in our souls that we are falling short of accomplishing God's plans and purposes in our lives, that we are not "worthy" of God's love, grace, and forgiveness—that means that most likely we are being accused by our enemy, insidiously whispering to us that we are not living up to God's full potential for our lives and are not "worthy" of his loving attention. He also accuses us by causing us to dwell upon past sin in our lives—sin that has been forgiven and forgotten by God.

If we are dwelling on such matters, we can overcome that tactic of the enemy by deftly wielding the "sword of the spirit" aloud as it's found in 1 John 2: 1 and 2 (and other related biblical references), engaging in prayer-battle to overcome the enemy's accusations.

Satan's second major strategy is when we are tempted in areas of our lives (generally, we are tempted in those areas of our lives where we have an inherent weakness or propensity to sin), then we always have two choices in dealing with the temptation: 1. We can say "Yes" and yield to the temptation, or 2. We can say "No" and resist the temptation.

If we choose to say yes to the temptation, here's the process of what is occurring. Satan is tempting us in a weak area of our lives or an area of our lives in which we have "hardened" our hearts; it is not the temptation itself that is sinful. Generally, sin, wrongdoing, and transgression are merely symptoms of a hardened heart. It's the hardened heart that is the real sin . . .
Satan does not—and cannot—cause us to sin. All he can do is tempt us to sin . . . and he is very skilled at that task. When he tempts us, if we choose to sin as a result of the temptation, such a choice is made of our own volition based on our own hardened heart and our own lusts and desires.

Yes, it is our own lust and evil desires—arising from a hardened heart—that cause us to yield to the temptation. When that lust and evil desire are conceived by the temptation, it gives birth to sin in that area of our lives. And that sin leads to [soulical] death. The deadening process of sin is: conception . . . birth . . . death. (See James 1: 13 – 15) The most powerful biblical reference to use when dealing with temptation is 1 Corinthians 10: 13.

Here's how that reference reads in The Amplified Bible:

"For no temptation (no trial or test regarded as enticing to sin, no matter how it comes or where it leads) has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to all humans [that is, no temptation, trial, or test has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as a person can bear]. But God is faithful to [His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted, tested, tried, and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation [test or trial] He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently."

I urgently encourage you to read, meditate upon, and memorize this powerful biblical weapon in your arsenal, so it is always available at a moment's notice for you to proclaim aloud when Satan or his demons tempt you in weak areas of your life.

(Note: With rare exception, any time you see the word "tempt," "temptation," or "tempted" in the New Testament, you can almost always substitute the words "trial," "test," or "testing" for those words. Not always, but most of the time. In the following few paragraphs about the subject of temptation, you can readily substitute the words "trial," "test," or "testing."

Why does God allow our enemy to tempt or test us? 3 brief reasons: 1. Strengthen our wills, 2. Reveal our weak areas, propensities, and proclivities to sin—where our lusts and evil desires lie, and, 3. Teach us how to more skillfully engage in battle with our enemy.

Let's take a few moments to examine our enemy's tactics and strategies of temptation—in the pursuit of "knowing our enemy" even better.

3 Aspects Of Temptation

Jesus faced 3 aspects of temptation when He was tempted by Satan in the wilderness (see Luke 4 and related references in the other 3 Gospels). First, He was tempted in his soul (his mind, his personality, his will, his character, etc.) when Satan tempted Him to turn stones into bread; when Jesus replied that humans cannot live by bread alone, but by every word of God, that response was in relation to his soul's (mind's) growth and development. We must regularly and consistently apply the Word of God, the Bible, to our soul-lives in order to grow, develop, progress and mature as Jesus-believers, just as Jesus applied the Scriptures in order to grow in his human life.

Second, Jesus was also tempted in his spirit when Satan tried to persuade Jesus to worship him instead of God (remember John 4: 23 which tells us people must worship God "in spirit"). Satan also tempts us to worship him instead of God, primarily through idolatry—anything manmade which supplants God in our worship—and continually presenting us with false gods for us to worship instead of the One true and Living God. (See later pages in this teaching Manual for more thoughts about idolatry and worshiping false gods.)

Finally, Jesus was tempted in his body, when Satan encouraged Him to test God by throwing Himself down from the pinnacle of the temple—to see whether God would save Him from physical death.

These 3 aspects of temptation dovetail perfectly with the Bible's teaching in 1 John 2: 16 which claims that all that is in the world (Satan's limited sphere of influence)—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life are not from the Father, but are of this world-system which is in the process of passing away.

First, in 1 John 2: 16 the "lust of the flesh" is our five human senses, logic, and reason (our "sinful nature") without the underlying influence of the Spirit of God at work in our minds and personalities. It is seeking to fulfill our five senses in an overindulgent manner. This is the same as when Jesus was tempted in his mind and personality.

Second, the "lust of the eyes" are those things we "see" and perceive with our five senses that lure us away from the worship of the one true and Living God. We "see" and perceive idols or false gods we have constructed or been presented with either intentionally or by default which serve to lure us away from our worshipful relationship with the true, living God. The lust of the eye is to have greedy longings in our minds which cause further greed and covetousness.

Third, the "pride of "life" is when Jesus was tempted by Satan to take his own life by throwing Himself down from the pinnacle of the temple. It is when we don't highly prize and value our lives and bodies, not regarding that our bodies are the true "temple" of God in which the Holy Spirit has taken up residence. It is to trust our own inner resources and ourselves rather than trust in God's inner resources within us in the "form" of the Holy Spirit.

Because God is vitally concerned about our whole person (body, soul [mind], and spirit) being re-created, re-integrated, and restored into his image in us, He allows temptation in all three of those components of our beings—bodies, souls, and spirits—to aid us in that re-creation and re-storation process.

I want to briefly address the matter of God's restoring us from where his image in us has been marred, "blackened," and disfigured. When we humans restore something, that restoration most often involves merely restoring something back to its original condition. But . . . in contrast, when God restores humans, He always restores us to a far greater condition than we were to begin with! In the Bible, his restoration ranges from twice as good . . . to four times as good . . . to seven times as good as something was at the beginning! See the last chapter of the Book of Job which exemplifies God's restoration process. God always restores "above and beyond" what is necessary; more than what is necessary; greater than what is necessary; better than what is necessary; that's just Who He is; that's just God's nature . . .

(See our companion teaching, "Whole In One," on our web site. That teaching goes into much more detail, explaining in detail the actual processes by which God is re-storing us into His image.)

Satan's third major strategy, to deceive us, means to attempt to ensnare a person in a trap and to make a person believe what is not true. Our enemy's attempts at deception began with Adam and Eve when he made them question what God had said to them; he caused them to question God's words to them. Ever since that fateful moment in the Garden of Eden, his main strategy of deception has been to make people question the word of God.

Today, since we now have God's "completed" Word, the Bible, his strategy of deception has been to make people question the truths of the Bible. Of course, it is understandable that pre-believers would question the Bible. But it is a very sad state of affairs when our enemy deceives Jesus-believers into questioning and neglecting the Bible. We who claim to be Jesus-believers play right into the enemy's hands when we question that the Bible really is the written Word of God and neglect its daily application to our lives. (See Acts 17: 11)

I urge you to read Matthew 22: 29 in the context of how our enemy seeks to deceive us. It states very clearly in the words of Jesus that we are deceived when we don't know the Bible or the power of God. One of the reasons Christians fall into deception is they don't know (by intimate and personal experience) the Word of God, the Bible . . . and the power of God. Can it be any plainer? We become susceptible to deception when we don't know the Bible and God's power in our lives. Period!

God permits us to be accused, tempted, and deceived at our weakest points so that afterwards when we have overcome them we are strong at the weak places!

Yes, our enemy's three major strategies are to accuse Jesus believers, to tempt them, and to deceive them. They are not his only strategies, but they are certainly his major ones.

There is one more strategy—a fourth one—a "minor" one—I want to address before moving on. I will explain that fourth strategy with the following fictional story.

"Rumor has it, the devil held a garage sale. On a table he laid out all the tools he uses against Christians, each marked with its price. Lust was there, and gossip. Pride was there, too. Yes, and hardened hearts. But one tool was priced higher than all the rest. It was a plain, dull, shopworn tool, yet it cost more than every other tool taken together. 'What is this thing,' a shopper asked the devil, 'and why is it so expensive?'

'Ah,' the devil replied, 'this—how I cherish this—this is the most effective tool I have. When all other tools—temptation, accusation, deception, lust, envy, greed, pride, hardened hearts—can't make a dent in a believer, when nothing else can find a crack in a believer's armor, this tool does the trick without fail. I have beaten down more Jesus believers with this one tool than with any other one on this table.'

'Well, what is the tool?'

'Discouragement!'"

Continuing on with the manner of our prayer-warfare against Satan and his minions, in Ephesians 6: 11 the Bible itself teaches us that we are to take offensive action against the enemy's schemes. 2 Corinthians 2: 11 admonishes us not to be ignorant of our enemy's plans and purposes, so that he cannot gain a military advantage over us.

How do we take offensive action against our enemy? By prayer, by deftly wielding the "sword of the Spirit," the Word of God, and using our faith. How do we keep him from taking advantage of us? By knowing the Bible—by reading and studying it daily . . . and applying it to our lives.

To the extent we neglect reading, studying, and applying the Bible to our daily lives, to that same extent we give our enemy advantage over us! Sometimes he doesn't even have to "take" advantage over us; sometimes we simply "give" him advantage by default when we do not know our Bible and how to use it as the sharp offensive weapon of warfare!

Victorious Overcomers!

In addition to prayer, the Bible, and faith, we are also called to overcome our enemy as taught in Revelation 12: 11: "We overcome him by the blood of the Lamb and by our testimony to the Word . . . " * In addition to prayer and faith, we also wage war against our enemy and overcome him by the use of our powerful offensive weapon, the "sword of the Spirit," which is the Word of God, the Bible. * (This is an acceptable alternate rendering of "by the word of their testimony . . .")

The sword of the Spirit, the Bible, is a keenly sharpened blade that our enemy and his soldier-minions cannot withstand. Those who courageously and skillfully wield the sword of the Spirit are skillful swordfighters—mighty to the utter destruction and rout of the enemy forces. Remember how Jesus dealt with the enemy during his temptations in the wilderness?!

He quoted the Scriptures (which He had memorized) aloud to Satan. (See Matthew, chapter 4) How much of the Bible have you memorized since you became a Christian? How often do you quote it aloud to Satan? Just asking . . .

All biblical references to our being overcomers are found in John 16:33; Romans 8: 37, 12: 21; 1 Corinthians 15: 57; 1 John 2: 13 and 14; 4: 4; 5: 4 and 5; Revelation 2: 7, 11, 17, 26; 3: 5,12, 21; 12: 11; 17: 14; 21: 7. The concept of overcoming is a major study in itself, not within the scope of this Manual.

Military Intelligence

Along with the weapons of prayer, overcoming, the skillful use of the Bible, and exercising our faith on the battlefield, there is another "weapon" which is often overlooked by those doing warfare with our enemy. It is our "weapon" of "military intelligence!" No warfare can succeed without timely and accurate military intelligence. What is this weapon? It is the supernatural weapon called the gift of discerning of spirits. (See 1 Corinthians 11: 10 and 1 John 4: 1)

How is this weapon of military intelligence to be used? First, where do we obtain the weapon? It is available to every Jesus-believer. Jesus gives us the weapon, and the Holy Spirit who lives inside us operates the weapon. A common misnomer is that this gift is the gift of discernment. There is no such gift as the gift of discernment. No, it is the gift of discerning of spirits. By definition, discernment alone is merely to have heightened human understanding or intuition about a matter. Stop thinking and saying "gift of discernment." Remove it from your lexicon and speech patterns; it is misleading. There is no such gift!

The gift of discerning of spirits is supernaturally operated in us by the Holy Spirit so we can "see" through GreatGate into the invisible spirit world (RealRealm) and know what type of spirit is operative in a given situation. This gift is not mere human intuition, insight, or heightened understanding. It is a supernatural gift from God and cannot be conjured up by our human wills.

There are three "categories" of spirits. 1. There is the Holy Spirit—plus angels, seraphim, cherubim, etc. 2. There are Satan and his evil spirits and their strategies and tactics. 3. There is the human spirit. The gift of discerning of spirits is operated in us by the Holy Spirit so we can know in a given situation which of those 3 "types" of spirits is active and operative.

We must learn how the Holy Spirit operates that gift within us so we will know the battle plans, tactics, and military operations of our enemy in a given battle situation. We must wholly depend upon God to manifest this gift in given situations. We cannot conjure it up at will or when we feel it is needed.

According to 1 John 4: 1, we are to test which spirits are operative in a battlefield situation. To test means to engage in a process of examination or questioning; to ferret out, to perceive, to differentiate, to recognize the difference, to distinguish, etc.

In brief, it means that we must come to rely upon Jesus living in us (in his unbodied Spirit form) to inform us of what we need to know in doing prayer battle with the enemy and his minions. To do that, we need to come to progressively know Jesus' voice when He speaks to us from where He dwells inside our human spirits.

See the tenth chapter of John (and related biblical references) which teaches us about our Commander-in-Chief's voice, discerning the differences between his voice and other, competing, voices, Jesus' "voice" generally comes to us (not always, however) as very quiet thoughts ("a still, small voice") which are "transmitted" into our minds from where the Holy Spirit lives in our spirits.

We must progressively learn to differentiate our own thoughts from the thoughts the Holy Spirit transmits into our minds—and from those Satan seeks to transmit into our minds.

Yes, we must have timely, clear, and accurate military intelligence as we prepare to do battle and as we engage in prayerful and overcoming battle with the enemy and his soldier-minions. That intelligence is the supernatural gift of discerning of spirits operated by the Holy Spirit living within us!

A few biblical examples of the operation of the super-natural gift of discerning of spirits are as follows . . . Ezekiel chapter 1 informs us that the prophet Ezekiel actually saw the similitude of God on his throne surrounded by cherubim. In Acts 7, as he was being stoned to death, the first Christian martyr, Stephen, saw into heaven where Jesus was standing at the right hand of the throne of God to welcome him to heaven. In Genesis 28, Jacob saw a vision of angels and was strengthened and encouraged by what he saw. In Luke 1, Zacharias saw an angel of the Lord standing beside the altar. Finally, in 2 Kings 6, Elisha the Prophet prayed that his servant's eyes would be opened; his eyes were opened and he saw a hill filled with the super-natural chariots of God. Many other biblical examples could be given, but I'll let you look them up for yourself.

There are a couple of other types of military intelligence I want to briefly touch upon; one I've already mentioned is when the Holy Spirit simply allows us to peer through GreatGate into RealRealm to see what's going on behind the scenes in a given battle situation. I'm not sure that's a particular "gift" of the Holy Spirit that is operative or simply something the Holy Spirit does on certain occasions to let us know what's going on behind the scenes while we are engaged in battle. If nothing else, it's certainly linked with the super-natural gift of prophecy.

There is one other way we can "see" behind the scenes into RealRealm and that is through the "gift" of a Seer. This was a gift of the Holy Spirit quite operative at various times in the Old Testament, but which became sort of subsumed or "replaced" by the gift of prophecy. (See 2 Samuel 24: 11; 2 Kings 17: 13; and 1 Samuel 9: 9—and numerous other Old Testament references for information about Seers.)

The super-natural gift of a Seer sort of fell into disuse as it was "swallowed up" or replaced by the gift of prophecy, but I'm not so sure it was ever done away with completely. In fact, in various sectors of the worldwide Church today, the gift of a Seer has begun to re-emerge.

In it's basic essence the gift of a Seer is to allow someone to "see" through GreatGate into RealRealm behind the scenes of what is occurring in time and space here in ShadowLand. The person-gift of Seer and the generalized gift of prophecy both give us "revelational insight" into RealRealm.

At any rate, let's use any type of updated military intelligence at our disposal as we prepare to do battle with our enemy and as we actually engage in battle with him and his minions.

No weapon our enemy forms against us shall ultimately succeed (Isaiah 54: 17) because, through Jesus Christ, our Commander-in-Chief, we have been given power over all the power of the enemy: Psalm 68: 35; Isaiah 40: 28 – 31; Micah 3: 8; Luke 9: 1; 10: 19; Acts 1: 8; 1 Corinthians 4: 20; 2 Corinthians 12: 9; Ephesians 3: 20; 6: 10; 1 Thessalonians 1: 5; 2 Timothy 1: 7. These are all useful references to memorize and quote aloud when engaging in battle with our enemy.

Satan's Origin

In the first listing below, I have deliberately omitted references in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 which many scholars feel teach Satan's origin. I do not hold that view. In summary, here is why I do not hold that view. I hold that Satan never was a shining angel called Lucifer. In fact, as we pointed out earlier, the Bible says Satan masquerades as a shining angel of light (2 Corinthians 11: 14; the word transformed in most Bibles is the word masquerades).

I hold a non-traditional view that these passages in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 are about Adam, not Satan! In Isaiah 14, the title Lucifer is the Hebrew word helel and the Greek word phosphoros (from which we get English words such as phosphorous and phosphorescence), both meaning Bringer (or Conveyor or Giver) of the first bright Light of the Morning. When the Bible here identifies Adam as the Light Bringer, it means more than that; it means Adam was the first human to live in light and the first to bring the bright light of God to others.

Adam was originally designated by God to bring the radiance of God to all creation on this planet and to the universe beyond. Notice verse 16 says it's a man to whom Isaiah is referring. This same title is given to the God-Man, Jesus, the Last Adam, in Revelation 2: 28 and 22:16. Adam was (past tense) at one time designated by God to be the Son of the Morning, The Light Giver, The Light Bringer, the Bright and Morning Star.

Jesus, the Last Adam, now (present tense) is the Light Bringer, the Son of the Morning, the Light Giver, the Bright and Morning Star, enlightening all humankind with the Light of God. Yes, Jesus is the Last Adam, but also the Firstborn Son of an entirely new race of beings.

Jesus is not named the "Second Adam" in the Bible, as many mistakenly refer to Him. You need to remove the term "Second Adam" from your lexicon. It is theologically misleading.

As mentioned earlier, for a full expose and more complete information about Satan, see our companion teaching Satan: From Beginning to End, under the Teachings icon on our website, www.leservices.org

The listing immediately below is of every biblical reference to the enemy commander. Please ensure you take all these references together as a whole (!) before arriving at any conclusions about his origin, nature, jurisdiction, and activities. I hope you will choose to devote a great deal of personal time to studying these references. If you find any additional references I have omitted, please add them to your list, and then let me know:

Genesis 3: 1-5, 13-15
1 Chronicles 21:1
Job 1: 6 – 12; 2: 1 – 7; 12: 16; 15: 21; 16: 9; 31: 35
Isaiah 54: 16 and 17; 59: 19
Zechariah 3: 1 and 2
Matthew 4: 1 – 11; 5: 37; 6: 13; 9: 34; 10: 25; 12: 24 – 29; 13: 19, 24 – 30, 36 – 39; 16: 22 and 23; 25: 41
Mark 1: 13; 3: 22 – 27; 4: 15; 8: 33
Luke 4: 1 – 13; 8: 12; 10: 18 – 20; 11: 4, 15 – 20; 13: 11 – 16, 31; 22: 3, 31
John 8: 44; 10: 10; 12: 31; 13: 2, 27; 14: 30; 16: 11; 17: 15
Acts 5: 3; 10: 38; 13: 10; 26: 18
Romans 16: 20
1 Corinthians 5: 5; 7: 5; 10: 10
2 Corinthians 2: 11; 4: 4; 6: 15; 10: 4; 11: 3, 12: 2; 14; 12: 7
Ephesians 2: 2; 3: 10; 4: 27; 6: 10 – 18
1 Thessalonians 2: 18; 3: 5
2 Thessalonians 2: 9 - 12; 3: 3
1 Timothy 1: 20; 3: 6 and 7; 5: 15
2 Timothy 2: 26
Hebrews 2: 14
James 4: 7
1 Peter 5: 8 and 9
1 John 2: 13 and 14; 3: 8 – 10; 4: 4; 5: 18 and 19
Jude 9
Revelation 2: 9, 10, 13, 24: 3: 9; chapter 12; 13: 2, 4; 20: 1 – 10

A few paragraphs below is a listing of every biblical reference to evil, unclean demonic spirits. But, included in the listing following this paragraph you are now reading are phenomena noted in the Bible as well as phenomena which are not specifically mentioned in the Bible, but which history and common human, biblically based, experience have shown to be demon related, influenced, or inspired:

seances; sectarianism; occultism; reincarnation;
"trance" hypnosis (not "regular" hypnosis); "astral tripping";
divination; psychic practices; apparitions; psychic predictors (such as Nostradamus); psychic or demonic speaking in tongues; ritual killing;
occult or "black" astrology (not all astrology, however); "mystery" religions;
witch doctors; shamanism; mediums; wizardry; soothsaying; sorcery;
new age spiritualism (actually an ages-old type of demon-inspired spiritualism 0pposed
to the worship of the one True and Living God); "Oprah-ism";
sacrificing children to fire; some (not all) esoteric religious practices;
"Black" and "white" magic (not magic intended merely for entertainment purposes;
conjurors; those who practice legerdemain intended to deceive;
ghosts; poltergeists; necromancy; "cutting" and self-flagellation;
fortune-telling; religious cults; lifeless religious ritual, tradition, and teaching;
divination by reading tea leaves, bones, or animal entrails; casting spells;
anti-biblical "life-force" healing; pornography; auguries and omens;
religious mythology; polytheism; "Jesus Only" (non-Trinitarian) teachings;
worshipping the dead; transmigration of souls;
deviant and perverted sexual practices such as homosexuality, sadomasochism, and
pedophelia, etc;
false prophets who claim to prophesy from God;
witchcraft (including Wiccans, warlocks, etc.); "vampirism";
those who "worship" the earth and Nature—"Mother Earth," "the earth goddess," etc.
and many others, too numerous to continue listing here . . .

All of the phenomena noted in the listing above certainly disclose how pervasive and worldwide such demonic influences are throughout every society and culture in earth's history and in our times, as well.

While demonic influences may not be directly responsible for some of the phenomena noted above, nevertheless, they are certainly indirectly responsible for much of it.

As noted earlier, please ensure you take all these references together as a whole before arriving at any conclusions about the origin, nature, jurisdiction, and activities of evil spirits. I can only hope and pray that you will choose to devote a lot of time and attention to studying all these references.

I have deliberately omitted numerous biblical references to idolatry and worshipping false gods because of the vast number of such references throughout the Bible, but it is clear that most, if not all, idolatry (whatever shapes or forms it takes) and worshipping false gods (including counterfeit "Christian" religions) is inspired by evil, unclean spirits. Idolatry—by common definition—is to ardently or excessively give one's devotion to any object; it is any false notion or idea that causes errors in thinking or reasoning.

If you find any additional references I have omitted from the listing, please add them to your list, and then let me know:

Exodus 22: 18
Leviticus 19: 26, 31; 20: 6 and 27
Deuteronomy 18: 10-12; 32: 17
Joshua 13: 22
Judges 9: 23, 37
1 Samuel 6: 2; 15: 23; 16: 14 – 23; 18: 10; 19: 9; 28: 2 – 24
1 Kings 22: 21 – 24
2 Kings 17: 17; 19: 7; 21: 6; 22: 24; 23: 24
1 Chronicles 10: 13; 21: 1
2 Chronicles 11: 15; 18: 20 – 23; 33: 6
Job 4: 15; 15: 21; 16: 9
Psalm 106: 37
Isaiah 8: 19; 19: 3 and 14; 29: 4; 37: 7; 44; 45; 47: 9 – 15; 57: 3
Jeremiah 13: 14; 27: 9 and 10; 29: 8 and 9
Ezekiel 13: 6, 7, 9, 18, 20 and 23; 21: 21 - 23
Daniel 2: 2,10, 27; 3: 7; 4: 7, 11, 15; 5: 7 and 11
Hosea 4: 12; 5: 4
Micah 2:11; 3: 6; 5: 12
Zephaniah 1: 5
Zechariah 10: 2; 13: 2
Malachi 3: 5
Matthew 4: 24; 5: 37; 6: 13; 7: 22; 8: 16, 28-34: 9: 32-34; 10: 1, 8; 11: 18; 12: 22-30, 43-45; 15: 22-28; 13: 19; 24 – 30, 39; 15: 22-28; 17: 14 – 21; 25: 41
Mark 1: 21 – 28, 32 – 34, 39; 3:11 and 12, 15, 22, 30; Mark 5: 1 – 20; 6: 7, 13; 7: 25-30; 9: 14 – 29; 38, 39; 16: 9, 17
Luke 4: 33 – 36, 41; 6:18; 7:21, 33; 8:2, 26-39; 9: 1, 37 – 42, 49, .55; 10: 17-20; 11: 14-23, 24 – 26; 13: 11-16, 32
John 6: 70 and 71; 7: 20; 8: 48, 49, 52; 10: 20 and 21
Acts: 5: 16; 7: 42 and 43; 8: 7; 13: 6-12; 16: 16 – 18; 19: 11 - 20
Romans 8: 15, 38 and 39; 11: 8
1 Corinthians 2: 6, 8, 12; 10: 10, 20 and 21; 15: 25-28; 12: 10
2 Corinthians 10: 3-5; 11: 4, 15
Ephesians 1: 19-23; 6: 12
Colossians 1: 13, 16; 2: 10, 11, 15
1 Thessalonians 5: 8
2 Thessalonians 2: 2
1 Timothy 4: 1
2 Timothy 1: 7
James 2: 19; 3: 15
1 Peter 3: 19, 22
2 Peter 2: 4
1 John 4: 1 and 3; 4: 6
Jude 6; Revelation 9: 12; 16: 13, 14; 18: 2, 23; 21: 8; 22: 15

Yes, let's learn to know our enemy and his strategies as fully as possibly, and let's cooperate with the Holy Spirit in our training about how to successfully engage in battle with him. With that knowledge, we have full assurance from God that we can effectively engage our enemy in the "battle of the ages" and emerge completely victorious from the fray. We have God's promises of utter and total victory in and through our Lord Jesus Christ!

Take heart, embattled and weary prayer-warrior, "for whoever is begotten of God is VICTORIOUS over the world; and this is the VICTORY that conquers the world: our faith." (1 John 5: 4 and 5)

"We give all thanksgiving to God who always makes us VICTORIOUS conquerors through our Lord Jesus Christ!" (1 Corinthians 15: 57)

"OH, sing to the LORD a new song! For He has done marvelous things; His right hand [Jesus] and His holy arm [Jesus believers empowered by the Holy Spirit?] have gained Him the VICTORY." (Psalm 98: 1)

"Blessed are You, LORD God of Israel [and the Church], our Father for all the ages of time. Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the VICTORY and the majesty; For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and You are exalted as head over [all creation]." (1 Chronicles 29: 11)

NOTE: Now that you have finished studying this training Manual, I readily confess to you that it is woefully incomplete; we humans just don't know all there is to know about any subject. I probably know about 1/10th of 1 percent of what there is to know about our enemy and prayer warfare. If I wrote another 50..or 100 pages . . . or more, my knowledge would still be incomplete. We can only write and share with others based upon our current levels of understanding and states of awareness—both of which change as we change, grow and develop as Jesus believers. Anyhow, here it is; I can only trust that it has helped you in some way to know our enemy better and to more skillfully engage in battle with him.

Revised and updated September 2016

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