There is a great war being waged in the world today. It is not a conflict between nations, tribes, or government leaders. It is not a rebellion or coup. It is an important invisible battle taking place in the spirit world. Military terminology is used throughout the New Testament. The early Church knew they were engaged in an intense spiritual struggle. Protection was seen in the armor of God. The Word of God was compared to a sword. Satan’s attacks were called fiery darts. Faith was the “good fight” and believers were told to “war a good warfare”.
The same spiritual battle continues even today, but instead of fighting the enemy the present day believers are often building great church buildings, producing musical dramas, holding fellowship meetings, and fighting one another while this great spiritual battle wages around them. Satan has even intensified his attacks against a church that has withdrawn from the front lines of battle. The Bible states that God’s people are destroyed because of lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). One of the main areas in which believers are being defeated is due to lack of knowledge about the spiritual battle and in spiritual warfare.
As the end of time approaches it is even more important for believers to understand spiritual warfare than in the early days of church history. The Apostle Paul warned, …this know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come (II Tim 3:1). In order to be properly prepared for these perilous times, renewed emphasis must be placed on the strategies of spiritual warfare. The Christian life is war. The sooner we recognize and prepare for it, the sooner we will experience victory.
When a nation declares war, they often issue Articles of War. This document explains why they are at war, identifies the enemy, and declares the objectives of the war. The Bible is the written Word of the one true God, the Commander of our spiritual army. The exposing of the enemy and his strategies is one of the greatest revelations of God’s Word. Even greater is the revelation that as believers we have power over all the powers of the enemy. As in natural warfare, skill in spiritual warfare is progressive as we enter the combat zone and begin to fight.
THE INVISIBLE WAR
The invisible spiritual war is a battle which involves all men and women. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Eph 6:12). It is not a visible war is because spirits are involved and we learn in Luke 24:39, that spirit does not have flesh and bones.
Every person alive is engaged in this battle, whether he realizes it or not. There is no neutral ground. Unbelievers are in bondage to evil and have been taken captive by enemy forces. Though believers have been freed from the enemy through Jesus Christ, they are still engaged in the war for two reasons. All believers wrestle against evil spiritual forces because of his relentless counterattacks as well as to free others from the bondage. “Wrestling” involves close personal contact. No one is exempt from this battle. No one can view it from a distance. The Christian warfare never ceases.
Spiritual warfare is “multidimensional,” which means it is fought in different dimensions. It is a social battle between the believer and the world (John 15:18-27). A personal battle between the flesh and the spirit (Gal 5:16-26). A supernatural battle between believers and evil spiritual powers (Eph 6:10-27). This invisible war is being waged on earth. Satan fights to maintain control of the kingdoms of the world. He does not want them to come under God’s authority. Satan blinds the spiritual eyes of the unbelievers and attacks believers in the areas of worship, the Word, their daily walk, and their work for God.
THE NATURAL AND SPIRITUAL REALMS
To understand this invisible war, we must first understand the natural and spiritual worlds. Man exists in two worlds, the natural world and the spiritual world. The natural world is that which can be seen, felt, touched, heard or tasted. It is tangible and visible. The country, nation, city, or village in which we live is part of the natural world. We are a resident in a natural kingdom located on one of the visible continents of the world. We can see the people who are part of our environment. We can communicate with them. We can experience the sights, sounds, and smells around us. But there is another world in which we live. That world is a spiritual world. We cannot see it with our physical eyes, but it is just as real as the natural world in which we live.
Paul speaks of this division of natural and spiritual world. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body (I Cor 15:40). All men have a natural body which lives in the natural world, but man is also a spiritual being with an eternal soul and spirit. Man is body, soul, and spirit. Our spiritual being (soul and spirit) is part of a spiritual world just as our natural body is part of the naturalthief (Satan) cometh not but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy (this spiritual body); I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly (John 10:10), both in this world as well as in Heaven.
In our natural, sinful state, we can not understand spiritual things. I Cor 2:14, But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of GOD, for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually is necessary to use “spiritual discernment” to understand spiritual things. Perhaps one of the best examples of natural and spiritual discernment is recorded in II Kings chapter 6. It records the story of a natural battle in which troops of the enemy nation of Syria had surrounded a small town called Dothan where the prophet Elisha was staying. When Elisha’s servant, Gehazi, saw the great host of the enemy he became fearful. Elisha prayed that GOD would open Gehazi’s spiritual eyes so he could see the angelic hosts surrounding and protecting them. GOD opened the spiritual eyes of Gehazi and allowed him to see the superior forces of GOD aligned for battle.
The story of this battle at Dothan is similar to present spiritual conditions in the Church. There are some, like Elisha, who see clearly into the realm of the spirit. They know there is a conflict occurring, have identified the enemy, and recognize the greater forces of GOD that assure victory. There are others like Gehazi, who with a little encouragement, will be able to open their spiritual eyes and no longer be fearful of and defeated by the enemy. But sadly, there are many people who, like those in the city of Dothan, are spiritually sleeping. They do not even know that the enemy has surrounded them and is poised for attack.
Within the natural and spiritual realms of which we are speaking there exists separate kingdoms which are ruled by natural and spiritual leaders. All men live in a natural kingdom of this world. They live in a city or a village which is part of a nation. That nation is a kingdom of the world. A natural kingdom is a territory or people over which an actual king or political leader is the sovereign ruler. The Bible speaks of these natural kingdoms as “kingdoms of the world”. The kingdoms of the world have come under the power and influence of Satan. In Matt 4:8-9, the Devil taketh Jesus up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto Him, All these things will I give thee, if you wilt fall down and worship me. 1 John 5:19 also reminds us that “the whole world is under the control of the evil one.”
TWO SPIRITUAL KINGDOMS
In addition to the natural kingdoms of this world there are two spiritual kingdoms. The Kingdom of Satan and the Kingdom of GOD. Every person alive is a resident of one of these two kingdoms. The Kingdom of Satan consists of Satan, spiritual beings called demons, and all men who live in sin and rebellion to GOD’s Word. These, plus the world and the flesh, are the spiritual forces of evil at work in the world today. The Kingdom of GOD consists of GOD the Father, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, spiritual beings called angels, and all men who live in righteous obedience to GOD’s Word. These are the spiritual forces of good.
The Kingdom of GOD is not a denominational church. Denominations are man-made organizations of groups of churches. Denominations are major church organizations like Baptist, Assembly of God, Methodist, Lutheran, etc. The Bible speaks of the true Church which is not a denomination or religious organization. The true Church is composed of all those who have become residents of the Kingdom of GOD.
At the present time in the natural world, the Kingdom of GOD exists individually within every man, woman, boy or girl who has made Jesus King of their lives. It exists communally in the true church and wherever people make this world the kind of world GOD wants it to be. In the future, there will be an actual visible manifestation of GOD’s Kingdom.
HOW THE BATTLE STARTED
The invisible war started in Heaven with an angel named Lucifer who was originally a beautiful angel created by GOD and was part of the Kingdom of GOD wanted to take over GOD’s Kingdom. We can read about his rebellion in Isaiah 14:12-17 and Ezekiel 28:12-19. A group of angels joined Lucifer (now called Satan) in this rebellion. And there was war in Heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon (Satan); and the dragon fought and his angels (Rev 12:7).And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world. He was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him (Rev 12:9).Lucifer became known as Satan and the angels who followed him in rebellion as demons. They formed their own kingdom on earth.
Man was originally created in the image of GOD and for the glory of GOD (Genesis chapter 2). When they were originally created by GOD, they were given dominion over the earth. This meant they had control over the earth, to guide its systems and inhabitants according to the plan of GOD.
The invisible war against man started with the first temptation in the Garden of Eden (Genesis chapter 3). Satan caused Adam and Eve to sin. When they sinned against GOD, they lost that dominion (Gen l-3). This also resulted in all men inheriting the basic sin nature and committing individual acts of sin due to this nature. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned (Rom 5:12).
Gen 3:15, And I will put enmity between thee (Satan) and the woman (mankind), and between thy seed (the forces of evil) and her seed (the forces of good represented by the Lord Jesus Christ).It resulted in the invisible war between man and the forces of evil. Demon spirits can enter, torment, control, and use the people as his agents who do not obey GOD’s Word. They motivate evil acts which are done by men and women. Satan directs his demons in their evil activities. He combines these powerful forces with the world and the flesh to rule over all mankind.
SPIRITUAL DEATH AND REDEMPTION
Because of sin, man was separated from GOD and condemned to spiritual death. But GOD loved man so much and to fulfill His promise made in Gen 3:15, He made a special plan to save mankind from destruction because of sin. John 3:16-17, For GOD so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. And GOD sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. For this purpose the Son of GOD was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil (I John 3:8).
Jesus Christ came in the flesh suffered, died and rose again for the very purpose of establishing His own spiritual Kingdom (John 18:36). Satan’s plans of wickedness, and all his dominion and power, and particularly his power over spiritual death; and especially the inability of men to overcome the sinful nature i.e. the bondage to sin, which are the works of the devil, which he puts them upon, influences them to do, and takes delight in; are destroyed by Christ, by his sacrifice and death, being taken, carried, removed away, finished, and made an end of by him.
Though Jesus Christ defeated Satan in the spiritual realm, we are still living in this literal world which is still occupied and controlled by Satan and his forces. Satan is trying to keep all men and women captive in sin through deceptive methods. He is enticing men and women through the temporary pleasures of this world. He wants the possession and control of all the souls at all cost. Satan still wants to be the supreme ruler over all the people both spiritually and literally. For this purpose he is waging an intense battle. His strategies are directed at GOD, His plan, and His people. This battle will continue until the great final conflict which is the battle of Armageddon. Understanding spiritual warfare strategies gives us the ability to deal with these evil powers and his control over the souls of people and the devil himself.
UNDERSTANDING SPIRITUAL WARFARE
Spiritual warfare is the analysis of and active participation in the invisible spiritual war. It includes study of the opposing forces of good and evil, the strategies of Satan, and spiritual strategies for overcoming the enemy. Spiritual warfare is more than a mere analysis of spiritual principles. It includes active participation in warfare by application of these strategies in life and ministry.
One of the most effective strategies of Satan is to keep believers ignorant of his devices. Paul said it is important to know Satan’s strategies. Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices (II Cor 2:11). We should learn all we can about Satan’s strategies of attack. We must also understand the Scriptural basis of victory over Satan and the forces of evil. We are called to intelligent combat. Basic to the understanding of spiritual warfare is to recognize that all battles of life, whether physical, spiritual or with human personalities are only outward manifestations of a spiritual cause.
Although in the natural world problems may seem to occur through the circumstances of life, the basis of these natural battles is in the spirit world. The story of Job (Job chapters’ l-2) confirms this principle. We have tried to correct the evils of this world through education, legislation, and improved environment. It has not worked because the visible evils of the world are the results of an underlying spiritual cause. They cannot be corrected by natural means.
In warfare in the natural world, a soldier must first identify the enemy before entering the battlefield. He must study all available information on the enemy, his nature, and strategies. This is why military forces spend much time gathering intelligence information on the enemy. The same is true in the spirit world. We can only war effectively if we identify our enemy, understand his nature, and recognizing his strategies. The evil forces we face are not clothed in flesh. They are spiritual hosts of wickedness.I Peter 5:8, Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. His words serve as a further introduction to his strategies (Gen 3:1,4,5; Job 1:7-12; Job 2:1-6; Matt 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13. 2). Satan is an exact opposite of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was sent by GOD to draw men to Himself. Satan is committed to draw men away from GOD.
Satan not only opposes GOD and His nature, but he also opposes GOD’s program. He denies the existence of GOD (Psalms 14:1-3), promotes lies (Eph 2:2; II Thess 2:8-ll); and is behind false religions, the occult, and cults with their false doctrines and practices. Satan’s religious system results in false teachers, prophets, and “christs”. Despite these evil strategies, Satan and his hosts of demonic powers are no threat to our Almighty GOD.
THE ATTRIBUTES OF SATAN
As we have seen, Satan is a spirit, but he also has attributes of a real personality. The Bible teaches that he is Intelligent and subtle. II Cor 11:3, But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtility, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. Emotional: And the dragon was wroth with the woman… (Rev 12:17). Self-willed: And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will (II Tim 2:26). Powerful: …Prince of the power of the air… (Eph 2:2). Deceitful: Put on the whole armour of GOD, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil (Eph 6:11). Fierce and cruel: Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour (I Peter 5:8). Deceptive: And no marvel, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light (II Cor 11:14).
SATAN IS NOT
Unlike GOD, Satan is not omniscient (knowing all things). If Satan could foresee the future he never would have allowed Jesus to die on the cross. He would have known that the death of Jesus would overthrow his power and provide a way of escape from the bondage of sin for all mankind. Satan is not omnipotent (all powerful). Jesus said the power of GOD within you is greater than the power of Satan. For those who believe in Jesus, Satan is already a defeated foe (John 12:31). He is strong only to those who yield to him. His power is limited by the power of GOD (Job 1:10-12) and he is only able to overcome a believer as they yield control to him. Because Satan is not omnipresent (present everywhere) he dispatches a host of demons throughout the earth to do his will and accomplish his purposes.
Satan is compared to a serpent in the natural world. The venom of poisonous snakes falls into three categories. Neurotorins: Which affect the nerves. Cardiotorins: Which affect the heart. Hemotorins: Which affect the blood. Spiritually Satan also affects our nerve (spiritual courage), our heart (to attack our worship and service of GOD), and tries to prevent the work of the blood of Jesus (salvation, healing, deliverance) in our life.
Snakes protect themselves by disguise. Some snakes are very hard to see because they are camouflaged blend into the surrounding so well. Some snakes protect themselves by imitation. One example is the African tree viper which “freezes” itself and sticks its neck out like a twig on a tree. The puff adder protects itself by blowing itself up as big as possible. Some snakes hiss or rattle, making frightening sounds to scare us away. Our spiritual enemy comes disguised as an “angel of light” and imitates the things of GOD. He also tries to frighten us by appearing large and threatening.
Snakes capture their prey in four different ways. Strike: A swift attack. Constriction: Where the snake wraps itself around the target and slowly squeezes out its life. Throwing weight around over the prey to overcome it. Biting and holding the target in its fangs while slow poison paralyzes the target. Sometimes the snake’s teeth are broken off in the struggle, but snakes are constantly developing new teeth. Similarly the Devil either strikes or constricts our spiritual life with the cares of the world and sinful weights and entanglements. He is always trying to terrorize us, and he loves to hold us in bondage while paralyzing us with his deadly venom.
Here are some ways to avoid snake bite in the natural world. They are also applicable in the spiritual realm. Recognizing poisonous snakes (knowing our enemy). Wearing protective clothing (our spiritual armor). Avoiding known snake territory (areas of known temptation or satanic activity). Avoid walking after dark or in darkened areas (snakes avoid direct sunlight) as believers, we no longer walk as children of the dark but as children of light.
Snakes locate their prey by picking up the scent from the dust thrown up on their tongue which relays information to their brain. If we stand still, a snake cannot locate us. Satan spots us best when the dust is stirred up and we are running in confusion and fear. When the dust is settled and we stand against him fearlessly, he cannot strike us. This is why the Bible says “stand still.”…and “keep on standing.” In a panic situation, a snake will shoot all of its venom at once and is then rendered defenseless for awhile until it can produce more venom. It is possible that this is what occurred in the wilderness temptation when Jesus used the Word of GOD against Satan’s attacks and caused Satan to “depart from him for a season.”
THE SPIRITUAL FORCES OF EVIL
It is also essential to know about the “troops,” known as demons, which are under Satan’s command. Some people ignore the subject of demons completely. Others have a compulsive interest in them. We should not minimize the power of demon spirits in the world today. When Jesus confronted two men possessed by demons, their response was, what have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of GOD? Art thou come hither to torment us before the time? (Matt 8:29).The demons in the possessed men knew their final destiny was a place of eternal torment. Since Hell is a place of torment and was prepared for Satan and his angels, then demons must be the fallen angels.
Throughout the Bible, demons are shown as active on earth. Since Satan is not omnipresent, he uses demons to do his will and accomplish his purposes throughout the world. They constitute the “powers of the air” (Eph 2:2) and the “powers of darkness” (Col 1:13) and are all under the control of Satan.
THE ATTRIBUTES OF DEMONS
In their original sinless condition, demons had the same attributes as the good angels. In their present evil state these demons are spirits (Matt 8:16; Luke 10:17, 20). Can appear visibly (Gen 3:1; Zech 3:1; Matt 4:9-10). Can speak (Mark 5:9, 12; Luke 8:28; Matt 8:31). Believe that there is one God (James 2:19). Exercise their wills (Luke 11:24; 8:32). Demonstrate intelligence (Mark 1:24). Have emotions (Luke 8:28; James 2:19). Have recognition (Acts 19:15). Have supernatural strength (Acts 19:16; Mark 5:3). Have supernatural presence (Daniel 9:21-23). Are eternal (Matt 25:41). Have their own doctrine (I Tim 4:1-3). Are evil (Matt 10:1; Mark 1:27; 3:11). Demons are called evil spirits six times and unclean spirits 23 times in the New Testament. They are also called devils (Mark 1:32) and the devil’s angels (Matt 25:41).
THE ORGANIZATION OF DEMON FORCES
Satan is an imitator, not an originator. He has organized his demons in a structure similar to that of God’s forces. Satan has apparently divided the world into principalities. A principality is the territory or jurisdiction of a prince. Satan has placed a prince over each principality. The prince of the power of Persia is mentioned in Daniel 10. This is how Satan works on a national level influencing governments and nations. These demons are at work in the social, political, and cultural systems of the world.
Satan is the author of spiritual wickedness in high places. High places in the Old Testament were where worship was carried on. This is how Satan works in the religious structures of the world. These organized groups vary in size. For example, Mary Magdalene had seven demons in her prior to her deliverance. Luke 8:30 mentions a “legion” of demons. A legion in the Roman army which ruled at the time of Jesus referred to 6,100 foot soldiers and 726 horsemen! These organized forces of demons were united in their purpose, which in this example was possession of the man and woman.
Have Different Degrees Of Wickedness. This is illustrated by the demon who said he would return with other evil spirits. When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself and they enter in and dwell there: And the last state of that man is worse than the first… (Matt 12:43-45).
THE ACTIVITIES OF DEMONS
Demons follow orders given by their prince. We can summarize the activities of demons by noting that they are always directed against GOD, His plan, and His people. Demons are used by Satan to attack the Word of GOD, our worship of GOD, our walk with GOD, and our work for GOD. Satan uses his demons to accomplish this strategy throughout the world. Demons extend Satan’s power by promoting deception and wickedness. They affect individuals, governments, nations, and the world system. They promote rebellion and slander against both GOD and men. They promote idolatry, false doctrines, and blind men and women to the truth of the Gospel.
Demons can Change Their Functions. The demon in I Kings 22:21-23 declared he would be a lying spirit. This indicates he was not one previously for he said “I will be…”. There are different kinds of demons that attack the body and soul of man. They are responsible for immoral acts, unclean thoughts, oppression, possession and depression (Matt 10:1; 12:43; Mark 1:23-26). Spirits of infirmity afflict the physical body (Luke 13:11). Seducing spirits influences a person to believe false doctrines as indicated in I Timothy 4:1. They are spirits of cults, false Christ, and false teachers.
These demons instigates unbelievers driving them to commit terrible acts of evil, to murder, injure, commit suicide, speak lies etc. They affect the soul with emotional problems and the body with physical infirmities. Demons attack believers by temptation, deception, depression, and oppression. They try to keep us in bondage to habits and fear. They accuse and slander us and create division among the people of GOD.
Since spiritual warfare has many dimensions, we must war personally against sin, socially against evil in the world, and supernaturally through the deliverance ministry. The Bible is a spiritual warfare manual. It is the historical record of spiritual warfare, revealing the victories and defeats of past battles. It is prophetical, showing the course of our warfare until the time of the final conflict. In the natural world, when a soldier joins an army, he must deny any previous allegiance he has had to another army or country. When we join the army of GOD, we must repent of our allegiance to sin and the kingdom of Satan.
Spiritual warfare in the context of God’s total purpose for the redemption of sinful mankind is like the parables of the sower and the tares among wheat in Matthew 13. Both parables concern the growth of the Kingdom of GOD which occurs through the planting of GOD’s Word. Both parables picture the warfare between the two kingdoms with the battle centering on the redemptive purposes of GOD.
The simple definition of war in the natural world is “an act of force intended to compel our opponent to fulfill our will”. This definition is applicable also in the spiritual world. Learning spiritual warfare prepares us to enter the arena of this world and fight for the souls of men and women, boys and girls. This is why authority over Satan was given to the disciples before they were sent out to share the Gospel (Matt 28:18-20). Satan and his hosts of demons will war against us as we seek to win men to Christ and bring them under the rule of GOD. Employing Scriptural strategies of spiritual warfare helps us to challenge the principalities and powers who rule over individual human lives, societies, and areas of the world.
UNDERSTANDING OUR MISSION IN THE WORLD
We are not to be affected by the world, but we are to affect the world. The believer should be a light in a world of darkness, reflecting the glory of GOD and sharing the good news of the Gospel: Ye are the light of the world… (Matt 5:14).The impact of the early believers on the world was so great that it was said of them that they “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6). As soldiers in an army sent on a mission in a foreign nation, believers are on a special mission of GOD in the world. They have been instructed: …Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15).
Satan is called the “god of this world” which includes men who are not believers and demonic angels (II Cor 4:4). He offered the nations to Jesus during the temptation of Christ, and our Lord did not dispute the legitimacy of the offer. He simply refused to rebel against GOD in submitting to Satan’s way of obtaining the rule (Matt 4:8-10). Satan uses his demons to influence and deceive the nations, leading the leaders and people astray from GOD. This is why there are cruel dictators and ungodly corrupt political systems in many nations. It also accounts for the wars and divisions between the nations. Satan especially influences leaders to hinder the spread of the Gospel.
The word “world” has different meanings in Scripture. It can mean the earth or universe in its physical order. It is used to refer to Gentiles which are all nations other than the Jewish nation. But the word “world” also is used to refer to the present condition of human affairs in opposition to GOD. It is the system that runs the inhabited earth, a system that is opposed to GOD and the Lord Jesus Christ.
The “world” is the corporate group of flesh-centered individuals who make up the human race. Flesh, in this context, is not referring to the actual flesh of our body. It is a term which describes the basic evil human nature of man which is in willful rebellion against GOD. As our enemy, the world is the whole organized system of social, economic, materialistic, and religious philosophies which have their expression through organizations, personalities, and governments. It is not a specific government, organization, or person, but the worldly system upon which these are based. It provides an atmosphere, environment, and system which promotes fleshly sins. It surrounds man with that which appeals to his fleshly desires.
Satan is the “prince” or ruler of the world system (John 12:31; 14:30). Satan is also called the god of this world. In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believed not… (II Cor 4:4).The kingdoms of the world are presently influenced by Satan. They are guided by Satanic philosophy and principles. They are flesh-centered and flesh-governed.
THE STRUCTURE OF THE WORLD
The world structure is in direct opposition to GOD, His plan, purposes, and people: Who gave Himself for our sins that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of GOD and our Father (Gal 1:4).The world system is without GOD: …having no hope, and without GOD in the world (Eph 2:12).There is much deception in the world to ensnare believers to become part of the world system. For many deceivers are entered into the world (II John 7).
THE ELEMENTS OF THE WORLD
The “elements of the world” refer to the elementary principles that govern the world. They lead to spiritual bondage: Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world (Gal 4:3). The Rudiments of The World are the regulations on which the world structure rests. They are different from the principles upon which GOD structures His Kingdom. Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances (Col 2:8,20).
The Philosophies of the World are principles of knowledge. Worldly philosophies are not based on Christ. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ (Col 2:8).Worldly wisdom is not GOD’s wisdom. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with GOD (I Cor 3:19). The Course of The World is the way in which it operates. Wherefore in times past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience (Eph 2:2).
The many “voices” in the world are contrary to the voice of God: There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification (I Cor 14:10).The peace of the world is temporary, fragile, and sometimes deceptive:Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27) Godly sorrow differs from that of the world. Forgodly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repentedof:but the sorrow of the world worketh death (II Cor 7:10).
The world hates GOD. …Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with GOD? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of GOD (James 4:4).The world hates believers. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you (John 15:18-19).
OVERCOMING THE WORLD
Recognizing that we are not of the world: John 17:14-16, I have given them thy word, and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world (John 16:33).
Realizing that gaining the world is not worth losing our soul:For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul (Mark 8:36). For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? (Luke 9:25).
Realizing that if we love the world, we are an enemy of GOD: Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world (I John 2:15-16). Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with GOD? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of GOD (James 4:4).
Recognizing the temporal nature of the world: And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof. But he that doeth the will of GOD abideth forever (I John 2:17). For the fashion of this world passeth away (I Cor 7:31). Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness (II Peter 3:11).
We can overcome the world because Jesus dwells within us: Ye are of GOD, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than He that is in the world (I John 4:4). Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust (II Peter 1:4). For whatsoever is born of GOD overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith (I John 5:4). And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony… (Rev 12:11).