In my earlier piece on the “How Good Is your Armor” I wrote about what God’s armor is and how it works. Now I want to go into more detail on the nature of our enemy.
Ephesians 6:11-12 tells us, “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
These two verses point out, in no uncertain terms, that we are facing a supernatural enemy. What I am hoping to accomplish in this article is to bring a better understanding of the nature of some of the things we might be facing in this war. This is extremely important so that we can tailor our strategy to effectively combat the threat.
No soldier ever wants to face an enemy that he knows nothing about. That is a recipe for defeat. This war is no different. The more we know and understand about our adversary, the easier it will be to recognize and combat him. “… that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
Point blank, our enemy is Satan and his minions. Nothing new in saying this. What we need to remember most about this phrase is the word “wiles.”
Wiles is defined as “noun: 1. a trick, artifice, or stratagem meant to fool, trap, or entice; device. 2. artful or beguiling behavior. 3. deceitful cunning; trickery: and verb (used with object): 4. to beguile, entice, or lure.” Trickery, deceit, lies and deception are the tools he has always used, and still does to this day.
From the very beginning of human history he has been attacking us in just this manner.
“Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” (Genesis 3:1).
“And the serpent said unto the woman, ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:4-5).
Here is the very first time he used this tactic against us, and it turned out to be extremely effective. “And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat” (Genesis 3:13).
There it is, in black and white, one of the definitions of “wiles” in the very beginning of the Bible and used in conjunction with what Satan had just conned Eve into doing. Even Jesus pointed out that Satan works this way:
“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44).
An important point in this description is the very first sentence, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.” This points to the fact that Satan does not work alone but has minions and underlings to do his dirty work for him. More on that in a minute.
Now that we have identified the central tactic used by the enemy, we need to see some of the other tactics he uses. These other tactics may appear to be different tactics, but in reality are nothing more than an extension of the primary one identified above. This is where it gets really interesting.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).
“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thessalonians 2:7-12, italics added for emphasis).
The enemy will continue to lie and deceive people, but now he is going to add in supernatural effects too. These will be impressive and will deceive many. This is only going to get worse as we get closer to the Rapture.
Once that occurs, then it will be done as if it is on steroids. Strangely, in the OT there is very little mention of the enemy acting in the supernatural; in fact it is almost non existent. The most notable exception is found in Daniel 10:13:
“But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.”
This is a very small glimpse into the realm of the ongoing spiritual war that has been waged since Lucifer rebelled. Personally, I have always gotten the impression that this war started leaking over more into the natural realm in the 400 or so years between the OT and the NT. This is only my personal opinion and I very well could be wrong.
However, we cannot dispute the fact that the gospels and Acts are full of encounters with people possessed by demons. I believe this increase was because the enemy knew that the time was drawing near and he was gearing up for his big chance.
No doubt he knew of Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy and could do the math to figure out the window of time for the Lord’s arrival. He was preparing for it which entailed rehearsing and refining the techniques he would use, hence the increase in activity. So, what evidence is there that this is starting to occur again? Believe it or not, some of the best evidence is on television.
I say television because of the sheer number of programs on the supernatural. There are countless shows dealing with things like hunting ghosts, hauntings, some show (allegedly) people that are possessed, also shows about UFOs, alien ancestry of humans and on and on and on. Let’s start our focus on the “ghost hunter” type of programs. I admit that on occasion I will watch one. I do it in order to keep up with what the enemy is doing.
Think of it as gathering intelligence information; i.e. know your enemy. I do NOT agree with the conclusions of these shows, however, I cannot deny their evidence. These people are playing a very dangerous game with forces they don’t understand, and the worst part of it all is that they don’t even realize the danger.
The thing to take away from these shows is the fact that the spirit world is becoming restless. It is also starting to intrude more and more into the natural world. This, to me, shows that things are becoming more like it was prior to the Lord’s first coming.
It is not unusual in these shows to have objects being moved, to have unexplained sounds and even see some form of physical manifestation. There have even been physical attacks perpetrated against the investigators and TV crew members on occasion.
On shows about alleged possessions, those supposedly possessed have had unexplained cuts and scratches on their bodies appear suddenly. However, I tend to discount the possessions in these shows and think they are more likely demonic oppression instead, but that is only my opinion.
I base this on how wimpy these so called possessions are and the relative ease in which these are dealt with by non Christian people. Not that I have ever had to deal with anyone possessed, but I think the enemy would put on a better show than those I have seen on TV.
I also base this on reading of cases of actual possession and the types of things described, that includes Biblical accounts. Demonic oppression is a more likely explanation, if it is truly demonic instead of a psychological problem.
Another sign of this is the rise of “spiritualism” and the “New Age” movement. So many people today believe in things like crystals, mother earth, gaia, paganism, wicca, magic (white and black, but they deceive themselves since it is all black), readers, spirit guides, and on and on and on. God tells us:
“There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch. Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee” (Deuteronomy 18: 10-12).
He directed this to the Hebrews prior to their entering into the Promised Land, and this is still in effect for not just the Jews but the church too. Why would He tell them /us not to do these things if there was nothing to them? By His prohibiting them, I think He is in fact telling us that they do exist. He doesn’t like them because they are not of Him and are tools of the enemy.
That being said, these things are all on the rise and are growing rapidly. The majority of those that practice these abominable things do not realize that they are in fact consorting with the enemy by doing so. Add to this the growing number of people who are openly siding with the enemy.
The “church” of Satanism has been steadily growing for the last 40-50 years. Thanks to the wide growth and acceptance of all this “new age” stuff and “spiritualism,” those who associate themselves with this unholy union with the enemy are now able to come out into the open without fear of persecution. As a tangent to this growth in these we also have a dramatic rise in atheism. These people are organized and are actively targeting our Judeo-Christian culture and beliefs.
Hardly a day goes by where someone from one of these groups does not file some kind of lawsuit to get God out of the government, schools or the town square. These attacks are no doubt coordinated and initiated by the enemy himself. (BTW, when was the last time you ever heard of a lawsuit against any religion besides Christianity or Judaism? That alone points to the fact that these attacks are initiated by Satan.)
The idea is not just to get rid of God, but also to promote his alternatives instead. He knows that the weak-minded will go with whatever is popular, or has some big celebrity behind it. That is one reason why he worked so hard (past tense), to get control of Hollywood, the music industry and television.
The rise in these things should not come as a surprise. Jesus Himself warned us of this:
“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (Matthew 24: 24).
“And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed” (Revelation 13:13-15).
The bottom line: This war has a spiritual dimension that we all need to be aware of, along with the fact that this is entering more and more into the natural world. These things are going to continue to increase in frequency and scope as we get closer to the blowing of the Shofar and the Rapture. After that, it will be unrestricted warfare. Thank you Lord for promising to spare those of us who believe in you and call upon your name.
All Scripture quoted is from the King James Version unless otherwise noted.
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