Jesus And Spiritual Warfare
By T. W. Barnes
If we were watching a beautiful sunset as it set below the horizon and darkness began to spread over the land, we know one thing for sure in just a few hours the same sun will come up in the east showing its glory and its power once again. The Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, came into our life. There may be clouds at time, but He is always there. Sometimes it may seem He is gone, but He is right with us. He will soon manifest Himself again. This is just as true as after the night, the sun will rise again.
The Lord talked about Satan before and after he fell in Ezekiel 28:14-19: “Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones offire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, 0 covering cherub, from the midst of the stones offire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffic; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.”
And in Isaiah 14:12-15: “How art thou fallen from heaven, 0 Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the
clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”
Had not the Lord Jesus Christ fought this first battle, there would be no battle for us; Satan would have won. Jesus came and won the big battle. He left the little one for us, and we can win because Jesus says we can.
Jesus did not defeat Satan for Himself. The Lord Jesus had no sin in his life, no guile in His mouth. He was perfect, and He defeated Satan in every situation in the three and one half years he ministered here on earth. Every thing Satan did to Jesus, Jesus allowed it. He came to live and die for a purpose. 1 John 3:8: “…for this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”
Some may say it is not all done yet. No, not world wide. But Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil in you and in me if we will let Him. What ever the battle, He is well able to take care of it.
He came to destroy the works of the devil in the believer and to make him a new creature old things are passed away and behold all things are new. Finally, someday, He will destroy all the works in the earth.
The blood is eternal. Jesus built the church and He built a devil-proof church. The devil can not even walk through its door Jesus said, “I am the door.” No devil will walk through Him into the living Church of God. So, the safest place for us is in the church.
I read in II Samuel 3:27 about a fellow who made a mistake. Abner was safe; he was inside the city of refuge. But he had an enemy, Joab. Joab persuaded him to step outside the gate just a little ways to talk. When Abner stepped outside the gate, Joab plunged a dagger through Abner’s heart. Kind David loved Abner. Verse 33 reads, “And the king lamented’ over Abner, and said, Died Abner as a fool dieth?”
Why was he so foolish to step outside the gate? We ask the same question today. Why are people so foolish to step outside the door of the church of the living God? In the church we are safe from everything that comes against us. Remember this: Inside the church we are safe from the storms; we are safe from all the powers of hell. They can’t reach us in the church.
In John 19:30 we find Jesus hanging on the cross doing the thing he came into this world to do defeat Satan eternally for us, not Himself. (He took care of Satan for Himself in heaven a long time ago.) He could take care of him in the atmosphere, and He could take care of him here, if it were not for you and me who have fallen into sin. Jesus had to die to take care of sin. He took our dirty rotten sins upon Himself and the sinless Son of God said, “Not my will but thou will be done.”
Pour upon Me the sins of the world. He cared so much that He took our sins and dying he cried, “It is finished.” On the third day, He came from the grave victorious for you and for me.
What is finished? The church is finished. His plan for salvation is finished. We have no need to worry about anything. The door stands wide open for whosoever will. There is not a sinner on earth that cannot walk through the door if he will repent. As he walks toward the door with deep heartfelt confession, the Lord will forgive him and give him the Holy Ghost. He takes on His name Jesus in water baptism. Since He is God and has all power, He can take care of our sins in a second. All he needs is a sinner to confess from the heart and mean it.
Jesus didn’t call his preachers to destroy the devil. He Himself came to destroy the devil. If he had not taken that job, I would not be preaching today. Had he not won this first victory for us, we would all be sinners still. Only Jesus could open the door for us. He will completely destroy the devil in the future, but now he gave us a job to do. He gave his ministers the authority to preach His name, to preach the living Word, to preach and sing about the blood. The devil is commanded by Heaven to obey the preacher that has the authority and preaches the Word with faith. He has been commanded by God almighty to do what the preacher tells him to do. When the preacher tells him in My name to get out, he better get out or God Himself will come after him. The devils cried out one time, “Have you come to destroy us before our time? We know You could put us in hell before our time.”
I spent many hours with a famous preacher who prayed for the sick with great success. I preached to him until two o’clock in the morning. I said, “Look, what about the Holy Ghost? What about being baptized in Jesus Name? If you healed a million people and they didn’t get the Holy Ghost and were baptized in Jesus Name and lived a holy life, not a one of them would be saved. What good will it do if they are healed, but not saved. The power of the gospel of salvation should be preached. Then, if they are sick they can be healed. If you go after healing only, you will miss it a million miles.”
Many times I have heard from different people the devil did this and the devil did that. I tell them to learn how to talk to the devil. We have no better example than the Lord Jesus Christ.
Matthew 4:1-3: “Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God command that these stones be made
While He was hungry and no food in sight, do you know what happened? As always, the devil came. When a man is at his weakest point and he is down and out, discouraged, here comes the devil. He knows when to attack. Notice he said, “If thou…” Have you ever had the devil say, “If you were a Christian you would not do this or that.”? He is just trying to get you to put an if in your own perfect plan of salvation repentance, baptism in His name, and receiving the Holy Ghost and trying to live a holy life. He wants you to take that I can; I know out and put in an if.
But Jesus answered him, “It is written man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that preceedeth out of the mouth of God” Jesus could have said, “Well, let’s reason a little. I am hungry and I do have power. I could turn those stones to bread. A good loaf of bread would surely smell and taste good right now. I haven’t eaten in forty days; I am hungry.” But he did not reason with the devil. He did not say I know I am weak, I am tired, I am hungry. He just fired back at him: “It is written…” The argument ended. No more debate, it was over. The devil knows when he is whipped.
“Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.”
The devil took Jesus to the temple (the church). So, the devil goes to church too. He can come into the church services and get saints to find fault with one another, etc. Here the devil wanted Jesus to jump off the temple just to prove something. Jesus could have said to him, “It is true, I don’t have very much of a following at this time just a few belly-aching disciples. If I ever needed world-wide acclaim to get people’s attention, this would be a good way to do it. I could jump off this pinnacle and just float around out there. That would hit the papers. (If they had radio and TV it would have been on everywhere.) The media would grab that today. Jesus did not consider any of that. He just plainly said, “It is written Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God”
The devil did not argue any more. If we know how to hit him and where to hit him, he will stop talking. I have had people tell me, “The devil has talked to me for forty years.” These people have not learned how to do the talking themselves. They talk because they feel a certain way or they are angry with someone or got hurt. They do not talk the Word to the devil. Our experiences, our call, our prosperity none of these things count with the devil. Only the Word will defeat him.
“Then the devil taketh him 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 thou wilt fall down and worship me.”
What a beautiful sight that must have been, but Jesus knew they did not belong to the devil; he could not give them away. All these belonged to Jesus already. He created the worlds, the oceans, the mountains, the seas all the beautiful things. The devil wanted Jesus to worship him. Once again Jesus did not reason with him. He did not argue. He did not even bother to tell the devil that He created all that. He simply said, “Get thee hence, Satan.” Jesus had enough. You get going. You have already failed twice, and this third time is going to get you gone for good. “For it is
written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and him only shalt thou serve.” You know that, Devil. Worship one God. The one God got him on the road. And it will still do it today.
How should we talk to the devil? Talk with the Bible in our hand. Do not talk our feelings, hurts, aches, pains, but talk the Word. We will get the same results Jesus got. Why do you think He put these experiences he had with the Satan in the Bible? To teach us how to talk to the devil.
I hear this all the time: The devil put a curse on me. This is in the mind. The Bible says as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. The devil knows if he can get us to think wrong if he can get us to think he has the power to kill us or to make us sick or to make us lose our job, then he is getting us to think wrong. We have to learn to think right.
Here is the way to think right: Think of Satan as a defeated foe by the Lord Jesus Christ. He defeated him thoroughly and perfectly on the cross. Satan is a defeated, whipped foe. He has no keys to death, hell and the grave. He has no keys to own house. He has no power anymore only what the Lord permits him to have. He is on a short lease. All he does is rip, and tear.
A story goes like this: An old preacher was sitting on porch and he heard a noise. He looked and saw an old bull dog walking slowly down the side walk. He was a tough looking dog, with scars on his head where he had been in battle after battle. A little feisty dog followed him just a yelling and tearing up the ground. The old bull dog never even looked back. The little feist would run up pretty close him and then back up, but the bull dog just kept walking. He knew the feist would not bite him, and the feist knew he not going to bite the bull dog he just knew that.
The preacher fell on his face, “Oh, God, whatever that the dog has, give it to me.” We do not need to pay attention to feisty things that comes to us, the things that eat on us and tries to drag us down. If a fly lights on the ceiling of our bedroom, we don’t get the shot gun and shoot the fly. That would tear up the house. All we need is a fly swatter. Some people just tear up everything over nothing just a little feisty dog barking. God help us just to keep walking and ignore the feist.
Colossians 2:15: “And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” Anything spoiled is no good, not fit for anything. Think about the devil as being spoiled, powerless, and can do only what Jesus permits him to do. We need to stay close to Jesus since he is the permission giver.
How do you see the devil? Let me teach you how to look at him. In Revelation we read of a war in heaven and Satan cast out. We see him in the first heaven cast out. He failed. He is falling now down trillions of light years out into space. For a while he has been the prince of the power of the air. But not in heaven he is out of there. Now he is falling, and the Bible said he was cast to the earth. He is roaring mad. He knows his time is short. Finally (in the 20th Chapter of Revelation) the angel chained him and cast him into the bottomless pit. We see him as a falling angel from the highest place to the lowest place the bottomless pit. He is on his way.
His stop here on earth is just a little stop. It is like a fellow falling out of a tall tree and he grabs onto a limb as he goes down. He can not hang there forever. He will have to turn loose after a while and fall some more. That is the way it is, Satan is just grabbing a limb as he goes down, down, down to hell. Think of that. See that when you think of the devil.
The Lord Jesus Christ came forth from the grave and ascended to heaven. When we look at Jesus, He is always on the way up. When we look at the devil, he is always on the way down.
It is good to know how to talk to the devil, how to think about him, and how to see him. Jude calls him wandering stars. Stars that get out of orbit wander through space millions of years. They probably pass through and around galaxies just wandering through space. But they have a destination. Something somewhere is pulling them. It is known as the cold sack. A million suns could not make one ray of light in there. This is Satan’s final destination the bottomless pit of outer darkness.
Don’t be a wandering star a wandering sinner passing through the earth. He passes the church on his way to the black pit. He passes the Bible, his mother’s prayers, the church’s prayers on his orbit headed to the black darkness forever where he is not seen anymore.
A few years ago Newsweek reported a cross was found over the hole of the cold sack. That says to the sinner before you go into outer darkness, you will have to pass the old rugged cross.
In Luke 11:4 Jesus tells us how to pray. One of the phrases is “deliver us from evil.” When Jesus tells us to pray for something, He will do it. Deliver us from evil, Lord; teach us to pray; teach us to live holy, and teach us to understand the spirit world.
Jesus defeated the devil for us. He stands in the door of the church saying, “Come unto me all you that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” He paid the price. He knows we have been drunkards, liars, and thieves, but under the old olive tree as He knelt, He let God, the eternal Spirit pour all our sins upon Him. He did not go to the cross for His sins; He went there for our sins. He paid the price for every sinner. The sinless Savior, pure as the dew on the rose, now is black with your sins and mine. When he came from the grave, He was as pure as before the cross.
Salvation is free. It costs to go to hell. To go to hell it costs your health, your friends, your children, your family. You finally lose it all. But you keep it all when you walk with Jesus.
This article “Jesus and Spiritual Warfare” was taken from “Spiritual Warfare” by T. W. Barnes and may be used for study and research purposes only.