Spiritual Warfare cont'd
(Part 2 – Power over Satan and Demons)
Jesus and Demons: In His miracles, Jesus often attacks the power of Satan and the demonic (Mk 1:26,34,39; 3:10-11; 5:1-20; 9:17-29; Lk 13:16). One of Jesus' clearly stated purposes in coming to earth was to bind Satan and to set free those enslaved by him (Mt 12:29; Mk 1:27; Lk 4:18).
Jesus' binding of Satan, accomplished in part through his driving out of demons and more completely in his death and resurrection (Jn 12:31), shatters the power of Satan's realm and restores the power of God's Kingdom.
Hell (Greek – Gehenna), the place of torment, has been prepared by our Lord for the devil and his demons (Mt 8:29; 25:41).
Believers and Demons: Scripture teaches that no true believer who is indwelt by the Holy Spirit can be Demon – possessed; the Spirit and demons can never live in the same body (2 Cor. 6:15-16). Demons may, however, influence the thoughts, emotions, and actions of Christians who fail to follow the leading of the Spirit (Mt 16:23; 2 Cor 11:3,14).
Jesus promised true believers authority over the power of Satan and his cohorts. As we confront them, we must break the power they want to exert over us and others by waging intense spiritual warfare through the power of the Holy Spirit (Lk 4:14-19). In this way we can be set free from the powers of darkness.
According to the parable in Mk 3:27; spiritual conflict against Satan involves three aspects: (1) Declaring war against Satan according to God's purpose (Lk 4:14-19); (2) Entering Satan's house (any place where he has a stronghold). Attacking and overpowering him by prayer and fasting along with the proclamation of the word and destroying Satan's weapons of demonic deception and temptation (Lk 11:20-22); (3) Carrying off his possessions, delivering those who have been held captive by Satan’s power and giving them over to God so that they may receive forgiveness and sanctification through faith in Christ (Lk 11:22; Acts 26:18).
The following are the individual steps we should take in this process: (1) Recognize that we are not in conflict against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces and powers of evil (Eph 6:12). (2) Live before God, fervently committed to His truth and righteousness (Rom 12:1-2; Eph 6:14). (3) Have faith that Satan's power can be broken in any specific area of his domain (Acts 26:18; Eph 6:16; 1 Th 5:8), and realize that the believer has powerful spiritual weapons given by God for the destruction of Satan's strongholds (2 cor 10:4-5). (4) Proclaim the gospel of the gospel, of the gospel of the kingdom, in the fullness of the Holy Spirit (Mt 4:23; Lk 1:15-17; Acts 1:8; 2:4; 8:12; Rom 1:16; Eph 6:15). (5) Challenge Satan and his power directly by believing in Jesus' name (Acts 16:16-18), by using God's word (Eph 6:17), by praying in the Spirit (Acts 6:4; Eph 6:18), By fasting (Mt 6:16) and driving out demons (Mt 10:1; 12:28; 17:17-21; Mk 16:17; Lk 10:17; Acts 5:16; 8:7; 16:18; 19:12). (6) Pray especially for the Holy Spirit to convict the lost concerning sin, righteousness and the coming judgment (Jn 16:7-11). (7) Pray for and eagerly desire the manifestation of the Spirit through gifts of healing, tongues, miracles, signs and wonders (Acts 4:29-33; 10:38; 1 Cor 12:7-11).