This time we look at fighting as a Christian. The Church is known by many names, such as “the bride of Christ,” “the temple of God,” “the family of God,” and “the body of Christ,” but it is also “the army of God.” When we think of the military, we probably think of the war between Russia and Ukraine, but of course we’re not advocating war, and we’re not against humans. Ephesians chapter 6 verse 12a says Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, not against human beings. Rather, verse 12b says against demons. Look at the bible.
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
If we do not feel that we are in the midst of a spiritual battle, then we have already been deceived by the devil and evil spirits. Because the devil is actually at work. The devil’s purpose is clear. He deceives people, destroys people, and takes people to hell. God’s purpose is also clear. It is to save people, give them eternal life, and take them to heaven. God and the devil are fighting over people’s souls and their eternal destiny. The church and Christians are called to the work of such spiritual warfare and cooperate with God’s work.
The apostle Paul understood the power of the devil well. That is why Paul tells everyone in the Ephesian church. Be strengthened in the Lord and in the power of his might (verse 10).
The Lord Jesus truly understood “the enemy, the devil.” As we can see from the Gospels, the three pillars of Jesus’ work were (1) preaching and teaching the gospel, (2) healing the sick, and (3) casting out demons. Jesus is the Savior and Jesus is the Healer. And Jesus is the victor over the devil. If the modern church does not pay attention to the devil, it has already been deceived by the devil.
CS Lewis, who is also famous as the author of “The Chronicles of Narnia,” wrote a book called “The Devil’s Letter”. This is a book in which a senior devil gives advice to a junior devil on how to deceive humans. It is written like this.
“ There are two fallacies that humans can fall into regarding the devil. They are opposite but equally wrong: one is not to believe in the devil; another one is to believe him with an excessive and unhealthy interest .
C.S. Lewis (1898-1963)
What is the devil’s plan (verse 11)? CS Lewis points out that people tend to be deceived in two ways.
One is not to believe in the existence of the devil, or to ignore the existence of the devil. It is materialism that ignores the spiritual world and is only interested in what can be seen.
The other thing is to be overly interested in demons. That is spiritualism.
Does the devil not exist? The Bible cannot be understood without the existence of demons. When Adam and Eve sinned in Genesis 3, it was the serpent (devil) who tempted them. who is this devil? Was the devil there from the beginning? God did not create the devil. God only created angels. But one angel was intoxicated by his own splendor and beauty. He became proud and tried to be like God. He wanted to go above God. An angel who was nothing more than a creature created by God tried to be like God and rebelled against God.
God’s side and the devil’s side were to fight, and in this battle one-third of the angels followed Lucifer (the devil). Was it God who fought this Lucifer? No. This is angel Michael. It is often said that God and the devil fight, but God is not the enemy of the devil. An angel is enough for an angel. Michael confronted Lucifer, defeated Lucifer, and the angels who followed Lucifer (the devil) became fallen angels, demons in the Bible. Two-thirds are good angels who follow God and appear in the Bible. There are twice as many angels in the world as there are demons.
“Michael Defeating the Devil”/Raphael
In modern times, the idea of becoming like God is being touted, but it is very demonic. We have to be really careful. What is important in this day and age is spiritual insight. Even Christians risk being adversely affected if they give a foothold to Satan and evil spirits.
What was the purpose of Jesus Christ coming to this earth? Atonement for sin. Of course it is. But that’s not all. The Lord Jesus, the Son of God, came to this earth to destroy the works of the devil. Bible says The Son of God appeared to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8).
The apostle Paul preached all over the world, but the city of Ephesus was where he did the most powerful work. Ephesus is modern-day Turkey. That’s written in Acts 19:11-20. This was around 53-57 AD.
The city of Ephesus was a city where magic and the occult were popular. There Paul preached the gospel of Jesus Christ, healed the sick, and cast out demons. This was a spiritual battle against demons and evil spirits. Through his spiritual warfare, Paul achieved his greatest success in the work of evangelization in the city of Ephesus. The letter to the Ephesians was written around A.D.61, so this letter was written a few years after evangelizing in Ephesus, maybe six or seven years later.
Apostle Paul’s missionary journey
In Japan, the work of the devil, the phenomenon of evil spirits, has not come to the fore. Why? I think it’s because the light isn’t shining. Because demons can hide in darkness. However, when the gospel of Jesus Christ shines brightly and the Holy Spirit works powerfully, evil spirits can no longer hide in the darkness and come to the surface.
I don’t think there are many noticeable demonic phenomena in Japan. But when I go abroad for missions, demonic phenomena often occur. Why? Because the Holy Spirit is working mightily.
I once went on a 10-day mission trip to India at the invitation of an Indian pastor named Abraham. We had meetings every day, and at one meeting, when I arrived at the meeting place (church) with Abraham, the interpreter, the worship had begun. And there I saw a strange sight. It was a woman shaking her hair. She did this throughout the praise. After the praise, I gave the message of the cross. During the sermon, the woman was exhausted.
When I invited them to salvation, I think there were about 10 of them, and they came forward and believed in Jesus as their Savior. Although most of them were Hindus, they believed in the Lord Jesus. They confessed their faith together and prayed for salvation. Afterwards, I prayed for healing. I still remember clearly that the ears of a deaf person was healed. The meeting was filled with great enthusiasm because God’s miracle was occurring. The Holy Spirit was working powerfully.
And then that woman was brought to me. She was so violent that 3-4 men had to hold her down. She was possessed by an evil spirit. She had a male voice. She had shown her intention not to leave her. I command in the name of Jesus Christ. “Get out of her.” It maybe will take about 10-15 minutes. I kept praying. Then I saw that an evil spirit had come out of her. She came back to her senses. The expression on her face changed. She had a female voice.
Everyone was happy, but no one was more happy than her parents. They said that for ten years she was possessed by a demon. If someone just believe in Hinduism, the influence of evil spirits is not so strong, but if someone are deeply involved in Hindu magic, they give evil spirits a foothold. I think that’s why she was possessed by evil spirits. I asked her. “Who set you free?” I said. “It’s Jesus, isn’t it? Jesus Christ?.” And she nodded. And I asked again. “Do you believe in Jesus as your Savior?” “Yes, I do,” she confessed. This is what happened in India. And this is what is currently happening.
The devil’s purpose is to bind people through idolatry, magic, divination, feng shui, etc. If you become deeply absorbed in them, you will definitely be influenced by evil spirits. If you truly surrender your heart, you will be possessed by evil spirits. It cannot be cured by doctors. Even a psychiatrist can’t cure it. Because it is a spiritual problem, not a heart problem or a mental problem. Only Jesus Christ can solve this spiritual problem. This field has not yet been opened up in Japan, but I think it will gradually open up. So we have to prepare for it. Even if a person with spiritual problems comes to church, if there is no spiritual strength, we will not be able to provide a solution.
Japanese people are now concerned with wrong spiritualism, which is the work of evil spirits, as well as power spots, rather than healthy spiritualism, which is the work of the Holy Spirit. However, as is happening in Japan and other parts of the world, when people with spiritual problems come to church from now on, by praying in the name of Jesus Christ, we can prevent them from being tormented by evil spirits. I believe that the day will come when people will be freed and liberated. I also hope that the Japanese people will come to know that the one who is truly powerful is Jesus Christ.
To prepare for this, we must first understand the existence of the devil and his schemes. And we must be strengthened by the power of God, by the power of the Holy Spirit. We must also put on the armor of God. I’ll talk about that in my next blog.