Spiritual Warfare? The spiritual realm may sound mystical and spooky but it is a reality. The world around us is influenced and controlled by the activities in the spiritual realm. There is an unseen spiritual realm that corresponds to the physical. Let’s a take a look at it!
The Apostle Paul understood the spiritual battle of life and ministry giving us a very concise yet explicit description in 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 (NKJV), “(3) For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. (4) For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, (5) casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, (6) and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.”
There is a whole other world that most people either want to ignore, or it is so veiled in mystery that it is difficult for them to comprehend. It is the spiritual world. In the scriptures, God’s Word pulls back the curtain and allows us to peek into this realm of activity. As we look behind the curtain, there are a few general points we need to understand.
There is a corresponding spiritual realm component to the activities we see in the physical earthly realm.
One great example of this is in the Book of Daniel. Daniel was an Israelite captive/exile who was in the administration of Cyrus, King of Persia. Persia was the leading world power at the time.
Daniel began to seek the Lord with mourning. It was an outpouring of his soul with a three-week fast of no pleasant food, meat, or wine. On the twenty-fourth day, he had an encounter with an angel who told him, “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia” (Daniel 10:13 NKJV). Briefly, the prince of Persia and the kings of Persia as named by the angel were none other than demonic principalities in the spiritual realm that corresponded to the earthly dominion of Persia. This clearly shows the correlation of worldly powers linked to and controlled by principalities in the spiritual realm. Michael, one of the chief princes was an archangel of God.
When Daniel began his fasting and prayer, this angel was dispatched to Daniel but was opposed by the demonic forces for twenty-one days until he was assisted by the Archangel Michael. As Daniel prayed and fasted, the angelic forces battled in the spiritual realm. The demonic forces named the prince of the kingdom of Persia correlated to the kingdom of Persia on earth. Daniel worked for the earthly King of Persia who was influenced by the demonic forces named prince of Persia and kings of Persia (see Daniel 10:13).
Another example is found in the Book of Revelation 12:3-5 (NKJV), “ And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads.  His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born.  She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne.
These somewhat mystical characters are real. The dragon is Satan. The woman encompasses more than Mary the mother of Jesus, the woman is the people of God who in a real sense carried the Messiah in their womb. Satan tried to thwart the redemptive plan of God through the coming Messiah from the beginning. The killing of Abel, the intent to destroy by Laban, Pharaoh, the hatred of the Edomites, Moabites, Canaanites, and the Babylonians are a representative few who Satan inspired to destroy the coming Child. And of course, Herod sought to kill the King of the Jews when He was just two years old or younger.
The Kingdom of God is the working of God’s purpose and plan on the earth and Satan’s activity is that of an adversary against all that God is doing.
The very name of Satan means adversary. He stands in direct opposition and rebellion against God and is an adversary to His plan and purpose.
In the times of Elisha, the prophet of God, the king of Syria came against Israel. His war plans were frustrated, and he was sure there was a spy among his men whom he confronted. One of his servants told him about Elisha who supernaturally knew the maneuvers of the King of Syria and would warn the Israelite king.
With this new information, the king of Syria sought to destroy Elisha and soon surrounded him with his great army. Elisha’s servant was very afraid when he saw they were surrounded by this great army. Elisha was not afraid because he saw into the spiritual realm. “And Elisha prayed, and said, ‘LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.’ Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha” (2 Kings 6:17 NKJV).
In the natural world, Elisha was surrounded by a great worldly army but in the spiritual realm Elisha was protected by the greatest army of all–the host of God, described as “the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire”. God has enemies but He has no rival. God blinded the Syrian army and Elisha led this great army like a dog on a lease.
The first Adam relinquished his authority over the earth to Satan resulting in what is described as the “Fall” releasing sin, death, pain, disease, destruction, and evil in the world.
God in the beginning delegated the dominion of the earth and everything on it to man. “Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth’” (Genesis 1:28 NKJV).
God gave man only one prohibition and that was not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil because if he did, death would be the result. When we superficially hear that, we think that Adam would have instantly died. Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit and their eyes were opened to good and evil resulting in the entrance of death. In today’s world, when we see disease, destruction, disasters, accidents, wars, crimes, rebellion, famines, pestilences, and death; we only see them as worldly occurrences, but they all are the working and manifestation of death.
The Kingdom of God is the displacement of this Fallen World under the control of Satan where sin and death reigns.
Satan is called the “prince of the power of the air” in Ephesians 2:2 (NKJV). When Jesus began his ministry, He preached, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15 NKJV).
We who are followers of Jesus are not of this world but we have been called out and empowered to go into the world with the message of salvation, redemption, deliverance, and restoration.
Jesus quoted and said he was the fulfillment of the prophetic word from Isaiah, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of the sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; / to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18-19 NKJV).
And toward the end of His earthly ministry Jesus said, “Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out” (John 12:31 NKJV).
When God wraps all this up in the consummation, the Kingdom will be finished, “Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever’” (Revelation 11:15 NKJV)!
The term “Spiritual Warfare” is the general description of the battle between the Kingdom of God and the forces of Satan. Remember, God has many enemies but He has no rival. He is Almighty God and His Son Jesus is the King of all kings and the Lord of all lords! WE WIN!!!
Yours on the Journey to Victory,
Harry L. Whitt