The Reality of Spiritual Warfare
By Pastor Melinda Bauman

We know that the spirit, or supernatural world is real.  This is the world we cannot see, but we read about it in the Bible.  The supernatural world consists of heaven and hell.  God and angels dwell in heaven, and satan and demons live in hell.  Hell was created for satan and the demons.  We understand that angels and demons come to earth to interact in human affairs.  The goal of angels is to assist people and deliver messages, and the goal of satan and his demons is to oppress, torment, and possess people.
1 Peter 5:8-9                      The devil as a roaring lion
Ephesians 6:10-13             We wrestle not against flesh and blood
2 Corinthians 10:3-5         The weapons of our warfare are not carnal
James 4:7                           Submit to God and resist the devil
The Bible tells us about the conflict, which is taking place between two spiritual kingdoms: the kingdom of God and the kingdom of satan, with his unseen army of demonic influences.  Although God reigns sovereign over heaven and earth, He allows satan limited power. 
Spiritual warfare has been happening ever since satan tempted Eve in the garden of Eden.  Satan deceived Eve by getting her to question God’s Word.  She disobeyed God by eating the forbidden fruit, and Adam also ate it.
Spiritual warfare is the conflict against the human race with its 3 enemies.
The three enemies are: the world, the flesh and satan.

Enemy #1   The flesh

The flesh involves lusts, passions and pride.  It affects the mind, emotions, and will.  “Flesh” describes the sinful element in man’s nature that was inherited from Adam.  Even though we inherit a new nature when we become saved, we still live in the flesh, our bodies, and are thus open to spiritual attack in this area. 
Satan can attack our flesh with sickness and disease, and we can fulfill the desires of the flesh by yielding to temptation.  Paul said that he keeps his body under subjection.  One of the purposes of fasting is to subdue the desires of the flesh.  Before Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, He fasted.
2 Corinthians 5:17   If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature   

      1 John 2:15-16          Lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, pride of life

       Romans 6:6-14          Let not sin reign in your mortal body
Romans 7:14-25        In my flesh dwelleth no good thing
Romans 8:5-10          They that are in the flesh cannot please God
Paul was upset at the Corinthian church because they were sinful, or carnal Christians.
      1 Corinthians 5:1-13    The church is not to tolerate those who call themselves
                                        Christians, yet are living in sin.
1 Corinthians 6:15-20   Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit
      1 Corinthians 9:27        Paul keeps his body under subjection
What are the works of the flesh?
     Mark 7:20-23        That which comes out of the man, defiles the man
     Galatians 5:16-21  Walk in the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh
     Matthew 26:40-41  The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak
The capacity to sin lives within us- even after we are saved.  When we are born again, we receive a new spirit, but we still have the same mind and body.  Our natural body desires sinful pleasures.  We must totally surrender to God and actively resist the works of the flesh.  This is the nature of the struggle we have between the forces of God and the forces of satan.  God encourages us to live a righteous life, while satan tempts us to commit sin.
Enemy #2 The world
The Bible tells us that we are in the world, but not of the world.  We are to separate ourselves from the things of the world.
Romans 12:1-2             Be not conformed to this world
2 Corinthians 6:17      Come out from among them, and be ye separate
John 17:14-16              Jesus prayed that we would be protected from evil in this
The world can refer to the earth, but it also refers to the system of ideas and purposes, which oppose God.  The world tempts you to conform to its standard of ethics, or philosophy, known as humanism.  Humanism is based on the theory that man is basically good (rather than sinful).  His goals should be self-indulgence and self-determination.  Humanism depends on man’s wisdom rather than God’s wisdom, and believes that we can solve our own problems and determine our own destiny.
The world system also believes in atheism, amorality, materialism, and the desire for power.  If the world cannot entice you by peer pressure, fame and fortune, then it will ridicule, persecute, and hate you.  So do not be surprised when people laugh at you for being a Christian.  They hated Jesus, and they will hate you too.
John 16:18-25             Jesus said that the world will hate us
Matthew 10:22-25      Jesus said we would be hated by all men for His name’s sake
Enemy #3  The devil
Satan is the adversary of God, and his main goals are to deceive, destroy, steal, accuse, cause sickness and suffering, in order to hinder our walk with God. 
John 10:10    Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy but Jesus came so we could have
                       abundant life.
How does satan attack?  He attacks through persecution, physical distress, financial failure, poverty, indifference, carelessness, love of money, materialism, pride, and many other ways.  Satan will attack your mind and body in order to discourage you.  Satan will torment and tempt you. He will cause oppression, obsession, and possession.  Much of this work is accomplished through demon spirits.  
The goal of this Bible study is to expose the various deceptions, weapons, and methods satan uses against the people of God.
Ephesians 6:11    Wiles of the devil
Satan’s war against the saints is called the wiles of the devil.  Wiles are the deceitful methods satan uses to outwit God’s people.  We will look at satan’s strategies.

STRATEGY #1             Lies, deception and counterfeits

A major purpose of satan’s lies is to make you uncertain about God’s word and His will for your life.  If satan can get you to believe his lies, he can get you to disobey God. 
John 8:44       satan is the father of lies
When the serpent tempted Eve in the garden of Eden, he got her to question God’s word. 
Satan will also deny God’s word.  Satan is deceptive, so he will make his lies seem like the truth.  Satan is an imitator, a counterfeiter of the real thing.  He has an entire line of counterfeits:
2 Corinthians 11:26        counterfeit Christians (false brethren)
Galatians 1:8                   counterfeit gospel
2 Corinthians 11:14-15   counterfeit ministers
Revelation 2:9                  counterfeit church
Romans 10:3                    counterfeit righteousness
1 Timothy 4:1                   counterfeit doctrines of devils
2 Thessalonians 2:8-10    counterfeit christ- the antichrist
Satan’s lies will try to prevent you from understanding God’s will for your life.  Satan wants to rob us of God’s blessings.  Satan will try to deceive Christians.
Galatians 2:11-16
Jesus knew that deceiving spirits would be active in the last days to deceive people
Matthew 24:4-24
We are living in the end times, and Christians are looking for the coming of Jesus Christ.  Before Jesus returns, there will be a visitation of the antichrist.  Deceiving spirits are being unleashed, with false signs and wonders.  These miracles will appear to be authentic.  If possible, even the elect will be led astray.  The new age movement is paving the way for the coming of the antichrist. 
Revelation 13:13-14   
1 John 4:1             test the spirits

STRATEGY #2            Suffering, pain and affliction

Satan will try to attack the mind and body of believers.  Job proves that suffering may be permitted by God, but is initiated by satan.  God permits pain, misery and trouble to test us, but He is not the source of it. 
At the end of Job’s suffering, God rewarded him with prosperity.  Job has become an example of patience, endurance and faith under pressure and hardship.
In the New Testament, it shows that sickness and suffering are caused by satan.  Jesus taught that evil spirits were responsible for disease.  Today, hospitals and mental institutions are full of people who are afflicted with oppressive demonic spirits.

 STRATEGY #3       Temptation is a thought war

Every person is the product of his thinking.  The mind is the door to the spirit, soul and body.  Both God and the devil can speak to us through our thoughts.  Therefore, the mind is the center of spiritual warfare.  Our strengths and weaknesses are known by the enemy.  Satan will put tempting thoughts into our minds.  We must learn to discern between God’s voice, our own thoughts, and satan’s voice.  Being tempted is not a sin, but when we entertain the tempting thoughts and then commit the act, we have sinned.
It is certain that we will be tempted, but it is possible to overcome temptation.
1) Watch and pray                                         Ephesians 6:18
2)  Resist the devil                                          James 4:7          Ephesians 4:27
3)  Use the authority of the name of Jesus  
     By saying, “I resist you satan, in the name of Jesus Christ and by the blood that              Jesus shed on Calvary”, we can cause the devil to flee!
Use the word of God: scriptures that satan hates
      Luke 10:19         we have authority over the enemy
      Romans 8:1        there is no condemnation (satan causes false guilt and shame)
      Philippians 2:9-10  at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow (even satan and
      Hebrews 4:12         Bible is the sword of the Spirit
      John 8:32               truth opposes satan, who is a liar
      John 16:13             the Holy Spirit is the spirit of truth (discerning of spirits)
      Isaiah 14:12-17      the fall of Lucifer
      Ephesians 6:13-18  full armor of God
Melinda Bauman was filled with the Holy Spirit in a Pentecostal church in 1990. At that time she felt the call of God on her life. In 2003 she began holding weekly Bible studies out of a coffeehouse in Euclid, then in Wickliffe. In 2005 she obtained a Pentecostal minister's license, and began holding monthly revival church services. The purpose of the services was to demonstrate the spiritual gifts and power of God to the church. Different speakers who operated in the prophetic, healing and deliverance ministered at these services.

Melinda began to pray about obtaining a building and starting a church, which would be called "Worldwide Great Commission Fellowship". God provided a building in Eastlake, and the first church service was held in April 2007. The goal of the church is to fulfill the Great Commission (Mark 16:15) by spreading the Gospel message of salvation, healing and deliverance through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.


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