Chapter 9 - GOD'S BATTLE PLAN

OBJECTIVES:


Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:


  • Write the Key Verse from memory.

  • Identify the purpose of God.

  • Identify the purpose for which Jesus came into the world.

  • Explain the six point battle plan for spiritual warfare.


KEY VERSE FROM THE ARTICLES OF WAR:


He that committeth sin is of the Devil; for the Devil sinneth from the

beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He

might destroy the works of the Devil. (I John 3:8)


INTRODUCTION


This chapter introduces the basic battle for spiritual warfare. It is a strategy resting

upon understanding the purposes of our warfare and based upon communication with

our Commander-in-Chief by prayer, fasting, and the written Word of God.


When you do not understand God's purpose and plan, you may be tempted to become

discouraged in the conflicts of life. This is why many Christian soldiers fail in warfare: They

do not understand the divine purpose behind the battle.


...For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it

is from God, you will not be able to stop these men. You will only find

yourselves fighting against God. (Acts 5:38-39 New International

Version)


THE PURPOSE OF WARFARE


From the beginning of time, every natural battle that has been fought always had a purpose

for which it was waged. Before we examine God's battle plan, it is important to understand

the purpose of spiritual warfare. This involves understanding the purposes of God the

Father and Jesus Christ the Son.


THE PURPOSE OF GOD:


It is God's purpose that...


...in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in

one all things in Christ, both which are in Heaven, and which are on

earth... (Ephesians 1:10)


From the beginning of time, Satan has battled against the fulfillment of this purpose. Your

own warfare in the spirit world is related to this purpose of God. Satan battles to bring your

heart, mind, spirit, and soul into allegiance to him instead of the Lord Jesus Christ.


God works in you to accomplish His purpose:


For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do His good

pleasure. (Philippians 2:13)


God also works through your life to accomplish His purposes:


Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto

sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead,

and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. (Romans

6:13)


When you yield yourself to become "an instrument of righteousness unto God," it means you bring your life and ministry in harmony with His purpose and plans. By doing this, you

become a target for God's enemy, Satan.


THE PURPOSE OF JESUS:


Jesus said:


He that committeth sin is of the Devil; for the Devil sinneth from the

beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He

might destroy the works of the Devil. (I John 3:8)


The reason Jesus came into the world was to destroy the works of Satan. This immediately set Him in opposition to the enemy:


The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am

come that they might have life and that they might have it more

abundantly. (John 10:10)


From the beginning of His earthly ministry, Jesus set about destroying the works of Satan:


  • He revealed the bondage of sin (John 8:34).

  • He forgave sins (Matthew 9:1-8; Mark 2:1-12,17; Luke 4:17-32).

  • He stressed the heart condition rather than the deception of outward appearance (Matthew 15:16-20; Mark 7:20-23; Luke 6:45; 11:39).

  • He healed the sick (Matthew 11:5).

  • He raised people from the dead (Mark 5:35-43; Luke 8:49- 56; John 11).

  • He released people from demonic powers (Matthew 8:16).


In summary, He destroyed the works of Satan in the hearts, souls, minds, and bodies of men and women:


The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed,

and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the Gospel

preached to them. (Matthew 11:5)


Jesus not only destroyed the works of Satan, He also exposed the devious strategies of

the enemy:


  • He taught on the deception of Satan which would increase during the last days on earth Matthew 24-25; Mark 13; Luke 17:22-37; 21:8-36; Matthew 24-25).

  • He warned of Satan who was able to destroy the soul (Matthew 10:28).

  • He spoke of the necessity of binding the strong man (Satan) before spoiling his goods (Matthew 12:26-30; Mark 3:23-27; Luke 11:17-24).

  • He revealed how Satan tries to prevent the Word of God from being effective in the hearts of men and women (Matthew 13:38; Mark 4:15; Luke 8:12).

  • He exposed those who were not right with God as being of their "father, the devil" (John 8:44-47).

  • He revealed Satan as the "prince of the world" (John 14:30).


THE GREAT DIVISION


Although Jesus came to bring the peace of God (John 14:27; Philippians 4:7), and peace with

God (Romans 5:1), His coming also brought division:


Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send

peace, but a sword.


For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the

daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother

in law.


And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. (Matthew 10:34-

36)


Jesus divided all men into two battle camps. It is not possible to be neutral:


No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love

the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve

God and mammon. (Matthew 6:24)


He that is not with me is against me... (Luke 11:23)


Jesus spoke of this great division in a story about two paths, one which was straight and

narrow and one which was broad. He warned of the deception of Satan's broad path which

many took (Matthew 7:13-14). Through the account of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke

16:19-31), Jesus removed the veil between life and death. He let men see the end result of

choosing the wrong way.


Because He destroyed and exposed the works of Satan, Jesus was under assault throughout

His earthly life. The enemy constantly tried to destroy Him or prevent Him from fulfilling

the mission for which He had come. The moment He was born, an attempt was made on His

life. During His public ministry there were several plots on His life and at least one attempt

which was aborted. He met the opposition of demonic powers, religious leaders, His own

followers, and Satan.


When you align yourself with the plan and purposes of Jesus by accepting Him as your

Savior, you become part of the army that wars against Satan. The purposes of Jesus become

your purposes and this sets you in a tactical position of direct opposition to the enemy.


THE BATTLE PLAN


There are many different Scriptural strategies that can be used in spiritual warfare, but the

basic battle plan for believers is revealed by observing how Jesus dealt with the enemy. The

basic battle plan for spiritual warfare is based on six major points. These are:


  • The Word Of God

  • Delegated Power And Authority

  • Prayer

  • Fasting

  • Keys Of The Kingdom

  • The Name Of Jesus


THE WORD OF GOD


One direct confrontation between Jesus and Satan came during a special period of temptation by the enemy. In this encounter, one of the major portions of our spiritual battle plan was revealed. Before proceeding with this lesson, read the accounts of this temptation recorded in Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13, and Luke 4:1-13.


First Satan tried to get Jesus to turn stones into bread. The power of Jesus which soon was

to turn water into wine surely could have turned stones into bread. But to do so in this

situation would have been acting independently of God and using His power for personal

benefit.


Next Satan tried to get Jesus to cast Himself down from the top of the temple. Note that

Satan said "Cast thyself down." Satan could not cast Him down, because the power of Satan

is a limited power. Satan can persuade you to sin, but he cannot cast you down. As you

have learned, every man is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust. He is not

forced, but enticed. In this temptation, Satan used God's Word to back up his appeal, but he

misapplied it (Matthew 4:6). Misapplication of God's Word is a major strategy of Satan.


In both of the first two temptations Satan said "IF you are the Son of God," do these things.

For Jesus to have complied would have been admission that the verification of His sonship by God was inadequate. God had already spoken from Heaven confirming this relationship

(Matthew 3:17). Satan always centers his attacks on your relationship with God. The final

temptation was an appeal by Satan for worship. In return, Satan would deliver to Jesus all the kingdoms of the world.


In these three situations of temptation you can see the evil forces of the world, the flesh, and the Devil warring against Jesus. Jesus met the temptations of Satan with the Word of God. The Bible is a very important spiritual weapon and part of the armor of God which you will study about later. It is called "the sword of the Spirit." The Word of God is the only divinely inspired manual of spiritual warfare. Other books are useful only as they are in harmony with God's Word.


In meeting the temptations of Satan, Jesus used the Word of God. Jesus quoted specific

Scriptures applicable to the immediate battle. He did not quote passages of chronology or

history from the Old Testament. Jesus said, "It is written again..." When you use specific

Scriptures, be sure they are in balance with the remainder of the Word of God. They must

be viewed in their context and applied in harmony with the total revealed Word of God.


In order to use the Word of God effectively in spiritual warfare, you must know the Word of

God. You must study, meditate on, and memorize it. Many defeats in life come because we

do not know God's Word:


Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the

scriptures, nor the power of God. (Matthew 22:29)


The Word of God is our manual for warfare and reveals God's spiritual battle plan.


DELEGATED POWER AND AUTHORITY


The second part of the battle plan is based upon the power and authority over Satan which

Jesus delegated to His followers:


Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power

and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. (Luke 9:1)


Authority and power are two different things. Consider the example of a policeman. He has

a badge and a uniform which are symbols of his authority. His authority comes because of

the position he holds with the government. But because all people do not respect that

authority, the policeman also carries a weapon. The weapon is his power.


Your authority over the enemy comes through Jesus Christ and your position in Him

as believers. Your power over the enemy comes through the Holy Spirit:


And behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you; but tarry ye in

the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

(Luke 24:49)


Like the policeman, you must have both authority and power to be effective. Believers

receive authority through the new birth experience and their position in Christ, but some

never go on to receive the power of the Holy Spirit, which is to be combined with the

authority for effective warfare.


The power Jesus gave is directed power for specific purposes. These include:


POWER OVER THE ENEMY:


Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power

and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. (Luke 9:1)


POWER OVER SIN:


And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and saith unto

them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:


Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and

whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained. (John 20:22-23)


POWER TO EXTEND THE GOSPEL:


But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you:

and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea,

and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:8)


PRAYER


Prayer is the third part of the basic battle plan. Here is a detailed outline to assist you in

studying about prayer:


THE DEFINITION OF PRAYER:


Prayer is communion with God. It takes different forms, but basically it occurs when man talks with God and God talks with man. Prayer is described as:


  • Calling upon the name of the Lord: Genesis 12:8

  • Crying unto God: Psalms 27:7; 34:6

  • Drawing near to God: Psalms 73:28; Hebrews 10:22

  • Looking up: Psalms 5:3

  • Lifting up the soul: Psalms 25:1

  • Lifting up the heart: Lamentations 3:41

  • Pouring out the heart: Psalms 62:8

  • Pouring out the soul: I Samuel 1:15

  • Crying to Heaven: II Chronicles 32:20

  • Beseeching the Lord: Exodus 32:11

  • Seeking God: Job 8:5

  • Seeking the face of the Lord: Psalms 27:8

  • Making supplication: Job 8: Jeremiah 36:7


THE PRAYER LIFE OF JESUS:


Prayer was an important strategy of the Lord Jesus:


Jesus made prayer a priority:


-He prayed any time of the day or night: Luke 6:12-13

-Prayer took priority over eating: John 4:31-32

-Prayer took priority over business: John 4:31-32


Prayer accompanied any event of importance:


  • At His baptism: Luke 3:21-22

  • During the first ministry tour: Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16

  • Before the choice of the disciples: Luke 6:12-13

  • Before and after the feeding of the 5,000: Matthew 14:19,23; Mark 6:41,46; John 6:11,14-15

  • At the feeding of the 4,000: Matthew 15:36; Mark 8:6,7

  • Before the confession of Peter: Luke 9:18

  • Before the transfiguration: Luke 9:28,29

  • At the return of the seventy: Matthew 11:25; Luke 10:21

  • At the grave of Lazarus: John 11:41-42

  • At the blessing of the children: Matthew 19:13

  • At the coming of certain Greeks: John 12:27-28

  • Before the hour of His greatest anguish: Matthew 26:26-27; Mark 14:22-23; Luke 22:17-19

  • For Peter: Luke 22:32

  • For the giving of the Holy Spirit: John 14:1-6

  • On the road to Emmaus: Luke 24:30-31

  • Prior to His ascension: Luke 24:50-53

  • For His followers: John 17

  • The prayer Jesus taught is recorded in Matthew 6:9-13.


KINDS OF PRAYER:


Paul calls for believers to pray always with "all prayer" (Ephesians 6:18). Another translation

of the Bible reads "praying with every kind of prayer" (Goodpseed Translation). This refers to the various levels and types of prayer.


LEVELS OF PRAYER:


There are three levels of intensity in prayer: Asking, seeking, and knocking:


Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall

be opened unto you:


For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth, and to