Spiritual Warfare

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During this season, there’s a lot of thought and discussion about the spiritual realm. From movies to books to decorations, everyone is thinking about ghosts and spirits. Some stores even have ouija board decorations available. We’ve watched halloween movies that are all about interacting with ghosts.
So I find it very interesting and exciting that our study through 1 John takes us to a passage on spiritual warfare just in time for halloween.
I want to go ahead and preface with I don’t think watching movies and partiipating in halloween festivities is evil. However, by the end this morning, I hope you will understand how to be cautious.
Let’s read 1 John 4:1-6
1 John 4:1–6 ESV
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

The Spiritual Attack

Test the spirits.
The Bible is clear that there are other spirits in this world.
Ephesians 6:12 ESV
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Now these aren’t enemies that we can easily see. They are spiritual. They are in a separate dimension than we are. These spirits that we are fighting are strong and they are always watching and waiting like a tiger in the grass ready to pounce.

What are some ways these spirits manifest?


The first way that I have found that these spirits show up is in our own desires. So we love a hobby or our work or something like that. Something that is a time consumer. And we get distracted. Y’all know how easy it is to get distracted nowadays? Every time you turn on the TV there are distractions ready to lure you away. Every time you walk in public, there are distractions. Going to work, distractions.
We often convince ourselves that these are good things though. “I’m working to make a better life for my family, so its okay that I miss church” “I’m spending this time with my friends, so it’s okay to miss church for this Saints game.” Every time, its “only one time” but what happens? It’s never just one time.
If we can get thrown off course by 1 degree, we will be way off course by the end of it.
On October 31, 1983, Korean Airlines Flight 007 departed from Anchorage, Alaska, for a direct flight to Seoul, Korea. Unknown to the crew, however, the computer engaging the flight navigation system contained a 1 1/2 degree routing error. At the point of departure, the mistake was unnoticeable. One hundred miles out, the deviation was still so small as to be undetectable, but as the giant 747 continued across the Aleutian Islands and out over the Pacific, the plane increasingly strayed from its proper course. Eventually it was flying over Soviet air space. Russian radar picked up the error, and fighter jets scrambled to intercept Flight 007. A short time later the jet was shot out of the sky over mainland Russia and the lives of everyone onboard was lost, all because of a 1 1/2 degree routing error!
How many people today in their worship unto YHWH may be on a walk that is only 1 1/2 degrees out?

False Teaching

Another way is through false teaching. In our world today, there are so many people who are teaching false beliefs. We know that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. There is no other way to get to heaven.
For example, a lot of millenials and younger I’ve heard say that they’re “spiritual” and in tune with “god.” The problem is they are not in tune with the God of the Bible. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The creator God of the universe. YHWH.
Our God is not the same as the lesser gods that people would like you to believe. We are living in a day very similar to Paul at Athens. There are numerous gods being worshipped and they know in their hearts that there is a God greater than the rest. But they need us to reveal that to them.

Overall Evil

The last way we’re going to discuss is simply overall evil. The Bible lays out numerous examples of evil trying to stop the movement of the Gospel. But it never succeeds.
We’ll have evil thrown at us left and right. From our own desires to the evil decisions of others, but we must stand strong and be aware.

The Spiritual Defense

The Bible says to test the spirits to see where they are from. If a spirit comes up looking like a “demon” it’d be pretty easy to deter, right?
But most of the time, it comes as a wolf in sheeps clothing. It’s always disguised as something harmless. Why do you think so many are dying of fentanyl right now? I can assure you it’s not because people are saying “hey let me try this deadly drug.” They’re doing a drug that is “harmless” and hidden within is a drug that kills very quickly.
If Satan walked up to us with horns and a pitchfork like he’s often depicted, we would be able to say no pretty quickly. But if he comes in the form of our weakness, thats a different story.
Maybe your weakness is your pride. Maybe your weakness is an addiction. Maybe your weakness is doubt. Maybe your weakness is an individual.
Combat with scripture.
Philippians 4:8 ESV
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Romans 12:1–2 ESV
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
The battle happens in the mind. If satan can get in your mind and get it off of Christ, then he can pull you away. Guard your mind!

The Spiritual Victory

John 16:33 ESV
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Our Savior has already overcome the world and all things in it!
Romans 8:38–39 ESV
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.


In closing, you too can have this victory if you will place your faith in Jesus. As we navigate this world and this holiday season, be aware of what you surround yourself with. Be aware of the evils you may be allowing into your mind. Guard your mind and heart!
We will be partaking in communion following the invitation song. If you are a Christian, no matter if you’re a member of this local body or not, you may partake. If you are not a born again Christian, please refrain. And I’ll explain why.
1 Corinthians 11:17–34 ESV
But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part, for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized. When you come together, it is not the Lord’s supper that you eat. For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal. One goes hungry, another gets drunk. What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not. For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world. So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another— if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home—so that when you come together it will not be for judgment. About the other things I will give directions when I come.
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