The Nature of Spiritual Warfare

Staying Faithful in a faithless world  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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spiritual warfare is real and believers need to be equipped to fight properly

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Spiritual Warfare is real (Daniel 10:1-3)

Explanation: Chapters 10-12 of the Book of Daniel form one complete unit, and this unit contains the final vision that Daniel received. Chapter 10 is a preface to the vision, Chapter 11 is the vision itself, and Chapter 12 is a postscript. For proper understanding, the 3 chapters need to be read and studied together.
The vision is dated the 3rd year of Cyrus (535 B.C) and is the latest date in the book. Some of the exiles have already returned to Jerusalem (about 50,000) to begin the rebuilding efforts. The exiles had started the Temple project, but had run into opposition and the work was halted. The project lay dormant for about 15 years until Ezra arrived in Jerusalem.
The distress Daniel was facing may have been related to the poor progress of the returning Israelites. He may have been bothered that so few returned, and that the work had been stopped. The text doesn’t supply a reason, but it does inform us that Daniel was distressed and was praying for three weeks over the issue. In addition to prayer, he was also fasting. The important point is that the issue was serious and he was taking it to God.
Argument: It is important to realize that Daniel was disturbed, most likely for the condition of others, or for the reputation of God - not himself. He was in mourning and was broken and it moved him to act. (Remember the promise of Jesus concerning those who mourn; they shall be comforted []. While he was praying and seeking God, he did not receive an answer, but he did not quit praying. Daniel only discovered the reason for the 3 week delay when the Angel told Daniel he had been prevented by the Prince of Persia.
Application: Spiritual warfare is conducted in the heavenlies and is unseen by humans for the most part.
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.
Nonetheless, the conflict is real and the outcomes are important. Being ignorant of the forces around us is of no help. Believers need to know the reality of spiritual warfare, to be equipped to engage the enemy, and to trust God for the outcome.
Nonetheless, the conflict is real and the outcomes are important. Being ignorant of the forces around us is of no help. Believers need to know the reality of spiritual warfare, to be equipped to engage the enemy, and to trust God for the outcome.

Spiritual Warfare involves supernatural beings, both good and bad. ()

Explanation: Angels are supernatural beings. Gabriel has the ability to move through space in order to give messages to people. The angels in had the ability to blind people, in we read that the holy angels fought against satan and his demons and cast them out of heaven, and in our text, the angel strengthened Daniel with a touch (v. 18)
Angels are real beings that God created as a separate order from humans. All angels were created good by the LORD God, but some (as many as 1/3) chose to join satan’s rebellion. These are the fallen angels (demons) and they oppose the things of God.
It is important to remember that even satan is a created being and he IS NOT equal to God. He can only be in one place at one time, and he does not have God’s omniscience or God’s power. He was the highest of the created angels and he does have knowledge and power greater than humans and he should be respected in that he is at least 6,000 years old and can deceive us, apart from divine protection.
In the Daniel passage we are introduce to the concept that demons have specific areas (or spheres) of influence. The fallen angel in v. 13 has the title of the prince of Persis. This seems to indicate that the world system is influenced by the demonic - which should come as no surprise to us!
Argument: The reality of supernatural beings in cosmic conflict should gain our attention. These beings are stronger, more intelligent, and have other abilities that we do not. It is therefore important that we do not underestimate them. One of satan’s greatest deceptions is for believers to think that he is not real or that he is a little red guy with a pointy tail and a pitchfork.
On the other side, however, we are not to give him more power than he has. Remember, he is confined to a body and can only be in one place at a time. If one of his demons is given the title of the prince of Persia when Persia was the dominant power on the earth, it stands to reason that satan and his chief demons are located in areas around the globe that dominate the headlines such as N. Korea, Moscow, Washington, London, Tehran, etc. Satan or his lieutenants are probably not hanging out in Alexander county.

Believers are to be equipped for spiritual warfare (; )

Explanation: Daniel was strengthened by the Angel and he was told to fear not, he was given peace, and he was told to be strong and courageous. And then Daniel was given information. Daniel was distressed and upset, and the angel gave him knowledge (chapter 11) to allieve his situation. For the child of God who is actively abiding in God and trusting Him, peace in the storm is possible, and we can stand strong in the faith.
Argument: The actual equipping for spiritual warfare is not fleshed out in this section of the Book of Daniel. The focus is on the content as it relates to the future of the people of Israel, but the above concepts are important. The NT teaching on spiritual warfare as set forth in Ephesian 6:10-18 is more detailed and instructive. The believer is told to put on the whole armor of God. It is of great importance to remember that each piece is defensive, with one exception. The one offensive item is the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.
Application: Wake up to the reality of the warfare we are already in engaged in. Equip yourself to withstand the forces of evil. And by all means, sharpen your sword.
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