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Warfare
(K. Payne)

Author's bias: Interpretation: conservative
Inclination: dispensational
Seminary: Western (Portland)

Welcome to disciple making:

This series on disciple making is Booklet 1 – Essentials, which is part of the program Transferable Cross Training (TCT) developed by Dr. Karl Payne. The purpose of TCT is to help equip men and women to be effective disciple makers. The materials are field tested with various proof verses that can be memorized, and each lesson is focused on transferability. It is our desire is for those who accept the challenge of discipleship that, with or without a Bible and notes in hand, each individual who has taken the time to master the concepts and principles in this series will have confidence to comfortably and biblically respond to common questions and comments from friends or enemies of Christ. By God’s grace we can make a difference in eternity by being actively involved in the most important job assignment entrusted to mankind. For more information about TCT or obtaining the booklet series, see www.KarlPayne.org

Please remember that the uniqueness of this discipleship series is its simple transferability. It is the expressed desire of the author that students actually use these materials after completing each booklet, by sharing them with others in a manner consistent with 2 Timothy 2:2.

The battle is on and the spiritual battle is real. Unfortunately, most Christians are losing more battles than they are winning. The victories do not have to go to the opposition, but they will continue to do so until believers learn how to fight biblically.

Who are our enemies?

The World: Sociological Opposition (1 John 2:15-17, James 4:4)

The Flesh: Physiological Opposition (Romans 7:15-25, Galatians 5:17)

The Devil: Supernatural Opposition (James 4:7-10, 1 Peter 5:8-9)

How do they attack Christians?

The World: is an organized system in opposition and rebellion against God. 1 John 2:16 characterizes the world as: the lust of the flesh (physical desires), the lust of the eye (beautiful externals) and the boastful pride of life (selfish ambition).

The Flesh: is represented as an old nature, the old man or the old self within each individual, including Christians, which is an opposition and rebellion against God. Galatians 5: 19-21, Colossians 3:5-8, and Mark 7:21-23 provide a partial list of areas that the flesh can easily inflame in this battle.

The Devil: is a real enemy, according to Jesus and the Bible, who is in opposition and rebellion against God. His primary attack against Christians seems to be through debilitating accusations. These accusations are usually mental attacks, in the mind, and are carried out by demonic spirits who faithfully serve the devil. Revelation 12:10 mentions this type of opposition. It is possible that the flaming arrows targeted at Christians which are mentioned in Ephesians 6:16 could also represent demonic accusation.

The Christian's defense against the world, the flesh and the devil.

The World: 1 John 2:17 indicates that we are to evaluate alluring temptation and say "no". The external things of God should not be sacrificed for the temporal things of this world. Christians do not have to pretend that the tinsel and trappings of this world are not appealing. Sometimes the things of this world have the appearance of great value. Looks, however, are often deceiving; just ask Adam and Eve. The real issue is not how this world looks, but whether or not the temporal pleasures of this world are worth the eternal price tag that accompanies them.

The Flesh: Galatians 5:16 and Ephesians 5:18 indicate that if we walk controlled by the Spirit we will not carry out the desires of the flesh. Ephesians 4:20-24 and Romans 12:1-2 state that victory over our old nature or self is possible through consistently renewing our mind. We replace or substitute our old wrong way of thinking with new Christ-like thinking contained in the Bible. Lastly, 2 Timothy 2:22 declares that in some situations involving the flesh the faithful believer should simply run.

The Devil: Scripture like James 4:7-8 and 1 Peter 5:8-9 indicate that the Christian is to firmly resist the attacks of the devil. Jesus' example in Matthew 4:1-11 shows that He used scripture agains the devil in confronting him. Boldly resisting and fearfully running are two very different responses. Christians are commanded to resist, not run from this defeated enemy. Perfect love is supposed to cast out fear.

Problem

The world, flesh and the devil are real opponents who attack Christians in different manners. Since Christians are to defend themselves in diverse manners according to which enemy they are confronting, it becomes extremely important that a Christian knows which enemy he is dealing with so that he knows which defense system to activate. if the Christian does not know how to correctly identify his enemies as they attack, will he stand firm in his resistance (devil defense), be filled with the Spirit, renew his mind or run (flesh defense), or evaluate the situation and say no (world defense)?

Sadly, most Christians do not understand warfare. They do not understand the defense systems at their disposal. Therefore, too many Christians lose more battles than they win, and end up blaming God for their failures. The real truth of the matter is that the defense system will work just as they have been designed to do. But they must be aimed at the right enemy to be effective. The real problem is not with the system; it is with the operator.

The battle is on and the battle is real. The victories likewise are real and so are the casualties. Christian, are you winning more battles than you are losing? Do you understand the opposition? Do you understand your defense systems? Are you blaming God for your defeats? Is it time to study God's Word so you can fight your opposition biblically? Sincerity is not enough.

REMEMBER

  • Distinctions:
  • Demons accuse, Holy Spirit convicts.
  • Demons accuse with generalities, Holy Spirit convicts on specific sin.
  • Pronouns are important (Demons accuse with pronouns).
  • Offensive prayer works.
  • You must know the Word if you hope to use it in battle.
  • According to Ephesians 6:16, being on the receiving end of fiery arrows from demonic archers is a non-negotiable part of Christian living. Debilitating, deadly, demoralizing accusation is a daily reminder that we live on a battlefield and that spiritual warfare is real. However, allowing those arrows of accusation to hit and burn is an option or choice believers can accept or deflect, depending upon their response.
  • Although demons have great strength, wisdom and cunning, according to Luke 10:18-20, Christians have been delegated authority through the Lord Jesus Christ over them and protection from them. Demons are not colleagues or spiritual equals, they are losers, and should be approached and treated as such.

Karl Payne's personal note: I grew up in a home that would have been considered moral and ethical, but not religious. Both of my parents were teachers. Dad was a Mathematics / Science specialist for the Sacramento City School District and my mom taught grade school. My Dad would occasionally pray for our food, but we did not read the Bible or discuss religious topics. I decided my first Sunday of seventh grade that I had no real interest in church or Sunday school and informed my parents that I would no longer attend either. I assumed I was a Christian because I had been baptized as a child at my mom's request, but my primary interests were baseball, football and music.

On June 17th, 1970 I became a Christian while attending a youth retreat sponsored by Young Life, a Christian ministry focused upon reaching high school students. The two biggest hurdles I faced in that decision both related to honest assumptions. My first assumption related to what I had understood it meant to be a Christian. I assumed that I was a Christian because I had been baptized. Christians get baptized, I had been baptized, therefore, I was a Christian. I also thought that heaven, if it was real, was attained by being a nice person. I reasoned that since on a moral and ethical scale which had the Pope on one end and Hitler on the other, that my live style was closer to the Pope's than Hitler's, thus making me a shoe in for heaven if God was fair.

The second assumption I had made related to education. In eighth grade my science teacher told our class that "religious people were mental cripples who needed a crutch to get through life." I was very impressed by this teacher and took to heart what he said. In the eleventh grade, my physiology teacher told our class that "educated people believed in evolution." As I grew older my education had become more important to me. As a result of several teacher's comments I assumed that it was not possible to think deeply and still be a Christian. Religion in my mind was therefore something for nice people who were not too concerned about an academic education. My first assumption was to confuse churchianity with Christianity. Churchianity represents men and women making their best efforts to reach up to God and receive His approval, based upon their individual efforts to be found worthy in His eyes. Biblical Christianity is a message explaining how God has chosen to reach down to mankind through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, providing salvation by His grace as a free gift to all who believe, in spite of our unworthiness. Religion is essentially a message of man reaching up to God. Christianity is a message detailing how God has reached down to man. Religion exalts man. Christianity exalts God. I had received just enough religious training to confuse religion with Christianity and had rejected an honest consideration of Christianity in the process. My second assumption was to confuse naturalism, dialectical materialism and the suppositional baggage assumed to be true by both philosophical world views, with actual empirical data and good science, which provides conclusions based upon testing, observation and repetition rather than wishful thinking and naturalist / atheistic suppositional indoctrination.

On the 17th of June, 1970 at 8:00 P.M., I listened to a gentleman clearly explain that God's plan is that I have eternal life (John 3:16, John 10:10, Romans 5:1), but that my problem with sin (to miss the mark in word, thought or deed) had separated me from Him (Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23). This sounded more like bad news to me than good news. He went on to say that God had provided a remedy for my sin by sending His only son Jesus Christ to die on a cross as a payment for my penalty (2 Corinthians 5:21, Philippians 2:4-10, 1 Timothy 2:5, Romans 5:8, John 14:6, Ephesians 2:8-9), but that it was absolutely necessary for me to respond to His remedy for the remedy to be effective (John 1:12, Romans 10:9-10, Revelation 3:20). I bowed my head in that room and quietly asked Jesus Christ to become my Savior and Lord. Jesus came into my life and has made me a new person, from the inside out (2 Corinthians 5:17). That was nearly thirty-one years ago. Knowing Jesus is more than religious activism or academic curiosity. It is a real relationship. Spiritual maturity is a process (1 John 2:12-14) that should continue to develop and grow as long as we are alive.

God used a Campus Crusade for Christ high school ministry to teach me that aggressive, reproductive Christianity (2 Timothy 2:2) should be considered normal Christianity. Sincerity is necessary for Christian living, but it is not sufficient for impacting our world for Christ (Matthew 28:18-20, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, 2 Timothy 2:15, 1 Peter 3:15). He has used several godly men, seminary and nearly twenty-five years of serving in church ministry to teach me that making disciples means far more than leading people to Christ and asking them to pray and read their Bibles. It is impossible to give what you do not have or share what you do not know. When people tell me that their Christian faith is boring, what they are really telling me is that they do not pray, they do not study and they do not give away what they have been given. The Christian life is an adventure that is exciting to live and share. To judge Christianity by people who sit on their hands, criticize others and turn a living faith into dead religion is to misrepresent Biblical Christianity. Christianity was never meant to be lived as a passive spectator sport.

Dr. Karl Payne, at heart, is an apologist who loves to train and equip Christians for spiritual service and warfare (Eph.4:11-16). He enjoys preaching, writing and retreat / conference / seminar speaking. He derives his greatest pleasure tackling the challenge of teaching Christian workers, interns and budding preachers / teachers at both the Bible College and Seminary levels. In addition, he has co-authored two books: A just Defense and Cross Training through Multnomah Press.



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