Lesson 1 – Biblical Basis for Spiritual Conflict – Part 1


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This is Lesson 1 of Understanding and Implementing Generational Deliverance. Click here for the main page.

Introduction to Understanding and Implementing Generational Deliverance

Spiritual warfare, healing, deliverance, discernment and generational ministry are all terms we hear more frequently today. But where do we go for understanding and application?  Dr. Paul L. Cox goes first to the Word of God and then to godly men and women for confirmation.

This course is a study guide based on Paul’s research, revelation from the Holy Spirit and confirmation from mature members of the Body of Christ. It is a road map for understanding the foundational and advance areas of spiritual ministry and warfare.

Grab your Bible, open your mind and get ready to hear what the Spirit is speaking to the church today. Start with Malachi chapters 3 & 4 and read about the effects of generational sin. Read about discernment and several other areas of ministry that are so necessary in today’s aggressive spiritual warfare. This study guide will assist you in walking through the Word and its revelation.

This course and the truths revealed in it have been soaked in prayer before God. There is nothing contained on these pages that has not been tested before God and man. Paul has his DMin from a California seminary. He is well qualified to search the scriptures and receive sound Biblical revelation.

Our prayer for you is that this will be more than a study aide, but that our heavenly Father will breathe life and love into every word you read. And that you will not just receive knowledge for your mind, but that your spirit will receive what the Spirit has for you personally and that you will find after using this guide that you will have more freedom and a deeper relationship with Jesus.

Bless you as you go deeper in the Word of God.

Assignments

Watch Biblical Basis for Spiritual Conflict – Parts 1 & 2

Review the Biblical Basis For Spiritual Conflict Student Workbook

Complete lesson below

Memorize Isaiah 61:1

Subjects to be Explored

The spiritual resistance coming against us

Biblical names of the enemy

Nature of the this war against God

Nature of the Spiritual resistance coming against us

Types and rankings of spiritual beings

Story of redemption

 Related Objectives

  • You will write out scriptures that illustrate the battle in which we are engaged
  •  You will illustrate the resistance we encounter in trying to be obedient to the Lord
  •  You will list the Biblical names of the enemy
  •  You will read Gregory Boyd’s argument that the Christian life is a battle
  •  You will be able to list the characteristics of the enemy who is at war against us
  •  You will be reminded how Jesus Christ made a way for us to enter into obedience

 

 

Lesson Content

 

Jesus clearly established at the very beginning of His ministry His desire to see the captives set free.

Write Out Isaiah 61:1

 

Spiritual Resistance to Us Obeying Christ

As a believer you are aware that there is a real resistance to you living your life in obedience to Jesus Christ. Even though you have a deep desire to follow your Lord completely, you are probably frustrated by the lack of victory over certain sin issues. Why is this so? There is a resistance to your victory in Christ. The resistance comes from pressures from the flesh, the world and the enemy of our soul, Satan. During these lessons we want to examine the spiritual resistance that comes against our desire to be obedient to Jesus Christ.

 

The reality of the resistance-

 

In Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 we have texts that speak of the fall of the one who comes against us.

Write out Isaiah 14:12-15

 

 

Write Out Ezekiel 28:12-17

 

 

The Word of God also declares that other spiritual beings left heaven with Lucifer.

Write out 2 Peter 2:4

 

 

Other Names for Lucifer or Satan

Look up the following scriptures and write the other names for Lucifer or Satan.

Acts 10:38, 3:10____________________________________________________________

2 Corinthians 4:4___________________________________________________________

Eph 6:16, 2 Thess 3:3________________________________________________________

I Timothy 5:14______________________________________________________________

Genesis 3:1_______________________________________________________________

2 Corinthians 11:14_________________________________________________________

I Thess 3:5________________________________________________________________

Revelations 12:9____________________________________________________________

I John 5:19_________________________________________________________________

John 16:11_________________________________________________________________

Ephesians 2:2______________________________________________________________

 

We Are at War

Gregory Boyd in his book God at War helps us to understand that the Christian life is a battle.

 

The Bible as well as the early post-apostolic Church assumes that the creation is caught up in the crossfire of an age-old cosmic battle between good and evil. As in other warfare worldviews, the Bible assumes that the course of this warfare greatly affects life on earth. (Boyd, 18)

 

Hostile, evil, cosmic forces that are seeking to destroy God’s beneficent plan for the cosmos have, in fact, seized God’s good creation. God wages war against these forces, however, and through the person of Jesus Christ has now secured the overthrow of this evil cosmic army. The Church as the Body of Christ has been called to be a decisive means by which this final overthrow is to be carried out. (Boyd, 19)

 

Exorcisms in Acts– As in Jesus’ ministry, this warfare can sometimes involve actual exorcisms, according to Acts. While there are only four references in Acts to exorcisms, the way they are recorded, combined with the numerous references to exorcism in the post apostolic church, indicates that exorcism was a standard part of early Christian life.

 

Reflecting the same outlook, Paul tells Timothy to “share in suffering like a good soldier of Christ Jesus” and reminds him that “no one serving in the army gets entangled in everyday affairs; the soldier’s aim is to please the enlisting officer” (2 Tim. 2:3-4). Also, he refers, quite incidentally, to Epaphroditus and to Archippus as “fellow soldier” (Phil. 2:25; Philemon. 2; cf. 1 Cor 9:7).

 

Thus, the Christian life is for Paul a life of spiritual military service. It is about being a good soldier (2 Tim 2:4), about “fighting the good fight”

(I Tim 1:18; 6:12), about “waging war” (2 Cor 10:3), and about “struggling” with a cosmic enemy (Eph. 6:12). Given his view of the ever-present reality of Satan and his kingdom, and given his understanding of what Christ was about and what the church is supposed to be about, it is hard to see how [Paul] could have viewed the Christian life differently.     (Boyd, 282)

 

These authors never pondered, “why bad things happen to good people,” for they lived with a warfare worldview that expected bad things to happen to good people. If the world is as thoroughly saturated with evil forces as they envisioned, then nightmarish suffering would not come as a great surprise. They understood (because Jesus taught) that, if the Lord of all creation suffered at the hands of these evil forces, they could hardly expect to fare better (Jn 15:20-21; cf. 1 Cor 2:8). The New Testament tells “good people” to expect bad things! (Boyd, 283)

 

Despite Christ’s victory, the New Testament continues to define the Christian life in warfare terms. The outcome of the war is settled, but there are still important battles to be fought. Fighting them is what the Christian life is all about. As Wingren puts it, “It is impossible for man in the days of . . . the Church, to have to do with God without at the same time, in some way, having to do with the Devil. These, two . . . fill all existence.” The confidence and hope of the believer in all of this is that Christ has once and for all time vanquished the enemy, and that someday this victory over Satan and the cessation of all the evil that flows from him shall be perfectly manifested. (Boyd, 290-291)

 

But Isn’t God In Control?

Does omnipotence necessarily entail that God is all controlling, as the classical-philosophical tradition after Augustine has been inclined to assume? … A good divine purpose lies behind all particular events, …People suffer, we are to believe, because they deserve it!…If we do not flinch from the concrete horror, there comes a point when the notions that God has a purpose for everything, that things always go His way, and that nothing can genuinely oppose him get stretched to the breaking point…It requires the understanding that it is possible for some beings (angels and humans at least) genuinely to resist, and even to thwart, whatever blueprint God might wish their lives to follow. . .such that he does not necessarily always get his way, and may in fact detest the way some things are turning out. It requires the view that God does not monopolize power, and hence that omnipotence cannot be equated with meticulous omnicontrol. It therefore requires that we do not find solace in any view that would try to reduce evil down to an aesthetic antithesis that secretly contributes to the higher harmony of the cosmic whole. …If we are willing to consider the possibility that spiritual forces exist, some of whom are perhaps major cosmic forces who possess morally responsible free will just as we do, then, I believe, we are on our way to a perspective of God and his relationship to the world in which evil does not constitute an unsolvable intellectual problem. We are, in short, on our way to embracing a warfare worldview. (Boyd, 41-51)

 

(The early church) almost unanimously locates the ultimate reason for why there is evil in the world in the evil will of Satan, while the post – Augustine church and the whole of the classical-philosophical tradition following him tends paradoxically to locate the ultimate rationale for evil within the mysterious, omni benevolent, all-encompassing will of the Creator. (Boyd, 54)

 

By contrast, the New Testament and early post apostolic church always thought of the problem of evil in the context of spiritual warfare. The world is caught up in a cosmic battle and thus is saturated with horrifying suffering and diabolical evil. That is the final explanation for evil. (Boyd, 56)

 

The warfare worldview thus presupposes the reality of relatively autonomous free creatures, human and angelic, who can and do act genuinely on their own, and who can and do sometimes go against God’s will. It thus presupposes the reality of radical contingency and of genuine risk. It further presupposes that this risk has sometimes gone bad, even on a cosmic scale, and that this has turned the earth into a veritable war zone. (Boyd, 58)

 

In a state of war, bullets fly, bombs explode, mines are stepped on, and children are maimed. War is hell. This is expected. The only real problem is in confronting the evil and in overcoming it. Hence this worldview at once frees us from futilely asking questions we cannot answer and empowers us and motivates us to fight battles we can win. (Boyd, 58-59)

 

…than the climate is ripe for a restoration of a New Testament model of the church as the supernaturally empowered body of Christ that carries on the work which the Son began during his incarnate ministry. And it means that the time is ripe for a return to a biblical perspective on the problem of evil that defines it more as a spiritual problem to confront that an unsolvable intellectual problem to ponder futilely. (Boyd, 66)

 

The Nature of Those Who Want to Lead Us to Disobedience

 

The evil that is coming against us is not a vague force (as in Star Wars).

This evil is Personal. Write out Ephesians 6:12

 

This evil is Spiritual. See Ephesians 6:12 above

 

This evil is Powerful. Write out Acts 19:16-17

 

See also Daniel 10

 

This evil is Alive. It chooses to live somewhere. Write out Matt 12:43-45

 

This evil has Limited Knowledge. Write out Acts 19:15

 

This evil has Emotions. Write out James 2:19.

 

This evil is Able to speak. Write out Luke 4:34

 

Types of spiritual beings

The Bible specifies that there are many types of spiritual beings. While at one time they were righteous, some of these beings have now fallen.

The following texts list many types of spiritual beings. Read these texts and list the types of spiritual beings mentioned. I Peter 3:22, Romans 8:38, Colossians 2:18, Ephesians 6:12, Colossians 2:8

 

Rankings

The kingdom of evil seems to be organized. Some of the rankings that have been identified are listed below.

Territorial – Principalities placed over geographical areas, i.e. cities, countries, continuants.

Against individuals-known as strongman, legion, throne, ruler, chiefs, no-names-Eph. 6:12, Romans 8:38

 

The Story of Redemption – Leading Men and Women from Disobedience to Obedience

It is not very helpful to just know that we are under attack and that we have difficulty being obedient to our Lord. What do we do about this? Who can help us? Fundamental to our Christian faith is the truth that Jesus Christ has come to set us free. The following is an outline of what has happened in human history. [1]

 

The world was made for man and woman and they were appointed as masters over the world.

Write out Gen 1:29-30

 

 

When man and woman sinned they turned over their dominion to Satan. When humanity rejected Yahweh’s lordship, we accepted (by unleashing) a new “god of this world.” We compromised our assigned task to have dominion over the world and thus subjected ourselves and all of nature once again to the destructive influence of the forces that oppose God. The guardians of the world, and therefore the world itself, were thus taken hostage by an illegitimate hostile power. Satan now seizes “control of the entire world” and becomes “the prince of this age” and “the ruler of the kingdom of the air” (1 Jn 5:19; Jn 12:31; Eph 2:2; cf. 6:12). Through Christ, however, the key has been given back to those originally intended as landlords, and we are once again commissioned to shut up Yamm [sea monster] on the Lord’s authority (Mt. 16:17-19; see part two).(Boyd, 111) See also I John 5:19

 

At the fall Satan became the ruler of the world.

Write out Eph 2:2

 

Write out II Cor 4:4

 

Three times the Jesus of John’s Gospel refers to Satan as “the prince of this world” (Jn 12:31; 14:30; 16:11). He here uses the word archon, which was customarily used to denote “the highest official in a city or a region in the Greco-Roman world.” Hence Jesus is saying that, concerning ruling powers over the cosmos, this evil ruler is highest. (Boyd, 181)

The world is described as “under the power of the evil one”

Write out 1 Jn 5:19

 

Write out 2 Cor. 4:4

 

 

Since Adam and Eve turned over their legal dominion to Satan, God recognizes Satan’s legal standing.

Thus when Satan claimed that he could give all the “authority” and “glory” of “all the kingdoms of the world” to whomever he wanted for they all belonged to him, Jesus did not dispute him

 

Write out Luke 4:5-6

 

God is all-powerful and He can blast Satan into oblivion. However God’s power does not operate apart from his character and His rule.

 

The government of the earth was delegated to man. Since man gave it to Satan, only a man can legally recover the rule of the earth.

 

Since all men have sinned and are legally under Satan’s dominion, man’s condition was hopeless.

 

God solved the problem through the incarnation of Jesus Christ. Because the Holy Spirit conceived him, He was not a fallen man and Satan had no claim on Him. Born of a virgin, He was fully human and therefore a full member of the human race. Thus he was the second Adam.

The temptation of Jesus was Satan’s first defeat since the Garden of Eden.

 

The cross and resurrection completed the victory of Jesus Christ. Jesus recovered the deed of trust. The enemy now is a squatter on what belongs to God. Every time we pray confronting the enemy we declare the legal and moral framework for God to release His power and take back what the enemy has taken.

Write out Col 1:13-14

 

Man’s appointed vocation in Paradise consisted in the winning back of the earth for God, and this again was based upon the sovereignty of God over man and the sovereignty of man over the creation . . .

Man’s calling was to “destroy the works of the devil” and to renew the earth, thus transforming it into an abode of light and life . . .The first man . . . received the task, beginning from Paradise, to restore the whole earth to an abode of the presence and revelation of God. His service as ruler consisted in bringing the whole of creation through his mediation into relation with the glory of God and in making the “fullness of him that filleth all in all” accessible to it. (Boyd, 110-111)

 

Thus as Scripture portrays the matter, the foundational reason Christ appeared was “to destroy the works of the devil” (I Jn 3:8), to disarm “the rulers and authorities” (Col 2:15), and to “destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil” (Heb 2:14). The consequence of this victory is that he is seated on his rightful throne, the whole cosmos is liberated from a tyrannical and destructive ruler, humanity is delivered “from the power of darkness and transferred . . . into the kingdom of his beloved Son” (Col 1:13), and all who accept it are thereby reinstated to the original position and responsibility of stewards of the creation that God had always intended for us. (Boyd, 241)

 

The author of Hebrews expresses the same prioritization when he writes that Christ shared in our humanity “so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil” (2:14). The consequence of this, he adds, is to “free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death” (2:15). Before the chains of death could be broken, the “strong man” who tyrannized us with them had to be “tied up” (Mt 12:29) or “destroyed.” (Boyd, 260)

 

 

[1] I first heard this outline in a sermon by Ed Silvoso.

This is Lesson 1 of Understanding and Implementing Generational Deliverance. Click here for the main page.

Click here to continue to Lesson 2.