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Series Theme:  Spiritual Warfare

Title: 4. The Enemy - His Activities - c) Outright Attack



We saw in the previous pages how Satan uses deception and temptation as strategies of attack. We now move on a further area of his activities, outright or blatant attack .


1. How does “Outright Attack” Occur?

Scripture shows us that Satan has power to do the following:

1.1  Stir up the ungodly

Job 1:12,15

  •  Satan was able to stir up the ungodly and unrighteous attitudes of these people to provoke them to attack Job.  But note that it was only as far as God allowed.

1 Jn 5:19 

  •  because unbelievers have refused to submit to God and therefore allow sin to reign in their lives, they put themselves under the rule of Satan, and he is able to provoke their behaviour against believers.

Col 1:13

  •  Satan clearly is a ruler, but not of us who are Christians, for we have been released out of his dominion (area of rule)

1.2 Bring Hindrance

1 Thess 2:18

  •  somehow Satan managed to stop Paul going where he wanted
  •  maybe it was through ungodly people or simply through trying circumstances.

Dan 10:2,12,13

  •  Daniel prayer for 3 weeks, until the angel came
  •  the angel indicated he had been hindered by the enemy throughout that time

1.3 Bring Natural Catastrophes

Job 1:12,16,18,19

  •  Satan was able to bring fire and a mighty destructive wind.
  •  But again it was only so far as God allowed.

Mt 8:26

  •  although Satan is not referred to here the fact that Jesus told off (rebuked) the wind indicates something wrong about it.
  •  it may have been the sense of something unnatural about it that created the fear in the disciples, most of whom were usually at home on the lake.

1.4 Bring Physical Affliction

Job 2:6,7

  •  Satan was able to bring sores to Job's body.

Lk 13:11,13,16

  •  Jesus attributed this woman's infirmity to Satan's activity
  •  Jesus came to release the captives (Mt 11:4,5 , Lk 4:18 )
  •  This is not to mean that every illness should be attributed to Satan, but some obviously is. This is where the gift of discernment is useful.
  •  See also later notes on demonisation.



2. What is the Christian's Position?

2.1 Within God's will only

  •  Such attacks are only allowed so far as they fit God's purposes.
  •  e.g. Job 1 & 2 See above
  •  See also “Why God permits Satan” in the first page of this series about Satan.

2.2 “Suffering for the gospel”

  •  This is to be expected. "Suffering for Christ" is not illness but spiritual opposition

Jn 15:20   /  2 Tim 3:12 / Rev 2:10

  •  Persecution is to be expected and may even involve prison, and for some (martyrs) death
  •  e.g. Stephen ( Acts 7:59,60 ) and James ( Acts 12:2 ) and countless thousands since.
  •  Note that for some God delivers them from the circumstance, and for others God gives them the grace to go through the circumstance, for some even death for Him.

2 Cor 1:8-11   2 Cor 6:4,5

  •  We can expect hardship in seeking to share the Gospel.  Paul's hardships took him right to the verge of death itself.

2.3 God's grace is there to help us cope

2 Cor 12:7-9

  •  even in attack God's grace is sufficient to help us cope

Rom 8:28 

  •  whatever the situation, God will work to bring good out of it for us.

2 Cor 7:6,7

  •  that grace may come through other people
  •  that grace may come in the form of comfort and encouragement, or simply in the form of inner strength or wisdom to know how to cope.



3. What Forms do the attacks take?

  It seems far more than coincidence that often when Christians are moving in outreach activities, a variety of mishaps seem to occur. The lists below are simply examples of things know to happen:

3.1 “Physical” attacks:

  •  illness
  •  accidents
  •  breakdown of mechanical / electrical goods

3.2 Mental, Emotional & Spiritual attacks:

  •  feelings of tension, edginess etc. that is unexplained
  •  accusations coming against others
  •  doubts about own salvation, success etc.
  •  guilt feelings about own unworthiness
  •  feeling down, depression etc. with no recognisable cause
  •  unclean or uncharitable thoughts predominating



4. How do we Overcome?

4.1 Realise the source of power within you, the Holy Spirit

1 Jn 4:4

  •  holding a right perspective is vital

4.2 Remember the work of the Cross

Col 2:13-15

  •  we must remember that we are what we are and we continue to be that, only by Christ's atoning work on the Cross

4.3  Realise His grace that is available for you

2 Cor 9:8

  • we need to believe it's there and take hold of it by faith, this grace, this ability to cope, that is promised us.


5. Demonisation

5.1  The Words we use

The Greek word in the New Testament used for outright demon attack is best translated “demonisation”. When that demonisation is severe we tend to refer to that person being “possessed”, when there is complete domination & control of that person by a demon. When the person is simply being tormented or pressurised by a demon we refer to that as “oppression” .

5.2  Demon Access

Demons can only have access to a person in as far as they have given them space. Satan and demons have the right to inhabit dark places.

If we willingly and knowingly hold onto wrong (dark) things in our lives, then we give the enemy an access to our lives. Willingly and knowingly holding onto sin in our lives makes us vulnerable to enemy attack.

It is vital therefore that we repent of such things, confessing them to God and seeking His forgiveness and cleansing.

5.3 Demon Oppression

Initially when a person is doing things that open the way for demons to come at them, we simply refer to this demonic activity as “oppression”.

For example when a person persistently and wilfully permits, say, wrong anger in their lives, that sin seems to permit an evil spirit to come and “emphasise” anger in them in such a way that they are bound by it. In such a case we might refer to the spirit as a “spirit of anger”. If this is true then we may refer to many different “sorts” of spirit bringing oppression to both believer and non-believer who have surrendered the sovereignty of their lives to the enemy through ongoing sin.

Often in such cases only true repentance and the command of deliverance by a Spirit filled believer moving under the anointing of the Spirit can set them free. Where a person has truly repented and allows the Lord to fill them with His presence (His Spirit) then the power of the enemy is again broken.

5.4 Demon Possession

When a person willingly and knowingly participates in occult activities, those open that person up to greater demonic involvement. If a person opens themselves up to occult activity they are in fact inviting in demons and, depending on the level of involvement, open themselves up to “possession” where the demon holds complete sway over that person's life and manifests its presence when challenged.

5.4  The Christian's Daily Walk

For the Christian in everyday life, although the enemy may come in some form of outright attack, as long as that person is seeking to maintain a good and right relationship with the Lord there should be no room for demonisation. When the enemy does attack, the order shown in James 4:7 should be followed. i.e.

v.7a Submit

  •  turning to God & ensuring you are right with Him
  •  looking to Him for the grace, strength and faith
  •  praise and worship the Lord for who He is

v.7b Resist

  •  you are then able to resist the enemy
  •  you tell the enemy to leave
  •  you continue to praise God.



6. Deliverance

  To recap, where there is severe demonisation, for release to come about and the person be delivered there needs to be:

  •  Whole hearted repentance by the person demonised
  •  A whole hearted desire to turn to God by them
  •  A renunciation by them of the works of darkness
  •  Affirmation of the truth of Scripture in them
  •  Prayer of faith with the command for release
  •  The person being delivered should be filled with the Spirit to prevent re-entry
  •  That person should also be encouraged to purposefully go on with God to ensure there is no further opportunity to such enemy manifestation again.



7. Verses to Memorise

  The wise Christian is one who commits to memory the truths of Scripture. Below are some invaluable verses we would encourage you to learn:

1 Chron 29:11
Psa 33:11
Psa 110:1
1 Pet 3:22
Rom 8:28
Psa 18:2,3
Eph 1:3-5
1 Jn 2:1,2
1 Jn 1:9


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