Spiritual Warfare - Lesson 1

Ordinary Spiritual Warfare

Gerry’s experiences in the Philippines and seminary have shaped his view of the spirit world. Spiritual warfare is basically the battle between us and the forces of darkness. The three dimensions of spiritual warfare are the world, the flesh and the devil. Specific passages describe the spiritual nature of these battles and help us understand how we experience them practically.

Gerry Breshears
Spiritual Warfare
Lesson 1
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Ordinary Spiritual Warfare

Ordinary Spiritual Warfare

A. Why this topic?

B. Dimensions of spiritual warfare

C. Definition of spiritual warfare

D. Three dimensions of spiritual warfare

E. How the flesh works in spiritual warfare

F. What these value battles look like

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Class Resources
  • Gerry’s experiences in the Philippines and seminary have shaped his view of the spirit world. Spiritual warfare is basically the battle between us and the forces of darkness. The three dimensions of spiritual warfare are the world, the flesh and the devil. Specific passages describe the spiritual nature of these battles and help us understand how we experience them practically.

  • Jesus deals with demons with a single command, telling them to get out of the person. Demons are personal spiritual beings that are opposed to the kingdom of God. God has given believers the authority to deal with demons.

    Note: some flaws exist in the audio; parts of words are skipped. We are working to fix this, and if necessary will re-record the lecture.

  • A biblical worldview describes reality differently than a worldview based on naturalism or eastern religion. Throughout the Bible, we see a conflict between Yahweh and other gods.

  • Demons are spirits that are real and personal. There are differences of opinion about what the Bible teaches regarding Satan's origin, whether or not disciples of Jesus can be possessed by demons, and how we should deal with demons.

  • In Mark 1, one of the first recorded events is a demon recognizing that Jesus is God. The pattern for Jesus dealing with a demon is that Jesus sees the person who is possessed by a demon, makes a simple command for him to come out, there is a short struggle and the demon comes out.

  • Jesus has opened up a way for people to come out of the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of light. Satan and the demons are created beings. Christ is above them in authority and they must obey Him. Colossians 2 lists seven things God has done for us as a result of bringing us out of the kingdom of darkness and as a result, we should not allow demons to accuse us.

  • Discover the truth of who we are in Jesus and the authority we have because of Him.

  • We live in either the kingdom of darkness or the kingdom of light. In the kingdom of light, God's kingdom, demons have no authority and we have authority to command the demons. The model in Scripture for responding to demons is to tell the demon to "get away." There are practical ways in which we can resist Satan and demons.

  • Be careful about building your key theological points based on a specific interpretation of these and other passages about which there is controversy regarding what they teach. Use biblical passages that are clear to guide your interpretation of controversial passages.

  • If we are in the kingdom of light, we have authority over demons. We are instructed to resist the devil. Satan uses deception, accusation and temptation to attack believers.

  • Gerry's stories of encounters with the demonic gives us insight into the application of biblical principles for interacting with the kingdom of darkness.

There is an ongoing battle between the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness. Followers of Jesus, who are in the kingdom of light, have been given authority by God to command demons. By studying Jesus' life and other passages in scripture, we can gain insights into how to respond to the influence of demons effectively.


Spiritual Warfare

Dr. Gerry Breshears


Ordinary Spiritual Warfare

Lesson Transcript

Welcome to our journey through the world of spiritual warfare. We're going to take this course to look at what the term means, what it means biblically, what it means culturally to engage in an understanding what the biblical worldview is about the spiritual powers and our relation to them. We're going to look in depth at Scripture. We're going to look at practical suggestions of how to deal with the spiritual influences that come into our lives. So I hope you're ready to do this if you don't have your Bible. You need to stop right now and get your Bible because we're going to use it together throughout the whole of the course. And what we're hoping to do by the time we get done with this is have you to the spot where you can deal in the the reality that we as Christians are in a spiritual war against the powers of darkness, the forces and minions of Satan that are coming against us because we represent Jesus, the Son of God, the incarnate, Son of God, the Trinity come among us. So we want to look at this together. First of all, I want to do a just kind of think through a little bit about why this topic for me. I was born here in the United States in 1947. I was raised very, very interested in science. I had every intention of becoming a math teacher, perhaps a research scientist. And I looked at everything through the normal American grid of science as the arbiter of all truth. So what I try to do is try to explain everything from a scientific perspective. And I didn't set out to do that. That was just the normal way of doing things. So when I read in the Bible and I was raised in a Christian home, so I read the Bible a lot and I saw the descriptions of demon possessed people.


I just assumed, well, this is, you know, this is all ancient world stuff. And what they're doing is they're talking about psychosis. They're talking about people who have literally lost their mind, their people about crazy people. And when Jesus talks about demon possession and casting out demons, if we looked at it today, what we would find is psychotic disorders. And we do deal with it through therapy and medicine. And I just was very confident believing that, believe it all the way through university. And when I finished up my university career, Sherri and I, my wife and I went to Denver, Colorado, and taught there for a year. And then we went to the Philippines, where I taught at Faith Academy, a school for missionary kids there, just outside mentor Great school, by the way. And while I was there in Manila, 22 years old, trying to figure out some things there in Manila because was a totally different culture. The United States, where I grew up. One of the things I encountered was the reality of the worship of spiritual forces. This is a whole new thing to me. The most I'd ever seen were Palm readers on North fourth Street there in Albuquerque that we all thought were just kind of weird people and didn't really pay any attention to them. They didn't mean anything more there on the street than they meant at our church parties, where an older woman would read palms and tell us that we should get married to somebody that she thought we should be married to. But when I went to the Philippines is really different. We would go to the store. We actually didn't go to the store. We went to the market. And there in the open air market there would be a stall to buy fish and there would be a stall to buy chicken and there would be a stalled by other kinds of vegetables and such.


And right next door to the meat stall would be a stall that would be selling implements for spiritual practices, for witchcraft, as I would call it. And I thought, boy, this is weird stuff. But the people there were really, really serious about it. And I thought, this is bizarre. Faith Academy is built on the site of a mountain just east of Manila. And as I talked to the students, they said, Gary, there used to be a fire circle up. There were these pagan religious practices. Really? I said, Yeah. I said, I'm not sure I believe you people really do this. And they said, Absolutely. So we climbed up the mountain, went up to the flat spot near the top of the mountain, and sure enough, there was a circle, had a fire put in the middle and you could see the benches around it. And there had clearly been practices there and there was actually leftover animal stuff where they had sacrificed animals to their spiritual powers. And I was just mystified and asked the students who knew a lot more about it than I did, what did they do? And they would explain the practices. And I said, Wow. I said, And me being a little nuts said like, Could I come up here and watch them do that? And they said, Well, actually, they don't do it here anymore. I said, How come? They said, Well, one Faith academy moved out here and all those Christians living in the dormitories here on campus, it messed up their spiritual power stuff, so they had to move somewhere else. This is this is weird. You mean just the very presence of Christians would mess up the the worship of pagan powers? Yeah, they said that's exactly what happened.


And they had to leave. Huh? I said, and kept watching around. Shortly after that, I met a fellow whose name was Ernie Blaser. He was the manager of a Christian bookstore that I lived near out in Quezon City, and he had grown up in religious practices, demon worship, witchcraft. I don't know exactly what they call it. That's what we would call it. And he would get his power from what we would call the demons. He would he had names for all the gods that he was worshiping. So I asked him, I said, Describe to me what happened. He said, Well, when I was in high school, I was a good student, but not a great student. So I would go to the pagan rituals like these fire circle things, and I would do the rituals and I would do the sacrifices to the gods, and they would help me get the knowledge that I needed to do well on my exams. So that's. How did it really work? Oh, absolutely. Said if I did the rituals in the right way and did the right kinds of sacrifices is he would say it now. The demons would give me the knowledge I needed to do well at university. Wow. I said, Well, what else do they do for you? He said, Well, I you know, I was typical college student. I wanted to have a good time with the women. So he would go into the graveyards and he would call up the spirits there using these magic rituals, unapproved rituals, to be sure. And he would get their power so he could work his way on women. And he was known as quite the womanizer. And he was a very successful university student. He said because the demons were giving him the power and the knowledge to do this work.


And, you know, this sounds so crazy for me that that would really be true. But I couldn't question what earning was saying because he was absolutely a man of integrity. He had become a Christian, he had forsaken all of this kind of stuff. And that was just a very fine pastor and bookstore manager there in Manila. He's not doing that anymore. But that was a good while back I thought, this is this is so strange. This is so strange. So I thought, I wonder, maybe this is just over here and you're like, in in the Philippines or maybe in Africa. I'm sure things like this don't happen in the United States and or in more, as I would put it, than maybe civilized countries. Little did I know. I came back to United States, went to seminary in Denver, did my grad school at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, and just ignored all of this stuff. I was so busy with other things, raising my family, doing my studies, being a bookkeeper and a machinist and all those things I was doing. And then I came to Western here in Portland, Oregon, in 1980. I've always had a heart for hurting people. I've always had a heart for hurting people. And that impacts things a lot. I talked to a lot of different people, but the biggest challenge in my life at that point was I had to teach theology and I knew that in the second semester I was going to have to teach on angels and demons, and I had had no teaching whatsoever on angels and demons. So I said, Gosh, I've got to figure something out so I can have something to teach. By this time, I was believing a little bit more about what the Bible was saying about angels and demons, but I didn't know how to deal with it.


So I did something that I learned to do. That is, I went back to my Bible and began reading very carefully to develop a set of principles for what our demons, what do they do? What's the nature of warfare? And I developed a set of principles from that basically biblical study. I was reading a lot of other stuff as well, but frankly, there wasn't much stuff to read. I came up with a set of principles, and those principles are pretty much the same thing I teach today a lot of years later. So what are they? Well, it certainly describes a warfare that happens between the world or the Satan or the dominion of darkness and the Kingdom of Christ. And I began to develop those thoughts at the same time in the kind of pastoral side of my life. I was talking to students and they were we're talking about various issues. And one of the students in those early days came in one day early on a monday morning, and he came in my office and he shut the door and he kind of fell down on my chair. And he's obviously in real, real trouble. Anguished, I would say. What's wrong? Bill wasn't his name, but it could have been. I said, Bill, what happened? Gary said, Do I have a demon? I thought, what a question to ask a theology Prophet Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. What do you mean? Do you have a demon? I learned not to answer those questions too quickly. I said, What? What led you to this problem, Bill? And he said, Well, Gary, on Friday I was at my church. He was a part time pastor and a part time seminary student. And when I was there, we were sitting around a table with a staff meeting.


And so there were several pastors there and several staff people. And one of the women who was there was sitting just nearby him, and the pencil rolled off the table. And as she was leaning over to get the pencil off the floor, Bill heard in his head, a voice saying to him, Worship me and I'll ever been so you can see down her blouse. And Bill thought, This is weird. What is that voice? So he went to his pastor after the staff meeting was over, and he told his pastor what had happened. And the pastor said, well, you've you've got a demon. Clearly, that's that's a demonic voice going in your head and then left on vacation, leaving Bill totally terrified that he had a demon. He showed up on office on Monday morning having spent a horrible weekend thinking he was demon possessed because his pastor had said that more or less. How would you answer the question? Well, I'll help you learn that, but I'll give you the end of the story before I give you the middle of the story. Bill wasn't demonized. He just had kind of normal male hormones and kind of self-talk. This was a lot of years ago. I see Bill from time to time and he's doing fine. But I had to help him understand how to deal with the kinds of normal temptations that come from lust lost to the flesh. Couple of stories just to give you some perspective on how I got into this stuff and and some of the realities of it. I had another student, also a pastor student. I mean, he's a tough, tough guy, a manly man, if I can use that term. And pastor and had multiple addictions. Now, nobody would know that if they met him, they would think he was just a very accomplished pastor.


Good man, very strong, virile leader. Knew his Bible well, Good preacher, good pastor, but heavily addicted. A friend of mine who's a Christian psychologist was seeing him because of the addictions, and she referred him to me to talk to for some of the spiritual side of this stuff, this kind of teamwork that I often do. And as I was talking to this fellow, we were working through these addictions and he had some of the most bizarre, awful sexual stuff going on. He had a whole series of just sick relationships and involvement and trashy stuff, and he was at that point involved in a sexual relation with a woman. That was one of the most icky things I've ever run across. It was just unhealthy in every possible way. And this guy is a pastor and he couldn't stop. Well, we're working through this stuff and I'm consulting with my Christian psychologist friend. What do we do? Well, I'm going after the spiritual stuff and I'm trying to find out guilt or shame issues. I'm trying to find out contributing sin. I'm trying to help him understand the freedom that he has in Christ. Kind of the normal pastoral stuff that I would do. And one day we're sitting in my office and he was reading his Bible. And this is one of the techniques that I'll teach you how to do. I had Bill read his Bible out loud, ask simple interpretive questions. And as we were doing this very personal involvement in scripture, also known as I sitting there watching Bill, I watched his face change completely. I would listen to his voice go from his normal pastoral voice to a very harsh, hard and out of his mouth that was twisted into a grimace was he's our you can't have him.


And I can't even begin to put the menace of that voice. And I. Wow. And 30 seconds later, this fellow was sitting in the chair, big, tough guy, slumped down, weeping. What was that? He said? Well, this time I had a pretty good idea what it was, and it turned out it was demonic. Bill had demonic involvement in his life that was empowering his addictions. And it was really, really, really heavy stuff. We dealt with a demonic issues once we identified that, and I'll teach you how to do that. We dealt with the demonic, had him push them away from a Christian perspective. It went pretty quickly. Took us just a couple hours one afternoon in that poisonous influx from demonic side was taken away. Bill was able fairly quickly to deal with addiction issues, multiple addictions. He was able to overcome them pretty easily this day. Bill is a full time pastor running a great church, very gospel centered. He's married, has kids. I mean, he is absolutely a paragon of success as a godly man. I get together with him for time or every couple of months. We're good friends. He's just great. But the key was dealing with that demonic piece to a multi phased spiritual problem. I'll teach you how to do that. My involvement with demonic things has taken me overseas. I've taught spiritual warfare in several parts of the world, in the Chinese world and Taiwan and the European world and Amsterdam, in the Arab world, in Beirut and in all these, I had people from other countries, Eastern Europe, Africa. And I've taught it here in several spots in the United States and thought, I'm teaching you stuff that's not particularly culturally specific, though, will look differently in different cultures.


And whether it's from the spiritual warfare that comes up more normal levels all the way up to direct cult involvement, involvement in worshiping demons all the way up to direct satanic involvement. I've done quite a bit of work with victims of Satanic ritual abuse, the Satanist cults, and the awful, awful, awful stuff they do dealt with Satanists, Satan worshipers, victims of that sort of stuff, and people of all different kinds. And what I want to do in this place is to help you learn the difference between the influences in our lives and recognize that a spiritual influence is one dimension that Satan works with powerfully. So to do this, I want to begin by talking about the dimensions of spiritual warfare. You need to get your Bible if you didn't get it already. Stop the tape right now and get your Bible. And we're going to look at it together. Second Corinthians chapter ten is the passage. We're going to look at. Second Corinthians. Chapter ten is one of those foundational passages that talks about spiritual warfare, and it helps us get a first shot at how this whole thing works. So if you look at Second Corinthians ten, I'm going to be reading from the new international version most of the time. But what I'm teaching or being pretty much any version you have, Paul is talking here about his confrontation with the false apostles. These people appear to be Christian in the outside, but in fact they're wolves in sheep's clothing, to use his phrase, from Chapter 27 Corinthians Chapter ten. He says, For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.


We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God. And we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And then He continues to talk about the disobedience and the encounter with these false apostles. Now, what's he talking about here? What's the world? Well, you can do your word study on the world, and in anything it'll give you. That world can be just all the created stuff that includes trees and animals and humans and all that. That's one dimension of world. Another dimensional world is the spiritual, emotional, mental sides that are set against what is Christ. It's the world under sin. So in John chapter one, it talks about the the word became flesh and came into the world, but the world did not accept him. Now, that's not talking about trees and animals. That's talking about people who are aligned against God is talking about a system of thinking and valuing that's different than the things of Christ. You unpack that just a bit more, but that's kind of what world is, is that whole system of values, of ways of thinking, of allegiances that are contrary to the things of God, the things of Christ. It's the sphere that's under the spiritual influence of Satan. He says. Though we live in the world, we don't declare we don't wage war as the world does. So there's tons of warfare here in this war is between the world on one side and us on the other. Then he talks of the weapons. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, we have this divine power to demolish stronghold. Now, a big question is what are these strongholds For some people that are going to identify strongholds as strong holdings.


It's like an eagle that grasps onto a prey and it's got a strong grip on it. But that's not what it means here. What it means here. It's the word that means fortresses or military. Strong points. And these fortresses, these castles, he says, we have the divine power to demolish it. Then he identifies what they are in the next verse four or five. We demolish arguments and pretensions that are contrary to the knowledge of God and these arguments, these ways of thinking. These persuasive presentations are things that promote the values of the world. And what he's saying here is that we destroy those things. We destroy everything that sets itself up against Jesus Christ, to bring all thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ. And that's the kind of warfare we're talking about. It's a battle for the mind. It's a battle for the spirit of the battle for the emotions. It's battle for the body. It's the battle for the will. It's about body for our social context. It's a battle for our family context. All of those dimensions are worse spurts. Warfare is waged. When you take a little bit further, when we think about spiritual warfare, trying to define this is helpful. So I'm going to give you a definition of spiritual warfare, as I understand it, in the broad sense that talks about what is not is based on this passage. So here's what I have for a definition of spiritual warfare. It's bringing the power and the perspective and the passion of the truth and life of the gospel against everything which set against the knowledge of God. So this is coming directly from Second Corinthians Chapter ten, but it would be true in other parts as well. Let me read it again when we talk about spiritual warfare.


We're talking about bringing the power and the perspective and the passion of the truth and life of the gospel against everything that's set against the knowledge of God. So bring the power of the gospel or bring the perspective of the gospel, the passion of the gospel, or bring both the truth and the life. It's not just intellect, it's life as well. And we're going to attack everything no matter what its source. That's set against the knowledge of God, because we want that knowledge, the cognitive knowledge, the relational knowledge, the experiential knowledge. We want to bring everything into line with Jesus Christ. That's the basic definition as a user of spiritual warfare. So it's the power, perspective and passion of the truth and life of the gospel against everything that's set against the knowledge of God. That's a basic perspective of how I understand spiritual warfare. And it comes in a lot of different dimensions. A lot of different dimensions. Let me talk to you now about some of the dimensions of spiritual warfare. Traditionally, those come in three different areas, and I'll just follow tradition as much as I can. The three dimensions of spiritual warfare are against the world, the flesh and the devil, the world. Another term we can use for world is just our culture. So when you talk about the three dimensions of world, the flesh and the devil, the world is the culture around us in its non-Christian, its anti-Christian ways, the flesh, the Greek word there is Sarkis doesn't mean the meat stuff sucks, or it can mean that such does. But in this case, the flesh is not just the physicality that we have, but the flesh is the evil desires, the desires that are against God, the desires that attack God, or as I like to define it, flesh.


Is that part of me that is allergic to God? I break out in hives when he gets near. So the world is just the culture around me, the skin scarred flesh, the sparks or those desires that are a part of who I am that are opposed to the things of Jesus. And then the third dimension is the devil. And the devil is a personal, spiritual being created by God. Very, very powerful, but not God and modern and not omnipotent, but very powerful. Who is our enemy on a spiritual realm? And he is ahead over a large group of one general sense. We call them demons angels. There's a lot of different names for them. We'll we'll look at that further. And these forces are against us. So the world, the non-Christian culture, anti-Christian culture, the flesh, the desires that are against the things of God and the devil, the personal, spiritual, angelic level being there as opposed to God and the things of God are the three dimensions of spiritual warfare. Now, let's look at this in Scripture, just to show you what I'm talking about. Turn over to Ephesians chapter two, if you will. Turn to Ephesians chapter two here in the first three verses, it talks about non-Christian people prior to Christian Ephesians chapter two. It begins in verse one saying You are dead in your transgressions and sins. What does it say? It's saying that we're dead in sin, we're separated from God. It's like saying that a marriage is dead. A husband and wife can no longer relate to each other or a family member or where they've been kicked out of the family. And then cultures that are taught in, they will say, You're dead. To me, that don't mean that you're physically dead.


They mean or have nothing to do with you. So what's happening here? And when you're dead in your transgressions, it's sin. It means our spiritual relationship with God is broken. We don't have a good relationship. We're not a part of the Kingdom of Light anymore. That's the first dimension here and then the second dimension. And verse two, he's talking about that you used to live when you followed the ways of this world. There is the world. So the world, remember, is the world is that system of values, the system of experiences, the system of what's important, the system of ways of doing things that are set in opposition to the ways of Christ. So you follow the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom, of the air, the spirit at work in those who were disobedient. That's the devil, the ruler of the kingdom. The air is the devil. That's the second dimension. And then the third dimension, different order than the traditional. In verse three, all of us lived among them one time gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature. And those cravings, those desires are a powerful part of spiritual warfare. Is overcoming those soon to be wholly and complete, dedicated to Jesus Christ. And then He finishes up like the rest. We were by nature's objects of wrath. So now he's talking about the fact that because of what we're doing, God is mad at us. And that's kind of understandable when you think about the fact that everything we do is just absolutely abhorrent to God when we're following the ways of the world and the devil in the flesh. So three dimensional spiritual warfare, whatever order you put him in the world, is that system of values and ways of doing things, the ways of thinking that are opposed to Christ, the flesh, the desires that we have that are self-centered as opposed to God oriented.


And the devil is that personal, angelic, being with his angels, his demons, his authority and powers that are opposed to the ways of Christ are in this battle three dimensional of spiritual warfare. Now, let's take this down just a touch further. Okay. Let's take a look a bit about how the flesh works in spiritual warfare. Remember, spiritual warfare is not just demons. Oh, it's a battle against ourselves in this case, trying to look in the flesh. We'll look at a couple of passages. Look at Galatians chapter five, for example, Galatians five, beginning it verse 16 says, Live by the spirit and you not gratify the desires of the sinful nature or the flesh or the the evil desires are there. So is talking and it goes on for the sinful nature desires What's contrary to the spirit and the spirit? What is contrary to the sinful nature? So you see the two forces at war with each other, the sinful nature of your self centered in the things. The spirit are God centered. And He talks about this debate. And then in verse 19, he describes the acts of the sinful nature, and this is the way he describes them sexual immorality, impurity, debauchery, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissension, factions, envy, drunkenness, orgy and the like. Oh, what a nasty list. Now, what the world is saying is those are good things. I wouldn't use those terms for them. Instead of sexual immorality, they may talk about freedom to express yourself instead of talking about selfish ambition. They may talk about self assertiveness and pride instead of talking about drunkenness. They would talk about party hearty, you know, have a great time, let the good life flow and see from the world's perspective.


Those are good things and those desires. Not all of them, perhaps, but those desires are part of us. So that's on one side, the side of the flesh. And of course, I hope you know, the fruit is spirit starting in verse 21, sorry, verse 22. Love, joy, peace, kindness, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, most gentleness and self-control. Very different list of virtues. Look at another passage. Colossians Chapter three. In Colossians, chapter three, he's talking about all started verse five. He's talking about the same kind of things. And here's what he says. He says, Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature, that's that sinful desire. And it's a similar list sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, greed. Down in verse eight, Rid yourself of anger, rage, malice, slander, filthy language. Don't lie to each other. These are the evil desires to get my own way and do whatever I want to do. And he's saying, Put it to death. That's a warfare thing. What he's saying is you're in a mortal battle and something's going to die. Either you're going to die or those evil desires are going to die. So do it. That's the goal of maturity in Christ. Done. Verse 12, he talks about the character of those who are in Christ compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience. You know what? When I look at the or, say, the university system or the business system, I don't find those kinds of things as virtues. In fact, you're taught not to have compassion at most your to how to have empathy. Compassion means actually feeling somebody feelings. Empathy means describing their feelings accurately, but not feeling them. Why do you not want compassion? Because you feel sorry for people instead of moving ahead with your business career or your educational agenda.


You start feeling sorry for other people and you actually weigh yourself down. Don't do it. Humility. You got to be kidding. To succeed in this world, you've got to be aggressive. You've got to make things happen. See, the virtues are very, very, very different. One more passage. Again, classic passage. First, John, as John talks about the battle between light and darkness. First, John, Chapter two. We'll start out with verse 15. First John, Chapter two. Let's pick up in verse 15. John says it like this. Don't love the world or anything in the world. Remembering world is those sort of values, allegiances, ways of thinking, ways of doing things that are set against the compassion, the gentleness, the service of Christ. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him because everything in the world and usually talks about the cravings of the sinful man, the cravings of the person who's indulging in sin, the lust of the eyes and the boasting of what he has and does comes not from the father, but from the world. The last of the eyes. Not such a one. Freyja says so much because the boasting of the eyes, the lust of the eyes is that value that says, If I see something and I want it, I have every right to get it. Now, I don't know what culture you're watching this in, but that is absolutely the materialistic culture that's being put out by the whole Western. I don't know, consumer culture, the basic values. You deserve it. You've got to have the latest and the best. And the basic thing is, if you see it, you have to have it. An advertisement on TV, on the print media is designed with this in mind.


What they do is they show you a picture of something that and they tap into your stuff and you say, Man, I want that beautiful car, great computer, incredible cookware, for example, nice home man or woman who's attractive. And the ideas are got to have it. That's that lust of the eyes, and it'd be more powerful and wiser. But this is. Spiritual warfare, because the scripture says instead of desiring everything from myself, I come into a spirit of generosity or I give things away for the help of other people. Love, God, love neighbor must take this just a bit further. We just talk a kind of a practical level here for a moment. What are these value battles look like? This a little more cultural and it may be a little bit different in your culture that is than ours. You have to do a bit of interpretation. But when I think about the values that made the Corinthian Society work in the ancient world where Paul wrote, they're almost exactly the same values that I find here in western part of the United States, where I live in minister, in the Corinthian world, in the American world, and most of the world where I've taught a key value is a rugged individualism that's expressed in self-sufficiency. Rugged individualism. I'm tough guy. I'm going to make it happen. I'm going to do it myself. I don't really need anybody else unless we can have just kind of a common point, but I can do it myself. That rugged individualism is in the cowboy movies that I grew up with as a kid. John Wayne, for example, you know, great movies, classic movies. And his thing was he worked other people, but fundamentally, he did it himself.


And that mythic figure, I can do it myself is very much a part of rugged individualism, self-sufficiency. When I look at the biblical culture, I find something very different. I find community in want to teach. In many parts of the world, community is still important. I don't find rugged individualism, I don't find self-sufficiency. I find it recognizing that we do it together. And that's the best way to do it, to give and take from community where the values of the community are at least as important as the values of the individual. Another level, the worlds values as well, is the key to status in society. The more money you have, the more important you are seeing. That boy is that important. And that's so true. It's not just the Western culture. It's everywhere. It's not just the contemporary world. It's always been that way. When you get in the ways in the world, the more money you have, the better you are, and it becomes a value judgment. The person character has nothing to do with it. The ruthless savagery that comes with wealthy people when they're under the world system is, well, you know, if you've been around it, everything is there. From their perspective, that's the status for everything. Wealth is the key to status in society. The honest succeed. Get there. What's the key way to get the wealth? Well, in many places, education. See, do whatever you got to do to get into the right college, to get the right educational diplomas so that you can get the right job, make the right money so you can move up the educational realm. Another virtue the Corinthian world in the in the world they live in is the self display of one's accomplishments and possessions in order to win praise from others.


So now this is a spiritual warfare thing. What I should do is I should, in a very quiet way, let you know how important I am by letting you see what I've accomplished and what I have. So I let you know how big my house is. I'll let you know how much money I have in my bank account. I let you know how many people report to me on my job, and I let you know that so that you will understand that I'm a very important person and you need to treat me that way. Self display of one's accomplishments and possessions in order to win praise. What are some of these values that work out in the battles, the ways the world talks about personal power? Where I had I pull power to myself and I use it to achieve my own ends. In the ends of those who are with me, possessions I accumulate possessions. The more possessions I have, the more important I am pride. I build myself up. So I have the confidence to move ahead and ruthlessly put down those who are of lesser power than I am privilege so that when I go somewhere, I want people to jump quickly and take care of my needs. These are some of the the values of the world I think of Jesus. Pride. No. Humility. Power. No. Well, power is not a bad thing. But instead of being used for personal privilege, it's used for serving others privilege so that people jump and move when you walk in the room. No. For service. So you reach out and you take care of and you help and empower other people. Possessions accumulate possession. No, you give your money away. You're known for your generosity.


You see the difference in the world system. Spiritual warfare. Is recognizing the values of the world, the values, the flesh, and putting them away. So when I think about the world system, it's all based on money. Well, not all, but it's a big thing. Money. Point of power. Point of importance in the world. Christian, not money. Mercy. Mercy. How many really, really wealthy people do you know who are merciful? Not many. The ones that are typically are Christian political power. Can I sway people to my way of looking at it? Political power is a world's virtue. The Christian virtue that is peaceful proclamation. Instead of pulling people under war, I pull them into making peace. If you want to gain power in the world in the North, you must learn how to do media management. But on the Christian side, it's not managing media, whether it's persistent prayer here in the States and other parts of the world. When you've got crime problem, you deal with it by incarceration. You put people in jail or you control them in some other way like that. The Christian way of dealing with that is through regeneration, sanctification, change of character. If you want to change societies in the world, you do military. It's Christians. We do missionary. Very different way of doing things. Our Western world goes for free press. Anything can be said or done in the name of freedom. So the sexual pornography, the just the filth that goes on in our and it's in the name of free press. But see, as Christians, what we're most interested in is free witness. We want to be able to speak freely. The name of Jesus Christ or the world tells us to look for thrills, excitement.


Christianity. Teach us how to go for a true joy that comes in loving God and others. The world says when somebody hurt, you get revenge against them. Christian Virtue says, Learn how to forgive and restore relationships. The Western world, the sinful world, talks about consuming. The more I have, the more I use, the better I am. Christian virtue is giving us spiritual warfare at this basic level is tongue. But those attitudes, those values, those practices, it's bring them into line with the things of Jesus Christ. This is one really, really, really level important level of spiritual warfare. It's the battle with the world in the flesh under the authority of Satan. And when we're doing spiritual warfare, we're trying to change these values, we're trying to change these practices, we're trying to change these ways of thinking. We're trying to change these ways of doing things. But we just call this the process of becoming Christlike. But there's a spiritual dimension there in Ephesians chapter six. Paul remind us we don't wage against flesh and blood, but against principalities and authorities and forces of darkness. There's a spiritual dimension in this battle for everyday sanctification, and we want to do these as an aspect of spiritual warfare. So that's the first dimension. We'll look at it just kind of the the world in the flesh. I'm not going spend a lot of time on that because you deal with another other teachings, but I don't want you to forget the spiritual warfare absolutely includes this dimension of the battle against the world in the flesh. Okay, thanks.