SPIRITUAL WARFARE:  Why Do We Have So Much Trouble With
The Devil?
Drs. Jerry and Carol Robeson

B. Childress
Jun 27 2008

It is true that Jesus defeated and, in fact, utterly humiliated the devil.  Colossians 2:15 reveals that the devil was
completely disarmed, "
And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over
them in it.
"  God took all the devil's weapons away from him and has never given them back!

Then Jesus destroyed the devil's weapons of sin, sickness, fear, death, depression, poverty, murder, lust, rebellion,
discord, stealing, and cruelty, etc., so that even if the devil could get them back, they wouldn't work, "
...For this purpose
the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
" I John 3:8.

But Paul also tells us that Satan is still the "god" or ruler of this world's system, "
In whom the god of this world hath
blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God,
should shine unto them.
" (II Corinthians 4:4).

He is still the prince of the power of the air, "
Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world,
according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
" Ephesians

And there is still spiritual combat, which Paul calls "wrestling," that we engage in with the devil, "
For we wrestle not
against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world,
against spiritual wickedness in high places.
"  Ephesians 6:12.  Could these "master spirits" be the sixteen (16)
Strongmen mentioned by name in the Bible?

Someone says, "But if the devil has no weapons then why do we still have to resist him so that he will flee from us as
James 4:7 instructs us?  What is there left to resist?"

Ephesians 6:11 says that we must put on spiritual "armour" to be able to resist or "stand against the wiles of the devil."  
The word, "wiles," means "tricks, deceptions, schemes, illusions, or sleigh-of-hand gimmickry."  Now he can only gain
power over us if we gullibly believe his lies and trickery.  If he can make us believe he still has his weapons and can do
what he threatens to do to us, it is just as good as if he really did have his weapons back.  We hear all the time of
people who rob banks by threatening that they have a gun when, in reality, they have no weapon at all.  The bottom line
of this trickery is that the devil has gotten us to disobey God and pushed us into doubt and sin.  This strategy of trickery
has worked so well for the devil that he has subjugated the greater part of the human race with it!

Why do we still have problems with sin, sickness, fear, death, and depression if God took those weapons away from the
devil and Jesus destroyed them?  The answer is simply that we believe what the devil says about sin, sickness, fear,
death, ad depression more than what God says about them.

Jesus did win a total victory over the devil, but the truth is that we must enforce or apply that victory to our lives on a
personal, daily basis until Jesus returns by using all the power and authority over the devil which Jesus has given us in
Luke 10:19.

Jesus' victory has only been manifested to this point in the spirit realm.  The physical world is still under the influence of
the devil because of Adam's and Eve's decision in the Garden of Eden and the fact that the majority of people in the
world have continued to fall for the devil's lies and deception.  

God's children must be aware of this fact and use the knowledge, power, and authority God has given them to limit the
devil's influence in this world and free the prisoners of sin from the devil's strongholds.  Jesus said, ".
..how can one
enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strongman? and then he will spoil his
"  Matthew 12:29.  

We live in enemy territory in this world.  Jesus has commanded us to apply the victory He won for us over the devil
by "occupying" this world until He comes back (Luke 19:13).  The word used here for "occupy" in the original language
means "to dominate conquered troops or territory in a spiritual sense."  God wants us to keep the devil in a defeated,
controlled, and subjugated state so that he cannot continue his program of deception on this earth.

Using the Word of God as our basis of authority, we treat the devil as we would a misbehaving dog.  When he tries to do
something in our life that he has no right to do, we tell him, "Stop that right now in the Name of Jesus.  You cannot do
that according to this scripture in God's Word," and we quote the scripture which gives us our legal right to act in Jesus'
Name.  Then we tell the devil, " I 'bind' (this situation) to the (scriptural) truth in God's Word (regarding this situation)
and I 'loose' you Devil (and your work in this situation) in the Name of Jesus."

Bring the Devil Back to God's Word

We continually bring the devil back to what God's Word says our rights are as children of God and what his limitations
are in the situation and force the devil to bow his knees to God's Will in the situation.

The devil will try every trick in the book to distract us from God's Will through the lust of the flesh, intimidation, pride,
fear, sickness, bondage, and all the rest of the Strongmen.  That is the reason we must know what God has to say
about it and then BACK UP what we pray or command with the appropriate scripture and verse.  That gives us our legal
authority to act correctly without fear of retaliation from the devil.

Jesus said, "
Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy:
and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
" Luke 10:19.

An integral part of God's plan for the human race is that we take this kind of dominant stance over the devil.  If we do
not, we will live beneath our rights as children of God. And the lost souls of this world, under strong delusion and
deception from the devil, may be lost forever because we must stand in the gap for them in the spirit realm.  We
intercede on the sinner's behalf, using the power and authority God has given us according to His Word, until they see
and believe the Truth which the Holy Spirit has been showing them through His conviction in their life.  

In our own lives, we make God's Word our point of reference in everything we say, do, or think.  God's Word and our
relationship with God are the most important things in our lives.  When we put God's Kingdom first in our lives, all the
rest will be added unto us (Matthew 6:33).

Ultimately, we will inherit final power over this world and its devilish system through Jesus Christ when He returns to
establish His spiritual kingdom on this physical earth.  Until then we must expose the illegal activities of the devil with the
Light and Truth of God's Word and command him to suspend his deception in people's lives.

The Mafia is an illustration in the physical realm of how the devil operates.  The Mafia has no legal right or authority to
exist or operate in the United States. It is an evil, vile system that seeks to undermine every good law and statute of our

Why does it succeed?  Because people are either ignorant of their rights as citizens of the United States or else they
are afraid that if they stand up for their rights the Mafia will harm them.  So people treat the Mafia as many Christians
treat the devil - they try to stay out of their way and hope they never have to actually have a confrontation.

But someone has to stop them or anarchy will result.  Law enforcement must use the Law to prosecute the Mafia for the
crimes they have committed and cause them to be thrown into prison so that they cannot do what they want to do.  
Thankfully we are seeing the Mafia greatly hindered these days because brave law enforcement men and women are
bringing them to justice.  

So it is in the spirit realm.  The devil has no right to operate in the Christian's life unless the Christian has forfeited his
rights through ignorance of the Law -God's Word, or because the Christian has gotten into sin, doubt, and fear which
automatically opens him up to the harassment of the devil (the Mafia feeds on people's fears and once they get
something of a damaging nature on them, they blackmail them into obedience).

We Are Not Devil Conscious

If we stand for righteousness and live according to God's Law, He will back us up every step of the way and we will be
able to bring the devil to justice and keep him from carrying out his agenda in our lives and this world.

This does not mean that we become devil conscious - always thinking about the devil, rebuking the devil, worrying about
what he is trying to do to us.  No.  
We are Jesus conscious.  We live for Jesus, think about Jesus, worship Jesus.  But
when the devil steps out of line, we nail him with the Word, loose his plans and works in the Name of Jesus, agree and
cooperate with what the Holy Spirit wants to do in the situation and then go on living for Jesus.

There is a lost world out there waiting for God's people to be used by the Holy Spirit to deliver them by the Power of
God from the strongholds of sin, bondage, and the devil.  We are part of God's Law-enforcement program to keep the
devil behind the bars of Truth where he belongs.  "
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through
God to the pulling down of strong holds;
" II Corinthians 10:4.

The Difference Between "Victory" and "Triumphing"

There is a distinct difference between the two words "victory" and "triumphing" in God's Word that helps us understand
what the situation really is in all of this.

Victory is when one opponent wins the battle over the other.  The loser surrenders to the winner, the conflict is
terminated and the loser agrees to abide by the rules which the winner decrees.

Triumphing is what
follows the victory. For instance, every 4th of July, as citizens of the USA, we celebrate our
independence from the English.  We do not have to fight the war all over again because the war is over.  Since we won,
we have the right to celebrate or triumph because of that victory.

God Won The War Over The Devil

In the area of spiritual warfare it is absolutely essential to understand the difference between "victory" and "triumphing"
if we are going to live as God has planned for us to live.

When Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead.  He won the victory over the devil once-and-for-all.  The
completeness of what Jesus accomplished for us is not clearly understood by many Christians today and as a result
they spend an excessive amount of their life fighting a war that has already been won for them.

God is not asking us to win the war again over the devil - that is ancient history.  He wants us to believe what truly
happened 2000 years ago and use that victory in our daily lives to keep the devil loosed from our lives. That is what
triumphing is all about.  Now we can celebrate or triumph over the devil every day because we know what the Truth is
about the victory Jesus won for us, "
Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh
manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.
"  II Corinthians 2:14.

Let's look at God's version of what really took place at Calvary, "
And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made
a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
" Colossians 2:14

Speaking in modern terms, God "disarmed" or took the devil's "guns" away from him and stripped him of his ability to do
what he had formerly done to the human race.  Then God boldly and publicly showed that Satan is no longer allowed to
ravage mankind, provided we will accept Christ and His finished Work in our lives and live on God's terms.  

Paul takes his language here from the Roman customs of that time.  When a Roman general defeated his opponent in
war, the Roman Senate arranged a triumph for him upon his victorious return to Rome.  A giant procession was
organized - led by the conquering general.  He was dressed in all his finery and placed in a magnificent chariot pulled
by two beautiful white horses.

The defeated general and all his underlings who had survived the war were stripped naked, bound, and chained to the
back of the conquering generals chariot.  This was purposely done to show the people they had nothing to fear from
this defeated enemy from that time on.

The procession then advanced through the streets of Rome as the citizens cheered the winning general.   After his
chariot passed by, however, the cheers turned to shouts of derision for the conquered foe who followed.  The people
insulted them, spit upon them and hit them with rocks; absolutely humiliating this enemy who had the gall to believe he
could defeat the mighty Roman empire.

Applying this scenario to Christ's victory over the devil, symbolically speaking, God put Jesus in the chariot and chained
the devil and his demon horded to the back of the chariot.  And they are still there if we understand what God's Word

Where are we in this picture?  Because we are "in" Christ, according to Romans 8:1, we are in the chariot with Christ
Jesus, enjoying the spoils of winning the war.  That is the reason we do not have to beg God for what has already been
accomplished.  We are not standing on the sidelines, hoping a small part of the victory will rub off on us by chance.  We
are always triumphant in Christ.

If that is true, why do some Christians have so much trouble with the devil?  Why are some Christians suffering from the
assaults of the devil through fear, sickness, depression, sin, and want?  Once again, they are believing the devil's
version of what their position is in Christ more than what God tells them about it in His Word.

Deceptions and Delusions

We are expressly commanded to, "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of
the devil.
"  The wrestling match or battle or spiritual warfare that we are engaged in today revolves around this area of
deception or illusions which the devil uses to trick us into believing his lies about the situation instead of God's Truth.

For that reason we cannot believe the sense realm or this world's system where the devil has freedom to manipulate the
circumstances to fit his lies.  Now the battle is to see through the devil's deception and to reject his way of life in this
world for the Life God has given us through Christ - the ability to be more than conquers over this world's system, the
flesh, and the devil (Romans 8:37).

When the devil tries to put his symptoms of fear and sickness on us, we battle them with the Sword of the Spirit which is
the Word of God.  When the devil says he going to kill us or our children, we say, "No you're not because God's Word
says this and this.  Now get out of here in the Name of Jesus!"  We keep the devil behind the chariot where he belongs.

He will try to pull us out of the chariot with his tricks.  In fact, some Christians are bound behind the chariot and the devil
is running loose in their lives, stealing, killing, and destroying, because they do not understand it is their right, as a child
of God, to keep the devil in a constant state of bondage.  The fact is that the devil is terrified of Christians who stay in
the chariot, believing God more than anything else.

We still have difficult times in our Christian life.  The devil rages at us, trying to intimidate us into leaving the chariot of
faith in God, but Peter says the way to handle him is to resist the devil (roaring lion) steadfast in the faith (I Peter 5:8,9).  
James follows with, "resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4:7).

Understand now, the condition which keeps us in the chariot with Christ is that we, "Submit ourselves therefore to God."  
We have got to live this life according to God's rules.  We cannot be involved with the works of the flesh and sin and
expect to continue triumphing.  Sin opens us up to the fiery darts of temptation, unbelief and deception. When we sin,
our shield of faith falls down and our armor develops holes that cause us to become prey to the devil's tricks and we fall
off the chariot, symbolically speaking.

We Still Wrestle

Some Christians foolishly believe that because Christ won the war, they do not have to do anything now.  If that is true,
Paul wasted a lot of space instructing us on how to conduct ourselves in the wrestling match he says is still in progress.

But there is a vast difference between a wrestling match when the winner is in doubt and one that you know you will win
if you obey God's rules of wrestling.  There is a confidence that comes when you know the outcome even though the
circumstances may look terrible in the natural, worldly realm.

Paul says that when we have done everything we know we should do, we are to stand confidently with our feet planted
in God's Word and our Sword ready for action, knowing that the enemy is defeated and that Jesus is with us in the
chariot and the devil is chained to the back of the chariot, naked, humiliated, bound, and defeated (Ephesians 6:13).

We aren't brash or overconfident about it - we just know what the Truth really is and we let it manifest itself in our lives
because God's Truth will stand forever.  Now be strong in the Lord and use the mighty weapons God has given us
where they will do the most good.  That is God's Plan for us in these last days.


Strongman's His Name II, by Drs. Jerry & Carol Robeson, Copyright 1994, Whitaker House.