Spiritual Warfare Questions Answered Jonathan Petersen
Are demons real? What protection does the shield of faith provide? How can I defend myself against forces of evil?
From the bestselling author of The Prophecy Answer Book comes a wealth of biblical wisdom on another challenging and fascinating topic: spiritual warfare! In his book, The Spiritual Warfare Answer Book (Thomas Nelson, 2016), Dr. David Jeremiah (@davidjeremiah) draws from years of teaching and experience to answer 86 common questions.
The following article is excerpted from The Spiritual Warfare Answer Book (Thomas Nelson, 2016) by Dr. David Jeremiah.
What names are given to Satan in the Bible
If you read through the Bible and underline the names for Satan, you will discover a great deal about him. Here are some names of Satan that can be found in the Bible:
“your adversary” — 1 Peter 5:8 (NKJV)
“the accuser of our brethren” — Revelation 12:10 (NKJV)
“an angel of light” — 2 Corinthians 11:14 (NKJV)
“the deceiver” — Revelation 12:9 (NKJV)
“Apollyon,” “the destroyer” — Revelation 9:11 (NKJV)
“the evil one” — John 17:15 (NKJV)
“a liar” — John 8:44 (NKJV)
“a murderer” — John 8:44 (NKJV)
“the prince of the power of the air” — Ephesians 2:2 (NKJV)
“the ruler of this world” — John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11 (NKJV)
the “serpent of old” — Genesis 3:4; Revelation 20:2 (NKJV)
“the tempter” — Matthew 4:3 (NKJV)
There are many names for Satan in the Bible, and all of them reveal him as our enemy.
Is Satan’s army organized?
Scripture clearly teaches that Satan controls and commands a great army of fallen angels. In the force of evil described in Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV), we read that his army is organized and that there is a hierarchy in the domain of Satan:
We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
In the Greek language, principalities refers to the “first” or the “head officers.” The powers mentioned here are staff officers, and the rulers are divisional commanders. And with this rank and file is the spiritual host of wickedness under the command of thee officers. Clearly, there is an organized effort on the part of Satan to do his work in the world. he has arranged his forces against God’s people, and we are the target of his schemes.
What protection does the sword of the Spirit provide?
Within God’s armory we have only one offensive weapon to use in battle against the evil one—it is “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17 NKJV).
When Paul wrote to the Ephesians, he used the Greek word machaira for sword. He wasn’t talking about what we would think of as a sword today; he was talking about a dagger, a weapon that people used in hand-to-hand combat. That metaphor suggests, then, the the sword of the Spirit…is a very precision-oriented instrument. Specifically, the Word of God referred to in this passage is not the whole Bible (the logos) but a particular part of the Word, a promise (a rhema) to apply to a particular battle situation.
In other words, the Bible is an armory in which the individual swords of the Spirit are kept until you need them for close combat with the enemy. But unlike a material sword that you would use to pierce the body, the spiritual sword pierces the heart. A material sword gets duller as you use it, but a spiritual sword gets sharper every time you use it. And those spiritual swords are found within the covers of the Bible.
In Matthew 4, when Jesus was attacked by the tempter, He confronted Satan with three simple words: “It is written…” And then Jesus quoted passages from Deuteronomy. Isn’t it interesting that even the Lord Jesus, the Son of God, used the Scripture to defeat Satan?
Years ago my friend Swen Nater and I got together at a restaurant. We talked about the areas where we thought the enemy would come after us, and we took a concordance and researched the Scriptures. We came up with about 40 “swords” for each of us, which we stored in the armories of our minds. I’d suggest you do the same. Think of areas in which you know Satan will tempt you, find some Bible verses relating to those areas, write them out on little cards, and put them where you will see them often. Memorize them. Internalize them. learn them by heart—and be ready to use them when the enemy attacks.
Satan can’t do much with people who assault him with Scripture.