On the Spiritual Warfare

Spiritual warfare is not a new subject, nor is it a human invention. It does not arise from academic theological thought, or from exegetical doctrines.

Spiritual warfare should not be interpreted as the struggle between good and evil, or something similar; it is not about angels fighting demons, as is suggested in most mythological religions of the past. Spiritual warfare is the resistance that the Kingdom of God puts up against satan to prevent the kingdom of darkness from taking over human territories and destroying the generation of God’s children.

Satan, the prince of this word,[1] is in constant war activity, and his purpose is to take captive the souls of the generations born under the promise of restoration.

Though most evident in the New Testament, the entire Bible bears witness to the reality of spiritual warfare. The evidences are found in all the books.

In the book of Genesis we find the first evidences of the importance of spiritual warfare, the Words of God addressed to Eve, after the judgment of disobedience, give direct testimony that the generation of God’s children will be in constant spiritual warfare,

14And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: 15And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.       Genesis 3:14-15

In the other books of the Old Testament there are also strong testimonies of spiritual warfare. The titles given to the Almighty show that it is not only human wars, behind what appear to be regional rivalries, there are demonic forces intervening.

In the book of Exodus appears the name of Jehovah God as a man of war,

The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name. Exodus 15:3

In the books of Samuel appears for the first time the designation that Jehovah is God of hosts,

9So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple of the LORD. 10And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore. 11And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head. 1 Samuel 1:9-11

45Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. 1 Samuel 17:45

In the books of Samuel also appears the title, the Lord’s battles,

17And Saul said to David, Behold my elder daughter Merab, her will I give thee to wife: only be thou valiant for me, and fight the LORDS battles. For Saul said, Let not mine hand be upon him, but let the hand of the Philistines be upon him. 1 Samuel 18:17

28I pray thee, forgive the trespass of thine handmaid: for the LORD will certainly make my lord a sure house; because my lord fighteth the battles of the LORD, and evil hath not been found in thee all thy days. 1 Samuel 25:28

What is the point of God himself using names of war, if spiritual warfare does not exist?

The evidence of the reality of spiritual warfare is overwhelming. In fact, a book of the battles of Jehovah is even mentioned,

14Wherefore it is said in the book of the wars of the LORD, What he did in the Red sea, and in the brooks of Arnon, Numbers 21:14

In the New Testament, words like those quoted by the apostle Peter,

8Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 1st. Peter 5:8

Or, as the apostle Paul also refers,

12For 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

All these references are strong testimony that the spiritual life is not only about watching out not to fall into sin, as if it were the only thing we fight against; but it is even more about watching over the activity deployed by the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly regions that seek to impose a government of iniquity on the regions of the earth.

So, as we can verify, spiritual warfare is the activity to which we are called, it is not optional. Jesus revealed that it is part of the activity of the Kingdom of Heaven,

12And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.  Mathew 11:12

Why enter into spiritual warfare? Has not Jesus already defeated Satan?

1Now these are the nations which the LORD left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan; 2Only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing thereof;     Judges 3:1-2

Spiritual warfare has long been held as an alternative, only available to those who wish to venture into it. This concept is due in large part to the prevailing idea in the Christian community that Jesus on the cross defeated Satan, and the most man should do is “believe,” and that’s it.

However, the apostle Paul, one of the most representative exponents of the life of faith in Jesus, asserts that we have struggles against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places,[2] and by presenting it in this way he was not only referring to the “temptations” that would incline the believer toward sinful activity.

He was referring instead to a constant and continuous activity of spiritual warfare. This concept is part of his gospel and is present in almost all of his writings.

The epistles addressed to the Macedonian faith communities extensively experienced his teaching in this regard. To the Thessalonians he writes:

7For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,             2nd. Thessalonians 2:7-9

In his first epistle to the Corinthians he discovers that idolatry is sustained by a demonic activity: I say that what the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, and not to God: and I would not have you be partakers with demons.[3]

In his first epistle to Timothy he discovers to Timothy that apostate activity is sponsored by demons: But the Spirit says manifestly, that in the times to come no one will apostatize from the faith by listening to spirits of error and doctrines of demons.[4]

In his letter to the Thessalonians, he admits that Satan hindered him and prevented him from visiting the community of Thessalonica again.[5]  In his first letter to the Corinthians, he admits what his stay in Ephesus meant to him: If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus.[6]

The writer of the Acts of the Apostles, who at one point in his life became part of Paul’s apostolic team, records his wars, and presents in a very descriptive way how demons manifested themselves visibly through human actions to impede his apostolic work. It was not a human opposition, it was a spiritual war where his opponent was Satan himself and his whole Kingdom.

We see that in the case of the apostle Paul, his struggle against principalities truly meant a spiritual war, not only did he refer to it metaphorically to refer to the opposition he faced in his evangelizing task during his apostolic journeys.

Spiritual warfare is not an option, an alternative, or a personal choice; it is part of the life of faith, and necessary to achieve those purposes for which we were attained by the Lord.

The question now proceeds to answer are, how does the Lord teach for war in modern times? The question must be answered because, it is conceivable that if it were a melee war, with sword, as in the ancient case when Joshua conquered the land of Canaan, the training would be in the use and handling of sword, shield, arrows, spears, etc. But, how can we to train to face the forces of darkness? What is the routine?

Training consists of developing and exercising spiritual discernment to detect where and when the forces of darkness are operating. The writer of the epistle to the Hebrews points out: But firm meat is for the perfect, for those who by custom have their senses exercised in the discernment of good and evil.[7] The following texts confirm this:

14But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. 2nd. Corinthians 3:14

3But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 2nd. Corinthians 11:3

Discernment is the ability to try the spirits,[8] to measure the intentions of the heart,[9] to determine and discover satanic activity in routine actions,[10] and to warn of satanic death accords traced over entire regions.[11]


All biblical quotations are taken from the King James Version.

Pastor Pedro Montoya

(407) 764-2699

Twitter: @pastormontoya


[1] John 16:11

[2] Ephesians 6:12

[3] 1st. Corinthians 10:20

[4] 1st. Timothy 4:1

[5] 2nd. Thessalonians 2:18

[6] 1st. Corinthians 15:32

[7] Hebrews 5:14

[8] 1st. John 4:1       1Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

[9] Hebrews 4:12    12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

[10] Acts 8:23           23For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.

[11] 2nd. Thessalonians 2:9-10             9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.