Strategies for Evangelism and Spiritual Warfare
Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. 2nd. Corinthians 2:11
Is that true? Really, is it true that we are not ignorant of Satan’s devices?
I trust you will not interpret that I am questioning the veracity of the Word; in reality my question is aimed at understanding how much real knowledge we have of what Satan deploys against a man of faith, and of the traps he develops to get a minister of the Gospel out of the way.
Satan’s devices, the term that the apostle uses in this text is the Greek word νοήματα (noímata), which etymologically means thoughts, schemes, intentions, in general terms, final result, speaking of the final state of numbness to which he wants to lead the man and woman of God.
Satan’s devices is not only about “sin”; that is to say, Satan’s intention is not only to lead the man of God to sin; if we review in detail the text where the apostle’s instruction is inserted, we will see that Paul is counteracting the ambiguity and contempt with which the community has treated him because, according to them, his Gospel emphasizes tribulation and persecution.
So, Satan’ devices, the term the apostle uses to describe satanic intentions against a community of faith, means hidden plans which he cleverly and deceitfully unfolds and develops around those whom God has raised up as luminaries in the darkness of the regions selected by God Himself to establish His Kingdom.
Again, now, how much of Satan’s devices do we know? Do we really know Satan’s devices?
If we are honest, we would have to admit that most know little, if anything, about Satan’s deceptive plans; in principle, because as there has been no legitimate interest to know about it, largely based on the religious premise that Satan is defeated, and that he can do nothing against a child of God. This premise has plunged many into a magical-religious fascination where the preaching of the Word has lost the forcefulness of the proclamation of the Gospel of liberty in Christ Jesus.
How can we strategically know Satan’s devices and disrupt them before they are launched?
The first thing that needs to be done is to understand the value of ministries and their interaction.
Ministries cannot walk alone. A minister who walks alone is easy prey to the enemy. In the text of the writings of Ecclesiastes we have the Revelation that two are better than one.
9Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. 10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. 11 Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? Ecclesiastes 4:9-11
Wisdom consists in working in ministry teams. The ministries Jesus established worked on this spiritual principle,
And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits; Mark 6:7
After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. Luke 10:1
On this basis is built the strategy to know the hidden plans of Satan. The apostle Paul taught about the value of interaction and coordination with apostolic and prophetic ministries,
and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; Ephesians 2:20
In the same epistle to the Ephesians, the apostle discovered the value of Revelation that apostolic and prophetic ministries bear on behalf of the Lord,
which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; Ephesians 3:5
And this is not new, the prophet Amos had clearly already established the interaction of the prophetic ministry,
Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. Amos 3:7
A quick review of the writings of the Acts of the Apostles reveals that an apostle always walked with a prophet; in the case of the apostle Paul, he always walked with a prophet, at the beginning of his ministry, with Barnabas,
As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. Acts 13:2
Barnabas was a prophet, his name declares it: Bar (son) nabi (prophet), hence in the account of the book of Acts he is called, son of consolation,
And Joseph, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, Acts 4:36
But, after the separation of the two, Paul was accompanied by Silas,
and Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God. Acts 15:40
And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them. Acts 15:32
It was the prophetic ministries that warned of Satan’s hidden plans; in the second book of Kings it is discovered how Elisha disrupted the Syrian king’s plans to attack Israel,
11Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; and he called his servants, and said unto them, Will ye not shew me which of us is for the king of Israel? 12 And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber. 2 Kings 6:11-12
In the book of Acts of the Apostles it is discovered how the communities of faith were warned of evils that came upon the regions,
And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Cesar. Acts 11:28
So, it is necessary to understand about ministries, and the value of interaction between them. Ministries need to learn to work in ministry teams, and to interact with each other in apostolic and prophetic ministries.
And in this regard, we must add that although in many communities of faith prophetic ministries have not been adequately developed, God in His mercy raises in the midst of them men and women with a gift of prophecy, who through “dreams” in some cases, and “visions” on other occasions, discover by the Revelation of the Holy Spirit what Satan is plotting against his chosen ones. The biggest problem faced by many faith communities is the fact that they do not believe that the “dreams” they are having come from the Lord. The Bible teaches that dreams and visions are forms of Revelation that God uses to speak to His people,
14For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not. 15In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; 16then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction, Job 33:14-16
Dreams are God’s ways to Reveal to His people about the pertinent things of their development, it is a gift and in many cases, a ministry; in the book of Deuteronomy it identifies those who have this gift, as dreamers of dreams,
1If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,… 3thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul…. 5And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the Lord thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee. Deuteronomy 13:1-5
The Bible also states about men with the particular gift of dream interpretation. The clear example of this gift-ministry are Joseph and Daniel,
And there was there with us a young man, an Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard; and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams; to each man according to his dream he did interpret. Genesis 41:12
forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and shewing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and he will shew the interpretation. Daniel 5:12
Thus, every community has people with the gift of dreaming dreams, and likewise, people with the gift of interpreting dreams. Each faith community must learn to work in ministry teams that consider dreams as forms of Revelation that God uses to speak to His people.
The second thing we must learn is about setting up ministerial tables.
Again, the inability of some not to know how to work in ministerial teams has led them to be subjected to satanic traps of deception.
The ministerial tables consist of putting on the table the topics of the “business” of the Lord to be discussed by all, and under the direction of the Holy Spirit to establish the corresponding strategies. The apostle Paul emphasized the spiritual capacity of the man and woman of Revelation to establish instructions from the Spirit,
But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 1st. Corinthians 2:15
The instruction that the apostle Paul gave to the community of faith in Corinth was that they should learn to “judge” among themselves the things that concern the community,
2Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? 4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. 5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? 1st. Corinthians 6:2-5
The ministerial tables are to allow that in the interaction between ministries, the some learn to submit to the others, all under the cover of themselves, God establishes the strategic Revelation for the community,
28But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. 29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. 30 If anything be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. 1st. Corinthians 14:28-30
This principle is present in the teaching of Jesus only because of the religious concepts that predominate among the communities, the principle has been partially interpreted.
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Matthew 18:20
This teaching of Jesus is aimed at understanding the value of raising ministerial tables, and strategically, for purposes of evangelization of the regions, raise “houses of judgment” on the principalities and powers that operate in them.
For their part, the members of a faith community must learn to walk under the “subjection” of the ministries of the community; they must learn to interact among themselves by being part of study groups of the Word, all according to the instructions that the apostolic-prophetic ministries that the Lord has established for the community as guides. Growth is given by God when there is a duly established line of authority within the house.
Finally, the third thing we must learn is to know how to move in loyalty and wisdom.
What does this principle consist of?
Satan’s evil plans are carried out because of the lack of loyalty and wisdom of those in charge of the work. According to the parable of wheat and tares, the reason why tares appeared in the field was because the tillers fell asleep, the wisdom to take care of the tillage was lacking.
The book of Ecclesiastes emphasizes the value of wisdom, and presents it with much more weight than even strength. Solomon emphasizes that war is waged with wisdom,
14there was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it: 15 now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man. 16 Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard. Ecclesiastes 9:14-16
The absence of loyalty and wisdom is what boycotts every good deed. Absence of loyalty and wisdom consists in betrayal of biblical principles, and betrayal of parents who instructed us in the way of Revelation. The book of judges emphasizes that the people of Israel betrayed the principles of faith as soon as they were free from their oppressors,
18And when the Lord raised them up judges, then the Lord was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the Lord because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them. 19 And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way. Judges 2:18-19
Betrayal attracts a curse on the person and on his generation. Many ministries have fallen into the snare of the hunter precisely because they betrayed their foundation of faith, and/or betrayed their parents and spiritual guardians.
The most striking example is with the faith community of Ephesus, according to the Revelation of the book of Revelation. The story reveals the evil of the community of Ephesus: But I have against you that you have left your first love.
Leaving the first love is not to have abandoned the passion with which first things were done when a newly converted person, that is a philosophical-religious explanation, but not the reason for the Lord’s claim. To have left the first love means to have betrayed the legacy of the apostle Paul, the spiritual father of the community. If the reader reviews the apostle’s permanence in Ephesus, the reader will see that the most unique works of Paul’s ministry were done in Ephesus; however, in the message to the church of Ephesus in the book of Revelation, the most spiritually prosperous community of Paul’s ministry is now neither cold nor hot, it is lukewarm, so it is about to be vomited out of the Lord’s presence. To have left the first love means to have denied the arduous work of the apostle in breaking the power of Diana, the faith community of Ephesus was not loyal to the work of the apostle and betrayed all his work.
The absence of loyalty and wisdom is the cause of Satan’s destruction of entire communities. In Jesus’ teaching, loyalty and wisdom are the spiritual basis for authority and Revelation,
Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Matthew 24:45 (Lucas 12:42)
We must learn to move in loyalty and wisdom, a loyal person is chosen by God to deliver greater spiritual positioning, the disloyal person loses his spiritual position and opens the gap to the enemy,
He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. Luke 16:10
Do we ignore the scheming of the enemy? I trust that from now on, no more.
For the edification of the Saints!
All biblical quotations are taken from the King James Version.
Pastor Pedro Montoya
 Léase Hechos 13:1
 Mateo 13:25
 Apocalipsis 2:4
 Hechos 19:11
 Hechos 19:28, 34, 35