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What is Spiritual Warefare

March 20, 2008

What is Spiritual Warfare?

Hank Hanegraaff

C.S. Lewis cautioned against both imagining a demon behind every tree and believing Satan doesn’t exist. While two kingdoms are indeed in conflict (Matthew 12:22-30), Jesus Christ, through His death on the cross, made a spectacle out of the powers of darkness (Colossians 2:15). What this means is that we engage in spiritual warfare by the sheer act of pursuing Christ.

Scripture admonishes us to stand firm against the devil and the evil forces of this world by employing the full armor of God, which is metaphorical language for knowing the truth, exercising faith, and practicing righteousness in our daily lives (Ephesians 6:10-18; cf. 2 Corinthians 10:4-6). To engage in spiritual warfare is to believe in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins and to lead lives characterized by honesty, purity, prayer, Bible study, evangelism, and so on.

If someone struggles with bad thoughts, for example, rather than addressing demons on the issue, we ought to replace the bad thinking pattern with a good one. First, regardless of the source of the original thought (whether from Satan, another human, or our own sinful flesh), we are responsible for what we do with it. Furthermore, while we cannot directly stop thinking a bad thought (it’s virtually impossible not to think about a pink elephant when told not to!), we can consciously focus on something else in its place — a thought that is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and so forth (Philippians 4:8-9). Finally, practicing discipline in one area of our daily lives can affect our ability to overcome bad habits in other areas as well.

The bottom line is that we must submit ourselves to God through faith in Jesus Christ, who by His life, death, and resurrection has defeated Satan (Hebrews 2:14; 1 John 3:8). What remains is to simply resist the devil, for then, the Bible says, he will flee (James 4:7).

Hank Hanegraaff serves as president and chairman of the board of the North Carolina-based Christian Research Institute International. He also hosts the Bible Answer Man radio program, which is broadcast daily across the United States and Canada—as well as around the world through the internet at

Reaching millions weekly through his live call-in radio broadcast, Hank answers questions about Christianity and religion on the basis of the Bible, careful research, and sound reasoning. Additionally, Hank regularly brings to his listening audience live interviews with Evangelicalism’s most significant leaders, apologists, and thinkers.

Hank came to faith in Jesus Christ after examining the scientific evidence for creation, the historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus, and the cumulative case for the divine inspiration of Scripture. With an uncommon intensity he immediately embarked on a rigorous course of Scripture study and memorization, and by the Lord’s grace and calling his heart ever since has been to equip others to know God in Christ.

With the release of his new book, The Last Disciple, a novel co-authored with Sigmund Brouwer, Hank reveals significant aspects of his highly anticipated 15-year study of the Bible’s teaching on the end times. In a spellbinding story of faith and fulfillment of prophecy, Hank and Sigmund initiate a series of novels in which they explore the lives of Christians who struggle to survive and spread the gospel during the climactic turbulence of “the last days.” Readers discover the “code” of Revelation as they begin to see it through the eyes of the persecuted believers to whom it was written.

 Hank lives in North Carolina with his wife, Kathy and is the father of nine children.

Find this article at: foundations/theological faq


From → Religion

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