Book: A Divine Revelation of Spiritual Warfare by Mary Baxter

A Divine Revelation of Spiritual Warfare

by
Mary Baxter

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Extract: Chapter 1

History’s Most Crucial Conflict
For 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.
—Ephesians 6:12

Every human being is involved in a war that will ultimately end all wars. It is spiritual warfare,
and it is much more critical than a battle between powerful countries with nuclear armaments. It
is more evil than a terrorist plot and more dangerous than a ticking time bomb. In fact, the war
being waged in the spiritual realm is more devastating than all the battles of all the nations
throughout history.

Our enemy seeks to conquer and destroy the souls, spirits, and bodies of human beings.
This spiritual war is not like earthly warfare, although earthly wars may be part of it. Our
warfare is in the realm of the supernatural. Although they are invisible to human eyes, our
enemy and his opposition are real. The conflict is taking place between the forces and powers
of God and the lesser forces and powers of Satan. These are battles between good and evil,
right and wrong, between the power that builds up and the power that destroys.

Human beings are right in the middle of this conflict. We are the treasure that is being fought
over because we are the crown of God the Father’s creation, made in His own image. Yet we
are also foot soldiers in the fight. We must understand the nature of this war and learn how to
fight effectively because many lives—including our own—are at stake.

Considering the cataclysmic conflict we are involved in, it is not surprising that the Bible
metaphorically compares the Christian life to warfare. For example, Timothy was encouraged
by his mentor, the apostle Paul, to “fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life” (1
Timothy 6:12), and to “endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 2:3). Paul
also exhorted other believers to “put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:12), and to “put on the
whole armor of God” (Ephesians 6:11).

Three Costly Errors
Although a war is being fought against them in the spiritual realm, most people are not really
aware of their covert enemy, Satan. A recent survey revealed that nearly seventy percent of
the American public believes Satan is real. However, this statistic doesn’t reflect the average
person’s appalling lack of knowledge about his true nature or activities. Many in our society
have some idea of Satan, or the devil, but their understanding of him is confused and distorted
because they have bought into popular images of the devil. For example, they may see him as
a jokester who goes around tempting people to do mischievous things. They don’t see the devil
for the malicious being he really is.

The widespread ignorance and confusion regarding Satan reflects three major—and costly—
errors in most people’s approach to the spiritual realm and spiritual warfare.

Denying the Existence of Evil Forces
The first error people make is to deny the existence of evil spirits and the spiritual world in
general. Some people think that Satan and his demons are like Santa Claus and his elves—
mere figments of childish imaginations. They do not understand that much evil in our world is the
work of Satan; instead, they choose to believe that bad things happen only by accidents of
nature, or that people do evil things because of poor socialization.

The Bible tell us beyond a shadow of a doubt, however, that the spiritual world is real, and
that there are evil as well as good spiritual forces. The apostle Paul identified these evil forces
as “principalities,” “powers,” “rulers of the darkness of this age,” and “spiritual hosts of
wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).

The existence of our spiritual enemy, Satan, is an undeniable fact. Jesus Himself called
Satan the “ruler of this world” (John 12:31). He referred to the devil as the enemy, as in
Matthew 13:39: “The enemy who sowed [tares, or weeds] is the devil.” In 1 Peter 5:8, the
Bible calls Satan “your adversary the devil.”

The wickedness of the visible world is influenced, fueled, and powered by the spiritual
underworld, which is populated by Satan and other fallen spirit beings. As we grapple with the
reality of evil, we must be aware of the fact that evil spirits influence things that happen in our
everyday lives. Everything that is good and righteous is being attacked by the devil and his
forces.

Spiritual struggle, or the conflict of the human spirit with evil spirits, is not a myth but a
sobering and sometimes frightening reality. In my travels, I have seen many wounded souls
walking around, not realizing that intense spiritual warfare is being waged against them. You
know you are in a physical battle when you get shot or you see someone else bleeding from
being shot. I have been “shot at” and I have been “wounded.” I know the reality of spiritual
warfare.

Satan’s job is to get us to ignore the spiritual realm or give it low priority. If he can distract us
from the reality of the supernatural realm, he can divert us from finding spiritual solutions for
critical issues in the world and in our own lives.

Attributing to Satan Everything That Goes Wrong
A second error is attributing to the devil every negative action or situation that takes place in
the world. We must be cautious not to give Satan undue attention by excessive thinking and
studying about him. This approach often leads to a fascination, fearfulness, and overestimation
of his power. It can even lead people to inadvertently engage in a form of satanic worship by
attributing to him qualities that belong only to God, such as omniscience (being all knowing),
omnipresence (being everywhere at once), and omnipotence (being all powerful). People end
up living in fear of Satan rather than with trust in God.

It is true that the devil does everything he can to destroy and deceive. He is not some
impersonal benign influence; he is a real spirit being, and he is at war with us. However, not all
bad things come directly from him.

Sickness, for example, may sometimes be caused by an evil spirit, but not always. While
satanic attack is a possible cause of sickness, as the book of Job indicates, sickness does not
necessarily come from the devil. Jesus clearly distinguished between the healing of sickness
and the casting out of demons. When sickness is caused by willful sin or natural causes, then
attempting to cast out demons will not bring about healing.

Being exposed to a virus is not the same thing as being demon-possessed. If you break your
arm in an accidental fall, you don’t necessarily have a demon in your arm. Some things come
our way simply because we live in a fallen world. Tragic things happen to both the righteous
and the unrighteous. It will continue to be this way until Jesus returns, when “there shall be no
more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things [will]
have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

Believing that Christians Are Immune from Satanic Attack
Third, some Christians think that believers are immune to demonic assault. Many Scriptures
prove that this is not so. For example, consider the experience of Jesus’ temptation by the devil
(see Matthew 4:1–10; Luke 4:1–13), and of Paul’s harassment by a “spirit of divination,” which
possessed a servant girl (see Acts 16:16–18). The clear warning of 1 Peter 5:8 is that we need
to be on guard because the devil is on the prowl, seeking those whom he can devour.

Taking the position that believers cannot be attacked by the devil leaves Christians ignorant
of their enemy’s tactics and gives them a false sense of security. God’s people must be aware
of Satan and his schemes so they can stand against him, for their own protection as well as the
protection of others. Sometimes believers tend to joke about the devil, but the demonic
underworld is not something to be careless about. Jude said that even the archangel Michael
“dared not bring against [Satan] a reviling accusation, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!’” (Jude
9).

However, many Christians seem to think that they can just go to church, mind their own
business, and not cause any trouble to the devil or anyone else. They have no desire to “do
battle” with Satan or evil. Yet when their sons become strung out on drugs or their unmarried
daughters become pregnant and want abortions, they learn about spiritual warfare because of
personal necessity. Satan opposes the people of God in every way he can and seeks to
destroy human life. It is unrealistic to think we can ignore our enemy.

Becoming Equipped for Spiritual Warfare
Therefore, while a great spiritual struggle is taking place, most people do not even believe in
the reality of what is happening. When they are aware, many in the church do not fully
understand how to appropriate the protection and spiritual weapons that are rightfully theirs in
Jesus Christ. They may have been told about victory in Jesus and even sung about it, yet, for
the most part, they have not been shown how to walk in that victory. In other words, many
Christians do not know how to claim and use Christ’s victory for themselves.

Because so many believers are unequipped spiritually, they are susceptible to the attacks of
the devil. And if these Christians are easy prey for the enemy, consider how vulnerable
nonbelievers are to him!

We must wake up to the truth of God’s Word about the spiritual struggle we are engaged in.
My spiritual calling is in visions and revelations. God has given me special insight into spiritual
warfare. He has opened up many Scriptures to my mind, and He has instructed me in how to
tell other Christians about spiritual battle and how they can overcome the enemy of our souls.
I have seen visions of hell and the judgment of God on sin, as well as visions of heaven. I
know that God desires men and women to come to Him and to learn to defeat the devil through
spiritual warfare. The purpose of this book is to make the truth about spiritual warfare clearer
to understand so that it will be easier for you to grasp and use the spiritual weaponry available
to you.

If you haven’t guessed already, I’m angry at the devil! He is sneaky, low-down, deceitful,
abhorrent, and anything else negative you can say about him. There never has been a greater
affront to God and a bigger threat to His people than Satan. But I want to reassure you that
there never has been and never will be a more thorough defeat than Satan will experience in
the final outcome of world history. I want to show you how you can be part of that victory over
the enemy even now.