• Spiritual/Psychological Warfare

    Spiritual/Psychological Warfare Part 1

    This is a 5-part study on spiritual warfare. Each part will cover different aspects of spiritual warfare and how it manifests itself in physical form through psychological warfare. With part 1 being the introduction to the study. The study covers our behavior individually from different perspectives.

    Exodus 5:1-9 And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness. (2) And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go. (3) And they said, The God of the Hebrews hath met with us: let us go, we pray thee, three days' journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the LORD our God; lest he fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword. (4) And the king of Egypt said unto them, Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, let the people from their works? get you unto your burdens. (5) And Pharaoh said, Behold, the people of the land now are many, and ye make them rest from their burdens. (6) And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying, (7) Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves. (8) And the tale of the bricks, which they did make heretofore, ye shall lay upon them; ye shall not diminish ought thereof: for they be idle; therefore they cry, saying, Let us go and sacrifice to our God. (9) Let there more work be laid upon the men, that they may labour therein; and let them not regard vain words.

    There are two aspects of spiritual warfare, one is that of the spiritual nature and then there’s a psychological aspect that comes into play. Many times we overlook the second aspect of spiritual warfare. The situation with the Israelites and the Pharaoh here, is one of many that can be found in the Bible.

    As we know from the account in Exodus the Israelites were being enslaved, oppressed, by the Pharaoh. Spiritual warfare amounts to the same thing, oppression or control. This is accomplished through many different tactics. The one we see in Exodus here is through laboring or making the Israelites work harder. So they didn’t have time to worship, and do what God wanted them to at the time. The Pharaoh was thwarting this by his actions and demanding more work being put on the Israelites.

    Cults today work in the same fashion. They will keep you busy tiring you out until you give in to their way of thinking. This can be associated with a psychological warfare tactic known as “sleep deprivation”. Just as the Israelites were now working gathering the hay to make the bricks, you too can be given this task without even knowing it. There are too many aspects of how Cults work to get into in one article. This is just one way they work. We will get into the psychological aspects associated with them but won’t get into Cults in depth.

    But this can also be in the church you are in. Jesus told us to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. (Matt 16:5-12) Jesus was talking about what we know today as “legalism” in these verses. The Pharisees and Sadducees doctrine still exists today through this method. Legalism is when you have to be seen “doing” by men. Much like with the Pharaoh and the Israelites the idea behind this doctrine is oppression and/or control. You become the slave of the one you serve. Just like with Cults! Just like with the Pharisees and the Sadducees in Jesus’ day.

    Many psychological aspects come into play from this. You have that of the oppressor, and that of the person(s) being oppressed. Lets look at the oppressor first. The oppressor is usually in a position of authority or power over the oppressed, but not always. There are many forms of oppression or control such as, intimidation, peer pressure, manipulation, fear, guilt, shame, just to name a few. Look at this short list and you can see that these are tactics of the enemy; he will use any of these to distract you from what God has and wants for you.

    It is within our nature to fall victim to any one of these tactics. We are social beings and want to be accepted; that’s the way God made us.

    For the oppressed a whole other set of psychological factors come into play. Insecurities like, worthlessness, depression, anxiety, not being good enough to fit in, all lead to a broken spirit in the end. That is the goal of the oppressor and that of the enemy. Remember he comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. (John 10:10) The enemy roams around like a roaring lion.

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

    Paul writes in Ephesians 6 three reminders for us.

    1) 10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
    2) 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
    3) 12 For 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.

    In verse 10 we are reminded to be strong in our walk with the Lord. Recognizing He is more powerful than any foe we face, which is the enemy or adversary, satan, which in verse 11 we see the word “wiles” or “schemes” as translated in the NIV.

    Lets look at the first four definitions from the Dictionary’s definition of “scheme”.

    1. A plan, design, or program of action to be followed; project.
    2. An underhand plot; intrigue.
    3. A visionary or impractical project.
    4. A body or system of related doctrines, theories, etc.: a scheme of philosophy.

    Source: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/scheme

    Now lets look at the definition of “wile”.

    1. A trick, artifice, or stratagem meant to fool, trap, or entice; device.
    2. Wiles, artful or beguiling behavior.
    3. Deceitful cunning; trickery.

    Source: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/wile

    As we can see “wiles” basically means a trick or trap that has been set. Schemes work in the same manner; look at the second definition in “scheme”. So we are reminded to be on alert for the traps the enemy has set for us. Not that there may be traps, but that there will be traps set. Notice the underlined definitions under “wile”. Psychology is the study of our behavior is it not? Keep in mind not only does satan know you, he knew Adam and Eve and everyone in between. He has been studying our behavior longer than we’ve been alive! He knows how you think!

    In verse 12 we see it opens with “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood”. We are being reminded that the perpetrator satan only uses the people in these places to do his biding: “but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

    We know that Jesus told us we can’t serve two masters. We’ll love one and hate the other. (Matthew 6:24 “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon”).

    Psychological warfare takes the action(s) of another, and is the physical manifestation of spiritual warfare through the individual who is taking the action to control the situation this is manipulation and intimidation. That action can be as subtle as mere words. But is not limited to words. However, verbal abuse is one of the tactics used.

    We have to keep in mind that there is a person involved here that is the “flesh and blood” that we are looking at. But look beyond that it’s not the person but whom they are listening to. However, that doesn’t mean that we are to look under every rock for the devil. He’s out there and he will find you, you don’t have to go looking for him.

    Temptation is a tactic and/or tool he uses, but we will get into that in Part 2 “The Tempter”.
    Comments 7 Comments
    1. Gregg's Avatar
      Gregg -
      Thank you. I found this to be very interesting. I look forward to Part 2.
    1. Diggindeeper's Avatar
      Diggindeeper -
      I am pleased to see someone use ordinary dictionary definitions that help us know things in the Bible, like your 'wiles' of the devil. I couldn't help but notice the words in the definitions. Words like trick, trap, entice;beguiling, deceitful, cunning, trickery.

      From the very beginning, this has been his way, his ONLY way, of operating. If only we can learn how NOT to allow him to trick us, trap us, entice us, etc.

      Good study!
    1. DaveS's Avatar
      DaveS -
      Good Stuff, dljc. Keep it coming.
    1. dljc's Avatar
      dljc -
      Quote Originally Posted by Diggindeeper View Post
      I am pleased to see someone use ordinary dictionary definitions that help us know things in the Bible, like your 'wiles' of the devil. I couldn't help but notice the words in the definitions. Words like trick, trap, entice;beguiling, deceitful, cunning, trickery.

      From the very beginning, this has been his way, his ONLY way, of operating. If only we can learn how NOT to allow him to trick us, trap us, entice us, etc.

      Good study!
      Thanks Diggindeeper (and Gregg and DaveS)

      Although a Concordance definition may have these same or similar definitions. I believe it helps to use/see words we use everyday; words we will find in just about any dictionary. Other than the verse referenced to in Ephesians 6, I can't recall hearing the word "wiles" used very often these days. Schemes however, is a bit more common, and that's the reason for including both the KJV and NIV translation of the word used.

      Thank you all for your interest in this study.
    1. byfaith1's Avatar
      byfaith1 -
      Thank you, very good.
      I agree that we don't need to look under every rock for the devil, he certainly knows where to find us. Ephesians 6 is such a good reminder to not take the things that people say and do personally.
      Looking forward to part 2.
    1. Kingsdaughter's Avatar
      Kingsdaughter -
      It seems that the enemy is always trying to oppress us and he uses every opportunity to do so. he has made his way into the churches through the 'religious' people. I was deceived as a new believer years ago when I joined my first church, I thought," alright! I joined my first church! everythings going to be great! everyone in here is going to be kind and loving and on fire for the Lord!" boy was I wrong! Instead I became bound by the doctrine of these "religious" folks. They put pressure on me to do this and that, they were mean, arrogant, and I was saying to myself,"WHERES THE FRUIT!" they had works, plenty of works.
    1. oneoncelost's Avatar
      oneoncelost -
      As well as the attack on spirituality,there is also an attack on the authentisity of the bible. I have been in a very intense discussion on the KJV 1611 bible. Even tho they have their points of argument , I find myself constantly defending what I believe . It makes me wonder how can people get so wrapped up in so many lies from satan. But then again, the scripture of the" great falling away" comes to my mind, and what a falling there is. The bible teaches me to stand fast and be strong, for we will be saved in the end. Satan is " a roaring lion" and devouring more and more people every day. So we,as Christian's need to pray for strength, and "a hedge about" one another, for the battles we face and are going to face in the future , for I believe the attacks are going to get harder and more often, the closer we get to that "great day of the Lord."
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