Weapons of Spiritual Warfare


John Hoole – February 7 & 14, 2010





(Note:  click on photos, graphs and charts for larger version)



Two weeks ago, we looked at an important strategy when engaging in spiritual warfare.  We looked at the battle of Jericho, the first of many for the Israelites in the Promised Land.  And from the biblical narrative surrounding the record of that battle, we took note of 4 steps in the strategy to win that battle.


Let me review those four steps.


1.      We must always understand that we fight on the foundation of a victory already won!  The Israelites were told by God that he had already given Jericho into their hands.  Likewise, we are able to enjoy, in the realm of the Spirit, the fact that Jesus came in the flesh, and invaded this demon-infested world, and wrought the victory through His death on the cross and resurrection from the dead.


2.      Secondly, our victory can only be realized when we meet our Lord at the place where the battle is to be engaged.  Joshua met the Captain of the host of Heaven – Jesus Christ Himself, who gave him the battle strategy.  We need to meet with the Captain of our salvation before going into battle.


3.      Like the Israelites with the Ark of the Covenant, we must ensure that God’s presence is with us not only before the battle, but in the battle.  This battle will not be fought and won if we do it alone.  We need and must have the presence of the King as we engage in battle.


4.      The weapons at our disposal are contrary to what we would normally think.  They are not carnal, but mighty through God to the bringing down of the enemy’s strongholds.  That part of the battle strategy for taking Jericho is emphasized in the New Testament.


2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NIV


3       For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.

4       The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.

5       We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.


This verse reiterates the fact that we wage war in a way that is contrary to the way the world does.  But not only is there a strategy as to how the war is fought, these verses by the apostle Paul tell us there are weapons to use in this war.  And, again, they are not weapons common to the way the world wages war.


Before discussing what those weapons are, let’s read the same verses in the New American Standard.


2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NASU


3       For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh,

4       for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.

5       We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,


As Paul says in Ephesians 6:12, our fight is not with flesh and blood – that is, it is not with people.  Rather, this battle is against the host of demons that work to defile, destroy, harass, tempt and enslave mankind.  Part of the good news – the gospel, in Christ – is that now, not only can we resist the devil’s influence in our own lives, but we can destroy his influence in the lives of others.  To do that, God has given us mighty weapons to counter satanic influence and activity.  But in order to be effective in our warfare, we need to know the weapons and how to use them.


In this passage in 2 Corinthians, Paul doesn’t state what the weapons of our warfare are, but he does tell us what they will do.


         1.      They pull down strongholds (fortresses – NAS).


         2.      They cast down arguments (imaginations, speculations) which come from Satan.


         3.      They cast down every proud and high thing that seeks to stop us and others from knowing God.


         4.      They bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.


It is important that we understand where the battle is taking place.  Paul uses various words.  I will choose from various translations the English words that are used here:  imaginations, reasonings, speculations, arguments, knowledge, and thoughts.


Notice that all these words speak to the same particular realm – the realm of the mind.  We must understand the battleground is in the realm of the mind.  Satan is waging an all out war to captivate the mind of the human race.  That is where he is building strongholds and fortresses.  And it is our responsibility to use our spiritual weapons to break down these strongholds.  That is a staggering assignment.




Before we list the weapons at our disposal for this battle, and how they are to be used, I need to make a distinction.  I see a difference between armor and weapons.  In Ephesians 6, we read Paul’s admonition to put on the full armor of Christ.  But amidst the pieces of armor, he lists two articles of weaponry.


The pieces of armor are those things that keep the enemy from inflicting deadly wounds in us.  Weapons of spiritual warfare are those items with which we inflict wounds on the enemy.  To find out our weapons, we must search the Scriptures to find what were used by the early Christians.  I believe the Bible gives us 6 or 7 weapons for believers to use in our battle.  There actually are probably more.  So, what are our weapons?


First Weapon - PRAISE


Without a doubt, PRAISE is a major weapon against Satan.  Satan and demons just hate hearing people praise God, especially when they do it with a pure heart.  Praise invites the presence of God in ways that Satan cannot resist.  God inhabits the praises of his people (Psalm 22:3).  Praise is a sure way to have God’s presence.  If we would praise God more, we would have far less interference from demonic powers in our lives.


Praise silences the enemy.


Psalms 8:2 NKJV


2       Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength, because of Your enemies, that You may silence the enemy and the avenger.


We see here that God has provided strength for His people against their enemies.  This verse says that He has provided strength against the entire kingdom of the enemy.  Praise is that strength.


This verse is also quoted in the New Testament by Matthew.  The context of this passage is the triumphal entry of the Lord into Jerusalem, just a few days prior to His crucifixion.


People were singing and praising God as they followed Jesus around the Mount of Olives into the city.  And the religious leaders complained to Jesus about what was being said by the people.


Matthew 21:15-16 NKJV


15     But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" they were indignant

16     and said to Him, "Do You hear what these are saying?" And Jesus said to them, "Yes. Have you never read, 'Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise'?" 


The strength which God has ordained for us is perfect praise.  Perfect praise silences the enemy and the avenger.  Many of our problems would be solved if we could only get Satan and his demons to Shut Up!  They operate by injecting suggestions into our minds which may seem plausible, but are rooted in unbelief and rebellion towards God.  Praise, be it spoken or sung to music, works to silence the enemy.  Perfect praise, led by the Spirit, will completely silence the enemy.


There are many biblical ways whereby the people of God are exhorted to praise God.  We can find many of these in the Psalms, but they are found throughout the Word of God.  Some are: shouting, dancing, singing, rejoicing, and making music to the Lord.  These are just a few of the valid ways to praise the Lord.


Praise calls forth the supernatural intervention of God.  In Exodus 15, is found the song that Moses and Israel sang after deliverance from Egypt.


Exodus 15 (NKJV) begins this way.


Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to the Lord, and spoke, saying: "I will sing to the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea!


The verses that follow lists many of the things God did in delivering them from the pursuing Egyptian army.  Let’s pick it up in verse 10.


Exodus 15:10-11 NKJV


10     You blew with Your wind, The sea covered them; They sank like lead in the mighty waters.

11     "Who is like You, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, Fearful in praises, doing wonders?”


Notice the phrase, “Fearful in praises.”  The NAS puts it: “Awesome in praises.”  Praise reveals and calls forth God’s awesomeness and His fearfulness, especially against the enemies of God’s people.  Praise is the appropriate response by God’s people to His awesomeness.


It is no accident that David, perhaps the mightiest warrior for God in the Old Testament, was a man of much praise.  His strength was rooted in the joy he gave to God through praising and worshiping God.


How much more this is the case in the New Testament.  We are commanded to offer praise unto God.


Hebrews 13:15 NKJV


15     Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.


Let’s use this weapon often against the enemy.


Second Weapon – THE WORD OF GOD

Pidture of the Word and Sword 

When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by Satan what weapon did He use in every case?  You find the answer in Luke 4.  He uses the Word of God against the wiles and temptations of the devil.


When tempted to turn stone into bread:  “It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.'"Luke 4:4


When tempted to worship the devil:  “It is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.'" Luke 4:8


When tempted to jump off a pinnacle to see if the angels would catch Him:  “It has been said, ‘you shall not tempt the Lord your God.’” Luke 4:12


Jesus overcame the devil using this one weapon – the Word of God.  Rather than arguing with or trying to reason with the devil, as many of us would do, Jesus simply quoted the Word of God as it applied to each suggestion by Satan.


The apostle John wrote, in his first letter:


1 John 2:14 NKJV


I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one.


The context of this verse is John’s compliment that these young men are no longer children that are “tossed about by every wind and wave of doctrine.”  This is essentially what we find in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.


Ephesians 4:14 NKJV


14     …we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,




One of Satan’s chief tactics is accusation.  He is called “the Accuser of the brethren.” (Rev. 12:10)  When we sin we give Satan opportunity to accuse us, both directly and through others.  The reality is, we have all sinned.  When Satan adds to our sin, his accusation, we can become condemned and discouraged.  That is, if we are ignorant of the power of the blood of Jesus, and how it can be applied to this issue.


First of all, we need to praise God that the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7).  And two verses later, it tells us that when we do sin, we are to “…confess our sins, and He will be faithful to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”


We must believe that no matter what sin we may commit, the blood of Jesus is there to cleanse us.  We can be restored by this blood to a place of complete acceptance with God, as well as peace with ourselves.  It is because Jesus paid the price for our sins with His own blood, and took the punishment we deserved, that we can be forgiven and go on after temporary defeats.  Praise God for the blood.


Revelation 12:11 NKJV


11     And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.


Although this specific passage is about a future group of people, the message is equally applicable to any of God’s children in Christ.  I believe our success and victory in this life depends on a vital living revelation of the power of the blood of Jesus Christ in your life.


As a general rule, I am studying three or four lesson topics at any given time.  As I was thinking about spiritual warfare, I thought of some of the tactics Satan uses.  Amidst my thoughts were the fact that Satan tries to deceive us by counterfeiting as many of the holy things of God as he can.  In this way, he might interject a small amount of truth which he will twist in an attempt to deceive us into thinking what he proposes is ok.  But the thoughts and notes I was accumulating had a head-on collisions, when this topics of the blood of Christ and Satan’s counterfeits came together.  Satan has absolutely no way by which he can counterfeit the blood of Jesus Christ.  He has absolutely no answer for it or defense against it.  And as such, he hates the blood of Christ.  Satan fears the blood of Jesus because he has no response to it.  He has no answer nor counterfeit.  And it is by that blood that we can overcome him.  Because of the blood of Jesus, nothing Satan brings against us will stand, no lie, no slander, no accusation, no condemnation, no guilt, no shame.  In every instance we overcome by the blood of the Lamb.


Ephesians 2:13 NKJV


13     But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.


The blood of Christ has the power to draw us closer to God.  And the closer to Jesus, the more secure our victory over the enemy.




The verse we read a moment ago in Revelation 12 contained two weapons available to us.  Look at it again.


Revelation 12:11 NKJV


11     And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.


To begin with, we need to distinguish between testimony and preaching.  Preaching is presenting the truths of God’s Word directly, but testimony is “witnessing” or “being a witness.”


Testimony is speaking from personal experience about incidents that relate to the Word of God and confirm the truth of the God’s Word.  For instance, if I were to preach a message on healing, I would talk about the principles by which God heals.  And I would include in the message God’s promises to heal.  But if I am testifying about healing, I speak about an incident in which I experienced healing.  So testimony and preaching are both related to the Word of God, but they approach it from different angles.


Our personal testimony is basic to the strategy of Jesus for reaching the whole world with the Gospel.  He unveiled this strategy in His closing words on earth as He stood on the Mount of Olives.


Acts 1:8 NKJV


8       But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."


He says we will be His witnesses.  In other words, it is not just the words we speak or the tracts we hand out, but our total lives are to be witnesses to Jesus and the truth of the Gospel.


Don’t let Satan steal your testimony.  If he does, he’ll rob you of your joy and leave you without any hope or strength.


Colossians 2:13-14 NIV


13     When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,

14     having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.


That is your testimony.  If the devil tries to rob you of your testimony by bringing up your past, you remind him of his future.  If he tries to rob you of anything in your life, tell him to get his filthy hands off.  You belong to the Lord Jesus Christ, and he has already won your victory.


Fifth Weapon – PRAYER


I need to qualify this by saying that prayer is much more than a weapon.  There are many different aspects to prayer.  But one of them is as a most powerful weapon of spiritual warfare.


In Ephesians 6, where the apostle Paul mentions the pieces of armor that the believer is to put on, he includes two weapons.  The first is the sword of the Spirit, which we are told is the Word of God.


But, in verse 18 (NIV), he adds:


18     And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests…


By including prayer here, Paul is including it as a vital part of spiritual warfare.  We are told to pray without ceasing – 1 Thessalonians 5:17.


None of us will be successful in spiritual warfare without the weapon of prayer.  There are repeated calls for our diligence in prayer, and many promises are found in the Word with regard to prayer.


The verse we read in Ephesians 6:18 instructs us to pray all kinds of prayers.  There is silent prayer and audible prayer.  There is prayer without ceasing and prayer that terminates.  There are public prayer and private prayer, short prayer and extended prayer, fasting prayer and feasting prayer, rejoicing prayer and broken prayer, thanksgiving prayer and asking prayer, doctrinal prayer and emotional prayer.         There is resisting-the-enemy prayer and standing-with-the-Lord prayer.  Prayer is not preparation for the battle.  In many ways prayer IS the battle.  To not pray is to surrender to Satan.


Sixth Weapon – THE NAME OF JESUS


In John 14, Jesus begins a time of teaching by telling his disciples that He was about to leave them.  But, to comfort them, He tells them He is going to prepare a place for them, and will be returning to them some day.  And He end this time with them by praying for them  (John 17).


Between telling his followers that He was about to leave them and praying for them, Jesus instructs them to pray in a new way.


In John 14:13-14  (NKJV), we read

13     And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

14     If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. 


As you continue reading through these chapters, Jesus repeats this thought.


John 15:7 NKJV


7       If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.


This time, as Jesus mentions prayer, He doesn’t speak of praying in Jesus name.  But I hope before today is over, you will see that it means the same thing.  He says, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you,…”  Let’s read the rest of the statements.


John 15:16 NKJV


16     You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. 


John 16:22-24 NKJV


22     Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you. 

23     And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.

24     Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. 


These are extraordinary promises for those who pray in the name of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.  Prayer reaches its highest when offered in the Name which is above every name.  We must identify with the Son when we come to the Father.


The name of Jesus is not a magic formula.  It is not something that you sort of attach to the end of prayer, and say, “In Jesus’ name, Amen!”  The name of Jesus is much, much more.


The name of Jesus bring authority into any situation.  And as we submit to Jesus Christ, we can use his name in battle against the enemy.


Mark 16:17 NKJV


17     And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons;…


Demons will be forced to leave as we have faith in the name of Jesus.




Today, we have looked at the weapons of spiritual warfare.  As I mentioned earlier, our armor is more of a defense against the enemy, while the weapons puts us on the offensive against the enemy.


When Jesus first unveiled His plan for the church, He envisioned it being on the offensive and attacking Satan’s strongholds.  In Caesarea Philippi, Christ said to his disciples [Matthew 16:18]: “On this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell (Hades) shall not prevail against it.”


Jesus pictured His church in the light of two primary activities: Building and battling.  These must always go together.  It is no good doing battle if we do not also build.  On the other hand, we cannot build if we do not battle.  So we must think always in terms of building the church and battling the forces of Satan.


Jesus pictured the church on the offensive, attacking the gates of Satan.  Jesus promised us that, if we obey Him as our Commander-in-Chief, we will be able to move out, storm Satan’s citadel, break through his gates, and release his captives, and carry away his spoil.


My experience is that most Christians take the posture, “I wonder where the Devil is going to strike next?”  I suggest to you that the boot should be on the other foot.  The devil should be wondering where the church is going to strike him next.


In the commission Jesus gave to his disciples and to us, we find these words;


Matthew 28:18-19 NKJV


18     And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. [If Jesus has all authority, that leaves none for anybody else, except as He yields it.]

19     Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,


Jesus said, “All authority has [already] been given to Me.  Now, you go, therefore…”  What does the “therefore” mean?  I understand it to mean, “You go and exercise, on My behalf, the authority that I have already won.”  Our assignment is to administer the victory, demonstrate the triumph, and exercise the authority that Jesus has won on our behalf.  Authority it only effective when it is exercised.  If we do not exercise the authority that He has given to us, it remains ineffective.