Entering The Combat Zone

During an invasion in the natural world, an army enters the combat zone to conquer its foes and claim territory. Basic training is useless unless what is learned is put into action. Even a mobilized army equipped with weapons is not effective if it stands inactive on the sidelines. To be effective in warfare, you must actually enter the combat zone.

Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. (Romans 6:6-7)

You have answered the call to arms and been inducted in God's army.


Satan has organized methods aimed at gaining victory over believers. This is what Paul means when he refers to the "wiles" of the Devil:

Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil. (Ephesians 6:11)

The word "wiles" means crafty or deceitful. Satan's "wiles" are his crafty, deceitful strategies of attack.


The believer is not left defenseless in the face of enemy attack. In His written Word God has provided a manual of strategies for spiritual warfare:

Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. (II Corinthians 2:11)

The word "devices" means thoughts or purposes. The Bible contains counter- strategies for overcoming all the power of the enemy.

The word "counter" means "to act in opposition to, to hinder, defeat, or frustrate."

In the spirit world, a counter-strategy is an organized plan and method of opposition to Satan. It is designed to hinder, defeat, and frustrate his "wiles" and "devices."

In this lesson you will study how the world and the flesh function together in spiritual warfare and counter strategies for overcoming these evil forces.


The world and the flesh are enemy territory:


And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. (I John 5:19)

Satan is the prince of this world and as its prince he influences the governments of nations. He is described as a "deceiver of nations" in Revelation 20:3 and 7. Daniel chapter l0 identifies a demonic power over the nation of Persia working to prevent Daniel's prayer.

Satan is as a roaring lion in the world:

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. (II Peter 5:8)

The picture of a roaring lion illustrates the open terror tactics Satan uses. But Satan is also described as "an angel of light":

And no marvel for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. (II Corinthians 11:14-15)

This describes Satan as alluring and appealing in a more subtle, secret type of attack. So Satan works both openly and secretly in the world.

Satan's activities are varied in the world, but they are always directed against God, His plan, and His people. Satan opposes God's work in the world. This is quite evident in his rebellion and fall from Heaven (Ezekiel 28:12-19). Satan opposes the work of Jesus in the world. He is behind the "anti-Christ" spirit of the world:

For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. (II John 7)

Read more about the Antichrist at this link: http://www.kingmannafta.com/Pages/REALvsImaginary.aspx

Satan also opposes the work of the Holy Spirit in the world. One of the purposes of the Holy Spirit is to guide men and women into the truth of the Word of God.

Satan tries to keep the Word of God from influencing the hearts and lives of men and women:

In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (II Corinthians 4:4)

Satan afflicts and tempts believers in the world:

For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labor be in vain. (I Thessalonians 3:5)

And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power... (Job 1:12)

Satan deceives the world through "spiritual wickedness in high places." This is how he works in the religious, education, government, all systems and structures of the world. He deceives through false doctrine, religions, television, media and any other device that is of the world.

Satan also wages warfare against believers who are in, but not of, the world. You can read about this warfare in Ephesians 6:l0-l8. Satan accuses and slanders believers:

And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in Heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the Kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ; for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. (Revelation 12:9-10)

He plants doubt in the minds of believers. This was part of the first temptation of man in the Garden of Eden (see Genesis 3:1-5).

Satan incites persecution of believers by the world:

Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried... (Revelation 2:10)

Satan tries to prevent the believer from effective Christian service:

Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us. (I Thessalonians 2:18)

Satan uses the appeal of the world to entice believers to sin. He tempts through the worldly atmosphere, environment, and system around you. He encourages a love of the world in your heart:

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (I John 2:15-16)

Satan wars against the mind, the tongue, the spirit, the body, and the spiritual walls of believers. He attacks through family and associates, finances, and circumstances.

The names of Satan also reveal his strategies in the world.


The body, soul, and spirit of man are closely related. Because of this, Satan accesses the soul and spirit through the flesh. This strategy is evident in the first temptation of man. Eve "SAW the tree was good for food (TASTE), and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be DESIRED to make one wise" she took of it and gave it to her husband also (Genesis 3:6). Satan used fleshly senses and desires to gain access to Eve's soul and spirit.

If Satan cannot "blind your mind" and keep you from accepting the truth of the Gospel, then he tries to keep you in bondage to the flesh after you receive the Gospel. Fleshly lusts war against the soul:

...Abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul. (I Peter 2:11)

Satan uses the flesh to affect the mind:

But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. (Romans 7:23)

"My members" refers to the flesh. Satan uses the flesh to affect the spirit:

Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (II Corinthians 7:1)

Satan uses the flesh to cause you to reap corruption (rottenness, perversion) in your life:

For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption... (Galatians 6:8)

In Ephesians 4 where Paul deals with the sins of the flesh in the context of the old man and the new man, he inserts this warning:

Neither give place to the Devil. (Ephesians 4:27)

This warning indicates that when you commit these fleshly sins, you give place (literally a claim) to Satan in your life. Continued willful indulgence in fleshly sins can result in bondage to Satan:

And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the Devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. (II Timothy 2:26)


A born-again believer cannot be "possessed" by Satan as long as he remains a true believer. Possession by Satan involves control of body, soul, spirit, conduct, and thought. But if a believer continues to practice fleshly sins there comes a time where the practice may move from a sin of the flesh to a sin controlled by Satanic, demonic activity.


The world, the flesh, and the Devil with his demons combine their evil forces to war against believers. Each force can operate independently against the believer, but these forces of evil are most often combined in their attack upon believers.

Satan uses the world, with its illusions, charms, philosophies, and ungodly systems, to gain access to the flesh. He uses the flesh to gain access to the soul mind, and spirit. Then he tries to conform you to the world rather than to God.


The world, the flesh, and the Devil certainly create a threatening combat zone! But here are some powerful scriptural counter-strategies for overcoming these forces:


In the military forces of the natural world, a man who enlists for service comes under the complete control of his superiors. They give him instructions on how to conduct himself, how to dress, and how to combat the enemy. To be effective in spiritual warfare the same type of control must be put into action:

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)

You must present yourself to God as an act of your own will.

In the Old Testament when a sacrifice was given to God, the person who offered it had no further control over it. It was given totally to the Lord. Instead of conforming to the world and the flesh, you must be transformed (changed) by the renewing of your mind.


The renewing of your mind is done by "arming" yourself with the same mind as Jesus.

Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for He that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh, to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. (I Peter 4:1-2)


We are told that we should "hate even the garment spotted by the flesh" (Jude 23). You should understand that the lust of the flesh is not of the Father but of the world: For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (I John 2:16)

You should have no confidence in the flesh:

...and have no confidence in the flesh...(Philippians 3:3)

You must understand that life in the flesh brings corruption, while life in the spirit brings life:

For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. (Galatians 6:8)


In times past, you were in bondage to the flesh when you were a sinner: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath even as others. (Ephesians 2:3)

For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.

But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. (Romans 7:5-6)

Study Ephesians chapter 2 and Romans 8. You will discover you no longer have to be in bondage to the flesh. Your freedom comes through Jesus Christ:

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:2)


In the military world, the soldier must obey all orders. He goes through basic training to learn the rules of warfare. He is given trial situations where he must put these strategies into action and he learns through failure and success. He is in training for war.

This is also true in the spiritual world. You must train your flesh to obey. You must learn God's rules. Through trials God permits in your life you will have opportunity to put these rules into action:

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you. (I Peter 4:12)

And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold all that he hath is in thy power... (Job 1:12)

In the natural world, a soldier learns the right and wrong responses in military strategy through repeated troop exercises. You can train through study of your warfare manual, the Bible. As you exercise or train your spiritual senses, you will learn to discern between good and evil:

For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
For strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Hebrews 5:13-14)

You must train your flesh to obey God's Word. You do not conquer your flesh by giving in to it.

As God reveals fleshly areas of your life, you must take action:

...abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul. (I Peter 2:11)

Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (II Corinthians 7:1)

But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof. (Romans 13:14)

Note that YOU must take action. YOU must abstain from fleshly lusts. YOU must cleanse yourself of filthiness of the flesh. YOU must not make provisions for the flesh.


The "old man" refers to the flesh nature. Paul writes:

That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (Ephesians 4:22-24)


The flesh must be crucified. It will not die a natural death. You must crucify it by refusing to be controlled by it:

Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. (Romans 6:6-7)

For I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. (Galatians 5:24)


Your daily walk (how you live) can be controlled by Satan working through your flesh, the world, or demon powers if you permit it. You do not have to be controlled by the world, the flesh, or the Devil. You can learn to walk in the Spirit:

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16)

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25)

To walk in the Spirit means to let God's Holy Spirit control your conduct and life.

The flesh is not more powerful than the spirit. If you let the Holy Spirit manifest His power in you, He will quicken your mortal body of flesh. To "quicken" means to endue with life.

You do not have to live in the death of sin. God can quicken your spirit to new life:

And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. (Romans 8:10-14)

To be led by the Spirit you must have the Holy Spirit within you. You must be born again by the Spirit:

That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (John 3:6-7)

You must also be filled with the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who gives you power to walk in the spirit rather than the flesh. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of the Holy Spirit in overcoming the world, the flesh, and the Devil. Through the Holy Spirit you can be led by the Spirit instead of the flesh.


God communicates to your spirit by the Holy Spirit:

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. (Romans 8:14)

The Holy Spirit can also communicate directly to God from your spirit:

For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. (I Corinthians 14:2)

When you speak in the unknown language, which is the physical evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2), your spirit is communicating directly to God. When this happens, one of the important functions of the Holy Spirit is to pray according to the will of God:

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is in the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27)


In contrast to the works of the flesh, develop the fruit of the Holy Spirit. This includes...

...love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith. Meekness, temperance... (Galatians 5:22-23)


Satan uses the weaknesses of the flesh to make you live in condemnation. But Paul said:

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:1)

If you fail and engage in fleshly conduct, do not remain in condemnation. Repent and ask forgiveness:

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:9)


Here are some guidelines for overcoming the world:


Recognize you are not of the world:

I have given them thy word: and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. (John 17:14-16)

If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. (John 15:18-19)

Understand that you will experience tribulation in the world:

These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

Realize that gaining the world is not worth losing your soul:

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul. (Mark 8:36)

For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? (Luke 9:25)

Realize that if you love the world, you are an enemy of God:

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (I John 2:15-16)

...know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. (James 4:4)

Recognize the temporal nature of the world:

And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: But he that doeth the will of God abideth forever. (I John 2:17)

...for the fashion of this world passeth away. (I Corinthians 7:31)

Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness. (II Peter 3:11)


As a believer, you do not have to be in bondage to the world system. Although in the past you were governed by the present world (Ephesians 2:2), you are no longer in this bondage:

Wherein in times past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind: and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God. (Ephesians 2:2-3,13,19)

Romans 12:1-3 teaches that you no longer need be conformed to the world. You can be transformed (changed). You are part of a new kingdom now. You are a resident of the Kingdom of God. You are no longer under the power of the world:

Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God. (I Corinthians 2:12)

Study more about your liberty in Galatians 4:1-7.


Now that you are free from the world, set a guard against its influence in your life. Do not pattern your life after the rudiments or basic principles of the world:

Beware lest any man spoil you...after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (Colossians 2:8)

Do not love the world:

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world... (I John 2:15)

Do not let yourself be spoiled by the philosophies of the world: Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (Colossians 2:8)

Deny worldly lusts:

Teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world. (Titus 2:12)

Keep yourself unspotted from the world:

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this...to keep himself unspotted from the world. (James 1:27)

Crucify the power of the world:

But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me and I unto the world. (Galatians 6:14)

Crucifixion is an unnatural death. Like the flesh, the power of the world in your life will not die a natural death. You must forcibly crucify it.


You are not to be overcome by the world. Do not let the cares of the world destroy the work of the Word in your life (Matthew 13:22; Mark 4:19). This "wearing away" with the cares of the world is one of the strategies of Satan and his demons (Daniel 7:25).

Jesus said:
...but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

You can overcome the world because Jesus dwells within you:
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than He that is in the world. (I John 4:4)

You can escape the corruption of the world:
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (II Peter 1:4)

You overcome the world by the new birth and your faith:
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. (I John 5:4)

You overcome the world by the blood of Jesus and your testimony:
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony... (Revelation 12:11)


You are not to be affected by the world, but you are to affect the world. The believer should be a light in a world of darkness, reflecting the glory of God and sharing the good news of the Gospel:

Ye are the light of the world... (Matthew 5:14)

The impact of the early believers on the world was so great that it was said of them that they "turned the world upside down" (Acts 17:6).

As soldiers in an army sent on a mission in a foreign nation, believers are on a special mission of God in the world. They have been instructed:
...Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature. (Mark 16:15)


Crucifixion was one of the worst possible forms of death. Read about the crucifixion of Jesus in Matthew 27. This is what must be done spiritually speaking to both the world and the flesh, spiritual forces of evil which are operating against believers.

Examine your own life and ministry. In what areas do you see the affects of the world? The flesh? The Devil? How can you apply what you have learned in this lesson to these problem areas?

Study Daniel 7:25. The wearing away of the cares of the world is one of the main tactics of Satan and his demons. These are the small situations that are tiring and irritating upon which Satan builds one after another, until you are overcome and entangled in earthly rather than spiritual things. Is this happening in you life? Remember, effective warriors do not entangle themselves with the things of the world. Think and pray about how you can become less involved in the cares of the world.

The Bible describes the Christian life as:

• A conquering life: Romans 8:37
• A victorious life: I Corinthians 15:57
• An abundant life: John 10:10
• A triumphant life: II Corinthians 2:14
• A holy life: Ephesians 1:3-5; 5:25-27; I Peter 1:13-16

These are the ideals by which you must continually evaluate your Christian walk. The Bible records Paul's personal struggles in this area (Philippians 3:12-17; James 1:2-4; Hebrews 12:10- 16).

Always remember that a Christian is still a believer even if he is struggling with a problem with sin (I Corinthians 5:1-5; 11:30-32; I John 2:1-2); the world (II Timothy 4:10); or demonic influences (Acts 5:1-10; I Timothy 5:9-15; 3:6-7).

In Ephesians 4:22 and 24 Paul speaks of the old man which must be put off, and the new man which should be put on. Read Ephesians 4:22-6:18. Make a list of things that should be "put off." List things that should be "put on," ie., attitudes, conduct, etc.

Things To Put Off                                       Things To Put On







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