Fallen angels - Spiritual warfare - Part 2

SERMON TOPIC: Fallen angels - Spiritual warfare - Part 2

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 27 October 2019


Sermon synopsis: Just as we mustn’t underestimate the enemy, we also mustn’t overestimate him and be intimidated. The Holy Spirit inside us is greater than our enemy.

1 John 4:4 (NASB) You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.

The ultimate victory belongs to God’s beloved children:

Rom 8:37 (ESV) No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Luke 10:19 (ESV) “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.”

1 John 5:18 (NIV) We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them.

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Fallen angels - Spiritual warfare: PART 2

Angels were created by God in the person of Christ.

Col 1:16 (ESV) For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones (thronoi) or dominions (kyriotētes) or rulers (archai) or authorities (exousiai) —all things were created through him and for him.

Yet they have a free will.

Job 4:17-18 (ESV) “Can mortal man be in the right before God? Can a man be pure before his Maker? Even in his servants he puts no trust, and his angels he charges with error…”


Thus there are angels who have rebelled against God and are referred to as fallen angels. Some of these angels are allied with Satan. In Revelation 12 Satan “and his angels” battle and are defeated by Michael and his angels in heaven. Jesus speaks of the eternal fire prepared for “the devil and his angels” (Matt 25:41).

We are in a spiritual warfare:

Eph 6:12 (ESV) For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers (arché), against the authorities (exousia), against the cosmic powers (kosmokratór) over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces (pneumatikos) of evil in the heavenly places.


We have a very formidable foe in Satan, his angels and the demons. Angels are “stronger and more powerful” than humans. (2 Pet 2:11)

Ps 8:4-5 (NIV) what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels…

Never underestimate the power of your enemy.

1 Pet 5:8 (NIV) Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.


Just as we mustn’t underestimate the enemy, we also mustn’t overestimate him and be intimidated.

The Holy Spirit inside us is greater than our enemy.

1 John 4:4 (NASB) You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.

The ultimate victory belongs to God’s beloved children:

Rom 8:37 (ESV) No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Luke 10:19 (ESV) “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.”


Rom 16:20 (NIV) The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.

1 John 5:18 (NIV) We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them.

We saw that angels are more powerful than humans (Ps 8:4-5). But this is a temporary situation as Paul tells believers that in the world to come “we will judge angels” (1 Cor 6:3).

How do we oppose Satan and his angelic majesties in this present age? How do we practically “resist the devil”?



By putting on the armour of God:

Eph 6:13 (NIV) Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

We need to “take the helmet of salvation” (Eph 6:17) which protects the head - a critical part of the body.

We could say that our way of thinking needs preservation. The head is the seat of the mind, which, when it has laid hold of the sure gospel hope of eternal life, will not receive false doctrine or give way to Satan’s temptations. The unsaved person has no hope of warding off the blows of false doctrine because he is without the helmet of salvation and his mind is incapable of discerning between spiritual truth and spiritual deception. 1

1 https:// www.gotquestions.org/ full-armor-of-God.html


We need to have “the breast- plate of righteousness in place” (Eph 6:17).

A breastplate shielded a warrior’s vital organs from blows that would otherwise be fatal. This righteous- ness is not works of righteousness done by men. Rather, this is the righteousness of Christ, imputed by God and received by faith, which guards our hearts against the accusations and charges of Satan and secures our innermost being from his attacks. 1

1 Ibid.


Satan tries to get us to question God’s Word and his character. The shield of faith renders the enemy’s sowing of doubt about the faithfulness of God and his Word ineffective.

Eph 6:16 (NIV) In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.


Satan actively hinders the spread of the gospel by targeting the evangelised.

Luke 8:12 (NIV) Those along the path are the ones who hear, and


then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. (cf. Matt 13:19, Mark 4:14-15)

He also hinders evangelism and mission efforts:

Acts 13:6-10 (NIV) They travelled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus, who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus.

The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith.


stop perverting the right ways of the Lord?”

1 Thess 2:17-18 (ESV) But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavoured the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face, because we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again—but Satan hindered us.

Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never


The armour of God enables us to take ground from the enemy using evangelism and missions - having our “feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace” (Eph 6:15, NIV).


Romans 10:15 (NIV) And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

Isaiah 52:7 (NIV) How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”


Thus when Jesus sends out the 70 to evangelise, upon their return he says to them to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning” (Luke 10:18, NASB).

The gospel can liberate those under Satan’s power. Jesus says to Paul:

Acts 26:17-18 (NIV) “… I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.”


Through gentle instruction to those who oppose us we can help them escape from the devil’s snare.

2 Tim 2:25-26 (NIV) Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.


The magicians of Egypt through their dark arts were able to initially oppose Moses using miraculous signs.

2 Tim 3:8 (NIV) Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth.

As he is a cunning deceiver, Satan understands that people equate all miracles with the work of God. So he uses false miracles to draw them.

2 Cor 2:9-10 (NIV) The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.


Our first piece of the armour of God is the “belt of truth”

Eph 6:11-14 (ESV) Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil… Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth…


So one of the means of taking your “stand against the schemes of the devil” is ensuring that you know the truth i.e. what the Bible teaches – not necessarily popular opinion, or what is taught from all pulpits.

Satan is an accomplished liar. Jesus said that when the devil “lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44, NIV).

He is extremely cunning. Paul cautions us against being led astray like Eve.

2 Cor 11:3 (NIV) But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.


He promotes false teaching and heresy in the church by sowing false seed.

Matt 13:37-39 (NIV) He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil …”


In this cause, he is assisted by demons.

1 Tim 4:1 (ESV) Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons…

He imparts false wisdom which fosters selfish ambition and disorder.

James 3:14-16 (NIV) But if you harbour bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.


The wisdom of Satan and the fallen rulers of the age cannot comprehend God’s wisdom.

1 Cor 2:6-8 (ESV) Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers [archón] of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers [archón] of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

God uses the church to display his wisdom to these rulers.

Eph 3:10 (ESV) so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers [arché] and authorities [exousia] in the heavenly places.


His false message includes legalism.

Rev 2:9 (NIV) … I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. (cf. Rev 3:9)

1 Tim 4:1-4 (NIV) … in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving...


At the other end of the spectrum (from legalism) he uses those who teach license to sin and cheap grace.

Rev 2:20 (NIV) … By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.

He uses people professing to be God’s prophets to spread his message (as in the case above).

Rev 2:20-24 (NIV) Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants … Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets


Likewise he uses some who claim to be God’s apostles.

2 Cor 11:13-15 (NIV) For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.


Speaking the truth enables us to “stand firm” in our resistance.

Eph 6:14 (NIV) Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist…

We need to focus on doctrinal accuracy and a life that matches our teaching.

1 Tim 4:16 (NIV) Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.


We must not only know the truth – we must live it. Then we will be freed from our slavery to sin.

John 8:31-36 (NIV) To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”


The only offensive weapon in the armour of God is “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph 6:17, NIV). We can overcome Satan by reading, memorising and quoting Scripture and by applying it to the situations we encounter. John speaks of those who “are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one” (1 John 2:13).

This is how Jesus combatted Satan and overcame temptation – he quoted Scripture.


Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.” [Matt 4:10, ESV]

He will use those who are closest to us to give us bad advice. We can combat Satan through open rebuke.

Matt 16:23 (ESV) But he [Jesus] turned and said to Peter:

Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.


But the rebuke is made in humility and we are respectful of Satan’s current authority. We do not slander fallen angelic majestic, but overcome in the Lord’s authority. Apostates disrespect all forms of authority, yet Michael respected even the authority of Satan.

Jude 4, 8-9 (NASB) For certain persons have crept in unnoticed … ungodly persons who … deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ … Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties. But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”


When dealing with Satan, even the mighty archangel Michael appealed to God’s authority rather than his own.

2 Pet 2:10-11 (NASB) and especially those who… despise authority. Daring, self-willed, they do not tremble when they revile angelic majesties, whereas angels who are greater in might and power do not bring a reviling judgment against them before the Lord.

If that is how the elect angels, who are more powerful than us, interact with fallen angels – we need to understand that the authority we have over them is only due to our position in Christ. Hence we say, “The Lord rebuke you”.


By praying

Pre-emptive prayer:

Matt 6:9,13 (NIV) “This, then, is how you should pray… And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”

Intercessory prayer (again listed in “the armour of God”):

Eph 6:18 (NIV) And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.


2 Thess 3:1-3 (NIV) Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honoured, just as it was with you. And pray that we

may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith. But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.

My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. [John 17:15, NIV]


Note that there are clear parallels between what happens on earth and in the heavenlies. When a righteous person prays there is an impact in the heavenly realm.

E.g. 1: The delay Daniel experiences on earth waiting for an answer to prayer is paralleled by a heavenly battle.

Dan 11:12-13 (NASB) Then he said to me, “Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia.



E.g. 2: in Revelation 12 the persecution of the woman (Israel) by the Antichrist is paralleled by a heavenly battle between Michael (the patron of Israel) and Satan – the

power behind the Antichrist (Rev 13:2).

E.g. 3: When the disciples evangelise, drive out demons and heal the sick, Jesus witnesses Satan being expelled from heaven.


I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning. [Luke 10:18, NASB]

The NIV renders it as “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” and some commentators (like Gill) apply this to Jesus seeing Satan’s historic fall from heaven.

But Ellicott’s Commentary says, “The tense of the first Greek verb implies continuous action: I was beholding Satan as he fell… While they were working their Master had been following them in spirit, gazing, as it were, on each stage of their victorious conflict.”

The Expositor’s Greek Testament says that “their report was no news to Jesus. While they were working He saw Satan falling.” Young’s Literal Translation 1 and the Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges 2 agree.

1 … “I was beholding the Adversary, as lightning from the heaven having fallen” 2 [I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven] Rather, I was observing Satan as lightning fallen from heaven…


So do the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary 1 and Bengel’s Gnomen. 2

1 I beheld—As much of the force of this glorious statement depends on the nice shade of sense indicated by the imperfect tense in the original, it should be brought out in the translation: “I was beholding Satan as lightning falling from heaven”; that is, “I followed you on your mission, and watched its triumphs; while you were wondering at the subjection to you of devils in My name, a grander spectacle was opening to My view; sudden as the darting of lightning from heaven to earth, lo! Satan was beheld falling from heaven!” 2 … Ἐθεώρουν, I was beholding) viz. in spirit: at the time when ye went forth, or when ye acted.—Ὡς ἈΣΤΡΑΠῊΝ, as lightning) with the utmost rapidity.—ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ, from heaven) in which Satan seems to have been accusing … the disciples.—πέσοντα) falling headlong (or rushing): and this, either, he had been banished by force out of heaven (certainly Satan at that time received many strokes, even through the instrumentality of those little ones; in which view the ἐθεώρουν, I was beholding, signifies, that the disciples themselves in some measure had acted against Satan, the Lord beholding them all the time, and rejoicing that He is conquering Satan through them as His instruments): or else, because he (Satan) had obtained permission to resist the disciples, by whom Satan was to be overcome; and he had hastened to come to the succour of the demons which obey him, and to support (prop up) his bad cause.


Strongholds are not external as some teach (demons in charge of towns), but internal existing in our mind – that is where the battle takes place.

2 Cor 10:3-5 (NIV) For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 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.


We need to get rid of strongholds e.g.


Eph 4:26-27 (NIV) “In your anger do not sin” : Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.



2 Cor 2:10-11 (NIV) If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.


Lying and not keeping your word.

Satan is the “father of lies” (John 8:44) and God says deception and a “lying tongue” are “detestable to Him” (Prov 6:16-17). Not being men (or women) of our word gives Satan an opening for attack.

Matt 5:37 (NIV) “Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.”



1 John 3:11-12 (NIV) This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother…


We destroy Satan’s work of hatred through love.

1 John 3:8-10 (NIV) The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.


Love of money e.g. Judas loved money and was a thief. 1 Satan knew this and used his love of money to prompt him to betray Jesus.

Luke 22:3-5 (NIV) Then Satan entered Judas … And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. They were delighted and agreed to give him money.

1 John 12:4-6 (NIV) But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.


We can only effectively resist the devil when we are in humble submission to God.

James 4:6-7 (ESV) … “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

1 Pet 5:6-9 (NIV) Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand … Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith…



Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV: THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. ( Lockman.org)

Scripture quotations taken from the ESV: English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.