Spiritual Warfare — Knowing the Enemy
By Jack Kinsella
There are a lot of discussion threads in our member’s forums and in our Bible study forums in which the focus of study is not so much God as it is the study of Satan and his devices.
I’ve noted that some of our members have expressed some level of discomfort regarding the study subjects, with some wondering if such a study is contrary to the teaching of Scripture or even if such study violates God’s expressed will.
Let me say at the outset that there is a vast difference between Satanology and Satanism.
Satanism is the worship of Satan. Satanology is the study of Satan, and his devices, as he is revealed in Scripture. Satanology makes up an important part of the overall curriculum of Systematic Theology.
A partial list of the courses of study covered by Systematic Theology are: soteriology (the study of salvation), anthropology (the study of man and his fall), eschatology (study of the last days) angelology (the study of angels) bibliology (the study of the Scriptures and how they came to be), demonology (the study of demons), pneumatology (study of the Holy Spirit), ecclesiology (the study of the Church), and Christology (the study of Christ).
Systematic Theology is divided into four major fields of study: 1) exegetical (interpretation); 2) historical; 3)systematic (ie Dispensationalism); and, 4) practical theology.
Practical theology is precisely what it sounds like. It teaches the practical application of the other three departments of theology to our walk in this world.
One cannot understand our relationship with God without some understanding of the enemy, as well.
I’ve addressed this in the past, but it is worth repeating. Before deploying to WesPac (the Western-Pacific Theater of Operations) during the Vietnam War, Marines first had to attend an extensive training course at Camp Pendleton, California, before being deployed.
The course of instruction didn’t spend nearly as much time teaching us who we were fighting FOR as it did teaching us who we were fighting AGAINST.
The bulk of our training was focused on teaching us about our enemy; his strengths, his weaknesses, his combat tactics, his religion, his politics, his weapons of choice and even his diet.
I don’t recall spending a lot of time being taught why America was worth fighting for. Very little time was spent teaching us American politics, civics, economics, religion, or our strengths and weaknesses.
It was a given that, since we were already enlisted in the service of the country, we already had a working knowledge of why.
Our success in combat didn’t rely on our knowledge of our own forces so much as it relied on knowing as much as possible about the enemy we faced. The more one knew about the enemy, the less likely one was to step into a punji-stake hole, trip a booby-trap wire, or walk into an ambush.
We didn’t learn that from studying our own tactics; we learned it from studying his.
It is through the study of Satanology that we learn critically important things about the nature of Satan, not the least of which is that Satan is not divine. He is a created being, and has none of the attributes of Divinity.
Satan is not omnipresent; he can only be in one place at any given time.
Satan is not omniscient; he knows a lot about human nature, since he’s had at least six thousand years of experience manipulating it, but Satan is not omniscient.
The Bible is filled with examples of his mistakes;
“Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” (1st Corinthians 2:8)
Satan is not omnipotent; his power is limited. Satan must obtain permission from God before he can take direct action against a believer. (Job 2:6)
We learn these things from Scripture; and they are very valuable tidbits of information to have when preparing for battle against his forces.
The mission of the Omega Letter is a bit different than your average Christian website. Most are aimed at bringing non-believers to Christ through its message.
The Omega Letter aims to train and equip our members into an army of one-on-one evangelists prepared to take the battle to the enemy as we encounter the opportunities during our day-to-day interactions with unbelievers.
We aim to fulfill the Biblical command to;
“sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” (1st Peter 3:15)
It is our position that the most effective way to fulfill that command is to;
“Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11)
“Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” (2nd Corinthians 2:11)
How can one stand against the wiles of the devil if one doesn’t have a working knowledge of his devices? The next question is of equal importance. Where does one learn about his devices? One learns from Scripture.
Now, let’s get practical. Are the Freemasons, for example, a Christian organization or a Satanic counterfeit? Suppose you were invited to join a Masonic Lodge. Upon what criteria would you decide?
Would you take the word of a Mason that it is a Christian organization? Is that how you decided what church to attend? Or did you compare their doctrine to the doctrines of Scripture?
How could one compare their doctrine to Scripture WITHOUT KNOWING WHAT THEIR DOCTRINE IS? Now, how does one find out what their doctrine is so one can make that comparison without studying it first?
Then, there is our obligation to our fellow soldiers on the line. Suppose a brother, less mature and less well-versed in Scripture came to you and said something like; “I’ve been invited to join a Masonic Lodge. What do you think?”
What is the correct and Godly response? “I don’t know because I refuse to learn what it teaches so I can compare it to the truth of the Scriptures?”
Is that an example of being “ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you?”
Is globalism a good thing? Or is it a bad thing? Who does it serve? Without knowing anything about Satan’s aspirations and goals, how can one tell?
What about ecumenism? Does it serve God or Satan? If one is ignorant of Satan’s devices, an argument can be made that it serves God. (Scriptures teach that He wants all men to be reconciled to Himself.)
If one is ignorant of what a particular ‘ism’ teaches, how can one tell if it lines up with the Scriptures?
The most important ingredient of successful warfare is good intelligence. In combat, if you don’t have a working knowledge of the enemy and his tactics, he will kill you.
Suppose you are a platoon leader given a mission to overwhelm an enemy stronghold. Your intelligence officer gives you a complete breakdown of your own troop positions, troop strength and combat readiness, but nothing about the disposition of your enemy.
You don’t know where he has set up his defenses, his troop strength, his reserve forces or his combat readiness. You only know about your own.
On the other hand, enemy intelligence knows exactly where you are, how many men you have, how they are equipped and your probable battle plan.
Which side do you think is most likely to win the battle?
We investigate the occult in the same way that a combat officer would investigate the capabilities of an enemy force. Seeking intelligence information about the enemy is not the same thing as embracing the enemy’s philosophy.
We study the teachings of the Koran in order to gain understanding about what makes the enemy tick. Prior to 9/11, nobody knew much about Islam. And 19 guys carrying box knives were able to hijack four planes, despite the fact the passengers outnumbered them 100 to 1.
Four or five Islamic terrorists armed with box knives could overpower a plane loaded with 300 people on September 11, because the passengers thought it was a typical hijacking and that they had a chance of survival. Their lack of intelligence information about the enemy they faced cost them their lives.
Knowing what we know about Islam today, if five Islamic guys tried to take over a plane loaded with 300 people armed with nothing but box knives, they wouldn’t never make it to the cockpit alive.
“Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established,” (Proverbs 24:3)
The wisdom to fight back is born out of the understanding of the enemy’s intentions. We obtain wisdom through counsel, or the seeking of information, which imparts understanding.
The Bible says that adding them together gives us strength.
“Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.”
King Solomon, according to the Scriptures, was the wisest man who ever lived. Solomon explains;
“I applied mine heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness.” (Ecclesiastes 7:25)
“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.” (Ephesians 6:12)
You can’t wrestle with the enemy until you first identify him. And the more you understand about him in advance, the better chance you have of defeating him once you’ve stepped in the ring.
When asked, “What will be the sign of Thy coming and of the end of the world?” by His disciples on the Mount of Olives, Jesus gave a comprehensive list of the warning signs to watch for.
He spoke of wars, rumors of wars, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, signs in the sun, moon and stars, the distress of nations, a global sense of impending doom, apostasy, and false teachers.
But before He got into any of that, the very first warning He gave His Church was this:
“Take heed that no man deceive you.” (Matthew 24:4)