The Real Spiritual Warfare taking place
The invisible world is not a separate supernatural realm, it is not a realm of evil spirits. It is the same dimension we live in except the spirits are invisible to us, both God's and Satans angels use it. They (fallen angels) have influence on mens minds who are darkened by sin. They influence us in writing, in art, in education and especially in spiritual matters since this when people come closest to the truth.
The warfare is not about finding what demon is doing what as modern teachers of spiritual warfare are teaching, but it is found in the church just as the Bible warned it would be.
"Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons" (1 Tim. 4:1). He (the Holy Spirit) is telling us there will be teachings that are false, coming directly from demons instead of the Holy Spirit which teaches us of God and the doctrine of Christ. We are watching the dangerous to the dumb and silly increase.
These deceiving teachings are not just found in cults and religions but can also be found inside churches that are not actively resisting the change that is taking place in an unprecedented strength among us. Paul makes it clear this is about the church and how we are to resist v.6 If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed.
Often when change comes to a church overnight it brings confusion to its members. It will always bring division. It is more difficult for people to agree, than disagree, especially on Biblical doctrine. But we are to strive for that unity in the faith. Paul's fist letter to the Corinthian church, whom he recognized as gifted, needed to be corrected as they were having division adversely affecting them. 1 Cor. 1:10 "Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment."
This means if you are living by the Scripture and someone enters speaking contrary to it you are not to allow it to spread. It does not matter what kind of a friend he is to the pastor, or how successful he is in ministry or that he has been doing this ministry for longer than everyone else, he is not to introduce anything strange doctrine (Heb.13:9). Today there is no lack of the strange...
Paul understood the human element and how the old nature can still overrun the new nature. Addressing the Corinthians "for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?' (1 Cor. 3:3).
1 Cor. 11:17-19 "Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse. For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you."
How are those approved recognized? By speaking up and bringing correction to what is being introduced. Today you can tell people in the Church of the false teaching, identify absolute heresy someone taught in the best way possible way and still be blamed for being divisive. The fact is, you should be recognized as someone who speaking right doctrine. This has become a very sad sate for the church, things are being turned upside down.
Christianity is about people and their spiritual, and physical welfare. When I hear people say leave the false teachers alone because God will take care of it, this is siding with the Devil (I'm hearing this more and more).
It is the Devil who wants them to be left alone, to keep teaching and influencing the church; God wants them removed for our safety. And He tells us to do it.
1 Cor. 5:11-13 "But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner-- not even to eat with such a person. For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? V.13 But those who are outside God judges. Therefore "put away from yourselves the evil person."
Paul lists some obvious sins, certainly this is not everything but examples, guidelines of whom we are to have fellowship with. Paul says we judge what is inside (those among us in the church) and he calls THE PERSON EVIL that does such things.
Why do we take care of it? Because God is training us. If we do not protect ourselves or our own brothers and sisters than we are not being obedient and we show that we have a conditional love, a love that cares more about ourselves than others. We are to separate ourselves from those who walk contrary to how Christ taught us and the examples given by the apostles.
This is nearly the same attitude Cain had with Abel. I dont need to be concerned with my brother, which shows a lack of love. The people who say this do not ever apply this to themselves when things get rough in their life but they certainly want others to live by it.
If nothing is done it becomes as leaven. As Paul said a little leaven leavens the whole lump, it spreads. These are things that cannot be swept under the rug, a mature church a mature pastor leader deals with it. Left alone the teachings will bring distortion, dissension, division and remove people from faith. Faith comes from hearing the word, the truth, not what is false.
Rom 16:17 Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. parakaleo which means not have them come near, to be beside us in fellowship and worship.
Let me make this perfectly clear, we are not attacking anyone, it is the church that is under assault and we are defending the faith (contending as Jude 4 states). It is incumbent upon every believer to watch over their own soul and others.
So how is this done? 2 Cor. 10:4-6 "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled."
These arguments that try to be greater than the word of God, twist the word or nullify it are abundantly found in the Church, and they need to be shown the exit.
We are told in 1Thess. 5:21-22 to "Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil."
I Jn. 4:1 "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world." Not a few but many.
As some of us formerly part of these false spiritual systems that are accepted today we should be a tremendous help to others. Eph. 5:8-11: For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.
Some people think the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and that is it. But it also includes truth.
Paul says to find what is acceptable, separate ourselves from what is not of the light, have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness (those who are bringing in the division) and make it known to others.
Why do so many people neglect these commands? Because they have been taught wrong, and to obey them means one must become engaged, its work to resist and withstand and people are lazy and liberal.
John wrote back to the church rejoicing as he saw them walking in the light. 3 Jn. 1:4-5 "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the brethren and for strangers" There was a lack of hypocrisy; they loved their neighbor as themselves.
There are many heroes of the faith today, those who risk their reputation, their friendships to speak truth for correction, to rescue those caught in false spirituality and help them escape the spiritual bondage that can cause death. The ones who are capable of doing this are those who have prepared themselves for the spiritual battle, they are equipped with the sword (by the word of truth) to pierce to the division of the soul and spirit.
They want the unity of the faith, they want to keep the church pure, holy; they want Christ to dwell in power among them. These are those who proclaim the gospel without compromise to the culture and defend what is contrary that tries to enter the church. When people of this caliber diminish, woe to the church.