Spiritual Warfare

The topic of spiritual warfare is hugely neglected in the modern Western church. Some wrongly believe all demons were bound in the first century; half of American Christians don't believe in Satan or demons at all. But the Reformers took the very current reality of the demonic very seriously, and so should we. This collection includes Dr. Kayser's best materials on understanding the powers at work in the spirit world, the power and authority demons do and do not have, and how to use the weapons of our own warfare in fighting this spiritual battle.

The topic of spiritual warfare is hugely neglected in the modern Western church. Some wrongly believe all demons were bound in the first century; half of American Christians don't believe in Satan or demons at all. But the Reformers took the very current reality of the demonic very seriously, and so should we. This collection includes Dr. Kayser's best materials on understanding the powers at work in the spirit world, the power and authority demons do and do not have, and how to use the weapons of our own warfare in fighting this spiritual battle.

Overview of Spiritual Warfare

Spiritual Warfare Article Series

The apostle Paul said, “we are not ignorant of his [Satan's] devices” (2 Cor. 2:11). The same could not be said of many modern evangelicals who rarely think about the third enemy in Scripture's triad of "the world, the flesh, and the devil." If we are to be able to "stand against the schemings of the devil" (Eph. 6:11), it is imperative that we not be blindsided by his schemings through ignorance. This 4-part article series will investigate the nature of the enemy we face and the mighty weapons that God has given to enable us to tear down demonic strongholds (2 Cor. 10:3-6). An overview of the real world of demons and the total victory and power that every believer can have over them.

Spiritual Warfare 1 (Article) This series on spiritual warfare begins by demonstrating that demons can indeed be at work within true churches of God, and gives examples of different things demons can do in the church.

Spiritual Warfare 2 (Article) This article covers more of the theology of demons, the nature of demons, and the abilities of demons.

Spiritual Warfare 3 (Article) This article covers the work, methods, and strategies of demons.

Spiritual Warfare 4 (Article) This sermon explains that Christ's victory over demons is real and every believer has access to this same victory. He has dealt a death blow to the head of the serpent, has bound the power of the strong man, and we are now plundering Satan’s kingdom. And it is for that work of plundering that we need Christ's armor. Here Dr. Kayser explains how we should exercise Christ's authority and victory over darkness.

Spiritual Warfare - Acts 13:4-12 This sermon gives an overview of the topic of spiritual warfare, covering the different types of spiritual warfare (ground-level, occult-level, and strategic-level), the reasons why Satan targets particular people, and six powerful tools that we can use against Satan's intimidating tactics.

The Lord Was With David. What Happened to Saul? Saul went from shy and timid to being suddenly gifted with the "Spirit of God" (1Sam. 11:6), and becoming a confident, decisive leader for twenty years (1Sam. 14:47–38). But all of this was lost as suddenly as it had been gained—the Spirit removed his gift. The Lord was with David, and Scripture also says He was with Saul — until "the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and a distressing spirit from the LORD troubled him."

What does this tell us about the Holy Spirit? What is the difference between the anointing of the Spirit for ministry, vs the indwelling of the Spirit that begins at regeneration? Dr. Kayser explains how, though believers can never lose the Spirit's hold upon their lives for eternal salvation, they can lose the Holy Spirit's anointing and infilling and become so vulnerable to Satan that demons can mess around with their lives. In this sermon we follow Saul's trajectory of repeatedly grieving the Spirit, and what it did to him.

A Walk on the Dark Side How did Israel's one-time model Christian king end up consulting a medium? Getting involved in the occult doesn't usually start with overt demonic activity — it almost always starts with something much tamer. We see this in Saul's downward slide toward the occult, which started when he first ignored inspired revelation and rebelled against God's clear command, to which God responded, "rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft" (1 Samuel 15:23). When Saul did not repent of his rebellion and stubbornness, he grieved the Holy Spirit (and thus no longer had the Holy Spirit's protection) and gave legal ground for a demonic spirit to regularly demonize him. (Numerous experts in the occult have said that this is almost always the first downward step into the occult.)

This sermon helps to understand the demonic influence of the occult both inside and outside the church, and gives strategies for dealing with it. It also tackles the difficult questions surrounding Samuel's spirit talking to Saul after Samuel was dead.

Irrational Paranoia, Jealousy, Anger, and Hatred Some problems — in marriages, in churches, in politics, in friendships — are too irrational to explain humanly. Sometimes demons are the cause of the problems we face, and if we fight as if the problem is only in the flesh, we have a missed a critical battlefront. This sermon looks at Saul's irrational paranoia of David, and the evil spirit that fueled it. It shows how to recognize and resist temptations that come from demons rather than the flesh, and reminds us of God's promises as to why we need not fear Satan.

Do Demons Know Your Name? In Acts 19, a demon responded to those attempting to exorcise him by saying, "Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?" Why did he know Paul? And why did he acknowledge Paul but not these exorcists? This sermon examines the major contrasts between the world's ways of dealing with the demonic and God's way, showing all the components that gave Paul the integrity and authority to deal with demons the way he did, and the powerful results.

The Dangers and Thrills of the Spiritual Battle This sermon looks at the way the church of Pergamos had penetrated the heart of Satan's kingdom, what it meant that Satan's throne was there, and the lessons (positive and negative) from how Pergamos handled that.

Understanding Satan's Schemes

The Fifth Trumpet, Part 2 What are demons? Where do they come from? What are Hades and "the abyss" (sometimes translated as "the bottomless pit")? In this sermon Dr. Kayser explains some of the controversies around Revelation 9:1 ("So the fifth angel trumpeted, and I saw a ‘star’ that had fallen out of the sky to the earth. And to him was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss.") and explains the origins of angels and demons.

The Fifth Trumpet, Part 3 Dr. Kayser continues his exposition of the Fifth Trumpet in Revelation 9:1-12, going deeper into the theology of demons — Revelation's hints as to the scope of Satan's army, the authority of demons, the binding of demons in the pit, and more.

The Dragon's War with Heaven This sermon shows Satan being cast out of heaven in AD 66, the aftermath, and the implications for our own war with the dragon.

The Binding of Satan Revelation 19 is the first chapter of Revelation that tends to strongly divide between Amillennialists, Premillennialists, and Postmillennialists — at least on the nature of the 1000 years and the binding of Satan. This sermon examines and rules out all other interpretations of these events and lays out Dr. Kayser's theory: that in AD 70 Satan was actually bound in exactly the same way that the Beast and False Prophet were bound. All three of them are absent from our lives, but because God has a plan for Satan at the end of history, he does not cast Satan into the lake of fire but instead into the Abyss, where all other unbelievers currently are waiting for the final resurrection. This sermon also explains the powerful practical ramifications of the correct view of eschatology.

Confrontation of the Python Spirit This sermon on Acts 16:16-24 walks through Acts' third example of "high level spiritual warfare" — the taking on of the demonic prince of a given area (like when Peter confronted the sorcerer, Simon Magus, whose demon had complete control over the whole region of Samaria, which then opened that region up to the gospel.) Down through history, God has led missionaries to cut down a sacred tree or in other ways to slap a demonic strong man in the face and claim that territory for King Jesus. At the same time, it is terribly dangerous to rush in where angels fear to tread, especially for the spiritually or morally vulnerable. This provides a theology of the Python spirit as well as a correction to the two extremes on this subject.

Ungodly Tolerance, part 1
Jesus rebuked the church of Thyatira for tolerating the spirit of Jezebel in their midst. What is this spirit of Jezebel? Dr. Kayser walks through 15 of the Old Testament characteristics of the demonic stronghold symbolized by the name "Jezebel" (and displayed in the woman herself), and explains how this otherwise solid church could have tolerated a Jezebel for so long.

Ungodly Tolerance, part 2 The previous sermon explained the problem of the Jezebel spirit; this sermon explains the solution. Jesus Himself is equipped and motivated to deal with Jezebels and Ahabs, and through His authority and power, we can be equipped to be Elijahs rather than Ahabs.

Waging This War

Revelation as Spiritual War Manual, Part 1 Among other things, the book of Revelation is the story of heaven's war against Satan, and the saints on earth who joined in this great battle and "conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony." There is not a single saint today who is exempted from this call to war against the world, the flesh, and the devil, and the same Father, Son, and Holy Spirit Who gave them victory can equip us with the same power. The book of Revelation, was designed by God to be (at least in part) the church's war manual. This series covers what we can learn from this war manual about these saints, the battle they fought (which went far beyond the battle for personal holiness), and the takeaways for us.

In Part 1 of this series, Dr. Kayser looks specifically at Jesus' role in this battle as King, and how the saints of Revelation, given the authority to reign with Christ in the heavenlies, represented His kingship to their magistrates, in the church, and over Satan and his demons.

Revelation as Spiritual War Manual, Part 2 In Part 2 of this series, Dr. Kayser looks at how the Father and the Spirit relate to us in this war and how we relate to them as foot-soldiers of the cross. Just as the angels of heaven could not take on Satan and his forces alone, we on earth cannot take on the spiritual enemy on our own — we need the Triune God to lead us into battle, to equip us, and to empower us. This sermon shows the role of the Father, Who has already decreed victory, makes us kings and priests, and wars against the wicked, and the Holy Spirit, Who empowers, illuminates, sanctifies, and guides us in the fight.

Prayer: All Heaven Waits Heaven waits for the church to pray in faith. The book of Revelation shows how the opening of the first six seals was related to the prayers of the saints, and that the prayers of the saints precede and accompany the opening of the other movements of history as well. This sermon on Revelation 8 gives an awesome description of what happens in heaven when the whole church gathers for prayer.

Does God Care? An excellent introduction to the power and use of the imprecatory psalms. This was the stuff that turned the world upside down in the first eight centuries, and once again turned the world upside down at the Reformation. In this sermon, Dr. Kayser challenges the church with one of the critical spiritual weapons of the Reformation and one of the tools that the persecuted church must use once again.

Arraigning Your Enemies Before God's Courtroom, Part 1 This sermon covers a rarely-discussed aspect of spiritual warfare prayers: taking Satan and evidences of his mischief in your life before God's courtroom to ask for God's justice. It's one thing to ask for protection from demonic attack, but what about the harm or loss that has already taken place? This sermon makes a case that God delights in doing justice, and gives us procedures for asking for justice. I believe part of why we don't more frequently see God avenge us for Satan's attacks on us is that we fail to follow God's procedures to ask for justice. The nuclear weapons of the church, imprecatory prayers and psalms, can be seen as spiritual lawsuits in the court of heaven. Every war psalm is a petition for justice before God's courtroom for something evil that has been done against the author or against some group of people. If you look at the imprecatory psalms — in other words, the psalms that ask for God's judgments against the wicked — as presentations before God's courtroom, it will give you a whole new perspective of not only why they are important, but how they can be consistent with the kind of love God commands of us. I am convinced that God does not arraign Satan or any other demons before His courtroom unless we bring charges. This sermon shows how God calls us to do that.

Arraigning Your Enemies Before God's Courtroom, Part 2 Why should we always be on the defensive against Satan? If we take him to court enough times, he might leave us alone. The one offensive weapon that God has given to us is the sword of the Word, and we need to understand that Word, including the principles of court procedure, if we are to be effective in our offensive maneuvers. This sermon continues laying out Scripture's principles for arraigning our enemies before God's heavenly courtroom.

Power in Prayer This sermon explains how when God stirred up the church in Revelation 8 to pray for vengeance, vengeance began to fall just as Jesus had promised that it would. The church must cry out to God for His redemptive judgments to fall upon His enemies. We cannot continue with the current status quo. The church of AD 66 stands as an example of how we ought to act when we face similar circumstances. If we are passionate for the kingdom of Jesus, then we must begin to pray passionately that the Father would vindicate His Son and avenge His church worldwide. This sermon covers the theology of prayer, holy war, spiritual warfare, the role of angels in prayer, and the blending of Christ's intercession with our own.

Prayers for Spiritual Warfare booklet Eighteen sample prayers by Dr. Kayser and Mark Bubeck, demonstrating how to wage spiritual warfare in the heavenlies — from requests as general as the filling of the Spirit and the putting on of spiritual armor, to specific petitions for those in demonic bondage, for adopted or foster children, for troubled marriages, and more.

Spiritual Warfare published on October 27, 2023

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