Dr. Larry Richards has released a new book about spiritual warfare entitled "The Full Armor of God." Richards provides biblical insight into the reality of spiritual warfare and demons, which is contrary to the Hollywood depiction of such things. Richards spoke with The Christian Post about the reality of warfare and what is needed to overcome evil.
The Christian Post: Why is this book important to believers, especially as we are in the middle of Holy Week?
Dr. Richards: One of the fascinating things is that the Gospels portray Satan as being especially active while Jesus was here on earth, and he was really trying to thwart God's plans and purposes. Really, Satan was behind the efforts to get rid of Jesus through crucifixion – it shows how intense the opposition of Satan is to anyone who is for the work and will of God. At Easter, we are reminded of Jesus' commitment to the Lord, as well as our own. Our own commitment to God should not be taken lightly.
CP: How did you become interested in the supernatural and spiritual warfare?
Dr. Richards: It happened in a very peculiar way; I began writing a fiction series "The Invisible War" which was designed to track spiritual warfare from creation unto the end of time. As we began to write that series, I began to develop a deeper interest in the subject, which required more studies of the Scripture. I also signed on with ISDM (International Society of Deliverance Ministers) and began to get involved with that and found myself unexpectedly getting involved in some direct confrontations with the spiritual world. It wasn't something I planned to do but it has developed into a serious focus.
I also started a blog where people can find studies of demonology that are really rooted in Scripture. There's information about demons, spiritual encounters, Biblical examples and information. Deliverance ministers look at breaking curses to find freedom for people, so there is information about curses and demonization on the blog. Too many use deliverance in an un-biblical way – I try to get back to Scripture.
CP: Why is "The Full Armor" so timely?
Dr. Richards: Right now, the highest grossing movies in Hollywood deal with the supernatural: demons, exorcisms, possessions, etc. We also see that there are 150 types of neo-Pagan faiths emerging in the United States; these are typically involved with magic and provide direct access to the Spirit world. You may run into a lot of people who have heard of Spirit Guides, not realizing that this is a form of contact with demons in the Spirit world. As people lose faith in the traditional systems of belief, they've been looking elsewhere to find guidance, and too many of them are looking to evil spirits.
CP: What is needed to overcome evil in the world?
Dr. Richards: One thing is the most important, for Christians stay close to Jesus. As you make Him the focus of your faith and life, He offers the best protection. We need an understanding of what Satan's schemes are, and we need to know the protection God provides for us, which is why I wrote "The Full Armor." When you look at the book of Ephesians, you see just how the Lord provides coverage, and my book provides a breakdown of the Scripture.
CP: What should a Christian do or say to help a non-Christian?
Dr. Richards: The first thing a Christian needs to do for an unbeliever is to show and express love. One example of this is Celtic evangelism – they loved people, built an entire community around them, and basically loved them to Christ. The fact that the unbeliever believes in something shows they are open to some form of belief; we just need to show them that Jesus is the way and what they need in their lives.
It's so important that we read the Bible with understanding; people don't realize that the New Testament's references to leaders, etc. are often references to the Spirit world. We tend to skim over certain passages or references without thoroughly examining them. Spiritual warfare is deeply embedded in the Old Testament with the stories of pagan idols as well as throughout the New Testament with Jesus' battle with Satan. Paul writes about the Spirits and powers in the Epistles, so from beginning to end, there is a constant record of spiritual warfare.