Victory in Christ

Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:57-58

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life.” 2 Corinthians 2:14-16

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. John 16:33

“Lord, it is nothing [not too hard] for You to help, whether with many or with those who have no power; help us, O Lord our God, for we rest on You.”  2 Chronicles 14:11

Blessed are You, Lord God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever.
Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty;
For all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours;
Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and You are exalted as head over all.
Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all.
In Your hand is power and might;
In Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.”
1 Chronicles 29:10-12

“Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
“For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.  For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.  For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 
Romans 6:4-11

Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves… [W]hen they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.” Matthew 10:16, 19-20

If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

     “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? … Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:31-39

“Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” Hebrews 2:14-15

“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world— our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” 1 John 5:3-5

“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.
“‘O  Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?’
The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Corinthians 15:51

“I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” Revelation 12:10-11

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death,  nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
“Then  He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ And He said to me, “Write, for  these words are true and faithful. And He said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.”
Revelation 21:4

Three Levels Of Spiritual Warfare:

Ground Level spiritual warfare involves casting demons out of people…

Occult Level spiritual warfare deals with demonic forces released through activities related to Satanism, witchcraft, Freemasonry, Eastern religions, New Age shamanism, astrology and many other forms of structured occultism”

Strategic Level spiritual warfare (also called cosmic level spiritual warfare) describes confrontation with high ranking principalities and powers such as Paul writes about in Ephesians 6:21. These enemy forces are frequently called “territorial spirits” because they attempt to keep large numbers of humans networked through cities, nations, neighborhoods, people groups, religious allegiance, industries or any other form of human society in spiritual captivity.” [8]

In his book Confronting the Powers, C Peter Wagner says that he regards spiritual warfare “in a category similar to baptism” inasmuch as

“We have differing positions that our position is the correct and most biblical one. But we are not dealing with heresy, and we have enough biblical evidence to support varying positions, especially considering that we might interpret the same Scriptures in different ways.”

He goes on to say

“In this book, I am not claiming biblical proof for the validity of strategic-level spiritual warfare, spiritual mapping or identificational repentance. I will, however, claim that we do have sufficient biblical evidence to warrant:

At the least, a working hypothesis that we can field test, modify and refine:

At the most, a significant, relatively new spiritual technology God has given us to meet the greatest challenge to world missions since William Carey went to India more than 200 years ago. If this is the case refusing to use it on the part of some might be to run the risk of unfaithfulness to the Master. [9]

Wagner certainly isn’t alone.. the following examples do no more than skim the surface of what has become both a very wide and deep pond.

Ted Haggard: In 1995 Haggard had a book published called Primary Purpose: Making It Hard for People to Go to Hell from Your City, in which he said it “happened in Colorado Springs, and it can happen in your city tDominion-Francis-Frangipaneoo”.

Francis Frangipane: In his book The Three Battlegrounds, Frangipane says

There are satanic strongholds over countries and communities; there are strongholds which influence churches and individuals….[Pg. 29]

A little earlier in the book Frangipane quotes 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 and goes on to say.. [Emphasis Added]

All successful deliverance must begin by first removing that which defends the enemy. In speaking of spiritual warfare, the apostle Paul enlists the word “Stronghold” (KJV) to define the spiritual fortresses wherein Satan and his legions hide and are protected. These fortresses exist in the thought patterns and ideas that govern individuals and churches, as well as communities and nations, Before victory can be claimed, these strongholds must be pulled down and Satan’s armor removed. Then the mighty weapons of the Word and the Spirit can effectively plunder Satan’s house.”  [10]

Chuck D. Pierce and Dutch Sheets: Chuck D. Pierce is President of Glory of Zion International and Vice-President of Global Harvest Ministries, while Dutch Sheets is senior pastor of Springs Harvest Fellowship in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the church attended by C Peter Wagner and his wife Doris. In 2001, they coauthored a book titled Releasing The Prophetic Destiny Of A Nation, of which the product description on Amazon.com says … “the remarkable story of how God called two very different men to come together for a common cause: His desire to heal the United States of America”.

In fact Dutch Sheets says he knew he was in for a wild ride when, as he says “the Lord showed me mental picture of myself riding with Christ on His white horse..” [Pg. 11]. Pierce and Sheets traveled the 50 states rallying apostles, prophets, intercessors and entire churches to break the grip of demonic strongholds over the United States. “Their efforts to purge the land of territorial and generational sin began an open season of warfare against the principalities and powers entrenched in every state”. Christians were directed by these modern apostles to call forth “angels” to bring down the mighty events. The book provided a detailed account of their journey to each state and what God revealed to them about each state.


Spiritual Mapping And Evangelistic Success
Bob Beckett and Commitment to Conquer

Despite their best efforts, missionaries have had only limited success in countries like China and India, both of which have enormous populations entrenched in pagan superstition and idol worship. There is little doubt that many missionaries feel that they have tried everything to little or no avail, which can not but result in total frustration. This of course, is not limited to missionaries in foreign countries, but is often equally applicable to pastors of domestic churches. Dominion-Beckett

Bob Beckett, senior pastor of Dwelling Place Church in Hemet, California taught on Local Strategic Intercession as part of C. Peter Wagner’s World Missions Class and Spiritual Issues in Church Growth classes at Fuller Seminary. Beckett is also a member of the New Apostolic Roundtable and Eagle Vision Apostolic Team under Dr. C. Peter Wagner and serves as a faculty member of the Wagner Leadership Institute in Colorado Springs, Colorado and on the Executive Board of Generals of Intercession with Mike and Cindy Jacobs. [11]

In his 1997 book Commitment to Conquer, he talks about his church which prayed every morning, five days a week for five years. These prayer meetings had anywhere from ten to a hundred people present and they “prayed their hearts out about drugs, gangs, schools, pornography”.. all the issues that concerned their community. “We came against the works of Satan. We bound spirits left and right”.

He goes on to say that, although the lives of those who came were changed dramatically” and “they became a tight knit family that shared one another’s burdens and poured our hearts out in prayer for our community”, the problem was that “at the end of those five years of faithful intercession, totaling about 1300 hours of corporate prayer, Helmet had not changed one bit. In fact, if anything it was worse.”

Beckett then relates how he went to the Lord to seek answers and gradually began to be shown what the problem was. “Although we had been interceding faithfully, our intercession had not been persistently accurate. We had simply sprayed prayers here and there, hoping they would hit a target.”.. “Since we were praying without accurate information we had no way of evaluating our progress.”

He then compares their intercession to the Gulf War and a satirical story circulating at the time about Saddam Hussein shooting off his missiles, then tuning to CNN to find out where they had hit! Beckett contrasts the Scud missiles with the ‘smart bombs’ of the allies that used specific coordinates to accurately hit their targets.. coordinates which were obtained by reconnaissance information gathered behind enemy lines, without which the smart bombs would not have been near as effective.

Concluding that they had to discover the “Lord’s agenda” for their community and what really was going on in their city, after which they began to make “breakthroughs in their community, with Helmet becoming “more infiltrated with the Kingdom of God”. [12]

(Incidentally on Page 90 of his 2008 book Praying with Power, C Peter Wagner refers to this Scud missile praying and says he likes the way Bob Beckett describes it..)

So if tearing down strongholds is presented as a guarantee for evangelistic success, it’s popularity is very understandable. Besides which, Wagner also believes that cities can be “born again”. [Emphasis Added]

If we agree that we need to move with God for taking over a certain city, how will we know if and when we have succeeded? I think that a biblically rooted measure for success would be the birth of a new creation: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Cor. 5:17). If this is what the Bible expects of individuals who are transformed, why should we expect less of a city? If individuals can be born again, why can’t cities, made up of many individuals, be born again? [13]

However one question really needs to be addressed first, and that is …


Are There Territorial Spirits?
Are there spirits that have jurisdiction of a particular territory? Perhaps! There is nothing in the Bible that rules out the possibility and a few texts that may imply the reality of “presiding” spirits. For example..

Bel and Babylon: When Jeremiah talks about the fall of Babylon he says  “Bel is shamed” and “Merodach is broken in pieces” [Jeremiah 50:2]. Similarly God says

“And I will execute judgment upon Bel in Babylon, and I will bring forth out of his mouth that which he hath swallowed up; and the nations shall not flow any more unto him: yea, the wall of Babylon shall fall. [Jeremiah 51:44]

Legion: The story of Jesus casting “Legion” out of the man who was living among the tombs [Mark 5] is particularly interesting. In verse 5 “Legion” earnestly implores Jesus “not to send them out of the country”. Although, in Luke’s account they beseech Jesus not to cast them “into the abyss.” [Luke 8:30-31].

Specific Principalities: 2Kings relates when “Israel was carried away out of their own land to Assyria” [V.23], “the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Avva, and from Hamath and Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel; and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in the cities thereof” [V.24]

Later on in the same chapter it is said that “every nation made gods of their own, and put them in the houses of the high places” [V.29] and “served their own gods, after the manner of the nations from among whom they had been carried away” [V.33].  Some specific principalities are mentioned

And the men of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, and the men of Cuth made Nergal, and the men of Hamath made Ashima, and the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak; and the Sepharvites burnt their children in the fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim. [2 Kings 17:30-31]

Elymas The Sorcerer: Contrary to what I have read, the story of Paul’s encounter with Elymas the sorcerer in Acts 13 does not give any indication of a “territorial spirit”. The account simply says that the proconsul “called unto him Barnabas and Saul, and sought to hear the word of God” [V.7] but Elymas tried to “turn aside the proconsul from the faith” [V.8] . Paul then called Elymas “son of the devil,” and blinded him for a season which so astonished the proconsul that he believed. [Vs.9-12]

One more possibility is

Pergamum, situated in what is present day Turkey. Pergamum was a renowned cultural and political center with a library, and medical facilities. However it was also a major center of pagan religion with impressive temples, including the Temple of Dionysos (known in Rome as Baccus, god of wine), the famous horseshoe shaped altar of Zeus and the Temple of Serapis, built for the Egyptian Gods in the 2nd c. AD. It is not wonder that Jesus describes it as where Satan’s throne is” and “where Satan dwells” although we do not know if Jesus meant this literally…

I know where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s throne is; and thou holdest fast my name, and didst not deny my faith, even in the days of Antipas my witness, my faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwelleth. [Revelation 2:13]


The Princes in Daniel 10
The Biblical illustration most commonly cited for the a) existence of territorial spirits and b) Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare, is Daniel 10. And it is certainly is possible that the mentioned princes of Persia and Greece could be demons in charge of particular territories or kingdoms.

The account tells us that from Daniel’s first request for understanding, his prayer was heard, and an angel was dispatched to earth to visit him in answer to that prayer. However the “prince of the kingdom of Persia” opposed the angel, resulting in a three-week delay, and it was only when the help of Michael (one of the chief princes) was enlisted that the angel was finally able to complete his mission.

Since, on three occasions, Jesus referred to Satan as the prince of this world (John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11) and since Michael is referred to as “one of the chief princes” in Daniel 10:13, it is possible that all the “princes” referred to in chapter 10 are not human rulers but supernatural powers. Also this section of the book of Daniel does seem to give indication that certain demons have some kind of jurisdiction and power over particular territories on earth:

Then he (an angel) continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days” (Daniel 10:12-13).

However there is second consideration, brought up by the angel’s words in verse 20

“So he (the angel) said, ‘Do you know why I have come to you? Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I go, the prince of Greece will come'” (Daniel 10:20).

This bears a marked resemblance to Daniel’s prophecy found in Chapter 2 about actual historical events that were then yet in the future. Daniels interpretation of the king Nebuchadnezzar’s dream was, in a nutshell, a prophecy concerning the rise and fall off successive empires.. Babylon was conquered by the Medes and Persians, who were in turn overthrown by the Greeks under Alexander the Great, but were eventually supplanted by the Roman Empire.

So when the angel speaks of the “prince of Greece” here, it is quite possible that he was referring to Alexander the Great, who conquered Persia some two hundred years after he spoke.  In fact Daniel 11 details the events which will occur all the way from Daniel’s day to the end of the age.

The book of Ezra says that “the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia” (1.1) which means it does not take any stretch of imagination to believe that it took supernatural persuasion to cause Cyrus to decree that the Jews could return to Jerusalem and start rebuilding the city and the temple, which gave Cyrus no political nor strategic advantage. In fact, even after the initial decree of Cyrus, things did not go well with the rebuilding project. After the first year of return from exile, opposition to the Temple’s rebuilding arose among the people then living in the area, and they hired representatives to go to the Persian court and put a stop to the project. We are told that they were successful throughout the reigns of Cyrus and Cambyses, and initially successful with Darius as well.

“Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building, and hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia”. [Ezra 4:4-5]

So the opposition which continued for quite some time could very well be represented as a fight between the Persian rulers and the angel. This possibility is also pointed out in Spiritual power and missions: raising the issues By Edward Rommen

The question has to be asked “what is Daniel so concerned about that he would fast and pray for twenty one days? The best dating of Daniel 10 indicates that “According to cuneiform evidence Cyrus appointed his son Cambyses, King of Babylon a region, including Israel” although he himself was still king. This would make Cambyses a “prince”.. one who according to the historical evidence was actively prohibiting the building of the temple. Perhaps this was what Daniel was praying about. [Pg. 73]

Also note that the angel said that when he left “the prince of Greece will come”. It seems to be a fact that the Greeks generally allowed the Jews to run their state and initial interaction between the two cultures seemed to be very positive. Certainly Alexander the Great is looked on with respect by the Jews among whom Alexander remains a Jewish name to this day. Remember that 70 Rabbis translated the Hebrew Bible into Greek (known as the Septuagint, which means “70” in Greek). So it is possible that the meaning of the angel’s words were that once the Persian empire was absorbed into Alexander’ empire, his work would be done and there would then be no more need of him at the Persian court.


Daniel’s Warfare Prayer?
The fact remains that which ever way one looks at the passages in question, there is an enormous gap between what can be deduced from the text and what the advocates of territorial spirits teach. Of Daniel 10, Peter Wagner says

“This story leaves us little doubt that territorial spirits greatly influence human life in all its sociopolitical aspects. And it also shows us clearly that the only weapon Daniel had to combat these rulers of darkness was warfare prayer. [14]

Warfare prayer? Daniel’s prayer is outlined in detail in the ninth chapter of Daniel, when he learns from the prophets (Jeremiah in particular) that the 70-year period of Israel’s captivity is drawing to a close. With this hope, Daniel begins to pray for himself and his people, both confessing the sins of the nation for not obeying the voice of God, then petitioning the Lord to let His anger and wrath be turned away from His city, Jerusalem.

Note that some believe that at the time of Daniel 10, the first wave of Jewish captives would have already returned to Jerusalem. However while not wanting to be dogmatic about it, some of Daniels words seem to preclude this possibility …

let thine anger and thy wrath, I pray thee, be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain .. Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are round about us. [V.16] cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate [V.17]

It certainly seems that Daniel was pleading for the restoration of his people and country, which hadn’t happened yet. He was earnestly entreating the Lord to be merciful. Daniels words in verses 18 and 19 are especially moving, epitomizing as they do repentance and the mercies of God.

O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousness, but for thy great mercies’ sake. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God, because thy city and thy people are called by thy name. [Daniel 9:18-19]

One way or the other, there is absolutely not even a hint of warfare in any of Daniel’s words. He did not, at any point, directly challenge the Princes of Persia or Greece. He does not discern, map, bind, or pray against a territorial spirit. In fact Daniel was blissfully unaware of any battle, leave alone who was fighting whom until his divine visitor later told him about it.

Note that the prayers of Nehemiah, Ezra and Daniel as often referred to as examples of “Identificational Repentance”. [See Section VIII: Identificational Repentance]


Out of Context Texts

An additional  problem is that without some serious manipulation of the accounts, the fundamental strategy employed in SLSW is neither found in the Bible nor in church history. Scripture is being re-examined and re-written through the lens of experience, resulting in truths that can not be derived from Scripture alone. Verses in Scripture are being wrested out of context to back up preconceived theories…

2 Corinthians 10:3-4: One of the most common verses of Scripture cited is 2 Corinthians 10:3-4

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh (for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strongholds),

The problem here is that the stage for these two verses is set in the verse immediately preceding these (V. 2) where Paul tells the Corinthians that he doesn’t want to forced to be severe with those that accuse him of being governed by worldly motives or “walking according to the flesh”. He then goes on to say that though they have mortal bodies and lead normal human lives, the battle they are fighting is on the spiritual level.

yea, I beseech you, that I may not when present show courage with the confidence wherewith I count to be bold against some, who count of us as if we walked according to the flesh. [V.2]

While he does not specify in verses 3 and 4 what the mighty spiritual weapons are that can “demolish strongholds” of evil, V.5 clearly points out that, in this context, strongholds are clearly imaginations, thoughts or arguments that run counter to the truth of God and contradict God-given revelations…

casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ [10:5]

Paul says it should be the aim of the Corinthians to bring all such thoughts and actions into submission to what God has revealed in His Word, which is obedience to Christ. Paul later enumerates the spiritual weapons in Ephesians 6:11-17, where he points out spiritual attack is always the preaching of the gospel message. The sword of God’s Word is even “sharper than any two-edged sword.” Ephesians 6 has been further discussed in the conclusion of this article… Below.


Matthew 12:29:
Jesus and The Strongman

In this passage, after seeing Jesus exorcise a man possessed with a demon and therefore blind and dumb [V.22] the multitudes were beginning to wonder whether Jesus was the Son of David [V.23]. However the Pharisees completely dismissed this, and attributed the exorcism to an alliance with Beelzebub… “This man doth not cast out demons, but by Beelzebub the prince of the demons” [V. 24].

To this charge Jesus said no kingdom, or even city or house, that is divided against itself can stand, so if He was casting out demons by the power of Satan, it would mean that Satan is divided against himself, and his kingdom cannot stand.

Not only did Jesus point out the intrinsic absurdity of their argument, but showed that it might as well be applied to them as to him, inasmuch as if their argument was true, then their disciples who cast out devils must be in league with the devil as well [V.27]. Jesus goes on to say that “…if I by the Spirit of God cast out demons, then is the kingdom of God come upon you” [V. 28]. He then further illustrated what He is saying …

“Or how can one enter into the house of the strong man, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.” [V. 29]
In other words no one can break into the house of a strong man and take his property unless he first renders the man helpless. If Jesus had taken the strong man’s property (the possessed person), it was proof that he subdued Satan himself. Jesus’ words were proof of His power over Satan and NOT a universal pattern for all believers to try and emulate..

In any case if believers keep “binding Satan”, who in the world keeps letting him out?

Certainly, there is coming a day when the strong man will be bound. Revelation 20:1-3 makes it very clear that this will take place after Christ’s Second Coming, and that he will be bound for the entire millennium. After he is loosed for a short while, “an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand” [Revelation 20:1] will consign him to the lake of fire for all eternity [Revelation 20:10].

In the meantime, the Bible teaches that Satan is “a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” [1 Peter 5:7], and that his power is only going to increase. Revelation13 says in the very last days Satan will have authority over every tribe, tongue, and nation.
Jeremiah 33:3 and 2 Corinthians 4:18: In his book Commitment to Conquer mentioned earlier Bob Beckett says

“in mapping a city or community, we must prepare ourselves, first by calling on the Lord, and then by allowing Him to give us the spiritual eyes to see hidden things revealed.

Beckett then quotes Jeremiah 33:3 using the Amplified Bible which says..

Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know (do not distinguish and recognize, have knowledge of and understand).

A little further down the page pastor Beckett quotes 2 Corinthians 4:18 (I am not sure which translation he uses)….

We do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Then goes on to say….

“Undoubtedly Paul was referring to things of the spirit, soul, forces, principalities, powers, that lie behind what we see with our natural eyes. These are the clues we seek as we begin the process of mapping a community. [Pgs. 35-37]

This is a perfect example of going to Scripture to find what one has already decided to believe. As has been reiterated many times throughout this site, one can not lift a verse out of it’s context to make it appear to say what one wants it to say.
2 Corinthians 4: The overall view of the Bible is that this age is a time of darkness during which we, as God’s people, are to represent the Lord as His ambassadors and the only way we can do this is to have our eyes fixed on remote promises.

“let us hold fast the confession of our hope that it waver not; for he is faithful that promised” [Hebrews 10:23]

Taken in it’s entirety 2 Corinthians 4 is a chapter of comfort for God’s people. In verses 7-15, the apostle Paul describes the trials of the ministry, but then stresses if we are going to be successful we must always be looking with anticipation for the return of the Lord and the establishment of God’s eternal kingdom on earth… In other words, we have to look beyond what is seen to what is not seen, beyond what is temporary to what is eternal. Remembering that there were no chapter or verse divisions in the original writings, the very next verses [2 Corinthians 5:1-2] only emphasize this point. So now read verse 4:18 in context…  At least from the beginning of 2 Corinthians 4 and into the first few verses of 2 Corinthians 5)

Wherefore we faint not; but though our outward man is decaying, yet our inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is for the moment, worketh for us more and more exceedingly an eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. For we know that if the earthly house of our tabernacle be dissolved, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal, in the heavens. For verily in this we groan, longing to be clothed upon with our habitation which is from heaven [2Corinthians 4:16-5:2]

There is absolutely nothing in 2 Corinthians 4:18 to indicate that Paul was talking about “things of the spirit, soul, forces, principalities, powers, that lie behind what we see with our natural eyes”, as Beckett claims
Jeremiah 33:3:

Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know (do not distinguish and recognize, have knowledge of and understand).

Considering that it is all on the same page, Pastor Beckett is obviously using Jeremiah 33:3 to try and make the same point he tried to make with 2 Corinthians 4:18. The verse says there are mighty (or fenced) things that we do not know about and Beckett tries to get us to believe that these mighty things are forces, principalities and powers, although in Scripture, the verses do not specify exactly what God is referring to. However an examination of the circumstances (clearly set forth in the preceding Chapter .. 32) in which these words were said, sheds considerable light on what the Lord meant.

As the note on this verse in the Net Bible says, the word rendered “mighty” is an adjective usually used to describe cities or walls as “fortified” or “inaccessible.” All the lexicons, however, agree in seeing it used here metaphorically of “secret” or “mysterious” things, things that Jeremiah could not know apart from the Lord’s revelation. [15]

In the tenth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar and his army were right outside the walls of Jerusalem. The city had been under siege for a considerable time and was very close to starvation and surrender. Obviously, both Judah and Jerusalem itself were at the lowest possible point, when there was no hope and no help. The dark cloud of destruction which was about to fall on the city of Zion was particularly clear to the prophet who had already foretold that the city, and the king himself, would fall into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon. It was for this prophecy that Jeremiah was imprisoned by king Zedekiah. [32:1-5].

It is in this critical hour that God issues the invitation, not to Jeremiah alone but, to all of Judah to call on Him who can save them. The context indicates that the mysterious (or fenced in) things concerning the future, which was beyond their understanding at that time, would be understood when the day came.

Note however that the ‘calling on God’ does outline an operating principle for every believer, especially at a critical time of need… “Let us therefore draw near with boldness unto the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace to help us in time of need”. [Hebrews 4:16]

The restoration of Judah is further emphasized by the remarkable act of faith narrated in chapter 32, verses 6-10 when Jeremiah was instructed to buy his cousin Hanamel’s field.  While there could not have been a worse time to be buying property in Judah, the day would come when their houses, and fields, and vineyards would once again be possessed by them. [Jeremiah 32:15].

Take the time to read chapters 32 and 33 as one unbroken unit (which they are) and see for yourself the mighty things God speaks about.. the salvation of Judah which had impact on the people of the day when they were allowed to return to Jerusalem and start rebuilding the temple and the city itself and, of course, the ultimate salvation in the Messiah as the rest of chapter 33 makes clear.

In those days, and at that time, will I cause a Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely; and this is the name whereby she shall be called: Jehovah our righteousness. For thus saith Jehovah: David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel; [Jeremiah 33:15-17]


Extra Biblical Examples
Since Biblical examples of strategic-level warfare range between scant and non existent, and the case of Daniel so commonly cited by proponents of SLSW does not backup their claims, Wagner, for one, has to rely on historical examples of strategic-level spiritual warfare, devoting an entire chapter in his book Confronting the Powers to stories from the lives of Catholic saints from the third, fourth, sixth and eight centuries.…including Gregory the Wonderworker, Martin of Tours and Saint Benedict (Benedict of Nursia), all of whom were said to have confronted and defeated demonic spirits. In other words any and all sources that serve to back up their claims…

Stories That Do Not Come From Scripture

In his book Warfare Prayer, Wagner quotes Talbot’s School of Theology’s Clinton E. Arnold, a new testament scholar who has specialized in the book of Ephesians, and who apparently feels that “attempting to understand the principalities and powers in Ephesians apart from the cult of artemis is a mistake”, that “she was worshipped in Colossae, Laodicea, Hierapolis, and throughout Asia”, and that her power was “awesome”.

Which is as it may be. However C Peter Wagner goes on to say that he believes “we will not be too far from wrong if we regard artemis of the Ephesians as a territorial spirit and see the possible relationship that weakening her had to do with the evangelization of the territory she dominated”. Certainly the “word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed” in Ephesus (Acts 19:20).

He then begins drawing on extra Biblical sources and refers to Yale historian Ramsay MacMullen, who

“sees much of the Christianization of the Roman Empire as a power encounter between Christianity and demonic forces”, and tells the story of one such power encounter when the apostle John went into artemis’ temple itself to do strategic-level spiritual warfare. He reportedly prayed the following warfare prayer: “Oh God… at whose name every idol takes flight and every demon and every unclean power, now let the demon that is here take flight in Thy name.” And as the story goes “At that moment, the altar of artemis split in pieces and half of the temple building collapsed”… which converted the Ephesians [16]

Apart from the fact that it is dangerous to use extra Biblical material to substantiate doctrine, this story does not even come close to providing an example of Strategic-Level Spiritual Warfare, simply because John directed his prayer to God… He does not directly speak to nor confront Artemis in any way.


Examples of Catholic Bishops
Catholic Bishops from the third, fourth, sixth and eight centuries.…including Gregory the Wonderworker, Martin of Tours and Saint Benedict (Benedict of Nursia)… all of whom were said to have confronted and defeated demonic spirits are cited on page 103 as examples of how conversions arise from “campaigns against demonic hosts”.

Third Century: Peter Wagner tells the story of third century bishop Saint Gregory of Neocaesarea, also known as Gregory Thaumaturgus or Gregory the Wonderworker, who lodged one night “in a notable shrine dedicated to Apollo and found himself in a fierce battle against the principality who had long ago been invited to occupy that temple.” When the temple priest found out that Gregory had removed the demon who informed him that he could only return to the temple with Gregory’s permission, his faith in that particular god was shattered and he became a Christian eventually becoming Gregory’s successor. [Pgs. 104-105]. Wagner adds that

“When St Gregory first ascended to the Episcopal see, there were only seventeen Christians in Neocaesarea. At his death about A.D. 270, after approximately thirty years in office, only seventeen pagans remained in the city” and that Gregory was highly regarded by his peers for “humility, self-distrust, and practical sense… a man of singular force of character and weighty judgment.” [Pg. 103]

Fourth Century: The story of Martin of Tours is similar to that of St. Gregory, except this particular demon takes up residence in a pine tree. [Pgs. 106-107]

Sixth Century: The story of Benedict says that when he arrived at Monte Cassino, “he prepared for serious spiritual warfare with a 40-day fast” since “the powers had, perhaps for millennia, claimed that area as their spiritual territory”. Benedict apparently “beat in pieces the idol of Apollo, overthrew the altar, set fire on the woods, and in the temple of Apollo built the oratory of St. Martin… On this spot the saint built his monastery … The powers of darkness that had held that region in captivity for ages had been decisively broken” [Pg. 109]

Eight Century: Boniface an English missionary “was sent to the pagan peoples of Germany by Pope Gregory II” and was mentored by another British Missionary learning from him “how to do spiritual warfare, including power encounters provoked by the physical destruction of pagan temples”. In Hesse Boniface took on a territorial spirit named Thor, but before he could fell the tree, a “fierce wind” sent it crashing to the ground. [Pg. 111]

Why exactly are we using extra Biblical accounts to fashion doctrine? In the first place we do not know whether the stories were simply legend to start with, then possibly embellished over time. Besides which Wagner’s statement that conversions arise from “campaigns against demonic hosts” is ludicrous to say the least, assuming as it does that these were conversions to genuine Christianity. The men he speaks about were catholic bishops, priest and monks who came from an organization that officially rejects the very heart of our faith… the doctrine of justification by the grace of God alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

The very Catechism of the Catholic Church says in paragraph 841, that Muslims together with the Catholics, “adore the one, merciful God.”.  Most of the men Wagner refers to could not see through Rome’s foundational heresies such as the papacy, the Mass, baptismal regeneration, prayers to the saints, the veneration of Mary and salvation through works. The conversions were to Catholicism not to Christianity..

While Wagner states that “Benedict of Nursia is the founder of Western Christian monasticism. His Benedictine Rule became the textbook not only for his order, but for many other orders that followed through the ages” [Page 108]. What Wagner does not tell us is that before this incident and just after Gregory was made bishop a crisis regarding the Trinity raised it’s head in the church, upon which Gregory … [Emphasis Added]

“prayed fervently and diligently imploring God and His most pure Mother to reveal to him the true faith. The All-Holy Virgin Mary appeared to him, radiant like the sun, and with her was the Apostle John the Theologian dressed in archiepiscopal vestments. By the command of the Mother of God, the Apostle taught the saint how to properly confess the Mystery of the Most Holy Trinity”. This subsequently became the base for the teaching about the Holy Trinity in Orthodox Theology used by “the holy Fathers of the Church: Basil the Great; Gregory the Theologian, and Gregory of Nyssa”. [17]

Boniface not only received his theological training in Benedictine monasteries, but in 732 Pope Gregory II made him archbishop with jurisdiction over Germany. He “baptized thousands, and dealt with the problems of many other Christians who had fallen out of contact with the regular hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church. During his third visit to Rome in 737–38, he was made papal legate for Germany”. [Wikipedia].

Peter Wagner’s book Confronting the Powers is the fifth book in the “Prayer Warrior” series and has been endorsed by (no surprises here) Jack Hayford, pastor of Church on The Way in Van Nuys CA, Jack Deere and Vonette Bright who along with her husband Bill Bright was co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ. In the book Wagner says … 

Toying with Death

1. Desensitization & Brutalization

In the military ‘boot camp,’ “brutalization is designed to break down your existing mores and norms” and cause you “to accept a new set of values that embrace destruction, violence, and death as a way of life,” explained Col. Grossman. “In the end, you are desensitized to violence and accept it as a normal and essential survival skill….  Something very similar … is happening to our children through violence in the media—but instead of 18-year-olds, it begins at the age of 18 months. At that age, a child can watch something happening on television and mimic that action. … When young children see somebody shot, stabbed, raped, brutalized, degraded, or murdered on TV, to them it is as though it were actually happening.”[1] He gave this example:

    “The Journal of the American Medical Association published the definitive study on the impact of TV violence. It compared two nations or regions that were demographically and ethnically identical; only one variable is different: the presence of television. ‘In every nation, region, or city with television, there is an immediate explosion of violence on the playground, and within 15 years there is a doubling of the murder rate.

    “Why 15 years? That is how long it takes for the brutalization of a three-to five-year-old to reach the ‘prime crime age.’”[1]

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation published another revealing study last fall: “43% of the kids age 2 and younger watched TV on a typical day and… 26% had a TV in their room. The median amount of time spent watching: two hours a day.”[4] Small wonder our elementary schools are changing! 

“Temper tantrums are nothing new in kindergarten and first grade,” wrote Claudia Wallis in a Time Magazine article last December, “but the behavior of a 6-year-old girl this fall at a school in Fort Worth, Texas, had even the most experienced staff members wanting to run for cover.” She described the crisis:

“Asked to put a toy away, the youngster began to scream. Told to calm down, she knocked over her desk and crawled under the teacher’s desk, kicking it and dumping out the contents of the drawers. Then things really began to deteriorate. Still shrieking, the child stood up and began hurling books at her terrified classmates, who had to be ushered from the room to safety.
“Just a bad day at school? More like a bad season. The desk-dumping incident followed scores of other outrageous acts by some of the youngest Fort Worth students at schools across the district. Among them: a 6-year-old who told his teacher to ‘shut up, bitch,’ a first-grader whose fits of anger ended with his peeling off his clothes and throwing them at the school psychologist, and hysterical kindergartners who bit teachers so hard they left tooth marks.
“‘I’m clearly seeing an increasing number of kindergartners and first-graders coming to our attention for aggressive behavior,’ says Michael Parker, program director of psychological services at the Fort Worth Independent School District.'”
[4]

The child-advocacy group Partnership for Children confirms this observation. A preliminary report of its study “shows that 93% of the 39 schools that responded to the survey said kindergartners today have ‘more emotional and behavioral problems’ than were seen five years ago. More than half the day-care centers said ‘incidents of rage and anger’ had increased over the past three years. ‘We’re talking about children—a 3-year-old in one instance—who will take a fork and stab another child in the forehead.'”[4]  


“Violence is getting younger and younger,” said Ronald Stephens, director of California’s National School Safety Center. “Initially, it was high schools that created these schools [for disruptive students], then middle schools. Now it’s elementary. Who would have thought years ago that this would be happening?”
[4]


Actually, Col. Grossman did. He cited a study by Journal of the American Medical Association  (June 10, 1992) on the impact of TV violence:

“Hundreds of sound scientific studies demonstrate the social impact of brutalization by the media. The Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that ‘the introduction of television in the 1950’s caused a subsequent doubling of the homicide rate, i.e., long-term childhood exposure to television is a causal factor behind approximately one half of the homicides committed in the United States, or approximately 10,000 homicides annually.’ The article went on to say that ‘… if, hypothetically, television technology had never been developed, there would today be 10,000 fewer homicides each year in the United States, 70,000 fewer rapes, and 700,000 fewer injurious assaults.”

Of course, if children spent less time in front of the TV screen, they would have more time to learn about God and the wonders of the real world. Consider these sad statistics:

  • More than half of 2-to-7-year-olds and 82 percent of 8-to-18-year-olds live in homes with at least one video game console.”[5]

  • “The average child watches 27 hrs of TV each week.”

  • “The average child gets more one-on-one communication from TV than from parents & teachers combined.

  • “60% of men on TV are involved in violence…. 11% are killers.”

  • “20% of suburban high schoolers endorse shooting someone ‘who has stolen something from you.'”

  • “After TV was introduced to a Canadian town in 1973, a 160 percent increase in aggression, hitting, shoving, and biting was documented in 1st and 2nd graders.” No change was seen in two control communities.

  • “15 years after introduction of TV in USA, homicides, rapes and assaults doubled.”[1]

2. Classical Conditioning

You may remember Pavlov’s dogs. Week after week, those four-legged Soviet laboratory specimens were fed at the sound of a bell, and eventually they learned to associate the ringing bell with their tasty morsels. Once conditioned, they would salivate whenever the bell rang. This study—together with the Hegelian dialectic process—helped lay the foundation for Communist brainwashing. Col. Grossman explained its relevance today:

 “What is happening to our children is the reverse of the aversion therapy portrayed in the movie A Clockwork Orange. In A Clockwork Orange, a brutal sociopath, a mass murderer, is strapped to a chair and forced to watch violent movies while he is injected with a drug that nauseates him. So he sits and gags and retches as he watches the movies. After hundreds of repetitions of this, he associates violence with nausea, and it limits his ability to be violent….
“We are doing the exact opposite: Our children watch vivid pictures of human suffering and death, learning to associate it with their favorite soft drink and candy bar, or their girlfriend’s perfume.
“The result is a phenomenon that functions much like AIDS, which I call AVIDS–Acquired Violence Immune Deficiency Syndrome. AIDS has never killed anybody. It destroys your immune system, and then other diseases that shouldn’t kill you become fatal. Television violence by itself does not kill you. It destroys your violence immune system and conditions you to derive pleasure from violence.”
[1]

3. Operant Conditioning

Operant conditioning is based on the simple psycho-social formula: stimulus-response, stimulus-response….. A modern example of this procedure is the use of flight simulators to train pilots. “An airline pilot in training sits in front of a flight simulator for endless hours,” wrote Col. Grossman. “When a particular warning light goes on, he is taught to react in a certain way. When another warning light goes on, a different reaction is required. Stimulus-response, stimulus-response, stimulus-response. One day the pilot is actually flying a jumbo jet; the plane is going down, and 300 people are screaming behind him…. But he has been conditioned to respond reflexively to this particular crisis.”

The reverse of this principle is used to train both our soldiers and our police force. According to Col. Grossman,

“The military and law enforcement community have made killing a conditioned response This has substantially raised the firing rate on the modern battlefield. Whereas infantry training in World War II used bull’s-eye targets, now soldiers learn to fire at realistic, man-shaped silhouettes that pop into their field of view. That is the stimulus. The trainees have only a split second to engage the target. The conditioned response is to shoot the target, and then it drops. Stimulus-response, stimulus-response, stimulus-response….

    “Later, when soldiers are on the battlefield or a police officer is walking a beat and somebody pops up with a gun, they will shoot reflexively and shoot to kill. We know that 75 to 80 percent of the shooting on the modern battlefield is the result of this kind of stimulus-response training.
    “Now, if you’re a little troubled by that, how much more should we be troubled by the fact that every time a child plays an interactive point-and-shoot video game, he is learning the exact same conditioned reflex and motor skills….
“This process is extraordinarily powerful and frightening. The result is ever more homemade pseudo-sociopaths who kill reflexively and show no remorse. Our children are learning to kill and learning to like it; and then we have the audacity to say, ‘Oh my goodness, what’s wrong?'”
[1]

A report from the Schiller Institute in Washington D.C. shows an even more sobering side of the problem:

“Recently released medical studies indicate that violent video games damage the brain, possibly permanently. Video games may be more dangerous to your health than cigarettes or alcohol. This national scandal has been covered for the benefit of the $10 billion-a-year video-game industry, of which violent games rated ‘M,’ for Mature, are the fastest-growing segment. Approximately 20 million Americans, many under 18, play these ‘M’ games. The studies, many years in the making, show that repeated playing of violent video games ‘desensitizes’ the activities of the brain involved in reasoning and planning, while activating those functions that respond to violence. The studies include scientific data indicating that these games may actually cause destructive behavior.”[6]

Who can forget the tragedies that awakened all of America to the dark side of our youth culture? Most memorable in the string of cold-blooded shooting sprees may be Columbine High School in Colorado, where two students addicted to Doom, Mortal Combat and other violent role-playing games (RPGs) shot 27 students and teachers. 

But those who are obsessed with point-and-shoot RPGs learn more than a killer instinct. Many embrace the occultism that drive the myth behind the violence. “Peter,” a former occultist who became a committed Christian several decades ago, helped me to understand this phenomenon. Today, he serves his Lord by warning and equipping vulnerable youth to resist and overcome the deadly dangers of occult RPGs. [See Role-Playing Games & Popular Occultism]

“Are you familiar with aviation simulators?” he asked me during a telephone call. “They simulate the inside of a cockpit in flying a plane. You can learn how to fly a plane in a flight simulator. But in a simulator there is no risk. All personal danger has been removed. When you play these occult games, you’re doing the exact same thing that you would be dong in a flight simulator. No risk. So why not try the real thing?

Many players do. “These kids are easily drawn into occult groups through [role-playing] tournaments,” Peter explained. “When kids transition from simulation—when they actually experience the POWER that is available to them through the rituals they are learning to perform under the guise of ‘fantasy’—that power becomes like an addiction and they get hooked. But they don’t see that.”

 

“I could walk up to any of these teens who showed promise,” he continued, “and I could put my hand on their shoulder, look them in the eye and say, ‘If you get a rush from this, how would like to do it for real?’ No one has ever answered no.”

4. Role Models

Children who watch television and youth who play violent and occult role playing games find plenty of shocking role models that shape their dreams and mold their values. Britney Spears and Eminem are among today’s best known pied pipers, but the imaginary heroes hidden in popular anime, slasher movies and RPGs can be just as influential—if not more so. So can the young killers who win their moment of media fame through televised fanfare that drill the exploits of young sociopaths into the consciousness of vulnerable and envious viewers. According to Col. Grossman,

“Research in the 1970s demonstrated the existence of ‘cluster suicides‘ in which the local TV reporting of teen suicides directly caused numerous copycat suicides of impressionable teenagers. Somewhere in every population there are potentially suicidal kids who will say to themselves, ‘Well, I’ll show all those people who have been mean to me. I know how to get my picture on TV, too.’… Thus we get copycat, cluster murders that work their way across America like a virus spread by the six o’clock news. No matter what someone has done, if you put his picture on TV, you have made him a celebrity, and someone, somewhere, will emulate him.
“The lineage of the Jonesboro shootings began at Pearl, Mississippi, fewer than six months before. In Pearl, a 16-year-old boy was accused of killing his mother and then going to his school and shooting nine students, two of whom died, including his ex-girlfriend. Two months later, this virus spread to Paducah, Kentucky, where a 14-year-old boy was arrested for killing three students and wounding five others.”
[1]

Resisting the Violence

What can parents do to monitor and restrict violent and occult media messages?  There are no simple answers. They certainly can’t trust the video labels. In his article, “Lazy cops on the video game beat,” columnist Brent Brozell writes,

“Two Harvard researchers, Kimberly Thompson and Kevin Haninger, recently discovered that parents of teenagers can’t rely very heavily on the video game ratings system created by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), a self-regulating body….

“A graver problem for parents is that the games that many youngsters desire and chatter about are not rated ‘T,’ but rated ‘M,’ for supposedly ‘mature’ audiences. This is the TV-land of ultraviolence, casual sex and casual profanity best known through the best seller ‘Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.’

“Rockstar Games, the sleaze merchants behind the ‘Vice City’ cop-killing, woman-abusing fantasy, has a newer game out called ‘Manhunt.’ The goal of ‘Manhunt’ is delivering the nastiest killings for filming…. USA Today’s reviewer explained: ‘I got plenty of one and two-star ratings by sneaking up behind thugs and stabbing them in the neck. Higher ratings are awarded depending on how much additional carnage you can add to the execution.'”[5]

Such “entertaining” images mold the minds of children and youth around the world! Do you wonder what will happen to our nation and culture when these conditioned youth reach adulthood? Might the civilized world be following a path to corruption and chaos that makes the decadence in ancient Rome seem mild by comparison? Even if our own children refuse to participate in this dark and depraved world of the imagination, will they live in a world eventually subjugated to barbarians and thugs?

We can only touch the children in the sphere of influence God has given us. But we can’t afford to be silent! So here are a few suggestions:

1. Pray! Our Shepherd will show each of us what we can do to equip our personal and our Christian family.

2. Put on the Armor of God. The greatest weapon against the world’s deceptions is God’s Word. The Armor (Ephesians 6:10-18) provides an outline of the vital truth that can expose and resist any of Satan’s lies.

3. Be watchful. Explain the danger of RPG’s to your children. Share the statistics and the horrendous consequences of the conditioning process. Show them items in the newspaper that provide current and relevant examples and warnings.

4. Understand the Nature and Tactics of Satan. Children need to be alert to both his timeless and his current strategies. We are all engaged in a spiritual war—and we cannot close our eyes to the realities of the foes that assault us.

5. Keep praising God who gives us the victory. Know His Names and count on His promises. “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

Preoccupation With The Supernatural and Fantasy

Preoccupation With The Supernatural and Fantasy
The prevailing world view of the West has, in recent years, undergone a profound change. Somewhere along the line the realization has begun to dawn that both our modern rationalistic outlook and our social and intellectual programs have left us without answers to our most important questions.. This has resulted in, not a renewed interest in God and the Bible, but a receptiveness and open door policy to all things occult. In the words of Dr. Chuck Lowe..

As post-modernity supplants modernity, objectivity gives way to subjectivity, rationalism to emotionalism, scientism to spiritism, mechanism to shamanism. In concrete terms, just as the Church Growth Movement was a manifestation of modernity’s mechanistic worldview, so SLSW is an embodiment of post-modernity’s spiritistic worldview. A well-intentioned attempt to correct one error has directly precipitated another…conformity to the mechanistic technique of modernity is being replaced by conformity to the spiritistic technique of post-modernity.” [1]

[See the Dangers and Impact of this Worldview… Postmodernism]

In recent years there has been a meteoric rise in the fascination with the supernatural, and exploration beyond the physical world. This preoccupation ranges from angels to aliens, from Darth Veda to Demons. No matter where  you look in the popular culture you see people’s attraction to the paranormal beginning with the very young … Dungeons and Dragons and Harry Potter but a couple of examples.

A 2002 Time Magazine article talks about the popularity of Fantasy

In 2001 the fantasy double bill of Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings ranked first and second at the box office…In its first weekend alone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets cleared $88 million…

In 1997, voters in a BBC poll named The Lord of the Rings the greatest book of the 20th century. In 1999, Amazon.com customers chose it as the greatest book of the millennium… Tolkien’s works sold 11 million copies in the U.S. in 2001 alone.

The online fantasy game EverQuest pulls in more than $5 million a month from its half a million subscribers, and the fantasy card game Magic: The Gathering boasts 7 million players.

The business of fantasy has become a multibillion-dollar reality. [1b]

Additionally, there are endless reality programs on television about ghost hunting, while Halloween is celebrated each year with increasing fervor. Angels have been the subject of movies and television series, while angel paraphernalia is widely sold as good luck charms. In an effort to better understand the world in which we live, many have take to exploring the idea of contacting spirit being via Channeling, etc. perhaps coming to terms with the fact that we have less control over things than we thought we did.

“Christian” Fantasy:
Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins have churned out 16 best-selling novels… The totally fictional Left Behind series. Not only have sales for the series surpassed 65 million copies, but seven titles in the series have reached #1 on bestseller lists. [See Left Behind]

Author Frank Peretti has some 12 million novels in print (twenty one titles), including two spiritual warfare novels… This Present Darkness (1988) and Piercing the Darkness (1989), which between them have sold more than 3.5 million copies. [2]. Peretti’s books, that have captured the imaginations of many in both the Christian and secular worlds, often vividly portray tall, handsome, angelic warrior engaging black-winged demons in fierce battles over schools, towns, and territories.

Regardless of what one may think about the sensationalistic nature of these books, they certainly serve to bring the world of the spirit being to the forefront of the minds of numerous Christians, who never seem to lag much behind the world in their thinking and worldview. The world has little need to batter down the doors of the church… we have flung them wide open with an open invitation to whatever lurks outside. adopting a large number of practices that have their roots in the pagan or the occult. Yoga, Contemplative Meditation, Eastern Mysticism and Labyrinths being just a few examples.

For many in the church this excessive interest in all things supernatural has found expression in two related beliefs and practices

1) Territorial Spirits/Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare which believes that certain spirits have control over certain geo-political locations and in order for the Gospel to reach people these sprits have  to be “bound” and their hold on the area broken.

2) Portals are geographic locations on Earth that possess super-spiritual access to the realm of the Divine and that Heaven and Earth can be aligned by cleansing the area of demonic spirits.

Certainly these beliefs are closely tied in with Dominionism… inasmuch as it is believed that the binding of territorial spirits is an crucial step towards the Christianization of the world, leading to the establishment of God’s kingdom on earth before Christ can, or will return.

What Is Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare (SLSW)?
In a nutshell, since Satan is neither omnipotent or omniscient, he has to delegate power to other spirit helpers who, assigned to particular projects or even geographical areas, carry out his schemes in the set field. Certain spirits, particularly high ranking spirits, exercise their power over defined geographic regions, and anyone within the boundaries of these regions is subject to the power of the ‘presiding’ demon, which is why the gospel is so fiercely resisted in certain areas. In order for the gospel to be more accepted in these demon infested areas, Christians must focus on spiritual warfare designed to remove these spirits or “bind” their power.

Therefore,

“the church is called to do more than simply stand firm, resist, and defend. The church is called to actively seek out, uncover, and confront the demonic powers that influence our corporate existence”. [3]

An extreme example of this was

Operation Ice Castle:
Ana Méndez Ferrell, once a witch in Haiti’s Voodoo cult, founded of the Voice of The Light Ministry along Dominion-Ana-Mendezwith her husband Emerson Ferrell. She calls herself “An ordained prophet and apostle” [3b] Apparently, according to C Peter Wagner

the Holy Spirit clearly showed her that a principal stronghold over the 10/40 Window was located on Mt. Everest in Nepal, and that she was to lead a team of intercessors in a frontal attack on this power of darkness, who was none other than the Queen of Heaven. Before finally deciding to go, she sought the agreement of Rony Chavez, Harold Caballeros, Cindy Jacobs, George Otis, Jr., Fred Markert, Chuck Pierce, Doris Wagner, me, and others. [3c]

Three teams (one led by Doris Wagner) then undertook the spiritual warfare mission to the Himalayas named “Operation Ice Castle” to combat the chief of all territorial demons, the “Queen of Heaven.” Wagner quotes Ana Mendez’s report

“God spoke to us that He was going to release judgment upon the iniquity and over the false religious systems of the world. He said that he was going to bring down the foundations of ‘Mystery Babylon the Great, Mother of Harlots.’ [This is the Queen of Heaven. The ancient name of Everest is Sagarmata, meaning “Mother of the Universe.”] [3c]

According to C Peter Wagner “the most difficult, dangerous, and technically exacting part of the Everest ascent” took place on September 22, 1997. After describing “an incredible climbing anointing” that came over the team, she says they were about to reach the point where they had located the seat of the Queen of Heaven when the devil unleashed his fury and a huge avalanche broke loose above them. Miraculously saved they

“.. continued toward our goal, and when we arrived we took the throne that the Lord had showed us, prophesying against the powers of darkness and declaring the judgment of God on the whore of Babylon and the false religions of the world. [3c]

However I am really confused. They took this trip to declare “the judgment of God on the whore of Babylon and the false religions of the world”.

But didn’t the apostle John already tell us this would happen? I seem to recall him talking about Babylon the great, the “habitation of demons, and a hold of every unclean spirit” who’s sins have reached even unto heaven” and that judgment on her was already pronounced.. “in one day shall her plagues come, death, aDominion-Wagnernd mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire” [Revelation 18].

C Peter Wagner then says

Ana points to some world events which occurred within two weeks after the prophetic act at the throne of the Queen of Heaven which she senses have some connection: (1) The nation of Indonesia, the largest Muslim nation in the world, caught on fire and began to burn on that very day; (2) An earthquake destroyed the Basilica of Assisi in Italy, the place where the Pope had called a meeting for the unity of all world religions; (3) Hurricane Paulina destroyed the infamous temple of “Baal-Christ” in Acapulco, Mexico; (4) Princess Diana of England died, representing the crown of England, to whom Mt. Everest was consecrated by Sir Edmund Hillary; and (5) Mother Theresa, one of the most visible advocates of exalting Mary as co-redemptrix and mediatrix, died in India. [3c]

However Ana’s sensing of the supposed related events are as off base as her claim that the Queen of Heaven had a stronghold on Everest.

Mother Theresa died on 5th September 1997, more than two weeks before Operation Ice Castle and, by the way, she was born in 1910, which made her 87 years old when she died.

Diana, Princess of Wales died as a result of injuries sustained in the Paris car accident on 31st August 1997, some three weeks before Operation Ice Castle. In any case she was no longer a member of the royal family, her marriage to Charles, the heir to the British throne, having ended in divorce on 28 August 1996. It was Charles who insisted that, as the mother of the presumed future king (her son William), she be given a formal royal funeral;

Sir Edmund Hillary: While I know nothing about Sir Edmund Hillary consecrating the mountain to the crown of England, it is widely known that he buried a tiny crucifix at the summit of the mountain, which was part of a rosary sent to him by Father Martin Haigh, of St Mary’s Catholic Church, Broadfield Drive, Leyland. [3d] And so what? Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted the American flag on the Moon.

Hurricane Pauline; While there is little doubt that Pauline was one of the deadliest Eastern Pacific storms in recorded history (Intense flooding and mudslides in some of the poorest areas of Mexico killed between 230 to 400 people), she was the seventh major hurricane of the 1997 Pacific hurricane season. And as far as the “infamous” temple of in Acapulco is concerned, I am afraid that it was so notorious that I have never even heard of it.

The Indonesian Forest Fires: –Indonesia has had more than one large scale fire (1982/1983, 1987, 1991, 1994, and 1997/1998). While the major causes were unclear many blame the slash and burn techniques adopted by local farmers.. the cheapest and easiest means to clear the lands for traditional agriculture.

Assisi: There is no doubt that, in 1986, John Paul II convened an unprecedented inter-religious meeting and daylong fast and prayer against nuclear war in the Italian town of Assisi and that the Basilica of Assisi was badly damaged by an earthquake on September 26, 1997 (Part of the vault collapsed, killing four people inside the church). However, Italy has undergone at least one major earthquake in each of the last three decades. Not only was the Basilica completely restored, the earthquake did not exactly end the ecumenical meetings. A January 24, 2002 CNN.com article says

Religious leaders from around the world have joined Pope John Paul II for a daylong prayer for peace following the events of September 11.  Concerned by the impact of the U.S. terrorist attacks, the pope invited representatives of world religions — particularly Christians and Muslims — on Thursday to the hillside town of Assisi to meditate and speak out about the need for an end to war and terrorism… Representatives of 12 religions — including Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Shintoists and followers of tribal religions — took part. [3f]

Some of the more notable participants were the Grand Mufti of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bartholomew I, spiritual leader of the world’s 300 million Orthodox Christians, Rabbi David Rosen of Jerusalem, President of the International Council of Christians and Jews and Geshe Tashi Tsering, Representative of the Dalai Lama. Also represented were Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Sikhism, Jainism And Traditional African Religions [3g]

The article goes on to say [Emphasis Added]

Franciscan monks took down crosses from the walls and removed other religious objects from rooms in a U-shaped convent near St. Francis’ tomb, where a number of the various religious guests will pray.

Demons, demons everywhere:

A message on Francis Frangipane’s site contains an excerpt, adapted from a chapter in Francis’ book The House of the Lord, which says..

However, when the church is not built according to Christ’s directives, but remains selfish and divided, the principalities and powers have access in a greater degree to the souls of men. In such cities, spiritual wickedness guards neighbors and communities.

One does not have to be very discerning to see this is true. On your next drive from the country into the city, see if you cannot discern a distinguishable cloud of oppression as you enter various regions of your community. That invisible barrier is the range of influence of the ruling spirits which manipulate the thought-life of the people. The demonic power of that area of influence is the “strong man, fully armed,” who “guards his own homestead”; whose “possessions are undisturbed” (Luke 11:21). [4]

Regions and territories are not the only demon infested objects that are to be purged. Apart from the belief that demons are transmitted through genealogical inheritance or family curses (a whole other subject), many believe that dangerous demonic influences are transmitted through contact with physical objects such as artifacts dedicated to other gods (evil spirits), perhaps because people involved with the occult have invited demons to occupy said object. It is also often believed that demons occupy many places (like health food stores) that are linked to the occult or the New Age. Or that they can occupy an object like a building because a death or evil act was associated with it.


Spiritual “Mapping”
is preparation for spiritual warfare and not an end in itself. Preparation for any successful physical battle involves reconnaissance to gather vital information regarding the enemy’s position and strength in order to come up with a strategy to overcome them. Similarly spiritual mapping is reconnaissance in the spiritual realm, or the attempt to look beyond the material and physical features of a geographical area to the spiritual forces behind it that influence its character… in other words, to see a region (or community) as it really is from God’s perspective, and not as it appears to be. This has been likened to a doctor using an X-ray to see what is not readily apparent on the surface…

Advocates quote 2 Corinthians 2:11 in support of the idea that Paul was not unaware of Satan’s schemes-he knew them in order to combat them

that no advantage may be gained over us by Satan: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

However Note that the word translated devices (the Greek noēma) has been used some six times in the New Testament and has uniformly been translated minds or thoughts. Strongs lexicon says it is “a perception, that is, purpose, or (by implication) the intellect”. It seems to me that every Christian should be well aware of Satan’s perception and purposes.

Spiritual Mapping supposedly ensures that intercessors are better equipped to specifically direct their prayers (“smart-bomb” praying) to the tearing down of particular strongholds. Loosening the hold of forces of darkness over people in a particular territory is supposed to virtually guarantee evangelistic success within the “mapped” area, with positive signs such a lower crime rate, more receptiveness to the Gospel and more people coming to Christ.

They never tire of pointing us in the direction of Matthew 12: 29 in which Jesus says  ‘How can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? And then He will spoil his house’. C Peter Wagner (and a million others) interprets this verse as meaning

“The ‘house’ is the territory controlled by Satan, or his delegated spirits, and that territory cannot be taken unless he is bound. But once the territorial spirits are bound, the kingdom of God can flow into the territory and ‘plunder the strong man’s goods,’ as it were.” [5]

Proponents maintain that spiritual warfare may be the single most important strategy we can utilize in reaching the unreached. According to The Australian Prayer Network… [Emphasis Added]

“This fresh move of God to give us the keys of the Kingdom in spiritual mapping possibly started in the mid 1980’s. Part of the paradigm shift came about because we intercessors sought God for more effective keys in spiritual warfare. A major breakthrough came in 1989 with John Dawson’s book Taking Our Cities For God. The result was a wake-up call to the Body of Christ. Then in 1995 at the Global Congress on World Evangelization in Seoul, Korea, George Otis Jnr. introduced the concepts of spiritual mapping. And the rest is history. But the biggest breakthrough came in 1999 when George Otis Junior published Informed Intercession, which is now the standard research methodology for spiritual mapping”. [6]

In his book The Life Giving Church, Ted Haggard, who at the time led the New Life Church in ColoradoDominion-Ted-Haggard Springs, describes a 1992 meeting in Upland, California, that was the genesis of his and Peter Wagner’s partnership. The end result of that meeting was the establishing of The World Prayer Center in Colorado Springs adjoining Haggard’s New Life Church [7].  Once described by Lee Grady of Charisma Magazine as the “spiritual version of the Pentagon”, the center was used as the central nerve center for compiling spiritual mapping data.

C Peter Wagner who is commonly believed to be an “authority” in the fields of church growth and spiritual warfare, describes …


Three Levels Of Spiritual Warfare:
Peter Wagner’s book Confronting the Powers is the fifth book in the “Prayer Warrior” series and has been endorsed by (no surprises here) Jack Hayford, pastor of Church on The Way in Van Nuys CA, Jack Deere and Vonette Bright who along with her husband Bill Bright was co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ. In the book Wagner says …

Ground Level spiritual warfare involves casting demons out of people…

Occult Level spiritual warfare deals with demonic forces released through activities related to Satanism, witchcraft, Freemasonry, Eastern religions, New Age shamanism, astrology and many other forms of structured occultism”

Strategic Level spiritual warfare (also called cosmic level spiritual warfare) describes confrontation with high ranking principalities and powers such as Paul writes about in Ephesians 6:21. These enemy forces are frequently called “territorial spirits” because they attempt to keep large numbers of humans networked through cities, nations, neighborhoods, people groups, religious allegiance, industries or any other form of human society in spiritual captivity.” [8]

In his book Confronting the Powers, C Peter Wagner says that he regards spiritual warfare “in a category similar to baptism” inasmuch as

“We have differing positions that our position is the correct and most biblical one. But we are not dealing with heresy, and we have enough biblical evidence to support varying positions, especially considering that we might interpret the same Scriptures in different ways.”

He goes on to say

“In this book, I am not claiming biblical proof for the validity of strategic-level spiritual warfare, spiritual mapping or identificational repentance. I will, however, claim that we do have sufficient biblical evidence to warrant:

At the least, a working hypothesis that we can field test, modify and refine:

At the most, a significant, relatively new spiritual technology God has given us to meet the greatest challenge to world missions since William Carey went to India more than 200 years ago. If this is the case refusing to use it on the part of some might be to run the risk of unfaithfulness to the Master. [9]

Wagner certainly isn’t alone.. the following examples do no more than skim the surface of what has become both a very wide and deep pond.

Ted Haggard: In 1995 Haggard had a book published called Primary Purpose: Making It Hard for People to Go to Hell from Your City, in which he said it “happened in Colorado Springs, and it can happen in your city tDominion-Francis-Frangipaneoo”.

Francis Frangipane: In his book The Three Battlegrounds, Frangipane says

There are satanic strongholds over countries and communities; there are strongholds which influence churches and individuals….[Pg. 29]

A little earlier in the book Frangipane quotes 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 and goes on to say.. [Emphasis Added]

All successful deliverance must begin by first removing that which defends the enemy. In speaking of spiritual warfare, the apostle Paul enlists the word “Stronghold” (KJV) to define the spiritual fortresses wherein Satan and his legions hide and are protected. These fortresses exist in the thought patterns and ideas that govern individuals and churches, as well as communities and nations, Before victory can be claimed, these strongholds must be pulled down and Satan’s armor removed. Then the mighty weapons of the Word and the Spirit can effectively plunder Satan’s house.”  [10]

Chuck D. Pierce and Dutch Sheets: Chuck D. Pierce is President of Glory of Zion International and Vice-President of Global Harvest Ministries, while Dutch Sheets is senior pastor of Springs Harvest Fellowship in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the church attended by C Peter Wagner and his wife Doris. In 2001, they coauthored a book titled Releasing The Prophetic Destiny Of A Nation, of which the product description on Amazon.com says … “the remarkable story of how God called two very different men to come together for a common cause: His desire to heal the United States of America”.

In fact Dutch Sheets says he knew he was in for a wild ride when, as he says “the Lord showed me mental picture of myself riding with Christ on His white horse..” [Pg. 11]. Pierce and Sheets traveled the 50 states rallying apostles, prophets, intercessors and entire churches to break the grip of demonic strongholds over the United States. “Their efforts to purge the land of territorial and generational sin began an open season of warfare against the principalities and powers entrenched in every state”. Christians were directed by these modern apostles to call forth “angels” to bring down the mighty events. The book provided a detailed account of their journey to each state and what God revealed to them about each state.


Spiritual Mapping And Evangelistic Success
Bob Beckett and Commitment to Conquer

Despite their best efforts, missionaries have had only limited success in countries like China and India, both of which have enormous populations entrenched in pagan superstition and idol worship. There is little doubt that many missionaries feel that they have tried everything to little or no avail, which can not but result in total frustration. This of course, is not limited to missionaries in foreign countries, but is often equally applicable to pastors of domestic churches. Dominion-Beckett

Bob Beckett, senior pastor of Dwelling Place Church in Hemet, California taught on Local Strategic Intercession as part of C. Peter Wagner’s World Missions Class and Spiritual Issues in Church Growth classes at Fuller Seminary. Beckett is also a member of the New Apostolic Roundtable and Eagle Vision Apostolic Team under Dr. C. Peter Wagner and serves as a faculty member of the Wagner Leadership Institute in Colorado Springs, Colorado and on the Executive Board of Generals of Intercession with Mike and Cindy Jacobs. [11]

In his 1997 book Commitment to Conquer, he talks about his church which prayed every morning, five days a week for five years. These prayer meetings had anywhere from ten to a hundred people present and they “prayed their hearts out about drugs, gangs, schools, pornography”.. all the issues that concerned their community. “We came against the works of Satan. We bound spirits left and right”.

He goes on to say that, although the lives of those who came were changed dramatically” and “they became a tight knit family that shared one another’s burdens and poured our hearts out in prayer for our community”, the problem was that “at the end of those five years of faithful intercession, totaling about 1300 hours of corporate prayer, Helmet had not changed one bit. In fact, if anything it was worse.”

Beckett then relates how he went to the Lord to seek answers and gradually began to be shown what the problem was. “Although we had been interceding faithfully, our intercession had not been persistently accurate. We had simply sprayed prayers here and there, hoping they would hit a target.”.. “Since we were praying without accurate information we had no way of evaluating our progress.”

He then compares their intercession to the Gulf War and a satirical story circulating at the time about Saddam Hussein shooting off his missiles, then tuning to CNN to find out where they had hit! Beckett contrasts the Scud missiles with the ‘smart bombs’ of the allies that used specific coordinates to accurately hit their targets.. coordinates which were obtained by reconnaissance information gathered behind enemy lines, without which the smart bombs would not have been near as effective.

Concluding that they had to discover the “Lord’s agenda” for their community and what really was going on in their city, after which they began to make “breakthroughs in their community, with Helmet becoming “more infiltrated with the Kingdom of God”. [12]

(Incidentally on Page 90 of his 2008 book Praying with Power, C Peter Wagner refers to this Scud missile praying and says he likes the way Bob Beckett describes it..)

So if tearing down strongholds is presented as a guarantee for evangelistic success, it’s popularity is very understandable. Besides which, Wagner also believes that cities can be “born again”. [Emphasis Added]

If we agree that we need to move with God for taking over a certain city, how will we know if and when we have succeeded? I think that a biblically rooted measure for success would be the birth of a new creation: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Cor. 5:17). If this is what the Bible expects of individuals who are transformed, why should we expect less of a city? If individuals can be born again, why can’t cities, made up of many individuals, be born again? [13]

However one question really needs to be addressed first, and that is …


Are There Territorial Spirits?
Are there spirits that have jurisdiction of a particular territory? Perhaps! There is nothing in the Bible that rules out the possibility and a few texts that may imply the reality of “presiding” spirits. For example..

Bel and Babylon: When Jeremiah talks about the fall of Babylon he says  “Bel is shamed” and “Merodach is broken in pieces” [Jeremiah 50:2]. Similarly God says

“And I will execute judgment upon Bel in Babylon, and I will bring forth out of his mouth that which he hath swallowed up; and the nations shall not flow any more unto him: yea, the wall of Babylon shall fall. [Jeremiah 51:44]

Legion: The story of Jesus casting “Legion” out of the man who was living among the tombs [Mark 5] is particularly interesting. In verse 5 “Legion” earnestly implores Jesus “not to send them out of the country”. Although, in Luke’s account they beseech Jesus not to cast them “into the abyss.” [Luke 8:30-31].

Specific Principalities: 2Kings relates when “Israel was carried away out of their own land to Assyria” [V.23], “the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Avva, and from Hamath and Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel; and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in the cities thereof” [V.24]

Later on in the same chapter it is said that “every nation made gods of their own, and put them in the houses of the high places” [V.29] and “served their own gods, after the manner of the nations from among whom they had been carried away” [V.33].  Some specific principalities are mentioned

And the men of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, and the men of Cuth made Nergal, and the men of Hamath made Ashima, and the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak; and the Sepharvites burnt their children in the fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim. [2 Kings 17:30-31]

Elymas The Sorcerer: Contrary to what I have read, the story of Paul’s encounter with Elymas the sorcerer in Acts 13 does not give any indication of a “territorial spirit”. The account simply says that the proconsul “called unto him Barnabas and Saul, and sought to hear the word of God” [V.7] but Elymas tried to “turn aside the proconsul from the faith” [V.8] . Paul then called Elymas “son of the devil,” and blinded him for a season which so astonished the proconsul that he believed. [Vs.9-12]

One more possibility is

Pergamum, situated in what is present day Turkey. Pergamum was a renowned cultural and political center with a library, and medical facilities. However it was also a major center of pagan religion with impressive temples, including the Temple of Dionysos (known in Rome as Baccus, god of wine), the famous horseshoe shaped altar of Zeus and the Temple of Serapis, built for the Egyptian Gods in the 2nd c. AD. It is not wonder that Jesus describes it as where Satan’s throne is” and “where Satan dwells” although we do not know if Jesus meant this literally…

I know where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s throne is; and thou holdest fast my name, and didst not deny my faith, even in the days of Antipas my witness, my faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwelleth. [Revelation 2:13]


The Princes in Daniel 10
The Biblical illustration most commonly cited for the a) existence of territorial spirits and b) Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare, is Daniel 10. And it is certainly is possible that the mentioned princes of Persia and Greece could be demons in charge of particular territories or kingdoms.

The account tells us that from Daniel’s first request for understanding, his prayer was heard, and an angel was dispatched to earth to visit him in answer to that prayer. However the “prince of the kingdom of Persia” opposed the angel, resulting in a three-week delay, and it was only when the help of Michael (one of the chief princes) was enlisted that the angel was finally able to complete his mission.

Since, on three occasions, Jesus referred to Satan as the prince of this world (John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11) and since Michael is referred to as “one of the chief princes” in Daniel 10:13, it is possible that all the “princes” referred to in chapter 10 are not human rulers but supernatural powers. Also this section of the book of Daniel does seem to give indication that certain demons have some kind of jurisdiction and power over particular territories on earth:

Then he (an angel) continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days” (Daniel 10:12-13).

However there is second consideration, brought up by the angel’s words in verse 20

“So he (the angel) said, ‘Do you know why I have come to you? Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I go, the prince of Greece will come'” (Daniel 10:20).

This bears a marked resemblance to Daniel’s prophecy found in Chapter 2 about actual historical events that were then yet in the future. Daniels interpretation of the king Nebuchadnezzar’s dream was, in a nutshell, a prophecy concerning the rise and fall off successive empires.. Babylon was conquered by the Medes and Persians, who were in turn overthrown by the Greeks under Alexander the Great, but were eventually supplanted by the Roman Empire.

So when the angel speaks of the “prince of Greece” here, it is quite possible that he was referring to Alexander the Great, who conquered Persia some two hundred years after he spoke.  In fact Daniel 11 details the events which will occur all the way from Daniel’s day to the end of the age.

The book of Ezra says that “the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia” (1.1) which means it does not take any stretch of imagination to believe that it took supernatural persuasion to cause Cyrus to decree that the Jews could return to Jerusalem and start rebuilding the city and the temple, which gave Cyrus no political nor strategic advantage. In fact, even after the initial decree of Cyrus, things did not go well with the rebuilding project. After the first year of return from exile, opposition to the Temple’s rebuilding arose among the people then living in the area, and they hired representatives to go to the Persian court and put a stop to the project. We are told that they were successful throughout the reigns of Cyrus and Cambyses, and initially successful with Darius as well.

“Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building, and hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia”. [Ezra 4:4-5]

So the opposition which continued for quite some time could very well be represented as a fight between the Persian rulers and the angel. This possibility is also pointed out in Spiritual power and missions: raising the issues By Edward Rommen

The question has to be asked “what is Daniel so concerned about that he would fast and pray for twenty one days? The best dating of Daniel 10 indicates that “According to cuneiform evidence Cyrus appointed his son Cambyses, King of Babylon a region, including Israel” although he himself was still king. This would make Cambyses a “prince”.. one who according to the historical evidence was actively prohibiting the building of the temple. Perhaps this was what Daniel was praying about. [Pg. 73]

Also note that the angel said that when he left “the prince of Greece will come”. It seems to be a fact that the Greeks generally allowed the Jews to run their state and initial interaction between the two cultures seemed to be very positive. Certainly Alexander the Great is looked on with respect by the Jews among whom Alexander remains a Jewish name to this day. Remember that 70 Rabbis translated the Hebrew Bible into Greek (known as the Septuagint, which means “70” in Greek). So it is possible that the meaning of the angel’s words were that once the Persian empire was absorbed into Alexander’ empire, his work would be done and there would then be no more need of him at the Persian court.


Daniel’s Warfare Prayer?
The fact remains that which ever way one looks at the passages in question, there is an enormous gap between what can be deduced from the text and what the advocates of territorial spirits teach. Of Daniel 10, Peter Wagner says

“This story leaves us little doubt that territorial spirits greatly influence human life in all its sociopolitical aspects. And it also shows us clearly that the only weapon Daniel had to combat these rulers of darkness was warfare prayer. [14]

Warfare prayer? Daniel’s prayer is outlined in detail in the ninth chapter of Daniel, when he learns from the prophets (Jeremiah in particular) that the 70-year period of Israel’s captivity is drawing to a close. With this hope, Daniel begins to pray for himself and his people, both confessing the sins of the nation for not obeying the voice of God, then petitioning the Lord to let His anger and wrath be turned away from His city, Jerusalem.

Note that some believe that at the time of Daniel 10, the first wave of Jewish captives would have already returned to Jerusalem. However while not wanting to be dogmatic about it, some of Daniels words seem to preclude this possibility …

let thine anger and thy wrath, I pray thee, be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain .. Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are round about us. [V.16] cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate [V.17]

It certainly seems that Daniel was pleading for the restoration of his people and country, which hadn’t happened yet. He was earnestly entreating the Lord to be merciful. Daniels words in verses 18 and 19 are especially moving, epitomizing as they do repentance and the mercies of God.

O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousness, but for thy great mercies’ sake. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God, because thy city and thy people are called by thy name. [Daniel 9:18-19]

One way or the other, there is absolutely not even a hint of warfare in any of Daniel’s words. He did not, at any point, directly challenge the Princes of Persia or Greece. He does not discern, map, bind, or pray against a territorial spirit. In fact Daniel was blissfully unaware of any battle, leave alone who was fighting whom until his divine visitor later told him about it.

Note that the prayers of Nehemiah, Ezra and Daniel as often referred to as examples of “Identificational Repentance”. [See Section VIII: Identificational Repentance]


Out of Context Texts

An additional  problem is that without some serious manipulation of the accounts, the fundamental strategy employed in SLSW is neither found in the Bible nor in church history. Scripture is being re-examined and re-written through the lens of experience, resulting in truths that can not be derived from Scripture alone. Verses in Scripture are being wrested out of context to back up preconceived theories…

2 Corinthians 10:3-4: One of the most common verses of Scripture cited is 2 Corinthians 10:3-4

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh (for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strongholds),

The problem here is that the stage for these two verses is set in the verse immediately preceding these (V. 2) where Paul tells the Corinthians that he doesn’t want to forced to be severe with those that accuse him of being governed by worldly motives or “walking according to the flesh”. He then goes on to say that though they have mortal bodies and lead normal human lives, the battle they are fighting is on the spiritual level.

yea, I beseech you, that I may not when present show courage with the confidence wherewith I count to be bold against some, who count of us as if we walked according to the flesh. [V.2]

While he does not specify in verses 3 and 4 what the mighty spiritual weapons are that can “demolish strongholds” of evil, V.5 clearly points out that, in this context, strongholds are clearly imaginations, thoughts or arguments that run counter to the truth of God and contradict God-given revelations…

casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ [10:5]

Paul says it should be the aim of the Corinthians to bring all such thoughts and actions into submission to what God has revealed in His Word, which is obedience to Christ. Paul later enumerates the spiritual weapons in Ephesians 6:11-17, where he points out spiritual attack is always the preaching of the gospel message. The sword of God’s Word is even “sharper than any two-edged sword.” Ephesians 6 has been further discussed in the conclusion of this article… Below.


Matthew 12:29:
Jesus and The Strongman

In this passage, after seeing Jesus exorcise a man possessed with a demon and therefore blind and dumb [V.22] the multitudes were beginning to wonder whether Jesus was the Son of David [V.23]. However the Pharisees completely dismissed this, and attributed the exorcism to an alliance with Beelzebub… “This man doth not cast out demons, but by Beelzebub the prince of the demons” [V. 24].

To this charge Jesus said no kingdom, or even city or house, that is divided against itself can stand, so if He was casting out demons by the power of Satan, it would mean that Satan is divided against himself, and his kingdom cannot stand.

Not only did Jesus point out the intrinsic absurdity of their argument, but showed that it might as well be applied to them as to him, inasmuch as if their argument was true, then their disciples who cast out devils must be in league with the devil as well [V.27]. Jesus goes on to say that “…if I by the Spirit of God cast out demons, then is the kingdom of God come upon you” [V. 28]. He then further illustrated what He is saying …

“Or how can one enter into the house of the strong man, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.” [V. 29]
In other words no one can break into the house of a strong man and take his property unless he first renders the man helpless. If Jesus had taken the strong man’s property (the possessed person), it was proof that he subdued Satan himself. Jesus’ words were proof of His power over Satan and NOT a universal pattern for all believers to try and emulate..

In any case if believers keep “binding Satan”, who in the world keeps letting him out?

Certainly, there is coming a day when the strong man will be bound. Revelation 20:1-3 makes it very clear that this will take place after Christ’s Second Coming, and that he will be bound for the entire millennium. After he is loosed for a short while, “an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand” [Revelation 20:1] will consign him to the lake of fire for all eternity [Revelation 20:10].

In the meantime, the Bible teaches that Satan is “a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” [1 Peter 5:7], and that his power is only going to increase. Revelation13 says in the very last days Satan will have authority over every tribe, tongue, and nation.
Jeremiah 33:3 and 2 Corinthians 4:18: In his book Commitment to Conquer mentioned earlier Bob Beckett says

“in mapping a city or community, we must prepare ourselves, first by calling on the Lord, and then by allowing Him to give us the spiritual eyes to see hidden things revealed.

Beckett then quotes Jeremiah 33:3 using the Amplified Bible which says..

Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know (do not distinguish and recognize, have knowledge of and understand).

A little further down the page pastor Beckett quotes 2 Corinthians 4:18 (I am not sure which translation he uses)….

We do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Then goes on to say….

“Undoubtedly Paul was referring to things of the spirit, soul, forces, principalities, powers, that lie behind what we see with our natural eyes. These are the clues we seek as we begin the process of mapping a community. [Pgs. 35-37]

This is a perfect example of going to Scripture to find what one has already decided to believe. As has been reiterated many times throughout this site, one can not lift a verse out of it’s context to make it appear to say what one wants it to say.
2 Corinthians 4: The overall view of the Bible is that this age is a time of darkness during which we, as God’s people, are to represent the Lord as His ambassadors and the only way we can do this is to have our eyes fixed on remote promises.

“let us hold fast the confession of our hope that it waver not; for he is faithful that promised” [Hebrews 10:23]

Taken in it’s entirety 2 Corinthians 4 is a chapter of comfort for God’s people. In verses 7-15, the apostle Paul describes the trials of the ministry, but then stresses if we are going to be successful we must always be looking with anticipation for the return of the Lord and the establishment of God’s eternal kingdom on earth… In other words, we have to look beyond what is seen to what is not seen, beyond what is temporary to what is eternal. Remembering that there were no chapter or verse divisions in the original writings, the very next verses [2 Corinthians 5:1-2] only emphasize this point. So now read verse 4:18 in context…  At least from the beginning of 2 Corinthians 4 and into the first few verses of 2 Corinthians 5)

Wherefore we faint not; but though our outward man is decaying, yet our inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is for the moment, worketh for us more and more exceedingly an eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. For we know that if the earthly house of our tabernacle be dissolved, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal, in the heavens. For verily in this we groan, longing to be clothed upon with our habitation which is from heaven [2Corinthians 4:16-5:2]

There is absolutely nothing in 2 Corinthians 4:18 to indicate that Paul was talking about “things of the spirit, soul, forces, principalities, powers, that lie behind what we see with our natural eyes”, as Beckett claims
Jeremiah 33:3:

Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know (do not distinguish and recognize, have knowledge of and understand).

Considering that it is all on the same page, Pastor Beckett is obviously using Jeremiah 33:3 to try and make the same point he tried to make with 2 Corinthians 4:18. The verse says there are mighty (or fenced) things that we do not know about and Beckett tries to get us to believe that these mighty things are forces, principalities and powers, although in Scripture, the verses do not specify exactly what God is referring to. However an examination of the circumstances (clearly set forth in the preceding Chapter .. 32) in which these words were said, sheds considerable light on what the Lord meant.

As the note on this verse in the Net Bible says, the word rendered “mighty” is an adjective usually used to describe cities or walls as “fortified” or “inaccessible.” All the lexicons, however, agree in seeing it used here metaphorically of “secret” or “mysterious” things, things that Jeremiah could not know apart from the Lord’s revelation. [15]

In the tenth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar and his army were right outside the walls of Jerusalem. The city had been under siege for a considerable time and was very close to starvation and surrender. Obviously, both Judah and Jerusalem itself were at the lowest possible point, when there was no hope and no help. The dark cloud of destruction which was about to fall on the city of Zion was particularly clear to the prophet who had already foretold that the city, and the king himself, would fall into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon. It was for this prophecy that Jeremiah was imprisoned by king Zedekiah. [32:1-5].

It is in this critical hour that God issues the invitation, not to Jeremiah alone but, to all of Judah to call on Him who can save them. The context indicates that the mysterious (or fenced in) things concerning the future, which was beyond their understanding at that time, would be understood when the day came.

Note however that the ‘calling on God’ does outline an operating principle for every believer, especially at a critical time of need… “Let us therefore draw near with boldness unto the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace to help us in time of need”. [Hebrews 4:16]

The restoration of Judah is further emphasized by the remarkable act of faith narrated in chapter 32, verses 6-10 when Jeremiah was instructed to buy his cousin Hanamel’s field.  While there could not have been a worse time to be buying property in Judah, the day would come when their houses, and fields, and vineyards would once again be possessed by them. [Jeremiah 32:15].

Take the time to read chapters 32 and 33 as one unbroken unit (which they are) and see for yourself the mighty things God speaks about.. the salvation of Judah which had impact on the people of the day when they were allowed to return to Jerusalem and start rebuilding the temple and the city itself and, of course, the ultimate salvation in the Messiah as the rest of chapter 33 makes clear.

In those days, and at that time, will I cause a Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely; and this is the name whereby she shall be called: Jehovah our righteousness. For thus saith Jehovah: David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel; [Jeremiah 33:15-17]


Extra Biblical Examples
Since Biblical examples of strategic-level warfare range between scant and non existent, and the case of Daniel so commonly cited by proponents of SLSW does not backup their claims, Wagner, for one, has to rely on historical examples of strategic-level spiritual warfare, devoting an entire chapter in his book Confronting the Powers to stories from the lives of Catholic saints from the third, fourth, sixth and eight centuries.…including Gregory the Wonderworker, Martin of Tours and Saint Benedict (Benedict of Nursia), all of whom were said to have confronted and defeated demonic spirits. In other words any and all sources that serve to back up their claims…

Stories That Do Not Come From Scripture

In his book Warfare Prayer, Wagner quotes Talbot’s School of Theology’s Clinton E. Arnold, a new testament scholar who has specialized in the book of Ephesians, and who apparently feels that “attempting to understand the principalities and powers in Ephesians apart from the cult of artemis is a mistake”, that “she was worshipped in Colossae, Laodicea, Hierapolis, and throughout Asia”, and that her power was “awesome”.

Which is as it may be. However C Peter Wagner goes on to say that he believes “we will not be too far from wrong if we regard artemis of the Ephesians as a territorial spirit and see the possible relationship that weakening her had to do with the evangelization of the territory she dominated”. Certainly the “word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed” in Ephesus (Acts 19:20).

He then begins drawing on extra Biblical sources and refers to Yale historian Ramsay MacMullen, who

“sees much of the Christianization of the Roman Empire as a power encounter between Christianity and demonic forces”, and tells the story of one such power encounter when the apostle John went into artemis’ temple itself to do strategic-level spiritual warfare. He reportedly prayed the following warfare prayer: “Oh God… at whose name every idol takes flight and every demon and every unclean power, now let the demon that is here take flight in Thy name.” And as the story goes “At that moment, the altar of artemis split in pieces and half of the temple building collapsed”… which converted the Ephesians [16]

Apart from the fact that it is dangerous to use extra Biblical material to substantiate doctrine, this story does not even come close to providing an example of Strategic-Level Spiritual Warfare, simply because John directed his prayer to God… He does not directly speak to nor confront Artemis in any way.


Examples of Catholic Bishops
Catholic Bishops from the third, fourth, sixth and eight centuries.…including Gregory the Wonderworker, Martin of Tours and Saint Benedict (Benedict of Nursia)… all of whom were said to have confronted and defeated demonic spirits are cited on page 103 as examples of how conversions arise from “campaigns against demonic hosts”.

Third Century: Peter Wagner tells the story of third century bishop Saint Gregory of Neocaesarea, also known as Gregory Thaumaturgus or Gregory the Wonderworker, who lodged one night “in a notable shrine dedicated to Apollo and found himself in a fierce battle against the principality who had long ago been invited to occupy that temple.” When the temple priest found out that Gregory had removed the demon who informed him that he could only return to the temple with Gregory’s permission, his faith in that particular god was shattered and he became a Christian eventually becoming Gregory’s successor. [Pgs. 104-105]. Wagner adds that

“When St Gregory first ascended to the Episcopal see, there were only seventeen Christians in Neocaesarea. At his death about A.D. 270, after approximately thirty years in office, only seventeen pagans remained in the city” and that Gregory was highly regarded by his peers for “humility, self-distrust, and practical sense… a man of singular force of character and weighty judgment.” [Pg. 103]

Fourth Century: The story of Martin of Tours is similar to that of St. Gregory, except this particular demon takes up residence in a pine tree. [Pgs. 106-107]

Sixth Century: The story of Benedict says that when he arrived at Monte Cassino, “he prepared for serious spiritual warfare with a 40-day fast” since “the powers had, perhaps for millennia, claimed that area as their spiritual territory”. Benedict apparently “beat in pieces the idol of Apollo, overthrew the altar, set fire on the woods, and in the temple of Apollo built the oratory of St. Martin… On this spot the saint built his monastery … The powers of darkness that had held that region in captivity for ages had been decisively broken” [Pg. 109]

Eight Century: Boniface an English missionary “was sent to the pagan peoples of Germany by Pope Gregory II” and was mentored by another British Missionary learning from him “how to do spiritual warfare, including power encounters provoked by the physical destruction of pagan temples”. In Hesse Boniface took on a territorial spirit named Thor, but before he could fell the tree, a “fierce wind” sent it crashing to the ground. [Pg. 111]

Why exactly are we using extra Biblical accounts to fashion doctrine? In the first place we do not know whether the stories were simply legend to start with, then possibly embellished over time. Besides which Wagner’s statement that conversions arise from “campaigns against demonic hosts” is ludicrous to say the least, assuming as it does that these were conversions to genuine Christianity. The men he speaks about were catholic bishops, priest and monks who came from an organization that officially rejects the very heart of our faith… the doctrine of justification by the grace of God alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

The very Catechism of the Catholic Church says in paragraph 841, that Muslims together with the Catholics, “adore the one, merciful God.”.  Most of the men Wagner refers to could not see through Rome’s foundational heresies such as the papacy, the Mass, baptismal regeneration, prayers to the saints, the veneration of Mary and salvation through works. The conversions were to Catholicism not to Christianity..

While Wagner states that “Benedict of Nursia is the founder of Western Christian monasticism. His Benedictine Rule became the textbook not only for his order, but for many other orders that followed through the ages” [Page 108]. What Wagner does not tell us is that before this incident and just after Gregory was made bishop a crisis regarding the Trinity raised it’s head in the church, upon which Gregory … [Emphasis Added]

“prayed fervently and diligently imploring God and His most pure Mother to reveal to him the true faith. The All-Holy Virgin Mary appeared to him, radiant like the sun, and with her was the Apostle John the Theologian dressed in archiepiscopal vestments. By the command of the Mother of God, the Apostle taught the saint how to properly confess the Mystery of the Most Holy Trinity”. This subsequently became the base for the teaching about the Holy Trinity in Orthodox Theology used by “the holy Fathers of the Church: Basil the Great; Gregory the Theologian, and Gregory of Nyssa”. [17]

Boniface not only received his theological training in Benedictine monasteries, but in 732 Pope Gregory II made him archbishop with jurisdiction over Germany. He “baptized thousands, and dealt with the problems of many other Christians who had fallen out of contact with the regular hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church. During his third visit to Rome in 737–38, he was made papal legate for Germany”. [Wikipedia].

Brainwashing & How to Resist It

Mind-changing tactics

How to resist

Scriptures

 Produce mental and moral confusion through contemporary books and stories (Cognitive dissonance)

 God’s Word

Know the Truth
1 Samuel 17:37 & Ephesians 6:10-18
Insist on open-mindedness toward unbiblical views and suggestions

Discernment

Recognize and resist deception
Colossians 2:8
 Use feel-good affirmations to create a “safe place” for sharing personal thoughts and values

 Faith

Trust and obey God
Galatians 2:20
Require open-mindedness, respect, “tolerance” and approval of new beliefs and values  Prayer
Stand firm in Christ
Romans 12:2 & Philippians 4:6-7
Through each group dialogue, guide each member toward a new consensus

Perseverance

Be willing to face group disapproval

Romans 5:3-4, 8:25-26

 Undermine traditional authorities (parents, church, Bible, God…) as old-fashioned, obsolete, divisive or intolerant.

Gratefulness

Build a habit of thanking God for everything
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
 Prompt everyone to freely share feelings, thoughts, complaints, resentments (especially toward traditional parents), etc.

Confess all to God

Pour out your heart to God, not to the dialectic group.
 Psalm 62:8
 Stir subtle hostility (ridicule, rejection) toward dissenters  (see Zero Tolerance for Non-Compliance)

 Forgiveness & love

Demonstrate His overcoming love
1 Corinthians 13
Humiliate resistors or non-conformists
Genuine humility
Trust God’s promises

James 4:7-10; Luke 6:22-23; Matthew 5:3, 9

Commit yourself to the group and its changing consensus Surrender to God
Abide in Him – our only true and lasting source of safety.
John 15:4-

COMBAT IN THE HEAVENLIES-Family Altars

We have seen how Abraham started building altars, and generally what the prayer altar means in this
context. You cannot tell others about prayer when you don’t practice it. You cannot lead others where
you have not been. We need to cultivate our hearts as the first prayer altars (Romans 12.1-2). As we pray
to God He will make us effective in the land. In that, we can be effective in leading others in the same
position we are in because we wont just be giving them head knowledge but a life that we are living.
We read in Hosea 1012 –
Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the
Lord, till he comes and rains righteousness on you.
God needs ploughed ground in order to come and soak in His anointing so that you may be people who
will accomplish the purposes of God in your nation. How do you attract the pillar of His presence into
your life so that it goes through the firmament and you have open heavens at all times? You have to keep
your fellowship and relationship with God unbroken.1
Today we continue to examine more closely, the family (or corporate) altar. After cultivating your heart so
that it becomes an altar, you have legal ground for God to affect the land. Before revival can take over a
nation, it has to start in your heart. As each person yields their heart to God they become a praying,
moving altar. Wherever you are, you have fellowship with God; that unceasing prayer bubbling out of your
heart thus fulfilling the scripture “pray without ceasing”.
Hebrews 514:
Solid food is for those who are mature who have trained themselves to recognize what is right and wrong
and then do what is right.
As we work out our salvation, we can train ourselves to be in constant worship and prayer so that even
when we are interacting with other people, our spirit is in constant bubbling deep within like a running
motor. When a situation arises which requires prayer action, we immediately counter it without having to
be “warmed up.” Can you imagine what happens if a number of people with this kind of heart attitude
toward prayer come together in fellowship? The scripture will indeed show results that say, “Where two or
three are gathered in my name, I will be in the midst of them. Whatsoever they bind on earth it shall be
bound in heaven. Whatsoever they loose on earth it shall be loosed in heaven.
When you lead such a prayer lifestyle, people who interact with you will notice the difference, at your
place of work or at home. In every situation you get involved, things start to change. In your family, you
must bring change. It is not just a coming together to say some short routine prayer and read a psalm or
two or praying with the children when they go to sleep. We need to cultivate a real prayer atmosphere in
the home. This is very vital. People around us, must experience the presence of the living God. We shall
see how this is effected as we study the Importance of the Family Altar.
God wants us to create family altars. Families come together for meals or to watch TV, but when it is
prayer time, God wants us united more than ever. As you come together the presence is not only upon
your life, it comes on the whole family. The pillar of fire covers up your entire household and it can even
affect the neighbors. In this, even spiritual warfare becomes easy because you have a bigger area of
influence compared to when you are praying individually.
The church and the nation start with the family. In one congregation, you can be from different families
however under that church umbrella you are also one big family. The family, as God intended i.e. one
husband, one wife and their offspring (if God has blessed them with any) is a very fundamental unit for
two great entities – The nation and the church of Christ. That is why the devil is busy destroying God’s
definition of the family. If he can destroy the family, he can destroy the church and then destroy the nation
–that is his agenda; to steal, kill and then destroy.
1 Effective Fervent Prayer © Michael Kimuli – Published by New Wine Press 2003
The strong family foundations have influenced Strong and successful society set-ups. Deterioration and
breakdown of society has been traced to dysfunctional or broken family foundations.
When there is no effective fervent prayer in the family, you have lost the church of the next generation.
The church is only one generation away from destruction. When you do not do your part to raise up the
next church generation in your family, you are part of the destruction of the church in the next generation.
Many people are busy trying to give their lives to God but they leave their children and families behind.
Moses said to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 6:6-9
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them
diligently unto thy children and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest
by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon
thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes, and thou shalt write them upon the posts of
thy house, and on thy gates.
Proverbs 22.6
Train up your child in the way that he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.
Ephesians 6.4
And ye fathers provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of
the Lord
God wants us to fellowship and pray corporately as a family. Your children are the pastors of tomorrow,
the prophets of tomorrow, the presidents of tomorrow. They are the ministers of tomorrow, and the
national and spiritual leaders of tomorrow and the policy makers of tomorrow. The devil has blinded us
and we have not trained them in the admonition of the Lord, thinking that, when they grow up they will
decide for themselves. Meanwhile, the devil is having a hey day with the children today.
We can go to church today and it is okay, but where is the church of tomorrow? When we travel to
different nations in the world, we cry a lot for the church there. Most of them have cultivated nothing for
their children in spiritual things. When you go to church you find all people are old. When you go to a
church you wonder, “Where is the future church?”
With the information age, leaders and policy makers are getting increasingly younger and younger.
Information is power and the youth are at the cutting edge of acquiring it. They increasingly advise and
direct affairs of today in every aspect.
All marketing is geared to the younger generation. What kind of policies and decisions are they making
today? Are they building Godly foundations? Today the unadulterated Bible truths are being twisted and
bent diluted and simply ignored to fit into the way of today’s thinking; whether in animistic or humanistic
direction. However our God who in times past redeemed the family and society, is able to do it again in
our generation.
This journey will prepare your generation and the generation to come. When you pray you are helping
children who come after you to find the work easier. We need to pray in our family. God wants to visit
your family. A Christian who comes to church on Sunday uses only an average of two hours in the 168
hours of the week. If the pastor takes some extra time, he gets tired, walks out. He spends another 166
hours waiting for the next 2-hour dose of spiritual sustenance. If he is diligent he makes a little two or five
minute snatches of prayer and worship or attend a midweek cell group meeting. How will he be effective
in the land? How can he work with God in such a lifestyle? God wants to meet you where you spend a big
chunk of your time.
After a good church service we say we have been in the presence of God. God is asking you “In whose
presence are you at home or at your place of work?” Many people don’t really think about it that way.
The minute they leave the church door they think the presence of God is left behind.
Matthew 18:19-20
“Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for
them by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in
the midst of them
God is looking for unity. Many families live together but inside they are divorced. They are not in unity.
They don’t draw the fellowship and relationship with God in their house. Today we are increasingly
hearing the call for the church to come in unity, but unless it starts in the family, how will the church be
united?
Some think the church is the remedy. Some come to church after fighting at home and say, “Let me come
to church and sing and praise God, because that is where the presence is,” but God wants to come to
your family. “A family that prays together stays together”.
As children come in His presence their calling and gifting are cultivated at an early stage however, today
most Christian children, are the ones who bring trouble in their nations. Brothers and sister go back and
start family altars.
When we started the family altars in Uganda, we saw many breakthroughs coming in our nation. God was
telling us “every Christian home is a prayer altar”. Two years ago, we have around 7 million who were
born again Christians. How much more powerful would the effect of such a large mass be, if all their
families come before God every evening and/or every morning and call on the name of the living God, on
behalf of themselves and their communities? There would be chaos in the kingdom of darkness!
God is calling us also to start cell group altars. These in turn come together in a church altar, which
consists of different families coming together. From every level of society that we come, we enter greater
levels of authority in the spiritual realm. There are certain demon gods you can contend with as a family,
especially those that come against you from your family lineage. However as a single-family unit, you
cannot come against a spirit ruling over a village territory unless you are united in a cell group with other
families or members of the neighborhood. Once we come together, there comes upon us a corporate
anointing to reach a greater level of authority.
Today, the devil will fight two things. The first is prayer. Many churches have program from Monday to
Sunday except prevailing prayer. Even when church comes together on Sunday service, people can
praise for one hour but when it comes to prayer, they do it for two minutes and then they go to the next
thing on the agenda.
The second thing is the Word of God. Today people don’t want to hear long sermons. Within two hours
most congregations will have 15 or 20 minutes of God’s Word, unless the speaker is giving them a
message that will tickle their itchy ears!
Many people will argue, “Do we have to pray only? Is that all that we need to do?” No it is not. As I said
earlier, everything we see in the physical is a manifestation of what has happened in the spiritual realm. If
immorality and demonic activity and kingdom of darkness is overcoming in the physical realm around you,
it tells you who is prevailing in the spiritual realm over the land. All things begin in the spirit before they
are manifested in the physical. The destiny of your family, your nation is in your hands and it must be won
in the heavenlies first before it begins to be manifested. Prayer is the only communication way of
communicating from the physical realm into the spiritual realm. (Ref. God’s Watching Priesthood – Michael Kimuli)
After prayer has broken through, then people will have opening to push for other physical agendas in the
nation. Otherwise, the world is full of physical strategies and many of the nations from where these
strategies are emerging are moving further and further away from God and His purposes. If you don’t
pray, God will have nothing to do in your nation. The destiny of the nation is in your hands. You can let it
to go or take it and pray through.
Prayer sustained the early church in Acts of the Apostles. The Bible says, in Acts 242-47 everyday these
people came together and prayed. They broke bread in every house. And as they did that God added to
them those who got saved. Moreover they came to church or temple everyday. In Acts 3 it says, as it was
the 9th hour John and Peter were going to temple for that was the time of prayer when the lame man was
healed. This is not something new, it sustains revival.
As the family altars are set up and the network of prayer began to take shape, villages started receiving
transformation. One of our missionaries, David gives the following testimony:
Our town is 17 miles from Kampala. As you enter the town, there are two mosques on each end that act
like entrances to the town. These people would wake up every morning and call their demon gods. They
did that every day until one day, we got spiritual anger and said, “This will not happen when we are here”.
So when we came to church altar, I told my brothers and sisters what I had in my heart. I said, “We have
to come against this spirit. We will wake up at 5 am and call upon our God and call on Jesus Christ in our
families and He bring turbulence so that when they call on their god, they find that the firmament is
messed up.
We went to our family altars, we repented of covenants and sacrifices made to the demon gods and when
we came together as a church, we started to come against that spirit because we had legal ground to
attack it. Within one week up to today, their speakers don’t speak again. Another week on Sunday we
saw one Maalim (teacher of Islam) coming to church. We wondered, “What has he come for? A fight? But
as we welcomed the visitors we asked him to greet us. He said, “I have come here not as a visitor. I have
come to stay.”
We knew we have done something in the spiritual but we did not give up there. Once a week we resist
that spirit and continue to pray for sustained victory. The moslems are coming to Christ, not because we
have gone to preach to them, but because the strong man was overcome. With our God all things are
possible. We need to win battles in the spiritual realm and the physical will manifest our success.
I encourage you today; if you have not bought the Transformations 2 videotape or DVD, please buy it.
You will see how the church altar and the family altar work and how God worked in the nation of Uganda.
People have come to know that “wherever God has placed me, I am an ambassador.” During AfriCamp
Prayer conference we hear testimonies of what God has been doing in the nation and other nations
where people have been learning about prayer and community transformation.
There are some offices where the pastors have no access, but you have access because you work there.
You are the pastor there. Begin to pray for your place of work and with time God will honor your work.
Wherever you work, you are an ambassador. You are not there to get money or have a position. God in
that place does not identify you by your job description. He identifies you by the ministry He has place
upon you in that position. If he has called you as the prophetic voice in that office, or the pastor or the
teacher in that place or whichever position He has for you there, it is what He looks at and wants you to
be a good and faithful steward. Begin to seek God for what He wants you to be and to do in that place of
work.
Genesis 19:1 And there came two angels to Sodom at even and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom:
Do not be like Lot in the Bible. Sitting at the gate, in the Biblical terms implied being a man of authority, in
decision-making capacity. He was an elder in the city. However Lot was not known to anyone by any
other description except that he was a man of influence there. When it came to matters of righteousness,
he was quiet about the wickedness of the city. Even when he began to speak about judgement, everyone
found him quite ridiculous.
If you are in a business or company, office, etc God has placed you as leader there. Start instituting a
personal prayer altar and ask God to raise others. God wants to visit your shop or business and bring His
transforming power there.
You may wonder, what happened in Uganda? Many may not recognize it but the successes that have
been recorded to date started by instituting prayer where we were. Prayer is a secret activity. Only those
who are praying see the signs and know what is happening in the spiritual realm. They can be confident
and are not blown by every circumstance that seems to be cropping up. In 1997 something amazing
happened – the president of Uganda came to AfriCamp. That was a time of repentance. Even at the time
the army general was a born again Christian. He was there to repent on behalf of the army for the
atrocities they did to Uganda over the past years.
That year the president did something miraculous. After speaking he got the national flag and handed it
over to the intercessors. He said “I hand over this nation to you intercessors. You are the ones who can
bring change. We have tried here and there, but without success. What prompted that? A network of
prayer, which began in individuals and grew into families and cell groups and churches. Also in 1998, he
sent the vice president to AfriCamp with a signed document for the launching of the African Missionary
Initiative saying “In the name of the government of Uganda, we send missionaries all over the world. Go
and be a light” and then they brought a light and handed it to missionaries. So we do not go out of our
nation alone, we are here standing under a mandate released by the President and government of
Uganda.
Even when he does not recognize it, the president has a kingly anointing which comes with his position,
and by giving us the seal of approval, it is conferred on us. There are certain things that take effect even if
the leaders are not saved. In being leaders, they already have a kingly anointing over their lives. They
have an authority to open up the nation to Godly or ungodly influence.
They stand in the gap as leaders and can declare things in spiritual realm knowingly or unknowingly. We
must steer their decisions and declarations through fervent prayer for them. (1 Tim 2.1-2). The wife of our
president is born again; moreover, on December 31 1999, as we entered 2000, the church prepared a big
prayer altar so that all people from the whole nation came so we can pray together in our largest stadium.
When the state house learnt about it, they said, “no, we are the ones who will sponsor all that meeting.
Just announce it. People came from the south, north, east Uganda etc. Amazingly at 10pm the president
of Uganda, his wife, and the whole family came and they spent the whole night there praising God and
praying for the nation. They left at 5.00am.
Today we have 3 Christian radio stations. But every morning at 5.00 we have pastors leading prayers.
But we got those radio stations after prayers, because the national radio had refused to announce
anything to do with born again Christians. So we went into prayer. We said “God do something.” If you
have 1 million homes putting on that radio in the morning praying for only one thing corporately, you have
corporate anointing. On seeing that the government said, “please give them free airtime on Uganda TV;
to preach the gospel. Even on the national radio give them free airtime.
Today as I speak, there are radio stations that don’t belong to Christians but they say, “please pastors of
the Christians, we are giving you free airtime. One radio belongs to an Asian who is not a Christian. He
has nothing to do with Christianity. He says, “Every morning at 5.00a.m come to the radio and pray. Take
the free time. Lead people in prayer.” As they close their stations, the pastor is there, leading prayer.
In the Bible, corporate prayer altars brought change in the land. 1 kings 18:30-38
Then Elijah said to all the people, “come near to me.” So all the people came near to him. And he
repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down. 31 And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the
number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, “Israel shall
be your name.” 32 Then with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord; and he made a trench
around the altar large enough to hold two seahs of seed. 3 And he put the wood in order, cut the bull in
pieces and laid it on the wood, and said, “Fill four water pots with water and pour it on the brunt sacrifice
and on the wood.” 34 And he said, “Do it a second time,” and they did it a second time; and he said, “Do it
a third time,” and they did it a third time. 35 So the water ran all around the altar; and he also filled the
trench with water. 36 And it came to pass, at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah
the prophet came near and said, “Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be know this day that You
are God in Israel and I am your servant and that I have done all these things at Your word. 37 Hear me, O
Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their
hearts back to You again.” 38 And the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood
and the stone and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench.
This was a time where Elijah had declared 3 ½ years of drought because the people had rejected God.
Jezebel the wife of Ahab had brought foreign gods in the land and people had erected altars to these
gods. There were so many prophets worshipping baal. God brought a crisis in the land and Elijah stood
on behalf of God to judge the nation.
After 3 ½ years ended, he came to people and asked them “For how long will you be double minded. If
God is God lets us serve God but if it is baal then let us serve baal.” I will more about Elijah in “Taking the
Land As We Institute Prayer”. Elijah asked for two bulls to be sacrificed at Mt Carmel and the God who
answered by fire would be declared God. The followers of baal called on their god for many hours, to
bring fire but he failed.
In V30 Before Elijah could give sacrifice he first repaired the altar of the Lord. It was in ruins. That shows
that these people had taken years without giving sacrifice to the living God. He first repaired the altar.
God is calling us today; He is blowing the trumpet all over the nations saying “Please prepare an altar for
the Lord. Prepare the altar of your heart, prepare the altar in your family, the altar in your churches, in
your places of work, in your business – before God can move in the land”. Before the presence of God
can come down, we need to repair the broken altars of prayer. Elijah repaired the altar, for it was in ruins.
He prepared the sacrifice and put it on the altar.
He prayed at the time for giving sacrifices – there are also set time2 for going to the altar. Set up time for
the altar. You should not say, “We will go anytime we are free”. You have failed before you start because
the devil will make sure you are busy all the time. Set up a specific time for the altar. At the time of
sacrifice, the prophet Elijah came and prayed.
When we erect altars we call on the presence of God. Altars attract the presence of God. Even when
people had sacrificed so much to baal, because of Elijah who was willing to standing in the gap, erect an
altar and cry to the name of the Lord, the presence came down. Elijah turned the hearts of the people of
Israel back to God. It was double victory.
PRIESTHOODS
In every land, there are always two priesthoods. There is a satanic priesthood and a Godly priesthood.
The priesthood that stands in the gap on behalf of the land will have authority over the land. Before Elijah
came, the priests of baal were rulers of the land, because they sacrificed regularly at their altars and were
in constant communion with their demon gods. They had turned the heart of the people to baal. Even in
our day when we refuse to put up corporate prayer altars, the satanic priesthoods will put up their altars.
As you see more and more mosques, Hindu temples, buddhist shrines and witchcraft rising in the land,
you know that it is a physical manifestation of the spiritual activity over your area; and it is time to stand in
repentance and bet into spiritual warfare.
When people called by the name of the Lord God are spiritually slumbering, we say, “You see we are
tired. We are busy.” Someone else will call on his or her demon god 5 times a day! You call church
members to prayer once a week and it is a struggle; surely which priesthood shall prevail? Take heed!
We learnt that altars are places of mercy. Whenever you are stranded, and in trouble, if you have a family
altar, or another corporate altar, which you attend daily, you find it easier to deal with issues rather than
let them accumulate until you see the pastor! Instead of running to men to and fro, you run to the altar. It
is a place of mercy.
We shall look in greater detail at the importance of praying specifically within the family thru the life of Lot
in Sodom.
Cry out to the Lord, “Lord I am here, I am weak, I am nothing without You, but if You call me, I am ready
for You. This is my day. I was created for a time such as this. Holy Spirit I call unto You come and help
me to build a prayer altar within my life, my family, my school, my place of work, my business! Help me
and give me grace and mercy.”
What is the firmament that is over the nations? What happens in the firmament when you institute prayer
altars?
How can one learn how to constantly live in breakthrough state in their prayer lives?

Spiritual Warfare

We continue with spiritual warfare. These are things we have not learnt in books but through
experiences. God always wants us to be in the knowledge of the wiles and attack of the enemy. I
have always told you that you are a weak army if you don’t know the devices of the enemy. That
means that whenever he comes against you he will be overcoming. Most people have need in the
nations; but they fear talking about spiritual warfare. They say, “don’t talk about the devil”! But
don’t be scared, you have to know about it so that you are effective in your prayer.
Brothers and sisters we were created for battle. The first day I told you about scripture in Genesis
chapter 128 that even before man was created here on earth, as we saw yesterday, things start in
the spiritual, and then they are manifested in the physical. We saw Elijah start things in the
spiritual and then they were manifested in the physical.
It takes strength to subdue, rule or have dominion. In the second scripture of Genesis, “God
formed man from the dust of the earth, put in Him the breath of life and he became a living soul. It
was after man had fallen asleep that God removed the rib and made a woman. However in
Genesis 1 when God said, “let us make man” it was a proclamation in the spiritual realm that had
not been made manifest in the physical realm.
Everything we do has to be born in spirit then manifested in the physical. When we talk about
revival we have to do spiritual warfare and overcome the spirits of darkness ruling over our nation
in the spirit. Only then will the fruit of our warfare be manifested in the physical. In the future we
shall learn ground level spiritual warfare, the middle level spiritual warfare and the strategies
involved, but as intercessors and prayer people you need to know at least this introduction so that
you can begin to pray in a better direction.
You need at times to come to spiritual warfare contending against these spirits. We saw that
illustration of the village and there are different people living around there.
We said that in the sky there is a firmament that is like a blanket covering over the nations; and
the devil put it there. He strengthened it after being overcome by Jesus on the cross, because he
knew that after being overcome, if man can come in that knowledge of knowing that the devil is
defeated then he loses legal ground on earth. So he said, “let us strengthen our strategies
above”.
So there are so many armies of the devil residing over the firmament; the rulers of darkness,
spiritual wickedness, principalities, etc. As I told you, the devil has different hierarchies in his
kingdom and each level is submitted to a higher level. They have a proper type of government.
You find that, also on earth there are some lesser demons that reside here on invitation by human
agents, but they keep in communication with spiritual demon gods which rule above that area and
you find that most demons use big trees, stones, tree stumps, idols, rivers, crossroads, etc to be
their hiding places, and you find that most people who are not of God act as priests to the satanic
kingdom because if someone is not saved they are under the spiritual forces. They are forced to
help to do something that will expand the enemies’ kingdom.
The devil cannot rule over an area unless he has covenant with the people of that area. So before
we can do anything in the land we can take repentance. Repentance can go on any level. You
can repent on behalf of your life, family, tribe, clan, land you can repent on behalf of the nation,
continent, the world etc on any level. But when it comes to spiritual warfare, please put this in
your heart, there are different levels where you cannot come against the enemy. There are
different levels of authority for different hierarchies.
Then we said, if Jane (see illustration) is saved, if she received Jesus as Lord and Savior, God
brings a pillar of protection upon her life. That is what you call the presence of God. When you go
back and read different books by those who have been agents of the devil e.g. Emmanuel Eni or
Mukendi or Rebecca Brown, they can tell you that “whenever we wanted to come against the born
again Christians it was very difficult.” Emmanuel Eni says they wanted to come against a certain
pastor because he was bringing chaos in the city. Every morning at 5.00am he would pray, and
they found all their strategies are messed up; and every time they came against him, they saw a
pillar of fire around him and they stayed far. The moment and the more you come in fellowship
with God you get that pillar of protection around you.
There was a man in our country who was an agent of the enemy. He wanted to destroy a certain
girl of 17 in Holland but he said, because of the devotion of the 17-year-old girl, these agents of
the enemy would stay a distance of about 300 miles away and would plan from a distance how
they can get this girl.
When you are a prayer altar, you have a presence of God upon your life and that is the protection
upon your life, which the devil fights. These demonic agents say that when they go into the
spiritual realm they don’t see as we see, it is easy to spot a Christian in the spiritual side. The
earth is in total darkness and you find that these Christians have a light around them. Some are
like big cities with light all over. This man said they have to be far from those people. Others are
like a lantern and others are like a bulb and others like a small lamp and others are like the
candles. So depending on the light upon your life, these demons keep far or can come near.
Some Christians are like a little wink that is about to blow out.
If you have that presence of God you have the fiery passage that goes through this firmament and
it means you have open an heaven; and wherever you are you can talk to God. Wherever you
are, you can pray. You can be in your car, you can pray, in the garden you can pray because you
have an open heaven. As you are driving and when you are bathing you can talk to God
mysteries everywhere you are because of the open heaven.
That fellowship continues to keep your passage open. The bible tells us in Revelation that the
prayers of the righteous are like burning incense before the throne of God. So your prayer when
you are in right fellowship with God is like fire.
I also told you that as the prayer comes from your heart and reaches the firmament its like
bringing fire near cooking fat. This firmament has to melt away so your angel has easy time going
through the fire of prayer but these demon gods have to run away that is why I told you that the
devil can endure a sermon and anything but they cannot endure the prayers of a righteous man.
We also saw about the family; that as you pray in the family then the pillar becomes bigger
because you are many coming together; and your children also have their ministering angels. So
it is very easy for angels to come. These angels find it a privilege to come and serve you. Even
there are angels here. They are here receiving these messages. When they go back they say,
“Do you know what is happening there? We have learnt another thing about God”.
Peter says God has revealed to us mysteries, even the angels are eager to know about them
because we share the same life with God. He has many mysteries He reveals to us that the
angels don’t know. We are on a higher level than angels and the devil because the devil was just
an angel; but it is because we don’t know ourselves. The devil is a fallen angel and when we learn
about strategic spiritual warfare we will learn about him.
We looked at the illustration with John the once-saved Christian who backslid. Backsliding is not
going out of church. It means when you are not in tune with God. When your fellowship and
relationship with God is broken. We saw that maybe something hurt him and he refused to
forgive. Maybe it was business and work and his prayer life drops slowly by slowly. So there is not
much fire coming out of his heart. The devil brings back the firmament and places it over him and
you find that most of the gifts that you find witchdoctors giving to other people, had come for men
and women of God who could not keep their passages open.
Maybe a lady had asked for a car and this angel had gone to receive the message. The devil
fights so much at that time. If you ask anything of God, Satan will send demons on earth to bring
problems so that you sin or your heart is wounded so that they can close up the firmament; and
when your angel comes he finds the passage covered. Please remember, that spirits cannot
come and inhabit the earth unless they have a legal ground. The devil will not start attacking you
unless there is a foothold; maybe woundedness, unforgiveness, generational sin, words spoken
carelessly and other sin in your life. Remember Job 1? Satan asked God “how can I touch him
seeing he is hedged in on every side?” Job was a righteous man so satan could not touch him
and defile him but he used other outside influences to try and cause Job to let his guard down and
curse God or speak words that would give the devil a foothold, he attacked his body but could not
touch his spirit because Job was a righteous man.
We saw that the angel puts on exactly what you have put on in the spiritual realm i.e. your armor.
If you don’t share the gospel it means that you don’t have the shoes so you are dressed like a
soldier but awkwardly. Imagine finding an army man with gun, helmet, belt but barefoot. You will
wonder what’s wrong with him!? Or let us say you are not telling the truth. That means you don’t
have the belt and that is how your angel will be dressed. When it comes to battle, maybe you are
ever telling lies, the devil will just look at you down here, what you are putting on and he will know
what weapon to use against you.
Today, lets say you don’t have the truth. If you are a man without a belt for your trousers, people
would be tired of you because whenever you move around you have to keep holding up your
trouser because you feel insecure. It could drop off! That is the same with your angel. The devil
will fight to take the gift and if the angel has no belt he will start shooting fiery arrows and the
angel will try to avoid them with the shield. But the devil will send arrows toward him; he will be
blocking with the shield and trying to hold the trouser, trying to hold the sword and shield and also
trying to hold the gift. That is when God tells you here on earth, “please pray, fast go in spiritual
warfare,” But because of the sin in your heart or you don’t obey God, you say, “This is Saturday, I
will fast on Monday. Today it is the weekend we have to eat meat, God I will fast on Monday.” And
you fail.
It can be in the night, many people have been woken up on many occasions to pray, and you
refused. You know when you are testifying to other people you say, “something was telling me to
wake up and pray.” You don’t want to say you disobeyed the Holy Spirit. You call Him
‘something’. What can tell you to pray except the Holy Spirit? If you don’t pray, your angel is
seized, the devil takes him to captivity, they remove the gift and take it to witchdoctors and those
are the things people get from the shrines but your angel cannot remain in captivity. Other angels
mightier in war like the archangel Michael will come to rescue him and take him back to heaven.
Daniel talks about it even when the angel of God was sent and when the devil wanted to take the
messages. He says, “Michael the archangel came and helped me.” Michael comes and removes
angels from captivity. The angel goes back but the angel is very sad because he feels good when
he is serving you. And now he is doing nothing. He goes and says “Holy Spirit tell him to fast. I am
doing nothing. I want to take messages. That is my work. I am losing my ministry. I feel very bad
without my fellowship with my friend.”
Many things may be happening in your life that your passage has now got holes, the demons are
now attacking you and your protection angels are not here. They feel “this one is going through a
bad situation who will fight for him? Please tell him to pray.” And they say, “even if you have taken
that cup of tea just fast”. But we are so blinded by our religious belief and say, “I have already
eaten, how can I fast?” The Holy Spirit says, “don’t take lunch or supper”. But because of religion
we say, “I have eaten so I cannot fast. I will start the next day”. You lose the battle. Brothers and
sisters be alert!
When the angel is away, then he waits. If your are putting on the full armor and your angel is
putting on the full armor, maybe you become angry because someone has attacked you for some
reason and you have not repented, the demons will close the firmament because they are not
afraid. There is no fire. When your angel comes with the gift and finds the passage closed, the
devil will look at you and see the full armor and then he looks around, the angel will not be
touched.
They will go back and return the gift. It is good to put on the full armor of God. Always cover
yourself with the blood of Jesus. Don’t come against demon gods without covering. Put on the
blood of Jesus enter in the name of Jesus. Proverbs 1810 – the name of the Lord is a strong tower,
the righteous run into it and are saved. Before you know how to put on the armor take these two
things; cover yourself with the blood and then enter in the name of Jesus.
As you come into spiritual warfare, you have covered yourself in the blood, entered into the name
of Jesus and cover your everything with the blood of Jesus. The devil may leave you here in
church and attack your family, your job, etc if you do not cover all that has to do with you. Cover
everything securely and continue to do that even when you are not in spiritual warfare. When you
leave every morning plead the blood of Jesus over yourself, your children, touch them and cover
them. The devil can just keep quiet, but when you are not alert he will strike somewhere.
When you come into spiritual warfare, you are not coming in your strength that is why you need to
cover yourself with the blood so that you are not the one seen but that it is Jesus shown. When
you contend with the enemy you don’t say, “you devil go”. You say “in the name of Jesus Christ.”
Don’t say Jesus. There are so many Jesus’ but this is Jesus Christ, meaning “Anointed One”.
Then you have to come against the spirit. For instance you are praying about prostitution. First
cover yourself in the blood then carry out repentance and say “Father, in the name of Jesus
Christ, I come against the spirit of Prostitution. In the name Jesus, I bind it. I render it powerless. I
uproot it and I send it into the spiritual wilderness.”
Hear me now – There are so many mistakes we make in spiritual warfare that don’t chase the
enemy. When we go in our own strength and don’t cover ourselves we will be hit. It is like going
naked in the spirit. You are prey to the enemy. When you come against that spirit, many people
say, “in the name of Jesus I bind you prostitution I bind you.” You are doing more harm than
good. When you bind the spirit, it is bound in the name of Jesus Christ and it remains there. Then
after spiritual warfare you think you are successful and you say, “I have gone and done spiritual
warfare”. The other demons will come and untie it. Now the demon is angry and he can get you
when you are not alert. You cannot bind a demon.
You say, “we have prayed for our area but I see no change, I am tired of this spiritual warfare. We
have tried everything”. Maybe you have been binding them and binding them. You have to send
them somewhere. Listen to me. Many people come and say “in the name of Jesus I bind you and
render you powerless, I send you in the lake of fire.” The demons will not go because it is a lie.
The lake of fire is not there at this time and that is not its purpose.
Revelation 1920
Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence,
by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshipped his
image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.
So the devil has brought lies in spiritual warfare so that he can survive. When you read about the
lake of fire, it is not Satan that will be in the lake of fire. It is first the beast and the false prophet.
Those are first, Satan will go third. They will not go because it is not there now. It has a purpose.
Here is another one. “In the name of Jesus Christ I bind you, uproot you, render you powerless,
go in the bottomless pit”. And you think you have done well. You have done nothing. The
bottomless pit is not there now. The bible says in Revelation 201 “Then I saw an angel coming
down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2he laid
hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand
years; 3and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he
should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things
he must be released for a little while.”
It has its purpose that is the 1000 years where the devil will be imprisoned. So the demons won’t
go there; it is a lie. So they have survived you and they will be until after you have gone. Jesus
spoke of demons in Matthew 12, when the demons leave, we should send them into the spiritual
wilderness, and say, “I rebuke you and send you there and never return back.”
Here is another. “In the name of Jesus I come against you devil, I bind you spirit of lust, I render
you powerless, go in the ocean”. You are bringing more chaos. That is why you find many boats
drowning. The people in the islands are not saved because the church throws the demons there.
Boats of hundreds of people drown; the ships break down, because they have a mission. So be
careful where you send demons.
We have seen this working. At times we bind these demons as people are being delivered and we
send them to spiritual wilderness. And they plead “please leave us, don’t send us there.” We
know “okay, you have to go there”. Even at one time a demon begged us, “please don’t send us,
please send us to that dog.” I understood why some dogs go mad, bite people, and die. Because
people don’t want to engage in spiritual warfare until they are delivered, they just say, “Okay go to
the dog.” So be careful and send the demons to the spiritual wilderness until judgment.
There are different kinds of prayer that don’t go through the firmament;
1. A prayer from an unforgiving heart. When you don’t forgive in your heart even if you pray,
your prayers are like smoke. They cannot go through
2. Prayer of fear. When you fear and you pray. You say, “Let me pray” but you are in fear,
they cannot go through. God wants faith not fear to drive our prayer.
3. Sleepy prayers: When you pray and you are nodding and sleepy. You say things like “I
bind you Jesus”. The devil uses people mostly when they are in sleep and brings different
words in their mouth, and they blaspheme God. One day we were praying and there was
a certain brother who had gone to a night prayer somewhere. As we were praying
vigorously, crisis intercessors, he removed the shirt and put it somewhere. There were
some people who came to see how the saved people pray. They took the shirt of this
brother. He felt very bad. On another time when they were praying, this brother happened
to be in dozing. He was praying but now in sleep. Maybe because of what entered in his
heart when they took his shirt he was saying “Jesus you stole my shirt”. The brothers who
were there said, “Hey brother what are you saying?” He said, “I think I was sleeping.”
4. Routine prayers that are said without really thinking about them and meaning them.
5. Shopping list prayers: When you come to pray and write a list of 30 things to be
mentioned in 30minutes, unless the Lord has led you to just make mention of the list
of things or lay hands on a bunch of letters, you are wasting energy. When you pray,
come and pray for one thing exhaust it: it may be that you need to first repent, come into
spiritual warfare command it to leave and speak the truth of God concerning that matter
prophetically, using His Word. Some people who pray with lists say, “We have finished
things that we prayed for we have no more lists,” and that entitles them to no more
prayer. Avoid prayer shortcuts!
6. Prayer from a wandering mind, where you find that you are praying, “Jesus I love you I
give You my heart. You are gracious” but your mind is at the place of work, the business,
as you were coming home you did window shopping and you think that shoe was good, ‘I
think I can get some money and buy it’. Then you remember the pickpocket, how they
were chasing and as the boy was running he bumped at you, etc and the real you is at
the shopping centre. God will not hear.
The best battlefield for spiritual warfare is in the mind. That is why you cannot say that anyone
has ever praying through with a wondering mind. We will learn how to control our mind. That is
the best device the devil uses. He brings things that you passed through when you were growing
up. He says “poor you, your mother mistreated you, that step mother whenever there was left
over food she gave her children; you slept outside your father’s house at one time.” And you feel
anger rising. And you say “yes, pastor pray for me, I don’t know what is happening to me.
Whenever I start to pray, I find that I cannot concentrate. I don’t know how to go about it.” It is the
enemy engaging him in spiritual warfare.
When you start to pray and you keep your fellowship and relationship with God, you find that you
have the opening in the firmament. If it is the house or family altar, as I know you are going back
to your family to pray, bigger pillars are formed through the firmament. I know that this is not the
end of everything. As we go back, as people from different churches come and pray, then you find
a bigger pillar. As you do that, you are weakening the firmament that is above the city or area.
You are destroying something in the firmament. Isaiah 257
And He will destroy on this mountain, the surface of the covering cast over all people, and the veil
that is spread over all nations.
What God calls ‘the mountain’, is Mount Zion. Whenever we talk about that, God is talking about
the gathering of His people. It is like talking about the church. Isaiah is telling us, that through the
church, God is going to ‘destroy the face of the covering cast over all people and the veil that is
spread all over all nations’. The firmament we talk about is not just a legend. Another version
says, ‘on this mountain He will destroy the shroud’ that sheet that covers nations. He is talking
about the firmament. Through the church, through the people and their churches, the home and
family – as church starts at home.
When will He destroy the sheet above the people? We have learned that the spirit realm only
enters human experience at the invitation of human agents. Our mode of communication with the
spirit realm is through prayer. Therefore God will only destroy the sheet above the people if they
start to pray.
Let me show you an illustration.
Think about the firmament over your community as a sheet above your village, town or family.
That sheet has covered your area for a long time. Under it people are living in wickedness and
above it the spirits of wickedness are living. They are cutting off your fellowship and relationship
from God. As you the individual begins to become a prayer altar, after yielding your heart, you
forgive, you repent and you pray and make it a lifestyle to be righteous, then when you pray and
have that fiery pillar over your life, you make a piercing in the firmament. If you bring your family
together and begin to pray, that corporate anointing pierces the heavens even more and the hole
widens.
As the families come together in the church and are praying the holes widen even more. As the
churches come together and pray together, they move into another level of corporate anointing
and soon the hole in the firmament becomes even wider and will soon collapse as the prayer net
moves on and on.
What does God say about the unity of brethren in Psalm 133? He commands a blessing there
even life forever more. With a torn firmament over the area, the Holy Spirit has free passage and
revival breaks out among the people. It happened in the Herbides, it happened in Wales and in all
of the greatest revival-hit places. One person began to pray and another and another and soon
prayer was all over the area. (Ref. Transformations 2 Video)
When you go back to your family, maybe you are 4 people, and you pray, that means that 4
openings will break and, as you go on praying, you are weakening the firmament, when you come
together in many families as a church you are dong something in your firmament and it tears and
one day it will come apart. That is what the scripture in Isaiah 25 is saying. When we go up the
mountain it means we are seeking God. He will destroy the covering that is above all people. He
will destroy the veil or sheet covering all nations.
As we finish this lesson, the things we have been sharing are powerful. At first you may not see
things happening, but slowly by slowly there is something happening. Start anywhere you like.
Maybe you need to repent about your thoughts, or for the sleepy prayers, for unforgiveness. Call
on the name of the Lord.
What do we mean that the mind is the devil’s greatest battlefield? We shall be looking at this in
the next teaching.

COMBAT IN THE HEAVENLIES Taking The Area For Christ

God has positioned every church in the area for a purpose. We already saw that in every area there
are two priesthoods – a demonic one and a Godly one. God uses the church as a priesthood to stand
in the gap, and the devil has his people over this area. In your area there are two types of kingdoms.
Here the Bible believing church represents the kingdom of God and the people who are not Christians
representing the devil. The priesthood that dominates over this place is the ruler of the area. God did
not call the church to just sit and be idle. We are called for war. We are called to bring changes in the
land. We are connected and bound in this place to bring change!
In Uganda, God took us into a time of dealing with territorial spirits and we learned so many things.
The following is an account of one encounter John Mulinde had during one of those seasons:
Season of Warfare Training
We went to Nkonge in Wobulenzi in one part of Uganda, and the Lord made it clear “I have brought
you there to teach you spiritual warfare.” Nkonge is on the fringes of a heavily forested area. That is
where I learnt spiritual warfare and for the first time heard about territorial spirits – not from someone
or a book but from practical experience and combat with the kingdom of darkness. That is when I
learnt, to establish a church and have it running successfully you have to overcome the powers that
rule the territory.
I remember the first day I went to survey the village, a brother who had been pasturing a church under
one of the church bodies in Uganda, Miracle centre had about 70 people after the first crusade. They
grew to about 120. It was a church full of fire and zeal of the Holy Spirit, a lot of praise and different
activities. But the church fell in less than a year. There was no one remaining except the pastor his
wife one sister and a baby of the pastor. The first day I arrived, I talked with this man and asked him
“But pastor how can a church grow to over 100 people and in 1 year there are only four souls
remaining?
He did not know what to say. That night they took me to the neighborhood where I was to stay. As I
got down on my knees and began to cry to God asking, “Please Lord tell me what was the reason the
other church failed? How could You save 120 people and then in one year all of them are back in the
world?” I spent more than an hour crying about this one thing.
Later on the pastor came and we prayed together then we slept. It was an empty room with
mattresses on the floor. I had a dream. In this dream, I saw myself walking into that area of Nkonge.
As I stepped into the village and began to look at people I put my arms behind me. Then I felt myself
being lifted off the ground. I was up in the sky. As I was in that elevated position my eyes went into the
forest. In the middle of the forest I saw a very high great mvule tree (cedar). By the mvule was an
anthill. By that anthill was another Mvule stump. Beside it were two holes, a calabash; few bark cloth
and other things. I saw a large snake coming out of one of the holes. It had three colors; very light
blue at tip, a brownish along the back and a cream colored head. It came out from one hole and went
into the other hole. Then my attention was turned away.
I heard the sound of drums and singing. When I turned to look I saw a make shift building with a
papyrus reed roof, which are famously called “kiwempe” in Uganda. There were born again people
(called “balokole” in Uganda) praising God and dancing. It was powerful. My attention was taken up
by this church.
Earlier that evening when I arrived I did not see any church building at that spot. In the dream I was
seeing a church. Then I saw the pastor. This man who was sleeping by my side, was leading the
church in the session. He would stand at the time of preaching, read from Psalms then he would
speak but what he said was not connected with what he had read. There was a lot of fun making,
people standing up to cheer him on and a lot of activity, then more dancing and singing.
As I was still watching the church I heard a sound of drums from the forest. But these drums were
different. They were like wedding drums, very heavy. In Buganda kingdom, there are very huge
drums, which are sounded during weddings and festivities. I could hear so many other instruments in
that sound. So I turned to look and there was a thick cloud of darkness in the forest. Then I heard the
people of the village who were not in the church shouting. They were saying, “They have stirred up
our place. Let us see whether they will stand. Those believers are stubborn.”
My attention was fixed again on the forest. As I watched I saw the darkness lift out of the trees and it
was like a huge car tire, black, like a black cloud or thick darkness and it was going round slowly when
I looked more closely, I saw people inside the dark cloud. Some were black, others looked light
colored, and they were all dancing to the music. The music itself was thick and heavy. They were
singing “Kiganda” songs.
Then as I watched, the cloud began to spin faster and faster, and became spread out and thin like a
saucer and people of Nkonge who were watching, the non believers were all running to their houses
and locking themselves in. They said, “They have stirred him up.” Then I saw the cloud coming
through the air. The Balokole were oblivious to the activity and were singing and dancing. Suddenly it
came and struck the church in the middle. And went through it. I saw bodies flying in the air. The top
parts flying one way and the lower going the other way. Everything was being scattered the papyrus
was going in all directions. The cloud passed through the building and people and stopped
somewhere in the air and came back and passed on low ground level. All benches were being broken
and then the cloud rose up again and went back over the forest.
Slowly it began to spin slower and settle back into the forest. I turned my eyes to see the church.
There was no church. There were broken, bodies all over. Papyrus reeds all over. I saw the pastor
stand there, with his wife and their little baby and the other sister, was laying down there. Only four
people. I came out of my dream.
Immediately, I woke the pastor up and told him what I had seen. I had not seen any church when I
came to Nkonge. I described to him where I had seen it in the dream. He said “That is where our
church was but now even the owner has chased us away.” I asked, “What was the nature of your
services?” He said, “We used to have powerful praise.” I told him “The lord showed me you used to
always read from Psalms.” He said, “I love the Psalms.” I said, “The Lord showed me you never
preached the Word you read. You only spoke what you wanted and excited the people.” He said “But
I really preached.” I said to him “Okay. What broke your church were powers of darkness and they are
in that forest.” He did not know anything about it. I did not understand it either.
I forgot about it and later on I came back to our capital city Kampala where we went ahead and
prepared for the mission. We went back to Nkonge for the church-planting mission but we had
problems because the work was so hard. We would have outreaches and get about 300 people and
just as we get ready for an altar call they begin to go away. As we continued our mission I could not
connect the dream of forest beings with the hardness in the village.
One day as we prayed one person in our outreach team saw a vision. And in the vision a man was
hiding behind an anthill. He stood and he said, “I am Nkonge I cannot be taken.” “Nkonge” in the
native language means, “tree stump.” He said, “I am Nkonge and you can never uproot me.”
We began to wonder, “Could it be that the name of this village is connected to a spirit?” So we went to
people of the village and asked them who Nkonge was. They said “Are you silly? It is this town.” We
persisted in finding out who it was. We went and asked a woman she said, “Children, what are you
looking for? Have you not seen what happened to your predecessors? Nkonge is the prince. He sits
there in that bush.” We asked her “Is he living? Can we see him?” She said “What? Are you looking
for death? Don’t cause me problems.”
We went searching and then we got some ruffians and asked them. They said, “You Christians
(balokole) if you want to see Nkonge, get chicken we will slaughter them. Then there are two holes
and there is a tree stump where he sits and judges. Whenever we go there, we bring that sacrifice.
Then it began to click! That is exactly what I had seen in the dream. We excitedly said, “Lets go there
and attack him. The ladies in our team had left to go and fetch firewood. While in the forest, they met
a snake of three colors! Not in a vision in real life. It was a very long big snake. It moved quickly,
they threw their firewood and ran away. When they reached the village shouting, “the snake has
chased us, we threw our firewood. It had three colors.” The villagers told them “You will die. Go and
take sacrifice to the stump. You have seen Nkonge with your eyes.”
The villagers told us “That is the spirit of Nkonge.” When they reached home, that night when we were
praising, things went crazy and the sisters began to fall all over the place. Different voices were
speaking from inside them. We knew they were possessed under some demonic oppression. We
began to cast out the demons. Then one sister, who had just come from her marriage ceremony, and
joined our team, she also fell down. The demons were saying, “We have always been looking for a
way to get you and never got an open door. But today Nkonge has opened for us.”
The demons kept saying through her “they told us to kill her. We have come. If you come for her you
will cry.” There we were with four sisters screaming all over the place making all sorts of curses and
demonic words. Then after one spirit left one girl, it came back and said “Nkonge said I have to go
with someone.” We had to pray hard.
After a while we said, “Let us stop attacking these demons, let us attack Nkonge – the prince of these
demons”. We directed our prayers to the forest. We called that Nkonge spirit by name and we began
to attack it. Eventually we got deliverance of all these sisters. Soon the Lord led us to the priest who
was servicing the altar of Nkonge, his name was Asumani. He came to the Lord.
If we sleep as a church, the other priests of the devil may be sacrificing to that spirit. The name of an
area takes the name of the ruling spirit. That spirit rules there by permission with human agents who
give it legal ground through various wicked practices and sacrifices e.g. witchcraft, abortion, murder
and the like.
In Daniel 10:12-13, an angel visited him after waiting 21 days to get an answer from God. The angel
began to speak to him and in that conversation, reveals to us something in the spiritual realm that is
very interesting. The principality that had detained him had the same name as the ruling kingdom of
the time. The angel went further to inform him of the coming principality; and when we look at history,
indeed the next ruling kingdom was the Greeks. When you check the history of a place, you find there
is a connection with the spirit over that place so go back and find out how does it come about? What
keeps it ruling in your area?
The earth was created for human habitation. Spirit beings of any kind are not allowed to inhabit earth
at any time, except by invitation. A spirit cannot rule over a place unless it has a covenant with the
people of that place. When we pray for any place, the first thing to deal with is repentance; because of
those who first came and appeased the demon spirit. In that, we are purging the land and cleaning the
place. By repentance we are removing the legal ground from which the devil was working, so that
when we come into spiritual warfare and send demons away they will not come back because spiritual
covenants are broken.
In my country whenever they are building a new house, after building the foundation, they slaughter
chicken, sheep or goats. Do you know what you are doing? It is not just sacrifice for the house but
sacrificing to the demon god over that area. Sometimes if they are opening up factories, they take
human sacrifice. They are strengthening covenants with the demon god above. If the church is silent,
because we all want to be in the four walls we call church, praying for our problems, our church, our
lives – we are defeated. After the demon gods scheme over this place and strengthen their
strongholds, slowly they will creep into the church and take your people, one by one. That is why
churches don’t grow in certain places because they are not contending with the demon gods ruling
over the place. If they grow at all it is because they allow permissive unbiblical influences. The demon
gods are not content to do it outside the church but he wants a say inside the church. When inside he
will want to have a say in the affairs of the church; and today we see abominable practices that are
clearly unbiblical being practiced in the church of Christ!
Brothers and sisters, you are the priests to stand in the gap on the side of the kingdom of God. God
saw that there is darkness in your community, so He said, “let Me take someone who will be light
there so that when light comes, darkness flees. Let me equip them with all the qualities through
different experiences so that they can be able to stand in that community and bring a difference for
the glory of My name”. However, if you come and sit passively in the church or worse still, at home,
this is not a threat to the devil. If you can overcome the spirit ruling over this area, you will see many
coming to church and receiving Jesus Christ.
Satan will try to bring small fires in your life, to stop you from looking at God’s bigger vision for your
community so that you can begin to stamp out those small fires in your spiritual backyard. You will get
tempted to think of dealing with the challenges – “My work, my food, my husband etc” while satan is
doing the bigger destruction in the community. If you get a bigger vision, and eliminate his powers,
then the families in that area will be redeemed and you find this small demons that are bringing
sickness, relational problems, lack and poverty flee because the strongman is bound and cast out.
Prayer Action:
A word of caution: Remember that if you are alone you are under a limited legal authority in the
spiritual realm. You are requested to stay in repentance of the area because you can repent to any
level. However, if you want to go into spiritual warfare, you get greater level of legal authority in the
spiritual realm when you are praying in unity with even one person from other churches that are not in
your denomination, also if you pray with people from different parts of your community. UNITY IS THE
KEY. This way you can pray through into spiritual warfare over the community. Always remember to
plant and proclaim the kingdom of God in the areas of spiritual warfare, prophetically proclaiming what
you want to see God doing in the area; covering each one of you with the blood of Jesus.
Repent on behalf of the area you live in. Ask God to forgive you for the sins of those who have been
there before, the forefathers and founders of the land, repent of the covenants they made in that
place. Repent over their sacrifices, and over every demonic spirit that is behind the name of your area
(if this applies). Plead the blood of Jesus over this area and over your life and property.
We will repent over blood sacrifices that were made. The devil cannot rule over an area unless there
is a blood sacrifice. Remember that every life that has been taken in any way that is unnatural through
murder, sickness, by accident, etc is a sacrifice to the demon god over the area. Also remember that
just because many people are ignorant of spiritual activity related to these things does not make the
demon god less in the area. The demon gods capitalize on their ignorance.
We will repent over blood sacrifices made over mountains, under big trees, at stones at times these
can be at the cemetery, at the cross roads, certain houses or buildings. Repent over the abortion
clinics and places where “mercy” killings are accepted etc these may be places of covenants. We will
repent and call upon the blood of Jesus to cleanse those trees, stones, and evil spots where they may
be.
We repent over all blood sacrifices made on the buildings in this area because we are trying to move
every legal ground that has given a landmark for the enemy to work. Maybe they sacrificed people in
factories built around. It comes by people having accidents on working site, or road accidents or other
kind of deaths. There may be some temples and mosques where they sacrifice blood of animals. We
repent of all the blood sacrifices in factories, houses, temples, mosques, and business premises,
clinics where abortions are done, and where mercy killings take place.
After we finish our repentance, we are going over into spiritual warfare. We will rebuke that spirit over
your area, break its power and hold over people around. We will call out the strong man behind the
name of your area, and rebuke him, casting him into the spiritual desert.
Cover yourself and all that you own, your area, house, family, job; everything that concerns you with
the blood of Jesus, so that when we send this spirit away he will not go and create backlash in other
areas of your life. Hide everything in your life under the name of Jesus. The Bible says in Proverbs 18
that the name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous run into it and are saved.
Call upon the fire from heaven to demolish all strong holds of the enemy. Uproot and pull down the
strongholds of the enemy.
Call on the kingdom of God to be established. Start to prophetically call the people of your area to turn
to God in the spirit. Call the prostitutes, the Moslems, witchdoctors, drug addicts etc. Call on the
Kingdom of God to be established. Pray that you will see that which has been established in the
spiritual manifested in the physical. Amen

COMBAT IN THE HEAVENLIES Spiritual Warfare

We continue with spiritual warfare. It is very bad if you don’t know your enemy. We must know our
strategies but also we need to know the strength of the enemy we fight with. You are a very weak army if
you don’t know the strength of your enemy. As people called by the name of the Lord, we are like spies of
the kingdom of the living God. Always know about the spiritual mapping of the area you come from.
Always know what the devil is doing alongside with what God is doing. If you keep informed about his
devices, you can come against them. But you will not be beating around the bush. You will be destroying
his targets. Let us pray for protection upon us for we are touching a sensitive area.
We said in the last lesson that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against spiritual wickedness,
principalities, powers and the rulers of darkness. We saw that the principalities are fallen angels, which
work with the devil, and they rule over bigger regions, districts and continents. We saw that there are
some other smaller hierarchies below these. These are the spiritual wickedness. These we saw that their
work is to develop every wickedness we see everywhere. Then the rulers of darkness blind the eyes of
people so that they don’t see the truth. And we saw powers. These are forces that make people to do
things that are wicked. It is like a government in the kingdom of the devil.
We see that after Jesus defeated the devil and demon gods on the cross He went to hell and removed
the keys of death and Hades, the devil and his demon gods went up in the sky and made a firmament.
There is a firmament, which is like a blanket covering the nations of the world. The aspect of the devil is
that they may destroy the fellowship and relationship with people and God. In Isaiah 25.7 it talks about
the firmament or the covering that veils the nations. This shroud is cast by the devil and his hordes of
demon gods. God will destroy it one day even as Isaiah prophesied it.
Above it, (i.e. is the fig above), the spiritual wickedness powers and principalities who act as agents of the
devil and are always above the firmament. These try to withhold our prayers to go through but they have
lesser devils who work here on earth. Some rule where there are sacred stones, others in big trees,
Holes in pillar
Tree
stumps
Born again family
John –
Backslidden
Christian
Jane – Christian
with unbroken
relationship with
God
Open heavens, & divine
protection, pillar of fire
FIRMAMENT
Stone/rock
River
s
Shrine/idols
On mountain
tops
Demon Gods incl. principalities, powers,
rulers of darkness, wicked spirits
Non- believers
Under big
trees
others in rivers, others on mountain tops, others in valleys and others work using idols, tree stumps, at
cross roads etc. Everywhere the priesthoods of the devil give sacrifices.
We saw that the devil cannot rule over the area unless he has a covenant with the people of that area.
We saw that in Daniel, when the angel brought a message to Daniel, he revealed what was happening in
the spiritual realm. He said “on the day you sought your heart to seek God I was sent with your message
but I have been withheld for 21 days by the prince of Persia – but also the ruling kingdom down here were
the Medes and Persians. There was a connection there.
If God sees that an area has the priesthood of the enemy taking hold of the area, where you find that
people are under the rulership of the kingdom of darkness, always, God will make sure He will find a
person who will stand for the kingdom of God. That is why He said in Ezekiel 2230 I looked for a man
willing to stand in the gap. Where there is darkness ruling over villages and towns, God brings people
from different areas, some come in marriage, some looking for work, but in any way God is bringing them
in an area where He wants to use them as a point of contact in dealing with spiritual powers in that area.
So brothers and sisters you find that you were not born here, you may have come from different areas of
the nation, but God brought you to the place you are for a purpose.
If someone comes in that area, he is a born again Christian and uses his/her heart to God you find that
there is a pillar of fire that comes upon your life. This acts as your protection against the powers ruling
over the area. If that pillar is around you, you find that it goes through the firmament. If you develop your
lifestyle of prayer so that it becomes a discipline and you let your heart become a prayer altar so that
whenever you are, the heart is still praying when others are conversing your heart is always conversing
with God, you are keeping up the fire so that the firmament won’t come back and block your prayers.
John the Baptist said “I baptize you with water, but behind me is coming One who will baptize you with
the Holy Spirit and fire”. As we go on seeking God He baptizes us with the Holy Spirit and fire; and you
find that this fire continues to consume our sinful nature. We find that if we start to pray, in an area that
has been blocked by a firmament; and you have the right fellowship and relationship with God; your
prayer acts like fire in this firmament. It is like bringing cooking fat near fire, it starts melting. It is the same
thing when we yield our hearts to God. When we go back and check our heart and we let go of malice
jealousy, anger etc and our hearts are clean before God, we find that because of that fellowship and
relationship, as we pray, the fire of prayer makes the firmament melt away and gives way. Even these
spiritual wickedness, rulers etc will have to run away because they cannot sustain the fire.
Angels
You find that the moment you become born again, you are given an angel to minister to you. This angel
passes through this pillar of prayer to bring messages to you. The moment you keep up your fellowship
and relationship with God, the more you receive answers. That is why we find many today asking “why is
it that when so and so prays they receive, but I have taken years praying for this but it does not come to
pass?” Maybe the time for that has not come but another thing is that maybe you don’t keep your
passage open by an unbroken relationship with God.
Your angel is dressed the same as you put on in the spiritual realm. We are not talking about that now. It
takes an entire seminar. However, Paul talks in Ephesians 6:13- that we should put on the full armor of
God.
Put on the helmet of salvation, the boots of truth, breastplate of righteousness, holding the shield of faith,
and the word of God as the sword of the Spirit and pray from your mouth in supplication. As you put these
on, also your angel wears as you are wearing and he is already there to serve you. As you move in the
land you go with your presence. The pillar of fire is around you and one thing you are doing, you are
bringing chaos in the kingdom of the enemy. As you move, your pillar goes on piercing the firmament.
That is why I told you wherever you are, keep your heart yielded to God, continue with prayer as you are
in your car keep praying. As you go around, as you dig, wash plates etc let your heart keep bubbling up
prayer. Even if you are doing anything you can pray. That is why God gave us the spiritual language.
Many people don’t want to pray in different tongues. Even when we come to church, they feel ashamed; “I
don’t want this one to hear”, but brothers and sisters, these are mysteries the devil wont even understand
and they keep your passage open.
If you go back in your family and start prayer altars, the pillar becomes bigger. In the illustration, there is a
family of born again Christians where they have a family prayer altar every evening lets assume. Before
sleeping and maybe in the morning they pray together. You find that everyone in your family has a
ministering angel. So as we come together as family and create a bigger opening, we are allowing many
angels to be coming.
Put this in your life, the angel won’t move unless we Christians pray and they cannot pass through that
firmament. The Bible says, “Aren’t the angels ministering spirits?” That is why without you God can do
nothing. Without Him we can do nothing. We cannot receive from God unless we cultivate our hearts to
be praying people.
Angels bring protection over the family. They bring messages because there are free openings in heaven.
That is why we saw that when Jacob was at Bethel, Abraham had set up an altar in that place; even after
some years there were open heavens; and you find that angels were descending and ascending. It was
free for them to move around. God could talk to a sinner like Jacob there. If you can just pray and keep
your hearts yielded to God even before we can go to minister to these people because of the free heaven
above, you find that God will convict people of their sinful lives. Many will come to church repenting.
Some will be crying in their beds asking what they can do so that by the time we go to evangelize, it is
already done in the spirit realm. Praise God.
Let us look at John in the illustration. One day he was a born again Christian. Somehow somewhere in
his walk, he got something that hit his heart. Maybe there was someone who talked about him and it was
lies, and he heard bitterness in his heart. He says, “I will not forgive that person”. When you do that, even
when you start to pray, that fire will be quenched by the sin that has entered in your heart. It is prayer
from your heart that can open up the firmament. You find that slowly by slowly, these spiritual wickedness
and principalities slowly start bringing back the firmament in your life. That is why you need to be very
careful that whatever circumstance and situation, the devil can use anyone to bring hurt to you. If you are
not alert and allow it to enter your life, your prayers are no more effective. They are not still fiery. You
bubble out words from lip service. Where true prayer is coming from has been corrupted by sin and the
devil will bring back the firmament above you.
That is why most people today, say, “last year, two years ago I was praying and I could feel the presence
of God. I could feel I touched the heart of God, but today as I pray I feel that my prayers are bouncing
back. I don’t know what is happening.” It is like smoke coming up. And when it reaches the firmament it
just spreads beneath it because it cannot go through, as it is not hot enough. So be very careful. The
devil is fighting for your passage to be closed. If it goes on like that, the Holy Spirit will come and convict
you “please John, forgive and forget”. If you refuse, even your pillar and protection starts to have holes
and the demon gods start throwing things through the walls upon your life. The prayer life goes, when you
pray you start sleeping, when you read the bible you start sleeping, you sleep even when the sermon is
going on. You have been overcome. Why? There is something you are harboring in your heart. Your
prayers cannot go through.
Make sure you set up time for praying. If you don’t do that, the moment you say, “We are going to pray,”
the devil will bring slumbering, and you feel “oh today I feel tired, I will pray tomorrow.” If you don’t keep
this as a discipline, slowly the devil will come and bring back the firmament.
And let me tell you this, if you have asked for anything from God, that is where the most spiritual warfare
is. Let me tell you, you are a married woman. You want a child from God, and then one morning you say
“but God I feel I touch Your heart when I pray, but God I want a child. A baby girl please God give it to
me.” Your angel is there to minister to you. He say’s “okay Joyce wants a baby.” Then he runs to God and
says, “I have been sent. Your daughter wants a baby. They need it. I want to take it.” Then as the angel
has gone, the devil will try to see that he fights you from every corner. It may come from a neighbor
bringing harsh words in the morning, your boss, your husband, etc and you find you are disturbed. If you
are not alert in the spiritual and you keep resentment in your heart, and you wonder “I felt the presence of
God and I even asked for something, and I felt God was answering my prayer, but where is all this chaos
from?”
The devil wants you to lose your contact through the day. If you do that, slowly he comes back because
your heart has been wounded with words, he closes and waits for your angel to come. So here comes
your angel with your baby but on arrival he finds the firmament closed. Remember your angel is dressed
as you. For instance you are good Christian, you are truthful, and have belt of truth, you are saved so you
have your helmet, you walk righteously, and have breastplate of righteousness and you read the word of
God so you have the sword of the spirit, and with faith you move, but you refuse to preach the gospel of
peace i.e. sharing the word with others in any forum. So you are well dressed in the spiritual but you don’t
have shoes.
You are there, smart and ready for war, and your angel is dressed in exactly the same armour as you
have on. The demon will look at you. He is not looking at your angel. He looks at how you are dressed in
the spirit and will use the same weapons you are not wearing to fight your angel. He will bring fire in the
spiritual realm. So the angel is holding the baby trying to fight with the sword, but because there is
somewhere you lack armoury and because of the fire on his feet, he will be shifting his feet trying to fight
but he will not give up the baby. He will try to put on armour and fight back but also tell the Holy Spirit
“please tell Joyce to pray, tell her I am coming with her prayer request.
Maybe during the night as you are sleeping, around 3.00a.m you feel something shaking you. Something
bangs on the roof, you wake up, and you wonder “why am I awake?” You feel something telling you
“pray”, and you say, “It is not time. I will go to morning devotion, I feel tired. God you know I was busy
yesterday.” You have not helped your angel. Because the war is going on and if you pray and repent, the
firmament will give way and he comes.
How many times has the Holy Spirit called you to pray and you refused? You feel during the day you are
uneasy, awake, “maybe today I take a fast but no, it is Thursday I will do that on Monday when the week
is starting”. We always postpone God. “On the weekend we will have a barbeque so I will do it on
Monday”. If you don’t pray these demon gods in the spirit bind your angel, take him as captive, and
remove the gift baby from him. Those are the babies and wealth you find, are got from the witchdoctors in
the shrines. Those are the riches they get from witches. The devil has nothing he can create. Those are
blessings for Christians who are not alert, and you find that other people say “we got a baby”’ and you are
here crying, “oh God I asked for one”. Because you do not keep your opening, you lose many things in
the spiritual.
Repent before God for whenever He has been calling you to come up and pray and you have been
refusing and go on asking God to give you grace whenever you pray, to know what is going on in the
spiritual realm. Maybe there is something good and the devil is fighting it.
Now you have legal ground to break every firmament that is blocking your prayer. Call upon the fire of
God to burn the firmament.
Pray that the fire of prayer will be continually burning in your life