We read in the Word that the dragon gave the beast “his own strength & great power”.(A) The Bible in REV 2 & 12, and REV 18:2 hints of demonic territorial principalities. In this age when the Beast system has so much power, spiritual warfare is vitally important. This message is on confronting evil in high places, w/ a focus on territorial principalities & powers. This message is to arm you with wisdom. Christ said, “I have given you authority…”(B) and since c. 1990 various Christians around the world have been using that authority to challenge territorial spirits, tearing down strongholds as 2 COR 10:1-3 mentions.
SEEING THE WHOLE PICTURE. When we look at a picture, we don’t just look at the corner. The Word teaches us that “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.”(C) We have “gifts differing according to the grace that is given us.”(D) Just as all the branches of the military, whether quarter master corps, the navy, air force or army, or civilians building war machinery are all important to the war effort, likewise the various activities that parts of the Body of Christ do are all important to the spiritual war effort. This is important to emphasize, because practitioners of the relatively new art of spiritual warfare against territorial spirits sometimes think that they are the only ones doing warfare for the kingdom. In the same vein, those who don’t recognize any value in this spiritual warfare are quick to ignore this newly developed area of spiritual warfare as irrelevant, in spite of some significant victories like Guatemala.
IS THE SPIRIT WORLD UNSEEN OR UNREAL? Globally, the spirit world has been believed as real… until recently, when the West taught that it is irrational & unscientific to believe in unseen things. The Word of God simply assumes the existence of the spirit world from its first books to its last books. Early Christian patriarchs wrote of their experiences with angels. The Word mentions them 300 times, (although nothing connects them to harps & halos in the Word). Plato & Aristotle, great thinkers, who are admired by the world even today, both were sure of the realm of reality beyond our eyesight. They felt demons (“daimones”—intelligent spirit beings) were positive forces…as today good angels would be viewed. This message written for Christians will (like the Word of God) simply assume the spirit world exists…without spending the reader’s time proving it with testimony. The New Age movement has been making angels more popular, while unfortunately spreading some false ideas about them.(See footnote E for some of these lies.)
THE FOUNDATION. The foundation of our faith is Christ Jesus.(F) Let us review 3 verses showing how Christ is the foundation of our warfare. “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”(G) The blood of the Lamb gives us the moral high ground, because it cleanses us from sin, and gives us a fresh start, and allows us to be one with the almighty Spirit of God. “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils…”(H) “Behold, I give you power to tread on serpents…and over all the power of the enemy…”(I) The legal grounds for Satan to control a stronghold (whether small or large) is sin. The most important aspect of spiritual warfare is to deal with sin. We must not lose sight of the power that sin gives the enemy over an individual, over a church and a nation. If we look at the example of Christ, his godly presence was enough to cause demons to want to flee the area. Likewise, the presence of anointed godly persons have scared demons away. Have you seen how evil people don’t like to be around saints?
NO BIBLICAL EXAMPLE. When Peter was filled with the Spirit on Pentecost, he did not turn around & cast out the territorial (& religious) demon over Jerusalem. As far as the Biblical record, Christ, Paul and other Christians of the apostolic era did not spend time verbally attacking territorial demons. We see Justin Martyr (100-165 A.D.) made a reference to the territorial demon over Damascus.(J) which allows us to realize that every now & then people of faith were aware of territorial demons. We are told that the strong in faith resist Satan’s realm.(K) Pastor Bob Beckett, author of The Dwelling Place introduce the subject of binding these strong princes to resist territorial demons. Peter Wagner, author of a number of books on territorial demons(L- for 2 of Wagner’s main books), has become an articulate defacto spokesperson for this style of spiritual warfare. A group called Spiritual Warfare Network SWN was formed c. 1990 to employ this. The Bible has provided us with an example of God’s progressive revelation, and indeed it prophesies that spiritual knowledge will increase…so one can’t simply reject this new kind of spiritual warfare out of hand because it is new revelation. My big concern is whether the practitioner’s break the legal right of demons to stay over an area or a person. For instance, anger, hate & unforgiveness give footholds to Satan.(M) There is a book “Healing America’s Wounds” which shows that at least some people waging war against territorial demons realize the power of sin, and that it needs to be broken to bind a “strong man” (meaning spirit).
FINAL THOUGHTS. How often have we prayed “Deliver us from evil”! (The Lord’s prayer at MT 6:13.) Prayer is one of our weapons. There is no reason this weapon of warfare cannot be turned upon the principalities & powers of the demonic realm. Meanwhile let us remember, God’s angels are limited when they want to help us, when we have not fulfilled our vows to God.(N) So we must never underestimate the power of sin to hinder our spiritual power in Christ. Our greed (O) and our lack of obedience & faith also hinder angelic help.(P) So we come back to the advice of Christ, Seek you first the Kingdom of God and all these things will follow. Before we attempt to battle demonic forces we need to clean up our lives so we can take the moral high ground. There is no getting around sin. You are a servant to whom you obey—whether sin or righteousness.(Q) “…the Lord knows how to deliver the godly….” On the other hand, others “speak great swelling words of emptiness…while they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption…”(R)
(A) REV 12:9 (B) LK 10:19 (C) 1 COR 12:4 (D) ROM 12:6 cf. MT 25:15 & 1 COR 4:7 (E) New age lies about angels incl. that they are helping us evolve, that good angels are spirit guides like crows, and that angelic power is healing the planet—without mankind confronting sin (F) 1 COR 3:11 (G) REV 12:11 (H) MK 16:17 (I) LK 10:19 (J) Dialogue with Trypho, 78 (K) 1 PTR 5:8 (L) Warfare Prayer (1991), & Confronting the Powers: How the New Testament Church Experienced the Power of Strategic-Level Spiritual Warfare (1996) (M) anger-EPH 4:26, & unforgiveness-2 COR 2:10 (N) ECCL 5:6 (O) LK 17:33, MT 6:33 (P) PS 91 (Q) ROM 6:16 (R) 2 PTR 9, 19