Biblical Spiritual Warfare Session 4
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My name is Basie Martins. I trust that you are all well and I want to thank you again for listening to this series. For you who do not know, this series is about spiritual warfare. In the previous session, we discussed the complexity of divine punishment and divine judgment on people.
We have realized that this aspect of God is not simple at all but actually very complex. For instance, when we see bad things happen in a person’s life it is very difficult to understand why it happens to such a person. Is it because of sin in his life? Is it because of a curse on his life? Is it because God is chastising the person? Is it because of a lack of faith? Is it because of ignorance? Is it because of the person failing to claim his inheritance in Christ? Is it because he brought these things over himself?
It can be any of these options that caused problems like sicknesses, diseases and other calamities in a person’s life. By using the words “Curses on his life” I am referring to the Jews who have a national curse on them and some gentiles who adopted the Jewish faith. So the bad things can be caused by one or more of many reasons. I think this is the reason why Jesus chose not to answer or not to explain why the man was born blind in the ninth chapter of John when He was asked about it. He replied, “Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work”. Christ chose not to answer the questions but to focus on the work that He was sent to do.
Because of sin, sicknesses and diseases and calamities became part of this world. People also get sick, not only through sinning but by failing to do something. Even to be passive or negligent, in some cases, can cause people and children to become sick. At that moment, when Jesus was asked this question, He did not yet pay the price for mankind and the sins of this world. After his death, his disciples would be able to explain the same question in detail.
We mentioned that we cannot deal with the causes of sicknesses and calamities if we do not know how or why it became a reality in our lives in the first place. If we do not know what caused the particular problem in our lives we cannot get rid of the problem effectively. By the end of this course, you will know exactly what causes the problems in your life and you will know exactly what to do to prevent it. The causes differ in different people’s lives. I may experience sicknesses and calamities in my life caused by something different from yours. Another person may experience problems because of different reasons. It is not the same for everybody and also not the same for different types of people. Even the topic that we discuss today, spiritual warfare, or the false variation of spiritual warfare, causes problems for people because of their involvement in this.
As I mentioned in the previous session, we are discussing the danger of unbiblical spiritual warfare in detail in this session. How can spiritual warfare be dangerous? Is it even possible? Surely God would not allow a child of God to be harmed because of spiritual warfare, even if it is done incorrectly? In the past few years, we have observed that Christians who are extremely active in the false variant of spiritual warfare and the doctrine of generational curses are experiencing a lot of problems in their lives. Many reports that they have observed demons manifesting in their lives and many reports that they started to experience all sorts of problems and challenges in their lives. In this session, we will discuss the reasons why people do experience the problems that I mentioned when they are very active in this regard.
I am going to kick this discussion off with a real-life incident that occurred a few years ago:
John Paul Jackson, a well-known preacher received some interesting insight directly from the Lord Jesus Christ a few years ago on this subject. This insight came as a result of an occurrence in which John was involved. According to John, three different pastors all contacted him on a specific day to obtain advice from him. All three pastors experienced a difficult time in their lives. They were all unexpectedly facing either personal crises or some problems within their respective congregations.
One pastor’s daughter disappeared and he had no idea what happened to her. The other pastor’s son ran away from home and the pastor had no idea why this incident occurred. He also did not know how to deal with this problem. The third pastor contacted John shortly after the other two. This pastor reported that six ladies in the congregation, who were all pregnant, simultaneously and unexpectedly experienced complications with their pregnancies. They were all facing unexplainable miscarriages.
These pastors, who were all from different locations, were all devastated. They all contacted John for advice. He promised to pray for them and to seek the Lord for guidance in these matters. John prayed the whole day but at the time he went to bed he still had no answer from the Lord. He, however, had a very interesting dream that night. In the dream, he saw a very big moon very close to him. It appeared that the moon was touching the ground and it appeared to be no more than a few kilometers away. He then saw the silhouettes of three men standing on small platforms with their backs towards him. In the dream, John noticed that the three men were all shouting at the moon.
Behind the men, a crowd gathered and this crowd started cheering them on. John then noticed that all three of them were armed like cowboys with holsters and weapons in the holsters. Inside the holsters, however, were no revolvers but hatchets or small axes. We know that in dreams an ax symbolizes judgment. The men started throwing the moon with these axes but it fell way short onto the ground. This means that the three men were busy applying judgment on something but the judgment did not come into effect. The moon, in this case, symbolized evil spirits, evil activities, and an evil domain. Although these actions, the shouting and the throwing of the hatchets, had no effect, still these men carried on with these actions. In spite of this, the crowd on the spectator stands kept on cheering these men on.
Every time the people cheered these men on their respective platforms raised a bit. Even the people on the spectator stands were elevated a bit every time they cheered. Eventually, it was clear that everybody became tired. The shouting, the cheering and the throwing of axes made them wore out. The activities slowly declined and eventually, the three men and the spectators got really tired. Soon they all fell asleep on the platforms and the stands.
When these people were fast asleep, demons started slipping off from the moon and they quietly crept up onto them. They then suddenly launched an attack on the unsuspecting sleeping crowd that took them completely by surprise. When the three men and the people awoke they were under serious attack by these demons. John witnessed in the dream how the three men and the people were suffering under the attack. They were tormented and they did not stand a chance against these demons.
In the minutes that followed the Lord spoke to John. He told him that the reason for the tormenting and suffering was because these men and the crowd got engaged in something they were not called to be engaged in. They were acting and they were entering a realm or an area of dominion that they were not legally supposed to get involved in. The Lord then explained that he did not lead them to be engaged in spiritual warfare with the enemy on this level, in this way, and this realm.
Based on John Paul’s experience I want to explain it as follows:
There are three areas of dominion. The first area of dominion is the third heaven where God reigns supreme. In this domain everything is complete and everything is according to the will of God. In this area of dominion, God does not allow anything contrary to His will and His kingdom principles.
The second area of dominion is the second heaven. This is the spiritual realm of heavenly beings like angels and demons. In this realm the heavenly beings have dominion. In this area of dominion, God allows the heavenly beings to perform actions that are against His will and His kingdom principles. This implies that in this realm demons do what they want. Although these demons do what they want, there are still principles in place that govern this realm. God has put these principles in place. Although He does not force His will down on these heavenly beings He still keeps them within certain boundaries.
Then thirdly, we have the natural realm which is the earth. In the natural realm, man reigns supreme. People do what they want although, in this realm also, certain principles and laws have been put in place by God to keep mankind within certain boundaries. On earth, we reign over our personal circumstances and in our own lives. God gave us our own free will and we can do what we want. He gave us a choice between good and evil and we have the free will to choose whatever we want. We can even contravene God’s will and His principles. We will, however, have to face the consequences of our decisions and our actions. This means that we also have to stay within certain boundaries determined by God. There are natural laws like, “If you jump off a bridge you will be injured or you will die”. This is a natural law and it will always come into play whenever somebody jumps off a bridge. We reign supreme and we can jump off the bridge if we want to. We can also decide not to jump off a bridge. In both instances, we will either suffer the consequences of bad choices or we will reap the benefits of good choices and positive actions. There are also spiritual laws which do not differ from the natural laws in this regard. Again you can choose what you want to do with these laws and again you will also suffer the consequences of bad choices or we will reap the benefits of good choices.
When demons enter our realm or area of dominion they are leaving their domain and entering ours. They have no legal right to do that unless we give them legal rights to enter our realm. You as a child of God and as a king in the kingdom of God have the right and the power to cast these demons out of your circumstances. Demons have no other option but to obey when we legally act in the Name of Jesus Christ. Even when a demon-possessed person comes to you for deliverance, you can take authority over these demons spirits in their lives and cast them out. These demons have no choice but to obey. Here on earth, we reign according to the power and the authority that Christ Jesus gave us. We can live victorious lives and we do not have to submit to evil at all. This means that divine provision, divine maintenance, divine healing, and divine protection belong to us, every day of our lives. Demons have absolutely no rights in our area of dominion.
This is a very different story, according to many preachers, when these demons have legal rights to enter our area of domain. An example of such a case was in the life of Kenneth Hagan sr. He once attempted to cast a demon out of a certain woman. The demon refused to go out and he told Kenneth that the specific person actually wants him to possess her. When Kenneth discussed this allegation with the woman it turned out that her husband brought her for deliverance. She admitted that she wants the demon to possess her. This woman left without being delivered because the demon had legal rights to possess her. Yes, Kenneth could have cast the demon out if he really wanted to but it would have served no purpose. The demon would have returned to this woman anyway with more demons with him worse than him.
Back to the problem with the three pastors:
John Paul Jackson contacted these pastors separately and all three of them confirmed that they and their congregations were amid serious spiritual warfare against the principalities in their respective cities. They were busy tearing down the strongholds that the enemy has set up in their cities. John surprised all of them with the advice that he gave them.
He told them to stop these activities immediately because of the following reasons:
They are wasting their time with these tactics because they have no legal rights to do that. God did not lead them to do that and He will never lead them to do that. They should pray to God to remove those strongholds. They should also pray for the repentance of the people who gave the enemy the right to set up those strongholds in their cities. Only God can remove these strongholds. Mankind has no authority or dominion in and over this domain. The enemy succeeded to set up these strongholds legally.
Many people in their respective cities, through their own will and their own actions, have allowed the enemy to set up these strongholds. Spiritual warfare will achieve nothing to set the city free. The people of these cities need to repent for God to remove these strongholds. Christians can only and should only pray for their cities and the people in their cities.
These strongholds, however, is not a problem for the Christians in those cities. It is also not a problem for the unsaved people who had nothing to do with those strongholds. Christians in these cities are protected against these strongholds because they were not responsible for these strongholds to come into existence in the first place. Christians and churches reign over their own lives and own areas of responsibility and influence. Even non-believers are protected against these strongholds. These strongholds only affect the people who were responsible for allowing these strongholds to be put in place by evil spirits. This situation only affects them. They need to repent and then God will remove these strongholds in their lives. We can and should pray for them and we should share the Gospel of Christ with them.
John then explained to these pastors the principle of the different areas of dominion. He also explained that it is rebellious to engage in something that God did not command them to do. They were following their own ideas and their own doctrines and their own ways in this regard. That is why this manifested in the natural through one pastor’s son rebelling against his father by running away from home.
Just as a demon is exposed in our domain and eventually cast out or chased away, so we also, when we enter their domain, are exposing ourselves and making ourselves vulnerable to them. That is why one pastor’s daughter got missing and the ladies of the other congregation were facing miscarriages. John told them to repent and he promised them that if they do that, everything will be restored immediately. The pastors and their congregations did repent and in fact, everything was indeed restored within a few hours.
I am generally not in favor of spiritual warfare. We should reign as kings in the kingdom of God over our own circumstances, our own areas of influence and areas of responsibility. This means that corporately we reign over the earth. This has nothing to do with fighting demons. We are not supposed to be fighting the enemy. Jesus Christ already conquered over the enemy. He already defeated the enemy.
Do countries that are not involved in a war have military armies? Of course, most do!
Are all the soldiers wearing uniforms and are these soldiers armed? Of course they do and of course, they are armed!
How do these countries deploy these soldiers if they are not involved in a war? They deploy them on border-posts to prevent hostile people or illegal people from entering their countries. Hostile people can be considered as enemies. These soldiers are also carrying out border patrols to prevent illegal excess into their countries. This is exactly what God wants us to do: Do not give the enemy any foothold!
Are we involved in a war? No, Jesus Christ already conquered the enemy. He completely defeated satan and his evil empire when He died on the cross. The Bible says that He nullified the enemy. Do we need to be alert like a soldier? Of course, we do! Our enemy should never be underestimated. The Bible says in Ephesians 6:12, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places”
How do we do this? Firstly take note that the Bible says we have a “struggle” or we “wrestle” against the enemy. We are not involved in warfare. How do we wrestle against the enemy?
We stand against it. It means we do not give in to sin or unbelief.
We refrain from getting involved in sin and bad attitudes.
We live holy lives.
We keep ourselves busy with good things.
We submit ourselves to God.
We live in faith and we live obedient lives.
This way we do not give the enemy any foothold. This is manning our border-posts and this is patrolling our borders.
Under the leading of the Holy Spirit, Paul used war as a metaphor. We should be ready and alert like shoulders.
The devil is only interesting in two very important things to defeat us: He wants us to sin. He wants us to doubt. That is all he needs. The moment you live in sin, you start losing your righteousness. At that moment the devil has a foothold in your life. Also, the moment you start living in sin, you start to doubt God’s word. Why? Because you lost your righteousness. When a child of God loses his righteousness, he immediately doubts if God’s promises will be effective in his life. That is how it is. If you lose your righteousness you are defeated. Take note that we do not really lose our righteousness, we actually lose our confidence in Christ and it feels as if we lost our righteousness.
How do we stand strong against the enemy? By not getting involved in sin. By not doubting in God’s word. That is all we need to do. This is the core message of the New Testament. Jesus, Paul, and the other apostles constantly focused on the following important issues: Build up your most holy faith. Pray for each other. Pursue holiness. Keep yourself separated from this world. There is absolutely no evidence of any spiritual warfare in the Bible that can be compared to what the church teaches and carry out daily. Nowhere do you see that Jesus or the apostles were involved in the breaking of generational curses, shouting at evil spirits and breaking down strongholds. Nowhere do you see any judgment uttered onto evil spirits. No, the Bible says, “Submit yourselves to God, resist (take a stand against) the devil and he will flee from you.
In this session, we discussed three pastors who led their congregations into spiritual warfare. In this case, we noticed, according to John Paul Jackson, that it was not the right thing to do. We read that spiritual warfare was not only ineffective but it also wore the congregations out. It did not achieve anything and instead, it only brought problems and devastation. Many times through the years I have noticed people getting involved in spiritual warfare and the false doctrine of generational curses only to see them end up facing all sorts of problems.
The false variation of Spiritual warfare and the false doctrine of generational curses got very much integrated through the years. Both these doctrines serve no purpose in the body of Christ. It implies that Jesus did not carry out a complete work of redemption but that we have to do something to set ourselves free.
Is the false variation of spiritual warfare dangerous? I think it is! It is not Scriptural and therefore a false doctrine. All false doctrines are doctrines of devils. All doctrines of devils lead to bondage. That is why it came into existence. That is why it was orchestrated. Jesus Christ and the apostles did not preach these doctrines and they did not carry out any of the actions promoted by people who believe in these doctrines. When demons have legal rights in people’s lives, those people need to repent. That is the bottom line. If we engage in or if we get involved in false doctrines, we are bound to pick up problems.
I do not doubt the reality of this fact. We should rather spend our precious time with God. Submit ourselves to Him. Learn from Him. Read and study the word of God. Apply the word of God. Refrain from sinning. Keep our minds on God. Take every thought captive and replace it with the word of God. Pray. This is truly Biblical and divine protection against the enemy. Give the enemy no place and no foothold in your life. You do not have to fight demonic spirits. You do not need to get involved with demonic spirits. People who do get involved with demonic spirits in this way eventually pick up a lot of problems. They eventually experience difficulty, hardships, demonic manifestations and other problems in their lives because of this.
We have found this a common problem in the lives of people who believe and who are very active in generational curses and the false variation of spiritual warfare. Both the doctrines of generational curses and the false variation of spiritual warfare are the traditions of men and the doctrines of devils. Because of this, it has consequences, especially in the lives of people who are getting involved deeper and deeper in the activities of these doctrines. The more involvement and the deeper people go into this the more demonic activities are experienced in their lives and the more problems people face in their lives. Some of these consequences are demonic originated diseases and other calamities in the lives of such people.
Let me explain why people are demon oppressed and even demon-possessed because of these false doctrines.
There are only two areas of engagement with demonic spirits that are Biblical: The casting out of demons from people and the driving away of demons from people. Why these two areas? When a person is possessed demonic spirits need to be cast out. When a person is oppressed demonic spirits need to be driven away. This is supposed to be done swiftly without allowing these spirits to manifest or to speak. Then the people involved need to be counseled. They need to repent and they need to submit themselves to God and they need to live holy and obedient lives in the presence of God.
Demons are totally under our control and cannot do anything unless we allow them to do so. Many people make three basic mistakes when they deal with demonic spirits: They allow them to speak, they allow them to manifest and they get involved with demonic spirits in a way that the word of God and God himself do not permit.
People misunderstood the Biblical reference of spiritual warfare as a “metaphor” (being ready and alert like a soldier) to the actual involvement with demonic spirits in real warfare as if evil has not yet been defeated by Christ on the cross. So instead of keeping the state of quo (keeping demons outside of their areas of dominion by giving the devil no foothold in their lives – by guarding the “border posts” and “borders” of their lives and areas of dominion) they allow demons to enter their areas of dominion by getting involved with them in a spiritual war.
Jesus Chris defeated the enemy on that cross once and for all. We do not need to defeat the enemy again. It was done already. We only need to submit ourselves to God and we need to resist the lies and temptations of the enemy. That’s all. Lets read about this in…
No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.
and Colossians 2:15
And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
By getting involved in spiritual warfare against evil or demonic spirits, we are actually entering the domain of satan. So, although we do not have to get involved with evil spirits in this way, we declare war against them and we enter into a battle with them. We go down to them, to their domain or their level and we start a fight with them.
This fight takes place in the kingdom of darkness. There is a demonic spiritual domain where unsaved people have entered through the evil and devilish lives they live. These people are satanists, witches, warlocks, priestesses and priests and they closely work and are closely involved with demonic powers like principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places and other demons. This domain is the kingdom of satan.
In this kingdom, he reigns. Everybody in this kingdom is involved in all sorts of activities which are dark and evil and bad. People are killed, babies are sacrificed and people and demons dominate each other through all sorts of witchcraft like curses and all sorts of acts of a cruel nature. In this domain or kingdom everybody, even people, are actively involved in the things of this kingdom and therefore they are exposed to and submissive to and even extradited to the evil rulers of this domain. The rulers of this domain have no authority over Christians an even unsaved people (who are not involved in these activities) and cannot harm them in any way at all. I want to repeat this statement. The kingdom of evil cannot harm Christians and they cannot even harm unsaved people at all. They cannot kill you. They cannot make you sick. They cannot break your vacuum cleaner or your hairdryer. That cannot cause you to be involved in an accident. They have no power over any human being except those who willfully entered the kingdom of darkness like satanists and the people that I just mentioned.
Unfortunately though for many Christians, the false teachings of generational curses and spiritual warfare have opened the door for them to enter this domain and to get involved with this kingdom and its rulers. I will tell you how in a moment.
How can we identify a Christian who is involved with the kingdom of satan in this unbiblical way? Firstly they believe in curses (which is, in fact, witchcraft and a legitimate reality in the kingdom of darkness – witches curse and bewitch each other and they can do the most amazing things with and to each other. These Christians do believe that a group of satanists and even evil spirits can send curses and spells unto people and that these curses and spells can cause them harm if they do not protect themselves against it.
This domain is a different world where a lot of things are possible which is not allowed in the kingdom of God or the natural world of unsaved people. This implies that unsaved people and Christians are both protected against these things. They are protected because they are not involved in the things of this world or the realm of evil or darkness or the kingdom of satan. However, Christians who entered this evil realm are not protected against the things of this realm because of them exposing themselves by leaving the domain of God and (in a sense) entering the domain of satan. They are still Christians and still saved but they chose to take part in things not from the kingdom of God but from or of the kingdom of darkness. To false variation of spiritual warfare and the false doctrine of generational curses open the door to this realm.
People get involved in ongoing warfare against the demonic creatures of this world in a way that is actually part of this evil world, which never comes to an end and never can come to an end. One cannot defeat the enemy in this way. You can identify these Christians through the slogans or “curses” that they use or send out to defeat demons. These “curses” are words like, “In the Name of Jesus I curse you”. “I break any curses in my life that came through the generational bloodline of my ancestors”. “In the Name of Jesus, I bind you satan”. “You will not be successful in your strategies and maneuvers in the life of so and so” In this world or this realm curses and spells are used to harm each other. Christians using the Name of Jesus Christ and shooting these words to the enemy just as they shoot their curses and spells to them are involved in witchcraft.
By getting involved with the “curses” or “witchcraft” system of the kingdom of darkness they expose themselves to the “citizens” of this kingdom. They moved down to their level. This whilst not Jesus nor the disciples or any other person in the Bible (Old and New Testament) ever got involved in activities like this. They are actually involved in a “Christian” type of witchcraft which is not Christian. It is from the devil and devilish of nature. That is why the false teachings of generational curses and the false variant of spiritual warfare are so dangerous. Although Jesus Christ and his disciples never used these words these Christians do. There is a Biblical way of Spiritual Warfare and it is completely different from these false teachings.
The problem is that although the curses of witches and satanists do work in the kingdom of darkness, the curses of Christians do not work in that kingdom. Why? because the rules of a specific kingdom work in that specific kingdom only. It does not work in another kingdom. The laws of France are applicable within the borders of France only, not in Germany or any other country. Christians base these doctrines on the Bible (kingdom of God) and then they attempt to use it in the kingdom of darkness. It is for this reason that we need to stay in the kingdom of God. In the kingdom of God only three things work; cast them out and drive them away and resist sin in your life. Nothing else. Also, if the rules of the kingdom of darkness are allowed in your life, like false generational curses and the false variation of spiritual warfare, then you allow darkness in your life which means that you become involved in the domain of darkness.
This is why the false teachings of generational curses and the false variation of spiritual warfare are so dangerous.
By believing these false doctrines and getting involved in these false doctrines people expose themselves to demonic activities and influences in their lives and they will experience problems in their lives. This is dangerous. So instead of resisting bad things in our lives we actually accept those bad things to happen because of ignorance. It all depends on how much and how deep we get involved in this. There is a belief that if people believe false doctrines those doctrines become a reality. It means that believing false doctrines have consequences and it is dangerous.
God has delivered us from the power of darkness and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son. We live in the kingdom of light and we should not allow darkness back in our lives through ignorance.
This is all for today. In the next session, we will look at how Jesus Christ conquered evil? We will discuss how he dealt with evil and demonic oppression. This is very important because it will give us some very important information on how we should deal with the devil and with demons in our faith-walk with Christ.
Thanks for listening. See you next time.