May God richly bless our brothers and sisters
in Christ Jesus, and grant to you all peace, safety and joy in 1998.
May your days be filled with delight, as you see the Shepherd of your souls meet your every need, and may your
cups be full as you dine at His table, even in the presence of our enemies. Psalm 23.
SPIRITUAL WARFARE - TRUE AND FALSE.
Once we are saved, our awareness of the lost state of the unsaved all around us causes us to yearn for their
safety, deliverance, redemption. We see the Godlessness of the society we live in, organised and controlled as
it is by those who are Imagesly unregenerate sinners. These concerns can lead us to God's solutions and HIS
Plan for our cooperation with Him in the salvation of the lost, or it can lead to an acceptance of another plan,
another solution which is Satan's counterfeit. We need to live close to the Bible's teachings in these days, as
the subtle plan of the enemy is to keep the Christians busy with anything else than proclaiming the finished work
of Christ on the Cross!
False and True Salvation are in relationship
with false and true spiritual warfare, because not only are many
basing their salvation on a counterfeit, but others who are saved can be basing their efforts for the lost on
counterfeits of God's Plan. Here again we must see that the whole of the work of God for salvation is Christ
Jesus and Him crucified. There are no works of man which can save him, and there are no works of man which
can wage "war" against the forces of the enemy. There is only Christ Jesus, and Him crucified, risen from the
dead, Triumphant over all the Satanic foes (11 Corinthians 10:1-6). Our spiritual weapons and war are all Christ
Jesus our Lord, He who has already defeated the Satanic hordes on the Cross. Our operations in the spiritual
realm must not be presumptuous, but must be completely centred in God's Son's sacrifice, and be according to
God's sovereignly decreed time-span and battle-strategy. There are strange spiritual warfare strategies in
these days of apostasy which are not of God, but are delusions from the enemy of men's souls. Let us compare
two spiritual warfare strategies then, one the Bible pattern and plan, and the other the C.Peter Wagner
apostasy, which is sweeping the churches even as I write. The latter is not only a delusion which wastes
precious time whilst souls are being lost, but it is a dangerous exercise against powerful spiritual entities,
undertaken in presumption against God's Purpose and Plan, and it is of the flesh (11 Corinthians 10:3).
THE FAKE SPIRITUAL WARFARE.
A brief outline of the basic false assumptions are:
1. In order to win souls in a given city
or town or country area, God's people in that area should put down the
controlling evil spiritual hierarchy in power in the atmosphere over that place. These are referred to as "territorial
spirits" in the new "warfare" teaching.
2. Cities and towns can be released from
sin and bondage to wicked practices by taking dominion over, and
pulling down the spiritual powers, the territorial spirits, above them.
3. God's people should march through the
cities, towns, streets, communities, claiming their deliverance in the
power of the Holy Spirit. Every place where they put down the souls of their feet will be given to them, according
to God's promises in Joshua chapter one.
4. It is imperative in some instances to
learn the name of the spiritual head over a town or city, the source of
information may come from the occult people in that area. Knowing the name, the people of God can call upon
that entity to depart - thus setting the area free from Satan's oppressing - and souls can then be saved in a
wonderful way. There are many variations of these fake concepts of what spiritual warfare is about. There are
strongholds of these erroneous ideas being established in the Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements. None
of the above ideas are Biblical, these are merely fleshly, or even demonically inspired nonsense. Vastly
different to the true spiritual warfare instructions of God, which are found in the Bible, the Christian's handbook
of instruction and knowledge from Almighty God. Dare we listen to any other views?
Let us examine the above propositions:
1. Firstly, the Cross of Jesus Christ has
already defeated all the hosts of the devil, as the Bible clearly shows,
Romans 5:15-21; Jude 24,25; Hebrews 2:8; Hebrews 1:13; Col.1:15-19; Phil.2:9-11.
2. Secondly, these spiritual foes who are
now in control of the planet, entrenched in the atmosphere around the
earth, (Ephesians 6:12), are not to be removed from their legally given positions until Jesus Christ removes
them from all power, Himself, at the Battle of Armageddon, which happens right at the end of the Tribulation
3. Thirdly, there is no instruction from
God to remove territorial spirits in order to win souls, the preaching
Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ alone wins souls and saves men, 1 Cor.1:18. 2. Cities and towns are not in
themselves targets for spiritual salvation. God has not given us a mandate to win societies, we can certainly
influence societies for the good, preach against abortion, homosexuality, drug trafficking and the New Age
nightmare, but the cities and towns and countries of this planet will not be given new life until the Millennial Reign
of Christ. This is a fallen world, it will not be a Theocracy until the King of kings returns - Rev.20:6. 3. There is no
mandate from God to march through cities claiming that every place the souls of the marchers' feet are put
down is given to them by the Almighty God! Joshua chapter one, from whence this idea originated, is a
passage relating to the Jews going into the Promised Land, and has nothing whatsoever to do with the
Christian Church taking spiritual dominion over territories and their spiritual hierarchy. We will deal with this
subject, and its typology and antitype in the New Testament in more depth later on.
The horrifying thing is that this odd belief
about marching to gain victory for the release of the souls of men,
redefines the Sovereignly ordained Gospel message, which is the true power to save souls. It is the Only power
to save, the simple preaching of the Cross of Calvary is all that is needed to release souls from bondage to sin
"For the preaching
of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are
is the power of God....But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto
the Greeks foolishness: But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the
power of God, and the wisdom of God." (1 Cor. 1:18, 23,24).
4. The idea that Territorial Spirits can
be forced to give over areas of the earth, towns or cities, by learning
the name of the head spirit is, and calling him by name taking dominion over him, is sheer perilous nonsense!
Nowhere in the Bible are we called to do this sort of thing! It is presumptuous in the extreme, and the whole
context of WHEN God is going to remove these beings from their places of authority in the heavenlies, has
been ignored. Not until the very end of the Tribulation will Christ Jesus remove completely these territorial
hierarchies, and He will do so without any help from the puny efforts of men. The territorial spirits are mere
slaves of their master Satan, and until his rule is taken away from the heavenlies (atmosphere above the earth)
his hordes will not be removed. See the time of the cleansing of the atmosphere's rule by Satan in Revelation
19:11-16; 20:1-3. Christ Jesus and the angel of Rev.20:1 come from Heaven, through the atmosphere, and
utterly control all things at that time, overthrowing every being who is not of God.
WHAT IS JOSHUA CHAPTER ONE'S RELATIONSHIP TO THE GOSPEL?
The passage which is used by the fake "spiritual
warfare" heretics often, Joshua chapter one, is in reality a
TYPE of wonderful truths in the New Testament. Joshua chapter one has many glorious truths to reveal about
the Gospel of the Cross of Christ Jesus as the one and only victory over Satan, and his angelic hosts in the
heavenlies. In a real spiritual sense the book of Joshua is the Ephesians of the Old Testament. The
comparisons are thrilling. "The heavenly" (NOT Heaven) of Ephesians is to the Christian Church what Canaan
or the Promised land was to the Israelites. Canaan was a place of conflict, but it was also a place of victory only
through the Divine power (Joshua 21:43-45; Ephesians 1:3). Joshua himself is a type of Christ, the Captain of
our Salvation (Hebrews 2:10,11). Christ alone leads to victory, we need no other saviour, or marches and
devised "spiritual warfare" strategies. Christ Jesus has already won the victory on the Cross. Satan wants us to
fall below that completed victory into seeking some other way to win what is already ours. The moment we
believe that we have to "claim" or "march" or do anything to defeat Satan, rather than simply stand and preach
Christ crucified, or plead the Blood of the Lamb as our victory, we fall into defeat. Why? Because we do not
STAND in the conquest of the Cross. Modern day fake spiritual warfare leads to a denial of all that the Cross
accomplished two thousand years ago, and leads straight to spiritual defeat under the enemy. Christ Jesus and
what HE accomplished at Calvary when He died and rose again from the dead, taking captivity captive, is our
triumph too (Romans 8:37; 11 Cor.10:2,14; Ephesians 4:8).
When the Israelites marched to take Canaan,
they were allotted portions of the Promised Land. Christ Jesus in
the New Testament allots our "portions", as seen in Ephesians 1:11, 14; 4:8-11. But the whole world is not
going to be the Church's "portion", we do not take dominion over the "land" as Israel took the Promised Land of
Canaan. Souls are lost in the world, yes, but spiritual warfare in the modern heretical sense cannot do one iota
to save them or our societies for that matter. The glorious Cross is our "spiritual warfare", and any "warfare" not
dependent on this glory is a counterfeit. It is a part of the false salvation strategy of the enemy of men's souls.
SPIRITUAL WARFARE OF THE SOLDIERS OF THE CROSS.
If we are to be true soldiers who war against
the spiritual enemies of the lost around us, and in our families, then
we must understand more about true salvation and Biblical warfare. As I search the Scriptures for myself on this
matter, I am entering into a fuller understand for my own benefit, for I also want to know so much more about
how to cooperate with the Lord in the vital ministry of saving souls for eternity. That the unsaved around us are
hindered from accepting Christ as Saviour by spiritual foes is obvious, what can we do? OUR OWN SPIRITUAL
CONDITION IS IMPORTANT. Many of the modern spiritual warfare books pay little attention to whether the
soldier has spiritual victory for him/herself! One would think that what state the soldier was in personally had no
bearing at all on warfare for others. Of course it has got bearing, it is vital that believers do not step into warfare
without proper armour. This is not a matter of visualising a suit of armour, putting on this imagined suit and
helmet in your mind. Ephesians chapter six is about reality, not imagery. This is a REAL armour to meet an
actual foe, so that we will be able to stand in the fight. We are coming against all the principalities and might of
the devil's kingdom. A defeated foe, yes, but we must not give him ground in ourselves! (Ephesians 6:10-18).
"...be strong in the LORD, and in the POWER OF HIS MIGHT."
THE CHRISTIAN who has ARMOUR compared with the non-armoured Christian.
1."Stand therefore, having your loins girt
about with truth," The armoured Christian is armoured with Truth; the
non-armoured is open to lies and deceptions through ignorance of God's Word.
2. "...Having on the breastplate of righteousness."
The armoured Christian is one who lives a righteous life in
God's enabling; the non-armoured is unrighteousness, maybe because of ignorance.
3. "your feet shod with the preparation
of the gospel of peace." The armoured Christian has peace with God, is
not in turmoil or depression because his/her life is filled with unconfessed sin (i.e. worry, self-pity, bitterness,
envy, resentment at their circumstances, anger etc). The armoured one makes peace and seeks to keep it with
God and man. The non-armoured causes quarrels and divisions with the obedient, Godly people.
4. "preparation..." The armoured Christian
is controlled and watchful, looking unto God and His timing and plan.
The non-armoured one is reckless, presumptuous, shallow and unwatchful. Often views the evil spiritual world in
a light way, warfare is rather like a game.
5. "ABOVE ALL, taking the shield of faith,
wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked."
Faith in the LORD is our shield, the armoured Christian does not drop his trust in God when the going gets
tough. The non-armoured allows doubt and unbelief in. Does not confess this as sin.
6. "And take the helmet of salvation, and
the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." The armoured
Christian wars with the Scriptures in hand, he/she has been transformed by the renewing of the mind (Romans
12:2, he does allow himself to be conformed to this world. He knows that Christ can save to the uttermost, and
yields to the Lord in all matters. The non-armoured one relies on reason instead of God's Word, he opens his
mind to visions, revelations from around him which he attributes to the "Holy Spirit". He gains "insight" into the
spiritual realm by these means and his own "cleverness", or the extra-biblical teaching of others.
THE BOTTOM LINE!
The bottom line is that if we are to have
warfare victory for others over their bondage to Satan, and thus win
them for Christ, we must first walk in constant victory over Satan in our own personal lives! This means:
1. Our spirits must be indwelt by the Holy
Spirit, filled with the Holy Spirit. We must be filled with the might of
God in order to stand unshaken, our own carnal selves cannot war in spiritual matters. "The weapons of our
warfare are not carnal", has become rather a hackneyed saying these days, but the Biblical meaning is not trite:
"For though we
walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our
are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down
imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing
into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all
disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled." (11 Cor.10:3-6).
In those verses we see that spiritual warfare
has everything to do with the state of the one who wars! Verses 5-6
are seldom preached alongside verses 3-4, but they belong together. All right, if we mean business with God,
and want to enter into real warfare against spiritual foes, because of our love for the unsaved, let us examine
carefully all the verses together.
v.4, We cannot fight fire with fire, we
must fight Satan with BLOOD! Revelation 12:11. The Blood of the Lamb
HAS defeated you Satan! v.5, argumentation, bullying, bombast are the natural weapons of men, the carnal
weapons. "Strong holds" definitely seems to refer to opinions which are strongly held by their advocates. Isn't
the MIND the battlefield? Isn't it the mind which keeps our loved ones and neighbours from accepting Christ as
Saviour? These strong holds, with wrong thoughts and blasphemies against the Lord put there by the devil, are
what keep people in bondage to cults and humanism or atheism. "Every thought" must be brought into
obedience to Christ, we bring our own thoughts into obedience to Christ, and through the Blood of the Lamb
and our testimony, we "cast down" "imaginations" and "every high thing that exalteth itself against the
knowledge of God" in others - "pulling down the strong holds" through the Blood, always on the ground of the
finished work of Christ Jesus.
v.6, here Paul is showing that he, as the
apostle ordained by God, fears he may have to take a very strict line
against a section of the Corinthian church. Would to God that we lived in such times, when Godly leaders were
ready to be strict to Imagestain Godliness amongst the Lord's assembled flock. There were strong holds against
Paul and his Godly teaching, he was not carnal in his dealings with this, Paul showed meekness and the
gentleness of Christ amidst his strictness, see verse 1. The Lord's praying ones can pray at the present time for
their loved ones and unsaved neighbours by: 1. Praying against the evil spirits blocking and hindering their
acceptance of Christ Jesus as Saviour, in the power of the shed Blood which has defeated them; 2. Using the
weapons of Scripture, the Sword, resting upon the promises of God in regard to the unsaved, and speaking
them out to God in prayer ( 1 John 5:13-16; 1 John 3:22; John 15:7; John 14:12-15 etc). 3. Holding fast to the
completed Victory of Christ already won, and asking the Lord to bring our loved ones and neighbours to
repentance, and a knowledge of SIN (their own, and that they do not believe in Christ), RIGHTEOUSNESS
(Jesus Christ's, and their lack), and JUDGEMENT TO COME (unless they repent and accept Christ as Saviour,
they will suffer with Satan who is already judged and found guilty, as all the unsaved are) John 16:7-11.
SATAN'S VICTIMS MADE VICTORIOUS!
These are the closing days of the Church
Age. Soon the Millennial Appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ will show
to the whole world what the Ascended and Glorified Christ means to Satan and his hierarchy in the atmosphere.
This will soon be our glorification in the eyes of wicked hosts as well, we will be reigning with the Lord in the
Millennium, and then will the redeemed of this age "judge angels" (1 Cor.6:2.3). This will be the time when the
deepest humiliation of all will happen to the devil. He was the great archangel of God, he was in the highest
position of the angelic hosts, now redeemed mankind will judge him and his rebellious minions! Mankind who
was made lower than the angels (Hebrews 2:5-8). Man went even lower and became like the animals, he was
cast down by the fall at the Garden of Eden. Now man is Satan's judge, and has the position which is higher
than Satan's original state as archangel of God! Redeemed mankind is of one nature, one life, and shares the
one position with Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:17; Hebrews 2:11-12).
Jessie Penn-Lewis wrote: "...lifted up
with the Redeeming Lord, far above all principalities and power and every
name that is named in heaven or on earth, or below earth; lifted up to the very side of the Triumphant Lord, to
the place of judgement of the foe. For Satan, there awaits the abyss - the bottomless pit - the lake of fire. For his
victims - the sharing of the throne of the Son of God, above angels and archangels of God." ("War on the
THE NAME OF CHRIST JESUS IS OUR AUTHORITY.
As we approach the last of these last days,
the battle will grow stronger. Satan hates those who he knows
already will take part in his frightful humiliation at his judgement. He and his hordes want, while they still have the
chance, to demolish and disgrace the future judges of these evil fallen angels.
Why is this all happening?
Why doesn't the Almighty put these beings down right now!
Some of the answers to this perplexing question are given in the wonderful climax of the book, "War on the Saints" (ibid). Penn-Lewis puts it this way, p.301-302:
"Is it any marvel that GOD PERMITS THE ONSLAUGHT, for it has been His way throughout the Ages to use this planet as the battle ground and training school of His people? The Son of God Himself had to become obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross, ere He was given the NAME which is above every name; that NAME which now speaks to every fallen angel, and every evil spirit among the dregs of the spirit world, of the CONQUEST OF CALVARY. And every member of the Christ, who will reign with Him, and share in His judgement of the fallen angels, must individually, whilst on the planet earth, learn first in person, not only to walk in victory over sin, but to trample under foot the viper brood of hell, in the Name of the Conqueror
(Luke 10:19). They must overcome 'As He Overcame,' (Rev 3:21; Col.3:4; Rev 19:14; 20:4-6) if they are to
share His throne and conquest. He led the way. They must follow. He passed through the hour and power of
darkness on Calvary, and passed through it to the place of victory. United to Him in spirit, they pass through the same dark atmosphere, filled with the hosts of evil, to their place of triumph in Him. The coming onslaught from the hosts of darkness is upon the Church. Not one living member of the Risen Head can escape attack if he is a true 'joint' in the Body (Ephesians 4:16). Some will know it before others, according to their place in the Body. 'If the whole Body were an eye, where were the hearing?' (Cf. 1 Cor.12:14-21). They who are of the 'feet' will know it latest, but know it they will, for they who are of the 'feet' must also ascend, though the foot be the last part to move heavenward, and is nearest earth of the ascending Body. Some of the 'elect' of the Body - yea, many - may 'fall' victims of the deceptive wiles of Satan, but though they may seem submerged for a time, Lord, if they but see how all the deceits of Satan can be turned into steps of victory, and equipment for the deliverance of others from his power, they can arise again, and become as it were 'eyes' (Numbers 10:31) to the Body of Christ, in its advance through the aerial hosts of darkness contesting the way. They can arise again when they discover that what was meant by Satan to overwhelm them, can be changed by the light of truth into a glorious liberation from the enemy's power, and thus make then witnesses, not only to men, but to the principalities and powers in the heavenly regions (Ephesians 3:10) of the manifold wisdom of God." (End of quote).
THE ULTIMATE JUDGEMENT OF THE TERRITORIAL SPIRITS IS DELAYED!
The ultimate judgement of Satan and the
territorial spirits may be delayed, but the mighty purposes of God
MUST eventually, and soon, come to pass! The Church or Bride of Christ Jesus will soon be drawn through the
atmospheric realm of the territorial spirits, we will join the Risen Head at the Rapture, and He who has won the
battle already by His shed Blood, will take His own control of the atmospheric hierarchy. The evil territorial
spirits will only be allowed to fulfil their destiny to be part of God's judgement or Wrath on the nation of Israel and
the Gentile nations (the Tribulation), and then they will put down by Christ Himself. (See Rev. 8-9; 1 Timothy
6:15-16; Rev. 16:13,14; Rev.21:3,4). The endtime panorama is before us in the 1990s, it is not a pretty sight.
Satan wants above all to remove the faithful witnesses to Christ Jesus from the earth altogether, to trick them
into losing their lives before they can fulfil all of God's plans for them on earth. We need to be on guard, be
watchful. Jessie Penn-Lewis has set out the way of victory over Satan as murderer on page 238 of her book
(ibid). As we examine this passage, we can see that there are those who are being deceived right now in fake
"revivals", are they putting themselves so much outside God's protection that they could be in danger of
eventual physical peril? It could well be.
"VICTORY OVER THE DEVIL AS A MURDERER
(John 8:44): Satan as the prince of death
watches every occasion to take the life of the servants of God, if in any
wise he can get them to fulfil conditions which enable him to do so:
1. By their wilful insistence on going into danger without being sent of God;
2. By trapping them into danger through
visions, or supernatural guidance, drawing them into actions which
enable him to work behind the laws of nature for destroying their lives. This is what Satan tried to do with Christ
in the wilderness temptation: 'Throw Thyself down,' he said; then quoting Scripture to show that the Lord had
Scriptural warrant for believing that angels would bear Him up (Luke 4:11), and not allow Him to fall. But the Son
of God recognised the Tempter and the Murderer. He knew that His life would end as a Man, were He to give
occasion to the malignant hate of Satan, by one step out of God's will; and that the Deceiver would not propose
anything, however apparently innocent, or seemingly for God's glory, unless some great scheme for his own
ends was deeply hidden in his proposition.
Christ now holds the 'keys of death and
of Hades' (Rev.1:18). and "him that hath the power of death, that is,
devil' (Heb.2:14), cannot exercise his power WITHOUT PERMISSION, but when the children of God, knowingly
or unknowingly, fulfil the conditions which give Satan ground to attack their physical lives, the Lord with the 'keys
of death' works according to law, and does not save them, UNLESS BY THE WEAPON OF PRAYER they
enable God to interpose, and give them victory over the law of death, as well as the law of sin, through 'the law
of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus' (Romans 8:2). 'The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.' Death is
therefore an enemy; to be recognised as an enemy; and to be resisted as an enemy. The believer may lawfully
'desire to depart and be with Christ' (Phil. 1:23), but never to desire death merely as an end of 'trouble,' or to
allow the lawful desire to be 'with Christ,' make him YIELD TO DEATH WHEN HE IS NEEDED FOR THE
SERVICE OF THE CHURCH OF GOD. 'To abide in the flesh is needful for you, ' wrote the Apostle to the
Philippians, therefore 'I know that I shall abide' (Phil.1:24,25)." (End of quote). AS TIME GOES BY???? We
know not what the last years of this millennium will bring, or whether indeed we will be here to see the next
millennium arrive. We do know that the warfare will increase as time goes by, and rapidly. You and I are needed
in our place, until GOD Himself removes us in the Rapture or by physical death. The people of God are finding
the going tough now, and we must always keep in mind that GOD is using this period to train us for what lies
ahead in the Millennial Reign and Eternity. We should not yield to discouragement or Satanic lies that we would
be better off out of this mess altogether - thus causing us to desire strongly to "depart". We should be ready
always to "live" not die, unless we know for certain that our work is completed on the earth. If we find ourselves
sick in body, we should resist just as we do when we are sick in mind or spirit. The soldiers of God can simply
fade away because of fatigue and lack of proper rest, thus placing themselves out of the will of God, Who
always wants us to live balanced lives - work, rest, recreation, healthy food, reasonable hours of sleep, worship
and devotional study of the Word of God. We must follow the rules God has given in the Word for the body as
well as the mind and spirit, and not give ground in any way so that Satan can cause us to die.
GOD BLESS YOU! ??
W. B. Howard ...Editor of Despatch
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