Is spiritual warfare an Old Testament concept? Do Christians need to understand and engage the spirit realm today or did Jesus take care of that on the cross? These are important questions and what we believe has implications for how we live our daily lives.
A pastor and his wife came into my office a few years back. Their marriage and life was in turmoil and sensed that the source was demonic. They had an entry level understanding of demons and nodded their heads in approval as I shared my insights–right up to the point where I proposed that they would benefit from going through deliverance!
They politely refuted my assertion that Christians need this type of help and left my office soon after. Sadly, that story is more familiar than I would like to see. Unlike some who leave and return, I never heard from this couple again and often wondered what became of them.
I’m going to outline seven fallacies that many believe about this topic–there are more, but the number is so biblically significant and hope it motivates you to at least skim this article.
- The war is over, so there is no need to fight. Jesus has won the victory over Satan and the demonic realm at the cross (1 John 3:8). Many new testament scriptures point out the need to continue battling on some level to maintain and secure that victory (Ephesians 6:10-11, James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:8-9, to list only a few).
- Demons have no power you except what you give them. Jesus took away the demons authority, but they still have power. Many are tormented even though they did not invite in these unwanted guests. There is power in the name and blood of Jesus, but there is more to walking in that power than just declaring the word. We have authority over them, but we must act to take back what the enemy has stolen.
- Deliverance ministry is not necessary for Christians. This is a fallacy and those who believe may survive in demonic bondage but not possess the abundant life Christ intends. He who the Son sets free is free indeed. That is a positional truth based on the cross but also presents a prophetic promise also.
- God will fight your spiritual battles for you. References to “the battle is the Lord’s” appear twice in Scripture (1 Sam 17:47 and 2 Chronicles 20:15). These are old testament scriptures, and there are many more NT references that point to our role in warfare, which includes driving out, resisting and binding demons. The church has been given power and authority over the demonic realm for a reason–we are to fight (most of) the battles. (Intercessory prayer in the second heaven is a different battleground, and we will cover that in subsequent posts).
- Christians are in danger when they deal with demons. We never see Jesus quake in fear when he dealt with the demonic realm. He has given us, His body, the same power and authority over demons (Mark 16:17). Why should we be afraid? He’s not given us a spirit of fear (2 Tim 1:7). When people use firearms, they need knowledge and proper training or else bad things can happen. The same fact holds true for deliverance ministry.
- You need to be wary of demons jumping on you. Where does this come from? Demon spirits need an entry point into a person’s soul. Otherwise, they are on the outside, and we need to discern and resist them. Ignorance breeds fear, which can lead to people perishing (Hosea 4:6). No fear.
- Demons have to flee in the presence of God. Christians often cite 2 Cor 6:14 to insist that demon spirits (darkness) have to vacate when God (light) is present. That interpretation is wrong; examine the passage in context and you will see that it speaks to being yoked with unbelievers. Satan himself went before the throne of God in Job. Hmmm. Jesus (God in the flesh) stood before demonized people, and the demons did not leave until he commanded them to go.
Other untruths are floating about this, but the list above represents a good start to getting rid of stinking thinking. Ignorance is not bliss in the realm of demon spirits and spiritual warfare.
God’s people have been given all that we need (2 Peter 1:3) to live a blessed and abundant life. Great darkness is covering the land, and it is vital that God’s people learn how to live and walk in the fullness of our power and authority.
Commit to becoming full of knowledge and wisdom and this area so you can win battles over your life and your family. You can be part of what He is doing in these times, and the fulfillment of your destiny likely depends on your willingness to be trained.
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