Blessed be the Lord, my Rock, who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle.
Ps. 144: 1
1. There is more than one realm of existence, more than just this tangible, physical world. Scripture repeatedly speaks of spiritual realms and the forces and beings that inhabit them. For example, Eph. 6: 12 says that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but principalities (a military ranking applied to certain levels of demons).
This leads to an important questions: what constitutes reality? Is it defined by our five senses or determined in spiritual realms. The movie, The Matrix, presents this issue well. Most people live believing only in a temporal, physical reality. They mistake it for the truth, they mistake bondage for freedom. References: 2 Cor. 4: 18; 2 Cor. 4: 4; 1 Cor. 2: 14
2. Truth begins in the realm of the Spirit. Truth originates in the person of God. Nothing on earth has a higher authority than that - not logic or science or experience or what we perceive by our senses.
3. Spiritual realms and this earthly realm interact and intersect. For example, consider Daniel 10 - warfare in a spiritual plane produced a 21-day wait for Daniel. Also there is the example of Job 1: 6-11 where Satan issues a challenge before God that results in events on the earth.
What happens in one realm affects the other. This works in both directions. Things in the spiritual realms affect the earth and things on earth affect the spiritual realms. E.g., Eph. 3: 10 says that the church bears witness to the inhabitants of spiritual realms about the wisdom of God.
3. Whether on earth or in the spiritual realms, every person, thing, situation, etc. belongs to either the Kingdom of God or the kingdom of Satan, whether or not they know it or intend it. There is no such thing as neutrality (Matt. 12: 30). There is no power vacuum in heaven or on earth. All territory, all people, all resources are claimed by and under the control of one Kingdom or another.
4. The reality of the world is that it is a battle zone where the 2 kingdoms clash. Rev. 12: 11-17; John 10: 10. In Waking the Dead, Eldredge write, "Until we come to terms with war as the context of our days we will not understand life. We will misinterpret 90 percent of what is happening around us and to us. You won't understand your life, you won't see clearly what has happened to you or how to live forward form here, unless you see it as battle."
Being a child of God - actually knowing what that means and operating out of that relationship - means that the battle will be brought to your door. Warfare occurs because of who you are. You cannot stop that.
1. God (Father, Son & Holy Spirit)
God is ALWAYS good (Job 34: 10,12; Ps. 5: 4; James 1: 13; 3 John 1: 11), satan is ALWAYS evil. This distinction is important - God doesn't author evil. Instead, God redeems what has been meant for evil, turning it to our good Rom. 8: 28
A. heavenly hosts who serve the Kingdom of God. They are described as ministering spirits Heb. 1: 14, e.g., Michael guards Israel (Dan. 12: 1; 10: 21). They are organized militarily (e.g., Jude 9 "archangel") with different ranks and positions
B. fallen angels, aka, demons. In Mere Christianity, CS Lewis writes, " One of the things that surprised me when I first read the New Testament seriously was that it talked so much about a dark power in the universe - a mighty evil spirit who was held to be the power behind death and disease and sin."
1. emanates from God Matt. 28: 18; 1 Sam. 17: 47 Eph 1: 21 Rom 13: 1
2. because it's part of His identity Exod. 15: 3
3. is a point of law (legal right) and power delegated to us by God (Genesis mandate 1: 26-28; Matt. 10: 1; Mark 3: 15; Luke 9: 1; 10: 19; Matt. 10: 1; 9: 35; Mark 6: 7; Luke 10: 19; 1 John 3: 8
4. you can only walk in authority if you're under authority and can only use authority in a manner consistent with the One who delegated it (you rule in His name, on His behalf) Matt. 8: 8-9. Matt 16: 19 NAS, AB
5. we can also give it away (e.g., Eden; Esau and the birthright - Gen. 25) Luke 4:6
6. The blood of Jesus redeems back every piece of authority that we have forfeited. It translates us from one kingdom to another, from a position of injustice to the kingdom where Justice reigns. Nullifies every curse and penalty; arrests false inheritance and demonic assignment; removes every accusation and source of condemnation. Jesus' blood brings life and has power over death Lev. 17: 11, 14; John 6: 53; Heb. 2: 14
Christ paid the price in full for everything (salvation, freedom, healing, deliverance). So, healing, deliverance and salvation are not an issue of our own strength, discipline, or feeling of anointing. Thru His death and resurrection- thereby redeeming the Fall of Adam- Christ gave us all power in heaven and earth, we have regained the legal authority Adam lost.
7 ways Jesus shed blood and what each redeems
1. Gethsemane: not my will, but Yours. Redeems will power (ability to make and enforce choices rather than being at the mercy of sin or flesh desires; self-control = a sound mind)
2. stripes: produce healing Is. 53: 5
3. crown of thorns: overturns curse on land/prosperity that was issued in Gen. 3: 17-19
4. pierced hands: dominion over what we touch
5. pierced feet: dominion over places we walk Deut 11: 24;
Gen. 1: 28 Mark 16: 15
6. pierced side: redeems relationship between men and women (Jesus was pierced in the same place from which a rib was removed from Adam to create Eve)
7. bruised (inner bleeding): redeems inner hurts
The role of Identity in warfare
We've been talking about the authority that originates in God, was delegated to humankind, lost by sin, and restored by the blood of Jesus. The question is: who gets to wield that authority now?
Genesis mandate/ Rom. 8: 13-16
1. Understanding one's own Identity/position (adopted son of God)
Jesus replies, "I never knew you." (Meaning: to know, understand, perceive, have knowledge of; to understand; Jewish idiom for sexual intercourse between a man and a woman indicating intimate knowledge).
And then says, "Away from me you evildoers." (lit. you who are "without name", without authority; the condition of lawlessness, contempt and violation of law, iniquity, and wickedness)
These people had used authority without having the right to it - they were not intimate with God. Were not in God. The same issue comes up with sons of Sceva in Acts 19: 14-15
Being in Christ or in Father appears to be a matter of relationship as much as it is obedience. It is critical to see the difference between claiming the position of son and acting in relationship as son. Walking in relationship increases authority.
Many times we attempt to take on the position of sons without engaging in the relationship behavior of sons. This results in impaired sonship. It is rather like the predicament of the older brother in the parable of the prodigal son. He is unable to rejoice over the return of his brother; in fact, he actively resents his father's joy. Remember the exchange when he confronts his father: (Luke 15: 29-31)
The older brother's resentment is born of not living as a son. He had acted dutifully toward his father but had never availed himself of the pleasures and rewards of sonship, even though the father would gladly have given them.
(Note: for more information about sonship, see the topic God as Father, Us as Sons)
Diagnosis & Identification of the enemy/issues.
Warfare is more than casting out demons. It includes things like resisting temptation, standing against the lies and oppression of the enemy; and the advancement of the kingdom o f God against the resisting force of the enemy;.
1. Anything that contradicts the Truth of Scripture (about you , about the Body, about your calling, about relationships) is of satan.
There has to be a plumbline to measure things by. The plumbline is the character of God. Basically anything that causes you to be or live in a way that is not the full measure of God's desire/plan/character for your life, is the enemy.
2. To differentiate the source of something (God vs satan) look at its fruit. If it drives you away from God or other people, its source is evil. E.g., shame vs. discipline. Matt. 7: 15-20
3. look for destructive patterns (within the life of a person or across generations of their family). These may reveal generational curses. Pay especial attention to things that defy treatment, e.g., illnesses that don't respond to medication.
4. Identify the root or source of the issue. This could include sin, unhealthy spiritual ties, false vows (e.g., "I'll never say I'm sorry", I'll never make myself vulnerable to another person again"), false prophecy (e.g., "you'll never amount to anything"), victimization, trauma, etc.
5. When dealing with demonic oppression, pay attention to the effect the demon has on the person's life. This will need to be arrested. The effect of the demon is its identity. A word of caution: While it is important to see the effect the demonic influence has on the person, too much emphasis has been placed on knowing a demon's name. This strategy sprang from a single incident in Jesus' ministry (when He dealt with the Gerasene demoniac who was possessed by Legion). And even in that incident, knowledge of the demon's name was not part of Jesus' strategy for casting it out.
1. By looking at Jesus' ministry we can see that there is not one stategy or methodology for warfare. We tend to make Moses' error. He mistook method for truth (struck the rock rather than speaking to it as God told him to, because striking it had worked before).
2. Jesus commanded demons and disease (didn't plead with it, didn't treat it nicely, didn't ask Father to do it, didn't pray for the person, and especially, didn't pray "if it be your will")
3. Warfare is mostly a matter of understanding and declaring Truth.
4. the battle is always the Lord's (1 Sam. 17: 47): e.g., Joshua and Jericho; David against the Philistines
5. importance of discernment over the plans of God and the activity of evil spirits. There are 2 sources of discernment. One is a gift of the Holy Spirit (just as there are gifts of healing or prophecy or wisdom; 1 Cor. 12: 10). The other comes from simply having the Holy Spirit within you. Discernment is a critical part of warfare because satan is a master illusionist.
6. authority is in the name of the Lord, Ps. 91: 14 (AB); 1 Sam. 17: 45
7. authority is in the word of the Lord, e.g., Jesus in the wilderness with Satan. Replace error with Truth (substitute scripture for lie)
8. submission to God will determine the tide of battle. E.g., Israel's defeat at Ai was due to sin in the camp (Ps. 91: 1-2; James 4: 7; Matt. 8: 5-11) God's instructions really are for our benefit. Violation of them has negative consequences. We submit to God by:
9. clothe yourself in the armor of God Eph. 6: 10-13
10. understand the power of the tongue (linked to our own position and authority) to declare life or death. What we say and how we say it matters. Prov. 4: 24; 18: 21; Ps. 39: 1
11. Binding and loosing in accordance with the truth of the Kingdom (Matt. 16: 19). This also includes blessing and cursing.
12. Forgiveness is a weapon (removes legal debt of others, frees us from bondage to bitterness, places us under grace rather than justice). It is also important to address forgiveness of self. 2 Cor. 2: 5-11; Matt. 6: 14-15
13. role of love in warfare: love is a weapon 1 Peter 4: 8
15. Mark 9: 14-29 Jesus and boy with deaf/dumb spirit whose father operated in unbelief: role of prayer and fasting in dealing with "this kind" (i.e., unbelief).
16. Luke 11: 21-22 taking away what the strong man has trusted in. Satan has trusted in our participation/cooperation. Has trusted in the wounding/lies he placed over us. Has trusted in his own worth and power.
17. Assemble your warriors, do NOT fight alone. Unity in the Body is crucial. Pursue and support it with all your might.
Principles of Legality
1. scope of authority: you have the same authority as Jesus (performed deliverance and healing for unsaved people who were willing to come to Him). Can minister to the same people and in the same places.
2. The only time scripture records a limitation to Jesus' ministry was Nazareth Mark 6: 1-6 (Matt. 13: 53-58). This same limitation was evident in Jesus' encounters with the religious leaders - did not attempt to heal or deliver them as it was evident that they operated in unbelief and wanted nothing from Him.
3. Deut.11: 22-25 ability to claim where you set your foot is linked to love for God and obedience to Him. Although this promise was given to Israel over a specific geographic territory, Ps. 115: 16 and Gen. 1: 28 suggest that whole earth belongs to us
Generational Curses: What they are
1. recurring patterns that manifest in multiple generations
2. the result of iniquity. Could be something a person did or something that was done to them (e.g., victimization of some kind)
3. manifestations may be
1. understand that the cross broke all curses (Gal. 3: 13 Jesus became a curse for us so that we would be free from the curses due us by our sin). Jesus' blood doesn't just forgive our sins; it frees us from the curses that our sin would have produced.
2. understand that you have to assert your right through the cross for those curses to be appropriated (may have money in the bank, but you have to write a check or go and withdraw it for you to actually be able to use the money)
3. substitutional repentance for the sin of past generations. This brings the cursed act under the blood. This appropriates forgiveness and cleansing.
4. repenting of any way in which you've participated (may have been through ignorance - simply agreeing with a lie or making room for that same behavior in your life). Includes making a declaration that you break any agreement with the demonic.
5 revoking the enemy's claim to you and rejecting the generational assignments against you and the generations that proceed from you. E.g. declaring to the curse that "you (generational curse) are not my inheritance and I am not your inheritance."
6 walking in righteousness. To remain in the blessing rather than in the curses requires that we walk in obedience. We must choose life (blessing) by choosing righteousness (Deut. 30: 15-20).