The Weapons of our Warfare

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We know that the devil is at war with the church.

This truth is implied and stated in many parts of scripture and set out clearly in Revelation 12:17; ‘Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring — those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus’. The question is; “How are we to fight back?”

The text most frequently quoted as an answer to this question is 2 Corinthians 10:3-4:

‘For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds’.

So what are these non-worldly weapons? Conservative Christians would probably answer, “evangelism and prayer”. Other Christians would include things such as Spiritual Mapping, Prayer and Praise Warfare, and Binding Demons.

Spiritual Mapping, for those of you unfamiliar with the term, is the attempt to determine the identity of supposed ‘territorial demons’ controlling areas and organisations. Before these areas can be ‘won for the Lord’, the demon principalities must apparently be identified and their methods of manipulation discovered. Once this has been done the ‘spiritual warfare’ commences with aggressive prayer and praise sessions intended to show the demons that the Kingdom of God is invading their territory. The third strategic assault is to ‘pray against’ these demons and to ‘bind’ them in Jesus name.

My first exposure to this ‘spiritual warfare’ was a statement by Yongi Cho, the South Korean mega-church pastor, that he never attempted to evangelise a new area before his people had obtained a ‘clear heaven’ through spiritual warfare. Now the problem with this is that Jesus neither practiced nor taught it, and neither did His disciples. On the contrary, Jesus’ instructions were to go into all the world and preach the Gospel, make disciples, heal the sick, cast out demons, and (yes) raise the dead. So either Jesus did not know that the secret to success was to first conduct ‘spiritual warfare’ or the Bible fails to record this important principle…. Nonsense!

Even the conservative idea of combating evil simply by praying is dodgy. Prayer is communication with God, and this includes asking Him to act in cases of demonic interference, iniquity, hardness to the Gospel, and so on. However, I can find no biblical evidence that prayer in itself is a form of power. Yet, somehow many Christians seem to think that if enough people pray then their combined prayers will magically cause something to happen. In my opinion, unpopular as it may be, this approach to prayer is just another religious attempt to place the control of circumstances in our hands instead of God’s, and the so-called spiritual warfare I have described earlier is also just another form of religious arrogance.

The book of Revelation gives an insight into the real practice of spiritual warfare when it states that the believers overcame the devil by ‘…the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death’ (Revelation 12:11). The basis for our warfare is the victory of Jesus Christ over the devil and all the powers of darkness, and the ‘weapon’ we use is our testimony to this victory. We exercise dominion over demons and all dark spiritual forces by virtue of the authority of the Lord Jesus and our assurance that He has delegated this to us. At another level, we testify through both words and deeds by speaking out and living out our belief and faith in Jesus Christ as the source of salvation and truth. While the keys to deliverance from demonic control are the authority of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit, the key transforming agents in human society are spiritual regeneration in and through Jesus, and the application of what He taught and modeled in all aspects of our lives.

Witnessing through what we say and how we live usually solicits one of two responses from the ‘worldly’; either they are positively impacted and respond by seeking Jesus, or they are hardened and act against us through marginalisation and even overt persecution. The last part of Revelation 12:11 that reads, ‘they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death’ has been a painful reality for many persecuted Christians over the ages.

Part of our ‘spiritual warfare’ witness is to speak truth into and through our circles of influence, and in my next post I intend to add my voice to the growing number of believers who are speaking out at this time into the abysmal state of our national affairs.
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4 Responses

  1. Hi Chris, Gosh some of this is difficult to understand 🙂 In reference to this parr. above – “Even the conservative idea of combating evil simply by praying is dodgy. Prayer is communication with God, and this includes asking Him to act in cases of demonic interference, iniquity, hardness to the Gospel, and so on. However, I can find no biblical evidence that prayer in itself is a form of power. Yet, somehow many Christians seem to think that if enough people pray then their combined prayers will magically cause something to happen. In my opinion, unpopular as it may be, this approach to prayer is just another religious attempt to place the control of circumstances in our hands instead of God’s, and the so-called spiritual warfare I have described earlier is also just another form of religious arrogance” – are you saying that “corporate prayer” against things like corruption and such in the country; or even praying for rain or someone’s healing; is an attempt to place the control in our hands? – as you state in this parr. – “Prayer is communication with God, and this includes asking Him to act in cases of demonic interference, iniquity, hardness to the Gospel, and so on” – would that not imply then that we approach God because we acknowledge that He is the only one who could resolve the matter? I always held onto the principle that “there is real power in prayer”. The case of the women who was high-jacked and started to pray aloud in the back seat of the car, until the guys stopped the car got out and simply ran away??

    • chrispeppler@telkomsa.net

      Thanks for this great question Peter. As I see it PRAYER, as defined and modeled in scripture, is the word given to describe the act of speaking to God, either individually or in a group. It is a form of communication and not a form of energy/power. God hears our prayers and sometimes acts in response to them in a display of HIS power. If our words of prayer caused things to happen through the release of power, then WE would be the source of the power and not God. The expression ‘there is power in prayer’ is biblically and theologically invalid. Corporate prayer expresses the hearts and minds of a number of people on one subject. It serves two main purposes: It establishes unity of intent among the people praying, and it expresses humble dependence upon God for an appropriate response to the prayers. The idea that prayer, in itself, releases spiritual power comes from the occult world and is not a biblical concept. I have dealt with this in my book ‘Prayer, Power, and Proclamation’ http://www.truthistheword.com/prayer-power-proclamation/ Hope this helps Peter. Kindest regards.

  2. Jo Kruger

    Hi Chris,

    Would it not however be true to say that God may see fit to release His power through us? I seem to recall a passage in the bible in which God says that He will make the prophecies of His prophets come true. That is how the people will know the difference between his prophets and those who are not his prophets. Now that strikes me as a wee bit of a conundrum because is it not God’s will that the Prophet is declaring? While the source of the Power is unquestioned, the source of the direction seems to be mixed?

    • chrispeppler@telkomsa.net

      Yes Indeed Jo, God certainly anoints His servants with ‘power from on high’, but the issue I have been dealing with here is the common misconception that there is power in prayer; that prayer in and of itself is a source of, or at least a conduit for, spiritual energy. The root issue is our inability to generate spiritual power through whatever means, such as prayer, incantation, ritual, and so on. Even when God anoints someone to work miracles it is He who provides the power, and He who directs its use.

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