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The Strategies of the Army of Darkness

Spiritual Warfare Series: Part 1

~ The Structure of the Army of Darkness ~

        Ready for a paradigm shift?  I'm ready for your questions and challenges. Before I dive into this paradigm, let me give credit to Peter Wagner, who wrote Praying with Power (Regal Books).  Peter and his associate writers have been a valuable and grateful source of information. This series is an integration of his observations and ideas and that of my own plus my experiences.

        Part One of this series will be devoted to establishing basic premises upon which we will construct the succeeding parts. We invite nor encourage any debate regarding these premises. Some of you will read this and say to yourself, "Yes!" and others of you will say, "Now wait just a minute here!"  I invite everyone to continue considering these premises even if you have to "pretend" to accept them, for the purposes of understanding the content of this series. Believe in them or not, let's proceed to see what happens if we do adopt this paradigm.

Spiritual Warfare: Three targets

        The US stood by an air assault on the Baltic States, hinting at the prospect of ground invasion. The equivalent in spiritual warfare is the preparation of prayer warrior intercessors allowing the ground troops to go in without resistance. This level confronts demonic spirits that assault persons.

        The second level are organized forces of darkness such as witchcraft and satanism that are particularly appealing to many who desire life renewal.

        The third is a rather high level warfare which involves "wrestling with principalities and powers and rulers of the darkness" as Paul describes in Ephesians 612.

Spiritual Territories

        "Nestled near the heart of spiritual mapping philosophy is the concept of territorial strongholds…As anyone who has paid more than a casual visit to places such as India, Navajoland, Cameroon, Haiti, Morocco, Peru, Nepal, New Guinea and China will attest, elaborate hierarchies of deities and spirits are regarded as commonplace. These incorporeal beings are perceived to rule over homes, villages, cities, valleys, provences and nations, and they exercise extraordinary power over the behavior of local peoples." (Otis, "An Overview of Spiritual Mapping", Breaking Strongholds in Your City)

        There are descriptions in the scriptures of angelic territorial guardianship, so it is no great news that that the armies of darkness also patterned its strategies along the armies of light. What follows below is a message I recently sent to our Prayergear.com ministry prayer warriors:

        "I've been studying the teachings and experiences of those very knowledgeable in the structure and dynamics of spiritual warfare, notably C. Peter Wagner, the cofounder of the World Prayer Center in Colorado Springs (from his superb book, Praying with Power).  I quote from Chapter 4 of this book: "...He takes us back to the Persian Gulf War when Saddam Hussein launched many Scud missiles, which did minimal damage to the Allied forces. Someone satirically suggested that after he shot off his missiles, Hussein would tune to CNN television to find out where they had hit! Beckett admits this is the way his church...prayed for years.  He says, 'We were striking out at the enemy but because of our lack of strategic information, we were incapable of isolating or discerning a specific target, aiming at it and hitting it.' Beckett contrasts the Scud missiles with the 'smart bombs' of the allies...they would enter right into the smokestack or window or door of the place at which they were aimed...We have had all too much Scud missile praying in our churches. We need more smart bomb praying.'

        "In chapter 3, Wagner writes, 'Jesus had already used the word 'binding' (which is the Greek deo) in Matthew 12 when He was teaching His disciples spiritual warfare. He said, 'How can one enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man?' (v. 29.)...Beelzebub is one of the strongmen of the kingdom of evil. So Jesus says, 'When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace.' (Luke 11:21.)

        Obviously, the most precious goods of a demonic principality are unsaved souls. If his armor remains intact, apparently the unsaved souls he possesses remain unsaved...The armor of the strongman, though, can be taken away when 'a stronger than he comes upon him and overcomes him' (v. 22.) The 'stronger one' is the Holy Spirit, the finger of God. Where is the Holy Spirit today? He is in us! Jesus said, "You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.' (Acts 1:8.)...Jesus said, 'the works that I do he will do also.' (John 14:12.) That is why it is our duty to 'bind the strongman.' 'Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven.' (Matt. 16:19.)

        During their seven days of prayer and fasting, the Every Home for Christ workers in the Solomon Islands were proactively binding the strongmen whose precious goods were the Kwaio people. Through strategic-level intercession, they took away their demonic armor and released the captive so that, for the first time, the Kwaio could hear the Gospel of Christ...Paul goes on to mention that 'strongholds' take on two different forms: 1) 'arguments' (Greek "logizomai" and 2) 'high things' (Greek 'hypsoma') (2 Cor. 10:5.)'

        "This ministry has a practice of everyone praying for the person who is devoting his/her day to prayer/fasting. Interesting, this is also the practice of other prayer warrior ministries, such as the Spiritual Warfare Network. These larger ministries have a prayer warrior (or more) 'on' 24 hours a day. The prayer warrior who just finished his/her 'shift' and the one who is scheduled to start both pray for the one currently 'on'. This added spiritual protection enhanced the 'fervent and effectual' prayer of each person many fold. When Jesus remarked that the powers of Hades shall not prevail against His church, (the Body of Christ, us), this implies that the evil powers will still rage great assaults, it's just that they won't "prevail".

        While the Body of Christ will prevail in a corporate sense, there have been many casualties regarding individuals in spiritual warfare. So we are urged to put on the full armor of God and learn all we can about the enemy so our prayers can be targeted with precision. And that is also why this ministry encourages specific prayers over general, broad-based ones. It is useful to ask God to reveal the name or identity of the "strongman" who may hinder the effectiveness of our prayers. As the scriptures explain, the forms take either "arguments" (human-based contention, ego conflicts, sin, etc.) or "high things" (principalities of evil in high places). We must bind these by the power of the Holy Spirit. The first forms are bound and overcome by confession, repentance and forgiveness. (As Jesus said, before leaving your gift at the altar, go and make peace with your brother.) The second form is dealt with prayer and fasting, focused and intensive. James doesn't write the "prayer of a righteous man avails much", but rather that the "effectual fervent prayer...avails much." There are indeed different levels of power behind prayers. Not all are equal. Some take the form of wimpy, doubtful pleadings.

        "We are taught, rather, to pray in the power of the Holy Spirit and by the authority of our High Priest, Jesus Christ. So, please, let us renew the power of our prayers by praying for one another, especially for a prayer warrior on his/her scheduled day, by praying for the binding of the strongmen who have been assigned by Satan to guard over his goods of disbelief, unsaved souls, spiritual and physical/emotional illness and unrepentence, and then by specifically targeting the desired outcome of prayer. God set up a structure to this world where we operate with free will. Part of that structure seems to include a provision that much of what God does is contingent on the prayers of His children."

        Next article on this series: Ever wonder why your fervent prayers have remained seemingly neglected? Probably (1) you have not broken the "stronghold" of the territorial demon assigned to your relationship, work or endeavor, (2) you must bind this "strongman" through the power of the Holy Spirit within you.  (3) Then your prayers will be freed to ultimate fulfillment according to God's will!

        Our next article will address how to do this pragmatically.

John S. Hilkevich, Ph.D.
Spiritual Resource Services
www.prayergear.com

July, 1999 © All articles and this web site are copyrighted.

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