Theres a lot of marching going on these daysmarching
for womens rights, gay rights, animal rights, minoritys
rights. You name it! Everybody seems to be promoting some sort of cause
or the other. And the church is no exception.
Besides marches for Jesus and other non-traditional public exhibitions,
there is now a growing movement to "take our neighborhoods, cities,
counties, countries and world for God." Up front this may sound
noble and good, but is it really? A closer examination of the foundation,
motivation and goals of this popular trend may surprise you.
As the world is plunged deeper into chaos, destructive weather
patterns, economic fluctuations, political and social unrest, fearful
new plagues and incurable diseases along with the continual threat of
nuclear global destruction, a large percentage of Christendom has responded
in a heretofore unprecedented manner. In just a little over a decade
we have witnessed a growing restlessness among the majority of charismatic
churches that has culminated in nothing less than militant zeal.
There is somewhat of a savage, intimidating, forceful and unyielding
energy behind this zeal. It is an energy that strongly gives the impression
if youre a Christian who is not caught up in todays type
of "spiritual warfare," then youre falling short of
Gods ultimate plan (for this planet) and will (for your Christian
life.) In other words, "Youre missing it!"
Just what is "spiritual warfare" anyway? Can we find
that term in Gods Word? No, but the principles of spiritual warfare
can be drawn from such passages of scripture as Ephesians 6:10-18; 1
Timothy 1:18; 6:12; 2 Tim. 1:7; 2:4; Heb. 10:32; Rev. 12:11, 17; Luke
10:19; 2 Cor. 10:3-5; 1 John 4:4. As you will note, all of these portions
of scripture, in context, reveal a very different type of "spiritual
warfare" than that being waged in churches around the world today.
True Biblical "spiritual warfare" centers on the battle between
the individual Christian and Satan for the believers FAITH. The
primary battle each believer is called upon to fight is against personal
temptations, accusations, lies, fears, lusts, hindrances, curses
and such. There is not one mandate in the entire Bible that commands
the church to overthrow Satans dominion over this world. Rather,
the Bible makes it clear that it is God who overcomes our enemy.
Revelation 12:7-9 says, "And there was war in heaven:
Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought
and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any
more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent,
called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was
cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him."
Only then does the victory cry ring out, "And I heard a loud
voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the
kingdom of our God, and power of his Christ: for the accuser of our
brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night"
Where did all of this frantic pressure to "take over the
kingdoms of this world" begin? We shall find the answer within
the Latter Rain, Manifest Sons of God, Dominionists camps. In 1983 Earl
Paulk in "Wounded Body of Christ", stated: "We begin
to take dominion in spiritual areas by casting out devils and discerning
finally, we begin to rule and reign with Christ. We rule
and reign in social settings, in the heavenlies, and here on earth."
To further add to todays confusion over spiritual warfare certain
books and articles such as the following are widely read: "Taking
Our Cities For God" by John Dawson; "Breaking Strongholds
In Your City" by C.P. Wagner; "The Three Battlegrounds"
by Francis Frangipane; "Territorial Spirits" by P. Wagner/Roger
Forster; Possessing The Gates Of The Enemy" by Cindy Jacobs".
All of these authors are part of the MSOG/Dominionist movement whose
aim is to bring in the Kingdom of God (prior to Christs visible
return) and to rule the nations of the world through their [false] "apostles"
and "prophets". The Bible warns that it will be Satan and
the Antichrist, not the church, who will hold worldwide power
prior to Christs second coming.
This replacement of the church over Satans earthly rule
is simply another form of "replacement theology". Roger Forster
writes in the foreword to the book, "Territorial Spirits",
"Heb. 2:5 reveals to us that the world to come will no longer
be under subjection to angels but will be under subject to redeemed
men and women who will reign with Christ. We are at present in training
for reigning." What Forster fails to understand is that the
"world to come" in this passage of scripture is not the present
age ruled by an overcoming church. It is referring to the Millennial
age that will be ruled by the Lord Jesus Christ, King and Messiah.
Forster explains his "replacement theology" this way:
"These structures [territorial principalities] will be refurbished
with a whole new personnel. The final overthrow of Satans rebellious
colonial government by the central government of God is preceded by
the faith-sons of Abraham bringing blessing to all the families of earth.
This demands territorial claims and advance through the earth."
In other words, Forster is claiming that the church replaces the territorial
spirits and governs the nations of the world! (Notice that national
Israel is missing.) He further writes, "Eventually, this resistance
movement can produce sufficient numbers of trained personnel to take
over the authority and administration of the colony from Satan and his
angels, giving the least amount of disturbance to the heavenly structural
until such a network of resistance against Satan is found
all over the earth, the second coming of our Lord is held up and his
total reign restrained." Personally, this sounds more like
science fiction scenes from Star Wars (which is pure Hinduism) than
from sound biblical exegesis.
The arrogance of these self-proclaimed leaders never ceases
to amaze us. They truly believe that the result of all of this "spiritual
mapping", "territorial warfare", "binding and releasing"
and so forth will actually defeat Satan and his demons and their control
over this world. Not only is this arrogant and presumptuous, but it
is unbiblical as well. Yet, in spite of the clear teachings of the Word
of God, millions of people who call themselves Christians are totally
caught up in this futile activity.
There is also a grave danger in using the Name of Jesus to obtain
ones personal, unbiblical goals such as railing against Satan
and demons for the purpose of routing them from their positions (that
God has allowed them to hold until such time He expels them) or in commanding
and calling forth those things that we, as Christians, have not been
assigned as our responsibility. Christians today use the Name of Jesus
in such a flippant, disrespectful and irreverent manner that it causes
me to tremble! 2 Peter 2:10-12 states, "
they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. Whereas
angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation
against them before the Lord. But these, as natural brute beasts, made
to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand
not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption."
Jude 8-10 states, "Likewise also these filthy dreamers
defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. Yet
Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about
the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation,
but said, The Lord rebuke thee. But these speak evil of those things
which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts,
in those things they corrupt themselves." Dignities are angelic
powers and principalities.
When Jesus told His disciples, "and these signs shall
follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they
shall speak with new tongues" (Mark 16:17) He was speaking
in the context of individual, personal ministry. Yes, a true believer
who is upright before God does possess the authority to cast out devils,
out of certain individuals in times of personal ministry as led by
the Holy Spirit. But there is not one scriptural mandate
for the church to "cast down principalities and powers" ruling
over cities and nations so that the church may take dominion! Neither
Jesus nor the disciples left us with any examples of such activity.
Satans goal is to usher in a one-world system over which
he presides. This system will be political, economic and religious.
His platform will be peace. It will be promoted by "love"
and "light" and "goodwill" for all mankind. Because
of lying signs and wonders, his counterfeit utopia will deceive all
but the very elect. Through the New Age Movement, the United Nations,
the Parliament of the Worlds Religions, the Global Ethic and other
powerful means the one-world government draws closer. And, unwittingly,
zealous, militant Christians who have devoted themselves to the monumental
and endless task of "pulling down strongholds" so they can
"take their cities for God" may well be only another means
by which Satan will be able to establish his earthly rule. Think about
it. Daniel 10:20 reveals that when one demonic ruler was prevailed against,
another came and took his place.
Gods plan for His people has not changed regardless of
what the dominionsts and other false prophets teach. Our commission
is the sameto lift up Jesus! We are still to "Go
and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and
of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things
whatsoever I have commanded you" Matthew 28:19, 20a. "A
new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have
loved you, that ye also love one another" John 13:34. "Ye
shall be witnesses unto me
" Acts 1:8.
Who, then, is responsible for the devils defeat? None
other than the Victor Himself, Jesus Christ! "For this purpose
the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the
devil" 1 John 3:8
The next time your church sings songs such as "Im
going up to the enemys camp to take back what he stole from me",
stop and think what youre singing about. Who is being exalted,
the church or Christ? Who is claiming responsibility to do that which
only God can do? Christ, not the church, not this world, not spiritual
warfare, is our blessed hope! "And I saw heaven opened, and
behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and
True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were
as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name
written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a
vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God, And
the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed
in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword,
that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with
a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath
of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name
written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS" Revelation 19:11-16.
Test the spirit, examine the fruit. Make sure you are not being
led astray from the truth. May God help us to not be as the five foolish
virgins in Matthew 25 who dissipated their oil on deceitful pursuits
so that in the end the door closed, leaving them forever shut out. Amen.