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philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Spiritual Warfare and Territorial spirits

What about this topic? Can we discuss/debate this from a biblical basis? I commented on a related theme in 'Lounge' but I am making a deliberate effort to drag this subject into the 'Scriptural Debate' forum. Here is my posting from the Lounge forum, just to get us started. It is referring to a passage in Daniel 10.

Nick wrote: I was talking to a friend about prayer and the story of Daniel praying and have to fight to get his prayer to reach heaven and the "force" or block that was blocking it. if anybody knows where that is in the bible please let me know. thanks a lot
keep seeking,

Mike has given you the references [Daniel 10] but I thought I would point out that there is no mention of Daniel having to fight to get his prayer to reach heaven. In fact, it tells us [v12] that his prayer 'reached heaven' immediately.

If this was 'spiritual warfare' Daniel took no part in it. His business was with God. The 'angel' [v5,6] testified that 'the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me'. It was not Daniel who was blocked but the 'angel' and the 'angel' did not enlist Daniel's help. It was Michael, the archangel, [Jude v9] and the 'angel' that broke through, not Daniel. In fact Daniel was ignorant of the whole process until it was 'done and dusted'.

I think it wise to let the angels get on with their own work in heavenly warfare. Then we can get on with ours, which is 'waiting on God in prayer'. Our focus is not 'heavenly warfare', or 'territorial spirits', our focus is God. Daniel made no contact with 'the prince of the kingdom of Persia'. His business was to maintain contact with God.


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Ron Bailey

 2003/12/8 7:26Profile
almondBranch
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Joined: 2003/10/6
Posts: 91
Tralee, Ireland

 Re: Spiritual Warfare and Territorial spirits

What is spiritual warfare? we know that there is a spiritual battle because it is written that we wrestle not against flesh and blood BUT against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

So I suppose what needs to be examined is the nature of this warfare, its purpose and the scriptural means of carrying it out.

here is a definiton of the word translated "wrestle":

Quote:

3823 palh pale pal’-ay

from pallo (to vibrate, another form for 906); TDNT-5:721,770; n f

AV-wrestle 1; 1

1) wrestling (a contest between two in which each endeavours to throw the other, and which is decided when the victor is able to hold his opponent down with his hand upon his neck)
1a) the term is transferred to the Christian’s struggle with the power of evil



So these principalites and powers are trying to throw us. How do they go about this, can we know? I believe we can to some extent, the bible says that we are not ignorant of Satan's devices (thoughts,purposes).

The most obvious way is through temptation. We see our Lord tempted by the devil in the wilderness during the forty days, and we can see that the first confrontation between man and satan, way back in the garden was temptation to sin. The bible says that God cannot be tempted with evil, there is somthing about our human nature which alows us to be tempted, (not just fallen human nature either because both Adam and Christ were tempted but not fallen).

How do we wrestle against this attack? I beleive that our victory over the devil in this area is conected to our relationship with the word of God. "How can a young man keep from sin? by hiding Your word in his heart" this doesn't mean that if you memorise a bunch of scriptures you will have the power to overcome temptation. It refers to the place that our heart gives to what God has spoken. Look at our first parents in the garden, they obeyed the "hath God said" of Satan rather than what God said to them, they didn't regard His word highly enough. This led to deception in Eve and disregard in Adam. On the contrary when The Lord was tempted He answered imediatly with "it is written". In the passage on spiritual warfare (ephesians 6) it says [i]take..the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints[/i]

This is only one aspect, but probably enough for one post. We tend to look for fancier ways to fight the devil, but this is an exciting thing if properly understood, its part of our growth. We are promised that if we humble ourselves and submit ourselves unto God He will give us grace, if we resist the devil he will flee.


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Stuart

 2003/12/8 9:34Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re: on guard!

thanks, Almondbranch

the word for 'wrestle' is actually a noun, so this verse is along the lines of
because our wrestle is not with flesh and blood but against principalities... The word is linked with pallO or ballO which means 'to throw'; you can see the wrestling link here for a 'throw' or (see later) a 'fall'.

So I think you are quite right, the battle is already enjoined. This is not an invitation to join a struggle but a declaration that the struggle, that is already taking place, is not of an earthly nature (or origin). The ultimate admonition is to 'stand, and having done all to stand'; I see a clear metaphor here in that the purpose of wrestling was (and is) to gain a 'fall'. We are most likely to sustain a fall if we don't know where the attack is coming from. We are being alerted to the fact that the attack is not coming from earthly sources, and that we need to face our enemy.

The metaphor of the soldier returns here. This section begins with the admonition to put of the whole armour of God. The quard (and he is a guard, he is carrying the great shield and no pilum 'throwing spear') must face his enemy. As Spurgeon said, all those years ago, we have no armour for our back. The 'watching unto' phrase is literally 'without sleep'. It's not likely that an attacking warrior will fall asleep, but a man 'on guard' is always vulnerable.

The thing that arrests my attention is that many modern preachers see this as a call to warfare and advance, whereas the picture here is of someone who is standing his ground. There are other places in scripture where the aggression of the gospel is in view, but not here. Here the picture is one of alert defense.

I think the preceding passage is very relevant too. These are classic areas of struggle where the conflict seems to be a wrestling between husband/wife, father/son, master/servant. (Did you notice that all these are God/us metaphores?) However, although we may we most conscious of the human end of the struggle we are being alerted to the fact that this is not a human struggle at all. The contest is begun but the opponent is not the human being on the other side of our relationship, it is a different kind of enemy.


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Ron Bailey

 2003/12/8 10:57Profile
almondBranch
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Joined: 2003/10/6
Posts: 91
Tralee, Ireland

 Re:

Quote:
I think the preceding passage is very relevant too. These are classic areas of struggle where the conflict seems to be a wrestling between husband/wife, father/son, master/servant.



That's very interesting, I had never connected the preceeding passage with the warfare of chapter 6 (thats the trouble with chapters!)

Ephesians is a fasinating letter, it goes from the high and lofty places where we are seated with Christ down to some of the nitty gritty details of our christian life then back up again to the battle with the "forces on high".

I suppose what is being ilustrated is that these high and lofty heavenly truths are being lived out in the earth. Christ's ascension on high results in gifts being given to men on the earth. Our earthly relationships are under attack because they mirror as, you point out, our heavenly relationship.

Its far easier to spend an hour or so in a room with some believers shouting at demons then it is to live in harmony with your spouse!

I wonder how does chapter 3 v10 tie in with all this [i]that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
[/i] the wisdom of God is the wisdom of Christ, the wisdom of the cross. The wisdom of this world is self, self ,self everything that advances my interests is wise. When we lay down our self with our agendas are we thus displaying the wisdom of God to the principalities on high and so silencing their claims against us?

stuart


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Stuart

 2003/12/8 12:18Profile
KingJimmy
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Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re: Spiritual Warfare and Territorial spirits

Though this article was mostly written with the idea of "deliverance ministers" in mind, I think it applies to this topic as well. http://www.christiansteps.com/daily/walls.html


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Jimmy H

 2003/12/8 13:58Profile
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Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re: Spiritual Warfare and Territorial spirits

Quote:

Nick wrote: I was talking to a friend about prayer and the story of Daniel praying and have to fight to get his prayer to reach heaven and the "force" or block that was blocking it. if anybody knows where that is in the bible please let me know. thanks a lot keep seeking,



One thing the Lord has shown me in all this is that we are kings and priests with God. We who are united with Christ sit with Him at the right hand of God the Father. Thus, there is no need for our prayer to break through some sort of heavenly road block.

How is it that our prayers that should be done according to the Holy Spirit need any more help?


Say "Oogidy boogidy boo!" 3 times... strategically!

(in case anybody is a little slow, I'm mocking the 'magical prayers' that people offer to do 'spiritual warfare' with)


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Jimmy H

 2003/12/8 14:06Profile
almondBranch
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Joined: 2003/10/6
Posts: 91
Tralee, Ireland

 Re:

I mentioned the word of God previously as a weapon with which we defeat the schemes of the devil against us. Treasuring what God says safeguards us from Satan's lies. Here are a few more ways that we defeat satan's schemes.

[b]Prayer[/b].
The Lord prayed for us to be kept from the evil one.

John 17:14-17[i] I have given them thy word; and the world hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.I pray not that thou shouldest take them from the world,[u] but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil one.[/u]They are not of the world even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth: thy word is truth.[/i]

Luke 22:31,32[i] Simon, Simon, behold, Satan asked to have you, that he might sift you as wheat:
[u]but I made supplication for thee, that thy faith fail not[/u]; and do thou, when once thou hast turned again, establish thy brethren.[/i] (He didn't say but I have bound the devil so that he cant touch you!)

The Lord instructed us to pray to be kept from the Evil One.

Mark 6:13 [i]And bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.[/i]

[b]Praise[/b]

Of Judah (whose name means praise) it is propheied that his hand shall be on the neck of his enemies (Gen 49:8) interesting considering Strong's definition of "the wrestle" which I gave earlier.

Psalm 8:2(LXX)[i]Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou perfected praise, because of thine enemies; that thou mightest put down the enemy and avenger.[/i]

What do I mean by using praise as a way to combat Satan? I don't mean that if you can have a good "worship session" with "anointed music" you will drive back the forces of darknes. What I do mean is that acknowledging the greatness of God in all situations defeats the devils plans. When Peter tried to talk the Lord out of the death which was God's will for Him, Jesus said; "Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men." To praise is to glorify God's ways not man's. Job said "the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD." the writer immediatly comments "In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly" (Job 1:21,22) The book of Job has somthing to say in the area of spiritual warfare I believe.

[b]Forgivness[/b]
2 Cor 2:10,11[i] To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.[/i]

Hanging on to hurts grievances biterness etc, is an open door for the devil to walk through. Forgivness closes that door.

[b]Binding and Loosing[/b]
Actualy I am kidding here. This is one of the most popular ways of combating the devil in certain circles but its interesting to note that it is only spoken of in two places in the gospels and they are the same only two places where you will find Jesus speaking of the church. No mention of fighting devils there. Its a different subject but worth looking at (Mat chapters 16 and 18)













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Stuart

 2003/12/8 18:40Profile





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