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Section 10A ... The Contemporary Church
Dominion Theology

 

003white   Section 10 A  The  Contemporary Church     >      Dominion Theology     >     Part VII

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Dominion Theology... The Stench And Foul Smell Of Joel’s Army

Section VII: Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare & Territorial Spirits

Carol Brooks

One Question: If believers keep “binding Satan”, who in the world keeps letting him out?

Index To All Sixteen Sections

Section 1: History, Beliefs and Spread
Section 2: Manifest Sons Of God
Section 3: C Peter Wagner and The New Apostolic Reformation ... The Five-Fold Ministry
Section 4: Genuine New Testament Apostles Or Deluded Con Men
Section 5: Biblical Accountability and Authority
Section 6: Do Miracles Produce Faith
You Are Here 001orange Section 7: Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare (SLSW)
Section 8: Identificational Repentance
Section 9: Portals
Section 10:  Civil War
Section 11:  Phinehas Spirit
Section 12:  Excuses For Gullibility
Section 13:  The Bible Vs. Dominion Theology
Section 14:  More Examples of The Leadership’s Inventive Interpretations of Scripture
Section 15:  A Sinister Twist
Section 16: Fate of Joel’s Army

 

Catechism--Bar

ON THIS PAGE

A Preoccupation With the Supernatural and Fantasy
“Christian” Fantasy

What Is Strategic-Level Spiritual Warfare?
Operation Ice Castle
Spiritual “Mapping”

Three Levels Of Spiritual Warfare

Spiritual Mapping And Evangelistic Success?
Bob Beckett and Commitment to Conquer

Are There Territorial Spirits?
Assorted Possibilities
The Princes in Daniel 10

Daniel’s Warfare Prayer?

Out of Context Texts
2 Corinthians 10:3-4
Matthew 12:29:
Jeremiah 33:3
2 Corinthians 4:18

Extra Biblical Examples Cited

“Born Again” Cities
Hemet, California 
The Transformations Story… Wild Exaggeration?
Uganda
Almolonga, Guatemala
Cali, Colombia
Kiambu, Kenya and Bishop Thomas Muthee

Conclusion

Section VIII: Identificational Repentance


A Preoccupation With The Supernatural and Fantasy
The prevailing world view of the West has, in recent years, undergone a profound change. Somewhere along the line the realization has begun to dawn that both our modern rationalistic outlook and our social and intellectual programs have left us without answers to our most important questions.. This has resulted in, not a renewed interest in God and the Bible, but a receptiveness and open door policy to all things occult. In the words of Dr. Chuck Lowe..

    As post-modernity supplants modernity, objectivity gives way to subjectivity, rationalism to emotionalism, scientism to spiritism, mechanism to shamanism. In concrete terms, just as the Church Growth Movement was a manifestation of modernity's mechanistic worldview, so SLSW is an embodiment of post-modernity's spiritistic worldview. A well-intentioned attempt to correct one error has directly precipitated another...conformity to the mechanistic technique of modernity is being replaced by conformity to the spiritistic technique of post-modernity." [1]

[See the Dangers and Impact of this Worldview… Postmodernism]

In recent years there has been a meteoric rise in the fascination with the supernatural, and exploration beyond the physical world. This preoccupation ranges from angels to aliens, from Darth Veda to Demons. No matter where  you look in the popular culture you see people’s attraction to the paranormal beginning with the very young … Dungeons and Dragons and Harry Potter but a couple of examples.

A 2002 Time Magazine article talks about the popularity of Fantasy

    In 2001 the fantasy double bill of Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings ranked first and second at the box office…In its first weekend alone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets cleared $88 million…

    In 1997, voters in a BBC poll named The Lord of the Rings the greatest book of the 20th century. In 1999, Amazon.com customers chose it as the greatest book of the millennium… Tolkien's works sold 11 million copies in the U.S. in 2001 alone.

    The online fantasy game EverQuest pulls in more than $5 million a month from its half a million subscribers, and the fantasy card game Magic: The Gathering boasts 7 million players.

    The business of fantasy has become a multibillion-dollar reality. [1b]

Additionally, there are endless reality programs on television about ghost hunting, while Halloween is celebrated each year with increasing fervor. Angels have been the subject of movies and television series, while angel paraphernalia is widely sold as good luck charms. In an effort to better understand the world in which we live, many have take to exploring the idea of contacting spirit being via Channeling, etc. perhaps coming to terms with the fact that we have less control over things than we thought we did.
 

“Christian” Fantasy:
Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins have churned out 16 best-selling novels… The totally fictional Left Behind series. Not only have sales for the series surpassed 65 million copies, but seven titles in the series have reached #1 on bestseller lists. [See Left Behind]

Author Frank Peretti has some 12 million novels in print (twenty one titles), including two spiritual warfare novels… This Present Darkness (1988) and Piercing the Darkness (1989), which between them have sold more than 3.5 million copies. [2]. Peretti’s books, that have captured the imaginations of many in both the Christian and secular worlds, often vividly portray tall, handsome, angelic warrior engaging black-winged demons in fierce battles over schools, towns, and territories.

Regardless of what one may think about the sensationalistic nature of these books, they certainly serve to bring the world of the spirit being to the forefront of the minds of numerous Christians, who never seem to lag much behind the world in their thinking and worldview. The world has little need to batter down the doors of the church… we have flung them wide open with an open invitation to whatever lurks outside. adopting a large number of practices that have their roots in the pagan or the occult. Yoga, Contemplative Meditation, Eastern Mysticism and Labyrinths being just a few examples. 

For many in the church this excessive interest in all things supernatural has found expression in two related beliefs and practices

    1) Territorial Spirits/Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare which believes that certain spirits have control over certain geo-political locations and in order for the Gospel to reach people these sprits have  to be “bound” and their hold on the area broken.

    2) Portals are geographic locations on Earth that possess super-spiritual access to the realm of the Divine and that Heaven and Earth can be aligned by cleansing the area of demonic spirits.

Certainly these beliefs are closely tied in with Dominionism… inasmuch as it is believed that the binding of territorial spirits is an crucial step towards the Christianization of the world, leading to the establishment of God’s kingdom on earth before Christ can, or will return.
 

What Is Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare (SLSW)?
In a nutshell, since Satan is neither omnipotent or omniscient, he has to delegate power to other spirit helpers who, assigned to particular projects or even geographical areas, carry out his schemes in the set field. Certain spirits, particularly high ranking spirits, exercise their power over defined geographic regions, and anyone within the boundaries of these regions is subject to the power of the ‘presiding’ demon, which is why the gospel is so fiercely resisted in certain areas. In order for the gospel to be more accepted in these demon infested areas, Christians must focus on spiritual warfare designed to remove these spirits or “bind” their power.

Therefore,

    “the church is called to do more than simply stand firm, resist, and defend. The church is called to actively seek out, uncover, and confront the demonic powers that influence our corporate existence”. [3]

An extreme example of this was
 

Operation Ice Castle:
Ana Méndez Ferrell, once a witch in Haiti's Voodoo cult, founded of the Voice of The Light Ministry along Dominion-Ana-Mendezwith her husband Emerson Ferrell. She calls herself “An ordained prophet and apostle” [3b] Apparently, according to C Peter Wagner

    the Holy Spirit clearly showed her that a principal stronghold over the 10/40 Window was located on Mt. Everest in Nepal, and that she was to lead a team of intercessors in a frontal attack on this power of darkness, who was none other than the Queen of Heaven. Before finally deciding to go, she sought the agreement of Rony Chavez, Harold Caballeros, Cindy Jacobs, George Otis, Jr., Fred Markert, Chuck Pierce, Doris Wagner, me, and others. [3c]

Three teams (one led by Doris Wagner) then undertook the spiritual warfare mission to the Himalayas named "Operation Ice Castle" to combat the chief of all territorial demons, the "Queen of Heaven." Wagner quotes Ana Mendez’s report

    "God spoke to us that He was going to release judgment upon the iniquity and over the false religious systems of the world. He said that he was going to bring down the foundations of 'Mystery Babylon the Great, Mother of Harlots.' [This is the Queen of Heaven. The ancient name of Everest is Sagarmata, meaning "Mother of the Universe."] [3c]

According to C Peter Wagner “the most difficult, dangerous, and technically exacting part of the Everest ascent” took place on September 22, 1997. After describing “an incredible climbing anointing” that came over the team, she says they were about to reach the point where they had located the seat of the Queen of Heaven when the devil unleashed his fury and a huge avalanche broke loose above them. Miraculously saved they

    ".. continued toward our goal, and when we arrived we took the throne that the Lord had showed us, prophesying against the powers of darkness and declaring the judgment of God on the whore of Babylon and the false religions of the world. [3c]

However I am really confused. They took this trip to declare “the judgment of God on the whore of Babylon and the false religions of the world”.

But didn’t the apostle John already tell us this would happen? I seem to recall him talking about Babylon the great, the “habitation of demons, and a hold of every unclean spirit” who’s sins have reached even unto heaven” and that judgment on her was already pronounced.. “in one day shall her plagues come, death, aDominion-Wagnernd mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire” [Revelation 18]. See Two Babylons

C Peter Wagner then says

    Ana points to some world events which occurred within two weeks after the prophetic act at the throne of the Queen of Heaven which she senses have some connection: (1) The nation of Indonesia, the largest Muslim nation in the world, caught on fire and began to burn on that very day; (2) An earthquake destroyed the Basilica of Assisi in Italy, the place where the Pope had called a meeting for the unity of all world religions; (3) Hurricane Paulina destroyed the infamous temple of "Baal-Christ" in Acapulco, Mexico; (4) Princess Diana of England died, representing the crown of England, to whom Mt. Everest was consecrated by Sir Edmund Hillary; and (5) Mother Theresa, one of the most visible advocates of exalting Mary as co-redemptrix and mediatrix, died in India. [3c]

However Ana’s sensing of the supposed related events are as off base as her claim that the Queen of Heaven had a stronghold on Everest.

Mother Theresa died on 5th September 1997, more than two weeks before Operation Ice Castle and, by the way, she was born in 1910, which made her 87 years old when she died.

Diana, Princess of Wales died as a result of injuries sustained in the Paris car accident on 31st August 1997, some three weeks before Operation Ice Castle. In any case she was no longer a member of the royal family, her marriage to Charles, the heir to the British throne, having ended in divorce on 28 August 1996. It was Charles who insisted that, as the mother of the presumed future king (her son William), she be given a formal royal funeral;

Sir Edmund Hillary: While I know nothing about Sir Edmund Hillary consecrating the mountain to the crown of England, it is widely known that he buried a tiny crucifix at the summit of the mountain, which was part of a rosary sent to him by Father Martin Haigh, of St Mary's Catholic Church, Broadfield Drive, Leyland. [3d] And so what? Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted the American flag on the Moon.

Hurricane Pauline; While there is little doubt that Pauline was one of the deadliest Eastern Pacific storms in recorded history (Intense flooding and mudslides in some of the poorest areas of Mexico killed between 230 to 400 people), she was the seventh major hurricane of the 1997 Pacific hurricane season. And as far as the “infamous” temple of in Acapulco is concerned, I am afraid that it was so notorious that I have never even heard of it.

The Indonesian Forest Fires: -Indonesia has had more than one large scale fire (1982/1983, 1987, 1991, 1994, and 1997/1998). While the major causes were unclear many blame the slash and burn techniques adopted by local farmers.. the cheapest and easiest means to clear the lands for traditional agriculture.

Assisi: There is no doubt that, in 1986, John Paul II convened an unprecedented inter-religious meeting and daylong fast and prayer against nuclear war in the Italian town of Assisi and that the Basilica of Assisi was badly damaged by an earthquake on September 26, 1997 (Part of the vault collapsed, killing four people inside the church). However, Italy has undergone at least one major earthquake in each of the last three decades. Not only was the Basilica completely restored, the earthquake did not exactly end the ecumenical meetings. A January 24, 2002 CNN.com article says

    Religious leaders from around the world have joined Pope John Paul II for a daylong prayer for peace following the events of September 11.  Concerned by the impact of the U.S. terrorist attacks, the pope invited representatives of world religions -- particularly Christians and Muslims -- on Thursday to the hillside town of Assisi to meditate and speak out about the need for an end to war and terrorism… Representatives of 12 religions -- including Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Shintoists and followers of tribal religions -- took part. [3f]

Some of the more notable participants were the Grand Mufti of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bartholomew I, spiritual leader of the world's 300 million Orthodox Christians, Rabbi David Rosen of Jerusalem, President of the International Council of Christians and Jews and Geshe Tashi Tsering, Representative of the Dalai Lama. Also represented were Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Sikhism, Jainism And Traditional African Religions [3g]

 The article goes on to say [Emphasis Added]

    Franciscan monks took down crosses from the walls and removed other religious objects from rooms in a U-shaped convent near St. Francis' tomb, where a number of the various religious guests will pray.

Demons, demons everywhere:

A message on Francis Frangipane’s site contains an excerpt, adapted from a chapter in Francis' book The House of the Lord, which says..

    However, when the church is not built according to Christ’s directives, but remains selfish and divided, the principalities and powers have access in a greater degree to the souls of men. In such cities, spiritual wickedness guards neighbors and communities.

    One does not have to be very discerning to see this is true. On your next drive from the country into the city, see if you cannot discern a distinguishable cloud of oppression as you enter various regions of your community. That invisible barrier is the range of influence of the ruling spirits which manipulate the thought-life of the people. The demonic power of that area of influence is the "strong man, fully armed," who "guards his own homestead"; whose "possessions are undisturbed" (Luke 11:21). [4]

Regions and territories are not the only demon infested objects that are to be purged. Apart from the belief that demons are transmitted through genealogical inheritance or family curses (a whole other subject), many believe that dangerous demonic influences are transmitted through contact with physical objects such as artifacts dedicated to other gods (evil spirits), perhaps because people involved with the occult have invited demons to occupy said object. It is also often believed that demons occupy many places (like health food stores) that are linked to the occult or the New Age. Or that they can occupy an object like a building because a death or evil act was associated with it.


Spiritual “Mapping”
is preparation for spiritual warfare and not an end in itself. Preparation for any successful physical battle involves reconnaissance to gather vital information regarding the enemy’s position and strength in order to come up with a strategy to overcome them. Similarly spiritual mapping is reconnaissance in the spiritual realm, or the attempt to look beyond the material and physical features of a geographical area to the spiritual forces behind it that influence its character… in other words, to see a region (or community) as it really is from God’s perspective, and not as it appears to be. This has been likened to a doctor using an X-ray to see what is not readily apparent on the surface…

Advocates quote 2 Corinthians 2:11 in support of the idea that Paul was not unaware of Satan's schemes-he knew them in order to combat them

      that no advantage may be gained over us by Satan: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

However Note that the word translated devices (the Greek noēma) has been used some six times in the New Testament and has uniformly been translated minds or thoughts. Strongs lexicon says it is “a perception, that is, purpose, or (by implication) the intellect”. It seems to me that every Christian should be well aware of Satan’s perception and purposes.

Spiritual Mapping supposedly ensures that intercessors are better equipped to specifically direct their prayers ("smart-bomb" praying) to the tearing down of particular strongholds. Loosening the hold of forces of darkness over people in a particular territory is supposed to virtually guarantee evangelistic success within the “mapped” area, with positive signs such a lower crime rate, more receptiveness to the Gospel and more people coming to Christ.

They never tire of pointing us in the direction of Matthew 12: 29 in which Jesus says  'How can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? And then He will spoil his house'. C Peter Wagner (and a million others) interprets this verse as meaning

    "The 'house' is the territory controlled by Satan, or his delegated spirits, and that territory cannot be taken unless he is bound. But once the territorial spirits are bound, the kingdom of God can flow into the territory and 'plunder the strong man's goods,' as it were." [5]

Proponents maintain that spiritual warfare may be the single most important strategy we can utilize in reaching the unreached. According to The Australian Prayer Network… [Emphasis Added]

    “This fresh move of God to give us the keys of the Kingdom in spiritual mapping possibly started in the mid 1980’s. Part of the paradigm shift came about because we intercessors sought God for more effective keys in spiritual warfare. A major breakthrough came in 1989 with John Dawson’s book Taking Our Cities For God. The result was a wake-up call to the Body of Christ. Then in 1995 at the Global Congress on World Evangelization in Seoul, Korea, George Otis Jnr. introduced the concepts of spiritual mapping. And the rest is history. But the biggest breakthrough came in 1999 when George Otis Junior published Informed Intercession, which is now the standard research methodology for spiritual mapping”. [6]

In his book The Life Giving Church, Ted Haggard, who at the time led the New Life Church in ColoradoDominion-Ted-Haggard Springs, describes a 1992 meeting in Upland, California, that was the genesis of his and Peter Wagner’s partnership. The end result of that meeting was the establishing of The World Prayer Center in Colorado Springs adjoining Haggard’s New Life Church [7].  Once described by Lee Grady of Charisma Magazine as the “spiritual version of the Pentagon”, the center was used as the central nerve center for compiling spiritual mapping data.

C Peter Wagner who is commonly believed to be an “authority” in the fields of church growth and spiritual warfare, describes …


Three Levels Of Spiritual Warfare:
Peter Wagner’s book Confronting the Powers is the fifth book in the "Prayer Warrior" series and has been endorsed by (no surprises here) Jack Hayford pastor of Church on The Way in Van Nuys CA, Jack Deere and Vonette Bright who along with her husband Bill Bright was co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ. In the book Wagner says … 

    Ground Level spiritual warfare involves casting demons out of people…

    Occult Level spiritual warfare deals with demonic forces released through activities related to Satanism, witchcraft, Freemasonry, Eastern religions, New Age shamanism, astrology and many other forms of structured occultism”

    Strategic Level spiritual warfare (also called cosmic level spiritual warfare) describes confrontation with high ranking principalities and powers such as Paul writes about in Ephesians 6:21. These enemy forces are frequently called “territorial spirits” because they attempt to keep large numbers of humans networked through cities, nations, neighborhoods, people groups, religious allegiance, industries or any other form of human society in spiritual captivity.” [8]

In his book Confronting the Powers, C Peter Wagner says that he regards spiritual warfare “in a category similar to baptism” inasmuch as

    “We have differing positions that our position is the correct and most biblical one. But we are not dealing with heresy, and we have enough biblical evidence to support varying positions, especially considering that we might interpret the same Scriptures in different ways.”

He goes on to say

    “In this book, I am not claiming biblical proof for the validity of strategic-level spiritual warfare, spiritual mapping or identificational repentance. I will, however, claim that we do have sufficient biblical evidence to warrant:

        At the least, a working hypothesis that we can field test, modify and refine:

        At the most, a significant, relatively new spiritual technology God has given us to meet the greatest challenge to world missions since William Carey went to India more than 200 years ago. If this is the case refusing to use it on the part of some might be to run the risk of unfaithfulness to the Master. [9]

Wagner certainly isn’t alone.. the following examples do no more than skim the surface of what has become both a very wide and deep pond.

Ted Haggard: In 1995 Haggard had a book published called Primary Purpose: Making It Hard for People to Go to Hell from Your City, in which he said it “happened in Colorado Springs, and it can happen in your city tDominion-Francis-Frangipaneoo”.

Francis Frangipane: In his book The Three Battlegrounds, Frangipane says

    There are satanic strongholds over countries and communities; there are strongholds which influence churches and individuals....[Pg. 29]

A little earlier in the book Frangipane quotes 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 and goes on to say.. [Emphasis Added]

    All successful deliverance must begin by first removing that which defends the enemy. In speaking of spiritual warfare, the apostle Paul enlists the word “Stronghold” (KJV) to define the spiritual fortresses wherein Satan and his legions hide and are protected. These fortresses exist in the thought patterns and ideas that govern individuals and churches, as well as communities and nations, Before victory can be claimed, these strongholds must be pulled down and Satan’s armor removed. Then the mighty weapons of the Word and the Spirit can effectively plunder Satan's house.”  [10]

Chuck D. Pierce and Dutch Sheets: Chuck D. Pierce is President of Glory of Zion International and Vice-President of Global Harvest Ministries, while Dutch Sheets is senior pastor of Springs Harvest Fellowship in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the church attended by C Peter Wagner and his wife Doris. In 2001, they coauthored a book titled Releasing The Prophetic Destiny Of A Nation, of which the product description on Amazon.com says … “the remarkable story of how God called two very different men to come together for a common cause: His desire to heal the United States of America”.

In fact Dutch Sheets says he knew he was in for a wild ride when, as he says “the Lord showed me mental picture of myself riding with Christ on His white horse..” [Pg. 11]. Pierce and Sheets traveled the 50 states rallying apostles, prophets, intercessors and entire churches to break the grip of demonic strongholds over the United States. “Their efforts to purge the land of territorial and generational sin began an open season of warfare against the principalities and powers entrenched in every state”. Christians were directed by these modern apostles to call forth “angels” to bring down the mighty events. The book provided a detailed account of their journey to each state and what God revealed to them about each state.


Spiritual Mapping And Evangelistic Success
Bob Beckett and Commitment to Conquer

Despite their best efforts, missionaries have had only limited success in countries like China and India, both of which have enormous populations entrenched in pagan superstition and idol worship. There is little doubt that many missionaries feel that they have tried everything to little or no avail, which can not but result in total frustration. This of course, is not limited to missionaries in foreign countries, but is often equally applicable to pastors of domestic churches. Dominion-Beckett

Bob Beckett, senior pastor of Dwelling Place Church in Hemet, California taught on Local Strategic Intercession as part of C. Peter Wagner’s World Missions Class and Spiritual Issues in Church Growth classes at Fuller Seminary. Beckett is also a member of the New Apostolic Roundtable and Eagle Vision Apostolic Team under Dr. C. Peter Wagner and serves as a faculty member of the Wagner Leadership Institute in Colorado Springs, Colorado and on the Executive Board of Generals of Intercession with Mike and Cindy Jacobs. [11]

In his 1997 book Commitment to Conquer, he talks about his church which prayed every morning, five days a week for five years. These prayer meetings had anywhere from ten to a hundred people present and they “prayed their hearts out about drugs, gangs, schools, pornography”.. all the issues that concerned their community. “We came against the works of Satan. We bound spirits left and right”.

 He goes on to say that, although the lives of those who came were changed dramatically” and “they became a tight knit family that shared one another’s burdens and poured our hearts out in prayer for our community”, the problem was that “at the end of those five years of faithful intercession, totaling about 1300 hours of corporate prayer, Helmet had not changed one bit. In fact, if anything it was worse.”

Beckett then relates how he went to the Lord to seek answers and gradually began to be shown what the problem was. “Although we had been interceding faithfully, our intercession had not been persistently accurate. We had simply sprayed prayers here and there, hoping they would hit a target.”.. “Since we were praying without accurate information we had no way of evaluating our progress.”

He then compares their intercession to the Gulf War and a satirical story circulating at the time about Saddam Hussein shooting off his missiles, then tuning to CNN to find out where they had hit! Beckett contrasts the Scud missiles with the 'smart bombs' of the allies that used specific coordinates to accurately hit their targets.. coordinates which were obtained by reconnaissance information gathered behind enemy lines, without which the smart bombs would not have been near as effective. 

Concluding that they had to discover the “Lord’s agenda” for their community and what really was going on in their city, after which they began to make “breakthroughs in their community, with Helmet becoming “more infiltrated with the Kingdom of God”. [12]

    (Incidentally on Page 90 of his 2008 book Praying with Power, C Peter Wagner refers to this Scud missile praying and says he likes the way Bob Beckett describes it..)

So if tearing down strongholds is presented as a guarantee for evangelistic success, it’s popularity is very understandable. Besides which, Wagner also believes that cities can be “born again”. [Emphasis Added]

    If we agree that we need to move with God for taking over a certain city, how will we know if and when we have succeeded? I think that a biblically rooted measure for success would be the birth of a new creation: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Cor. 5:17). If this is what the Bible expects of individuals who are transformed, why should we expect less of a city? If individuals can be born again, why can’t cities, made up of many individuals, be born again? [13]

However one question really needs to be addressed first, and that is …


Are There Territorial Spirits?
Are there spirits that have jurisdiction of a particular territory? Perhaps! There is nothing in the Bible that rules out the possibility and a few texts that may imply the reality of “presiding” spirits. For example..

Bel and Babylon: When Jeremiah talks about the fall of Babylon he says  "Bel is shamed" and "Merodach is broken in pieces" [Jeremiah 50:2]. Similarly God says

    “And I will execute judgment upon Bel in Babylon, and I will bring forth out of his mouth that which he hath swallowed up; and the nations shall not flow any more unto him: yea, the wall of Babylon shall fall. [Jeremiah 51:44]

Legion: The story of Jesus casting “Legion” out of the man who was living among the tombs [Mark 5] is particularly interesting. In verse 5 “Legion” earnestly implores Jesus “not to send them out of the country”. Although, in Luke’s account they beseech Jesus not to cast them “into the abyss.” [Luke 8:30-31].

Specific Principalities: 2Kings relates when “Israel was carried away out of their own land to Assyria” [V.23], “the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Avva, and from Hamath and Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel; and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in the cities thereof” [V.24]

Later on in the same chapter it is said that “every nation made gods of their own, and put them in the houses of the high places” [V.29] and “served their own gods, after the manner of the nations from among whom they had been carried away” [V.33].  Some specific principalities are mentioned

And the men of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, and the men of Cuth made Nergal, and the men of Hamath made Ashima, and the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak; and the Sepharvites burnt their children in the fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim. [2 Kings 17:30-31]

Elymas The Sorcerer: Contrary to what I have read, the story of Paul's encounter with Elymas the sorcerer in Acts 13 does not give any indication of a “territorial spirit”. The account simply says that the proconsul “called unto him Barnabas and Saul, and sought to hear the word of God” [V.7] but Elymas tried to “turn aside the proconsul from the faith” [V.8] . Paul then called Elymas “son of the devil,” and blinded him for a season which so astonished the proconsul that he believed. [Vs.9-12]

One more possibility is

Pergamum, situated in what is present day Turkey. Pergamum was a renowned cultural and political center with a library, and medical facilities. However it was also a major center of pagan religion with impressive temples, including the Temple of Dionysos (known in Rome as Baccus, god of wine), the famous horseshoe shaped altar of Zeus and the Temple of Serapis, built for the Egyptian Gods in the 2nd c. AD. It is not wonder that Jesus describes it as where Satan's throne is" and "where Satan dwells" although we do not know if Jesus meant this literally…

    I know where thou dwellest, even where Satan's throne is; and thou holdest fast my name, and didst not deny my faith, even in the days of Antipas my witness, my faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwelleth. [Revelation 2:13]


The Princes in Daniel 10

The Biblical illustration most commonly cited for the a) existence of territorial spirits and b) Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare, is Daniel 10. And it is certainly is possible that the mentioned princes of Persia and Greece could be demons in charge of particular territories or kingdoms.

The account tells us that from Daniel’s first request for understanding, his prayer was heard, and an angel was dispatched to earth to visit him in answer to that prayer. However the “prince of the kingdom of Persia” opposed the angel, resulting in a three-week delay, and it was only when the help of Michael (one of the chief princes) was enlisted that the angel was finally able to complete his mission.

Since, on three occasions, Jesus referred to Satan as the prince of this world (John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11) and since Michael is referred to as “one of the chief princes” in Daniel 10:13, it is possible that all the “princes” referred to in chapter 10 are not human rulers but supernatural powers. Also this section of the book of Daniel does seem to give indication that certain demons have some kind of jurisdiction and power over particular territories on earth:

    Then he (an angel) continued, "Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days" (Daniel 10:12-13).

However there is second consideration, brought up by the angel’s words in verse 20

    "So he (the angel) said, 'Do you know why I have come to you? Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I go, the prince of Greece will come'" (Daniel 10:20).

This bears a marked resemblance to Daniel’s prophecy found in Chapter 2 about actual historical events that were then yet in the future. Daniels interpretation of the king Nebuchadnezzar’s dream was, in a nutshell, a prophecy concerning the rise and fall off successive empires.. Babylon was conquered by the Medes and Persians, who were in turn overthrown by the Greeks under Alexander the Great, but were eventually supplanted by the Roman Empire.

So when the angel speaks of the “prince of Greece” here, it is quite possible that he was referring to Alexander the Great, who conquered Persia some two hundred years after he spoke.  In fact Daniel 11 details the events which will occur all the way from Daniel’s day to the end of the age.

The book of Ezra says that “the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia” (1.1) which means it does not take any stretch of imagination to believe that it took supernatural persuasion to cause Cyrus to decree that the Jews could return to Jerusalem and start rebuilding the city and the temple, which gave Cyrus no political nor strategic advantage. In fact, even after the initial decree of Cyrus, things did not go well with the rebuilding project. After the first year of return from exile, opposition to the Temple’s rebuilding arose among the people then living in the area, and they hired representatives to go to the Persian court and put a stop to the project. We are told that they were successful throughout the reigns of Cyrus and Cambyses, and initially successful with Darius as well.

     “Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building, and hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia”. [Ezra 4:4-5]

So the opposition which continued for quite some time could very well be represented as a fight between the Persian rulers and the angel. This possibility is also pointed out in Spiritual power and missions: raising the issues By Edward Rommen

    The question has to be asked “what is Daniel so concerned about that he would fast and pray for twenty one days? The best dating of Daniel 10 indicates that “According to cuneiform evidence Cyrus appointed his son Cambyses, King of Babylon a region, including Israel” although he himself was still king. This would make Cambyses a “prince”.. one who according to the historical evidence was actively prohibiting the building of the temple. Perhaps this was what Daniel was praying about. [Pg. 73]

Also note that the angel said that when he left “the prince of Greece will come”. It seems to be a fact that the Greeks generally allowed the Jews to run their state and initial interaction between the two cultures seemed to be very positive. Certainly Alexander the Great is looked on with respect by the Jews among whom Alexander remains a Jewish name to this day. Remember that 70 Rabbis translated the Hebrew Bible into Greek (known as the Septuagint, which means "70" in Greek). So it is possible that the meaning of the angel’s words were that once the Persian empire was absorbed into Alexander’ empire, his work would be done and there would then be no more need of him at the Persian court.


Daniel’s Warfare Prayer?
The fact remains that which ever way one looks at the passages in question, there is an enormous gap between what can be deduced from the text and what the advocates of territorial spirits teach. Of Daniel 10, Peter Wagner says

    “This story leaves us little doubt that territorial spirits greatly influence human life in all its sociopolitical aspects. And it also shows us clearly that the only weapon Daniel had to combat these rulers of darkness was warfare prayer. [14]

Warfare prayer? Daniel’s prayer is outlined in detail in the ninth chapter of Daniel, when he learns from the prophets (Jeremiah in particular) that the 70-year period of Israel’s captivity is drawing to a close. With this hope, Daniel begins to pray for himself and his people, both confessing the sins of the nation for not obeying the voice of God, then petitioning the Lord to let His anger and wrath be turned away from His city, Jerusalem.

Note that some believe that at the time of Daniel 10, the first wave of Jewish captives would have already returned to Jerusalem. However while not wanting to be dogmatic about it, some of Daniels words seem to preclude this possibility …

    let thine anger and thy wrath, I pray thee, be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain .. Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are round about us. [V.16] cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate [V.17]

It certainly seems that Daniel was pleading for the restoration of his people and country, which hadn’t happened yet. He was earnestly entreating the Lord to be merciful. Daniels words in verses 18 and 19 are especially moving, epitomizing as they do repentance and the mercies of God.

    O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousness, but for thy great mercies' sake. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God, because thy city and thy people are called by thy name. [Daniel 9:18-19]

One way or the other, there is absolutely not even a hint of warfare in any of Daniel’s words. He did not, at any point, directly challenge the Princes of Persia or Greece. He does not discern, map, bind, or pray against a territorial spirit. In fact Daniel was blissfully unaware of any battle, leave alone who was fighting whom until his divine visitor later told him about it.

Note that the prayers of Nehemiah, Ezra and Daniel as often referred to as examples of “Identificational Repentance”. [See Section VIII: Identificational Repentance]


Out of Context Texts

An additional  problem is that without some serious manipulation of the accounts, the fundamental strategy employed in SLSW is neither found in the Bible nor in church history. Scripture is being re-examined and re-written through the lens of experience, resulting in truths that can not be derived from Scripture alone. Verses in Scripture are being wrested out of context to back up preconceived theories…

2 Corinthians 10:3-4: One of the most common verses of Scripture cited is 2 Corinthians 10:3-4

    For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh (for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strongholds),

The problem here is that the stage for these two verses is set in the verse immediately preceding these (V. 2) where Paul tells the Corinthians that he doesn’t want to forced to be severe with those that accuse him of being governed by worldly motives or “walking according to the flesh”. He then goes on to say that though they have mortal bodies and lead normal human lives, the battle they are fighting is on the spiritual level.

    yea, I beseech you, that I may not when present show courage with the confidence wherewith I count to be bold against some, who count of us as if we walked according to the flesh. [V.2]

While he does not specify in verses 3 and 4 what the mighty spiritual weapons are that can "demolish strongholds" of evil, V.5 clearly points out that, in this context, strongholds are clearly imaginations, thoughts or arguments that run counter to the truth of God and contradict God-given revelations…

    casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ [10:5]

Paul says it should be the aim of the Corinthians to bring all such thoughts and actions into submission to what God has revealed in His Word, which is obedience to Christ. Paul later enumerates the spiritual weapons in Ephesians 6:11-17, where he points out spiritual attack is always the preaching of the gospel message. The sword of God's Word is even "sharper than any two-edged sword." Ephesians 6 has been further discussed in the conclusion of this article… Below.


Matthew 12:29:
Jesus and The Strongman

In this passage, after seeing Jesus exorcise a man possessed with a demon and therefore blind and dumb [V.22] the multitudes were beginning to wonder whether Jesus was the Son of David [V.23]. However the Pharisees completely dismissed this, and attributed the exorcism to an alliance with Beelzebub… “This man doth not cast out demons, but by Beelzebub the prince of the demons” [V. 24].

To this charge Jesus said no kingdom, or even city or house, that is divided against itself can stand, so if He was casting out demons by the power of Satan, it would mean that Satan is divided against himself, and his kingdom cannot stand.

Not only did Jesus point out the intrinsic absurdity of their argument, but showed that it might as well be applied to them as to him, inasmuch as if their argument was true, then their disciples who cast out devils must be in league with the devil as well [V.27]. Jesus goes on to say that “…if I by the Spirit of God cast out demons, then is the kingdom of God come upon you” [V. 28]. He then further illustrated what He is saying …

    “Or how can one enter into the house of the strong man, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.” [V. 29]
     

In other words no one can break into the house of a strong man and take his property unless he first renders the man helpless. If Jesus had taken the strong man’s property (the possessed person), it was proof that he subdued Satan himself. Jesus’ words were proof of His power over Satan and NOT a universal pattern for all believers to try and emulate..

In any case if believers keep “binding Satan”, who in the world keeps letting him out?

Certainly, there is coming a day when the strong man will be bound. Revelation 20:1-3 makes it very clear that this will take place after Christ's Second Coming, and that he will be bound for the entire millennium. After he is loosed for a short while, "an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand" [Revelation 20:1] will consign him to the lake of fire for all eternity [Revelation 20:10].

In the meantime, the Bible teaches that Satan is "a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" [1 Peter 5:7], and that his power is only going to increase. Revelation13 says in the very last days Satan will have authority over every tribe, tongue, and nation.
 

Jeremiah 33:3 and 2 Corinthians 4:18: In his book Commitment to Conquer mentioned earlier Bob Beckett says

    “in mapping a city or community, we must prepare ourselves, first by calling on the Lord, and then by allowing Him to give us the spiritual eyes to see hidden things revealed.

Beckett then quotes Jeremiah 33:3 using the Amplified Bible which says..

    Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know (do not distinguish and recognize, have knowledge of and understand).

A little further down the page pastor Beckett quotes 2 Corinthians 4:18 (I am not sure which translation he uses)….

    We do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Then goes on to say….

    “Undoubtedly Paul was referring to things of the spirit, soul, forces, principalities, powers, that lie behind what we see with our natural eyes. These are the clues we seek as we begin the process of mapping a community. [Pgs. 35-37]

This is a perfect example of going to Scripture to find what one has already decided to believe. As has been reiterated many times throughout this site, one can not lift a verse out of it’s context to make it appear to say what one wants it to say.
 

2 Corinthians 4: The overall view of the Bible is that this age is a time of darkness during which we, as God’s people, are to represent the Lord as His ambassadors and the only way we can do this is to have our eyes fixed on remote promises. 

    “let us hold fast the confession of our hope that it waver not; for he is faithful that promised” [Hebrews 10:23]

Taken in it’s entirety 2 Corinthians 4 is a chapter of comfort for God’s people. In verses 7-15, the apostle Paul describes the trials of the ministry, but then stresses if we are going to be successful we must always be looking with anticipation for the return of the Lord and the establishment of God’s eternal kingdom on earth… In other words, we have to look beyond what is seen to what is not seen, beyond what is temporary to what is eternal. Remembering that there were no chapter or verse divisions in the original writings, the very next verses [2 Corinthians 5:1-2] only emphasize this point. So now read verse 4:18 in context…  At least from the beginning of 2 Corinthians 4 and into the first few verses of 2 Corinthians 5)

    Wherefore we faint not; but though our outward man is decaying, yet our inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is for the moment, worketh for us more and more exceedingly an eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. For we know that if the earthly house of our tabernacle be dissolved, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal, in the heavens. For verily in this we groan, longing to be clothed upon with our habitation which is from heaven [2Corinthians 4:16-5:2]

There is absolutely nothing in 2 Corinthians 4:18 to indicate that Paul was talking about “things of the spirit, soul, forces, principalities, powers, that lie behind what we see with our natural eyes”, as Beckett claims


Jeremiah 33:3:

    Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know (do not distinguish and recognize, have knowledge of and understand).

Considering that it is all on the same page, Pastor Beckett is obviously using Jeremiah 33:3 to try and make the same point he tried to make with 2 Corinthians 4:18. The verse says there are mighty (or fenced) things that we do not know about and Beckett tries to get us to believe that these mighty things are forces, principalities and powers, although in Scripture, the verses do not specify exactly what God is referring to. However an examination of the circumstances (clearly set forth in the preceding Chapter .. 32) in which these words were said, sheds considerable light on what the Lord meant.

    As the note on this verse in the Net Bible says, the word rendered “mighty” is an adjective usually used to describe cities or walls as “fortified” or “inaccessible.” All the lexicons, however, agree in seeing it used here metaphorically of “secret” or “mysterious” things, things that Jeremiah could not know apart from the Lord’s revelation. [15]

In the tenth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar and his army were right outside the walls of Jerusalem. The city had been under siege for a considerable time and was very close to starvation and surrender. Obviously, both Judah and Jerusalem itself were at the lowest possible point, when there was no hope and no help. The dark cloud of destruction which was about to fall on the city of Zion was particularly clear to the prophet who had already foretold that the city, and the king himself, would fall into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon. It was for this prophecy that Jeremiah was imprisoned by king Zedekiah. [32:1-5].

It is in this critical hour that God issues the invitation, not to Jeremiah alone but, to all of Judah to call on Him who can save them. The context indicates that the mysterious (or fenced in) things concerning the future, which was beyond their understanding at that time, would be understood when the day came.

    Note however that the ‘calling on God’ does outline an operating principle for every believer, especially at a critical time of need… “Let us therefore draw near with boldness unto the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace to help us in time of need”. [Hebrews 4:16]

The restoration of Judah is further emphasized by the remarkable act of faith narrated in chapter 32, verses 6-10 when Jeremiah was instructed to buy his cousin Hanamel’s field.  While there could not have been a worse time to be buying property in Judah, the day would come when their houses, and fields, and vineyards would once again be possessed by them. [Jeremiah 32:15].

Take the time to read chapters 32 and 33 as one unbroken unit (which they are) and see for yourself the mighty things God speaks about.. the salvation of Judah which had impact on the people of the day when they were allowed to return to Jerusalem and start rebuilding the temple and the city itself and, of course, the ultimate salvation in the Messiah as the rest of chapter 33 makes clear. 

      In those days, and at that time, will I cause a Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely; and this is the name whereby she shall be called: Jehovah our righteousness. For thus saith Jehovah: David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel; [Jeremiah 33:15-17]


Extra Biblical Examples
Since Biblical examples of strategic-level warfare range between scant and non existent, and the case of Daniel so commonly cited by proponents of SLSW does not backup their claims, Wagner, for one, has to rely on historical examples of strategic-level spiritual warfare, devoting an entire chapter in his book Confronting the Powers to stories from the lives of Catholic saints from the third, fourth, sixth and eight centuries.…including Gregory the Wonderworker, Martin of Tours and Saint Benedict (Benedict of Nursia), all of whom were said to have confronted and defeated demonic spirits. In other words any and all sources that serve to back up their claims…

Stories That Do Not Come From Scripture

In his book Warfare Prayer, Wagner quotes Talbot’s School of Theology’s Clinton E. Arnold, a new testament scholar who has specialized in the book of Ephesians, and who apparently feels that “attempting to understand the principalities and powers in Ephesians apart from the cult of artemis is a mistake”, that “she was worshipped in Colossae, Laodicea, Hierapolis, and throughout Asia”, and that her power was “awesome”.

Which is as it may be. However C Peter Wagner goes on to say that he believes “we will not be too far from wrong if we regard artemis of the Ephesians as a territorial spirit and see the possible relationship that weakening her had to do with the evangelization of the territory she dominated”. Certainly the “word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed” in Ephesus (Acts 19:20).

He then begins drawing on extra Biblical sources and refers to Yale historian Ramsay MacMullen, who

     “sees much of the Christianization of the Roman Empire as a power encounter between Christianity and demonic forces”, and tells the story of one such power encounter when the apostle John went into artemis’ temple itself to do strategic-level spiritual warfare. He reportedly prayed the following warfare prayer: “Oh God… at whose name every idol takes flight and every demon and every unclean power, now let the demon that is here take flight in Thy name.” And as the story goes “At that moment, the altar of artemis split in pieces and half of the temple building collapsed”… which converted the Ephesians [16]

Apart from the fact that it is dangerous to use extra Biblical material to substantiate doctrine, this story does not even come close to providing an example of Strategic-Level Spiritual Warfare, simply because John directed his prayer to God… He does not directly speak to nor confront Artemis in any way.


Examples of Catholic Bishops

Catholic Bishops from the third, fourth, sixth and eight centuries.…including Gregory the Wonderworker, Martin of Tours and Saint Benedict (Benedict of Nursia)… all of whom were said to have confronted and defeated demonic spirits are cited on page 103 as examples of how conversions arise from “campaigns against demonic hosts”.

    Third Century: Peter Wagner tells the story of third century bishop Saint Gregory of Neocaesarea, also known as Gregory Thaumaturgus or Gregory the Wonderworker, who lodged one night “in a notable shrine dedicated to Apollo and found himself in a fierce battle against the principality who had long ago been invited to occupy that temple.” When the temple priest found out that Gregory had removed the demon who informed him that he could only return to the temple with Gregory’s permission, his faith in that particular god was shattered and he became a Christian eventually becoming Gregory’s successor. [Pgs. 104-105]. Wagner adds that

      “When St Gregory first ascended to the Episcopal see, there were only seventeen Christians in Neocaesarea. At his death about A.D. 270, after approximately thirty years in office, only seventeen pagans remained in the city” and that Gregory was highly regarded by his peers for “humility, self-distrust, and practical sense… a man of singular force of character and weighty judgment.” [Pg. 103]

    Fourth Century: The story of Martin of Tours is similar to that of St. Gregory, except this particular demon takes up residence in a pine tree. [Pgs. 106-107]

    Sixth Century: The story of Benedict says that when he arrived at Monte Cassino, “he prepared for serious spiritual warfare with a 40-day fast” since “the powers had, perhaps for millennia, claimed that area as their spiritual territory”. Benedict apparently “beat in pieces the idol of Apollo, overthrew the altar, set fire on the woods, and in the temple of Apollo built the oratory of St. Martin… On this spot the saint built his monastery … The powers of darkness that had held that region in captivity for ages had been decisively broken” [Pg. 109]

    Eight Century: Boniface an English missionary “was sent to the pagan peoples of Germany by Pope Gregory II” and was mentored by another British Missionary learning from him “how to do spiritual warfare, including power encounters provoked by the physical destruction of pagan temples”. In Hesse Boniface took on a territorial spirit named Thor, but before he could fell the tree, a “fierce wind” sent it crashing to the ground. [Pg. 111]

Why exactly are we using extra Biblical accounts to fashion doctrine? In the first place we do not know whether the stories were simply legend to start with, then possibly embellished over time. Besides which Wagner’s statement that conversions arise from “campaigns against demonic hosts” is ludicrous to say the least, assuming as it does that these were conversions to genuine Christianity. The men he speaks about were catholic bishops, priest and monks who came from an organization that officially rejects the very heart of our faith… the doctrine of justification by the grace of God alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

The very Catechism of the Catholic Church says in paragraph 841, that Muslims together with the Catholics, "adore the one, merciful God.".  Most of the men Wagner refers to could not see through Rome’s foundational heresies such as the papacy, the Mass, baptismal regeneration, prayers to the saints, the veneration of Mary and salvation through works. The conversions were to Catholicism not to Christianity..

While Wagner states that “Benedict of Nursia is the founder of Western Christian monasticism. His Benedictine Rule became the textbook not only for his order, but for many other orders that followed through the ages” [Page 108]. What Wagner does not tell us is that before this incident and just after Gregory was made bishop a crisis regarding the Trinity raised it’s head in the church, upon which Gregory … [Emphasis Added]

     “prayed fervently and diligently imploring God and His most pure Mother to reveal to him the true faith. The All-Holy Virgin Mary appeared to him, radiant like the sun, and with her was the Apostle John the Theologian dressed in archiepiscopal vestments. By the command of the Mother of God, the Apostle taught the saint how to properly confess the Mystery of the Most Holy Trinity”. This subsequently became the base for the teaching about the Holy Trinity in Orthodox Theology used by “the holy Fathers of the Church: Basil the Great; Gregory the Theologian, and Gregory of Nyssa”. [17]

Boniface not only received his theological training in Benedictine monasteries, but in 732 Pope Gregory II made him archbishop with jurisdiction over Germany. He “baptized thousands, and dealt with the problems of many other Christians who had fallen out of contact with the regular hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church. During his third visit to Rome in 737–38, he was made papal legate for Germany”. [Wikipedia].

 [See Section on Catholicism]

Also See
Contemplating The Alternative,
 Roots of Evil I .. The Origin and History of Contemplative Prayer
Roots of Evil II .. The Origin and History of Contemplative Prayer
 


“Born Again” Cities
C Peter Wagner also believes that cities can be “born again”.

    If we agree that we need to move with God for taking over a certain city, how will we know if and when we have succeeded? I think that a biblically rooted measure for success would be the birth of a new creation: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Cor. 5:17). If this is what the Bible expects of individuals who are transformed, why should we expect less of a city? If individuals can be born again, why can’t cities, made up of many individuals, be born again? [18]

So lets take a look at some much touted “born again” cities…

Transformations: The story of the supposed amazing changes, brought about by the presence of God, in Helmet, California; Kiambu, Kenya; Almolonga, Guatemala; and Cali, Colombia; was documented on a hour long 1999 video called Transformations, produced by George Otis Jr. and The Sentinel Group in Lynnwood, WA. The videos claim to show dramatic transformations in each of these cities after groups of born again believers targeted the source of the demonic influence and then use intercessory prayer to drive out the entrenched demons. As said by Christian Witness Ministries...

    “The message that the video seeks to put out is, as George Otis said… "Learn how the power of prayer can deliver similar results in your own neighbourhood". The video taken at face value seems to confirm that revival will break out, churches will grow, and communities will change their social and moral characteristics if Christians unite, pray and practice spiritual warfare”. [19]
     

Transforming Melbourne, “a Movement of Christians praying and acting together with the vision that God will renew His Church and not only bring new life to the people of our city, but transform its culture and society”  [20] says the videos show…

    “…the wonderful story of 4 cities around the world where whole cities have been transformed by God as his people have come together in unity and prayer. What has happened is not just many people becoming Christians (though that has happened)

    In each case there has been a transforming of the structures and character of the city and its communities. From situations of emptiness, rampant crime, loss of civil order and personal despair, the Spirit of God has brought a new atmosphere of hope and purpose. Crime and violence have declined, community life has flourished and the decay of morality and justice has been reversed. [21]

Wild Exaggeration: However it seems that the so called breakthroughs in these towns were wildly exaggerated at best, and there is no evidence for the community transformation they claim.

For example the Church of Scientology still has a huge complex on the north side of Hemet that produces restored lectures, training films and other materials related to the works of church founder L. Ron Hubbard. The 500-acre area called Gold Base serves as the headquarters of the church [22]. Besides which the Sea Organization (or Sea Org) is an association of Scientologists frequently characterized as the "elite" of Scientology many of whom are said to live in Hemet.

And if there was any extraordinary “Transformation” in Hemet in the late 90’s, C Peter Wagner certainly didn’t seem to know anything about it. Note that Bob Beckett’s book Commitment to Conquer in which he talks about the transformation of Hemet came out in 1997. Yet in 2009 Peter Wagner made the following statement… [Emphasis Added]

    The question now arises, How effective have our efforts been since the cultural mandate joined the evangelistic mandate on our agendas?

    We have wonderful results to report concerning the implementation of the evangelistic mandate. For example, we began the decade of the 1990s with 1,735 significant unreached people groups, and by 2000 all except fewer than 500 had initial church planting movements in them. Unprecedented evangelistic harvests are being reaped in global hot spots such as China, Nigeria, Indonesia, India and Brazil. Some nations like Uganda and Guatemala are now over 50 percent born-again evangelical believers.

    But how about the cultural mandate? Since 1990, as I have explained, city transformation has been high on our priority lists. That, as I write this, was 15 years ago. Our best top-level Christian leadership has been involved with this in city after city across America. God has been providing incredible new tools for getting the job done—tools such as identificational repentance; spiritual mapping; strategic prophetic prayer; massive all-night, stadium prayer events; strategic-level spiritual warfare; prayer journeys; pastoral unity; and the concept of the church of the city. In addition, Bill Bright, Elmer Towns and others made fasting popular, and I would guess that somewhere around half of American evangelical pastors have now experienced 40-day fasts.

    However, we cannot point to a single city in America that has been transformed in all of those 15 years! [23]

15 years of “top-level Christian leadership” using God’s “incredible new tools” and not one city has been transformed… Guess God is falling down on the job. (Sarcasm Intentional). Hopefully those 40 day fasts resulted in a few shed pounds since they do not seem to have accomplished anything else.

Rick Joyner even says that Western civilization is tottering on the edge of a meltdown… [Emphasis Added]

    “As we proceed into these most interesting of times, we are coming into unprecedented opportunities for the gospel. At the same time, there is an obvious and accelerating collapse of the spiritual, moral, political, and economic foundations of America, as well as most nations in the West. If these trends are not checked and reversed soon, we will see lawlessness growing in an increasing and merciless rage. As this happens in America, it will also happen in Europe, only with greater intensity. Western civilization is tottering on the edge of a meltdown. [24]

Apparently not one city has been taken for God.
 

Guatemala: I am not sure where Peter Wagner gets his information about Guatemala from, especially when the U.S. State Department says there is no accurate census of religious affiliation in that country, but “some sources estimated that between 50 and 60 percent of the population was Catholic and approximately 40 percent was Protestant, primarily evangelical. Leaders of Mayan spiritual organizations maintained that many indigenous Catholics and some Protestants also practiced some form of indigenous spiritual ritual”. [25]
 

Uganda: And as far as Uganda is concerned… According to the National Census of October 2002, Christians of all denominations made up about 85% of Uganda's population, but the Catholic Church has the largest number of adherents with almost 42% of the total population, followed by the Anglican Church of Uganda with almost 36%. [26] However, like many other Anglican churches, the Anglican Church of Uganda is a member of the ecumenical World Council of Churches. [27] And what’s wrong with that? Well, just for starters the 1993 World Council Of Churches conference honored the goddess Sophia and gave lesbians a rousing ovation. [For more see World Council of Churches]

Charles Onyango-Obbo, editor of The Monitor, a newspaper billed as Uganda's only independent daily says [All Emphasis Added]

     “Kampala Pentecostal Church "targets middle class, successful, professionals. And it talks about how to make money, how to find yourself a nice husband, nice wife, how to have a happy time with your family, picnicking and things. So it's been able to combine — it's almost got an ecumenical undertone to it. It's been able to speak to people's material concerns, the bottom line, so to speak. And it's also spoken to spiritual issues, in a very very modern sense”. [28]

And here we go again.. Tell them what they want to hear and they will follow you anywhere.

And by the way, Benny Hinn ran one of his multi million dollar extravaganzas at Kampala’s Mandela National Stadium on May 18–19, 2007.. “For his Uganda visit, Benny Hinn will be travelling in a private jet, accompanied by a large entourage of over 100 aides and a 10-man security detail, according to sources close to the event” [Details]

The following is an interesting comment of Christianity in Uganda..

    Pentecostal churches have mushroomed with their American Style ala Benny Hinn and Crefflo Dollar laodicean Church style Christianity…Witchcraft is still widely practiced in spite of Christianity and Muslim belief systems, multi relationships are flourishing and one of the main reasons of the recent increases of Aids, hence the new campaign that admonishes men to be faithful…now you have one official wife, but often at the time of death of a man 2 other women with children will show up. [29]

So, for the most part, Christianity in Uganda looks pretty much as it does in the western world.. You might catch a glimpse of it as it goes swirling down the drain. Yet Transforming Melbourne says

    “The nation of Uganda, long a place of appalling violence and evil, has become a shining example of the transforming and healing power of God. Thousands have come to faith in Jesus and community life restored. The government is now led by Christian leaders. There is a Minister for Integrity and Ethics. At a great rally to celebrate the Millenium, the President dedicated the nation to the Lordship of Jesus for 1000 years”. [21]
     

Almolonga, Guatemala: While it is true that Almolonga, Guatemala is one of the region’s largest vegetable producers, the 1999 video connects the transformation of Almolonga to the soil producing massive crops. Apparently after the people became Christian, they began to grow huge vegetables and get as many as 3 harvests per year.

However a January 1, 1998 article in The Geographical Review by Sonia Arbona, who is a geographer and an epidemiologist with the Texas Department of Health in Austin Texas, wrote a report which started with the words.. (Note that Epidemiology is the study of factors affecting the health and illness of populations)

    Large amounts of synthetic pesticides are used in Guatemala to increase the production on nontraditional crops. Almolonga, a township in the western highlands, produces vegetables for markets in Mexico and Central America. Almolongueños make intensive use of limited cultivable land and abundant water resources, as well as sizable amounts of synthetic pesticides. Among Almolongueños, congenital malformations, cancer, anemia, and respiratory infections await substantiated links to exposure to pesticides. The prevalence of infectious and parasitic diseases and nutritional deficiencies--the dominant health concerns--may be heightened by excessive use of pesticides. Public-health initiatives involve the rational use of pesticides or their elimination. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, however, regularly detains shipments of fruits and vegetables from Guatemala because of excessive pesticide residues. In Guatemala, 53 percent of the producers of nontraditional crops fail to follow the specified intervals of pesticide application, and 41 percent of the pesticides in use are restricted, are no longer sold, or are not allowed in food [30]

Also, an three decade long war in Guatemala, which ended in the early to mid-1990s, brought agriculture to a near standstill. And, as most people should know, ground that is left fallow or left to rest becomes more fertile.

Cali, Colombia: Cali Columbia was certainly a terrible place, ruled as it was by the Cali Cartel which succeeded in the drug trade and organized crime like no other criminal group before or since. In the early 1990s, the cartel supplied more than 80 percent of the cocaine smuggled in the United States, and was raking in between $5 and $7 billion annually. The Cali Cartel godfather Henry Loiaza, was described as the cartel's "Minister of War", but was in reality a ruthless killer who once directed his underlings to use their chain saws to carve up 100 people suspected of being union sympathizers [31].

And as far as this city in Columbia is concerned, any relief in the terrible violence in and around this city is thanks to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) who after a 13-year investigation, convicted and jailed more than 100 members of Colombia’s Cali drug cartel, including cartel founders Miguel and Gilberto Rodriguez-Orejuela. [Details]

In light of the claims made for Cali, I am not sure how they can possibly explain the ongoing level of violence in the city. Here are a few examples, largely excerpted from CNN archives..

    In 1998 Gunmen shot down television reporter Bernabe Cortez in the city of Cali as he was getting into a taxi. He was the fifth Colombian journalist killed since October. Other recent assassinations include a former defense minister and a top human rights lawyer. [32]

    In March of 1999 the National Liberation Army (ELN), snatched more than 160 worshippers from a Catholic church during Mass in the southwestern city of Cali. The rebels are still holding four hostages from the two incidents but most of the others were released after paying hefty ransoms. [33].

    In 2001 a “powerful car bomb ripped through a luxury hotel in Colombia's second-largest city of Cali Friday night, injuring at least 32 people” [34].

    In March 2002 The Roman Catholic archbishop of Cali, Colombia, was assassinated minutes after he celebrated Mass. Perhaps because he was “well-known for being a harsh critic of the region's guerrilla groups” [35]

    In 2002 Marxist rebels killed 12 Colombian soldiers near the city of Cali [36]


Kiambu, Kenya is a notorious, violence-ridden suburb of Nairobi and still an exceedingly violent place with a high rate of particularly atrocious crimes. A 2007 article on the UNICEF site documents the ongoing violence there. UNICEF’s recently appointed Goodwill Ambassador for Eastern and Southern Africa, Zola “was reduced to tears by gut-wrenching tales of rape and betrayal narrated by children as young as six at a local primary school.” The mother of a nine-year-old girl who was brutally raped and murdered on her way home from the Kiambu school, prays that one day divine intervention will bring the culprits to justice” [37].

Apparently no Divine intervention has taken place so far.


Thomas Muthee: Note that the section on Kiambu, features bishop Thomas Muthee who’s claim to fame is that he defeated a local witch, Mama Jane in a great spiritual battle. Apparently after months of fervent prayer and research intended to identify the source of Kiambu's spiritual oppression that was keeping the town from receiving the gospel, it was revealed that the source of their problems was the spirit of witchcraft. Particularly a woman called "Mama Jane" who ran a "divination clinic". Members of Muthee’s church went into round-the-clock intercession resulting in the  demonic influence being broken, and she left town.

This happens to be the same Thomas Muthee who, in 2005, delivered several sermons at the Wasilla Assembly of God and who prayed over Sarah Palin, who was then campaigning for Alaska governor. Palin can be seen standing before Muthee with her head bowed as her hands are held by two members of the congregation. In a speech delivered sometime later at the same church, Palin says

     “As I was mayor and Pastor Muthee was here and he was praying over me, and you know how he speaks and he’s so bold. And he was praying “Lord make a way, Lord make a way.” “And I’m thinking, this guy’s really bold, he doesn’t even know what I’m going to do, he doesn’t know what my plans are. And he’s praying not “oh Lord if it be your will may she become governor,” no, he just prayed for it. He said “Lord make a way and let her do this next step. And that’s exactly what happened.”

>
 


See Chapter III: Peter Wagner and the New Apostolic Reformation


Conclusion
Spiritual Warfare is Biblical: If there is anything good that can be said about Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare, it is that it’s advocates take Satan, his demons and their powers more seriously than mainstream churches, who often ignore the realities of the demonic realm and spiritual warfare which, unquestionably, is Biblical. Too many people have "demythologized" the demonic powers mentioned in the Bible… converting them into abstract ideas.

According to Ephesians 6:10-18, we are in battle against “spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms”, something we can never forget because Satan is like a “roaring lion” seeking to devour us [1 Peter 5:8]. We cannot be ignorant of Satan’s devices [2 Corinthians 2:11].

So, the question isn’t whether or not we should engage in spiritual warfare, but how should we engage in it. The Bible is not silent on the question…

Spiritual Warfare As Outlined In Scripture

James 4: The Bible tells us that when we resist Satan and draw near to God, Satan will flee. This drawing near to God involves purifying our hearts and cleansing our hands.

    Be subject therefore unto God; but resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. [James 4:7-8] 

Matthew 6:13 emphasizes that we should pray to be delivered from the evil one.

Paul never talks about or refers to angelic or demonic hierarchy or territories ruled by demons. He never connects any particular dark power or principality to any specific region or territory. He never explains how demons operate and what special knowledge it takes to overcome demonic hold. Instead Paul is far more concerned with practical questions of resisting the devil's wiles in day to day life. He speaks of  the need for Christians to recognize the existence of demonic influence, but stresses that this influence  can be overcome through reliance on God's power.

Ephesians 6: is a  clear blueprint for dealing with the “wiles of Satan”, in which Paul certainly does not downplay the size and strength of the enemy.

    “Putting on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. [Ephesians 6:11-12]

So does Paul advocate directly confronting these world rulers of darkness, as leaders in the apostolic-prophetic movement urge us to do? Far from it. What Paul urges us to do is to [Emphasis Added]

    “..take up the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand. [V.13]

And what is this amour of God that will enable us to “stand against the wiles of the devil”. The apostle’s teaching is unambiguous..

    Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,  and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; withal taking up the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: with all prayer and supplication praying at all seasons in the Spirit, and watching thereunto in all perseverance and supplication for all the saints, [Ephesians 6:14-18]

An Important Strategy?.. Pulling Down Strongholds. Francis Frangipane says “strongholds must be pulled down and Satan’s armor removed” before “the mighty weapons of the Word and the Spirit can effectively plunder Satan's house.”  [38].

There is a huge amount of misunderstanding about what exactly at “stronghold” of Satan is. The dictionary defines stronghold as a place that has been fortified so as to protect it against attack and/or a place where a particular cause or belief is strongly defended or upheld. While it is true that the Bible says

    “for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strongholds” [2 Corinthians 10:4]

The very next verse clarifies that the “stronghold” referred to by Paul is not the wall built around a particular geographic territory, but deceptive beliefs and arguments. Read the two verses together….

    “for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strongholds, casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” [2 Corinthians 10:4-5] 

In any case if the Dominionist version of strongholds and spiritual warfare is correct, why does Paul not utter a word about the names or functions of the various spirits? Why is he completely silent on spirit hierarchies and territorial jurisdiction? Why does he not even mention discerning or mapping the spirits, confronting spirits, binding sprits, praying against territorial spirits? Why doesn’t he teach techniques for overcoming demons? Why is most of his “whole armor of God” protective rather than aggressive?
 

Paul and The Athenians: It is extremely telling that when Paul was in Athens and saw the city full of idols, his spirit was stirred up in him. The word used for Paul’s feeling has been translated both stirred and provoked, and is used but one other time in the New Testament in 1 Corinthians 13:5.

    Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he beheld the city full of idols. [Acts 17:16]

So what does Paul do? Cast out demons or territorial spirits? Take a Prayer Journey? Call the other disciples together so that they together could gather vital information regarding the enemy’s position and strength in order to come up with a strategy to overcome them? Engage in spiritual warfare designed to remove these spirits or “bind” their power?

None of the above! The next verse tells us that Paul [Emphasis Added] 

    “… reasoned in the synagogue with Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with them that met him. [Act 17:17]

He set himself to confront the ideas and false beliefs of the day armed with nothing but the Word of God… the Gospel. Verse 18 tells us that he “preached Jesus and the resurrection”, while verses 19-31 give us an insight into the logic and reasoning he used with the Athenians. The result? Some of them actually responded to a clear presentation of the Gospel. Imagine that!

    Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked; but others said, We will hear thee concerning this yet again. Thus Paul went out from among them. But certain men clave unto him, and believed: among whom also was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them. [Act 17:32-34]


In Ephesians 6
, it is only the “sword of the Spirit” that actually makes a dent in the demonic kingdom, but this sword is the word of God… or the Gospel. In other words although it is certainly not as glamorous as spiritual warfare ceremonies, we are to pray and proclaim the “Good News”, relying on the Holy Spirit to do the rest.

If spiritual mapping is, as some believers say, a very important strategy to reach the lost, why isn’t there a clear command example of its use in Scripture… Jesus simply sent His disciples out to preach the gospel.

But given a little thought, we will find that there is a very good reason for the simplicity of Jesus’ commands. The Bible says

    The Gospel is “the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes [Romans 1:16].

    And The word of God is “living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart”. [Hebrews 4:12]
     

A Man Centered Theology?

Spiritual Mapping and Strategic Level Warfare are programs and strategies centered around man’s achievements.  Consider how it works. First as much information as possible has to be gathered about the particular demonic principalities that have a stranglehold on a particular region.  Diligent research plays an important part of this process. Then the intercessors have to pray in unity to break the demonic stronghold. Apparently all that is needed is knowledge, leaders in one accord and prayer… Whatever happened to the will and sovereignty of God?

The problem is that we have become dependent on technique and methods that we have literally forgotten (or no longer believe in) the power and ability of the Holy Spirit. We are so carried away by our own grandiose schemes that we seem to have lost sight of the fact that, on our own, we are no match for Satan, who could eat us for breakfast anytime he wanted.

Perhaps it is time to re-discover the weapons outlined in Ephesians 6, that we have neglected in favor of more showy methods. Perhaps, whether we like it or not, whether we wish it or not, it is time to remember that the Bible states that very few will be prepared when Jesus comes… as shown by the rhetorical question asked by Jesus in Luke 18:8

    “when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?"

It is our job to make sure that as many individuals as possible find salvation, but sadly the overall end result will not differ an iota from what Jesus foretold… very few find the narrow path. (However since we do not know whether auntie May or the man next door may be among the few, we are mandated to take the Gospel to every person possible). However to state that we can take whole nations for God is not only ludicrous, but flies in the face of Scripture which unambiguously tells us, in Revelation 13, that in the very last days Satan will have authority over every tribe, tongue, and nation, that he will give authority to the beast who will then be worshiped, that he will make war with the saints and overcome them.

     “The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.” [V.2]“So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast” [V:4] “It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb” [Vs.7-8]
     

Casting Out Demons?: There is no question that Scripture does talk about casting out a demon (or demons) from individuals, however this is the only kind of deliverance we see in the New Testament and therefore is very likely to be the limits of our authority. Just because the Bible indicates the presence of territorial spirits does not mean that we have been given the authority to directly confront them. In fact it may be fool hardy to do so.
 

Paul’s Teaching in 1 Corinthians:
In 1 Corinthians 8 Paul recognizes that, while mistaken, cultural beliefs about idols, spirits and sacrifices, have to be recognized and addressed. His position is that these beliefs do not reflect reality and eating things sacrificed to idols does not affect the believer one way or the other [V.8]. However He realizes that some whom he calls “weaker brothers”, may not look be able to ignore that the food was sacrificed to an idol, therefore “their conscience being weak is defiled” [V.7]. Their beliefs, however misplaced, can have negative consequences on their spiritual life.

No doubt, Paul does say in I Corinthians 10:20

    “…the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have communion with demons. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of demons: ye cannot partake of the table of the Lord, and of the table of demons”.

    However his point here has to be that the Corinthians were solemnly bound to serve and obey Christ.  Since they had devoted themselves to Him, they could not therefore join in the worship of demons or any homage offered to demons or any imaginary beings. A few verses down Paul says in verses 25 and 27 “Whatsoever is sold in the market, eat, asking no question for conscience' sake”… If one of them that believe not biddeth you to a feast, and ye are disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience' sake”.

One is not to knowingly participate in offerings made to demons (a form of worship) but the physical food itself has absolutely no consequences.

So, if a person believes that the simple act of crossing the street puts one into the territory of a malevolent spirit which can then influence or have power over him, how different is this from the belief that simple contact or ingestion of a physical object is dangerous because it places one under the influence of a demon… something that Paul dismissed. If Paul did not believe that eating meat sacrificed to an idol was anything then, touching an artifact dedicated to some spirit or buying bell peppers from a Health Food Store has to be equally problem free.

Paul notes Christ's authority over any and every power or name in this world and in the world to come.

    Ephesians 1:21 far above all rule, and authority, and power, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

And Daniel made it clear as to who was in charge…

“… the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. [Daniel 4:25,32]

Therefore we that name the name of Christ have little to fear from Satan other than his influence in the doctrinal, moral and spiritual arena. What we have to both fear, and come against, are sin and deception since, apart from our own sin, no power on earth can separate us from God.

    For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. [Romans 8:38-39]

As perfectly expressed by Scott Moreau [All Emphasis Added]

    We must enable Christians to develop a world view that acknowledges the powers without capitulating to them or being captivated by an unhealthy interest in them. Paul's approach was to give Satan and demons what might be called a selectively appropriate inattention. The best means for doing that is to keep our attention on God's sovereign control, and to use His sovereignty as a lens through which we examine demonic activities. Surely this is a significant theme in Ephesians, as Paul notes Christ's authority over any name that can be named in any age (1:21) and prays that the Ephesians would be filled with God's power not to confront demons but to know the depths of God's love for them (3:14-21)! Along these lines, we should find appropriate ways to stress more strongly the need for discipleship than just warfare. Additionally, we must not overlook the need to die to the powers rather than follow the desire to overcome them.  One does not become free from the Powers by defeating them in a frontal attack. Rather, one dies to their control. [39]
     

Human Responsibility: What we are forgetting is that as much as we would like to think that demons are responsible for all the problems on earth, this is not so. It is the pure undiluted Gospel Message or “sword of the Spirit” that Satan battles the most.

     in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not dawn upon them. [2 Corinthians 4:4]

We need to stop placing so much of the blame on the spirits, and start admitting that without man’s consent Satan would not get very far at all … humans choose to rebel against God and his established order. Far from being innocent victims of Satan’s handiwork, they love the darkness. 

    John 3:19 says… "This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil”.

And of course Satan is ever happy to oblige, doing what he can to keep men blinded to the light and salvation. The battle for the heart and soul of man takes place in the human mind.

Much has been made of people involved with the occult inviting demons to occupy artifacts and other objects, but little is said about sin being an open invitation to Satan to move in and establish little bits of his own kingdom. As long as there sin is present in a city, region or territory, Satan not only has a foothold, but a legitimate legal claim, which we, just as surely as Adam, have handed to him.

The only way to get to the heart of the problem is for men to hear the Gospel, repent and be born again.

[See The Heart of The Matter]

Make no mistake, this is yet another a fad, in the history of a church prone to fall for one “new thing” after another. One has just to wait and see what gimmick will be touted as God’s latest strategy after the spiritual mapping/warfare project has run its course having accomplished nothing but distracting Christians from the real issues, like discernment and Biblical methods of spreading the Gospel.

And as one last thought. While the word translated devices in 2 Corinthians 2:11 has more to do with Satan’s mind, thoughts, perceptions or purposes, there is little question that Satan has schemes (used in terms of a secret or underhand plan with the intent of accomplishing something illegal or wrong). However his schemes rarely change very much. He, as I have said before, usually just takes an ancient heresy off the shelf, dusts it off, gives it a bit of a spit shine and hands it to humanity who fall over themselves promoting it. And more often than not this deception involves some form of the glorification of man.

Just look at the entire Dominionist Movement.
 

 001orange Section VIII: Identificational Repentance
Deals with a supposed spiritual principle that iniquity passes from generation to generation. And since nations sin corporately which damages its relationship with God, we can all identify with a corporate group of people and confess that group's sins, thereby stopping the cycle of hereditary iniquity and creating conditions for God to “heal the land”. Ezra and Nehemiah are commonly held up as examples of men who “so identified with the people that they were interceding for, that they considered themselves guilty with them”. And 2 Chronicles 7:14 is very commonly used as proof text that if the Christians in America (or other country), will seek God's face then He will hear their prayer and heal the country in question. These examples however either present only half of the picture, ignore context, and/or leave out important details.

Catechism--Bar

 


End Notes
All URL’s Accessed December 2009

[1] Dr. Chuck Lowe. Territorial Spirits and World Evangelization. Pg. 151

[1b] Feeding On Fantasy. Time Magazine. Dec. 02, 2002.
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1003803-1,00.html

[2] http://www.frankperetti.com/

[3] Sam Storms. Territorial Spirits. http://www.enjoyinggodministries.com/article/territorial-spirits/

[3b] http://voiceofthelight.com/VOTLM2009/AboutUS.html

[3c] C. Peter Wagner. Operation Queen's Palace. Memorandum to International Spiritual Warfare Network members.
http://www.etpv.org/1998/opqueen.html[

[3d] http://www.thecross-photo.com/Priests_crucifix_buried_on_Everest_by_Ben_Hewes.htm

[3f] Pope's Assisi prayers for peace. http://archives.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/europe/01/24/pope.assisi0825/

[3g] http://www.vatican.va/special/assisi-participants_20020118_en.html

[4] http://frangipane.org/cgi-bin/gx.cgi/AppLogic+FTContentServer?GXHC_gx_session_id_
FutureTenseContentServer=f07164b909b7247e&pagename=FaithHighway/
Globals/DisplayTextMessage&PROJECTPATH=10000/1000/728&sermonid=textsermon_1201652842095&
customerTypeLabel=Weekly&sermontitle=When%20the%20Lord%20Guards%20the%20City

[5] C. Peter Wagner, "Territorial Spirits," in Engaging the Enemy: How to Fight and Defeat Territorial Spirits, edited by C. Peter Wagner (Ventura, California: Regal, 1991), p. 280. As quoted by A. Scott Moreau.  Gaining Perspective on Territorial Spirits.
http://www.lausanne.org/all-documents/territorial-spirits.html

[6] http://www.ausprayernet.org.au/teaching/spiritual_mapping.php

[7] Ted Haggard. The Life Giving Church. Regal Books; Expanded edition Pgs 35-36 (May 2001)

[8] C. Peter Wagner, Confronting the Powers. Gospel Light Publications (August 1997). Pgs. 21-22

[9] C Peter Wagner. Confronting the Powers. Gospel Light Publications (August 1997) Pg. 89)

[10] Francis Frangipane. The Three Battlegrounds. Arrow Publications (February 1, 1989) (Paperback) Pgs 23-24

[11] http://www.dwellingplacechurch.org/about_us_62007.html

[12] Bob Beckett. Commitment to Conquer; Redeeming Your City by Strategic Intercession. Publisher… Chosen (July 1, 1997) Pgs. 31-35

[13] C. Peter Wagner.  The Church in the Workplace: How God's People Can Transform Society (Hardcover). Regal (May 9, 2006) Page 43

[14] C Peter Wagner. Warfare Prayer: How to Seek God's Power and Protection in the Battle to Build His Kingdom. Regal Books; Revised edition (June 1992) Page 66

[15] http://net.bible.org/verse.php?book=Jer&chapter=33&verse=3

[16] C Peter Wagner. Warfare Prayer: What the Bible Says about Spiritual Warfare. Destiny Image (October 1, 2009) Pgs, 93-95

[17] Web Site of The Orthodox Church in America. St Gregory the Wonderworker of Neocaesarea.
http://ocafs.oca.org/FeastSaintsViewer.asp?SID=4&ID=1&FSID=103315

[18] C. Peter Wagner.  The Church in the Workplace: How God's People Can Transform Society (Hardcover). Regal (May 9, 2006) Page 43

[19] http://www.christian-witness.org/archives/van2001/video13.html[20]
 http://www.transformingmelbourne.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=17&Itemid=56

[21] http://www.transformingmelbourne.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=22&Itemid=43

[22] http://faq.scientology.org/era.htm

[23] C. Peter Wagner. The Church in the Workplace: How God's People Can Transform Society (Hardcover). Regal (May 9, 2006) Pgs 39-40

[24] Discerning the Times, Part 27. Week 17, 2009. http://www.morningstarministries.org/Articles/1000048389/MorningStar_Ministries/Media/Word_for_the/2009/Discerning_the_Times.aspx

[25] http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2006/71462.htm

[26] http://www.ubos.org/onlinefiles/uploads/ubos/pdf%20documents/2002%20Census%20Final%20Reportdoc.pdf

[27] http://www.oikoumene.org/en/member-churches/regions/africa/uganda.html

[28] http://abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=81484&page=3

[29] http://toddseavey.com/2009/08/29/uganda-is-more-christian-than-the-us/

[30] http://www.amergeog.org/GR/Jan98/Arbona.html

[31] http://www.crimemagazine.com/06/calicartel,1021-6.htm

[32] http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/americas/9805/19/colombia.killings/index.html?iref=allsearch

[33] http://archives.cnn.com/2000/WORLD/americas/08/11/colombia.kidnapping/index.html

[34] http://archives.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/americas/05/05/colombia.bomb/index.html

[35] http://archives.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/americas/03/16/colombia.archbishop/index.html

[36] http://archives.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/americas/01/19/colombia.clashes/index.html

[37] http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/kenya_39054.html

[38] Francis Frangipane. The Three Battlegrounds. Arrow Publications (February 1, 1989) (Paperback) Pgs 23-24

[39] A. Scott Moreau. Gaining Perspective on Territorial Spirits. http://www.lausanne.org/all-documents/territorial-spirits.html

Joels-Army-Bk

Index To Dominion Theology

www.inplainsite.org