Updated: Oct 10
A Quick Scripture Reference below:
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
A Spiritual War (Spiritual Warfare)
(Excerpts from and commentary on 'Pulling Down Strongholds' by Derek Prince)
There are two kingdoms. The Kingdom of God and the kingdom of the enemy. Christ acknowledges these two kingdoms in Matthew 12. If you are a citizen of the Kingdom of God, you've been drafted. You are at war. Are you armed with the full armor of God? I am asking myself this question, too.
For a description of the kingdom of Satan, we can look at Ephesians 6:12. "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
Commentary of Ephesians 6:12: We are not wrestling persons with bodies, but against a highly organized spiritual kingdom that is abhorrently against God and His people.
Another way to put Ephesians 6:12: "For our wrestling match is not against "persons with bodies" but against rulers with various areas and descending orders of authority, against world dominators of the present darkness, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenlies..." -DP
Prince used the word dominators intentionally in his Ephesians 6:12 commentary - God doesn't "dominate" anyone; when you encounter domination, you can be sure it's satanic. That's not how God rules people. However, Satan's ambition is to rule the whole world and to dominate; he has a vast army of satanic beings to assist in his quest for domination.
People who are currently in Satan's kingdom don't realize where they are because the kingdom of Satan is a kingdom of darkness. They can't see it. You can't see in the dark.
"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." John 1:5 Other verses: Light Exposes Darkness
Soooo....what does it mean when Paul says (in Ephesians 6) that Satan's headquarters are in the heavenlies? I thought Satan was cast out of Heaven??
Yes. Satan was cast out of Heaven. But understanding the location of Satan's kingdom is to recognize that the Bible teaches that there are more heavens than the one you hear everyone talking about.
"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." Genesis 1:1
"I knew a man in Christ about fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter."
2 Corinthians 12:2-4
"He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)"
Logically, if there's a third heaven, there must be a first and second heaven.
This is subjective, but it would seem somewhere between God's heavenly domain and us is a hostile kingdom that opposes us and seeks to hinder our prayers.
In Daniel 10-12, there's a scriptural account of this battle in the heavenly realms. Daniel set aside a period of 3 weeks to pray and fast. During this time of prayer and fasting, he mourned before God on behalf of his people who were captives. At the end of the three weeks, the angel Gabriel came to him with the answer to his prayers.
The angel's announcement:
12 Then he said to me, “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words. 13 The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia, 14 and came to make you understand what is to happen to your people in the latter days. For the vision is for days yet to come.”
To paraphrase the above scripture:
The angel said: You were heard praying from the first day you started! I, Gabriel, was sent with the answer to your prayer. But it took me 3 weeks to get through to you because somewhere between the throne of God and you, I was opposed by satanic forces! I had to force my way through them with the help of Michael!
Michael is the great prince who stands watch over Israel (Daniel 12:1).
Also, we can gather from the Daniel 10:12-14 scripture on how organized Satan's kingdom is. The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood Gabriel for 21 days! As in....a prince....of a kingdom....
The concept of demonic angels/entities having rule over certain cities or countries is not that far-fetched when you see the state of our world.
In Daniel 10:20, the angel Gabriel tells Daniel, in effect, "I've come to answer your prayer. But when I go back, I will have to fight my way back through satanic forces from Persia and Greece. "I will return to fight against the prince of Persia; and when I go out, behold, the prince of Greece will come."
It is clear angels have existed since the beginning of creation (Job 38:7). Sometime prior to Genesis 3, Satan (then a leading angel) rebelled against God and was judged (Ezekiel 28; Isaiah 14). It is believed many other angels rebelled with him during this time, becoming the fallen angels or demons mentioned throughout the Bible.
Link to article: Satan's Fall
A close look at Revelation 12 does clarify some aspects. It is clear one third of the angels are fallen or have become demons. Since the number of angels is "innumerable" (Hebrews 12:22), one third includes a vast number of demons who have rebelled against God. In Mark 5 Jesus met a man possessed by so many demons that they called themselves "Legion." Jesus allowed the demons to enter pigs when they left the man; the herd of about 2,000 pigs rushed off the steep bank and drowned in the sea (Mark 5:9-13). Mary Magdalene was freed from seven spirits (Luke 8:2). Jesus also mentioned another account of seven spirits together at one time (Matthew 12:45; Luke 11:26).
Human history is not understood if you only look at it from a horizontal, human level. The forces that truly determine the destinies of nations and people are at work in the heavenlies.
The most significant action you can take as a follower of Christ is to be a prayer intercessor, as shown by Daniel's prayers for his people. Of course, there are physical actions you can take as the Holy Spirit leads, but prayer is when we're shown in Daniel as being significant.
We need to recognize the reality that if you are a follower of Christ, we are at war with the kingdom of Satan. If we don't realize this, we may end up a casualty of spiritual warfare.
7 Weapons of Warfare
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.
16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,
18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
In verse 13, we are told we will have evil days. Whether or not we will stand will depend on if we put on the necessary equipment.
The belt of truth (Eph 6:14)
The breastplate of righteousness (Eph 6:14)
The sandals/shoes (Eph 6:15)
The shield of faith (Eph 6:16)
The helmet of salvation (Eph 6:17)
The sword of the Spirit (Eph 6:17)
Prayer (Eph 6:18)
Most of this equipment are items for defense and protection except for the sword. The sword is the spoken Word of God; it's an offensive weapon, a weapon of attack. A sword only extends as far as the arm can reach, so our intercontinental ballistic missile is PRAYER! Prayer can cross oceans!
We have an enemy that takes us seriously, so we should take our enemy seriously. In this insightful message, Derek Prince explains the nature and activity of spiritual warfare. A topic that doesn't get enough attention in the body of Christ.
Binding the strong man
"Or how can one enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless first he binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house." Matthew 12:29
Here, Jesus gives us a picture of a house belonging to a strong man (could be a cruel or oppressive person in your life for example). This house may contain slaves that need freed or goods that belong to others. This strong man has control over aspects of your life.
If you get in to reclaim these things from the strong man, you are fighting HIM off the whole time....and you might get your butt kicked and never reclaim any of the items you went in for. Jesus wisely pointed out that simply gaining entrance is not the logical way to approach the situation. The logical way is to bind the strong man. Tie him up and put a gag in his mouth! Then, you can walk in and reclaim what the strong man has in his house that is yours.
If you want to be successful in any given situation, you must discover who or what the satanic "strong man" is over that situation. Once you figure that out and bind "him", you can do what needs done - you can set captives free and recover what was lost.
Satan's kingdom descends level to level; it is overseen by angelic beings that have various areas of responsibility. As they descend in order, the lower ones oversee smaller territories. You don't start your campaign of spiritual warfare at the top; you start where you are. Learn about spiritual warfare and learn how to implement what you've learned over the enemy's smaller territories...and work your way up!
We have to learn who the "strong men" are in our lives.
Example (And I know someone out there needs to see this one. I know I did!):
In the family structure, the parents should be the spiritual umbrella protecting the children. If there is a hole in that umbrella, the enemy can get through and cause problems.
Whatever the situation, ask God to reveal the strong man you need to bind. We have to recognize the strong men in our lives and bind them and gag them! What strong man is in your life that is allowing the enemy to creep into your family? For many, it's technology! Or being too busy can be a strong man...
Other Powerful Weapons to use to Defeat the Strong Man: Thanksgiving, Praise, and Proclamations!
In John 6:11, in the story of the loaves and fish, Jesus simply gave thanks and made a small amount of food sufficient to feed five thousand people! "Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted."
Even further, in John 6:23, the act and attitude of giving thanks released a miracle!
"Howbeit there came other boats from Tiberias nigh unto the place where they did eat bread, after that the Lord had given thanks."
An incredible act of praise was documented in the Book of Acts chapter 16 when Paul and Silas were thrown into prison.
25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God (praise and worship!), and the prisoners were listening to them, 26 and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone's bonds were unfastened.
In Isaiah 61, God tells us in the spirit of heaviness, put on the garment of praise!
3 to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.
Proclaim what the Bible says concerning you! There are so many verses....but here is a link to a handful: What does the Bible say about being a Child of God?
Proclaim the Word of God and His promises over your life! You are blessed, chosen, loved, adopted, redeemed, forgiven, and an accepted saint in Christ Jesus! You are marked and sealed with the Holy Spirit! 2 Corinthians 4 tells us there will be times we are afflicted, perplexed, persecuted, struck down...but we are not crushed. We are not driven to despair. We are not forsaken! And we are NOT destroyed.
We do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For momentary afflictions are preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
More on binding, loosing, agreement, thanksgiving, and praise in the book by Derek Prince: Pulling Down Strongholds