The Real Secret of Spiritual Warfare and Dominion


As demonic activity ramps up, the last gasp before the coming of our Lord, we will hear more talk of spiritual warfare, especially from the usual sources. We will be told how to “map” principalities and powers. “Prophets” will instruct us how to pray special prayers to fight these powers and take dominion over what was stolen by the Enemy. We will hear all sorts of wild things, most of which have no basis in the Bible or in Church history.

The following Bible verses are absolutely true and right:

The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.
—1 John 3:8b

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 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. 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. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 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, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
—Ephesians 6:11-20

Nonetheless, I get a bit frustrated by those who are deeply into spiritual warfare and dominion teachings. Why? Because those teachings and teachers verge on the sales techniques of gnosticism, Peter Paul Reubens - 'St. George and the Dragon'always promising some “deep” or “secret” teaching only the “true prayer warriors” will know.

No doubt, one can learn to pray more effectively against the demonic, but there’s a point where all the supposed secret teachings—usually imparted at an expensive workshop or conference—do nothing more than detract from the one genuine secret of powerful spiritual warfare and dominion.

Right now, I will tell you the real secret of destroying the power of the Enemy. I’ll impart, for free, the secret that rightfully removes more “territory” from Satan’s hands than any other tool. And it’s the one real secret no one will talk about at the $250 conference on spiritual warfare and dominion.

You ready? Because I’m going to tell you. So prick up your ears.

It’s a single word.

Still listening?

Here it is:


No power, secret wisdom, or prayer destroys principalities and powers more effectively than ripping the talons of the demonic off the necks of the lost. Want to take dominion for Christ? No territory is more valuable in the eyes of God than a lost soul. If we want Satan to know our names, he’ll know them full well if we’re actively working to depopulate hell.

Yes, Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. But He also came to seek and save the lost. Funny how those two combine, isn’t it?

Yet I can almost bet that for every 100 attendees at some pricey workshop on spiritual warfare, maybe a handful of people attending are evangelizing the lost on a regular basis. More likely, the vast majority are looking for one spiritual high after another, chasing after experiences and esoteric wisdom rather than getting out there and actively sharing the life of Christ with someone who does not know Him.

Because the Enemy wants nothing more than to distract people into spending hours and hours scrying principalities and powers, attempting to find the demonic “city limits” around this place and that, while 4,212 people every day enter the gates of the eternal city of the damned.

The Devil, You Say


What can be said in the aftermath of the Virgina Tech slaughter? Better commenters than yours truly have offered insights I could never hope to provide. In lieu of this, I considered not saying anything at all.

But a quote from one of the survivors of the attack reminded me that some aspects of this horror have kept to the shadows. Garrett Evans, who received a gunshot wound, said of his attacker:

An evil spirit was going through that boy, I could feel it.

I don’t know anything about Evans’ religious beliefs, but I do know this: too many people in America don’t want to hear talk of evil spirits.

I don’t think a culture exists on this planet that conjures up more imagery based in the supernatural than ours. We drop spiritual allusions into almost every conversation, The devil, you say...codify curses around Biblical terminology, and talk about God, angels, demons, and what else as if God, angels, demons, and what else moved in next door.

But our context for that talk rarely strays from a Halloween-like understanding of spiritual forces of good and evil. Our post-Enlightenment rationalism outstrips any idea that realms exist outside of the one that serves up a mocha latté to die for. About as close as any American desires to get to the demonic is requesting The Exorcist from Netflix.

So we laugh and make jokes about something that’s not even remotely funny. And when the object of our derisions lashes out, we wander around asking, “How could this possibly happen?”

In truth, how could it not?

I’ve written before on the demonic (“The Chthonic Unmentionable” and “Battling Beelzebul“), so I don’t feel I need to retread that ground. Yet I wonder how many of us take the Enemy of our souls seriously. Given that so many Christians appear to live in a perpetual shadow, continually caught up in destructive behaviors or thoughts, it makes me wonder if we believe this truth from Jesus:

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.
—John 10:10a

The thief took 33 lives at VT, didn’t he? He killed and he destroyed. So I find it fascinating that almost no one has taken Garrett Evans’s comment and run with it.

How do we on a daily basis confront this thief who comes to steal, kill, and destroy? How much has been stolen, killed, or destroyed in your life and mine because we attributed to “coincidence” or the “fickleness of life” what should have been linked to the chthonic operating in the shadows?

Brothers and sisters, let’s not be blind to this. We have an Enemy. He may be mortally wounded, but a weekend filmfest alone should convince you that the bad guy we thought was shot dead still may stir enough to pump a few rounds of hot lead into some poor unfortunates before he expires. So it is with our ultimate Enemy.

If we want a personal revival in our own lives, we need to wake up to the fact that we weren’t taken off Satan’s hitlist the second we fled to Christ. Nor did evil up and die when Jesus said, “It is finished.” Evil’s vanquishing still awaits the final trumpet. Until that time, we can’t act as if the devil’s not there.

Because, if you listen in your spirit, you can hear him roaring.

Battling Beelzebul


"Lucifer" by Franz von StuckFor 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.
—Ephesians 6:12 ESV

Want a surefire indicator that the Holy Spirit is moving in a church?

1. The lowest floor of the church building floods during a rainstorm—and the church is near the top of a hill

2. Cars are vandalized in the church parking lot—and the church is located near the edge of a quiet rural area

3. Someone makes arson threats against the church—and the church is located near the edge of a quiet rural area

Our church meeting last Sunday was powerful. The Holy Spirit was moving in the midst of His people. He’s been moving this way for a while now. In the last few months, we’ve seen amazing healings (including a man with terminal heart disease whose body was so bloated with fluids he could barely move, but he was dancing in church just two days later, cured of his disease and fifty pounds lighter), people are being convicted of sin, the word of God is going out mightily, new people are coming in, we have baptisms about every other week, and on and on.

So, of course, the Enemy takes notice because the last thing he wants is for any of that kind of thing to occur. If you haven’t guessed already, the three assaults listed above happened at my church in the wake of the powerful move of the Lord last week.

Last year, I wrote a widely disseminated post called “The Chthonic Unmentionable” in which I wondered why Evangelicals cringed at the “Devil” part of of the triumvirate of “the world, the flesh, and the Devil.” I’ve been around long enough to know that most Evangelicals will mentally assent to the existence of Satan, but to ascribe to him much more than existence is too much to ask. Better to say nothing and maybe the demons will go away.

Despite Martin Luther’s inkwell and his penchant for aromatic responses when assaulted by Satan, I didn’t hear much more about the demonic growing up until I got involved in an Assemblies of God church. At that point, I wondered why no one had told me anything about this important fact of life. After a personal encounter with a demon-possessed person (mentioned in the link above), I suddenly realized that all those Gospel “stories” about Jesus casting out demons weren’t something that merely happened in Palestine circa 30 AD.

Like C.S. Lewis, I believe there are two mistaken notions about the demonic:

1. We focus on them.

2. We ignore them altogether.

To the first point, I once visited a church that considered Frank Peretti’s This Present Darkness akin to The Bible: The Sequel. I saw a guy casting a “demon” out of his chair before he sat down for the meeting. Must’ve had a bad run-in with tack at some earlier point in life and didn’t want to take any chances sitting on anything possibly more evil. What else could explain that kind of fruitcake behavior?

On the other hand, we’ve got folks in the American Church who would take a look at the three negative things that hit my church and its folks this week and sum it up with a shoulder shrug. “Just a string of bad luck,” they would say, or “Horrible coincidence.”

Let me simply say this: The Enemy HATES you. Lucifer and his legions would gleefully destroy your body, your home, your marriage, your children, your church…anything and everything is fair game to them, save for God’s grace on your life. Many Christians do suffer from those attacks; justification does not end our encounters with the demonic! When a marriage goes south in the Christian community, Satan orchestrated that destruction from the first “I do” to the last “This marriage is over! I’m out!”

We’re fools if we don’t take this war seriously—and it is a war. Jesus confessed this to Peter:

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.”
—Luke 22:31-34 ESV

Satan wants to sift us. Jesus countered that demand with prayer. All our resolve will not help us one lick unless we put on our blood-bought spiritual armor and walk as warriors against the infernal.

Ephesians 5:18 ends Paul’s admonition concerning defense against the demonic with this command:

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, and also for me….
—Ephesians 6:18-19a ESV, emphasis added

Are we praying in the Spirit that the Lord would destroy the works of the Enemy in our lives and in the lives of Christians around the world? Are we putting a priority on the kind of travailing prayer that Pauls speaks of? Because the chthonic is actively plotting ways to make each and every Christian rue the day he or she confessed Christ. Believe it. They don’t toss up their hands and go, “Oh well, onto the next one.” No, they never stop their assault.

We would do well to remember that the unsaved have no protection at all against the wiles of the Enemy. They are fair game 24/7/365. For this reason, we Christians should never deal smugly with the lost because not only are they under a powerful delusion inspired by Satan, but they live lives perpetually assaulted and have no clue that such a battle rages. I dare any Christian reading this to turn their noses up at the lost in light of this. It’s not just the afterlife that will be a living hell for the lost; it’s a living hell right now. Our response to their plight and to God’s plucking us out of a similar fate should be the same: humility.

We must never take the demonic lightly. Great times of encountering God in power are countered in every way possible by an Enemy who seeks to kill, maim, and destroy. Take that as a corollary.

{Image: Lucifer by Franz von Stuck, 1894}