Spiritual Warfare

God's Army of Angels versus Satan's Deceptive Demons

Distorted by artists and ignored by the church, these unseen warriors are REAL!

 "...they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word..." (Matt 8:16)

"He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons..." (Luke 9:1)

"What is man, that Tou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that Thou visitest him? For thou has made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour." (Psalm 8:4-5)

God's universe amazes me!  You and I may be familar with life on planet earth, but the dimensions of His heavenly habitations reach far beyond our human comprehension. While knowledge of God's vast, unseen armies of mighty angels and deadly demonic forces are found throughout the Bible, few are prepared to explain them.

Instead, the world tends to ignore, mock or fictionalize God's might and wonders. What a tragedy! Artistic images of winged angelic children may be sweet and enticing but they spread a lie. And Roma Downey's angelic persona in Touched by an Angel only blurred the glory and reality of God's majestic warriors.

Hidden from our earthly eyes are two kinds of angels: God's armies and Satan's cruel forces. God uses His loyall angels to guide, help, protect and watch over His precious people. He use Satan's hordes to enforce His justice, warn us of evil and train us in spiritual warfare. The very real spiritual battle -- the kind any of us might face as we serve Him -- is illustrated below.

Prayer and Preparation

One evening back in the seventies, I received a phone call from a distraught young woman. Karen, the stranger on the other end, had immersed her heart and soul in a satanic cult: a dark spiritual reality that was virtually unknown to most Christian churches. I knew virtually nothing about the terrifying occult bondage that had enveloped her. But I invited her to come to my home later that week. Then I started to pray.

A few weeks earlier, with God's guidance and my husband's blessing, I had joined the new "Compassion Corps" at our church. My first assignment was to counsel a young woman with a three-month old baby. Karen [not her real name] had called the church for help and had indicated she was a Christian. She said suffered from fear, anger and depression as well as mental and spiritual confusion. The church office gave her my name and phone number. When she called, I felt utterly inadequate to help her. But God used my weakness to show me His strength!

Using my Bible and concordance, I began my study on angels and demons -- confident that Satan's malicious trickery was no obstacle to God's mighty power.

A Brief Look at God's Army of Faithful Angels

Once in a while, God pulls back the curtain and allows us a glimpse into unseen heavenly realms and the mighty forces of our Lord. Here, in 2 Kings 6:11-17, we see the Syrian king planning an attack on "the king of Israel." But the king's servant knew enough about Israel's prophet Elisha and his supernatural gifts to be be concerned. "Elisha tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom,” he warned.
       That didn't seem to worry th Syrian king. "Go and see where he is, that I may send and get him..." he told his servant. And it was told him, saying, “Surely he is in Dothan [in Israel].” Therefore he sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city. But God had prepared a far greater army:

"And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was [the Syrian] army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, 'Alas, my master! What shall we do?”  So [Elisha] answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha." (2 Kings 6:11-17)

Watch out for Satan's Dark Power to Deceive and Destroy

Satan's dark power has brought sickness, death, fear, horror and confusion from the beginning of time. That darkness seemed to abate during America's first centuries, but the tide has turned! Our children now face an unthinkable flood of corrupt entertainment. movies, games, computers and music have effectively banished the good and welcomed the evil!

Our history books as well as God's Word have traced the ups and downs of this movement. When people forget our God, cultures around the world embrace the occult with its dark unholy mysticism. Through the years -- and especially today -- that darkness has lured the imagination of families, tribes and nations along a deadly path with dark and addictive captives around the world.
      When people wake up to their plight, some turn to God and find peace and victory, but that Truth is all too often followed by persecution. Those who live by evil are likely to spread that evil, and today's merchants of darkness have found an incredible source of destructive wealth. They show little or no love for those who follow Jesus.

"And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.  And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:  And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.  And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness.  And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him." (Mark 1:9-13)

Fighting the Forces of Evil

A few days after her initial phone call, Karen and I were sitting in our kitchen and praying asking our heavenly Counselor for guidance. He led us for the next seven hours as Karen shared her traumatic personal history, read Scriptures, extended forgiveness to all who had hurt and abused her, confessed her own sins as God brought them to mind, and then praised the God who had begun to heal her. Though she had not yet mentioned her occult connection, she left full of joy, God had indeed touched her, and her heart was singing.

The joy didn't last long. That evening she called me in a state of panic. Her home was in chaos. The baby was screaming, her husband was threatening suicide and she was terrified.

God then prompted me to ask if she had been involved in any occult activities in the past. "Yes," she answered. She was aware of the evil behind that dark seductive power that had been tormenting her.

I knew little about demonic oppression and spiritual bondage, but again God prompted me to ask some questions. First, had she kept any of the objects and symbols that still linked her to the cult?  We asked our Shepherd to help her remember, and she began to list all the objects and clothes in her house that had been used in ritual worship. We prayed that He would guide both Karen and her husband as they sought to do their part in cleansing their home of all occult connections.

When Karen called back the next day, she had completed her search and discarded all relics from her years of bondage. We thanked God, but my concern had deepened.  Ephesians 4:27 and other Scriptures suggested that she might face more battles before she would walk freely in God's victory. Remembering Mark 9:29, I suggested we fast for three days.

Andy, my wise husband, suggested I call our church for help. So I did. The only available pastor was supportive but could offer no advice. He prayed that God would lead me, and we both trusted that He would. Meanwhile I continued in prayer, study and fasting.

"When I cry out to You, Then my enemies will turn back; This I know, because God is for me. In God (I will praise His word), In the Lord (I will praise His word),  In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"   (Ps 56:9-11)

"His disciples asked Him privately, 'Why could we not cast it out?' So He said to them, 'This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.” Mark 9:28-29

"Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God..." (Mt 4:1-4)

"When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick." Matt 8:16

Some hours later, the phone rang. A woman I barely remembered meeting at the Christmas  prayer meeting introduced herself. She told me that God had prompted her to call me with some advice and she had found my name and phone number on the old Christmas list of prayer assignments. A bit skeptical at first, I listened, praying that God would guard me against deception.

"Open your Bible to the blank pages in the back and write down these instructions," she said. "You need to know how to lead someone through deliverance.

How did she know about Karen?  Neither Andy nor I had told anyone other than our associate pastor. When I told her about my need, she shared my awe at God's amazing ways.

Following her instructions, I wrote three pages of notes. Then we prayed together, and she added an interesting comment.  "If you are fasting," she said, "drink juice as well as water. You will need it."

Wow. That was good news. Half a day after starting the fast, I had felt waves of nausea.  God knew something I didn't at that moment: I was pregnant with our third son and desperately needed something more than water in my stomach.

Three days later, on a Thursday, God led us through the steps He had given me through the woman. This time, Karen left my kitchen with the certain knowledge that God was her Savior, King, Lord and Shepherd.

"...God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ....For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God...." Ephesians 2:4, 8-10

A week later

But Karen's battle was still not over. That Sunday night, Dr. Dick Hillis, the General Director of Overseas Crusades International (OCI) -- spoke at our church. By God's amazing providence, he described the demonic oppression, possession and deliverance he had witnessed on the mission field from 1933 to 1961 in Asia. Then he stressed this warning:

"When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it swept and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first." Luke 11:24-26

I took God's words to heart. Karen had already memorized some key Scriptures in preparation for spiritual warfare. But we needed to discuss the Armor of God and make sure we were both covered by His life.

The next three days went well, but on the fourth night she called again. Her frightened voice exposed the intensity of her battle.  She began to describe the demons that were pressing into "the door" of her mind, and what she "saw" seemed strangely familiar. As she described her scary, hideous tormentors, they seemed to resemble some of the strange creatures we now see -- and children idolize -- in televised Saturday morning cartoons for children.

I wanted to go to her home and pray with her through the night, but Andy told me to stay home. Covered by his prayers, I put some bedding by the phone and prayed with Karen against the forces of evil through the night.

By God's grace and power, Karen won the initial battle. Through the next few months, she learned how to resist the evil through prayer and with Scriptures. The personal combat with her demonic oppressors finally ended. Hungry for His Word and presence, she grew fast and became strong in faith and spirit -- ready to fight the ongoing battle we all face for daily victories in our challenging times. Christ had set her free, and within two years, she was teaching Bible studies and encouraging other women in their faith.[4] 

"...thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ!" 2 Corinthians 2:14

Relevant information about spiritual warfare

Freedom from Oppression: Steps to deliverance from occult bondage

The Nature and Tactics of Satan   |  Spiritual Warfare

Holistic Health (click on polarity)  | Reiki

Unequal Contenders in the Spiritual War 

Victory in Christ