Spiritual Warfare

jesus-4779546_1920When people enter into covenant with YHVH, a time of spiritual warfare will eventually arise. Before that time comes, it’s important to understand that there is a both a physical and spiritual realm where powers and principalities wage war over the souls of men in order to prevent them from reaching the goals that God has for them. Not only that, the rise and fall of nations can be dependent on whether or not we rise up and wage spiritual warfare. Are you ready to engage in spiritual warfare? Keep the possibility in mind as you read. Our future depends on it!

COVENANTS AND CURSES

Most people who enter into covenant with YHVH usually don’t fully understand what they are doing. They are usually told that if they believe Yeshua (Jesus) died for their sin and rose from the dead, they can go to heaven when they die. Long ago, the mixed multitude was told that if they painted their doorways with the blood of the Passover Lamb and stay inside their homes, they would be spared death and get to go to the Promised Land. Due to the time crunch they were facing and the plagues that had already taken place, they did what they were told. Because of this threshold covenant, their lives were spared, and they headed out of Egypt without knowing what was about to take place. For them, it was un-chartered territory. We can read all about the ongoing historical events that subsequently took place in the books of Exodus, Numbers, Joshua, and Judges.

Early on, the mixed multitude entered into a covenant with YHVH. There are actually several covenants in the Bible. Each one builds on the previous covenant; each successive covenant doesn’t abolish or cancel the one before it. People in the Ancient Near East understood covenants; that’s not necessarily the case today. Covenants were binding, and people were expected to fulfill their obligations to the covenant. The blessings and the curses of the covenants were a way to ensure that people kept their obligations to the covenant.

The mixed multitude which came out of Egypt entered into a marriage covenant and/or suzerainty covenant with YHVH in Exodus 19:8, 24:3,7. This covenant would lead up to the fulfillment of the eternal covenant regarding the Promised Land, which YHVH made with Abraham many years prior. Much took place after the covenant at Mount Sinai, but before the people of YHVH began to conquer the land of Canaan, they were reminded of the terms of their covenant with YHVH in the book of Deuteronomy.

A covenant is essentially a contract with terms and conditions; it doesn’t matter if we call the Sinai covenant a marriage covenant or a suzerainty treaty, although I prefer calling this covenant a marriage covenant. What’s clear is that YHVH’s covenant had terms that were to be obeyed, which included statutes (chukkim), judgments (mishpatim), and laws (toratot). Moses told the remnant who was about to enter the Promised Land that obedience to the terms of the covenant brings blessing and life, but disobedience to the terms of the covenant brings cursing and death.

In the Tanakh, the prophets were frequently calling the people to repentance — to return to the terms of YHVH’s covenant. We see the same thing in the Apostolic Writings. When Yeshua began His ministry, He called people to repentance just like John the Baptist was doing. Later, the apostles called people to repentance too. To repent, in Hebrew (Hebrew: shuv), means to turn back; the people were being called to turn back and consistently abide by the terms of the original covenant. Repentance in Hebrew does not mean to be sorry for what you’ve done; being sorry should lead you to do works that show true repentance. Yeshua did not give a specific new set of terms for the renewed covenant; He fully preached or explained the original terms of the covenant. Repentance, in these apostolic texts, was always considered to be turning back to the terms of the original covenant.

Again, the new or renewed covenant of Yeshua has the same terms as the original covenant. According to Matthew 5:18, those terms will not pass away until heaven and earth pass away, and that hasn’t happened yet. In Romans 3:31, Paul said, “Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.”

Many refuse to believe this because Galatians 3:10 seems to say those who observe Torah are under a curse; however, I’m not convinced that Galatians 3:10 is correctly translated. I think it contains translator bias. The translation really hinges on how we translate one word in the first phrase. English translations are typical and are similar to these:

  • For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” (NKJ)
  • For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” (ESV)

These translations are misleading for two reasons. First, the verse, as a whole, conflicts with what Moses taught in Deuteronomy 11:26-28. The idea that Torah observance causes you to be under a curse is a lie that has been passed down to the assemblies for generations. The truth is Moses taught that obedience to the terms of their covenant with YHVH results in blessing and life, and disobedience results in cursing and death. So, what’s wrong with this translation? It’s how the Greek preposition “ex” is translated; it can mean from or out of. I would be inclined to translate this verse as, “For many who are outside (away from, out from) the works of the law are under a curse for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.”  And this translation conforms to what Moses taught the people.

Moses warned the people that a variety of curses would fall on them if they failed to keep the terms of His covenant. Deuteronomy 27 states a variety of sins for which an individual person would fall under a curse. Deuteronomy 28, however, states a variety of curses for corporately failing to keep the terms of the covenant. Some of these curses included: affected food-bowl; offspring; produce of land, cattle, and flocks; their comings and goings; confusion; rebuke; destruction; plague; general illness; mildew; no rain; enemies defeating them; mental illness; possessions violently taken from them; exile; consuming locusts; foreigners in the land who would overpower them and eat their food supply; having to eat their own children and placentas to survive; and the list goes on. The purpose of the curses is to cause YHVH’s people to return to the terms of the covenant they made with YHVH. Refusal to keep the terms of the covenant will eventually lead to death and separation from YHVH. God is a covenant maker and keeper; we are not to be covenant breakers. Even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees, and every tree which does not bear good fruit is going to be cut down and thrown into the fire (Luke 3:9).

The problem that we face today is that people do not see the connection between obedience and blessing or the connection between disobedience and cursing. They don’t see YHVH’s hand or that of the enemy operating behind the scenes. They don’t see that what is happening before their very eyes are manifestations of the curses of the law that are affecting their nations. May YHVH drop the scales from their eyes, so they can see reality before it’s too late.

The key to reversing all of this is found in 2 Chronicles 7:14If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

We, just like God’s people in ancient times, have to individually and corporately repent – return to the terms of the covenant of YHVH — not just for ourselves but also for our bloodlines!! Even so, life will not return to normal all by itself. Wicked people are being influenced by the powers of darkness; they love their wicked lifestyles. They want the freedom to live in spiritual depravity, and they want to make you do the same. They don’t want you to call what they’re doing abnormal, wrong, or evil. Therefore, we have to rise up and wage spiritual warfare in order to deal with the consequences of sins and transgressions committed by those around us – whether they be those who are in or outside the covenant – as well as push back the dark, evil spiritual forces that will be retaliating against us in order to bring us back under a curse and under bondage. We have to demolish and remove the footholds and strongholds that were created by the sins and trespasses of ourselves and others. We have to push back the darkness, or it will crush and destroy us.

We also need to understand that curses can also be the result of witchcraft or evil demonic assignments against us. Such curses can take the form of hexes, jinxes, spells, spoken curses, chains, cords, etc.

Either way, the main thing we must understand is what Proverbs 26:2 says — Like a flitting sparrow, like a flying swallow, So a curse without cause shall not alight. When you are living according to YHVH’s covenant, curses of witchcraft cannot come upon you. If you aren’t, they can if there is a cause. Usually, these are retaliatory in nature, but they can be just because someone hates you.

If you haven’t already done so, get on your knees, then confess and renounce all known sin and trespasses against YHVH and man, as well as those of your bloodline!! Ask for Yeshua’s blood to cover all of these sins, transgressions, and iniquities. Ask the Father to issue a restraining order to the spiritual entities that have sought to take what is rightfully yours away from you — your family, you job, your finances, your health, your life, your home, etc. Next, you need to rebuke any demons that may be possessing or oppressing you as a result of your sins and trespasses that you have just repented for.

Pray — “Father, since I have repented of my sins, transgressions, and iniquities — and of those of my ancestors, I’m asking that they be covered by the blood of Yeshua. Help me to walk in obedience to the terms of your covenant. Please issue a restraining order against all demonic forces, including Satan, who have sought to take what is rightfully mine away from me. This includes my family, my job, my finances, my health, my  life, my home, my spiritual gifts and talents, etc. I declare that by Yeshua’s stripes, I am healed. I rebuke any demons associated with any curses, footholds, and strongholds and command them to leave me now and forever in the name of Yeshua HaMashiach. Father, please fill me until I am overflowing with the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit). Allow me to be a vessel of honor that will bring glory to you.” 

When temptations arise, strongly and forcefully resist Satan and his demons, so they will flee from you. Ask YHVH to purify you, so you can be a vessel of honor in these land days. Remember, Balaam could not curse God’s people because they were blessed; instead, many were destroyed because they were led into prostitution and worship of Baal of Peor with the Moabites and Midianites. Their sin led to their destruction. Don’t let something like that happen to you.

Remember, the remnant who came out of Egypt and survived Baal at Peor entered the Promised Land. This was the remnant who was faithful to YHVH; all the others perished in the desert. This remnant entered the Promised Land and drove out several wicked nations in order to possess it; but they failed to completely destroy the seven nations they were commanded to destroy. The idolatry of the remaining nations became a snare to them.

We are living in a situation in which we who are in covenant with YHVH are the minority in many countries throughout the world. We have to push back the darkness and work to reverse the laws that legalize unrighteousness, so it doesn’t lead us into sin or completely overtake us. Remember, man’s laws are not always lawful in God’s eyes; in other words, man’s lawfulness may be God’s lawlessness. We have to enter into spiritual warfare in the courts of heaven to prevent, change, and reverse the curses of the law caused by the sins and transgressions of the people in our nations. We can’t keep thinking there is nothing we can do about what is happening around us. We have to work to reverse ungodly laws. We must petition God for righteous leaders and judges. Our goal is blessing and life, not cursing and death!

ARMOR OF GOD

We have to believe and understand the truth of Ephesians 6:10-18 — Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness 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. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.

Frequently, the armor of God is described by believers as comparable to that of the Roman soldier, but there are also similarities with the clothing of the High Priest. We need to be girded with truth, whether that be Yeshua and/or correct doctrine. We need to put on the breastplate of righteousness; we need to be doing what is right according to YHVH’s covenantal standards. We need to shod our feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; we need to be ready to bring good news that YHVH reigns and that Yeshua is coming again to bring salvation and peace. The shield of faith is a believing/trusting faith that quenches the fiery darts of the enemy; we need to bind and cast out lies and deception and release truth. The helmet of salvation is a protective piece that reminds us of YHVH’s salvation in the past, present, and future. We need to use the Word to protect our minds; we must know and remind ourselves who we are in Messiah and what He has done for us. The sword of the Spirit that we wield is the word of God and/or what is in accordance with God’s will; either way, what we say is a weapon that must conform to the will of God. We need God to remind us of verses that can be used when we find ourselves in battle. We can pray for God to clothe us in this spiritual armor daily, but we have to participate in that process.

The Messiah wears armor too. Righteousness and faithfulness are the belts of the Messiah. He also wears the breastplate of righteousness, the helmet of salvation, garments of vengeance, and a cloak of zeal.

WARFARE

If we are going to be part of God’s army under His authority and be engaged in spiritual warfare, we must be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might, and we must live righteously instead of giving in to the desires of the flesh.

When we fight, we are engaging the various ranks of demons in the spiritual realm to impact what happens in the physical realm. This is first done in the courts of heaven in order to remove their legal rights, then if necessary on the battlefield.

First and foremost, we must be faithfully abiding in Yeshua and living according to God’s commandments, and we must put ourselves under God’s authority and speak in the name of Yeshua. If we are not living righteously, we may be creating a foothold or stronghold that the enemy can use against us.

Second, we must clothe ourselves in the whole armor of God. We can ask God to simply clothe us in His heavenly armor, but some people go a step further by using hand motions to put on what is spiritual and unseen. In addition, they speak something like, “In the name of Yeshua, I ask that the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) convict me and cleanse me of every sin that divides us. Make me set-apart for your service. I put on the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the preparation of the gospel of peace, and the helmet of salvation; I take up the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit, and I pray in the Spirit. Be my Commander and rear guard. Help me use each piece of armor and weapon effectively to wage spiritual warfare, as well as for my protection and Your glory. Help me hear and obey your instructions and be victorious in each spiritual battle that I am engaged in. Amen.”

Third, we must know who our enemy is; this is often linked to the kind of fruit or evil we see or hear about. However, sometimes additional intelligence or information for effective warfare may be required; this could be revealed in the form of prophecy, word of knowledge, dreams, or visions.

Fourth, we must use the spiritual weapon that is available to us to demolish footholds and strongholds, as well as strike, defeat, and immobilize the enemy. This should cause wickedness to cease, captives to be set free, and justice to eventually take place.

In Joshua’s time, the Commander of YHVH’s army gave instructions regarding methods of warfare in order to win the battles; sometimes these instructions were odd or unusual, but the warriors had to comply in order to have victory. This goes to show that sometimes an action, in addition to the sword of the Spirit, may be required to attain victory over the enemy. In the past, we may have relied on general news media sources to clue us in on how to fight or what to pray for; however, considering that most news these days is unreliable propaganda or fake news, what we hear is useless and divisive. Today, we may have to seek warfare intelligence and instructions from YHVH via reputable prophets in order for warfare to be effective, as well as words of knowledge, dreams, and visions; the key is that the intel must come from YHVH in one form or another. We should ask YHVH to give us direct intel and help us know how to interpret it!

While we ponder this, we need to also remember that the trespass of a single person named Achan caused a battle to be lost (Joshua 7). We must not yield to temptation, but do exactly as we are told.

Fifth, we can’t expect to always wage war against Satan and his kingdom by ourselves. It’s going to take two or more, and maybe even an army to defeat these powers and principalities on an ongoing basis. I think it’s important to remember Matthew 18:19-20 — “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.  20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Therefore, when using our words to defeat spiritual forces of evil, we need to have two or more people agreeing with us by essentially praying or saying the same thing. If we’re thinking in terms of one spiritual army defeating another spiritual army, the more prayer warriors, the better, and persistence is likely key for a successful result. The battle of Amalek in Exodus 17, with Aaron and Hur holding up Moses’ arms, is an example of that.

Sixth, whatever we do, it needs to be done by the power of the Ruach HaKodesh in the name of Yeshua. The disciples and others were casting out demons in the name of Yeshua (Luke 9:49-50; 10:17; Acts 16:18) and healing people in the name of Yeshua (Acts 3:6, 16; 4:10, 30). Will YHVH manifest His power in this way in the last days like they were in the days of the apostles? Has Yeshua given us the same command found in Matthew 10:8 — to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, and cast out demons? I think the answer to both questions is YES! We need to beg Him for an ample impartation of His anointing for this to take place!

We must also remember that sometimes prayer and fasting may be required for healing, to break footholds and strongholds, as well as to cast out demons. An example of such a situation is found in Matthew 17:14-21 where the disciples could not heal a boy of epilepsy. Yeshua rebuked the demon and cured the boy. When the disciples asked Yeshua about it later, He replied that this kind does not come out except by prayer and fasting.

ORGANIZING PRAYERS

One of the things that I have been using to organize my prayers is Microsoft One Note. I have a general reminder folder and page for regular prayers — ACTS = Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. Following this are other folders with categories for Personal, State & Local, National, World, and answered prayers. You can make whatever titles for your folders that you like. Then just make pages under each folder for each prayer you want to pray regularly for.

In my personal folder, I have a prayer for putting on the armor of God, as well as prayers for family members and other personal things. On the other pages, I have prayers for various things that God has laid on my heart. You may choose to limit yourself to prayers for family and friends.

QUIET TIMES

Regarding quiet times — consider playing praise music for 15-30 minutes to prepare yourself for prayer and Bible reading. Ask the Spirit to speak to you as you read God’s word. Pay attention to any verses that stand out to you. You can close your quiet times with whatever prayers are on your heart for the day.

As you move forward, never think there is no sin you would never do. That may be the very point at which the powers of darkness attack you to bring you down in these last days. Satan doesn’t want you to be praising YHVH, reading Scripture, or praying. He will try to bring you down one way or another.

ELEMENTS OF WARFARE

Many books have been written on warfare prayer. Key elements we need to look for or learn include:

  • Prayers for individual and corporate repentance,
  • Approaching God in the courts of heaven (see videos and books by Robert Henderson),
  • Making declarations to make whatever would be happening in heaven happen here on earth.
  • Breaking curses that are the result of witchcraft or disobedience to YHVH’s covenant,
  • Binding of demons in the name of Yeshua, as well as loosing the opposite (i.e. hate vs. love, chaos/turmoil vs. peace, lies/deception vs. truth, etc.). It is always appropriate to loose the Ruach HaKodesh to be at work in their life to make the opposite action/effect take place.

Any demons present may be indicated primarily by the wicked activity that may be operating in someone’s life or over a locality/community; it doesn’t matter if the demon is possessing, oppressing, or influencing a person’s behavior or a community. Bind it in the name of Yeshua and tell it to permanently go wherever Yeshua commands it to go. Bear in mind that demons can be subtle; if they have manifested, they may try to convince you they are gone when they aren’t. Fasting and persistence may be required. Understand this is a learning process or experience.

There is no need to suspect a demon behind every bush. Rely on the leading of the Ruach HaKodesh.

DELIVERANCE SESSIONS

What I have described above is how I normally engage in spiritual warfare. However, there are times when a person asks for individual deliverance sessions. This should be done by a small team who have gained some experience in this area. Others can be praying separately during the session. The process is similar to what has been previously described. The individual should be aware of Luke 11:24-26 – “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.’ 25 And when he comes, he finds it swept and put in order. 26 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.” The person should be willing to do what it takes to not engage in the sins and trespasses that caused the problem in the first place.

Useful tools for individual deliverance sessions are softly playing praise music to YHVH (not music about Him) in the background, anointing the person with oil, and Scripture verses that speak the truth regarding Satan’s defeat and Messiah’s victory. Speak any other verses that YHVH places on your heart. Rely on the Spirit for guidance. Repent of personal sins, transgressions, and iniquities, as well as those of up to four generations back in the bloodline. It is also good to ask YHVH to station His angels around those in the room and to assist as needed. I suspect that on rare occasions being in the center of a Messianic dance circle could be useful as well.

Individual deliverance sessions can be an exhausting experience for everyone involved, and sometimes it may be best for cleansing to take place over a period of time instead of one session.

Another key thing to remember is:  Don’t do anything that would bring embarrassment to the person seeking deliverance.

I was once in an individual session that became very chaotic. I got the impression that the demon found this quite amusing. It is a long story, and the person was only partially delivered over a two-day period. In hindsight, I think things could have been handled differently.

CHILDREN

It’s a tough call on what to do when you know your children need deliverance. A formal individual session may not be appropriate for children, but anointing them with oil and praying for them, as well as teaching them how to command “the bad people” to leave them alone definitely is. Based on personal experience with children, demons do know your children’s names, and they may even call out to them by name. I had an instance where I taught my boys to say, “Lord, if that’s You, your servant is listening.” When one of my sons did that, the demon began cursing at him!!

It is important to anoint and consecrate your children to YHVH, as well as bless your children regularly. Teach them to repent of their sins. Bind and break any yokes or demonic hindrance you see at work in their lives; pray they will come to nothing. Release the opposite into their lives. Declare their giftings over them that you see at work in their lives; pray these will not be hindered by the enemy, but pray they will be used for God’s glory and kingdom. 

When it comes to deliverance for children, I think the age of accountability may come into play at some point, and most don’t agree on what that is. Some say it’s 13, and others say it is 18. I think the focus should be on dealing with anything related to generational issues first, then on what you see operating in their lives.

This is extremely important for adopted children; one minute you can tell a demon to leave in the name of Yeshua, and a few minutes later these demons may come back because of an unknown legal right. It’s extremely frustrating. If this is not resolved when they are young, it can be a nightmare in their teenage years. One simple prayer of dedicating them to YHVH after the adoption does not remove the problem; you must go to the court of heaven and repent of their sins, transgression, and iniquities — AND THAT OF THEIR BLOODLINE — and ask Yeshua’s blood to cover those sins, transgressions, and iniquities, then rebuke any demons and command them to leave now and forever in the name of Yeshua.

Warfare prayers in the early years are extremely important. Children must have a heart submissive to YHVH; if not, you can make matters worse — especially in older children and teenagers. It can turn into a fierce battle that you may not win before they move away to live on their own. All you can do is keep praying for them. That is where I unfortunately am today with my sons. After all of the warfare prayer I did when they were young, I believe we could have avoided a lot of heartache if we had known how to go to YHVH and maneuver in the court of heaven when they were extremely young. Still, I have not given up. I’ve stood in the gap to repent for them and their bloodline in the court of heaven. I have also prayed that God would restore the lost years between us. I will not give up.

Having shared all of this, I think it is time to prepare for battle! Raise up a regiment of prayer warriors who are willing to enter into warfare prayer on behalf of our nation!

A storm is coming! We must set ourselves apart by cleansing ourselves! Put on your armor daily and engage in warfare as YHVH leads!

 

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