Jesus while sending out the seventy disciples gave them the authority to destroy every works of the devil. He never promised them that opposition will not come against them, in exercising that authority over the powers of darkness. But He said:
“ .. “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
Luke 10:18-19 NKJV
Satan is already defeated. He can’t do anything to harm any child of God anymore on this earth, as long as we are walking in our given authority over him.
Jesus said that He had seen Satan falling from heaven on the earth like lightning; even before He went to the cross in triumphing over him. Jesus had seen Satan being casted down from God’s Heaven, when he had rebelled against God.
The devil used to be the lightning star in God’s presence before he fell from heaven. And when he was removed from the exalted position before God in Heaven, he had taken a third of the angels with him into the darkness of this earth. As he lost his position as the lightning star, he had also lost the brightness of the star, and every other glamour that goes with it.
Now, in his fallen state together with all the other fallen angels with him, they had been trying to reassert that position of influence and power on the earth, which they had lost in the heavens.
That’s why we are involved in the spiritual warfare to prevent them from taking over the earth. If you’re not yet aware of it, you had been enlisted in the Army of Jesus Christ on the earth. We have only one principal and common enemy – the devil and all of his cohorts.
The moment the devil failed to stop Jesus on the cross at Calvary, he had indeed failed for ever to stop you. The Bible gave us an insight into what prompted him to go against every believer in Christ Jesus, after the birth of Jesus:
“And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
Revelation 12:17 NKJV
The devil himself started this war against the offspring of Jesus on the earth – the Church. But we do know that he had already lost in this spiritual warfare. Our main objective in it is to be enforcing the victory, which Jesus had given to us with the use of our authority over the devil and all his works.
The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Ephesians gave us an insight, into what’s going on in this spiritual warfare. He even went further by explaining to us, how we are to be confronting this unseen enemy.
Paul advised us never to confront the devil in our own strength, because he knew that the devil will obviously be able to outmatch us, if we are confronting him in our own strength. We are not to be resisting him in our own ability either.
The devil has been around for a very long time. He is known for using the same tactics all the time, but oftentimes he will use it in a new way. His goal is to distract and create fear, so as to get a child of God away from living by his faith in God.
Jesus never confronted the devil in His own strength, when He was tempted in the wilderness. He confronted him in the strength of the Lord God – His written word. He repeatedly pointed out the scriptures to the devil, while he was being tempted.
And even after the temptation was over, Jesus still had to depend on the strength that comes from His Father. The scripture says:
“Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.”
Matthew 4:11 NKJV
Angels came to minister the strength of the Father to Him – spirit, soul and body. They came to help Him in renewing His strength, in order for Him to be stronger and prepared for further oppositions from the devil. The evil one had only left Him for a moment. But he surely did returned several other times, before Jesus finally had to go to the cross in the final triumph over him (Luke 4:13).
Jesus was never left alone while He was resisting the the devil during His temptation. The angels were all around Him; watching and waiting while observing what was going on.
And they have never stopped doing the same thing for every child of God on the earth today. They are always there around you during every opposition, that the enemy brings across your pathway.
If you are being confronted by the powers of darkness right now, you need to know that they are confronting you; because of the anointing that is over your life. Your anointing separates you from the unsaved people of this world, who are already under their influence.
That’s why whenever we are confronting them in the power of the Holy Ghost, we will always put them on the run. This is why it’s important that every child of God must be filled with the Holy Ghost, so as to be able to walk in constant victory over them.
We need to note that our enemy (the devil) is scripturally literate also. He demonstrated that ability while he was tempting Jesus. However he will always manipulate the holy scriptures, in order to divert attention away from the ability to walk in obedience to God. If he could try it on Jesus, he will do the same thing for anyone, who has the same anointing of Jesus today also.
But when we are relying on the Lord to lead us in the power of His Spirit, we will beat the devil at every stage in our spiritual warfare.
Stand your ground against the devil
The Apostle Paul said in his letter to the Ephesians:
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 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.”
Ephesians 6:10-12 NKJV
It’s important for us to note here who we are confronting in spiritual warfare. We are not involved in a wrestling match with personalities with human bodies.
These are dethroned spirit beings in the heavens, who had been stripped of their powers by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary. Even though their powers had been stripped away from them, they are however still trying to influence events on the earth today.
This is only possible if those to whom authority had been given to rule and dominate them, are not exercising their spiritual authority appropriately. If these evil spirits can influence earthly events today, they can also influence individual lives; so as to advance their objectives.
It’s therefore our personal responsibility as soldiers for Christ to be resisting them. This was why the Apostle Peter advised us to:
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.”
I Peter 5:8-9 NKJV
The best way for us to be resisting them is by being steadfast in our faith confession and prayer. Their primary way of influencing people on the earth is through what we are confessing. They have the ability to create fear, so as to make people do what they want them to do.
The powers of the darkness of this world have a way of manipulating your thoughts, in order to make you to confess what you don’t really believe. That’s why the renewal of the mind with God’s word, is very important in your stand against them.
And if as a Christian you are not rooted and grounded in God’s word, they do have the ability to sway your thoughts and beliefs in satisfying their own objectives.
As a Christian we are supposed to know the mind of God about what we are observing around us. If you don’t know anything about what you’re observing, it’s therefore your responsibility to search them out in the scriptures and by praying to the Father in Heaven, who will reveal them to you (Jeremiah 33:3).
God will always reveal the mystery that you are searching for to you, about the activities of these evil beings. You can pray in line with God’s purpose, by praying in the spirit (other tongues) about anything on this earth (Ephesians 6:18).
The Apostle Paul made it clear to us that we are involved in a wrestling match “against principalities, evil powers, rulers of the darkness of this age and against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places”. These are real spirit beings who are seeking to take over the world.
To make it more real to us Paul had used the phrase – “wrestling march”; in describing what we are confronting during such a warfare. In other words he wants us to understand that this is a real spiritual combat.
As a Christian with the anointing of God over your life, you pose a threat to their ability to influence the affairs of this earth.
They will seek to limit your ability to function in your anointed calling. If they can’t limit your ability to function with that anointing, they will seek to eliminate you completely by tempting you to violate God’s word. They want you to do something that will trigger the anger of the Lord against you.
The Apostle Paul revealed to us in Ephesians 6:10-12 the diverse and wide hierarchical structure of these evil forces in the heavens, that are influencing the political, social and economic world orders of our world today.
You’re never exempted from spiritual warfare
These personalities without bodies do operate together, and they are very deceptive in the way that they do operate. They should never be underestimated by any child of God at all. They do have the ability to mimic the Lord in the way that they do operate.
They can use scriptures to deceive, if you’re not paying careful attention to God’s word. The Bible says that Satan himself can pose to be an angel of light, so as to deceive people (2 Corinthians 11:14).
And in some instances he will not even try to deceive, especially if he knows that you are rooted and grounded in God’s word. He will actually come after you decisively in open confrontation with you. This is a sign that you are a serious threat to their influence and activities.
This was the way he had opposed the anointing in the life of the Apostle Paul, as he once sought to visit the Christians in Thessaloniki. Paul told the Christians there:
“But we, brethren, having been taken away from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavored more eagerly to see your face with great desire. Therefore we wanted to come to you—even I, Paul, time and again—but Satan hindered us.”
I Thessalonians 2:17-18 NKJV
Satan hindered the anointing in the life of Paul, by preventing his travel plan. He had a foreknowledge of what Paul was going to do at Thessaloniki. The only way he could prevent him from going, was by hindering him in the spirit.
Paul must had prayed about it, but he knew that there was no point in trying to force his way through. If he had forcefully gone, it could had ended up to be a disaster for him and the local Church. So, he decided to write a letter to them.
The devil did the same thing in opposing Jesus inside his hometown of Nazareth. He had used the lack of faith among the people, to prevent them from receiving the healing ministry of Jesus. The Bible says:
“Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching.”
Mark 6:5-6 NKJV
Jesus could not do much in His own hometown where He had grown up from childhood. He eventually had to relocate to the city of Capernaum as His ministry’s headquarters, because of the opposition from the powers of darkness at Nazareth.
If these evil spirits could prevent the flow of the anointing in the lives of both Jesus and Paul, they can do the same thing to anyone today also.
No matter how anointed you may be thinking that you are, you will have to confront them in one way or another. You are never exempted from the spiritual warfare with them.
They have a way of influencing people with doubts and unbelief, so as to hinder the flow of God’s power through those who had been anointed by God to minister to them. They can hinder the anointing of God to save, heal and deliver whole nations through doubts and unbelief.
However we saw how Jesus ended up in confronting their powers over the inhabitants of Nazareth. He did not go into open confrontation with them, but went around by sowing seeds of faith in the villages that surrounded Nazareth.
He had to sow the seeds, which later on brought in great harvest of souls into the Kingdom of God after the day of Pentecost.
What Jesus did in the villages that surrounded Nazareth was the same strategy, that the children of Israel had used in defeating the principalities and powers of Jericho in Joshua chapter six. They had to march around the city before taking it. If this worked in both the Old and the New Testament, it will work today also for anyone who believes.
The only One who knows the best strategy in defeating the enemy is our Heavenly Father. When we are talking with Him through prayer and intercession, He will show us how to defeat the enemy in every community and nation.
Each situation may require a different strategy. But He alone knows the best way to defeat the enemy. One important lesson that I had personally learnt in confronting them is never to touch or say anything, to the people who are being influenced by them, except the Lord says so. He alone knows every particular situation, and He alone knows how best to handle it.
Rebellion is the trademark of evil spirits
One of the major weaknesses of these evil spirits, is that they do have the ability to rebel against one another. And as a soldier in Christ’s army on the earth, you have the ability to exploit anyone of their weaknesses in the spirit against them.
That’s why it’s important to be paying attention to whatever the Lord is revealing to you about their activities. He will not always tell you what to do with them. But the Lord God expects you to be using your initiative, in dealing with every situation that, He is opening your spiritual eyes of understanding to be seeing.
Rebellion is the trademark of the devil and his cohorts. Those who are rebellious against God’s word are actually being influenced by them. Rebellion was what brought the devil to where he is today in his relationship with God.
The Lord God had said concerning him that:
“You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you.”
Ezekiel 28:14-15 NKJV
What did he do to rebel against God. The scriptures says again:
“How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’”
Isaiah 14:12-14 NKJV
The devil (Lucifer) sought to take the place of God in the heavens. He had said these words of rebellion to himself. That was how he got himself exposed before the other angels, who immediately went into action by removing him from his exalted position in God’s presence.
His iniquity was the desire in him to take the place of God. He wanted the other angels to worship him, instead of worshipping the God of the heavens and the earth. He is still seeking worship on the earth today, through the people who are yielding to his influencing powers.
Rebellion was the iniquity that was found in him. He had been practicing rebellion for a long time. And he had obviously taught the other fallen angels who are with him, how to rebel against constituted authorities (including the devil himself). They had learned how to rebel from the devil. And they can rebel against the devil himself also.
However these forces of evil will always come together against the people of God in a united front. They have the ability to influence the world in which we are living, with the aim of transforming it. They can influence and manipulate the political, economic and social systems of any community or country; so as to carry out their evil agendas.
Their ultimate goal is to hinder the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The devil and these evil forces hates to see souls being won into the Kingdom of God.
They hate to see people being healed and delivered from the clutches of their little demons on the earth, who are making people sick. The little demons on the earth are carrying out the agendas of their superior spirits or fallen angels in the heavens.
Therefore any Christian who has been called of God to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, in the demonstration of the power of the Holy Ghost is automatically a target for them.
The anointing over the life of such a Christian is what they are after. Once they’re able to render that anointing dysfunctional or inoperable, they will be able to carry out their agendas without any hindrance. And a Christian who is not anointed for anything does not bother them at all.
The rulers of this dark world
As a result of the complications that are involved in understanding their inner workings, we shall be looking at the rulers of the darkness of this age (or this world) alone for this week. It takes a Christian who is able to pray and intercede before the Lord, to understand how they are operating.
There is a spiritual light line of demarcation in the heavens, which separates the Throne of God and the darkness of this world. In this way, these evil spirits do know better not to cross that line.
There are angels who are on guard in the heavens. They are stationed along this line to prevent any fallen angel from attempting to cross over. Lucifer alone still has the ability to approach God’s Throne, so as to bring accusations against Christians before the Lord God (Revelation 12:10). And he will continue to do this until his time comes up to be finally judged.
But darkness itself is the dwelling place of these evil spirits. There are rulers of the darkness of our time, who are influencing what is going on in our world today.
These rulers of the darkness of this world often changes from time to time. They are constantly changing in their hierarchies, because they are increasingly working against the timeline of God, for the final judgment that is coming upon them.
The devil knows that his time is short (see Revelation 12:12). That’s why he’s always bringing up new things to hinder the progress, which God’s people are making with the declaration of the gospel of Jesus Christ in several nations.
The Passion Translation describes the modus operandi of these evil powers in this way:
“Your hand-to-hand combat is not with human beings, but with the highest principalities and authorities operating in rebellion under the heavenly realms. For they are a powerful class of demon-gods and evil spirits that hold this dark world in bondage.”
Ephesians 6:12 TPT
These are a powerful class of demon-gods and evil spirits that are being used by the devil to hold individuals, businesses, communities, nations and the whole world in bondages.
The Murphy Bible translation describes them as “the dethroned powers of this world”. This means that they had been removed from their positions of authority and power on the earth, by the victory of Christ Jesus over them. They no longer have the ability to influence the earth, as long as those who do know that they are victorious in Christ Jesus are enforcing their victory over them.
But if they had been dethroned, why then are they still asserting such power on the earth?
The answer is very simple. If the unsaved world doesn’t know yet that they had been dethroned, they will continue to assert their spiritual power in ruling over them; as a result of their ignorance.
The child of God who knows that they are already dethroned, has to enforce this victory over them, so as to be able to walk in it always. The scripture says:
“He (God) has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,”
Colossians 1:13 NKJV
We have been delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the Kingdom of God’s dear Son. The dark powers that are influencing the affairs of this world, and the people who are living under their influences are in a spiritual prison cell.
We had been translated into God’s Kingdom, therefore darkness cannot affect the light of God that’s in the life of a Christian (Ephesians 1:21-23).
This is why intercessory prayer is needed to break these strongholds in the lives of individuals, over communities, nations and societies in general.
There is a thick darkness which these demonic forces are using, to prevent people from receiving the gospel of Jesus Christ. And oftentimes those who are being held in such bondages through their activities, don’t even know that they’re being held in bondages. The gospel of salvation has to be preached for the light of God to shine through their hearts, so that they can be saved.
It takes the believer in Christ with the eye of the spirit, to be able to discern the activities of these evil spirits. When we go to the Father in prayer, He will reveal their secrets and activities to us. He will show us what they are doing in secret, even though we cannot see them with the physical eyes.
When we are praying as Paul said in Ephesians 6:18, then we will be making progress in the spirit into that realm, where we can begin to do a lot of damages to the activities of these spiritual forces of evil.
According to that scripture text, Paul advised us to be:
“praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—”
Ephesians 6:18 NKJV
It’s important for us to note that Paul didn’t say that we should pray for awhile, and then quit praying. No, he said that we have to allow prayer to become the air that we are breathing, and the food that we are eating all the time. We have to always be in prayer.
“All prayer” here literally means all manner of prayer. There is no specific way to pray against them. Such prayer has to be led by the Spirit and in the spirit. These demonic spirits are not of this world, even though they are impacting our world with their activities in the heavens.
They do have a way of manipulating and controlling how certain people are behaving in certain ways on the earth.
When a person yields to their manipulations and control, instead of submitting to God’s word and His authority by the Holy Spirit; they will seize the opportunity that is created through the absence of resistance to them, to dominate and rule that person’s life (James 4:7).
Jesus said about this that:
“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 NKJV
A Christian whose spiritual house is not being occupied constantly with God’s word and Spirit, is rendering himself available to being manipulated and controlled by them. But by making the word of God the foundation upon which he is standing by faith, while watching and praying for the protection of his spiritual house, he will never have to worry about these evil spirits and their activities. He is alert and ready for them, while he’s keeping his eyes on the spiritual warfare, that he is involved in against them.
It’s only the Christians who are using their spiritual authority to resist the devil, who are walking victoriously over them. Such believers in Christ Jesus are also effective in being watchful, so as to protect other Christians from the influences of these demon spirits.
That’s why it’s important to stand strong against every onslaught of the evil ones. Jesus had already made us victorious in this spiritual warfare. There is nothing that the enemy can do to take the victory away from you, if you’re guarding your heart diligently by the power of the Holy Spirit and the living Word of God.
The scripture says about how Jesus overcame in giving us this victory:
“When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities [those supernatural forces of evil operating against us], He made a public example of them [exhibiting them as captives in His triumphal procession], having triumphed over them through the cross.”
Colossians 2:15 AMP
The Passion Translation says:
“Then Jesus made a public spectacle of all the powers and principalities of darkness, stripping away from them every weapon and all their spiritual authority and power to accuse us. And by the power of the cross, Jesus led them around as prisoners in a procession of triumph. He was not their prisoner; they were his!”
Colossians 2:15 TPT
This is how you had overcome. So stand strong by faith in the victory that is yours. There is nothing that the enemy can do to stop you.
There is nothing that he can do to hurt you either. Jesus Christ guarantees your victory by the shedding of His blood. God’s word is the guarantee of your victory also. The victory is yours. Take it with joy in the Holy Ghost. Be bold to go on the onslaught against the enemy, by pulling down these strongholds in the heavens. You are an overcomer in Christ Jesus.