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Elder A.S. Rose

Before one becomes knowingly engaged in battle against what is not seen, as is the case with spiritual warfare, it is necessary to understand the definition of what warfare really means. Warfare as defined in Webster’s Dictionary is, “an activity undertaken by unit (as a city or nation) to weaken or destroy another. A biblical breakdown of what comprises the existence of spiritual warfare can be found in Ephesians 6:12 which states. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Our cities and nation is comprised of principalities, powers, rulers, that are the makeup of spirits of wickedness in high places that are well disciplined as a military unit and convene corporately to take strategic holds and positions on territories to weaken and destroy its enemy. Spiritual warfare can then be described as that conflict being waged in the invisible, spiritual realm that is being manifest in the visible, physical realm. It is a battle between invisible, angelic forces that affects you and I.

“God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.” (Gen 1:27). This passage demonstrates that man has been created to have dominion over his environment. The spiritual warfare that is taking place in our nations, states, cities, towns, neighborhoods, and individuals is in direct contrast to our divine creation and our being divinely created to have dominion. A lot of Christians don’t even know they’re at war. But others can see the results of the battle in their lives, because they have become casualties of spiritual warfare. They are discouraged, depressed, downtrodden, and defeated. There are moral wounds such as people not being able to control their passions. There are community wounds such as poverty, drug abuse, homelessness, gangs, violence, hatred, lack of education, sexual immorality, prostitution, racial discrimination, and health diseases, as the list is almost endless.

Until we address the spiritual causes of the individual and community problems that we face, we will never fix the physical effects of those problems. This means that the gift of the Holy Spirit should become our “Sixth Sense” and should be used to ascertain a keen awareness of the spiritual realm. Our worldview needs to be given attention, as it is how we perceive reality, that determines the way we look at life. There are two types of worldviews, materialistic, and spiritual.

The materialistic worldview is one that is of human reason. It puts life in a test tube and examines it to come up with an explanation or answer to life situations. It does not explain the soul and spirit within human beings, as the invisible is not addressed. The spiritual worldview is outside of the natural and it needs to be understood that there are many variations. I say this, for it is possible to have a spiritual view that is linked to the wrong spirit! The view however that will be successful in waging spiritual warfare against the devil is the one powered by God’s Holy Spirit. Philippians 2:5 states “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” “This mind” is the mind of God, which is in heaven. We that are saved by grace through faith have become residents of heaven and have access to an understanding of how heaven operates and accessing that understanding accompanied with application can cause change on earth.
Is the word really being preached, or is it compromised by tradition? Is contextualization taking place, and if it is, is the Gospel being twisted to conform to the peoples distorted desires? One reason so many believers are victimized by the theology of powerlessness is that they can’t distinguish what is from God and what is from satan. They end up being resigned to the wrong thing and thinking that it’s right. Eventually they become as best can be described in 2nd Timothy 3:15 that says, “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” Titus 1:16 says, “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, beingabominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” We need to make the distinction of what is from God and what is from satan or we will passively accept things from satan and decide that these conditions are unchangeable.

There is only one answer. The church as a whole is not doing what it has been called to do. Our assignment is to carry out what has been already accomplished at the cross by comprehensively and collectively applying all of the truth of God to all of life. So many Christians truly have disobeyed the command of the Head in 1Cor. 9:14, “Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.” The churches have not come together to allow God to raise an army of believers in our cities that are not ashamed to proclaim His Word in accordance to His command of Mark 16:15; “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Christian ministries have sent missionaries all over the world, but have neglected the backyards of their own urban settings. Spirits of wickedness in high places have not just taken hold of our cities youth and adults, but are dwelling strategically and hovering in our communities as strongholds. It is the power of the gospel that needs to ring out in our streets and institutions to be of any effect in saving our people and cities from destruction.

If our urban communities have sided with the enemy, it’s because the church is spending too much time within its four walls and not infiltrating society. This is a defeatist theology that most Christians seem to take, as they seem to envision the imminent return of Christ as an excuse for not seeking urban revitalization and cultural transformation. The churches are only preaching to those inside the church and not outside. Too many events that we tend to call, “a good service.” But on the contrary, “service” begins when we leave the doors of the church. The devil as a result of our lethargy has built and taken stronghold at every area of urban life. He now has his way at every level of society because the church operates under this defeated mentality. Defeated to the point of not helping the poor and the needy, because if you look around in the our urban cities, many of the people in the affluent churches have replaced the presence and power of God in their lives and have focused rather on the blessings of God in their individual lives. This church is similar to the seventh and final church that is addressed by our risen Lord, the wealthy church of Laodicea that we see in this day. The “what’s happening now” church that we have going on in our circles. Many sinners that have been transformed by grace and power have received the blessings of God, but have forgotten their first love.

With iniquity abound and the love of many waxing cold in our environment, a believer might think that the way to fix this problem is to attack these strongholds by social and political activism. This is a good thing and needs to be done, but the place to start penetrating and tearing the demonic forces that have overtaken is in prayer. We need to first pray so that our activism has power, effect and divine direction.

Biblical examples of prayer and victory over community strongholds can be found in the fourth chapter of Esther. Here Esther was used of God to save the Jews from the institutionalized evil of Haman. Notice that her victory was not achieved until she prayed and fasted about her course of action. Another example of victory over community strongholds (pagan empires) is in the 9th and 10th chapters of Daniel when he went on his face in prayer. Both of these called leaders of God were skillful in their socio-political involvement but they understood that their activities had to have substance in prayer.

In conclusion, we need the biblical formula of prayer to break and infiltrate the satanic strongholds with the realm of spiritual warfare. There must be agreement; unity and comradery in Jesus’ name as we need to focus on Him, and bring Him into the midst of our prayer circles. When we do that, and then act in obedience to God’s instruction of His comprehensive revealed Word, further then apply the revelatory aspects of the Old Testament, we will see the prayers answered. We will have the power to affect our urban communities beyond our thoughts or ways. He will send His limitless power and have dominion. The church has to make Jesus its focus and be incarnate in its ways. When we call collectively on His name, then God will shake this world order, until He returns for His millennial rule where He will personally reign as the King of kings and Lord of lords!

In the Master’s Service,

A.S. Rose
Senior Pastor A.S. Rose
Upon this Rock Ministries, Inc.
Mount Vernon, NY
E-mail UTRMinistrieshotmail.com

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