Understanding The Three Levels (0, 1 & 2) of Spiritual Warfare.
THE FIRST - THE GROUND ZERO LEVEL OR FIRST DEGREE SPIRITUAL WARFARE - THE REALM OF PHYSICAL OFTEN ONE ON ONE CONFRONTATION
Here we use the Power of Zero (Every Power Comes from God and belongs to God and will return ultimately to God) to bring the Powers of the Enemy to Nought. In the Physical Realm, Christ Jesus has given us the Power to reduce every Opposition OF THE ENEMY to Nought - Mark 16:16-18.
The is the Level that deals with the use of absolute power of the Believer - based on the Authority given to the Believer by Christ Jesus - this is the level of physical confrontation with the works of darkness and the powers of darkness. The level of warfare that deals mainly with casting out of demons and the healing of the sick - bringing their powers to nought.
It is the Realm of Extraordinary Miracles/Deliverance under the Apostolic Ministries - Reducing every Satanic Power to Zero:
“God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.” Acts 19:11-12
1. True Deliverance ministry is an integral part of apostolic ministry that brings the powers of darkness to nought. Healing, signs, wonders and salvations are part of this Ground Zero Level warfare too.
2. True deliverance of a soul from demonic oppression and possession and it is about getting a sick person healed. It causes the fire of God to fall as the atmosphere of healing presents itself and sometimes so powerfully that even before hands are laid folks are falling already on the ground.
3. True deliverance under an apostolic unction beyond deliverance, rehabilitates - as in the case of recovering drug addicts and alcoholics, the Holy Spirit not only drives out the demons but pours out the grace of our Lord and Savior! It brings about a powerful and liberating experience.
4. The healing ministry or deliverance ministry gives us every reason to worship God for His goodness to us in Christ. In meetings where the power of the Lord is present to heal the sick, often when in His Sovereign Power touches one person with His Healing grace and that person shares the testimony of their healing, suddenly many more healing and miracles will begin to happen. This is so because faith has been built up in others through the release of the word of faith. As long as a praise testimony is exuberant and joyful that enables a healing atmosphere to pervade all over the room as people engaged heart by heart with the Lord - allowing God to truly meets the folks where they are!
5. In Luke 10 we read how Jesus sent out seventy two disciples and they returned to him reporting, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” Luke 10:17
Jesus responded, ”I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that our names are written in heaven.” Verses 18-20
The is the Power of Zero manifesting at this GROUND ZERO LEVEL OR FIRST DEGREE SPIRITUAL WARFARE - THE REALM OF PHYSICAL CONFRONTATION.
The disciples had been ministering deliverance in the towns and villages and many people were set free and on their return the Lord spoke to the disciples of seeing Satan fall. Whilst Jesus was in the first instance referring to the fall of Lucifer from heaven, it is noteworthy to ponder a further possible emphasis the Lord was making – casting out of demons affects principalities in the heavens!
6. True Deliverance ministry which is an integral part of the apostolic ministry is in line with the further emphasis of Jesus to His disciples about the importance of rejoicing in relationship with God. A lifestyle of intimacy with Jesus is essential if we are to be involved in spiritual warfare even at this most basic level - the Ground Zero of Spiritual Warfare.
7. We read further in Acts 19 of some Jews who went around trying to drive out evil spirits in like manner to Paul and his team. However one day the evil spirit answered them and said, “Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you? Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.” Verse 15, 16
True Deliverance ministry is an integral part of apostolic ministry is based on Covenant Relationship with God in Christ Jesus. Whilst these unfortunate fellows in Acts 19 received a terrible beating, for those who are in covenant relationship with God, it is important to understand that the spiritual realm recognizes the authority of Jesus Christ and His anointed servants and submits to Christ's authority. Every knee must bow at His name. Hallelujah!
UPPER FLOOR LEVEL - SECOND DEGREE SPIRITUAL WARFARE - THE REALM OF THE DIABOLICAL - OCCULT LEVEL SPIRITUAL WARFARE
The level of warfare that deals with the occult, sorcery, witchcraft, and divination. It definitely unseen and takes place in the heavenly places and in the intangible realms - Eph. 6:10-12 - Principalities, Powers, Rulers of darkness of this world and Spiritual Wickedness in high places.
These Agents of Satan are dealt with in this realm, especially Rulers of darkness of this world and Spiritual Wickedness in high places - witches, warlocks, sorcerers and Satanists. Examples include Acts 8, 13, 16 and 19.
When the story of Jesus' authority became known to the Jews and Greeks in Ephesus, the fear of the Lord fell on the people and “the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor.” The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. As a result of two years of preaching, preparation of an apostolic team, and the demonstration of God’s love and power through deliverance/healing there was a mighty shift in the spiritual stratosphere. Occult practitioners were now being shaken from their old lifestyle and beginning to come forward to receive Christ as Savior and Lord.
“Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds. A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas. In this way the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.” Acts 19:18-20
1. We see in Ephesus how Satan’s agents (the sorcerers) were displaced from the kingdom of darkness and brought into the kingdom of God.
2. Through their open confession and repentance from the occult there was a radical increase in the number of people who (a) responded to the salvation message and (b) manifestation of God’s power.
3. The Ground Zero level Warfare of preaching, teaching, deliverance and healing had laid the foundation for this next stage of breakthrough. Hallelujah!
4. Occult practitioners no doubt held many in the grip of fear and superstition. When they became believers the devil’s hold was loosened on all the lives over whom they had influence and God’s grace was manifest in community salvation and transformation thus the kingdom was established and advanced.
5. Church, we need to love and exercise Christ's authority for those who are trapped in witchcraft, Satanism and all manner of darkness because Jesus died to set them free just as He died for our freedom too.
THE PENTE-HOUSE LEVEL OR THIRD DEGREE - THE STRATEGIC HIGH LEVEL WARFARE – RIOT OR REVIVAL!
The level of warfare that deals with high ranking territorial spirits. . An example being found in Acts 19, where Paul’s ministry affected the worship of the goddess Diana in Ephesus.
1. When a society even a nation is held captive by a Satanic or Demonic Principality, every aspect of that society is infiltrated by the spiritual tentacles of the evil entity including the city’s economics.
In the Ground Zero (first) level of Warfare, this is equally true when a person (even someone strong in Church Activities) is held captive by Powers (of Darkness), every aspect of that person's life is infiltrated by the spiritual tentacles of the evil entity especially of rancor, unforgiveness, carnality and disobedience to authority.
2. The Ephesians' community was no exception. Prior to Paul’s ‘apostolic assault’ on the city, the economy had been controlled and influenced in many areas by the occult. The occult practitioners who had not converted to Christianity were now suffering great financial losses and about this time a great disturbance arose.
“A silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought in no little business for the craftsmen. He called them together, along with the workmen in related trades and said, “Men you know we receive a good income from this business. And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia. He says that man-made gods are no gods at all. There is danger not only that our trade will lose its good name, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be discredit, and the goddess herself, who is worshipped throughout the province of Asia and the world, will be robbed of her divine majesty.” Acts 19:24-27
A riot quickly ensued and the people were furious and began shouting, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians” and soon the whole city was in total uproar. Paul’s traveling companions (Gaius and Aristarchus) were seized by the people and rushed into the theatre. Paul wanted to appear before the people but the disciples wouldn't let him. The assembled mob was in total confusion, with people shouting in contention over one another and with most folks not even understanding why they were there. One of the Jews Alexander tried to speak to the crowd but when they understood he was a Jew they chanted for two hours, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians.” Verse 34
3. Occultism births rebellion, confusion and uproar in the places where demonic thrones operate to bring despair and destruction upon a people or a region. Watch nations, societies, communities and cities where occult practices are the norm or rampant - the nations of Africa, Haiti and such other communities.
4. It is time for the church of Jesus Christ to rise up in grace, to praise His glorious name and to pray with humility and fervency for the rule and reign of Christ to be established throughout the nations. His kingdom rule releases righteousness, peace, joy and Godly order in our lives and communities, yet we understand from the example of Ephesus that breaking through into hostile enemy territory may in part, involve a riotous enemy response prior to the establishment of righteousness in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Apostolic authority and wisdom penetrates hostile territory with the glorious Gospel of our Savior!
5. The city clerk stood up and quieted the crowd and said, “Men of Ephesus, doesn't all the world know the city of Ephesus is the guardian of the temple of the great Artemis and of her image which fell from heaven?” In broad daylight and in the midst of the community the government official was stating that this city was guardian to what we may equate to be the queen of heaven.
The officials’ word confirms that the city had been in bondage to demonic rulers. However, the ensuing riot that accompanied this third stage of Spirit-led warfare by Paul and his team is evidence of a wicked ruler that was beginning to topple and needing to find a way to stop the holiness invasion that was uprooting all of its power bases in the city it had once ruled. Eventually the city clerk calmed the crowd and told them they were in danger of being charged with rioting because of their behavior and he then dismissed the assembly.
6. We live in days of increasing spiritual warfare and we must learn to ascend into the reality of being hid in Christ. When the Lord has taken me into spiritual warfare encounters with wicked evil rules, powers and principalities I can honestly say I did not ask to be taken there. Each encounter with an evil principality or ruler has been for a specific kingdom purpose.
7. Warfare on this Third Level should not be entered without the specific direction, instruction and inspiration of the Lord. It is far too dangerous to engage with high ranking evil powers if the Lord has not appointed, authorized and anointed one to do so.
One must be given an authoritative decree to proclaim in dealing with high ranking evil powers. One operating in this realm must be accompanied by a troop of angels and because the Lord in His Sovereign power initiated the encounter, one then would be divinely protected as long as that Son of God (in the Kingdom mindset) remains within the remit of God-given sphere of authority.
THE GODDESS FALLS!
Church history has it that Apostle John later went to the City of Ephesus and entered the temple of Diana. He prayed and the goddess split in two; the final blow had been cast against the evil principality and its grip on the city of Ephesus.
Hallelujah our God reigns! Let us now get into nations, cities and people groups and do Warfare - all kinds for our God has given us the nations of the earth and her people. Praise God.