Ministering: Pastor Seyi Osanyinbi
Remember we are talking about the warfare of the kingdom. It has been established that the kingdom of God will not come to the earth without warfare and the instrumentality of this warfare are God’s people. The church should be a place where men and women are trained to do warfare. In the past weeks, we have looked at the different levels of warfare; the warfare at the individual level, which includes personal issues that each of us have to deal with. We have also looked at warfare at the levels of the family and communities. Last week we started looking into warfare at the governmental level.
For many years people have been saying “God is raising an army” and I have been asking “When will the army be raised?” I know an army is not raised for a parade ground but for the anticipation of war. Not only are soldiers recruited, they are also trained. Unfortunately, the enemy has boxed us into a corner, making us so ineffective by sponsoring people to give us a counterfeit idea of what warfare really is and how to go about doing it. You find people being raised to basically minister to the individual problems that each person goes through in life. We focus on ancestral curses forgetting that there is a need to wage war at the governmental level.
Last week, we saw that David was moved by Satan to number Israel and wrath broke out upon Israel as a result of this act. God dispatched His angel who killed people that knew nothing about the transaction that took place in the palace. When David yielded to Satan and God’s judgment came upon him, his family was not killed but fathers, brothers, members of the community that knew nothing about the incidence. You now see why Paul admonished that we pray for those who are in authority. It is not because they are good but because Satan can provoke them to do things that will trigger a response in the spirit realm against us.
This warfare is multidimensional and there is another level of warfare I want us to look at today which is the cosmic warfare. The low level and high-level cosmic warfare take place simultaneously. As we continue in this teaching, you will understand that this warfare is ultimately influenced by what we do and the decisions we make on day to day basis, and how our decision to stand for a thing can alter the course of a battle. Spiritual warfare is not about being pursued by a witch or matters of delayed marriage. The real warfare is being fought at the cosmic level. The low-level warfare is being fought by demons but these demons are answerable to the higher cosmic spirits. There are two ways to deal with this matter which we will see from scriptures. The low-level spirits operate based on the entrances we give to them. They come in when we open the door to them and as long as they are in a place, the kingdom of God cannot come there.
There is an authority that the spirits in the air (cosmic realms) are subjected to, Satan who rules and directs them in their nefarious operations of controlling disobedient men in every age. He controls the ages and what defines the ages. When you see a believer walking in disobedience, it means he has unconsciously submitted to this prince of the powers of the air. These are the realities that we must understand as spiritual warriors. Let us consider stories in the scriptures and see what triggered cosmic warfare.
This was the battle between Israel and Amalek. This was the first and only time in history that a nation withstood God in battle. The battle could not be concluded that day and God instructed Moses to inform Joshua of His decision to wage a relentless war with Amalek until their memory was wiped out from the earth. But in the days of Joshua, Amalek was not wiped out. Then you will realise that Amalek was not just ordinary people that Israel was fighting, there were cosmic entities involved in that battle that day and they continued fighting God until God finally subdued them in the days of Mordecai (Esther 7:10; 8:11; 9:5-16).
From ancient times, people always went to war with their gods. From the story of David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17:40-51), all you hear is that a stone entered into the skull of Goliath but from the knowledge of what is called a skull you will know that a stone cannot just enter like that. When David brought God into the battle, it was a done deal. He spoke about Goliath as an uncircumcised Philistine who had defiled the armies of God. Definitely there were two armies in that battle that day, the seen and the unseen. All that the unseen army needed was for someone to stand and release them. In the story of the Israelite in the wilderness, each time the cloud of glory lifts, it was a signal for them to move. However, before the cloud moves, Moses will have to come to the front of Israel and with a myriad of angels behind him, they will do nothing until he speaks. And once he speaks, they move out of the camp and clear the way through which the people of God will travel. So when Joshua fought with Amalek, Israel prevailed when Moses raised his hands up because his lifted hands opened the portal to bring in angelic reinforcements.
In this battle, we see God fighting again for Israel. The angels of God got involved by throwing hailstones upon the enemies of Israel while Joshua asked for something never seen nor heard of before; the staying of the sun and the moon for a whole day. And God granted his request because God was interested in dealing with the powers backing those five nations!
Here, by our definition and practice of warfare, it does not seem like Daniel was in warfare but he was actually doing warfare. What triggered this cosmic warfare was a desire to understand what was going on with regards to the time table of God with respect to Israel (Dan.9:2-3). He was a young man when Jeremiah prophesied in Jerusalem about the seventy years of captivity after which the Lord will visit his people in Babylon and bring them out. Seventy years were past and nothing had happened. So he set his heart to understand what was going on. His quest to understand was the cause of the angelic conflicts in the heavens.
You should now understand why Paul was writing to the people of Ephesus praying that their eyes of understanding may be enlightened. You should also know what triggered the cosmic warfare in Ephesus (Acts 19:23-29). As people began to gain an understanding of God and His kingdom, the power of Diana in the heavenly began to give way. This is why it is important not only to understand the instruction given but to know that the positive position we decide to take triggers warfare on its own. Daniel set himself to know and understand what was going on. One of the dangerous things that can happen to Satan is for God’s people to understand who they are and their rights. When they understand who they are, his influence over them is broken. Therefore, he does anything to prevent people from gaining understanding of many truths of God’s word. He finds a way to distort a proper understanding because a proper grasp of the truth opens the eyes of people.
On the basis of Daniel’s search for understanding, Persia was judged for the sake of Israel and Greece came into prominence. No nation becomes an empire because of technology. Nations rise and fall according to the plan of God and it takes these high-level spirits to build these nations to make them world powers. These princes fill a man with wisdom and he comes to say how things would be done. And reading through the history of Persia and Greece, you will find out that Persia was able to subdue the whole world asides Greece. Greece that was made up of nation-States could not be subdued by Persia, despite their division. These spirits who are involved in ruling nations (especially the gentile ones) operate in the realm of wisdom, usually the luciferin type (James 3:14-16).
Thank God for power ministries but if we will do warfare properly there must be a good teaching ministry. The faith of the church in Ephesus rose so much that God began to do extraordinary things through the ministry of Paul. People with diverse sicknesses were healed and demon-possessed people were delivered. The fear of God rested on all the people of Asia minor.
There are levels of authority. The spirits that the seven sons of Sceva came in contact with said they know Jesus and they know Paul. Apostles have boundaries. When they speak, spirits obey. The mere acknowledegment of Jesus and Paul by that powerful demoniac brought fear upon the people of Ephesus and Asia. From that point on, though not all the people of Asia gave their lives to Christ, they all feared the Lord. This is the template for ‘Thy Kingdom come’, that everybody gets to submit to God’s will and His word will rule unhindered.
The heavens had been cleared because the controlling principality over all Asia, Diana was no longer worshipped. By mere preaching and demonstration of God’s power, the heart of people shifted to worship God. The blacksmiths came together seeing that they had lost their livelihood, they stirred up a riot. Warfare compels the active participation of human beings without which it will be impossible for either of the armies to take a foothold in the battle. To get understanding is very important. A proper understanding aligns you to the reality of the word.