Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). The works of the devil are carried out by his forces.
Satan’s kingdom consists of principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places (Eph. 6:12). There are different kinds of demons and different levels of wickedness. The Bible tells us we can destroy the wicked early (Ps. 101:8). We can destroy them that hate us (Ps. 18:40).
Satan is rendered helpless when his forces are destroyed. We have authority to bind the strongman and strip him of his armor. Israel was sent into Canaan to destroy different nations, which are pictures of kingdoms that possessed the land. Each kingdom represented a different type of stronghold God wanted His people to destroy.
Demons can be represented by different creatures. The diversity in the animal kingdom is a picture of the diversity in the kingdom of darkness. The Bible talks about serpents, scorpions, lions, jackals, bulls, foxes, owls, sea serpents, flies, and dogs. These represent different kinds of evil spirits that operate to destroy mankind. They are invisible to the natural eye, but they are just as real as natural creatures.
However, we must always remember that there are more with us than there are against us (2 Kings 6:16; 2 Chron. 32:7). The forces of light are far superior to the forces of darkness. Jesus is the Lord of the armies. The armies of heaven are fighting alongside the armies of earth. Releasing the angelic armies of heaven is an important strategy in warfare.
We can destroy and rout the forces of darkness in the heavens, the earth, the sea, and under the earth. These forces can operate through people, governments, economic systems, educational systems, and different structures set up by men. They can operate from different locations and in different territories.
In some places, men worship idols made in the image of men, four-footed beasts, birds, and creeping things. Behind these idols are demons—evil spirits that manifest in the natural through idols. These idols, or gods, are male and female. In Old Testament times, many of the nations worshiped gods and goddesses; Jezebel is an example of a female principality.
The Bible uses strong words that pertain to warfare, including:
– Abolish—to end, cut, strike through (Isa. 2:18; 2 Tim. 1:10).
– Beat down—beat, bruise, violently strike, crush, destroy, discomfort, break down by violence, dismay, terrify (Judg. 9:45; 2 Kings 13:25; Ps. 18:42; Isa. 27:12; Jer. 46:5).
– Break down—deliver, break, rend in pieces, crush, destroy, to spoil (by breaking in pieces), pluck down, pull down, ruin, beat down, cast down, dash in pieces, disperse (Exod. 34:13; Lev. 26:19; Ps. 2:9; 10:15; 58:6; 72:4; Eccles. 3:3; Isa. 45:2; Jer. 28:4; Dan. 2:40).
– Cast down—to tear down, break down, destroy, overthrow, pull down, throw down, cast down to hell (Judg. 6:28, 30; Ps. 17:13; 89:44; 102:10; 147:6; Isa. 28:2; Jer. 8:12; Dan. 7:9; 8:10; 2 Cor. 4:9; 10:5; 2 Pet. 2:4).
– Cast out—to occupy by driving out the previous tenants and possessing their place, to seize, to rob, to inherit, to expel, to impoverish, to send away, to push away or down, cast away, to banish, to eject, send out, throw out (Exod. 34:24; Lev. 18:24; Deut. 6:19; 1 Kings 14:24; 2 Kings 16:3; Job 20:15; Ps. 5:10; Matt. 12:28; Mark 6:13; Luke 9:40; John 12:31; Rev. 12:9).
– Chase (pursue)—run after with hostile intent, put to flight, persecute (Lev. 26:7-8; Deut. 32:30; Ps. 18:37; 35:3; Isa. 17:13).
– Confound (confuse)—to be ashamed, disappointed, brought to confusion, put to shame (Ps. 35:4, 26; 40:14; 70:2; 71:13, 24; 83:17; 97:7; 109:29; 129:5; Jer. 17:18; 50:2).
– Consume—to end, consume away, destroy, make clean riddance, to eat up, devour, burn up (Deut. 7:16, 22; Ps. 37:20; 71:13; 104:35; 2 Thess. 2:8; Heb. 12:29).
– Contend—to grate, to anger, meddle, strive, stir up, grapple with, to defend, chide, rebuke, initiate a controversy (Deut. 2:24; Isa. 41:12; 49:25; Jer. 12:5; Jude 9).
– Destroy—to end, to cease, destroy utterly, make clean, waste, make accursed, tear down, beat down, break down, to devour, eat up (Lev. 26:30, 44; 20:17; Deut. 31:3; Ps. 5:6, 10; 18:40; 21:10; 28:5; 52:5; 55:9; 74:8; 101:8; 144:6; Prov. 15:25; Isa. 23:11; Jer. 1:10; Matt. 21:41; Mark 1:24; 9:22; John 10:10; 1 John 3:8).
– Fight—to consume, to battle, make war, overcome, prevail, struggle, contend with the adversary (Exod. 14:14; 17:9; Deut. 1:30; Josh. 10:25; Judg. 1:1, 3, 9; Ps. 35:1; 144:1; Dan. 10:20; 1 Tim. 6:12; 2 Tim. 4:7; Heb. 10:32)
– Prevail—to enclose, to hold back, shut up, stop, be strong, put on strength, to overpower, restrain, bind, conquer (2 Chron. 14:11; Ps. 9:19; Isa. 42:13; Matt. 16:18).
– Smite—strike, beat, cast forth, slaughter, give stripes, wound, slay, push, defeat, inflict, dash, gore, hurt, put to the worse (Num. 25:17; Deut. 13:15; Josh. 7:3; Judg. 20:31; 1 Sam. 15:3; Isa. 19:22; Jer. 43:11; Acts 7:24; Rev. 11:6)
– Wrestle—to struggle, grapple (Gen. 30:8; 32:24; Eph. 6:12)
Why does the Bible contain all these words that speak of warfare? Because it is filled with stories of warfare. The history of man has been determined by wars. During a vision, the apostle John even saw war in heaven between Michael and his angels and Satan and his angels (Rev. 12:7).
For more information or to order John Eckhardt’s Prayers That Rout Demons (Charisma House, 2007), visit mycharismashop.com.
Apostle John Eckhardt is overseer of Crusaders Ministries, located in Chicago, Illinois. Gifted with a strong apostolic call, he has ministered throughout the United States and overseas in more than forty nations. He is a sought-after international conference speaker, has authored more than twenty books and produces a daily radio broadcast. His television program, Perfecting the Saints, is seen weekly throughout the United States on the WORD Network. Eckhardt resides in the Chicago area with his wife, Wanda, and their five children.
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