Coming against Territorial Spirits (Is it Scriptural)
Do territorial spirits exist?
Some Christians believe that there are “Territorial spirits” that occupy certain regions or geographical locations
This concept of territorial spirits comes from passages such as Daniel 10; John 12:31; John 14:30; John 16:11; Mark 5:10; and Ephesians 6:12. All of these passages imply that fallen angels have been given some type of responsibility over a certain area. Thus, they seem to be territorial.
Is this scriptural or is this inferred. Are there specific scriptures that teach an hierarchy of spirits or demons that have authority in certain areas.
We do know that the god of this world is at work in the world and that we are exhorted to stand against the influences of works of the devil.
In Daniel 10, for example, an angel struggled against a demonic adversary the entire time Daniel was praying and fasting. It wasn't until the end of Daniel's spiritually focused time that the angel finally broke away and came to Daniel. Ephesians 6 exhorts believers to stand firm against our spiritual adversaries and to remain alert and ready for battle. There is no doubt that our struggle on Earth is mirrored in some way in the spiritual realm.
Are we told that as Christians that we should come against or confront specific spirits or demons.
Again the bible does not seem to teach this.
The disciples did not go out and seek demons, although when they were confronted with a demoniac, they responded by casting it out.
However there are no accounts in scripture that tell us that the disciples came against any demonic power over a particular location, or that they went out looking for evil spirits.
Our focus as Christians should be on building ourselves up by prayer, fellowship and growing in the faith so that if there is an occasion to deal with such a situation, we have the means and power to act. (1 Peter 5:8).
We know that Satan is called the ruler of this world in various contexts:
John 2:31; 14:30; 16:11). Ephesians 6:12 states, "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places."
Some suggest this verse indicates levels of demons, including those who work in certain geographic areas but it is not explicitly stated.
Many who teach the importance of understanding territorial spirits encourage Christians to specifically pray against demonic forces in particular areas and to engage these evil forces in spiritual battle.
This emphasis is not seen in the New Testament.
Rather than seeking out evil spirits to battle, the Christian life is about seeking maturity in Christ.
Believers are called to be alert and take spiritual conflict seriously (1 Peter 5:8-9), but are to focus on walking according to God's Spirit (Galatians 5:16) rather than on defeating evil spirits.
We must remember the words of 1 John 4:4: "Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world."We have already overcome the spiritual forces of evil as followers of Christ.
God's power in us is greater than the power of evil in this world. When we trust in Christ, His power is sufficient for every spiritual battle we face, including any demonic forces we may encounter.
We hear Christians coming against the spirit of this and the spirit of that. Is there really a demon of homosexuality in the world? Does a demon regulate the teaching of Islam? Does a spirit of sexual abuse victimize successive generations of a family line? Is there a specific demon of adultery in womanizers or a spirit of alcohol in alcoholics?
Or, are these things just an excuse for the works of the flesh?The Bible calls drunkenness and sexual immorality “works of the flesh” in Galatians 5:19-22.
Colossians 3:1-10 instructs us to “lay aside” such deeds as part of the corrupt “old self” that was crucified with Christ.We are never told to deal with such behaviours by exorcising the “spirit of lust” or the “spirit of alcohol.”
We know that Jesus taught that men’s actions in the flesh are a result of association with their “father, the devil” (John 8:44,). John also said that “Cain belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother” (1 John 3:12,).
Paul wrote Timothy that those who oppose the Lord’s servant are in “the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will” (2 Tim. 2:26,).
Certainly, then, demonic influence is involved in the choice to sin, and if a person repeatedly chooses sin he or she becomes a slave of the Devil. But this is not the same as saying that certain behaviours are the works of certain spirits, or that those behaviours are eliminated by rebuking such spirits.
We become slaves of sin by choosing sin, and we only become free of sin when by God’s grace we choose obedience to God. Thus, “the devil made me do it” is no excuse for sin.
Can an evil spirit enter a family line?
There are at least five explicit references in the Old Testament which promise that God will visit the fathers’ sins upon the children with punishment (Lev. 26:39; Jer. 32:18), even to the fourth generation (Exod. 20:5; 34:7;Num. 14:18).
As a result of the sin of his father Ham, Canaan’s descendants were cursed by Noah, and Jacob feared a curse from Isaac over his family line (Gen. 9:25; 27:12).
To support the teaching of an evil spirit entering into a family line, one must infer that the punishment and the fulfilment of the curse consist in a demonic presence visited upon succeeding generations as a result of sin.
We are told in scripture that after Samuel’s curse upon Saul “an evil spirit” (1 Sam. 18:10) tormented Saul but this does not mean that an evil spirit can attach itself to a family line.
Where does the scripture teach that we the church should try to expel these spirits?
Where in scripture do we see Jesus, or the disciples, ever verbally rebuking spirits that occupied families?
Where do we see Jesus or the disciples teaching others to do so?
Where in scripture are we encouraged to come against local, national,behavioural or generational spirits or demon’s.
Robert Short (The Elijah Challenge) Quote: “The rebuking of territorial spirits is dangerous: “Do Not Go There!” Many zealous Christians have adopted the unscriptural practice of rebuking territorial spirits in place of Evangelism in order to “reclaim” their region for Christ.
They rail against heavenly beings without understanding the dangers involved.
The backlash from rebuking heavenly beings in presumption and engaging them in the flesh can be severe.
Basically, rebuking principalities and spiritual wickedness in high places is picking a fight that you will not win”.
We know that Spiritual Warfare is scriptural.
We are told Ephesians 6:10-18, we are in battle against “spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” We must never forget this because Satan is like a “roaring lion” that is seeking to catch us off guard and devour us. 1 Peter 5:8.
We must be aware of his schemes against us. 2 Corinthians 2:11.
We need to arm ourselves by putting on the whole armour of God Ephesians 6:13-17:
We are told to go into the world and preach the Gospel. We are told to clothe ourselves with Truth, Righteousness, The Gospel of Peace, The Shield of Faith , The Helmet of Salvation and the Sword of the Spirit.
In Eph 6: 18, we are told to pray in the Spirit (that is, with the mind of Christ, with His heart and His priorities) in addition to wearing the full armour of God. We cannot neglect prayer, as it is the means by which we draw spiritual strength from God .
These are the tools God has given us, through which we can be spiritually
victorious, overcoming Satan’s attacks and temptations.