When I hear Christians talk about “spiritual warfare” or “deliverance,” red flags go up and I become suspicious. While these concepts are legitimate and rooted in the Bible, I have seen false doctrines and even witchcraft infiltrate into Christian circles under the guise of spiritual warfare and deliverance ministries. In some ways they have been hijacked. In an effort to set the record straight, this article will look at what the Bible says about spiritual warfare and contrast it with some unbiblical ideas.
By witchcraft, I am referring to spiritual activities that God has clearly forbidden in the Bible. I am using King James for this passage because it seems more accurate than the modern translations:
“There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch. Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee.” – Deuteronomy 18:10-12, KJV
Passing a child through the fire is child sacrifice. Like abortion. The phrase “through the fire” may also be translated “crossing over the fire,” implying an interaction across a dimensional barrier or portal with an entity on the other side – a demon or fallen angel masquerading as a god.
Divination is receiving oracles or prophecies from a spirit other than the Holy Spirit. I suspect the majority of “Christian” prophecies one can find online are false, which means they come either from divination or the person’s imagination.
An example of an observer of times is consulting horoscopes, which claim there are favorable or unfavorable times for certain activities based on a person’s astrological sign. That means there is witchcraft in the newspapers!
Enchanters and witches cast spells and perform rituals to influence people or cause something to happen by supernatural means. This kind of magic is real. In the time of Moses, the Egyptian magicians Jannes and Jambres imitated the transformation of Moses’ staff into a serpent as well as the first two plagues of the Lord using occult practices. The power behind it is demonic.
I believe a charmer is someone who influences people’s minds through hypnotic or mind control techniques. I’m not an expert in this area, but I can see how corporate news programs use colors like hues of blue and certain graphics and musical tones to put people’s minds in a more suggestive state before feeding them propaganda. They’re charmers. One of the best ways for people to shatter the matrix and wake up to reality is to stop watching TV.
A consulter of familiar spirits is more commonly known today as a psychic or medium. They commune with evil spirits, typically ones who claim to be angels or spirit guides but are really demons.
A wizard is someone who is knowledgeable and accomplished in occult practices.
A necromancer consults the dead, like the witch of Endor in the story of King Saul. In many cases I believe psychics who claim to consult the dead are actually consulting familiar spirits who pretend to be dead relatives or friends. In this way they can deceive and influence people.
There is a growing amount of overt witchcraft in our culture today and a massive amount hidden like an iceberg beneath the surface. It’s practiced at the highest levels of Hollywood, Washington DC and Wall Street. Here’s a secret: All power in this world comes from the spiritual realm, whether good or evil.
There is also witchcraft happening in the church.
Many Christians equate spiritual warfare with attacking, binding and casting out demons and demonic strongholds in the spiritual realm through fantastical prayers. This idea is especially popular in Pentecostal circles. I’m not picking on Pentecostals. In fact, they get things right that others completely miss, such the fact that all spiritual gifts are operational today!
However, this is not what the Bible says spiritual warfare is. The Apostle Paul mentioned spiritual warfare in several places in his letters to the churches. Let’s look closely at what he said about it in Ephesians 6 and 2 Corinthians 10.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” – Ephesians :10-13, NIV
Put on the full armor of God to stand against the devil’s wiles. Paul acknowledged that we are in a war and our ultimately enemies are not even human. They are spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms – the same fallen angels and demons that animate the occult powers discussed in the previous section. These entities are influencing people and controlling events here on earth to oppose God’s agenda of righteousness, goodness and salvation.
Then Paul wrote about how to fight battle – the methods and means:
“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place” – Ephesians 6:14, NIV
First of all we need the truth, the belt of truth wrapped around us. We have to discern what is true and speak and believe the truth. The devil has blanketed the world in a think fog of darkness and deception. Yet Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” When we connect to the truth, we are connecting to things of God. When we believe a lie, we are following Satan.
We need righteousness, the righteousness that comes from Christ by faith. As we grow in our faith, we learn to walk in His righteousness and fulfill the law of love.
“And with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.” – Ephesians 6:15
This verse is tricky to interpret. I think it refers to how the gospel of Christ brings reconciliation and peace with God. This peace quiets our hearts, calms our minds and frees us to be in a state of readiness to do God’s will, like a pair of athletic shoes helps us to run and move at will.
“In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” – Ephesians 6:16-17
Faith shields us from enemy attacks and anchors us to God and His power. Faith is trusting God and the promises of His word. It is really important to study the Scriptures to know what promises to put faith in. As we do, His power and protection are unleashed. We are able to fend off temptations, deceptions and attacks against us as well as make advances for His kingdom.
Salvation gives us hope for eternal life and promises of rewards in heaven. This hope consoles, motivates and directs us. It protects us from despair as we wrestle with troubles and tribulations in this life. In this way, salvation is a protective helmet.
We also have the word of God, which is anything God speaks, especially as revealed in the Bible. Note that this verse says God’s word does not become a weapon until it is animated by the Holy Spirit. In fact, Jesus said it is the Holy Spirit who guides us into all truth. So we can’t figure out the Bible with only our fleshly minds or seek education at a seminary degree to find all the answers. We need the Holy Spirit to bring understanding and to apply it. Then it becomes a spiritual weapon.
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” – Ephesians 6:18
Finally there is prayer, all manner of prayers to God – praise, thanksgiving, listening, making requests. When we pray in the Lord’s will, we become like gateways for God’s power to enter into this world from heaven. Prayer changes things. “May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Daniel 10 gives a great example of prayer and its interaction with spiritual warfare. Daniel prayed for insight and then humbled himself before God with mourning and fasting for three full weeks. Finally an angel appeared and give Daniel his answer. The angel explained how he was dispatched after Daniel initially prayed but was hung up for 21 days by the “prince of Persia,” which refers to a spiritual force of evil in heavenly places – a fallen angel who presided over the territory of Persia. Since Daniel persisted in his prayer and fasting, the archangel Michael finally came to assist and the messenger angel was free to break through. Notice Daniel wasn’t binding and casting out demons or praying special “warfare prayers.” He prayed and fasted to GOD. That’s what created the breakthrough in the spiritual realm.
2 Corinthians 10:1-6
Here is another aspect of spiritual warfare:
“By the humility and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you—I, Paul, who am “timid” when face to face with you, but “bold” toward you when away! I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world. For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.” – 2 Corinthians 10:1-6
While writing to the Corinthians, Paul acknowledged his reputation for being soft-spoken in person but bold in his letters. He was confronting problems that arose in his absence and hoped they would be resolved, so he wouldn’t have to be confrontational when he returned in person.
Next, Paul discussed the spiritual weapons at his disposal. These weapons even demolish strongholds! What are they? He demolishes arguments and every pretense that contradicts the knowledge of God. In other words, Paul challenged people with the truth – gently yet boldly if needed. His goal was to make every thought obedient to Christ. This is a similar idea to the renewing of our minds mentioned in Romans 12. We mature in our faith by uprooting the lies and replacing them with the truth.
Again, the way to demolish spiritual strongholds is to challenge and confront people with the truth. Truth has a power all its own. It shatters illusions and tears down deceptions. God’s words, which are truth, will accomplish what He intends:
“So My word that comes from My mouth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do.” – Isaiah 55:11
Spiritual Warfare Is Practicing the Christian Fundamentals:
According to these Scriptures, spiritual warfare is practicing the Christian fundamentals effectively:
- Gospel of peace
- Hope of salvation
- Using God’s word by the Holy Spirit
- Prayer, especially intercessory prayer
- Challenging people with the truth to demolish strongholds
Growing in these practices are what enables us to stand against evil in this world and have victories over the spiritual forces of evil in heavenly realms. In this way, we become effective agents of Christ.
This biblical teaching contradicts the idea that spiritual warfare is directly engaging demonic beings with special warfare prayers. Yes, there are times to cast out demons. Jesus cast out a legion of demons from the Gerasene demoniac in Mark 5. The poor, afflicted man was wandering around a graveyard and cutting himself. Jesus set him free and he came back to his right mind. Demon possession may come up more frequently when ministering to people who came out of the occult or who are victims of satanic ritual abuse (SRA) and trauma-based mind control. It’s a legitimate ministry, but it isn’t the main way we engage in spiritual warfare. Practicing the Christian fundamentals is the way.
I do pray that God will protect my family and home from evil. A handful of times in my life I have been harassed by demons at night during sleep and demanded they leave in Jesus’ name. The last time it happened the demon was gone before I even spoke the phrase “in Jesus’ name.” He saw it coming and that was enough! But the primary way we engage God’s protection is by drawing near to him through prayer, truth, righteousness, faith. As we abide in Christ, He automatically covers us with his wings:
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, ‘You are my refuge and fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’ Surely He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler, and from the deadly plague. He will cover you with His feathers; under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and rampart.” Psalm 91:1-4, Berean
It is God who protects us. We don’t have to protect ourselves by constantly praying anti-demon warfare prayers.
This brings us to deliverance ministries. Some claim that Christians need to “get delivered” as a matter of course. They suggest demons attach to us like leaches and we need deliverance ministers to remove them and set us free. I agree we are influenced by demons in our thoughts and desires, but what is the right remedy? Jesus never said that Christians need to “get delivered.” The apostles (Paul, John, Peter, James) in their letters to the churches never mentioned deliverance ministry. If this ministry was essential for Christians, surely it would have been mentioned in the Bible! The apostles wrote at length about the importance of faith, prayer, truth, righteousness, hope, love, the Holy Spirit – all the Christian fundamentals. This is how we are set free.
I have seen and heard of deliverance ministries engaging in witchcraft. I know of someone who visited a deliverance minister and was supposedly set free from demons, but then started mimicking the deliverance minister’s false doctrines and messages. Personally I am convinced the reverse took place. It was a demonic impartation.
I admit I’m not an expert in this area. There are godly people who engage in deliverance to help people. However, my knee-jerk reaction toward “deliverance ministry” is skepticism because it’s not one of the Christian fundamentals and because it appears to be an area targeted for infiltration by the occult.
Example of Spiritual Warfare Gone Awry
I’ll give a recent example of unbiblical spiritual warfare that manifested in a slick and deceptive way. The person involved is Glynda Lomax. She has the gift of prophecy and regularly posts messages on a blog and a podcast. I used to read her messages because they seemed encouraging and relevant to the end times we are now living in.
A couple months ago a word and interpretation appeared that claimed God intended President Trump to be a blessing for America but Christians weren’t praying enough for him. This was a red flag for me because over the last three years God has spoken to me clearly that Donald Trump is a deception and an instrument of His judgment. Trump was sent to bring division, conflict and war to our nation and to test the hearts of Christians. Will people put false hope in a man (Trump) or turn to God alone? Here are several previous articles about this topic:
- Trump the Instrument of Judgment
- King Asa of Judah – A Prophetic Metaphor for Placing Hope in Donald Trump
- A Dream of Captivity
- Civil War Foreboding
- President Trump’s Fascism Is Starting to Show
- Obamacare, the New World Order and the Mark of the Beast – Part 1
Other prophetic voices have expressed similar conclusions about Trump: Mena-Lee Grebin, Byron Searle, Linda Hasche, Shannon “Boldsojah4Christ” Johnson, Nathan Leal. To say Trump is supposed to be a divine blessing contradicts what the Lord clearly showed me and others. I’m concerned because those who follow Trump and put their hope in him will be judged for it (see the first three articles in the list above). To say we must pray for Trump because God intends him to be a blessing is a backdoor way of getting Christians to put their hope in him – and fall into that trap.
Lomax later delivered a podcast entitled “What the Lord Told Me About Pres Trump and America.“ She said God spoke at length to her one day about Trump and gave instructions to start a spiritual warfare prayer team to counter Trump’s political and spiritual opposition. The underlined quotes are from the podcast. After each quote I’ll write my comments.
“For a couple of hours straight, I got one word after another.”
“I had been researching and writing a warfare prayer against all the witchcraft that’s being sent against Trump. I was researching different things to place in the prayer to make it effective.”
When we pray to God, He hears our hearts and answers if we pray according to His will. God knows what must happen in the heavens and on earth to accomplish His purposes. He doesn’t need detailed instructions or specially crafted words to be able to answer our prayers. However, I have noticed that witchcraft is very concerned with specific details and verbiage, as if a spell won’t be effective unless the recipe is exactly right.
I’m not saying that writing detailed prayers automatically makes it a spell, but this is a red flag.
“God began to speak to me. He said, “I want you to build me an army of prayer warriors… Then he said, “I have appointed you a general after the order of Deborah.”
Lomax said God designated her a “general,” a high ranking military officer. This reminds me of another person I wrote about in an article about false prophecy who said God referred to him as “Warrior General.” Hmm, the same God who addressed Abraham, Moses and Jeremiah by their names in the Scriptures and called the Prophet Ezekiel by the generic “son of man,” called that person “Warrior General?” Doubtful. Michael the Archangel might receive a title like that, but a mere mortal in the flesh? I also doubt the Lord would designate a mere mortal this side of heaven a General in the Order of Deborah. The Apostles referred to themselves as servants and slaves of Jesus Christ, not generals.
However, a false spirit who wanted to flatter and puff someone up in order to manipulate them might do such a thing. Keep that in mind. This is another red flag.
“He said, ‘Teach them to do what you do – to pray a list every day. Guide them in how to pray over each issue. Start with the witchcraft prayer for your president. I have ordained him to be my man of the hour, but he has many enemies who are also my enemies. I desire that you would intervene in prayer that I would strengthen him and give him victories.”
Again, this message about Trump contradicts what the Lord showed me. Trump is not God’s man of the hour, except as an instrument of judgment and a “strong delusion” to lead astray those who do not love the truth – in the spirit of 2 Thess. 2.
Moreover, who are Trump’s enemies? Well, there are the Democrats who are in a fake conflict with Trump to keep the nation stirred up, distracted and divided. But no matter who is in Congress and the White House, whether Democrat or Republican, we get more war, debt, chemtrails and abortion because that is the globalist agenda both parties work for. Dismiss the rhetoric and look at they do. They are the left and right wings of the dragon that has seized control of the republic. They are showmen in a phoney contest who work together behind the scenes to deceive the American people. It’s truly satanic.
Who then are the real enemies of Trump? It might be those who expose Trump’s lies and evil agenda, like the small minority of Christians who are awake to what is really going on. So if that person is praying Trump will have victories, then that person is unwittingly praying for an unrighteousness agenda.
“He said, ‘Tell my people that those who take this training, those who will commit to pray these prayers for me for one year, will be fantastically rewarded. I will open doors for them on the earth and give them things they have only dreamed about. I will increase their spiritual power to war in the heavenlies. They will have direct access to me in ways they never had before.'”
Yes, God promises amazing rewards in heaven for the faithful who use their talents to profit His kingdom. But this word says people who participate in this warfare prayer will be “fantastically rewarded” on earth and have things they “only dreamed about.” It sounds over-the-top and strangely focused on earth, not heaven. Who else promises fantastic rewards on earth for pledging allegiance?
“Again, the Devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. And he said to Him, ‘I will give You all these things if You will fall down and worship me.’ Then Jesus told him, ‘Go away, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve only Him.’” – Matthew 5:8-10
I’m not saying God is ungenerous on earth, but the Scriptures are clearly focused on rewards in heaven. So this message just sounds off. Another red flag.
“I want to pray not only protection over President Trump, but I want to clear a path around him. I want to kick legs out from under those people who are fighting him so hard.”
Lomax wants to kick the legs out from under Trump’s enemies. But Jesus said to love our enemies:
“You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 4:43-45
So did the Apostle Paul:
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” – Romans 12:14
“This is warfare. This is not praying blessings on these people. When I said take the legs out from under them, I meant that literally. I’m not playing here. I know what he’s showing me to do and I plan to do it. This training is for hardcore soldiers only… If you want to pray for God’s enemies to be blessed, knock yourselves out, but that is not what this is about, okay? “
Lomax plainly stated her intent is not to bless people. What is the opposite of blessing? It is to curse. She intends to curse people with their spiritual warfare prayers. This sounds increasingly like witchcraft, like hexing people.
There is not one single case that I can find in the Bible where God sent an army into battle for Israel and he said, “Yeah, go bless ’em.” No, he said, “No, go in and don’t leave a one of them alive, no matter if they are young or old.’ He said, “Go get ’em and destroy them,” is what he said in every case that I can find.
She clearly intends to destroy people with their “prayers.” This is appalling.
I understand that God commanded the Israelites in ancient Israel to eliminate the Canaanites in the land. It was an exceptional situation where God used Israel to judge the centuries of evil committed by the Canaanites and to eliminate Nephilim bloodlines (i.e. fallen angel – see Genesis 6) among them.
But we are not under the law of Moses anymore. We are under the new covenant in Christ’s blood:
“Therefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.” – Galatians 3:24-25, King James 2000
This is the age of grace and salvation. I understand that when Jesus returns, his enemies will all be destroyed. But not until then! In the meantime, we love our enemies and bless those who persecute us. God said He will allow the wheat and the weeds grow together until the end, lest a good stalk of wheat accidentally be pulled up.
“We are not going to bless or love the enemies of God and the enemies of the cross in the White House. We are going to strip them of everything that we an strip them of. I plan to show no mercy whatsoever, just like when I am fighting demons. I don’t show mercy at all. They have no mercy for us. The people who are fighting President Trump don’t have any mercy for you as a Christian. Did you know that? Do you realize it is the antichrist spirit that is operating against President Trump? It is the antichrist spirit that is in these people. Please hear me on this, please hear me because this is something God showed me.”
This just gets worse. Lomax is NOT going to bless or love the enemies of God, the opposite of which is to curse and hate. She will not show any mercy. That is ironic because Jesus said only those who show mercy will receive it:
“Blessed are the merciful, because they will be shown mercy.” – Matthew 5:7
Furthermore, she is clearly targeting human beings, not just spiritual entities, with these “prayers” that are actually curses. She is dehumanizing people by saying they have the “antichrist spirit.” But we all had the antichrist spirit until we were born again in Christ:
“You were made alive when you were dead in transgressions and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the children of disobedience.” – Ephesians 2:1-2, World English Bible
This is clearly spiritual warfare gone awry. I don’t know this person’s heart – she may be a Christian who has fallen into deception. Perhaps a root of bitterness or unforgiveness was allowed to take root. One thing led to another, and now Lomax has been deceived into casting curses and hexes and showing no mercy. It was not the Holy Spirit who told her to form a spiritual warfare prayer team to pray for Trump. It was another spirit, a false spirit. This is why I say this is witchcraft – divination, spell casting and consulting familiar spirits. I pray she will get back on track and will not be allowed to pull others down.
We all need to stay true to the Scriptures. Study the Bible! There are so many deceptions in the world and they are increasing every day.
When it comes to spiritual warfare, stick to the Christian fundamentals and you won’t go astray: truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, hope of salvation, God’s word empowered by the Holy Spirit, challenging lies with the truth.