In Defense of the Faith |

Dave Hunt

What about Spiritual Warfare?

Question: There is a teaching in the church called “spiritual warfare” that is rapidly growing in popularity. It is even taught that by “binding” in the name of the Lord the “territorial spirit” controlling a city, Christians can take over that city for God. The reference in Daniel 10 to the prince of Persia withstanding the angel Gabriel seems to support this teaching. What is your response?

Response: Today’s teaching about “spiritual warfare” has no biblical basis, either by precept or example. Yes, “the prince of the kingdom of Persia” prevented the angel (presumably Gabriel) for three weeks from coming to Daniel (Daniel:10:12-13). Daniel, however, was seeking prophetic insight, not the “binding” of the “territorial spirit” over Persia. Nor did the angel instruct him to wage such “warfare.” In fact, nowhere in the entire Bible is the idea even suggested that certain demons have special authority over certain cities or territories and that they must be “bound.”

The angel’s mission was to inform Daniel of last-days events affecting Israel (10:14)—information that would become part of Scripture and which the “prince of Persia” tried to keep from Daniel. There is no hint that “binding” this demon would have delivered Persia from satanic influence or that Gabriel’s victory over this demon (with the help of Michael the archangel) had any effect upon the spiritual climate in Persia or aided in the salvation of a single Persian.

Paul never tried to “bind territorial spirits” in bringing the gospel to the world of his day, so why should we? And although the apostles “turned the world upside down” (Acts:17:6), there is no hint that a single city was ever “taken for God,” as some preachers are falsely promising today. In Corinth, for example, where Paul spent 18 months, God gave him special protection and blessing because He had “much people in this city” (Acts:18:9-10). The issue was not one of delivering Corinth but of calling a company of believers out of it. Nor did Paul’s success change the destiny of Corinth or of any other city or nation. Such teaching simply has no basis in the Bible but comes from the imagination and ambition of men.