If you have been around the Charismatic/Pentecostal movement at all, I’m sure you have an understanding of the concept of Spiritual Warfare. While the reality of Spiritual Warfare is Biblical, many have taken the liberty to take verses out of context and create myths until the truth of Spiritual Warfare is lost.
What concerns me the most about our modern-day Spiritual Warfare teaching is how we are being taught to handle evil spirits is mostly void of the foundation of the Finished Work of Christ. Recently I heard a Warfare teacher talking about engaging Principalities through intercession. This idea of engaging principalities is of great concern for me as a pastor, because this particular subject has caused many believers to walk in fear of an imaginary tight rope teetering on the brink of victory or slaughter.
This particular teaching calls for the believer to walk in extreme caution because Principalities are strong spirits and, if not handled correctly, could cause devastation in your own life and family. This teaching teaches people one major lie:
- Jesus did not Finish the Work.
While principalities are real, Jesus has done something on our behalf so that their behavior no longer influences us. From the finished work of Christ, we are no longer to live in the reality of an adversary but to walk in face-to-face communion with our heavenly Father.
Look at this one passage: “You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for He forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, He disarmed the spiritual rulers (principalities) and authorities (powers). He shamed them publicly by His victory over them on the cross.” (Col. 2:12-15)
Let’s begin with context: Paul said in verse 15, “In this way…” speaking of how Jesus disarmed principalities and powers, He calls our attention to the previous two verses of 13-14. He is equipping the believers in Colosse that these evil spirits influenced them at one point because they were dead in their sins.
Our freedom from the Kingdom of darkness has been accomplished by the work of Jesus on the cross!Mark Casto
Paul goes on to say, but now you are ALIVE in Christ, forgiven of your sins, and with the full cancellation of the record of charges against us. Our freedom from the Kingdom of darkness has been accomplished by the work of Jesus on the cross! So IN THAT WAY, Jesus disarmed principalities…not theoretically but personally removed their influence from all those who are now alive in Christ.
The word disarmed is the Greek word, “apekdyomai,” which means “denoting separation from what is put off, to despoil, to disarm.” To despoil means to violently remove valuable or attractive possessions from; plunder. To disarm means to take weapons or weapons away from a person or force.
These principality spirits have been stripped of their power over our lives because of the finished work of Christ. So why would I walk in fear when I am no longer susceptible to their influence? But more importantly, why would I focus or engage a spirit that is of no threat to my life? These teachings make us feel important, but they are subtle attacks against the glorious gospel of the Finished Work of Jesus Christ.
While this made be hard for some of you to read, but you are not to live in the reality of the adversary. That preaches well, but it’s not true. Jesus paid far too high of a price for you to engage in a battle He has already won. He won the victory for us so that we could once again live undistracted from His Presence as Adam did in the garden. So to answer the question, No, you shouldn’t be afraid of a principality because now you have unhindered access to the safest place in all of creation, His Presence.
Would you take a moment and let me know in the comments below how this article has helped you with understanding prayer in light of the Finished Work?
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