What is Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare?
As we have been working our way through the series on the New Apostolic Reformation, the topic of Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare has come up several times. What is Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare?
Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare (SLSW) is a host of various tactics used by the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) to win areas and peoples to the Lord all the while taking dominion. If you want to learn more about Dominionism click here. It is believed that demons rule different areas or territories. These demons are believed to hinder God’s ability to act in these territories. Another way that God is supposedly hindered is if an area has specific corporate sins that need to be repented of. Methods used by the Nar to remove these hindrances are referred to as Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare. The following are some of the ways that the NAR/Word of Faith movements conduct Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare.
Binding Territorial Demons
Binding territorial demons is one of the most popular SLSW strategies. This is believed to be achieved in several different ways. Often times an “apostle or prophet” will claim that god has revealed a particular demon over an area that must be bound. This “apostle or prophet” will often give this demon a name or characterize it as a demon of (name the sin). He or she will then elaborate on “God’s” battle plan for binding the demon. These battle plans can include fasting, praying, massive prayer vigils, prayer walking, warfare prayer, pouring anointing oil in specific spots, blowing shofars and proclaiming the demons be bound in Jesus’ name.
In 2011 Cindy Jacobs and John Benefiel claimed that God had revealed that DC was being controlled by a demon named Columbia, so they organized NAR believers across America to remove Columbia’s influence. This move was known as DC40. Prayer and fasting was directed towards the removal of this perceived demonic threat. To the NAR’s defense, I will add that there are pagans who believe a goddess named Columbia rules in America. Whatever the case, their efforts proved to be fruitless. Nothing improved. Our nation is continuing to go downhill morally.
Some questions for NAR adherents: Are we as believers supposed to be engaged in these types of activities? Is Christ glorified when we participate in these endeavors? Does this have anything to do with the great commission? Does God’s word command us to bind territorial demons for the purposes of taking dominion?
My experiences with Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare
I personally have taken part in activities like this in the past, when I was part of the hyper-charismatic/Word of Faith crowd. I always felt like we were doing battle against imaginary monsters. A “prophet” would claim that there was a demon of such and such that we must engage. We would then come up with a plan “from the Lord” to take this demon down. Once we followed the formula that God had supposedly given us, we would see no real change. Things would continue on as they were. After all the embarrassing goofy things we did to fight the “demon” nothing changed! We did exactly what the prophet had said. If God had really ordered this whole escapade, don’t you think we would see real results? The God we see in the Bible doesn’t make mistakes and He doesn’t mess around. When God told prophets to perform certain often strange prophetic acts, such as marching around Jericho and blowing shofars, real results would follow. No one doubted whether the wall fell or not. When God’s people followed what God had told them to do, amazing tangible miracles would take place. When these false prophets claim God told them to take action in a specific way, and the people follow the specific orders, nothing happens. It’s a farce. The people have been duped yet again.
C. Peter Wagner, the most authoritative voice amongst the New Apostolic Reformation movement recognized this problem.
“Since 1990, as I have explained, city transformation has been high on our priority lists. That, as I write this, was 15 years ago. Our best top-level Christian leadership has been involved with this in city after city across America. God has been providing incredible new tools for getting the job done—tools such as identificational repentance; spiritual mapping; strategic prophetic prayer; massive all-night, stadium prayer events; strategic-level spiritual warfare; prayer journeys; pastoral unity; and the concept of the church of the city. In addition, Bill Bright, Elmer Towns and others made fasting popular, and I would guess that somewhere around half of American evangelical pastors have now experienced 40-day fasts. However, we cannot point to a single city in America that has been transformed in all of those 15 years!” C. Peter Wagner
C. Peter Wagner said this in 2005. We still don’t see any miraculous changes coming from this nonsense! Why aren’t the abortion clinics in these towns shutting down? Why aren’t the strip clubs closing? Why don’t we see some real results? If God was orchestrating these battles, wouldn’t you expect some real obvious tangible shocking results? Quite simply, God is not in this stuff. He is not speaking to these false prophets and apostles. Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare as presented by the New Apostolic Reformation is joke. Friends, it’s time to repent and leave these false prophets. Let’s turn our hearts back to the Lord.
Tactics of Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare
The following are some of the tactics that you often hear about concerning SLSW.
Warfare prayer and worship is the practice or belief that we can pray or worship in a fashion that penetrates the dark side. It is believed that they can actually do damage to the enemy by warfare prayer and worship. Sometimes warfare dances are added to the worship to strengthen the effect of the warfare.
By having boots on the ground in the targeted area, it is believed that SLSW can be more effective. A prayer journey is when NAR believers will travel to whatever area they believe God is leading them to for the purposes of conducting on the ground Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare. They will then prayer map the area and begin the process of identifying their battle plan.
Prayer mapping is the practice of mapping out areas and looking for demonic strongholds and sin that need to be broken or bound.
Identificational repentance is the practices of discovering the sins of an area for the purposes of mass repentance. I have nothing against repenting of sin. I think that’s great. The problem is when these “apostles and prophets” start claiming that God revealed something to them about the area they are engaging. These men and women are false prophets and apostles. They are not communicating with the Lord.
Breaking Generational Curses
Sometimes areas or citys are believed to have some kind of a generational curse associated with them. There are many strange ways that these NAR “apostles and prophets” attempt to break these alleged generational curses. Some of the tactics used to break these generational curses are, mass repentance, fasting, pouring anointing oil at targeted spots, warfare prayer or worship, and simply declaring the curse broken “in Jesus name”. Again, no real results come from these odd and embarrassing tactics.
It is believed that portals can be opened to demonic realms. NAR “apostles and prophets” believe they can locate them and close them. I personally believe that demonic portals may exist but I don’t believe these “apostles and prophets” have the ability to perceive where these portals are, nor do they have the ability to close them. Again, nothing changes after these alleged portals are closed.
Submitting to your covering
Another way to increase your effectiveness as a spiritual warrior is to submit to your network of apostles and prophets. These “apostles and prophets” are sometimes called one’s covering. By aligning with and submitting to your covering, you are aligning yourself with God’s will therefore increasing your effectiveness in Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare. This is sometimes referred to as covering theology.
Should Christians be resisting the works of the enemy? Yes. Should they be following these NAR false prophets and participating in their ineffective Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare tactics? No.
2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?