Faith Messages to build your faith

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

#55 The Principalities and Powers

C. Peter Wagner: For decades, dating back to World War II and the Nazi atrocities, theologians have argued with each other about the implications of
Ephesians 6:12:

    "We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but 
     against principalities, against powers."

Just how do spiritual principalities and powers relate to everyday flesh and blood such as nations or human governments?

Could it be there really are spiritual forces directing human affairs. If so, what is their nature?

Some of the more prominent names associated with the debate are G. B. Caird, Markus Barth, Heinrich Schlier, Richard Mouw, John Howard Yoder, Hendrik Berkhof and others. One of the most influential these days is Walter Wink.

Although Walter Wink and I might not see eye to eye on the exact nature of these spiritual forces, we do agree something evil is operating through society that cannot be explained simply by analyzing human nature, depraved as it might be, or by the application of sociological principles.

He argues that the early Christians perceived "every nation and tribe and tongue and people" was "presided over by a spiritual Power."

Wink cites, as I have done, Deuteronomy 32:8,9 and Daniel 10, which, as he says, "provides the Bible's fullest picture of these angels and of the nations."

Although he doesn't use the term "warfare prayer," he agrees that prayer is our major spiritual weapon, affirming, "This new element in prayerthe resistance of the Powers to God's willmarks a decisive break with the notion that God is the cause of all that happens...Prayer changes us, but it also changes what is possible for God."

One of his classic statements is the "History belongs to the intercessors." I couldn't agree more.

I agree with Leon Morris who affirms that we cannot clearly see Paul's conception of Christ's saving work "unless we see it against a background of the evil and the futility in this world, a world populated by evil spirits as well as evil people."

By saying this I want to affirm my agreement with Wink and Sider and others that social structures themselves can properly be seen as demonized.

But to my way of thinking they are simply the visible entities, which the invisible demonic forces are using for their own ends much as demonic forces will use an idol, although the idol itself is simply a piece of wood or stone.

A person who is demonized is not per se a demonic person, but rather a victim of a powerful demonic force. Likewise, social structures are not, in themselves, demonic, but they can be and often are demonized by some extremely pernicious and dominating demonic personalities, which I call territorial spirits.

The view I am advocating at least permits a theology of hope. It opens up the possibility that social structures, like demonized human beings, can be delivered from demonic oppression through warfare prayer. 

This is why I believe that history belongs to the intercessors.

(Google image and emphasis added)

#55 The Principalities and Powers
By C. Peter Wagner
(pgs. 94-96) Regal Books




    

     Father, I appreciate Peter's viewpoint that there's hope found in 
Christ, and that the war is not against people, but against the reigning evil spirits who govern them.
     May we understand how we're to respond to the attacks of these evil spirits in such a way as to confront their activities, using the Name of Jesus.
    I ask this in His Name. Amen.  

Today’s Bible verse: Ps. 34:19 "Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all."

Today's praise verse: Psalm 5:11 "But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in You."

Prayer for your pastor: "Ask God to protect your pastor from the evil plots of Satan. Pray that he will not be corrupted as he rubs shoulders with the world in the course of ministry. (John 17:15; Is. 54:17; 2 Cor. 2:11; 1 Pet. 3:12; Ps. 9:9-10, 91:9-11)

Today’s quote: Bob Gass - "Every day of your life you'll have to deal with two things; problems and opportunities. And God will give you the right perspective and approach to handle both. You'll be amazed how much more effective and efficient you are when you've spent time with Him." (Taken from Bob's Daily Devotional The Word for you Todayfor Dec-Jan-Feb, pg 25)

Some thoughts today: Be desperate to seek God's involvement in what you're doing. You'll need God's presence in what He's asked you to do. Wait on His direction and peace.

- If God is pleased with you, feel free to ask for His favor in what He's asked you to do.

- Put your faith to action, and keep focused on Him.

9th- Thursday’s post:  #56 Artemis of the Ephesians
C. Peter Wagner

11th- Saturday's post:  Bear One Another's Burden
Unknown

12th- Sunday evening's post:  Slow Dance
Young cancer patient

14th- Tuesday's post:  #57 Releasing Evangelistic Power
C. Peter Wagner

A popular post:   Devotion to Christ is the Springboard for Everything  Note #60 
Dutch Sheets, in his book Intercessory 
Prayer, tells us, "Those who wait upon the 
Lord inherit and possess—worship and 
warfare!

It is interesting, even paradoxical, but 
true, that warfare is often born from worship. 
Out of our waiting often comes warring..."

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