A brief exchange on Strategic-Level Spiritual Warfare


Questions on spiritual warfare from a believer

“It has been a while since we spoke, I believe it was in early 2015 or so when you recommended me to meet with pak Davy Hermanus in Bandung, Indonesia. Things are good with me and I belong to a local church in NJ and we also do intercession and spiritual warfare.  

I just have some questions for you regarding some of your article on your website about not going against Territorial Spirits.  I understood that I can’t go against Territorial Spirit in NY or CA since I live in NJ.  But can I go against Territorial Spirit in NJ where I live?  

Can I bind or rebuke Baal or Molech directly as they are responsible for many abortion causes in this nation including NJ? How about binding and rebuking Satan and render him powerless for attacking our loved ones?  Do I overstep my authority in Christ?  

I just want to know your thoughts about this and understand better about my authority.  I know I can’t go to a foreign country and start rebuking the principalities there.  But can I defend myself if I am spiritually attacked?”

Our response

“I’m glad that you’re asking questions about the practice of strategic-level spiritual warfare. It’s so wonderful that you are very zealous for the things of the Lord. In our zeal we should of course also stay very close to the Word of God. One of my concerns is that when ministering in the invisible realm of the supernatural, there is potential danger. For example, when Peter wanted to walk on water as he saw Jesus doing, he first asked Jesus for a command. Only after Jesus commanded Peter to “come” did Peter dare to step out of the boat. It would have been presumptuous and dangerous for Peter to step out of the boat if Jesus did not first command him to do so.

In the same way, we must be sure that Scripture actually commands us to engage principalities and territorial spirits directly—whether in the region where we actually live or in a distant region of the world. From a careful study of Scripture we can conclude that there is no such command. We are not commanded to rebuke, to drive out, or directly address powerful territorial spirits in the heavenlies—and that includes Satan himself. When we do so, we are overstepping our authority in Christ. And we will likely invite painful retaliation from them, resulting in unnecessary suffering for ourselves and our loved ones. And the Lord is not obligated to protect us from such attacks because we have essentially disobeyed the Lord by going beyond what He has commanded in Scripture.

Praying directly to the Lord and asking Him to deal with the territorial spirits is safe. Perhaps the Lord will send angels to war against them. Daniel was simply fasting in Daniel 10 when the angel Gabriel was battling the Prince of Persia. Daniel was definitely not engaging in spiritual warfare.

Instead of engaging the enemy in the air, we should instead by busy doing what He has clearly commanded us as foot soldiers and ground troops—we are “boots on the ground.” We ought to be preaching the gospel, healing the sick, casting out demons, and making disciples—all ground-level activities. If we want the territorial spirits to leave a certain geographical area, then we should be winning souls on the ground in that area. When many people in that region turn to the Lord, then the territorial spirit must leave. It’s similar to the result of US presidential elections where one who wins the Electoral College vote from the people wins, and gains power over the nation. The loser automatically disappears. So we should focus our attention on preaching the gospel—which is clearly commanded by the Lord!

You can definitely defend yourself and your loved ones when you are attacked by the enemy’s ground forces—demons and diseases. For example, if someone puts on curse on you or a family member and they are attacked by demons, you can certainly take effective action. Or if a neighbor has demons in their home and asks you for help, you can certainly drive them out. Notice that these are all ground-level actions which you can do safely, and have nothing to do with popularly-taught strategic-level spiritual warfare.

I myself learned these things the hard way when my wife and I were zealous missionaries preaching the gospel in extremely primitive and dark regions of Kalimantan at the beginning of our ministry from 1987 to 1989.

To download a Powerpoint which covers in detail the issues I mentioned above, just click on https://app.box.com/file/430186986773.”

More questions

“Now, I have further questions.  How do I engage against the spirit of Baal in the Planned Parenthood clinic in the neighborhood for example or how should I interpret Luke 10:19 that we have been given authority to trample snakes and scorpions?  

Are you saying that Jesus’ followers are given power and authority but the level of authority for everyone is not the same?  Like if you are a general has higher authority than a captain?  I am just trying to make sure that I understood this correctly.”

Our reply
“As far as I’m concerned, you don’t need to engage the spirit of Baal in your neighborhood.
  • Rather pray and fast, asking the Lord to shut the PP clinic down. 
  • Pray for the young women going into the clinic. Show God’s love for them as the pro-life workers did in “Unplanned.” 
  • Pray that the Lord will convict the PP workers of sin, righteousness, and judgment.
Luke 10:Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ …..17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” 18 He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.
Notice what the disciples did here. They went out healing the sick, proclaiming the kingdom of God, and casting out demons—just as Jesus commanded them. And as they obeyed the Lord’s commands, Satan fell like lightning from heaven. For Satan to fall like that, the disciples did not need to do any “spiritual warfare.” Rather they simply healed the sick, proclaimed the gospel of the kingdom, and cast out demons—the demons which snakes and scorpions represent figuratively. Both snakes and scorpions crawl on the ground; their activity is entirely at ground level. Therefore they symbolize demons and unclean spirits whose activity is against human beings—who live at ground level. We have authority to cast out demons represented by snakes and scorpions. We are able to overcome all the power of ground-level demons which afflict people when proclaiming the kingdom of God. If we limit our ministry to which Jesus commands us to do—which is ground-level warfare—“nothing will harm” us.
But if we dare to go beyond the commands of the Lord by engaging in spiritual warfare, “all bets are off.” The territorial spirits can in fact harm us. We have heard testimony after testimony about believers undergoing severe suffering which was actually unnecessary.
We have several articles on this subject at:


Yes, I do believe that like talents in the parable given to the servants, we can be given greater and greater authority (increase in rank in God’s army) if we are faithful and effective in using it to extend God’s kingdom on earth. If we are faithful with a little, we will be faithful in much.

Strategic-Level Spiritual Warfare Revisited—Is Scripture really INSUFFICIENT as it implies?