From the desk of Steve Shultz:
This is a much needed word for the hour. It's important that we come into agreement and alignment with God's will over our lives. Francis Frangipane also shares the importance of knowing the Word of God, for it is truly Spirit-empowered and gives us the power to carry out His plans in our lives.
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The War Over Reality
The Principle of Displacement
"Then war broke out in Heaven; Michael and his angels went forth to battle with the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought. But they were defeated, and there was no room found for them in Heaven any longer" (Revelation 12:7-8 AMP).
Notice the phrase, "there was no room...for them in Heaven." The war against principalities involves displacement: Christ filling the spiritual territories once held by satan.
This war in Heaven is difficult for us to comprehend. How do angels and demons, beings who do not die from wounds, wage war? With what do they do battle? And how do they conquer one another? Without exceeding the bounds of our knowledge, we can safely say this: All spiritual warfare is waged over one essential question: Who will control reality on earth, Heaven or Hell?
When it comes to angelic and demonic warfare, the battle rests not in physical weaponry but in the power of agreement between mankind and the spirit realm. We read in Ephesians 6 (NKJV) that "principalities" and "powers" occupy the "heavenly places" (verse 12). But we read in Ephesians 1:10 that it is the Father's expressed purpose to sum up all things in Christ, "things in the heavens and things on the earth."
Ephesians 3:10 reveals God's glorious plan, that "through the Church" God has purposed to make known His manifold wisdom to the principalities and powers "in the heavenly places." You see, as the Body of Christ on earth agrees with its Head in Heaven, the Spirit of Christ Himself displaces the powers of darkness in the heavenly places.
In other words, when the Church on earth is aggressive in its agreement with the will and Word of God, then the presence of God increases in the spiritual realm, proportionally displacing the influence of Hell on earth. Shortly thereafter, manifesting in the world of men, we see revivals, healings and miracles. But when the Church is passive, indifferent or carnal, the powers of Hell increase their rule over the affairs of men: marriages break up, crime increases, and wantonness becomes unbridled. We must see that our prayers, attitudes, and agreement with God are an integral part of establishing the reality of the Kingdom of God on earth!
The Devil Is a Master Illusionist
Satan is unmasked in Scripture as "a liar and the father of lies" (John 8:44). His realm of operation is the spirit world that immediately surrounds and blankets the consciousness of mankind. This realm is known as the "heavenly places" in the Bible (Ephesians 6:12). From this spiritual realm satan works to corrupt and control the mind of man through illusions built from mankind's carnal desires and fears. But the power of the lie is not merely the speaking of falsehoods, nor is it that this world is an illusion. The lie of the enemy appears most powerfully when men believe that this world, as it is, is the only world we can live in. The truth is, of course, that God is establishing His Kingdom, and ultimately, every other reality will submit to and be ruled by that Kingdom! (See Hebrews 12:26-28; Revelation 11:15.)
The weapon God has given us to combat the lies of the enemy is the Word of God, which the Scriptures refer to as the "sword of the Spirit" (Ephesians 6:17). Jesus said His words "are spirit and are life" (John 6:63), which is to say that the substance or meaning in Christ's words represents an actual reality: the living Spirit of the Kingdom of God.
We should also recognize that the ancient Greeks, in whose language the New Testament was written, had no word for "reality." To them "truth" and "reality" were the same essence. If we seek to experience the true work of the Holy Spirit, we should understand that the Spirit has been sent to establish the reality of God's Kingdom in the lives of Jesus' followers. Thus, as we become one with the Spirit of Truth, and as we fully embrace the Word of Truth, we are brought into the reality of God Himself!
This point is essential: in our war over who controls man's world, the singular weapon God has given the Church is His Spirit-empowered Word. The living Word of the Spirit is the truth.
Paul taught that spiritual warfare deals specifically with the "pulling down of strongholds." But what are those strongholds? They are lies the devil has sown into our thought-processes which, as we accepted and believed them, became reality to us. We do not fall in sin as much as we are seduced by it; every sin is cloaked in some measure of deception. But as these lies are uncovered and destroyed, as our thought-processes are freed from illusions, we will discover the blamelessness, perfection, and truth of Christ in us, the hope of glory (see Colossians 1:27).
To be successful in life, therefore, we must know the Word of God. For all things come into being through the Word. Yes, it is the Word made alive in our hearts, germinated by our faith, that wins the war over reality.
Adapted from The Three Battlegrounds, published by Arrow Publications, Inc.
Ministries of Francis Frangipane
Francis Frangipane is the founder of River of Life Ministries in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and has traveled throughout the world ministering to thousands of pastors and intercessors from many backgrounds. Francis' heartfelt prayer is to see established in every city Christlike pastors and intercessors, united before God, revealing the love of Christ to their communities. Since 1985, he has written fourteen books plus a number of study booklets. Over the past decades, Francis has served on a number of other ministry boards. However, in recent years he has gradually resigned from these various boards. As of June 2009, he has also retired from his position as senior pastor of River of Life Ministries. In this more simplified life, Frangipane is devoting himself to prayer and the ministry of God's Word.