Animism is one of the most widely practiced religions in the world today. Some experts estimate that nearly half of the world’s population is involved in some type of animism. It is so widespread that a person practicing some form of animism could also be a member of almost any religion; animism is practiced even by some who profess to be Christians! However, animism has no formal theology, no training schools, no founders, and no geographical point of origin.
What Is Animism?
Animism is most easily defined as the belief that our physical world is filled with spiritual forces, and that every event or object has some type of spiritual cause or impact. All forms of animism include three basic beliefs:
1) belief in some type of supreme being (who is represented as far off and unconcerned with man’s daily needs and challenges);
2) belief in a spirit world that is filled with the spirits of the dead, with devils and with other spiritual beings (which are subject to the “supreme being”);
3) belief in mystical powers (witchcraft, sorcery, voodoo, divination, etc.)
As with all false religions, animism contains partial truth. For instance, we know from Scripture that there actually is a Supreme Being, Who is God Almighty, the Creator of the Universe and our sovereign Lord.
The Bible reveals that our world does have a “spiritual realm”, and that there are spiritual beings both obedient to God (angels) and rebellious against God (demons) who exist in this realm. We also know from the Bible that there are demon forces at work to deceive, steal from, and destroy human beings (John 10: 10; 2 Cor 4:4; Eph 6: 12; 1 John 4: 1-6).
However, animism takes such truths as these – which are clearly revealed in the Bible – and blends them with all kinds of superstition and other demonic practices, creating “false religion”. Participants in animism are led away from godly, biblical spirituality and into demonic activities.
Animism has a strong appeal to many people. Even those who are well educated or who live in a technologically advanced society may practice animistic beliefs. For example, many athletes in Western nations have certain “rituals” they follow before they participate in sporting events. They might put on items of clothing in a certain order, or wear a piece of equipment or jewelry they consider to be “lucky”; they believe these rituals will give them good fortune or a better performance in the athletic competition. Many people engage in this form of animism.
Animism is expressed more blatantly through divination, witchcraft, sorcery, idol worship in many forms, and ancestor worship. It can include the belief that certain objects, plants, animals or places are inherently evil or good and have magical powers.
A Desire To Take God’s Place
At the core of animism – and all forms of false religion and cultic practices – is an attempt to replace the lordship of the One true God with man’s own rulership. Fallen mankind , in an attempt to get his own way on his own terms, will deify creatures and make idols to worship (Rom l :22,23), rather than surrender his rebellious and sinful nature to a loving God.
Satan is the ultimate reflection of a pride that desires to take God’s place and receive the worship that rightfully belongs only to the One true God, our Creator and Lord (Isa 14:12- 14; Ezek 28:11- 19;
1 Tim 3:6). Satan’s desire is to lead people into willful separation from God.
Animism’s Dark Deceptions
Let us now take a more detailed look at the three basic beliefs of animism.
A. Supreme Being
Animists acknowledge a “supreme being” who they believe rules the universe. However, their beliefs about this “being” are vague and unformed. He is thought of as distant, uncaring and uninvolved in the daily existence of a person’s life.
Yet animists, like all people, still face difficult situations and decisions in life. They feel the need for guidance, healing, or help in work or other practical necessities. Since they believe that God will not help them directly, they seek answers and help from the “spirit world”, which includes demonic spirits, household idols, the spirits of dead ancestors, and other forms. Demon spirits respond to this seeking, and use it as a means to lead people into deception, bondage and death.
By contrast, the Bible reveals that the One true God – the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – is actively at work through His Holy Spirit in the hearts and daily lives of His people. He is loving, compassionate and deeply concerned with mankind’s condition and needs (Matt 6:31, 32). God’s Spirit brings: conviction (John 16:8- 11); His comforting presence (John 14:16); assurance of salvation (Eph 1:14, 15; 2Cor 5:5); great peace (Rom 15:13); and much, much more. God, through His Holy Spirit, will lead Christians into all truth and glorify Jesus in their midst (John 15:26; 16:13, 14). He will empower them to be witnesses to all the world and to move in anointed ministry (Acts 1:8; 2: 16-21).
B. The Spirit World
Animists strongly believe in the presence and activity of spiritual forces in our world. It is important to note that spiritual activity DOES take place in the world today. There is the presence and working of the Spirit of God and angels as described in the Scriptures (Ps 91:11; 104:4; Heb 1:4; 13:2). There is also the presence and working of demon spirits (Eph 6: 12). But there are NO other spirits present – not of ancestors or any others.
Luke 16: 19-31 teaches that there are fixed boundaries in the spiritual realm that do not allow for those who are dead to enter back into the realm of the living. Those who attempt to communicate with ancestors or others in the spiritual realm are actually communicating with demons who are masquerading as people who once lived. Once a person has died, that person can no longer communicate with those who live in this world.
Demonic forces will always seek to deceive people and lead them away from the truth and away from a genuine relationship with the One true God of Scripture (John 8:44; 2 Cor 11:3). Demons will deny that Christ came in the flesh (1 John 4:2, 3) or even use false signs and wonders (Matt 24:24; 2 Thess 2:9) to coerce people into putting their trust in the demonic realm instead of in God. By contrast, the Spirit of God will always lead people to faith in God, confirm the truth of God ‘s Word, and seek to bring glory to Jesus Christ (John 16:13,14).
In Bondage To Fear
Animists believe they will suffer consequences inflicted by spiritual beings unless they appease those spiritual beings. The animist is not as afraid of offending God as he is of falling out of favor with a local spirit. Animists live in continual fear that a spirit-being might take revenge upon them through accident, injury, loss or broken relationships. Thus, the animist is constantly trying to appease these spirits by making offerings to them and by giving worship and obedience to them.
The animist’s fear is fed by animistic leaders, such as witches, sorcerers, witch doctors and others. These leaders wield great personal power over those who believe in animism. Animistic leaders frequently make “pacts” with demons, are often themselves possessed by demon spirits, and use this demonic power to control or punish others. Demons use these tactics in order to deceive people into believing that demons have ultimate power. Remember, the goal of demons is to torment and deceive humanity – to lead them away from God and away from a saving faith in Jesus Christ (John 8:44; Eph 6:12; 2John 7; Rev 12:9) – and to keep people in bondage to Satan.
Animistic societies have other “spiritual leaders” – such as diviners, medicine men, rainmakers, herbalists, seers, and priests of local religions. Though these leaders may appear to have a positive function, it must be noted that they, too, are empowered by demonic forces.
These demonic forces want to deceive people into putting their faith and trust in the demonic realm, rather than in salvation through Jesus Christ, before Whom “every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:10, 11; see also I Corinthians 8:5, 6).
- Mystical Powers
Animism places individual spiritual power higher than doctrinal and moral truth. This “spiritual power” is used in an attempt to gain personal and selfish desires. Animism may include a belief in personal spirits who are looked upon as “mediators” between people and God, and who are thought to control natural events. The animist will attempt to appease these spirits in order to receive favorable help in a given situation.
Animists believe that impersonal forces (such as rain, wind, floods) or physical objects can be controlled or influenced by rituals or incantations. These rituals are also believed to have a kind of power that can be used to obtain a person’s desires.
Animists use forms of divination to attempt to discover how to please or avoid offending a spirit, or to try and discover the future. Some common forms of divination are: astrology; reading tea leaves, palms, tarot cards, or the internal organs or bones of an animal; attempting to contact the dead; interpreting dreams or “visions”; or the demonic possession of a person (usually a shaman) by what is believed to be an ancestral spirit.
Animism also involves the widespread use of magic, including: “black” magic (used by witches and sorcerers to hurt people and promote evil and tragedy); “white” magic (used to try and protect people from black magic); protective amulets; mystical powders, herbs and stones; incantations ; scrolls of paper upon which are written formulas for success or protection , etc.
It is vitally important to remember that the use of any magic (whether “black” or “white”), any form of divination or other mystical ritual is the work of demons, whose source is Satan himself. There are always very serious consequences for the person involved with demonic powers – including oppression, demonic manifestations, spiritual possession, and more evils.
The demonic realm has no goodness in it. Like their master, Satan, demons are hate-filled, evil liars whose goal is to deceive and destroy people. Demons know that their time is short before they will be judged and sent to hell forever (Rev 12:12). The demons ‘ hatred for God and for the object of God’s love – humanity – drives them to do as much damage to people as possible.
Life In A Fallen World
It is important to remember that many unusual and tragic occurrences do NOT have their basis in the spiritual realm. For example:
- Some who claim to have “mystical powers” really do not, but deceive others into thinking they do – in order to gain wealth, prestige or influence. Their own selfishness – not spiritual forces – dictates their actions.
- People are often blinded and deceived by Satan (“the god of this age” – 2Cor 4:3,4) into believing that their animistic practices or superstitions actually have some kind of power, when in reality they have no power.
- Circumstances often occur that have a very natural explanation. Not every sickness, dream, mishap, accident or natural disaster is caused by some spiritual force or mystical power. These events are often just a part of living in this broken, sin-filled world that is far from what God originally created it to be. But some people mistakenly believe that they can live in such a way as to never be touched or impacted by the consequences of living in a fallen world. They think that if they can just live right, “think positive”, perform enough rituals, or appease the “bad spiritual forces”, nothing bad will ever happen to them. This is a form of animism that even some Christians fall victim to.
Combating The Forces Of Darkness
While it is true that not all harmful events have a spiritual cause, the Bible does reveal that there truly are fallen demon spirits in the world (Eph 6: 12) – and that these demon spirits are actively attempting to harm mankind and draw mankind away from worshipping God.
Demons do have a form of satanic power, and they share this power with those who willingly cooperate with them – but at GREAT COST to those who are foolish enough to cooperate with them. Demonic spirits use deception in any form: lies (John 8:44); temptation (1 Cor 7:5); false signs and wonders (2 Thess 2:9); trying to appear as an angel from God (2 Cor 11:14); and more. These evil spirits are at work even now to control the hearts and lives of those who are not submitted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ (Eph 2:2,3). But for the Christian, the demonic realm is not to be feared, for it can be confronted and overcome (Matt 16:18; Mark 16:17; Luke 10:17-20; Acts 8:7; 2 Cor 10:3-5).
At times it can be difficult to determine whether an event or tragedy has a demonic origin or is just a result of life in this broken world. To help make this determination, the Christian has been given the gift of discernment through the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12: 10). We are also exhorted to “test the spirits” (1 John 4: 1-4) to determine whether a person is speaking the truth according to God’s Word, or speaking from another source. Christians need to be aware of Satan’s workings (2 Cor 2: 11) in order to oppose them in both private prayer and direct confrontation through spiritual warfare.
Christ came into the world to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8), and He will eventually destroy the devil himself (Heb 2: 14). Satan does not have final power over humanity, because the condemnation of sin was broken at the Cross (Col 2:14, 15).
The children of God – those who have faith in Christ for salvation – are called to join with Christ under His leadership to combat the forces of darkness. We have been given powerful, anointed, spiritual equipment to do just that (2 Cor 10:3-5; Eph 6:11-18).
Rebellion Is As The Sin Of Witchcraft
To effectively combat the deception of animism, we must understand that magic, divination, witchcraft, sorcery, etc., ALL have their source in demon spirits working through man’s rebellion against God.
This rebellion began with Adam and Eve. God gave them much freedom and authority in the Garden of Eden (Gen 1:28). They were to use these God-given gifts for good, while submitting to God and following His will and desire.
Satan tempted and deceived Adam and Eve by appealing to their pride. He falsely claimed that they would “be like God” if they disobeyed God and ate the forbidden fruit (Gen 3:5) – and they succumbed to his temptation.
Satan, the father of lies, pretended to offer Adam and Eve “godlike” knowledge and power; but the cost was disobedience to and rebellion against God, which brought them out from under God’s loving care and righteous Lordship. Their selfish desire for their own knowledge and power led them right into Satan’s wicked trap (Gen 3:5). This same prideful desire for independence from God is repeated many times in the Bible’s account of mankind’s history.
People today have inherited Adam and Eve’s sinful nature. The use of “magical powers” appeals to mankind’s wish to bring about some desired result that is beyond human ability. Man turns to demonic spiritual sources to get his way apart from God.
The use of demonic powers is in direct rebellion against submission to the will of God and against trust in the Lord to establish His will for a person or their situation. Thus, the use of magic (“white” or “black”), witchcraft, sorcery, wizardry, etc., is rebellion against God.
This is why the Bible equates rebellion with witchcraft: “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry” (1 Sam 15:23a). Those who practice animism deny God’s righteous authority and sovereign Lordship over His creation; they seek knowledge, power and material possessions from demonic sources rather than trusting in God’s gracious provision.
Another example of rejecting God’s Lordship is divination: the occult practice of seeking to obtain knowledge of future events, attempting to determine a right course of action, or trying to find the cause for misfortune. Divination combines human effort and demonic powers in order to try and gain knowledge or power. This practice is an act of rebellion against God; it is a direct defiance of the biblical injunction to submit to and seek God in obedience and trust.
God Forbids Magic
Practitioners of various forms of animism are sometimes nothing but frauds; however, the Bible does warn us that there can be very real demonic power at work in magical practices. The magicians in Pharaoh’s court were able to produce miracles similar to those performed by Moses (Ex 7:11, 22; 8:7). However, the demonic forces that empowered Pharaoh’s magicians were no match for the absolute authority and power of God. Nor were the magicians and conjurers in the Babylonian court any match for the power of God wrought through Daniel (Dan 1:20; 2:2, 27-30; 4:7-9; 5:11, 12).
On this the Bible is very clear: ALL forms of witchcraft, divination, sorcery, communication with the dead, magic, etc., are condemned and forbidden by God. Such activity is directly linked to the demonic realm.
Scripture equates sorcery and witchcraft with Spiritism (2 Ki 23:24), spiritual harlotry (Nah 3:4), and idolatry(Mic 5:12-14). Involvement with these occult practices is rebellion against God – an attempt to replace His rightful rule with human effort and demonic power (Isa 8: 19). God clearly forbids such practices. Remember: the goal of the demonic realm is to attempt to overthrow the Kingdom of God, which is ruling in believer’s hearts and through them in the world. This continual attack by Satan and his demons upon God’s Kingdom is seen throughout the Bible.
Magic Forbidden And Condemned: The Old Testament
God’s warnings against involvement in demonic practices are certain and severe.
In the Old Testament, God commanded Israel, “nor shall you practice divination or soothsaying” (Lev 19:26; see also Leviticus 20:6). God gave clear and strict instruction to Israel: “When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations ” (Deut 18:9).
God specifically prohibited every occultic practice of the Canaanites: child sacrifice; witchcraft; soothsaying; interpretation of omens; astrology; sorcery; conjuring and spells; mediums; spiritists; attempting to contact spirits of the dead (Deut 18:10- 14). God forbade ALL these activities, and God’s judgment was brought upon the Canaanite people for such practices (vs.12-14).
God promised the same severe judgment upon His own people, the Israelites, if they engaged in these demonic practices (Ex 34:12-17; Lev 18:24-28; 2 Ki 17:13-18; 21:1-15; Isa 2:6-9; Jer 27:9,10; 29:8,9; Mic 5:12-15; Zech 10:12).
Magic Forbidden And Condemned: The New Testament
The history of the early Church as recorded in the Book of Acts reveals numerous encounters with those practicing witchcraft, sorcery, divination and idolatry:
- Simon the sorcerer was rebuked by Peter and commanded to repent (Acts 8:9-24);
Elymas, a sorcerer and false prophet, was called “son of the devil” and “enemy of all righteousness” by Paul (Acts 13:6-12);
- The Apostle Paul delivered a demon-possessed slave girl who practiced divination (Acts 16:16- 19);
- Those practicing magic of all forms in Ephesus, after receiving Christ, brought their charms, books of spells, and other items of magic and burned them (Acts 19:18,19).
The New Testament cites additional mystical powers and those who participate in them:
- Sorcery is listed among the works of the flesh, and is linked with idolatry (Gal 5:20);
- Sorcery is a cause for God’s wrath to be poured out on mankind in the end times (Rev 9:20,21);
- Sorcerers are forbidden and excluded from the holy city, the New Jerusalem, and from the tree of life (Rev 21:8; 22:15).
These passages, and many others throughout the Bible, make it clear that God condemns and forbids the use of any form of magic, witchcraft, sorcery, divination, attempts to contact the dead, and all other animistic practices. Whether these forms of magic are considered harmful, or are thought of as “helpful”, does not matter. What does matter is this: ALL forms of magic have the same source – demon spirits working through rebellious humanity – and participating in ANY form of magic is forbidden by God.
Israel often rebelled, repeatedly ignoring God’s warnings and becoming filled with sorcery, divination, idolatry and other occult practices. God charged Israel with “spiritual harlotry” for participating in these forbidden practices and thereby violating her relational covenant with God (Judg 2:11-23 ;1 Chr. 5:25,26; Ps 106:34-39; Isa 57:1-13; Jer 3; Ezek 16; etc.).
God brought the people of Israel into judgment for their “spiritual harlotry”; He often allowed them to be conquered and brought into captivity for their animistic abominations.
God continues to forbid and condemn the use of magic, sorcery, divination, and all forms of mystical powers – in the Old Testament, in the New Testament, and even to the very end of the Church age.
Therefore, any Christian who becomes involved with demonic, mystical powers is in direct disobedience to the expressed will of God as clearly revealed in the Scriptures.
A believer in Jesus Christ is “married” (joined spiritually) to the Lord in a covenant relationship with Him (1 Cor 6:15-20). Through this relationship, the Lord cares for the Church as a husband should care for his wife (Matt 6:25-34; Eph 5:22-32). Therefore, if a Christian consults a medium or spiritist, or becomes involved in the use of magic, witchcraft, or any other demon-filled mystical power, he/she is committing an act of spiritual harlotry – an unfaithful act against the Lord Jesus Christ.
Any involvement with magic and mystical powers of any kind always leads to contact with demons. This contact brings confusion, deception, oppression, bondage, even demonic possession (1 Cor 10:19-21) and leads people far away from God. Therefore God, though the Scriptures, clearly forbids any and all involvement with the demonic realm.
Christian: FLEE From Animism!
Sometimes, even Christians may attempt to participate in occultic, animistic practices. They may not understand that the rituals or practices they are engaging in are animistic and demonic. They may be immature in their faith, or ignorant that the Bible forbids such things. Though they call themselves “Christians”, they may have never truly been “born again” (John 3:3-7); they may never have given their lives and obedience to Christ. Or they may be willful, rebellious and unconcerned with the consequences of engaging in animism.
Regardless of the reason, the Bible is clear: A Christian must never be involved in ANY kind of animistic, demonic practices such as witchcraft, idolatry, sorcery, magic, etc.
Only Through Christ
Man (and woman) is born with a sin nature, inherited through the generations from Adam and Eve. Because of this sin nature, man lives in rebellion against God; thus, man lives with constant anxiety and fear. He may tum to witchcraft, divination, or “lucky” charms or spells in order to attempt to ward off evil. But in reality, these practices invite even worse evil into a person’s life!
Man’s deepest problem is his moral rebellion against God – sin. Mankind has within him a deep spiritual need that can be met ONLY by the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is only the Gospel – with the full teaching of the eternal Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit – that can deliver mankind from his bondage to sin. Only the Gospel can satisfy man’s spiritual need – for it is only when man knows God, his Creator, that his spiritual needs will be met.
It is only through salvation in Christ that mankind can find true freedom from sin, guilt and fear. It is only by the power of Christ’s blood that the bondage to sin and the grip of the demonic realm can be broken. It is only through a heart fully surrendered to God through Christ that we can experience true joy, love, grace and strength – and have ALL that we need for life and godliness (2 Pet 1:3). It is only through God’s precious, unchanging Word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit that we can find help for ALL of life’s challenges and direction in life.
The true needs of mankind can never be found in empty, evil pursuits of mystical powers and magical practices. In fact, it is the pursuit of such demonic practices that will guarantee mankind ‘s increased bondage, pain and destruction. It is in God alone, through Christ, that mankind can truly find salvation, freedom and a life of purpose and meaning.
Witnessing To An Animist
Remember: As is true of all who are in bondage to false religions, God loves animists and Christ died to save them (John 3:16). Because this is true, we should approach them with bold confidence. What we have to share – the Gospel – is powerful and life-changing. But we should also approach them with humility and compassion for their blind and lost state. Many have already sensed their own bondage and have a desire to be free – they just do not know how to truly be free.
You can begin by asking them questions about their beliefs. This can give you insights into how to best talk to them.
It is important to stress to an animist that God – the God of the Bible, the God Christians believe in – is very personal and desires to know them personally and be with them each day. God is infinite not only in His power, but also in His love. Help them understand that God is not distant or uncaring, but He cares so much that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to live among us and give His life for our salvation and freedom .
The animist lives in constant fear of somehow offending a local spirit and then suffering painful consequences. Let them know the following truths about Jesus Christ:
- Jesus Christ loves people personally and unchangingly (Rom 8:37-39).
- Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross was a once for-all payment for every sin or wrongdoing. Those who accept Christ ‘s atoning sacrifice and free gift of salvation and eternal life no longer need to live in fear (Heb 2:14,15 ; 7:25-27; 9:11-15).
- Jesus Christ is the only Mediator between mankind and God (1 Tim 2:5). It is useless to pray to ancestral spirits, other dead people, household idols, other living people, or any other object or spirit; these things have no power to help or save (Ps 1 15).
- Jesus Christ made the willing sacrifice for our sins once and for all. The way is now open for us to have a personal relationship with God, our loving Creator (Eph 3:12; Heb 4:16; 10:19-22).
- Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for us conquered death, hell and the powers of the demonic realm, defeating them and their workings (Heb 2:14-18; Col 2:1 – 15; 1 John 3:8).
As you minister to a person who is involved in animism, you must assure him/her that God is truly trustworthy:
- God’s Word does not fail (1 Ki 8:56; Isa 40:8; 55:10,1 1);
- God is aware of mankind’s every need (Matt 6:25- 34; 10:29-31);
- God does bear and answer our prayers (Ps 118:5-9);
- God is all-powerful (Jer 32: 17; Luke 1 :37) and there is nothing too hard for Him (Jer 32: 17,27);
- God’s love is never-failing, never-ending, and we can never be separated from it (Rom 8:31-39).
No spirit or devil can provide even the smallest measure of what God has for each one of us in Christ Jesus (1 Cor 2:9). So be bold, yet sensitive, as you lead the animist to examine what the Bible says about Jesus (use the Gospels of Mark or John). Pray for the person as you are led by the Holy Spirit – then watch what God will do! It is God Who desires that every person come to know Him through the salvation provided in Christ. God’s Spirit will draw a person to Christ as you speak the truth in love. God’s presence will be with you as you declare the truth of Jesus Christ to those who are lost and without a saving knowledge of Him.
A special message to all pastors, evangelists, church leaders, elders and ministers:
We must disciple, train and teach our people the whole counsel of the Word of God! We must warn our people of the severe dangers of animistic practices; we must warn them against the use of ANY magical or mystical powers. We have been charged by God to faithfully serve as undershepherds, submitted to Jesus, the Great Shepherd – “as those who must give account” (Heb 13:17) in caring for the flock of God (Acts 20:28; !Pet 5:2-4).
This may require us to confront the demonic realm, as we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and the instruction of the Word of God in bringing people to full deliverance.
Confronting the demonic is not something a Christian should approach lightly; but neither should they be afraid. We must be strong in the Word and in prayer; we must understand our authority in Christ and the strategies of spiritual warfare.
The Bible instructs that the “weapons of our warfare” are prayer and fasting (Mark 9:29), the declaring of God’s Word (Heb 4: 12), our authority in Christ (Matt 16:18; Col 1:13-15), and our spiritual armor (Eph 6: 10-18).
Victory In Christ
If, as a faithful undershepherd, you must confront the demonic, you can have every reason for unswerving confidence! For God’s eternal, unchanging, living and powerful Word declares:
- “No weapon formed against you shall prosper … This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD” (Isa 54: 17).
- “A curse without cause shall not alight” (Prov 26:2).
- “Most assuredly, I [Jesus] say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father” (John 14: 12).
- “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God ” (2 Cor 10:3-5).
- “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
- “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8).
- “For God has not given us a spirit often but of power and of love and of a sound mind ” (2 Tim 1:7).
Christ has already defeated Satan and his kingdom at the Cross (Col 2: 13-15). Because of Christ’s victory, He invites us and empowers us by the Holy Spirit to join with Him in bringing the light of the glorious Gospel to a sin-darkened world (Eph 5:8-14; l Pet 2:9). The “gates” of Satan’s kingdom cannot halt or hinder the Church of the Living God as we go forth under the direction and power of the Holy Spirit and are led by our Commander, the Lord Jesus Christ! (Matt 16:1 8, 19; Eph 6:10-17).