Spiritual Warfare – Discerning the spirits

Jesus Christ came to proclaim the beginning of God’s Kingly Rule, in words by preaching the gospel and in actions by healing diseases and by casting out demons (Mark 1:14-15, 32-33, 38-39). He entrusted this ministry first to the twelve and then to all his disciples (Mark 6:6-7, Luke 10:17-20). Western European Christians have generally been faithful in the preaching and are slowly rediscovering the healing. The ministry of casting out demons remains neglected, for nobody but the demons’ benefit.
These are all “doorways to danger”, channels by which the demonic CAN gain a hold on a person’s life. This does NOT mean that EVERYBODY who has been involved in such things is necessarily controlled by demons OR that people dabbling are totally evil! Demonic activity in Britain and certainly in Chelmsford is rare. Refer any suspected instances to a minister experienced in these areas.

Here is a brief introduction to ways in which people can open their lives to the influences of the principalities and powers. There are at least three main areas of danger.
(a) The occult

The occult means “hidden things”. We are not advised to be curious, but to be on our guard against these areas. Varieties of the occult offer power or knowledge or both, always by supernatural means at great cost and with damaging effects.


Attempts to manipulate the spirit world, to gain power over enemies (black magic) or to help friends (white magic). Telepathy, ESP, automatic writing, charms, fetishes, levitation, “out of the body experiences” and astral projection, magic healing and witchcraft, all forms are evil! A person may fall under the control of magic by hereditary involvement (the actions of an ancestor) by occult experiments, by occult transference from one person to another (e.g. spells or curses, blood pacts) or by explicit Satan worship. Places used for magic in the past or possession of occult books/objects can also have dangers.


Here the object is knowledge rather than power. Varieties include palmistry, tarot cards, crystal gazing, psychometry, astrology and horoscopes, reading tea leaves etc, dowsing.


Attempting to communicate with spirits of the dead for various purposes. Approaches include mediums, seances, trances, ouija boards, and table turning. Spiritualist “churches” and spiritual healers are highly dangerous. We should include many of the psychic or paranormal events which people experience without seeking them, e.g. ghosts and poltergeists.

Because of the dangers of contact with demonic beings the Bible condemns all occult practices very clearly: see Deuteronomy 18:9-13; Leviticus 20:27 Exodus 22:18; Galatians 5:20; Revelation 21:8.

Deuteronomy 18:9 When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. 10 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practises divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, 11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. 12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD; because of these same detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you. 13 You must be blameless before the LORD your God.

Leviticus 20 27 “ ‘A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist among you must be put to death. You are to stone them; their blood will be on their own heads.’ ”

(b) Satan’s Counterfeits

Many counterfeit religions are not merely misguided but are controlled by the principalities and powers. They fall into various categories and the lists below are not exhaustive.


These can be identified by two central errors (i) they have a wrong view of Christ, denying his deity or his humanity or his uniqueness as God the Son, and /or (ii) they have a wrong view of salvation, giving some way in which human beings must earn or deserve their salvation by their own efforts, rather than eternal life being the gift of God by His grace alone.
e.g. Jehovah’s Witnesses; The Mormons (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints); Christian Science; Unitarians; The Unification Church (Moonies).


Transcendental Meditation, and some other forms of Yoga; Eastern Mysticism, especially including ancestor worship and idol worship;
Many tribal, pagan and animistic religions including witch- doctors;
Voodoo; The many faces of the “New Age” movement; Ancient Celtic religions and traditional British mysticism; Other world religions – Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism; Krishnas; Scientology; Reincarnation;
White Witchcraft / Wicca / “The Craft”.

(c) Less obvious “doorways to danger”

There are all kinds of activities which seem to offer “something for nothing”. Sometimes they also give evil powers a foothold into unsuspecting lives.
Political religions, e.g. Nazism and Fachism, extremes of Marxism and Maoism; Personality cults, Hitler, Stalin, Mao; Many kinds of obsessive behaviour, e.g. violence, sexual perversion; Many aspects of Martial Arts; Possession of charms, amulets or other objects (often from the East) which have been used in idol worship; Many aspects of Alternative Medicine; Fantasy games and literature e.g. Dungeons and Dragons etc;
Then there is the “fifth column”: structural sins such as materialism, racism, and abuse of civil rights; Liberal Theology and Dis-enchantment
All the traps of money (greed is idolatry, Money/Mammon is an idol).

Doorways to Danger – a checklist


1. Symptoms

Hearing voices
Evil nightmares
Seeing apparitions
Violence to self or others
Unusual reaction to Christian things:
e.g. cross, prayer, communion
Accusation – gossip
Deception – Lying
Disbelief and doubt
Depression or despair
Lustful thoughts
Insecurity, inferiority, inadequacy
Obsessive or compulsive thoughts
Blasphemous thoughts
Supernatural knowledge , deja-vu
Any other unusual/psychic experiences.

2. Background


Drugs (prescribed or illegal)
Solvent abuse
Food habits
Occult/horror/Violent/Erotic books/films/videos/comp-games
Music e.g. heavy metal


with parents
with siblings
childhood friends
experiences of bereavement
violent experiences
Sexual partners
Sexual perversion or pornography
Child abuse
Obsessive behaviour

3. Possible points of contact

Are there any links between any of the influences listed above under the occult, Satan’s counterfeits or hidden doorways, and
(i) the client
(ii) the client’s family (especially ancestors and sexual partners)
(iii) the place itself

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