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Wagner on Strategic-level Spiritual Warfare

“Strategic-level spiritual warfare (SLSW) describes confrontation with high-ranking principalities and powers such as Paul writes about in Ephesians 6:12. These enemy forces are frequently called ‘territorial spirits’ because they attempt to keep large numbers of humans networked through cities, nations, neighborhoods, people groups, religious allegiance, industries or any other form of human society in spiritual captivity. This level of warfare, also called ‘cosmic-level spiritual warfare,’ has precipitated most of the current controversy. Some believe that we overstep our divinely appointed boundaries if we engage the enemy on this level (22) ...

“A key difference of opinion lies in the question of how much authority Jesus has given us as His disciples. Some believe that all the authority we have been given for certain is to confront demonic powers attaches to individual persons, and that we overstep our boundaries when we suggest doing spiritual warfare against territorial spirits. I … take a more literal view of Jesus’ statement in Luke 10:19: ‘Behold I give you the authority … over all power of the enemy.’ (36) ...

“Some critics of  SLSW argue that Jesus set boundaries to the power He offered the disciples thought the Holy Spirit. They suggest that we may not have authority over all the powers of darkness, just over the lower-level demons that may be demonizing human beings. Therefore we should stay away from SLSW, lest we overstep our legitimate authority. As I reread the passages of the Gospels in which Jesus equips and sends out His disciples, I find no suggestions of limitations … (see Mark 5:9, 4:39) (135)

“In the Lausanne Covenant, Article 12, ‘Spiritual Conflict,’ states in part: ‘We believe that we are engaged in constant spiritual warfare with the principalities and powers of evil who are seeking to overthrow the Church and to frustrate its task of evangelization.’ ...
In the work of Spiritual Warfare a useful distinction has surfaced between three levels of spiritual warfare: (1) ground-level spiritual warfare dealing with demonic deliverance of individuals; 2(2) occult-level spiritual warfare dealing with the powers of darkness ,,,(3) SLSW (which some prefer to call ‘cosmic-level’ spiritual warfare) in which territorial principalities and powers are confronted.  (257-8)

From Confronting The Powers by C. Peter Wagner, Regal, 1996

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