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May 30, 2008

Spiritual Warfare

Spiritual Warfare

I've had several people email me, asking my opinion on spiritual warfare. Not everyone is familiar with this expression, but if you've attended a Charismatic denomination for any amount of time, this is a household term.

I grew up in the Nazarene Church as a child. They didn't believe in stuff like the gifts of the Spirit and speaking in tongues. Very little was ever said about Spiritual Warfare. Other than an occasional mention of the Devil and his crafty schemes, I don't recall a single sermon where the Pastor talked about actually going to battle with the devil and his demons.

Years later, I started attending a Pentecostal Church. It was a whole new world. There was a lingo there that I had never encountered in my Nazarene life. It was like going to a foreign country and having to learn an entirely different language from scratch. It was no longer about a Devil and a few demons. These people had names and occupations for each demon. Their Devil was as omnipresent as God Himself and every bit as big. Their prayers were almost always a combination of talking to God and Satan at the same time. They would ask God to do something and then they'd stop and start talking to Satan, and they'd tell him to keep his hands off what God was doing. Almost every prayer went that way. It always amazed me to listen to the audiences' reaction to the prayer. When the person praying was talking to God, everyone "amened" and said stuff like, "Yes Lord, yes Lord," but the moment the person started talking to the Devil, the crowed would start screaming and clapping their hands. The sound level would increase by almost three times the level the moment Satan was "confronted." It was clear to me then, that the idea of battling and confronting the Devil provided these people with mountains of excitement and adventure.

The things they would say to Satan during their prayers to God were pretty much the same every time. They would bind him, rebuke him and command him to leave the building. They'd put a hedge of protection around everyone in the sanctuary and plead the blood of Jesus on themselves. They would command the Devil to release his grip on the people and then they'd tell him he wasn't allowed to hold people back from coming forward during the altar call. Sometimes the guy praying might even run through a list of specific demons along with their occupations and bind each one of them. The demon of alcoholism, the demon of drug addiction, poverty, unbelief, witchcraft and the occult demons were all bound and told to leave. They even prayed the demons away from the video equipment and the sound system. By the time they were finished praying, I felt like I had met the whole family.

To a guy like me who had never seen that stuff, I was filled with a mixture of simultaneous fear and excitement. It didn't take long until I started to think like them. Before I knew it, my personal prayer life was dominated with confronting demons and binding Satan. The Devil was on my mind 24 hours a day. I saw a demon around every corner and under every bush. Every single sin I struggled with had its own personal demon attached to it that I had to confront and cast out before I could find freedom. After a few years of this, it became emotionally exhausting. I felt like I was going crazy. It became more and more difficult to think straight and normal thoughts. This mentality eventually dominated my thoughts and speech in everyday activities. Even my dreams were affected by my fear of Satan's attacks.

I found that I could no longer see things as they were. If I had a lustful thought, I couldn't just accept that I had a lustful thought. I envisioned a demon of lust, crouched on my shoulder whispering that thought into my ear. I imagined that there was a conspiracy in hell to get me to think lustful thoughts and because of something my great-grandfather possibly participated in, they had legal rights to torment and seduce my mind. I found myself going through my house and throwing away CDs, magazines, movies and any other little trinkets that might be linked to the occult and have demons attached to them that could cause me to think lustfully. When I was alone, I would speak aloud and bind the demon of lust, and plead the blood of Jesus over myself. I would anoint the windows and doors to my apartment before I went to sleep. I even smeared a cross on my forehead with olive oil in an effort to protect my mind from them when I was dreaming.

For several years, I honestly believe that I had gone certifiably insane. I didn't see a psychologist during that time, but if I had, I'm certain that he would have put me on medication. At one point, I realized that even when I was in the darkest and most sinful point in my life before I became a Christian, I was still happier and more in control of my mind than I was after I got saved. If it wasn't for me getting to go to heaven when I died, I would have felt that I was better being an atheist. My religion had stripped me of my sanity and I knew it.

I've watched this same pattern of religious insanity play out in Christians across the world, and I've come to the conclusion that we need to re-think some of our teachings about spiritual warfare. They've caused us to view the world through demon-tainted sunglasses. Rather than see hurting people, we see possessed people. Rather than a poor side of town, we see a spiritual stronghold of poverty hosted and orchestrated by a politically-organized legion of demons. Rather than a lost person struggling for acceptance and validity, we see a "Jezebel spirit" attacking God's Church. Rather than listening to questions and contending with differences of opinion, we see a spirit of witchcraft and rebellion. Even physical sickness and ailments were seen as besetting sins and generational curses, making it impossible to acknowledge the person in front of us.

I've watched self-proclaimed "Intercessors" drift further and further into an imaginary world that I call "la-la land" until there was almost no hope of recovering a sense of normalcy to their lives. I've noticed that the tone of Christian prayers has gone from loving and simple to belligerent and complex. Sadly, this spiritual warfare language or "lingo" has become so detailed and complex that it has forever separated many Christians from having any authentic communication with normal people of the world.

I marvel at 90% of the things I hear Christians say in reference to spiritual warfare because I find it nowhere in Scripture. It seems that it's the result of an interpretation of an interpretation of an interpretation of something someone said about an interpretation of a verse that was wrongfully interpreted. Before we know it, we are walking and talking about stuff that has absolutely nothing to do with anything real and true. I think perhaps this happens because for the most part, we have become truly bored with the simplicity of the Gospel. We're not happy living our lives in this world, so we create excitement and adventure in our theology in an effort to spice things up.

Imagine hiring a thousand people to run a lemonade stand. It only takes one or two to do the job, but what if a thousand people were given this task? One guy would take the money, one guy would pour the lemonade, and 998 people would sit around creating policies on how many cups would be stacked in each pile, how many inches from the edge of the table each stack would lay. They would decipher how far the spout of the pitcher would bend, how thick the handle on the pitcher would be and whether it would be made of plastic or glass. They would be in charge of what kind of table covering would be used, paper, plastic, vinyl or cloth, and how high the chairs behind the table would stand from the ground. Methods of pouring the lemonade would be debated. Should the pitcher be held in the right hand or the left, should the pinky be extended or folded in? Each individual ice cube would be examined for firmness and shape and all lemonade must be subject to a microscopic pulp count before hitting the public.

I believe that out of sheer boredom and a loss of what else to do inside the four walls of the institutional Church, people have created intricately-detailed teachings on stuff like generational curses, deliverance and spiritual warfare. The problem with Christianity is that it's just too simple. It takes about 30 minutes to explain the entire plan of salvation. After that, it might take another 15 to 20 minutes to be baptized. Beyond these two things, there's not a whole lot of other stuff that would keep an entire staff of clergy busy for 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year. If you want the people's money and you need their faithful attendance, something new must be presented every Sunday morning. Something exciting and enticing must be taught, in order to draw a crowd to build a Church in today's generation. Christianity was never supposed to be a religion. The Freedom that Paul talks about all throughout the New Testament is freedom from religion. The moment we make it a religion, we inevitably create a lemonade stand and before we know it, we start coming up with a thousand different things that just don't make sense or matter.

So we tell people that they have the authority to "bind demons" in Jesus' Name. We're not really sure what that means. Silly questions and details, such as, how long do they stay bound, what are they bound with, are cleverly left out. Annoying questions like why doesn't it work, are shrewdly deflected through the use of spiritual peer pressure. It keeps the people busy and gives them a sense of power and comfort, all at the same time. Never mind the fact that nowhere in the Bible does it say that we can do such things, or that Jesus, John, Jude, James, Peter, Paul and Mary never once bound a single demon in their lifetime. We just came up with the idea because someone else had the job of collecting the money and pouring the lemonade.

I think the idea that we are supposed to "confront the Devil" is both ridiculous and destructive. I believe that for many of us, it's a way to toss off personal responsibility and point the finger at something invisible as being the culprit. I think it's much more productive to abandon "spiritual warfare" and take up the practice of "get your act together." The Bible says that "Each one is tempted when by his own evil desire he is dragged away and enticed." Why not take our eyes off Satan and put them on ourselves? All that wasted energy in confronting the Devil could have been used to control our own evil desires. I'm not sure where in the Bible we were ever told to "confront the Devil" in the first place. Standing your ground and picking a fight are two very different things.

I have found that people who practice and believe in spiritual warfare are almost always caught in a world of doom and gloom. Their lives seem to spiral downward into a pit of depression and oppression. You can't spend time focusing on the dark side and expect to live your life with any degree of freedom and happiness.

Do I believe in spiritual warfare?

The simple answer is NO. Not the way we see it today. Live your life loving people and loving God. If you do this, and nothing else, you will have everything you need to be a happy, well-adjusted and successful Christian. The term, "Spiritual warfare" isn't even in the Bible. I have found that a loving person can cause more damage to hell than 50 "Prayer warriors," which, by the way, is also a term that is found nowhere in Scripture. The very fact that those two words have been linked together in modern-day Christianity is significant and reveals how upside-down and spiritually-perverted our thinking has become.

Don't worry about "generational curses" (another un-biblical term) because you don't have one. The Bible says that the day will come when no longer will the people say, "The fathers eat sour grapes and it sets the children's teeth on edge." Each man will answer for his own sins. That day is NOW! I don't care if your great-grandmother was a hooker and your mama's a witch; you are not cursed! Don't believe a word of it. If you've been told that heart disease and diabetes are generational curses that have been passed down to you, you have been lied to. You wanna know what IS passed down from generation to generation? Recipes! Don't look any further than that. Anything else is just a plot to put you under fear.

Stop walking around "pleading the blood" of Jesus on yourself (another teaching not found in the Bible). The day you asked Christ into your heart, His blood washed away ALL of your sins. The sins you committed in the past and the sins you'll commit in the future. They're all gone. You don't have to plead the blood because you're not on trial! It is finished. You're innocent.

When a group of Christian friends are screaming and yelling at the Devil, have no part of it! In fact, don't even mention him. Don't request prayer from your friends because you feel "Satan is attacking you." The Devil has been defeated. He can't hurt you. Don't talk about him and don't talk to him. While I was in the institution of Church I seriously considered raising my children Catholic. My Church friends would almost have a heart attack when I told them this because they said that Catholics talk to Mary. I could raise them Catholic and teach them to talk to Mary, or I could raise them Pentacostal and teach them to talk to the Devil; which is better in your opinion? I am amazed at how willing Christians are to attribute everything that goes wrong in their life to the Devil. We give him glory for things he didn't even take part in. Life is hard and things go wrong. This generation of Christians has become greater "accusers" than the great accuser himself. I honestly believe that he's actually innocent of 99% of the things we credit him for.

I don't care if everything goes wrong in your life inside of a 24-hour day: If your car breaks down and you walk home only to find that you left your house key in your car. If you climb through a window and cut yourself on the broken glass and while running to get a band-aid, you trip and fall on a roller skate one of the kids left lying around. If you open the cupboard where the band-aids are and everything falls out on top of your head and you take two steps backwards and fall into the bathtub and bonk your head on the faucet knob causing it to spray freezing cold water all over your new outfit you just got from Ross. I don't care if the phone rings in the midst of all this and it's your boss calling to tell you that you're fired and while you're on the line with him, the other line rings and it's the vet calling to inform you that your dog just died of Parvo. DON'T BLAME THE DEVIL!!!! Just move on and get through it.

Don't anoint your doors and windows (you guessed it, it's not in the Bible) with olive oil in an effort to secure your home from spiritual attacks. Olive oil is for cooking. It soaks into the wood on your door and leaves a stain that's difficult to get rid of without using a powerful primer and several coats of paint. It also makes smudges your windows and is almost impossible to see through. I remember a time in my life where I put so much anointing oil on my doors and windows to ward off demons that I had to go out and sit on the front porch. These things are all fear-based and counter-productive.

Don't worry about "breaking down strongholds." It's not your job. Nowhere in Scripture is that job given to you or anyone else who is a Christian.

Don't worry about a "Jezebel spirit" (again; not in the Bible) or any other spirit that you've heard about in the Church. If these spirits existed (and they don't), they couldn't do anything to hurt you in the first place. You are God's child. Believe it and live your life.

You don't have a "Soul tie" (not in the Bible) so don't waste your time trying to break it or untie it. The only thing your soul is tied to is GOD and HEAVEN.

You don't have a demon and as a Christian you cannot be "demon possessed." Not one Christian in all of Scripture was demon possessed. The very definition of being a Christian is that you are possessed by God and His Spirit.

You can fast yourself to skin and bones and it won't make you the slightest bit stronger in the spirit, or closer to God. All the teachings that tell you that you can get closer to God and have a stronger influence on demons and strongholds when you've skipped breakfast and lunch are flat-out WRONG. The one verse where Jesus supposedly said, "This one comes out by prayer and fasting" was NOT found in the "earliest and most reliable manuscripts." In other words; it was added later by a bunch of pro-fasting Monks. Most translations of the Bible even go as far as to skip that particular verse altogether. If you want to fast, do it to lose weight or practice self-control, but don't think for a moment that it's a tool for spiritual warfare. None of those teachings are Biblical. They are all based on a works mentality and in my opinion, they put people under bondage.

Believe it or not, you don't have to put on your "Spiritual armor" every morning when you get out of bed. Your Jesus-suit is armor enough. Love God and love people. If you do that and nothing else, you're going to be the Rambo of this generation.

What this all comes down to: spiritual warfare is something we came up with because, for the most part, we don't love and we don't believe in the power of love. Because of this, we have to create a thousand different ways to fend off the enemy and move forward. Everything has to be done manually when love is absent from the Church. Understand that love is the most powerful spiritual weapon in the universe. If you have it, nothing can stand in your way. No "flaming arrows" can hit you, no demon can possess you, no curse can stick on you and no stronghold can resist you. Love God and love people. Don't worry about anything else. Spiritual warfare is about fear. Perfect love drives out fear.

Ironically, many people will be angry at me for writing this article. They'll call it a dangerous way of thinking. This is truly sad because it is once again evidence that the average Christian in today's world really doesn't believe in the power of love. They think that love is one of many things within Christianity. Make no mistake about it. Love is EVERYTHING. God is love. If you have love, you have everything you need. It is not one of many things you need; it's the only thing you need. Everything in the Christian life flows out of love. Everything!

 


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Comments

  1. Gravatar
    Kathryn

    I don't think I took a breath the whole time I was reading this! Anyone who could get mad at such release and freedom just must enjoy fear and misery. Darin, you make my heart soar. Thank you.

  2. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Kathryn, what nice words. Thank you so much. I'm touched. Deeply.

  3. Gravatar
    At Home

    GREAT, GREAT STUFF!!! Thanks for this, Darin!! I've forwarded it to some of my friends and family still stuck in this mentality. Looking forward to hearing what they think about it. Blessings!!

  4. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Let me know. Feel free to post it anywhere you want. I think this is the type of article that hundreds and thousands of people need to read. Hopefully your family will receive it well.

  5. Gravatar
    shanna

    Great article ! I was laughing and nodding as I recalled all the spiritual warefare books I have read and prayers I have recited.Brought back memories.
    Thanks for the laugh :0)
    Shanna

  6. Gravatar
    AidaC

    Darin, I've already posted a link to this blog on my blog. I ended up doing back to back Darin posts since I'd just posted a blog about your interview on The God Journey. However, this teaching on spiritual warfare is incredible and I think everyone needs to read it. Like Shanna I spent most of my time laughing because I could relate to doing a lot of that crazy stuff. It's amazing the foolish things we believe just because someone told us it was so. Thanks for posting this. It was great and so very freeing.

  7. Gravatar
    Ian

    I really enjoyed this article. Many of the beliefs and behaviours written about were things that I subscribed to in the past. It is just so freeing to engage life simply and rely on the common sense that God has put in our hearts.

    What I have realised Darren is that many of those practices were a subtle form of ego support. At times I felt powerful but bipolar spiritual beliefs have a downside and I guess in this case it is fear.

  8. Gravatar
    AidaC

    BTW, I only gave it a 5 star rating because I couldn't make it any higher.

  9. Gravatar
    cynthia

    Darin, I just listened to the Pod Cast on God Journey and thought I'd come over to this site because I so enjoyed listening to you.
    I had to laugh at this message, but "OH" how true is the religious world and its doings, or should I say (un-doings). But I too was caught up many years ago to this stuff . Its so funny now reading it, but back then "OH BOY" how real.
    Its so much better living in freedom and love and relationally with Our Lord.
    thanks so much for your Gods Honest Truth in what you speak and write.
    Many blessings Darin,
    Cunthia

  10. Gravatar
    Barb

    My daughter turned 23 last week. I looked on Ebay and bought a Care Bear like the one I took away from her as a little girl because I was convinced by someone else that it brought demonic strongholds into my house. I repented for the religion that would take away a childhood bear from a tiny little girl. We walked away from so much of this a year ago and I feel like I am getting my balance back for the first time in my life.

    Followed you here from the God Journey Podcast. Enjoying the site. Thanks

  11. Gravatar
    Sherri

    I agree with much of what you wrote. Many go overboard, but to rule out 'spiritual warfare' completely seems unwise when there are specific instructions relating to the struggle, the fight, etc. What do you make of Ephesians 6:10 and many other passages that refer to a battle/fight? A wise woman said to me once that the Christian life is about balance. The more I learn the more I see the razor's edge between license/legalism, spiritual warfare/personal responsibility, freedom/recklessness... and the list goes on. The only way to stay balanced on this edge without falling off on one side or the other is to keep my eyes on the example of Christ.

  12. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Ephesians 6:10 is proof of my point. It's about "STANDING" not attacking and going to battle. All we need to do is stand. Nothing else.

  13. Gravatar
    RandyL

    What a great eye-opener for those who have been sold the charismania package.(Me included awhile back.) Once you start to question those teachings you quickly go from "annointed" (whatever that means) to "backslidden", to "there's the door".
    Darin, besides sharing these truths, your articles provide many of us an affirmation of what we beleive the scripture teaches, but have been ostracized for questioning or speaking it out. Thank you!

  14. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Thanks Randy.

  15. Gravatar
    Karen

    Ah...how refreshing and liberating...whew, thanks for being so courageous Darin.

  16. Gravatar
    Jake Sanford

    I like your honesty and boldness. I love the ending.
    "Understand that love is the most powerful spiritual weapon in the universe. If you have it, nothing can stand in your way. No "flaming arrows" can hit you, no demon can possess you, no curse can stick on you and no stronghold can resist you. Love God and love people. Don't worry about anything else. Spiritual warfare is about fear. Perfect love drives out fear."

  17. Gravatar
    Joshua Guild

    Concerning spiritual warfare I see some people being addicted to drama and having to create this war around them. Others who always talk about fighting a spiritual war see themselves as great warriors in battle so if you take away the battle you destroy their self esteem.

    Strange how 99% of the errors in religion began with a persons false view of themself or the world around them.

    I love you Darin

  18. Gravatar
    Jan

    Sorry, my first comment got entered too fast. Thanks for the great teaching! I was caught in that terrible trap also, but God got me out of it. I think it is an awful waste of time and energy, while the people around us get neglected. The Lord used His word to cleanse me of this and get my focus back on Him and just loving people again. God bless you for your stand for the truth!

  19. Gravatar
    Kat

    Oh, god...I am rolling on the floor. This is the story of my life. Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you for putting all that into words. I'm sharing this with EVERYBODY.

  20. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    You go Kat!!!! Thanks.

  21. Gravatar
    amy

    THANKS DARIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    (((Hug!!)))
    Amy

  22. Gravatar
    Digger

    Thanks for this insight. One thing I've learned about this "spiritual warfare" stuff. If another person ends up on the receiving end of it, it truly becomes an oppresive thing. It becomes nothing less than a form of witchcraft against those the "spiritual warrior" is having a proplem with.

  23. Gravatar
    David

    Once again you are a breath of fresh air in the dingy, musty dungeon of religious despair. I find that the only spiritual enemy that I battle is my own ego...trying to run things again. The only demon is the darkness within myself that attempts to rule me. The only demons I have encountered in my travels, I didn't have to battle
    I just simply repented of sins and confessed them as evil and they left me. So much for spiritual warfare. god bless you Darin! Keep it up!

  24. Gravatar
    Sherri

    Hi Darin,

    Thanks for your response. To me, the fight appears to be a bit more proactive in 2 Corinthians 10:3For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 6And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.

    This fight is definitely active... not passive... and sometimes requires physical action such as removing ourselves from tempting situations, etc. What say you?

  25. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Sherri, believe it or not, LOVE covers just about everything listed in that verse. Removing ourselves from situations is quite different from "going to battle" or confronting an invisible stronghold. "The Weapons" we fight with are LOVE. Nothing can stand against it. Our weapons are not anointing oil, memorized Bible verses and the Name of Jesus like "spiritual warfare" experts teach us. Love confounds the wise and destroys strongholds.

  26. Gravatar
    Sherri

    Good morning Darin,

    Thank you for your thoughtful response. I ran out of room so my response follows...

  27. Gravatar
    Sherri

    If we loved perfectly there would be no fight/need for a Savior. I remember God’s word (Psalm 119:11) to correct my own faulty thinking, which helps me respond lovingly. Maybe someday, I will not need to fight, but until then, I need this protective gear/weapons listed in Eph6 (truth, righteousness, gospel of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, sword of Spirit which is the word of God, prayer) to help me fight against my own sinful nature. Eph6 also says to put on the full armor of God so that you will be able to stand AFTER you have done everything. Yes, love covers it all… but until I am able to love perfectly I’m going to need a lot of help. Please pray for me and all those who struggle.

  28. Gravatar
    Sherri

    p.s. I'm so sorry for those who have been taught so incorrectly about this fight and hope this will help clear it up for them.

  29. Gravatar
    Peter

    Wow! Such sound stuff. And thank YOU for standing brother; you stand in truth and I can see you from Australia. If only the blind would see........

  30. Gravatar
    Tracy Simmons

    Darin, what a great post! Thanks for writing so boldly. I used to be just as you described. Thank God I have my sanity back :-). It's the love that counts, period, end of story!

    Thanks,
    Tracy Simmons
    http://thebestparts.blogspot.com/

  31. Gravatar
    bob c

    LOVE indeed is the answer: "Love one another." But the Lord's been showing me that it's He who does the loving...in me through me. My main focus is on Jesus. He's gradually teaching my heart how very much I am loved by Him and Father and Spirit. My growing involvement in loving and serving others comes directly out of my experience of being loved by Him. I share that joy with whomever He puts in my path. Isn't that the root meaning of the command to love one another? Oh, if we could only see that its God Himself who is the great Lover and He invites us along to have a part in His loving! bob

  32. Gravatar
    Jill

    Darin, I really liked your blog. So good. Exactly like things I have been through. I am thinking of the "prayers" that I prayed over and over always with a weird knowing that these were wrong but not knowing what else to do. Now, I smile and thank God for my sanity and the ease of just talking with Him. I am thankful for clear thoughts and freedom like I have never known. I agree that LOVE is the "weapon of our warfare" so to speak. What can compete with real love? I am glad you wrote this. As always, I am so proud of what you are doing!

  33. Gravatar
    Mark

    Love this entry. Really enjoy the blog. I have only recently left this type of environment. And yes, it definitely feels like regaining my sanity.

  34. Gravatar
    AmyinSurprise

    Darin, very well stated. Everything you mention in this Blog is true. I remember when I, too, unfortunately, was miserable during a season when I had personally believed the church's notions of the whole Spiritual Warfare aspect. I can completely relate to having lived in fear during that time. Thank the Lord I came out of that, having realized the Truth. Love IS the answer. Loving God and loving people...period. Everyone needs to read and heed this Blog, if they do not understand the Truth. It actually angers me that many Christian churches continue to encourage this thinking and living process.

  35. Gravatar
    AmyinSurprise

    (I ran out of space to finish. Ha!) I recently have been thinking of moving on from a Bible Study I'm in. The leader had us annoint a friend's home with oil & pray over it...doing the "casting out demon" thing. I didn't participate and felt uncomfortable. Instead, I went to a corner & prayed quietly for everybody. She is also beginning a new series, which I have a good feeling will be very "religiously" oriented. It is also a pattern of hers to pray very complexly, overtly emotional and long-winded. Lately, I believe God has been lovingly whispering into my heart to actually start a "Get-together" group at my apartment for people just to come and talk, share openly and intimately...pure relationship building. Any thoughts from other Free Believers out there?

  36. Gravatar
    Maggie in Las Vegas

    Yuck! I remember those days! I couldn't say anything I really felt or thought to God, because I thought every good prayer had a scripture attached to it.
    So good to be normal again.

  37. Gravatar
    devon

    That is so true with a lot of what you are saying on spiritual warfare. I think though the Bible is about balance not extremes. It's extreme to look for a demon behind every bush, but it's also extreme to not even acknowledge a Devil, demons etc. and just "love" the Devil away. Jesus confronts Satan, and the demonic realm. There is a time and place for that. "We wrestle not against flesh and blood....." What does it mean to wrestle? It's all in the semanitics, call it spiritual warfare or a wrestling with forces that do want to destroy your Christian walk. We do need to know the enemy, but not dwell on him. He is defeated, but we need to constantly renew our hearts and minds with prayer, God's word, and fellowship. Thanks!

  38. Gravatar
    Devon

    Also, memorizing scripture, having it in your head and heart is powerful. Jesus memorized scripture and actually quoted verses to satan. God's word is alive and active and is sharper than any two edged sword! I can't tell you how a verse will come to mind and I'll tell a friend and they will be so blessed by it because it spoke to them. So when you said memorizing scripture doesn't help, that is actually the opposite of what God speaks. I'm not sure what you meant by "you don't have to know scripture." Let me know if I took it the wrong way. Love the conversation! keep getting people talking!

  39. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    If you love, you ARE scripture. It does no good to memorize scripture if you're just in it for spiritual warfare. You'll end up like the guy who used the Name of Jesus to cast the demon out and the demon said, "Jesus I know and Paul I know, but who are you?" The guy left the scene in the same condition as most spiritual warfare Churches are in today; "Naked and bleeding."

    I'm not saying to deny the Devil's existance. I'm saying to ignore him. If you are on the mission field you may have to confront a demon possessed person. I've been there and seen that. In your personal life as a Christian however, you don't have to worry about things like that.

  40. Gravatar
    Alex

    Walking around the walls of Jericho would have been useless if the Lord had not told them to do so. Demons are in Christian's lives. This blog has some valid points, but on the whole I think you are doing Satan a favor, and the church a dis-service. Be careful about camping on one point regarding God. He is love, which is why he warns us regarding Satan.

  41. Gravatar
    Alex

    I was not clear regarding Jericho. I was referring to anointing walls by comparison. Without the Spirit's leading, it is just oil on the walls. Also, if your readers understand your blog to mean be passive regarding the devil, then you have done the devil a service We are to resist the devil, and he will flee (James 4:7), which is an active directive, not passive. I appreciate your ministry, but feel pendulum swing too far sometimes.

  42. Gravatar
    David Vaughan

    The devil is like a little child who craves attention. When we acknowledge him we bring power to him. It's not GOD vs. the devil. It's GOD is the haystack and the devil is a tiny little needle in that haystack. My Christian walk went to new levels the day we as a group decided to ignore him.

  43. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Alex I appreciate your concern but don't worry about how people will take this blog. As you can see from the previous comments before yours, they are taking it just fine. In ten years of preaching this message and following the lives of people who follow it, I have seen nothing but freedom and victory. The over acknowledgment of the Devil on the other hand has proven to destroy people's sanity. (see first 35 comments below)

  44. Gravatar
    Alex

    Yes,I agree that much of the nonsense you point out is in the church. My yardstick is what the Lord points out to me. In my case I have unwittingly let the devil attack me, and the Lord showed me in hindsight that I was not "keeping my garden." We still need to be sober, but I agree that we need not seek the devil out. We are called to seek the Lord with our whole heart. I am concerned that Free Believers might throw the baby out with the bath water, though.

  45. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    My blog and my teachings don't encourage people to deny the Devil's existance. I do teach that we shouldn't acknowledge him for every bad thing that happens in our lives. I've personally walked with about 400 free believers that have decided to just not mention the Devil and live life knowing they are safe from him. I can tell you first hand that in the last ten years they are doing better then ever. I undestand what you are saying. I used to say it and believe it myself. I see a thousand times more fruit in people's lives when they let go of their Devil meter, and just live life. I'm speaking from experience. If I'm wrong; I want to be because it's brought victory and freedom to hundreds and hundreds of people in my life.

  46. Gravatar
    David Vaughan

    How many times is the devil mentioned in the new testament???

    Research this:

    How many times is LOVE mentioned in the new testament???
    Take a wild guess which one is mentioned more???

    Where should our focus be????

    "It's LOVE that holds it all together"...Kings X

  47. Gravatar
    David

    I enjoyed most of what you wrote. It seems like you have just taken it too far. From your article, I almost get the idea that the negative supernatural does not exist or can be ignored. Sure, if a christian (who is secure in who he is) ignores the devil and his work, he will have no issues. The devil has no power except what is given him. The problem is that you consciously remove the solution (helping the person rescind the authority given to something other than God) when you are dealing with the oppressed or possessed. I have noticed that there is way to much emphasis on demons and the devil. When dealing with the possessed or oppressed it is never about the demon; it is about the person and having them rescind the authority they gave away. The key is to just listen to God.

  48. Gravatar
    Eric Coleman

    I'm sitting here laughing to myself at David's comment. He sounds like he disagrees, but in his explanation he goes on to say exactly what Darin said in this article. This article doesn't at all say that there isn't a Devil or demons. Where are you people getting this????

  49. Gravatar
    Michelle

    Soooo funny! I had to read some parts out loud to my hubby to share the joy. All this stuff has been bugging me as it is infiltrating non-pentecostals too. So annoying. Love is the answer, amen!

  50. Gravatar
    Gladys

    Thank you so much! I was involved in this 17 years ago for 3 years and still have scars :(. I can't get enough of this kind of readings when I find them. Shhhh... stay away from the Christian tv network (affiliate of my employer 17 years ago).

  51. Gravatar
    Charlie Pugliese

    It's Relationship. Back to square one. Jesus put it all in a nutshell by declaring that all the Law and the Prophets hinges on loving God and loving others. You cannot love unless you are in a relationship. I once said to a beautiful when she asked why I do not look at other women: "Why should I look at anyone when I have the most beautiful woman in the world right next to me. If you are going to pray why waste time speaking to anyone less than the One who made it all. Even when Jesus spoke to the devil, He merely quoted what God said about the situation. As a 40 year religiounist, I was worn out. Thank God Almighty I am free at last!

  52. Gravatar
    Chris Pack

    Darin, I like your statement in one of your comments..."If you love, you ARE scripture." I'm reminded of something Paul said, that the church is "the pillar and support of the truth." So often we do the reverse and prop ourselves up with scripture. Instead, our lives of love should be revealing the truth of God's word to those around us. Thanks for your blog posts. I'm enjoying all of them.

  53. Gravatar
    tony

    darin,

    like the blog. not sure i completely agree with the point of not having to struggle. the imagery i see i ephesians 6 clearly connotes an active battle as sherri indicates in her comments. i understand your point about taking this to an extreme level where personal responsibility, personal choice, and folks just plain old being fallen come to bear. i also understand and agree with the point that our victory is in Christ and that Christ has already defeated satan and his crew. i think that was as much of Paul's writing as anything, trying to get us to understand our position in Christ.

  54. Gravatar
    Cecelia

    wow! thanks for this article, Darin. It was definitely refreshing to read this. Even though I'm a Catholic and have never been hurt by any church whatsoever, I have great sympathy towards people who are mislead by this fear called spiritual warfare. Take care and God Bless!

  55. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Tony, in Ephesians 6 Paul was in prison looking at a Roman guarding solder when writing about the armor of God. He was using everything he saw that solder wearing as symbolism of a Christian being armed, NOT because he was wanting us to wage war against the Devil. In fact in Eph 6:13 he gives us instruction; STAND. That’s it. Stand. Believe it or not, you really don’t have to struggle. I know it’s hard to believe but I’d like to encourage you to live 3 months according to what I’m saying and you’ll see that it works. Remember, we never saw one New Testament character going to battle with Satan. No one took Paul's writings that way. I've never seen any good come out of modern day Christians fighting the Devil. I've seen only good in them loving and living. Blessings.

  56. Gravatar
    Brett

    Thank you. This is good balance for the focus I've had on the work of the Spirit lately. Extremism is so American! We really don't appreciate how much the culture effects the church. You made a reference to Matt 17 in re: to fasting. IF that scripture is in the original MS, this seems a clearer interpretation than is commonly used. When Jesus says this kind only comes out by prayer & fasting, He was concluding his response to the disciples as to why they couldn't cast out the demon: their unbelief. That was what they needed to address. Sometimes we are really stuck in our ability to believe all that He has done & makes available. P & F changes that. The issue isn't the enemy, but lack of confidence in the authority of love's cleansing effects. A heart broken over brokeness breaks yokes.

  57. Gravatar
    tony

    I'm feeling you Darin, I am. I don't believe I am capable of doing battle in that realm and really don't believe we were called to wage that war. My understanding of scripture is that Christ done did all that at the cross, that in His life, death, and resurrection, He defeated the adversary et al.

    I am also hearing you on loving being the thing. I came to that belief a few years ago now, realizing that God has taken my sins and put them as far away as the East is from the West, and while something of a scary process, as I mature in it, I see the beauty of it and am actually starting to make better choices based on love for God as opposed to fear of retribution for failure to measure up.

    Pretty sweet, if you ask me ;)

  58. Gravatar
    Queen Ester

    I am amazed at the level of freedom that's manifested in you ,and I want that level too.Thanks Daren for restoring my belief that there sane believers out there, people who are true lovers ,walking in the steps of Jesus, keep the posts coming, it's like pools of refreshing springs.

  59. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Thanks girlfriend. I appreciate that. I would love to be your friend. If you email me personally with your phone number I'll call you this week and we can get to know one another. Blessings.

  60. Gravatar
    Bruce

    Yes, Godis love, He is also a jealous GOd a God who will not be mocked, and a God of judgement. Yes he bound Satan, but Satan still walks on teh earth as in Job, seeking who he may devour. Satan is still real. I see thus attitude of God is loe and everyhing you do is ok, Broad si the way to distruction, narrow is the gate to salvation and few are those who truely find it.

  61. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Wow Bruce, I'm not really sure where you get that in this article, but oh well.

  62. Gravatar
    Starbucks

    I think I would want more than a hedge to hold back some of those demons; a concrete wall might be a good start. A hedge could be cut down with hedge trimmers. And what is the breaker spirit that my pastor has been talking about?

  63. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    The "Breaker Spirit"??? That's a new one. What does he say about it?

  64. Gravatar
    alice scott-ferguson

    Mary or the Devil...I love it!! So very, very familiar w/all that you say,Darin. I recall being in a prayer room in Europe before a Reinhardt Bonnke meeting where the noise(praying) was so loud I simply could not hear myself think;it was another marker along the way to lead me out of that craziness. Then I threw the baby out w/the bath water and for years did not know what to do about all the warfare stuff. Then I heard the Father direct me to re-examine it all. The result is a study I will teach this Fall called The War is Won--a refreshing and enlightening and hope-filled look at "warfare". We are called to simply STAND in the Life, Love and Liberty of Christ who is in us. I do contend that he is real and active--though undoubtedly defeated-- and ignorance of his LIES can be fatal.

  65. Gravatar
    danny

    Man! Good stuff. You have put into words how I have felt for a long time! You can blame the devil all day long for things going wrong, or you can spend your days enjoying God and living in the reality of His love! This whole thing is supposed to be about REST. Jesus led a triumphal procession over the devil and stripped him of any authority he did have. When is the church going to start living in the reality of the finished work of the cross?! Much love and respect for sharing your heart man.

  66. Gravatar
    Corey

    Thank you Darin for sharing your heart. You always challenge me to reexamine my beliefs and where I stand on things. I agree with you that there was a time a few years ago when this was sweeping through the church, and there was a new book out on spiritual warfare almost every week. I think I read most of them. And I know there still are some out there that do believe there is a demon hiding behind every rock. However, I believe it's all about balance. Sometimes it's easy to latch onto an idea or concept and then take it too far. You can take any teaching from the bible and do that. However, I have to disagree with you in the fact that I do believe there is spiritual warfare. There just too much in scripture that supports it.

  67. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Corey, find all those scriptures that talk about spiritual warfare and get back to me.

  68. Gravatar
    Judy Povey

    Oh,how I recognise this description of the church totally losing the plot! ...just so long as we don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. There is a devil and we're told to resist him but my guess is that spiritual warfare should be all about resisting sin and clearing the strongholds in OURSELVES. Perhaps this doesn't happen very often and is the very reason why people get drawn into such deception.

  69. Gravatar
    Jackson

    Darin,
    Great stuff. I remember you from my days in Phoenix Master's (96'-00'). I think many can relate to your feelings of oppression, depression and hopelesness brought about by being exposesd to this confusing, unbiblical bull. Most troubling are those who don't want to be questioned. We're sinners, saved by God's grace and called to follow the Golden Rule. If everyone just did that the world (and the church) would be a drastically different place. Thanks for shedding light on a dark phenomenon.

  70. Gravatar
    Justin Hall

    Hey Darin, you are so right. I've watched people go battle satin in warefare prayer and I have never seen results from anyone who prayed that way. I've always thought that it was silly and unessasary, even as a child. I never understood the olive oil myself, and couldn't figure out how something as physical as oil could stop something spiritual. We do a lot of things in the physical, thinking that they have some connection in the spirit relm. I don't believe there is any tie from the body to the spirit accept our own spirit and the Holy Spirit. Even pray is not a physical connection. If it were, how do deaf or dumb people pray. My point is that you are right about spiritual warefare. The best warefare we have is showing God's love through us.- Miss you man.

  71. Gravatar
    Justin Hall

    Hey Darin, you are so right. I've watched people go battle satin in warefare prayer and I have never seen results from anyone who prayed that way. I've always thought that it was silly and unessasary, even as a child. I never understood the olive oil myself, and couldn't figure out how something as physical as oil could stop something spiritual. We do a lot of things in the physical, thinking that they have some connection in the spirit relm. I don't believe there is any tie from the body to the spirit accept our own spirit and the Holy Spirit. Even pray is not a physical connection. If it were, how do deaf or dumb people pray. My point is that you are right about spiritual warefare. The best warefare we have is showing God's love through us.- Miss you man.

  72. Gravatar
    Robert Bresler

    hi Darin,
    I think that you raise some valid points about the strange behaviour of many Christians and churches and about truly loving others, but then you take it to a different extreme where everything is love and the other vital truths and instructions to believers to be ACTIVE & VIGILANT in our daily walk are thrown out in the name of love. Your argument reminds me of John Lennon who wrote a song "All you need is love"...

    I agree we must LOVE with the love of God and that LOVE NEVER FAILS (as in 1 Cor 13). WE ARE TO BE MOTIVATED BY LOVE and live our life loving others (its central to our faith). And I agree that the way we live our life is one of the most powerful testimonies we can offer a sinful world around us.

  73. Gravatar
    Robert Bresler

    In Genesis 3:1, it says: Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said..." Sadly, I think your article, whilst probably meant well, will cause many Christians to stumble - because they will question numerous truths laid out in the Scriptures. At first I wanted to express my thoughts in detail on various issues you touched on, but then I felt to rather just include the verses relating to the different contraversial points you raised - and then you (and the readers) can ask the Lord to speak to you about their relevance...I really hope that you will not delete my feedback (for the sake of a balanced article).
    So here goes...I will present a comment from you and a relevant part of the Word...

  74. Gravatar
    Robert Bresler

    YOU SAY:
    "I believe that out of sheer boredom and a loss of what else to do inside the four walls of the institutional Church, people have created intricately-detailed teachings on stuff like generational curses, deliverance and spiritual warfare."

    Exodus 20:5-6 (generational punishment also mentioned in Exodus 34:7, Exodus 20:5,Deuteronomy 5:9,Numbers 14:18 )
    For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

  75. Gravatar
    Robert Bresler

    YOU SAY:
    "The problem with Christianity is that it's just too simple. It takes about 30 minutes to explain the entire plan of salvation. After that, it might take another 15 to 20 minutes to be baptized. Beyond these two things, there's not a whole lot of other stuff that would keep an entire staff of clergy busy for 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year. If you want the people's money and you need their faithful attendance, something new must be presented every Sunday morning. Something exciting and enticing must be taught, in order to draw a crowd to build a Church in today's generation."
    ...continued on next comment...

  76. Gravatar
    Robert Bresler

    Heb 5:12-13 SAYS:
    For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

  77. Gravatar
    Robert Bresler

    YOU SAY:
    "So we tell people that they have the authority to "bind demons" in Jesus' Name. We're not really sure what that means. Silly questions and details, such as, how long do they stay bound, what are they bound with, are cleverly left out. Annoying questions like why doesn't it work, are shrewdly deflected through the use of spiritual peer pressure. It keeps the people busy and gives them a sense of power and comfort, all at the same time. Never mind the fact that nowhere in the Bible does it say that we can do such things, or that Jesus, John, Jude, James, Peter, Paul and Mary never once bound a single demon in their lifetime."

    ...continued on next comment...

  78. Gravatar
    Robert Bresler

    Luke 10:17-20 SAYS:
    Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.

    Matt 10:7-8 SAYS:
    And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

  79. Gravatar
    Robert Bresler

    YOU SAY:
    "I'm not sure where in the Bible we were ever told to "confront the Devil" in the first place. Standing your ground and picking a fight are two very different things.
    ..."Spiritual warfare" isn't even in the Bible...
    ...Don't worry about "breaking down strongholds." It's not your job. Nowhere in Scripture is that job given to you or anyone else who is a Christian."

    Matthew 18:18 SAYS:
    “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

    ...continued on next comment...

  80. Gravatar
    Robert Bresler

    2 Cor 10:4-6 SAYS:
    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, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

    Luke 10:17-20 SAYS:
    And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.

  81. Gravatar
    Robert Bresler

    YOU SAY:
    "I have found that a loving person can cause more damage to hell than 50 "Prayer warriors," which, by the way, is also a term that is found nowhere in Scripture.
    ...Don't request prayer from your friends because you feel "Satan is attacking you."

    JAMES 5:15-16 SAYS:
    And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

    ...continued on next comment...

  82. Gravatar
    Robert Bresler

    Matthew 18:18-20 SAYS:
    “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
    “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

    JAMES 5:13 SAYS:
    Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray.

  83. Gravatar
    Robert Bresler

    YOU SAY:
    "Stop walking around "pleading the blood" of Jesus on yourself (another teaching not found in the Bible). "

    Rev 12:10-12 SAYS:
    And they overcame him (the devil) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.

  84. Gravatar
    Robert Bresler

    YOU SAY:
    "Don't request prayer from your friends because you feel "Satan is attacking you." The Devil has been defeated. He can't hurt you. Don't talk about him and don't talk to him."

    Mark 8:33 SAYS
    But when He had turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

    1 Peter 5:8-9 SAYS:
    Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

    ...continued on next comment...

  85. Gravatar
    Robert Bresler

    Rev 2:10 SAYS:
    Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

  86. Gravatar
    Robert Bresler

    YOU SAY:
    "When a group of Christian friends are screaming and yelling at the Devil, have no part of it! In fact, don't even mention him. ...I honestly believe that he's actually innocent of 99% of the things we credit him for.."

    John 8:44-45 SAYS:
    You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me."

    ...continued on next comment...

  87. Gravatar
    Robert Bresler

    Acts 13:8-10 SAYS:
    But Elymas the sorcerer (for so his name is translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, “O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord?

  88. Gravatar
    Robert Bresler

    YOU SAY:
    "...and the sins you'll commit in the future. They're all gone. "

    Romans 6:1-4 SAYS
    What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

  89. Gravatar
    Robert Bresler

    YOU SAY:
    "Don't anoint your doors and windows (you guessed it, it's not in the Bible) with olive oil in an effort to secure your home from spiritual attacks. Olive oil is for cooking."

    Exodus 40:9-10 SAYS:
    “And you shall take the anointing oil, and anoint the tabernacle and all that is in it; and you shall hallow it and all its utensils, and it shall be holy. You shall anoint the altar of the burnt offering and all its utensils, and consecrate the altar. The altar shall be most holy.

    Isaiah 10:27 SAYS:
    It shall come to pass in that day that his burden will be taken away from your shoulder, and his yoke from your neck, and the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil.

    ...continued on next comment...

  90. Gravatar
    Robert Bresler

    James 5:14-15 SAYS:
    Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

  91. Gravatar
    Robert Bresler

    YOU SAY:
    "If these spirits existed (and they don't), they couldn't do anything to hurt you in the first place."

    Luke 8:2 SAYS
    and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities—Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons,

    Luke 7:21 SAYS
    And that very hour He cured many of infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits;

    Acts 19:13-15 SAYS
    Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.” Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so.
    And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?”

  92. Gravatar
    Robert Bresler

    YOU SAY:
    You don't have a "Soul tie" (not in the Bible) so don't waste your time trying to break it or untie it. The only thing your soul is tied to is GOD and HEAVEN.

    Numbers 30:13 SAYS
    Every vow and every binding oath to afflict her soul, her husband may confirm it, or her husband may make it void.

  93. Gravatar
    Robert Bresler

    YOU SAY:
    'You can fast yourself to skin and bones and it won't make you the slightest bit stronger in the spirit, or closer to God. All the teachings that tell you that you can get closer to God and have a stronger influence on demons and strongholds when you've skipped breakfast and lunch are flat-out WRONG. The one verse where Jesus supposedly said, "This one comes out by prayer and fasting" was NOT found in the "earliest and most reliable manuscripts."'

    Ezra 8:23 SAYS:
    So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer.

    Nehemiah 1:4 SAYS:
    So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.

    ...continued on next comment...

  94. Gravatar
    Robert Bresler

    MATT 6:16-17 JESUS SAYS:
    “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,

    Acts 13:3 SAYS:
    Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.

    Acts 14:23 SAYS:
    So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

    1 Corinthians 7:5 SAYS:
    Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer;

  95. Gravatar
    Robert Bresler

    YOU SAY:
    "Believe it or not, you don't have to put on your "Spiritual armor" every morning when you get out of bed. Your Jesus-suit is armor enough. Love God and love people. If you do that and nothing else, you're going to be the Rambo of this generation."

    Ephesians 6:13 SAYS:
    Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

  96. Gravatar
    Robert Bresler

    YOU SAY:
    "Understand that love is the most powerful spiritual weapon in the universe. If you have it, nothing can stand in your way. No "flaming arrows" can hit you, no demon can possess you, no curse can stick on you and no stronghold can resist you."

    Psalm 91
    1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
    Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
    2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
    My God, in Him I will trust.”
    3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler[a]
    And from the perilous pestilence.
    4 He shall cover you with His feathers,
    And under His wings you shall take refuge;
    His truth shall be your shield and buckler.

    ...continued on next comment...

  97. Gravatar
    Robert Bresler

    5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
    Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
    6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
    Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

    7 A thousand may fall at your side,
    And ten thousand at your right hand;
    But it shall not come near you.
    8 Only with your eyes shall you look,
    And see the reward of the wicked.

  98. Gravatar
    Robert Bresler

    9 Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge,
    Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
    10 No evil shall befall you,
    Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
    11 For He shall give His angels charge over you,
    To keep you in all your ways.
    12 In their hands they shall bear you up,
    Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
    13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
    The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
    ...continued...

  99. Gravatar
    Robert Bresler

    14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
    I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
    15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble;
    I will deliver him and honor him.
    16 With long life I will satisfy him,
    And show him My salvation.”

  100. Gravatar
    Robert Bresler

    FINAL WORDS: May the LORD reveal the truth in this message to all who read it.
    Isaiah 55:11
    So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

  101. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Robert, I'm not sure if you're trying to prove or disprove each of these statements. Amazingly NOT ONE SINGLE VERSE you mentioned here, contradicts the statement I made concerning that topic. I'm not even sure where to begin with this because the scriptures you quoted don't prove me wrong in what I said. Again, I'm not sure what your purpose is here. You start out sounding like you're against what I wrote but then you didn't offer any scriptural evidence proving any of these statements are wrong. You listed 15 different statements I made, along with a Bible verse next to each one that supposedly (and I'm not sure about this) contradicts my statement. I will address each statement by order and give them a number.

  102. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    #1 YOU SAY (concerning generational curses) -- You used all Old Testament verses. Christ became the curse for us all. We no longer live under that concept of sins being passed down. All sin was taken away by the cross. If you still hold to these verses; Christ died for NOTHING.
    #2 YOU SAY (concerning Christianity being simple and easy to teach)--The Hebrews verse has Paul rebuking the people for not having grown up. Not sure what this verse has to do with my statement.
    #3 YOU SAY (concerning the Bible not teaching to bind demons)--Not one single verse you included here says anything about "binding demons."
    #4 YOU SAY (concerning confronting the devil and spiritual warfare)--None of the verses you used talked about confronting the devil or spiritual warfare as we know it today.

  103. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    #5 YOU SAY (concerning not requesting prayer because Satan is attacking you)--the James verse, says nothing about that whatsoever, The Matthew verse says nothing about that whatsoever and the last James verse also says nothing about that whatsoever. I never said "Don't Pray". You took my words out of context and you are trying to prove that prayer is good. #6 YOU SAY (Concerning people walking around "pleading the blood") The Revelations verse says nothing about pleading the blood whatsoever. You took my statement out of context. I never said the blood was worthless or didn't matter. You seem to be trying to prove it's value.

  104. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    #7 YOU SAY (concerning me saying the Devil can't hurt you)--None of the verses you used said the devil could hurt us. They did tell us not to be afraid of him. Are you trying to prove there is a devil?? Are you wanting people to be afraid of him?? #8 YOU SAY (concerning all our sins being gone, even future sins)--Your Romans verse doesn't even address that. You took my words out of context. Sounds like you heard "It's ok to sin now" when that's not at all what I said. You seem to be trying to prove that sin is wrong. Not sure where you got that from my statement.

  105. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    #9 YOU SAY (concerning anointing your doors and windows)--Your Exodus verse about anointing the tabernacle and it's utensils has NOTHING to do with anointing your doors and windows. First of all, that was in the OLD TESTAMENT. Today WE ARE THE TABERNACLE!!!! Then you go on to quote a James verse that has nothing to do with anointing doors and windows. You seem to be trying to prove the value of anointing oil. #10 YOU SAY (concerning spirits not being able to hurt you)--All of the people who had spirits or demons were unsaved. My article is to Christians. You seem to be trying to prove that demons exist and they can hurt us. None of the verses you quoted take away anything I said in my original comment in the article.

  106. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    #11 YOU SAY (concerning soul ties)--You quoted a Numbers verse about marriage. It has nothing to do with our modern teachings on soul ties. #12 YOU SAY (concerning fasting not getting you closer to God or making you stronger spiritually)--Your Ezra verse says they fasted; it didn't say they got closer or were stronger spiritually, Nehemiah verse just says he fasted. It says nothing about getting closer to God or more spiritual. Matthew verse also says nothing about this as well as the Acts verse. None of the verses you used says anything in reference to what I said. #13 YOU SAY (concerning spiritual armor)--Your Ephesians verse merely shows where the "armor verse" is in the Bible, but it says nothing about our modern concept of it.

  107. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    #14 YOU SAY (concerning love being the most powerful spiritual weapon in the universe)--The the entire verse you quoted and just before reading it, turn to 1 John and read "GOD IS LOVE."

  108. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Again - I still think I may have miss read your comments because I'm not sure if your for this or against it. Most, if not all over the verses you listed, merely showd the reader where the subject matter was found in Scripture.

  109. Gravatar
    e

    i hope everyone knows that not everything in this article is true. and if you take this more seriously than you take the words of Jesus then you've been led astray. seek and you will find

  110. Gravatar
    Eric Coleman

    Why don't you tell us what you're referring to "e". What did Jesus say that contradicts this article? I've read the Bible about 50 times, so I can't imagine what your referring to. Unless it's something like what Robert presented, which is a combination between what he has been taught coupled with a Bible verse that doesn't say what he claims it says.

  111. Gravatar
    Paul Fredericks

    Dan,

    I appreciate your experience, and your willingness to cover such a topic which most, like you say, avoid.

    You said, you didn't believe in Spiritual warfare, because it wasn't in the Bible. The Bible is clear, we wrestle not with flesh and blood, but against powers... (Eph 6:10ff). Just because the term, "Spiritual Warfare" is not in the Bible, does not mean there isn't a battle.

    HOwever, I do agree, those who are extremist do believe there is a demon behind, in, and around every bush! I do not subscribe to such thinking. You are correct. It only leads to an unhealthy and unfruitful preoccupation. Something Christ would not want us to ponder (Col 3:1ff). I also found people who are trying to renounce family curses. Too bad they haven't read 2 Cor 5:17-we are new creations!

  112. Gravatar
    Kent Secor

    AMEN.
    Darrin you have hit the nail square on the head.
    The foundation of the "spiritual warfare" movements teaching is false. In the 70's I sat in a class on demonology and exocism. The teacher had all kinds of extra-biblical ideas he shared. One of us asked him where he got these ideas from. He said from discussions with demons during exorcisms. If that is not "doctrines of demons" I don't know what is.
    These foundational false ideas have been built into multimillion dollar "ministries" (read business here).

  113. Gravatar
    Kent Secor

    On another note, I totally believe there is a true spiritual warfare. It has been going on since eternity past before the creation of the earth. Christ/God have been in warfare with the rebelling third of the angels. And the sounding victory has been won, but Christ at the cross and resurrection from the grave.

    When the Spirit was poured out on all flesh, and the power to walk in Christ and be a son of God was given to mankind, the victory was completed.

    When we walk in the Spirit, we beat down the gates of hell in our lives, and find that victory made complete in us too.

  114. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Paul--good word. When I way I don't believe in "Spiritual Warfare" I am referring to our modern day interpretation of that term. In Ephesians it does talk about things we wrestle with, but that's a far cry from human beings declaring all out war in the heavenly realm. What we've turned it into, has nothing to do with that verse. If you compare what Christians do today in terms of "warfare" with Jude 1:9 you can see how off we've become. It's kind of like the word Church. That word today means a building with pews and a worship band and offering plate. It's a far cry from it's original and real meaning.

  115. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Kent - well said. yes there is warfare, but it's going on in heaven.

  116. Gravatar
    Warren Aldrich

    Darin, I'm just a little hurt here. I come from a long line of chair breaking prayer warriors. My grandfather was well know for breaking a chair pounding on it "resisting the devil".
    Seriously I'm very thankful for how you clear the air. Keep up the good work.

  117. Gravatar
    Jo Ellen

    It was recently pointed out to me that the verses on 'armor' in Ephesians were smack dab right up against the instructions on how to manage relationships. Which, when you read "your battle is not against flesh and blood", makes a very compelling case to LOVE in those relationships recognizing that man is not the enemy...so my thought/question to you, Darin, is this: Why the words of battle if we're not in one?
    For the record, I'm not in disagreement with you or your article...just sincerely wanting your perspective on the above.

  118. Gravatar
    Brad

    I do believe "spiritual warfare" exists, but it's mostly for people with spiritual sight to take care of. If you have someone spiritual who can frequently see spiritual problems, they can come against them in prayer effectively, but when ordinary folks try to imitate these people, it's as ridiculous as a soldier spinning around with a machine gun hoping he hits the enemy. The main difference is sight as opposed to randomness. When I say people with spiritual sight, I'm not talking about big wigs with books and videos to sell, but I'm talking about seemingly ordinary people who are spiritually gifted in that way.

    You are right, though, that the main focus should be on love whether you have spiritual sight or not, and people definitely shouldn't be paranoid or fanatical about demons.

  119. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Jo Ellen, not sure I understand your question. What words of battle? Are you talking about the modern day concept that we are in a battle with the devil?

  120. Gravatar
    Terry

    Yes and amen Darin. I remember asking my father why Jesus appeared to be so ruthless and mean to the Pharisees. He even ridiculed them publicly. It seemed unloving and against everything he taught. My father said, "because they were hurting PEOPLE." This topic of Spiritual warfare destroyed my family and nearly destroyed me. Thanks for standing up and saying something on our behalf

  121. Gravatar
    e

    truth is, there is a spiritual war going on behind the scenes of everything. it's a war of lies and truth. a war for your faith. with your faith goes your worship, then the direction of your life. i won't even appeal to scripture, an honest reading of it and it will speak for itself. this is a war of a rebel angel army who position themselves in stark opposition to God and they whisper their lies into your ear until you agree with them. they shape YOU everyday. they may not even want to destroy you, as long as they stop you from glorifying God. they hate God therefore they hate what he loves.

  122. Gravatar
    Jo Ellen

    No...I'm asking specifically about specific verses in Ephesians 6 that talk about "spiritual authorities" and then describes the weapons of warfare. Why are those verses there if we have no spiritual warfare?

    Again, I agree with you about the abuse and often unbalanced teachings on spiritual warfare. I have a massive headache and am not doing a very good job of explaining myself...will get back to you later with more coherent thoughts. Right now, I think I better bind that Spirit of Needing-New-Glasses...right after I take the ibuprofin.

  123. Gravatar
    Robert Bresler

    Thank you, e. I could not have said it better myself. I am neither going to appeal for or against the points I raised above - I just ask that you read the Bible teachings on them and see what God says about it. And if you are worried about context, then go and read the chapters around them too. May God explain His word to you directly. James 1:5 says 'If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.'
    Thank you and may God bless you.

  124. Gravatar
    Robert Bresler

    (just testing to see if my gravatar image loaded successfully) ;-)

  125. Gravatar
    Evelyn Silsby

    Darin this was great reading. I think I laughed through this whole reading. I have always, always kept close to my heart and believed that love is the greatest of all things and therein lies the power of God even as I was praying in spiritual warfare lol. But the struggles I had with my daughter and the advice I received to "help" were always against what I believed would be better for her, it's a long story. Anyways the only thing I really believed in was the love part for her as it should be for all people and this also is the power that is helping her. Great article Darin, thanks for helping to share the truth in this world.

  126. Gravatar
    Dana

    Isaiah 55:11, is referring to the actual words coming out of the mouth of God at that moment in time when he was speaking, not words written down on paper and read thousands of years later. We've been caught up in the idea that The Word and The Spirit are two separate entities, but they are one in the same, and until you see them as one, the one, Jesus, you will have a very divided, bi-polar (or being sides yourself) reality within you, the more fragmented you look at life, the more fragmented you will be as a human being. Jesus says we are complete in him, embrace and accept that, once you do, the spiritual warfare is revealed for what it is, an mentally debilitating illusion, I would put away this irrational rationalizing before it's too late, and you drive yourself insane. :)

  127. Gravatar
    Bart Breen

    What some people call a dangerous way of thinking is really just a reaction to thinking in the first place.

    I'll raise you one on the speaking to the devil. I once sat in a chapel at a charismatic university and heard a nationally known speaker begin a prayer conversation with God and then stop and address Jesus and rebuke Jesus for interupting him!

    What's more, nobody on the platform or in the audience seemed to skip a beat .....

  128. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    That's great Bart:)

  129. Gravatar
    jesse

    u know its interesting to me when u get nasty emails for writing things like this. its amazing how much "hate" can spew from an alleged christians mouth when they hear something they think is untrue religiously. its even more amazing to me that ppl in our generation are so craven for leadership, that they would follow any random jack-ass, with any random philosophy, and at such extensive lengths that they literally willingly become crazy. just because they cant deal with mundane and ordinary. everything has to be flashy. and exciting. what about TRUTHFUL!! we live in troubling times. times when wrong words formed into sentences can get us Estoned..(thats stoning like the old days, but on email in the new days)

  130. Gravatar
    Dana

    Powerful words Jesse, you made me think. But to be honest, I don't want a life that is mundane and ordinary, to me that is not living. I think the word Life itself is equated to being alive, vibrant and active. Being but also actively pursuing life, embracing it, and creating it and enjoying it with those around you, that is how I think we can turn a mundane and ordinary life into something that is abundant and fulfilling, with the desire to live each day to it's fullest burning within our hearts, soaking up all of creation around us.

  131. Gravatar
    Dana

    I would add that you find life in other life forms, but there does seem to be two types, those who give life and those who take it, I think that is what determines a ordinary life from an extraordinary life.

  132. Gravatar
    Shannon Brown

    Thank you for sharing this Darin. Spiritual warfare definitely made me feel like I didn't know which way was up. It was always very complicated and confusing and I never felt like I could do enough of it...I never found that rest everyone talked of. Now that I've walked away from that way of thinking, everyday life is so much clearer and peaceful. The simplicity of the gospel is beautiful!!!!

  133. Gravatar
    Ken Matheson

    very interesting article and discussion. We sure need to be free from the kind of spiritual warfare that focuses on the enemy. I think your emphasis on love is a good one Darin. Jo Ellen raised a very interesting point. Specifically the warfare we encounter mainly takes place in our common relationships. Sparks brings this out in his book on Spiritual Warfare. ephesians begins with who we are etc... then our relationships with one another then the spiritual warfare verses. The enemy does try and work behind the scenes but our focus should be on loving and not giving him ground in our common relationships ie: husbands & wives, children and parents etc...

  134. Gravatar
    lok24

    Darin, had to think about this one for a while before I responded. Not that I have one thing against your blog because it was right on, but because I had to temper my thoughts because of the bad memories it brings back from 21 years ago. My wife & I were Christians just 8mos and our full gospel, non-denominational, charismatic church had a deliverance team, (aka spiritual warfare experts) who could be dispatched faster than any Navy SEAL team could to infiltrate your home, which was enemy territory. With arrogance & cockiness dispense a whole lot of NO LOVE as they cleaned your home up. For you who don’t know what a cleaning is here’s an example. Your told to get rid of your 4yr olds care bear blanket because it is a symbol of magic, smash your flour, sugar & rice canisters in the kitchen

  135. Gravatar
    lok24

    because they have mushrooms on it and they are used in witch’s brew, destroy wall hangings of owls because I guess of some sort of Halloween stuff, cut down your wind chimes because they attract evil spirits, smash my wife’s nursing class ring because it had a snake on a pole which a snake is a symbol of satan, (check me if I’m wrong but didn’t Moses lift up some kind of pole with a snake on it for healing purposes, I’m not sure, I could be wrong.), cut up a black leather jacket because it is a symbol of rebellion.. And instead of a bible the spiritual warfare captain in charge used the manual of the day, Pigs in the parlor to identify any other demonic sources in your house. If it weren’t for Father’s great love I probably would have kissed Christianity good bye

  136. Gravatar
    lok24

    The moral of this story, keep your eyes on Jesus Christ our Lord & Savior, and the Father’s wonderful love and I think you will be A OK. By the way Darin just finished reading your new book “The Misunderstood God” and loved it. I read it in less than a day and I am going to read it again to make sure I didn’t miss anything else important. My wife & I are on the journey of relationship and out of the institutional church scene. I am sorry but I had to vent cause I don’t think people really check out the great love of the Father, Jesus & the Holy Spirit that is in the New Testament but follow the latest fad that’s out there with no questions asked. Keep on setting people free with Father’s love. Catch ya later bro.

  137. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Thanks for this lok24. I don't think the average person has any idea how bad it can get. I just posted a new article in the "articles" section that will wake people up to the dangers of spiritual warfare hoopla. Blessings.

  138. Gravatar
    Rob

    Wow, Darin, this stuff must wear you out sometimes! I also come from a Nazarene followed by a Charismatic background and was taught in depth about Spiritual Warfare, which I tried to practice for a few years. As you said, it creates a life of misery, frustration, and exhaustion. When I read some of the posts above, I get tired just reading them. It's almost like people are speaking two completely different languages to each other. I choose the language of love and I thank you for your insights.

  139. Gravatar
    T

    Wow....I totally hear what your saying...but, I heard so much of the other side as well. I've had several Christians, at different times pray over me telling me that I had several demon spirits opressing me, that I needed to break soul ties with past men relationships, strongholds are holding me in bondage... -& they prayed deliverance over me...hours & hours & hours & hours of prayer, exhausting prayer.......I needed to read this, I actually got out one of your CDs today, from when I met you at Phx 1st assembly on Sat night...I guess I need to go through & listen to the Love series again...Because the spirit of depression has been lingering....lol thx Darin, your insights are refreshing T

  140. Gravatar
    scott

    careful darin, writing things like this will for sure bring the enemy to your door, that oil might not hold him off unless you re-apply. if you need someone to come over and help with the spiritual warfare i bet "e" & "robert" will come over. they seem genuinely concerned about the satanic onslaught that will be coming your way. but i guess if they can't make it maybe Jesus can. :)

  141. Gravatar
    angie

    I came across this site and its very interesting reading. It's been a few years since your initial post. I agree there has been a lot of misrepresentation of spiritual warfare in the church. It's unfortunate that so many have been hurt. I am a Christian Counselor and seek to have a very balanced view of spiritual warfare. I have been blessed to have mentors who are Christian Counselors and share that same desire. I cring at the thought of people being yelled at or pushed backward to get the demons out...I agree this has been very harmful. Yet, we can't ignore the fact that people do deal with demonic oppression and at times possession. It is not an "all or nothing" issue. I believe what's missing in the church is discipleship. We have an instant gratification attitude that says when people are saved and they are loved by God's people, all of their problems should just work themselves out. Most people who seek counseling have problems with unforgiveness...which can easily lead to

  142. Gravatar
    angie

    anger and bitterness. As our society progresses, it's so obvious that lots of people are extremely angry (fueled by a past of physical, emotional, sexual abuse etc)...even in the church. So, what do we do with the scripture in Eph4:26 that speaks of anger giving the devil a "foothold"? That's New Teatament...in addition, to what can we attribute the rise of the occult in our society, movies (Twilight- the kids are now biting each other) and music and even homosexuality? Something is changing...or since the Word says in Eccl "there is nothing new under the sun" will we begin to see things that have happened before in the way scripture describes? My prayer is that the church as God intended will be ready to answer the call how the Lord desires us to operate. This ministry of the disciples of Jesus was and is as Mark 10:1-8 states,"heal the sick, raise the dead and cast out demons..." If our generation saw the church operate in this way, led by the Word of the Lord, our churches would be

  143. Gravatar
    angie

    mega, not because we have built larger buildings, but because the multitudes who are sick would seek the Great Physician! And we as His representatives on earth would move in power to speak love and life over them...to teach them and disciple them and stand with them,and,if it is a demon issue...cast it out! To dismiss that possibility altogether..that has the potential to be yet another injustice, because it is not scriptural to ignore that possibility. I pray for balance and wisdom and power in the Church to hear His voice and act on His Word ( whether Logos or Rhema) and by His Spirit accordingly.

  144. Gravatar
    jacob

    well it appears as the milk was the very basic gospel elements one which includes rest from dead works..but what is meat. i dont think its spiritual warfare...I think Jude would agree. The spiritual meat was in reference to the manna...which was Jesus. And paul just got talkin about...Jesus! and seemed to be saying what he said about that teaching. So looks like Jesus is still the focus of the meat, just deeper understandings of Him, which make us fall more in Love. Go Jesus!

  145. Gravatar
    Anita

    wow! Read your post Darin without coming up for air,found it thru the facebook page.Also read all the comments.Not sure where I stand right now? I hear alot of truth in what you said..BUT..Ive been miserably entrenched in spiritual warfare of the kind you mentioned since I first became a christian 28 years ago...and then have also been diagnosed as unbalanced too and put on meds etc etc, I mean you are telling my miserable wretched story of the last 28 yrs. And as you said if it werent for the fear of hell I was much better off as a heathen..as I was a much happier more charismatic heathen than christian. I wont even witness for Christ over the years as I have said " I wouldnt wish this on anyone"I have felt that I would rather not tell people about Christiany and have them suffer as they are better off in ignorance as we can not be judged by God for ignorance,It is only in our knowledge of right and wrong can we be judged, therefore I have saved people the pain of enlightenment....

  146. Gravatar
    Anita

    However...I am noticing a change in me of late, maybe some freedom comming and enlightenment of my own! LOL "out of religion and into relationship"A book that helped me lately was "The velveteen woman" about being real. My problem I guess has been I was always real and true to myself UNTILL Christianity and then they all told me I was wrong...so 28 yrs of church to church, abuse to abuse, trying to be the right kind of christian. Gosh even a few months back I paid an American Ministry $150 to pray over the phone for deliverance, recommended by my church, who incidently wont come to my house to pray anymore for me and my two girls cos the three times theyve done it in a year is enough and why are we still messed up??? (I wonder if my $2000 of credit card debt to their tithing plate covered those few pray sessions?) Sorry for venting...realisations are comming as I type. I think I should stop here.... revelation is comming... and I do believe Im angry. Anyhow Thanx Darin.Im on a journey.

  147. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Anita please take my advice and drop the devil out of your life forever. Don't mention him. Don't think about him. Don't worry about him, or pray about him. Just forget he exists. When bad things happen just chalk it up to life. Many people will hate this advice but I'm telling you it will change your life.

  148. Gravatar
    Sabrina

    Thank you so much for this. I just got out of a "ministry" that was everything you described above. Its refreshing to read this!

  149. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Glad to hear it Sabrina. I know what it's like to be in this religious super spiritual world and then escape. It's like being saved all over again. It's wonderful to find out that you were wrong all along:)

  150. Gravatar
    Jimbob

    Wow I can't believe how similar your experience is to mine!!! So refreshing to hear someone speaking the truth... My heart resonates with everything you said Darin plus it made me laugh so much too! Iv been free from this for about 5 years and think your article puts it so well! Thanks for your honesty!

  151. Gravatar
    Joel

    Hey Darin!

    I just stumbled on your site a few days ago and I started reading the Misunderstood God yesterday. I love it!

    My question is, if Jesus told us to cast out demons as part of the ministry of believers, how can we just completely forget about the devil. I agree that many Christians focus on him way too much. John G. Lake said that many Christians have a big devil and a small God. I would agree. But if we're supposed to cast demons out of people and set the captive free, I don't think it's a wise choice to ignore the devil completely. I feel we should just go about our lives loving God and then if we run into the devil. We push him out of our way and move on.

  152. Gravatar
    Darin hufford

    When I talk about ignoring the devil I'm talking about ignoring him in YoUR every day life. Yes, there are times on the mission field where you may need to confront him but as he pertains to YOU, you don't need to think about him because he can't hurt you.

  153. Gravatar
    Claude Armstrong

    Wow! A person who escaped this monster impersonator spirit!

    My wife is so caught in this tangled jungle of Devil worship! Call it by any name or title, but in the end, demanding attention to the spirit and works of Lucifer and those fallen angels together in the Fallen Kingdom, is SATAN Worship!

    Our battle is with Deception, not the Deceiver! That these charlatan spiritual groups pop up all around is clear witness to the EVIL One whose only aim is to misguide into the slimy depths of phony "warfare," those who would otherwise be magnificent witnesses to the Saving Grace of Y'shuah!

    Instead of pointing the The WAY, TRUTH, and LIVING, their twisted wrecks of humanity lie tangled in contorted, twitching piles of gibberish-fomenting human spiritual filth!

    Bravo, Lord! You've gracefully rescued one of your own, Darin Hufford, and he lives to tell of You, and Your WAY OUT!

    Alright!

  154. Gravatar
    Theresa D

    Darin thanks for sending the link to this article....LOL How did you know I was the intercessory prayer coordinator in the last church I attended and for years before that led "intercession" in other churches.>>> "I've watched self-proclaimed "Intercessors" drift further and further into an imaginary world that I call "la-la land" until there was almost no hope of recovering a sense of normalcy to their lives." I actually had a whole summer that I thought I was crazy...I could not put thoughts together in my mind and it was HORRIBLE!! You are right it is la la land and neither do I believe in spiritual warfare any longer...why we have to make the simple life of Christ in us so complicated I don't know...thanks again for the link :-)

  155. Gravatar
    Paula C.

    I was brought up in the Catholic Charasmatic Renewal Time with Francis McNutt as a speaker in Oregon! When a manifestation ever took place, they would exit the screaming individual out of the room, and deal with that seperate, since the focus was on God. This writter needs to get out more in my oppinion. When I pray, I make sure I pray in detail and protection. The devil wants people to think they are crazy. I do not agree with thinking your safe if you don't believe in Spiritual Warefare since we are spirit so we must pray in spirit. I believe and preach to never give the devil the time of day to dwell on. Just pray protection and do not care too much when the devil is showing himself! We all battle every day. I do at times name the spirit, but I believe God's glory will cause the enemy to flee as fast as he or they (demons) can!!!! God is not even comparable to the enemy, but too many believe it is an even battle. Think again.

  156. Gravatar
    Paula C.

    Additionally, I do bless the doors, and I bless every dying person in the old folks home in faith that prayer is powerful! Prayer is my answer especially since I do not know all the exact answers, and then the scriptures even say we won't know or understand everything and that is okay, because God is in control! As far as generational curses, I believe strongly in praying about that! Since if anyone has EVER READ THE BIBLE, :) they will see how many times the family line is recorded, and so many scriptures of blessings and of generational curses are written!!!!! Along with disobedience that put the curse on the generation. Then from the very beginning in Genesis, WELCOME TO FREE WILL AND TEMPTATION AND LET THE BATTLE BEGIN!!!!! God is wanting a pure heart of choosing Him. That reminds me also of the scripture of a manifestation of a person, and the person was put out on the streets for all to see, and see the deliverance!!!! And we are to listen and do what Jesus has done.

  157. Gravatar
    Paula C.

    Lastly, the times before the second comming, we will see even greater things equivalent to what Jesus did and even greater! That is exciting! I am also reminded of a scripture when the disciplines are judging this group of people trying to cast out Jesus, and Jesus replies to them saying a sumarized version, They do it in my name so don't judge them! :) My CHRISTIAN history, I was raised to love all denominations as a babtized Catholic, went to a Lutheran School, went to a Four Square Church, an episcopol church, a Vinyard Church, and currently a worship leader for an Anglican church from Kenya, Africa! GOD BLESS!!!!!

  158. Gravatar
    Paula C.

    Corrections from post above: The group of people were casting out "demons", NOT JESUS, :) and they were doing that in the Name Of Jesus! LOL!!! EXTRA NOTE: Blessing the door comes from the scripture of the Jewish people covering protection over their family when they put on their doors the blood of a lamb, and the spirit of death passed over them so they were safe! That is a powerful scripural reference of why as Christians we bless the doors. Check out Acts also! And I recommend people watching the new movie, 'The Rite.' Based on true accounts in the Catholic Church just ten years ago. Don't obsess over this movie. Just an interesting one time movie. :)

  159. Gravatar
    jerry m.

    Excellent, simple and profound teaching.After almost 25 years in the organized"full gospel" church I am so thankful HOLY SPIRIT has guided me into the truths you articulate so well. These last 6 years have been a wonderful revelation of HIS love in me and through me. All praise & thanks to our LORD JESUS CHRIST. Thank you Darin. May we all do what JESUS did and avoid the extremes.

  160. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Thanks Jerry. I appreciate you.

  161. Gravatar
    Renita

    This is one of the MOST wonderful articles I've ever read. Recently I decided to leave a church whose "specialty" is deliverance. At first everything about the teachings of this church impressed me. As time went on, however, I realized that it was so legalistic and stifling. When I confronted the pastor with Ezekiel 18 as regards generational curses he was unable to counter it effectively. Incidentally God showed this to me but I was curious to see how the pastor would explain this in light of the Word and as I mentioned, he could not. Since I've left I feel so free and I'm closer to God than I've ever been before.

  162. Gravatar
    Darin Hufford

    Thanks Renita. I'm so so happy to read this. I used to be into all the warfare things as well. Leaving it was the best thing I've ever done in my life. It wasn't until I had been away from it for several years that I realized that it was all based on FEAR. Amazing.

  163. Gravatar
    gmitch

    I do believe in spiritual warfare,but not in the extremes you have experienced. I can understand why you would feel this way, but if you believe the Bible, you have to believe that it is real; there are many references to it. A human being did not come up with the term "spiritual warfare". I do agree that we can't blame everything on satan. He is,however, the father of lies and is a deceiver,so is much more suttle in his strategy. I do not agree that it is about fear--we have the armor of God found in Ephesians to put on and be prepared--it is more about courage knowing that God has given us everything we need to be victors over satan.I am a Christian and I do believe in the power of love. John 3:16 tells us about God's love for us--He gave His one and only Son, Jesus Christ,to be born, to die on a cross for the sin of the world so that those who believe in Him can have eternal life. 1John4:19 tells us "we love because He first loved us." Prayer & love--powerful weapons!

  164. Gravatar
    gmitch

    I meant "subtle" not suttle.

  165. Gravatar
    Lea

    I stumbled across this website, and started reading it - it saddens me , there is so much discord between all of ya'll - that in itself is the work of satan - I am a firm believer in spiritual warfare, if I did not believe in it, I wouldn't be here writing this- you know there is a verse in the BIBLE that says " MY PEOPLE PERISH ( DIE) FOR LACK OF KNOWLEDGE- GOD IS TALKING ABOUT SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE, we need to ask GOD IN THE NAME OFJESUS AND THROUGH HIS BLOOD THAT HE SHED, TO GUIDE, LEAD US THROUGH HIS HOLY SPIRIT and HE WILL - FAITH, HOPE, AND LOVE AND THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE - the BIBLE also says WE ARE TO BE VIOLENT IN OUR FAITH- SPIRITUALLY AGGRESSIVE- in the flesh an enemy would just overcome us if we don't stand our ground, and if we have to confront - don't you think this also applies to our spiritual enemies - satan & his demons- yes when JESUS SAID " IT IS FINISHED, HE MEANT IT WHEN HE SAID " I GIVE YOU THE POWER & AUTHORITY TO STOMP ON SNAKES AND SCORPIONS

  166. Gravatar
    Lea

    I stumbled across this website, and started reading it - it saddens me , there is so much discord between all of ya'll - that in itself is the work of satan - I am a firm believer in spiritual warfare, if I did not believe in it, I wouldn't be here writing this- you know there is a verse in the BIBLE that says " MY PEOPLE PERISH ( DIE) FOR LACK OF KNOWLEDGE- GOD IS TALKING ABOUT SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE, we need to ask GOD IN THE NAME OFJESUS AND THROUGH HIS BLOOD THAT HE SHED, TO GUIDE, LEAD US THROUGH HIS HOLY SPIRIT and HE WILL - FAITH, HOPE, AND LOVE AND THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE - the BIBLE also says WE ARE TO BE VIOLENT IN OUR FAITH- SPIRITUALLY AGGRESSIVE- in the flesh an enemy would just overcome us if we don't stand our ground, and if we have to confront - don't you think this also applies to our spiritual enemies - satan & his demons- yes when JESUS SAID " IT IS FINISHED, HE MEANT IT WHEN HE SAID " I GIVE YOU THE POWER & AUTHORITY TO STOMP ON SNAKES AND SCORPIONS

  167. Gravatar
    Lea

    JESUS MEANT the devil & his demons - SINCE JESUS GIVES US THIS POWER & AUTHORITY OVER the enemy THEN SHOULDN'T WE USE IT, WHEN WE NEED TO, and isn't that "SPIRITUAL WARFARE" as for as LOVE - we are to love , to care for people, both believers & nonbelievers, we are to pray for each other- we all have our own personal relationship with JESUS, IS' NT THATS WHATS IMPORTANT, BT IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE IN SPIRITUAL WARFARE THAN YOU ARE ONLY SEEING HALF OF THE WHOLE TRUTH- TRUE SPIRITUAL WARFARE IS NOT ABOUT THROWING THIS OR THAT AWAY - I WENT THROUGH THAT- THREW THINGS AWAY I WISH I HADN'T, BT I HAVE GROWN SPIRITUALLY SINCE THEN - IF A PERSON IS GENUINELY TRYING TO HEAR GOD'S VOICE THEN HE OR SHE WILL BECAUSE - THE LORD SAYS " MY SHEEP WILL FOLLOW MY VOICE" - WE NEED TO ASK FOR WISDOM AND ASK " LORD SHOW ME THAT I AM FOLLOWING YOUR VOICE- AND HE WILL CAUSE IF YOU ARE CONSTANTLY, CONSISTENTLY, PERSISTENTLY , DILIGENTLY SEEKING, STRIVING TO GET TO KNOW HIM BETTER, HE WILL LET YOU KNOW & IT'S A

  168. Gravatar
    Ama

    Thanks for you thoughtful analysis on spiritual warfare. The only thing to consider regarding generational "curses"is the scientific research in the field of epigenetics, which affirms that we inherit the bad memories of our grandparents. While not a "curse" in the traditional understanding of the word, we can't ignore that we are interconnected/relational in many different ways.

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