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Heightened spiritual warfare in the 21st century?

Credit: Fred Moore/Flickr/Creative Commons

Credit: Fred Moore/Flickr/Creative Commons

Dr Karl Payne serves as pastor of Leadership Development and Christian Education at Antioch Bible Church in Seattle, Washington. He was also the former chaplain of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks.

But he is also gaining recognition as a an expert on spiritual warfare and recently wrote a book entitled Spiritual Warfare: Demonization, and Deliverance.

Payne believes that Christians and the church are entering a time of heightened battle with demonic forces. He says whether we believe it or not, the spiritual battle is as real today as we see in the Gospels.

But he is also convinced that the spiritual forces attacking Christians will become more blatant.

In an interview with, Payne said:

“The growing fascination North Americans and Europeans seem to have with horror movies, spiritism, supernaturalism, the occult and Satanism is softening up the sense and consciences of the people watching and involving themselves in this nonsense. It’s helping them to function as predators or prey when Satan begins his ultimate reign over planet earth through his coming Antichrist and false prophet.”

However, though these attacks will be increasing, Payne says, “it means that unless Christians want to live like victims rather than victors, they had better do their homework and be willing and able to stand against the powers of darkness rather than ridicule or run from them.”

Payne makes a very solid point.

We can embrace the victim mentality, that we are powerless to change what is happening, or we can push back against the intimidation, fear and unbelief and understand that we have authority over the demonic.

It is an authority that Christ gave His disciples:

And He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform healing. (Luke 9:1-2 NASV)

Payne says that this “delegated authority” that Christ gave Christians is still in effect today. Nothing has changed.

So how do we claim this authority?

The Apostle Paul closes his chapter on spiritual warfare found in Ephesians 6 with this admonition:

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. (Ephesians 6:10 NASV)

The phrase “be strong in the Lord” means to be empowered and just as importantly it is in the present tense. Paul is not telling us to become empowered in God, we are told to be empowered now.


It is a state of mind.

We need to understand that we have authority in Christ. We need to believe it and then pray and live accordingly.


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