We live in violent, scary times where events on earth have become frightening. Many people have lost hope and are cynical to all things spiritual. When tragedy strikes, they say, “Don’t tell me you’re going to pray. We need real help. Not your love and prayers.” They say that because they have no idea the real power there is in prayer.
The reason the world is in a mess is because the Bible says “the whole world [around us] is under the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19 Amp.). But thanks be to God, through Jesus, we have overcome the world. Jesus has made us to be overcomers over all the power of the enemy, and when we do battle against the evil one (and, yes, we do battle against him), we are victorious. Every time.
We do not battle against the evil one with our own strength, with our own power. No, we come against him in the name of the Lord Jesus and with His blood. Ephesians tells us, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Eph. 6:10–13).
In the last two posts, we’ve been studying the existence of evil beings that dwell in the unseen realm and how they manipulate and influence the kingdom of men on the earth. Today, we’re going to look at examples of how God has empowered the believer to battle against the enemy through prayer and intercession.
THE DOUBLE-KINGDOM SYSTEM
By Karen Thompson
Third in a Four-Part Series
This is our third installment in our study entitled, “The Double-Kingdom System.” In our first two posts, we have been examining four specific verses in Daniel chapter ten which give us a glimpse into the activities of spiritual beings that dwell in the unseen realm. This realm is where Satan and the fallen angels rule over the kingdom of men on earth. Some refer to this setup as a “double-kingdom system.” The double-kingdom system is made up of kingdoms on earth ruled by men and kingdoms right above earth’s atmosphere ruled by beings in the unseen, invisible realm. Though mankind is unaware of it, the beings in the invisible realm in the heavenlies manipulate the activities in the visible earthly realm.
We learned this double-kingdom system in the unseen realm has been in existence since the time of the fall of mankind, when Adam lost his dominion over the earth. After the fall, Satan became what the Bible calls the “god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4). The tragic result is that now “the whole world [around us] is under the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19 Amp.). Satan has dominion and authority over the earth; he and his fallen angels rule the heavenlies over earth in a realm we cannot see with our natural eyes.
When believers pray, they come into contact with the unseen realm which can result in very unique experiences. And just like Daniel’s angelic messenger, they often find themselves in confrontations with demonic forces in the unseen realm. Ephesians 6:12 confirms that believers do, indeed, battle against unseen forces: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
But God has “delivered us from the power of darkness” (Col. 1:13). He has not left us helpless against the powers of darkness; through Jesus, He has provided us with weapons both for offense and defense! Galatians 1:4 says Jesus “gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world….” In Christ Jesus, we have been delivered from the grasp and power of this evil age.
Doing Battle Through Prayer
From Daniel chapter ten, we are given insight as to how things work in the realm of the spirit. We learned that before a change can be made in the natural seen realm on earth, it must first take place in the spiritual unseen realm. When I first learned this truth, it was a defining moment in my life spiritually. It opened my eyes to the existence of the unseen realm, and I became keenly aware of the reality of its activities. It started when I began to pray for a relative who had become “demonized.” In his youth, he was a vivacious and fun-loving person who made wrong choices in his life and ended up going down a destructive path. As a result, he went from a fun-loving person to a demonized and crazed person.
His behavior became so erratic that it affected every area of his life. He couldn’t hold down a job, and no one wanted to be around him. My sister (who has since gone home to be with the Lord) related to me a very strange encounter she had with him. One day out of the blue, he showed up at her home with a winter coat draped over his head. It was summer time. She invited him in for a cup of coffee. His behavior was frenzied and his speech was confused. He stood in her kitchen talking with his coat still draped over his head. My sister said, “For goodness sake, take your coat off your head and sit down and visit with me.” She made the mistake of taking the coat from off his head! He became hysterical and shrieked at her, “THEY’RE GOING TO FIND ME.” He threw the coat back on his head and ran out the door.
Alarmed, she asked relatives about him and learned of his mental health condition. He was constantly running from the “enemy,” the enemy being demons. He was continually on the move because when he would lie down or sit to rest, demons would manifest before him and torment him. As a result, he only rested until he was too exhausted to stay awake.
When my sister told me of his situation, it broke my heart. She asked me to join her to pray for him. So she and I began to lift him up to God, praying for his deliverance. After several months, one day a powerful prayer anointing for him came upon me. When I was done praying, I had absolute confidence in my heart that he had been set free. Thrilled, I ran to the phone and told my sister what had just happened in prayer. I lived in a different state, so I asked her if she would find him and confirm that he was, indeed, delivered from this demonic influence. I went to bed that night fully expecting my sister to call me the next day with the good news of his deliverance.
But the next day on the way to work, the Lord began to teach me about how things work in the realm of the spirit. He told me not to expect immediate results from my prayers for my tormented relative. When something is obtained in prayer, He said, it must first be worked out in the spiritual unseen realm before it can manifest in the natural seen realm. At the time, I didn’t fully grasp what He was saying.
Then that weekend at church, the Lord reaffirmed what He said to me through the Sunday morning message. That weekend, my pastor’s wife gave the message. As she spoke, I was stunned when she repeated nearly verbatim what the Lord had said to me earlier in the week. She said when we pray and obtain victory in prayer, the answers to our prayers don’t immediately manifest in the natural. She said it must first be worked out in the realm of the spirit. I remember her saying, “I don’t know exactly what is happening in the spirit realm, and I don’t need to know what goes on in the spiritual realm in order for my prayers to be answered.” She compared the workings of the spiritual realm to how things work for us in the natural. She said, “For instance, I don’t know the technology that makes a television work, and I don’t have to know how it works in order to use it. All I need to know is how to work it. So it is with prayer.” We don’t need to know what is happening in the unseen realm. Our responsibility is to pray and believe God will bring the answers to our prayers.
So when my sister called me a couple days later with the news that there was no change in him, that he was still running from demons, I was not surprised. So I asked the Lord to inform me when his deliverance manifested. I don’t know how long it took for my prayers to manifest, but it was long enough that I completely forgot about the whole thing. Months later after I came home from work, I had an urgent phone message from my sister saying to call her immediately. When I called, she had wonderful news. She just happened “by chance” to run into our relative and he was his old self, vivacious and fun loving. He had been completely set free from all demonic influence!
From the time of my prayer until the time of my relative’s deliverance, I don’t know what happened in the realm of the spirit. All I know is that something happened in the unseen realm that allowed for his deliverance to manifest in the seen realm.
Battling the Unseen Realm in Prayer
People of prayer have a greater awareness of Satan’s double-kingdom system simply because they often come in contact with it while in prayer. This happens especially when praying for nations. Nations that are spiritually dark will have atmospheres that are what I call “filthy.” If the atmosphere over a nation is filled with spiritual filth, it will create a demonic stronghold which prevents God from moving among the people. That stronghold needs to be dealt with in order to clear a path for God to begin moving in that nation. God has equipped every believer with the authority and weapons necessary (the Word, faith, prayer, and the blood) to pull down the enemy’s stronghold. Second Corinthians chapter 10 tells us, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds)” (2 Cor. 10:3–4). Our weapons are faith and prayer, His Word and His blood.
I’ll share with you one of my own prayer experiences that illustrates perfectly the aspect of dealing with this double-kingdom system. It happened at the beginning of the war between the United States and the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
First, a little history is necessary. On October 7, 2001, America retaliated against the Taliban regime in Afghanistan for harboring Al Qaeda, the terrorist group responsible for the September 11 attack on the Twin Towers in New York. By mid-November, the Taliban stronghold in northern Afghanistan had been toppled. The last portion of the country the Taliban still had control over was in the south around the city of Kandahar.
Like so many other believers, I had been praying about the war and for the safety of the troops. One day as I was praying in the Spirit, I experienced a vision in my mind’s eye. I saw myself standing in a mountainous and barren landscape. I was aware of a presence beside me. Acting as my guide, he led me on a rocky path up a small mountain. I saw every detail of the path clearly—the cracks in the dry ground, rocks, and overall ruggedness of the area.
While we were making our way up the mountainous landscape, my guide gave me a summary of the war’s progress that had been made so far. He said the enemy had been driven from most of the land but there was one area where the enemy still had a stronghold. When we arrived at our destination, we were standing on top of a mountain looking down on a large valley-like range. It was daytime, yet the valley was covered in thick darkness. My guide explained to me the land covered in darkness was the enemy’s stronghold. He said the stronghold needed to be broken. At that moment, the vision ended.
The next day as I began to pray, I experienced the exact same vision. I was in the same mountainous, barren land. The same presence guided me up the same rocky path to the top of the mountain. I saw every detail of the path exactly as I saw it the day before. My guide gave me the exact same progress report. At the top of the mountain, I saw the same portion of land covered in thick darkness. My guide again explained to me this was the enemy’s stronghold that needed to be broken. Again, the vision came to an end.
The next day, I experienced the same vision for the third time. Only this time, the vision didn’t end after my guide said this was the enemy’s stronghold. When my guide said the stronghold needed to be broken, in my mind’s eye, I was lifted up into the atmosphere above the earth. During all three experiences, I had been praying in a calm and conversational tone. But when I was lifted up into the atmosphere, all of a sudden, my prayer language took on an authoritative and commanding tone. The moment my prayer language took on a commanding tone, I was aware of an army of heavenly angels advancing from behind me and over my head toward the enemy. The unction of my prayer language was fervent; I kept praying until my prayer ended on a note of victory. A few weeks later, the news reported that American forces had finally penetrated and broken through the Taliban’s stronghold in the Kandahar area.
This prayer experience illustrates perfectly how the double-kingdom system works. In order for a change on earth to take place, it must first take place in the unseen realm. Before our soldiers could topple the Taliban in the Kandahar area, there were ruling principalities in the unseen realm that first had to be toppled.
In significant matters such as this, God assigns a multitude of people to lift it up in prayer. No doubt, there were Christians all over the world praying at the same time and in the same manner as the Lord led me to pray.
The battle scene in the unseen realm in Daniel chapter 10 helps us understand the workings of the double-kingdom system that rules over the kingdom of men. And as illustrated in the examples provided, the believer can exact real change in the world through Spirit- led prayer. Prayer is powerful and effective, yet sadly, there is a shortage of believers who yield themselves to a life of prayer. They excuse themselves saying, “I’m not called to pray.” That’s like saying, “I’m not called to breathe.” Brother, sister… we are all called to pray.
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