“But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia.”
“But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia.
The delay to Daniel’s prayer had to do with the “prince of the kingdom of Persia.” This was probably a fallen angel assigned to the geographical area known as Persia by Satan (Ep 2:3). Both Michael and this angel were “princes” (cf. v21). This fallen angel opposed God’s program.
There is a spiritual war.
The Bible sets forth war between good and evil angels (demons). This war involves national entities as well as individuals.
Some in the spiritual warfare movement believe that “territorial spirits” must be bound for the gospel to be effective in a national entity. They call this “Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare.” They believe in three levels of demonic control. Firstly, ground-level demons control individuals. Secondly, occult demons give power to magicians, shamans, and witches. Lastly, strategic level demons, whose main purpose is to hinder the advance of the gospel, rule geographical regions.
Frank Peretti’s writing is an example of this belief. Peter Wagner represents a church growth author of this position. Wagner asserts that this belief brought down the Berlin Wall and opened the gospel to Albania. He claimed that 10 million Japanese would come to Christ by the year 2000.
The growing movement of exorcism of territorial spirits does not have a biblical foundation. These people pray over neighborhoods, cities, and nations to exorcise demons controlling these geographical areas. Some church growth techniques recommend this approach to evangelism. This movement grew out of citywide evangelistic campaigns in the Latin American movement and might have its roots in animism.
The argument for waging war on “territorial demons” rests primarily on Daniel 10:13. There is such a thing as territorial demons, but there is no biblical basis for claiming victory over demons by name. Daniel did not know about this conflict before the angel told him about it, so he did not pray to overcome these demons.
The Bible never suggests that believers are to command demons to give up national territory. In Daniel 10, God sent the Archangel Michael to deal with the fallen angels responsible for Persia and Greece. The content of the gospel itself has “power” “unto salvation,” so there is no need for “power encounters” to validate God’s message.
Ro 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.”
Satan is indeed the “ruler (prince) of this world” (Jn 12:31), “the prince of the power of the air” (Ep 2:2), “the god of this age” (2 Co 4:4) and “deceives the whole world” (Re 12:9). His territory is this fallen world and is active in national affairs.
Matthew 4:7-9, “Jesus said to him, ‘It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ” 8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, ‘All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.’”
Ep 6:12, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities (fallen angels), against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
Satan’s purposes are primarily religious so religion is the Devil’s ace trump. He deceives more people by religion than anything else. This was especially true for those who flew those planes into the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
People who argue for territorial demons cite Revelation 2:12-13 as a proof text where John asserts that Satan resides in Pergamum. God assigns angels to individual churches of Revelation 2 and 3, but “angel” in these chapters probably means messenger, referring to those churches’ pastors.
Arguments against territorial spirits in Daniel 10:
- The battle of Daniel 10 was fought in heaven, not earth.
- The battle did not involve humans but two angels and a demon; God directed the battle through Michael.
- God did not ask Daniel to bind demons or cast them from their geographical sphere.
- God did not even ask Daniel to pray about the angelic conflict.