When the people of a city or nation submit to their political leaders, they give them authority over their lives.† If the powers of evil get to control the people at the top of the political hierarchy, they gain authority over all the people submitted to them. †Concentration of political power leverages the authority of the powers of evil.

The spiritual powers that control political leaders are called "government-spirits" in the Bible (this is better a translation of the Greek words than the popular expression principalities and powers).† Some, like Prince of Persia, take the name of their nation (Dan 10:20). †They have immense authority on earth, despite their defeat on the cross, because people submit to the leaders controlled by them.† Political leaders have legal authority over their people, so attacking them gives the government-spirits control over cities and nations.

Focusing on individual people is a very inefficient way for the powers of evil to use their shrinking power.† If an evil spirit gains control over one person, it can make that personís life miserable, but that is all.† By getting control over a political leader, the same spirit can make an entire nation miserable.† The powers of evil amplify their power by attacking people with political authority.

The power of evil is mostly an illusion, but concentrating on a few powerful people has allowed the forces of evil to magnify their pathetic power.† Controlling human political power has amplified their authority out of proportion to their strength.

In the modern world, political power has been centralised and consolidated as never before.† The leader of a modern democratic nation has greater power and authority than an emperor in Old Testament times, because they can control every aspect of life in their city or nation.

The political systems of great nations are extremely dangerous, because one person has control over hundreds of millions of people.† The devil can gain huge power on earth, by deploying a few strong spirits to get control of the president of China, Russia or the United States.† By getting control of these leaders, the government-spirits get authority over everyone submitted to them.† Concentration of human political power gives vast power to the government-spirits that control it.


Resisting government-spirits is extremely difficult in a political age.† The political authorities that rule cities and nations reinforce their power, so it is dangerous to engage the principalities and powers without understanding the source of their authority.

1. Declarative Prayer

The Bible promises that the church will eventually defeat them by enforcing the victory of Jesus against them.

His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the spiritual realms, according to his eternal purpose (Eph 3:10).

The church supports the victory of Jesus by resisting the rulers and authorities in the spiritual realms.† Declarative prayer is essential for defeating government-spirits, but it is only effective if the authority issues are understood.

Christians should choose their spiritual targets carefully.† Some Christians have been seriously harmed when engaging in spiritual warfare against the government-spirits of their city and nation.† The reason is conflicting authority lines.† Christians are seated with Jesus, so they have authority over government-spirits, but if they have submitted to the political powers in their city or nation, the government-spirits have some authority over them.† As the political leaders have greater authority than the Christians, the Christians lose the authority contest.† Those who pray against big spirits in places where they do not have authority can be hit hard.

2. Prophetic Influence

Prophets can use their political influence to push back against government-spirits, without getting hurt in the battle, if they have not submitted to political authority.† Daniel influenced the King of Babylon, because he and his friends never acknowledged the authority of the King of Babylon, but remained loyal to God (Dan 1:8;6:10). Their refusal to submit to his authority kept them safe from the principalities and powers that controlled the king.† The King of Babylon submitted to Daniel, because he could interpret his dreams.

3. Rejecting Political Power

government-spirits obtain authority on earth by colluding with human political powers.† Christians should be wary of submitting to human political powers, because this puts them under authority of the government-spirits that control them.† We may sometimes have to submit to political leaders voluntarily for the sake of peace, so we can get on with sharing the gospel, but we must never forget that they are usurpers of authority (1 Pet 2:13-15).† If they prevent us from serving Jesus, we should withdraw our submission and accept the consequences, knowing that the worst they can do is take our lives.

Modern societies are dominated by their governments, so Christians have often been tempted to use the power of the state to force people to change their behaviour in line with Godís will.† These ďmoral lawsĒ undermine his Kingdom, because they authenticate the Imposed Authority of the modern state.

Seeking political power is a wasted effort, because God does not want a Christian minority enforcing his will on an unwilling world.† A kingdom of love cannot be established by Imposed Authority.† We cannot use political power to defeat government-spirits.

Instead of fighting against human power, Christians should wait for God to deal with it.† This can be painful, but we can only obtain victory in Godís way.

4. Suffering and Service

When human governments collude with the principalities and powers to oppose God, Christians should follow Jesus example and bless those who oppose them.† We must overcome evil by doing good, even if it leads to persecution and suffering (Rom 12:9-21).† We should love those who fight against the gospel and serve those who oppose the Kingdom of God.

government-spirits are undermined by suffering and love.† When Christians suffer for Jesus, the Holy Spirit rests on them and flows out to touch those who are persecuting them.† A good example is the centurion who crucified Jesus (Luke 23:47).† This centurion was a mean killing machine, who had crucified hundreds of people, but after watching Jesus die, he glorified God and declared that Jesus was a righteous man.† Jesusí suffering released the Holy Spirit to work in his battle-hardened heart.

The Holy Spirit can defeat government-spirits, provided he is given authority to do it his way.† When Christians get involved in political and military struggles, he is constrained.† Suffering releases the Holy Spirit, allowing him to achieve victory.

5. Preaching the Gospel to Political Leaders

If the leaders of a city or nation repent and reject the control of the goverment-spirits, the people who have submitted to them will be freed too.† Preaching the gospel to political authorities can change the fate of a nation.

6. Judgement

Political leaders usually find it hard to repent and believe the gospel, because they are manipulated by government-spirits in spiritual places.† When the government-spirits get too strong and the people with political authority are staunch in their support, God sometimes needs to send judgment against them to set his people free.† When the Kings of Babylon grew too strong, God used the Medes and Persians to destroy his power.

When political leaders are swept from power by the judgments of God, the authority of government-spirits is destroyed too, as they depend on political power for their authority.† When political power is judged and destroyed, mighty government-spirits are transformed into ordinary evil spirits.† They become trespassers with no legitimate authority on earth.

God does not engage in mindless destruction.† He only judges nations to eliminate the authority of government-spirits that control them.† He does not create the judgement himself, but withdraws his protection and lets government-spirits do what they have been given authority to do by the political power.

In the Old Testament, judgments were more frequent, because they were Godís best tool for restraining evil.† Jesus reduced the need for judgments by changing the authority situation on earth.† God prefers to deal with obstinate nations with the gospel and the Spirit, so judgments to destroy evil power should be very rare.

In the gospel age, judgments against nations will be the last resort for dislodging government-spirits that have become too powerful.† However, there will be times when a city or nation is so overwhelmed by the powers of evil that the Holy Spirit is unable to work.† Once evil is embedded in a culture, God has no alternative but to bring judgment against it.† A disaster that sweeps away the political powers entrenching the principalities and powers is often the only way to break their hold.

Judgment is Godís business.† We cannot decide when it should come, and we should not try to bring it about.

Do not take revenge, but leave room for Godís wrath (Rom 12:19).

Christians should not get into wrath.† We should leave it to him.

7. Prepared Remnant

God sends prophets to warn a nation on the brink of judgment.† Their prophecies give God authority to bring judgment against the corrupt nation.† When their prophets warn of judgement, Christians should heed the warning and get together to protect themselves.† They will be more secure, if they live close to others who are committed to supporting each other.

Christians who stand alone can be picked off one by one.† When the enemy is strong and God has been squeezed out of a city or nation, it is dangerous for Christians to be isolated. †They should come together for spiritual protection.† A group of Christians who understand authority should submit to each other to establish a place of safety in a dangerous world.

Judgment is pointless without a prepared remnant.† If the remnant is not prepared to demonstrate the love of God during the crisis, the opportunity is wasted.† A crisis can open peopleís hearts, but if no one is there to pour oil on their wounds, scars will harden their hearts to the gospel.† When judgement brings down the political powers, the remnant must be ready with an alternative culture to fill the gap left by their collapse.

Final Defeat

Human political power a big obstacle to the Kingdom, because it undermines Godís authority and offers a false salvation.† The spread of democracy has increased this faith.† This widespread trust in human political power must be swept away before the Kingdom of God can come to fullness on earth.

Towards the end of the Times of the Gentiles, political power will be expanded and centralised.† This concentration of power will further empower government-spirits.† A political empire called the Beast in the book of Revelation will be given immense authority by other political powers during this time of darkness on earth.† The government-spirit that control this Beast will gain authority over much of the earth, as the people on earth submit to its authority.

When the time is right, Christian prophets will also announce Godís judgement of this political empire.† Their prophetic words will release the power of the Holy Spirit to destroy human government and political empires throughout the world. Big powerful government will sink like a millstone thrown into the sea, never to be seen again (Rev 18:21). Its destruction will be so horrifying that the people of the world will never trust it again.

When human rulers and empires collapse, the government-spirits that have amplified their power through them will be shattered.†With no place to stand, they will become common evil spirits defeated by the cross.† When political leaders lose their power, the spiritual forces will be fragmented and weak.

This article is an excerpt from chapter 14 of my book called Kingdom Authority.

See Obstacles to Spiritual Victory.