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Joshua 10:17-19 tells us: “And it was told Joshua, saying,‘The five kings have been found hidden in the cave at Makkedah.’ So Joshua said, ‘Roll large stones against the mouth of the cave, and set men by it to guard them.’”

The five kings listed here in Joshua speak of the five different levels of satanic government and authority in the earth. Just as there is a “chain of command” in God’s Kingdom, there also is a “chain of command” in Satan’s kingdom. Understanding these five different levels of demonic authority is important to us in order to determine the strategy to defeat them.

For example, it is different to war against the spirit over a city than to war against the spirit over a person. There are different kinds of demonic forces at work. We see these five levels in Ephesians 6:10-12: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

Satan’s government in the earth consists of:

  1. PRINCIPALITIES – the “buck private;” the lowest level of Satan’s command.

2. POWERS – just above principalities in authority.

3. DEMONS (or EVIL SPIRITS) – middle ranking; infantry level; foot soldiers.

4. SPIRITUAL WICKEDNESS IN HIGH PLACES – literally “evil spirits in the heavenlies;” upper management level spirits, like colonels or captains.

5. RULERS OF THE DARKNESS OF THIS WORLD – literally “world rulers;” spirits over nations and continents; Satan’s generals.

Jesus said that “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (the church).” What are the gates of hell? The gate in the Bible speaks of the place of authority and government. Jesus was saying that the government and authority of hell would not prevail against the church.

In Joshua 10:17, we see that the five kings were found hid in a cave at Makkedah. Makkedah means “place of the flocks; place of the shepherds.” It is a picture of the local church. It is in the government and covering of a local church that God will reveal the government of Satan over cities and people. As we seek the Lord concerning our families and cities, the Lord will uncover and expose Satan’s government to us.

When people get involved in spiritual warfare without the protection and covering of a local church, they will always get into some kind of trouble. They either become professional “demon chasers,” or else they get wiped out in battle. I’ve seen believers who suddenly knew more than their pastor and other spiritual leaders, and who inwardly get into deception of some type. It seems Satan would either like the church to completely ignore him or be completely obsessed with him. God has called us to neither of these extremes, but to a balance of belief and practice.

Joshua put giant rocks at the mouth of the cave in which these five kings were hidden. He also assigned men to guard the cave. This is a picture of our authority as believers over Satan’s forces. We read in Luke 10:17, 19 that when, “the seventy returned with joy, saying, ‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.’” Jesus then 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.’”

Jesus told us we had authority over all the power (strength and ability) of the government of Satan. We have authority over Satan himself and every one of his evil servants. It is time for the church to arise and take her place of authority so that God’s Kingdom and purpose may be established in the earth.

God could have completely destroyed the seven nations of Canaan. He could have just vaporized them like He did Sodom and Gomorrah. Instead He left them there for God’s people to conquer through Him.

Why, dear saint, has God allowed Satan to continue to exist? Why has He allowed this planet to be polluted by the wickedness of Satan’s evil army? Why? Because God is going to display His strength and glory through the church to these evil powers. “To the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 3:10)

God knows He can destroy Satan. However, His ultimate plan, His great masterpiece of glory, is for His people, the Church of Jesus Christ, to accomplish His will in the earth by destroying the works of hell. God has left us “giants in the land” because He has confidence that the Joshua Generation will defeat all His enemies.

Judges 3:1-3 tells us: “Now these are the nations which the Lord left, that He might test Israel by them, that is, all who had not known any of the wars in Canaan (this was only so that the generations of the children of Israel might be taught to know war, at least those who had not formerly known it), namely, five Lords of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites who dwelt in Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal Hermon to the entrance of Hamath.”

The “five Lords of the Philistines” spoken of here are also a picture of Satan’s five levels of authority in the earth. Spiritual warfare is not an option for the church. It is an absolute necessity if we want to live a victorious life in the Kingdom of God. Many ministers across our country have done a great injustice to God’s people by ignoring, and even opposing, spiritual warfare. Teachings like this cripple the effectiveness and the ability of the church. We must be aware and awakened to the battle that is raging in the earth.

The Apostle Peter tells us to “be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) You have an adversary who hates you. He is working day and night to try to destroy your life, home, health, finances and all that you have. As believers, we have total authority over Satan and his kingdom. However, many Christians have abdicated their authority by being ignorant of it.

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