Spiritual protection is something that is not taken seriously enough by the twentieth
century church. We tend to forget that there is a spiritual battle going on all the time.
Spiritual warfare is not something that we choose to do; we are engaged in it all the
time. While we know we are on the winning side because Jesus has won the victory, we must
never become complacent. Our enemy is like a prowling lion, looking for someone vulnerable
to devour (1 Peter 5:8). We can never let down our guard.
The church model described here provides the best possible spiritual
protection for the church.
are several aspects to this protection
If one person falls into deception or sin, his friends will
challenge him before too much damage is done. As he
knows they love him, he be willing to accept their correction.
(It is easy to fool the elders, but very hard to fool your friends).
If a person is attacked by sickness or evil, his friends will
stand together with him in prayer.
If the friends cannot get victory, they can call on the elders for
The people are all praying for the elders, so they have strong backing behind them.
The elders are on the outside looking outward, resisting the devil. They stand united
against him (James 4:7).
- The church is lead by a team of elders. There is safety in their numbers. If one falls
the other will raise him up. It is very unlikely that all would fall at the same time.
- The elders have strong relationships with each other and are submitted to each
other. This produces great unity between them. There
is strength in unity. The spirit is present when leaders are united.
- There is also strength in the fourfold ministry. The pastor/teachers deal with hurts or
relationship problems that could cause problems. The prophet challenges false ideas and
rebellion that could break in.
- An elder is watching over each church member .
- Each member is submitted to the elders. This gives them protection from any fall, which
would make them vulnerable to the devil.
- The elders are covering their entire church with prayer.
- The people of the church have strong relationships with each
other. They are supporting each other. Healthy
relationships with other Christians provide even more
spiritual protection than submission to elders. The "One Another
Stuff" is more important than the "Submission Stuff".
James 5:16 (see
The elders’ unity provides protection on all sides. Their prayer
provides covering from above.
From Satan’s point of view, all that can be seen is the glow of the
Spirit in the church and the elders standing like strongmen in unity
against him. The Church is like an impregnable fortress.
contrast to the church, the person on the outside is extremely
vulnerable. They are under a grey cloud because they are vulnerable to
satanic attack. In the contemporary church, there are far too many
Christians (some quite mature) wandering around on their own. There is
too much independence and too little submission. In fact, submission
has become a dirty word. However, without submission we cannot be part
of the army of God. The chapter in Ephesians on spiritual armour (6)
is preceded by a chapter on submission (5). We cannot use the
spiritual armour on our own. Even the shield of faith cannot cover our
backs. The spiritual armour is only effective when we are standing
together in submission to each other.
This is not a retreat from the
world. The fortress is spiritual; it is not a physical fortress. A new
Christian can go and witness to his drunken friends in the local bar,
without going outside this spiritual fortress. Provided he goes with a
submissive attitude and with the prayer support of his elders, at the
spiritual level, he remains in the centre of the spiritual fortress,
while at the physical level, he is in the den of the devil. He is
protected by his spiritual armour.
of Spiritual Protection is
one of the greatest weaknesses of the conventional church. This
a very serious issue.
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