Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Breaking Spiritual Cabals or Stopping a Demon Double-Team

Recently I was watching my favorite basketball team, NCSU (North Carolina State University), get beaten by a less talented team. NCSU’s key player was scoring almost at will until the other team began to aggressively use an effective defensive strategy against him. As soon as he touched the ball, the opposing team’s players left who they were guarding and surrounded him instead, perpetually flustering and angering him so much that he eventually fouled out of the game. Sad to say, NCSU became a victim of what is known as “double-teaming” and ended up losing that game.

Double-teaming is an effective defense tactic employed in most team competitions and/or military battles. Even kids who have played street ball learn early that in order to stop the other team’s momentum, they have to go after the star players. As Christ followers, most of us are unaware that this defensive ploy is also used by our enemy, Satan, and his cohorts against God’s star players. Satan does this by assigning a spiritual cabal against them to frustrate, discourage, and eventually destroy them.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines a cabal as: “a conspiratorial group of plotters and intriguers; or a secret scheme or plot.” In our context, a cabal is a group of spiritual conspirators gathered for the purpose and devoted to the cause of destroying its victim (us). A spiritual cabal is sent to counteract a movement in God’s kingdom. This counter strategy brings about an effective defense—whether in the kingdom of God or in your hometown basketball league.
Some scriptural examples of double-teaming will help us to recognize its significance—especially for those who are endeavoring to serve God and shine as lights in this world. In this article, we will take a look at several biblical examples of God’s people who were attacked by demonic cabals, namely Daniel, Job, David, Moses, Elijah, John the Baptist, Paul, and, of course, Jesus. We will also look at some key New Testament truths that will show us how to break these off of ourselves and other stars in God’s kingdom.

Ephesians 6:12 reveals that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood; therefore, we understand that the conflicts we endure are caused by spiritual beings. Quite often these are cabals of demons conspiring against the Lord’s anointed, meaning they are targeting those who are effective and victorious. Isn’t it obvious that these demonic cabals would go after the big scorers in God’s kingdom? Just as the double-team tactic is used in sports to confuse the opponent’s offense and take away the strength of their team, so are the demonic double-teams used against God’s kingdom to confuse us and ultimately weaken the body of Christ.

Practically speaking, I learned about the strategy of double-teaming as a kid when I used to play basketball behind my house. However, I had no idea this was a spiritual tactic being used against God’s people until my great friend and senior prophet in the body of Christ, John Sandford of Elijah House shared it with me. Also, John’s spiritual son, Henry Malone of Vision Life Ministries, mentioned it to me as a type of advanced spiritual warfare tactic used against each of us at one time or another. He actually helped me see one such cabal that had been assigned to me. This was during a point in time when various strange things were happening in my life: I had poisonous snakes in my house, my physical body came under attack, and I felt as if my mind had reached its expansion limits. As I was prostrate on the floor of my office thinking about death, I cried out to Jesus. He heard my prayer and told me to call Henry.

Henry explained to me what was happening; then he ministered to me and broke the cabal off of me. Praise the Lord! Since then, I have learned the biblical model and want to pass it along to you. When the demonic double-team that was conspiring against me was stopped, it saved my life; so I know that what I am about to share can save yours.  

We will first look at some examples of demonic cabals that were assigned to people in the Old Testament and then move to the New Testament and see how to break the assignments of these conspiratorial spiritual assassins.

Old Testament Examples of Demonic Cabals/Double-Teaming

Each of the Old Testament super heroes who had spiritual cabals assigned against them had to handle them in their own way, especially since some had opened up back doors that allowed the attacks to come upon them. These attacks are sometimes so intense that death can be the consequence, as seen in the lives of both Moses and Elijah (the two witnesses who God considered worthy enough to show up on the Mount of Transfiguration in Mark 9:2–9). The one commonality in the following examples is that these were all frontline starters on the kingdom of God team. Their commitment and obedience to the Lord is what drew the attention of the evil spirit realm and resulted in demonic cabals being assigned to them, as evidenced through the huge struggles in their lives. (This is clearly spelled out in Job’s case.) Each one of these guys had their picture in the devil’s post office and was wanted dead and not alive!

Note: The examples used here are only a sampling of the heroes who were double-teamed in the Old Testament. When we consider the lives of Joseph, Samson, and Solomon, it is easy to see that these men were also targeted as were numerous others.

Daniel was a mighty man of God whose life and influence spanned two world empires. Even though he was a Jew, he was made chief counselor to the kings of both Babylon and Persia because of his knowledge and wisdom. Daniel’s prophecies of the coming King of Judah led the magi to the site of the young Messiah nearly 600 years after his death. His writings continue to be all but deified even in our present age because of his prophecies of the end times. I assure you that Daniel was worthy of being double-teamed.

Daniel was such a big hitter and superstar for the kingdom that he believed if he would pray and fast, God would show him the future of the nation of Israel. He did and God did. In the midst of this fast, when his information arrived, an angel told him why it had taken so long—a cabal had been stacked against him as seen in Daniel 10. Daniel 10:20 shows the two major spirits that worked in tandem to thwart the purpose and revelation from God.

He replied, “Do you know why I have come? Soon I must return to fight against the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia, and then against the spirit prince of the kingdom of Greece.”                                                                                                                                                                                Daniel 10:20

                                                                                   New Living Translation (NLT)

Daniel was being double-teamed by the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia and the spirit prince of the kingdom of Greece! This wicked cabal was endeavoring to counter his prayers; and if they had succeeded, we would not have the breathtakingly accurate and intriguing end-time prophecies that we read today in the book of Daniel. Thank God for the victory and Daniel’s perseverance. At the end of his venture, he was physically exhausted; and of course, fasting for 21 days can do that. However, when the angel ministered strength to Daniel (Daniel 10:16–18), I believe it was not just physical but spiritual as well. Not only had he just completed a long fast that affected him physically, but he had also been spiritually engaged in prayers that were so intense that they impacted the battle that was raging in the heavens above him.

This particular double-team that came against Daniel, made up of the two spirits of Persia and Greece, is perhaps the most blatant example of a spiritual cabal in the Scriptures. The reason they were assigned to him is because he chose to actively do something for God’s kingdom rather than to sit passively in Babylon as a whining captive. Daniel made a habit of praying three times daily and got in trouble for it—he was a superstar for the kingdom and consequently drew a double-team.

Job is another biblical example of someone who was assigned a cabal. According to Job 1:1, Job was “blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil.” In verse 3 it goes on to say that he was “the greatest of all the people of the East.” This is just the kind of Godly individual that Satan loves to target and assign a double-team to. In the process of writing a paper on Job for my doctoral studies, I discovered that there was much controversy amongst the theologians over what really happened to him and why. Regardless of the reason for Job’s misfortune, Job 1:6–12 makes it clear that there was an evil plan perpetrated against him by Satan himself, which involved a strategic array of attacks that were executed in a deadly and timely manner (Job 1:13–20).

It was no coincidence that he was initially attacked simultaneously by at least four different spirits at the same time—a double double-team! First, the Sabeans stole all the oxen (taking away a big source of his food) and killed his servants; second, fire fell from heaven and burned up all his sheep (more food and perhaps clothing) and more servants; third, the Chaldeans stole his camels (commerce and travel) and killed even more servants; fourth, a wind destroyed the building where all ten of his children were partying, resulting in their deaths. As if these disasters were not enough, he was then smitten with boils, goaded by his wife to curse God and die, and ended up cursing himself—and then he had to put up with the religious spirits of condemnation who showed up at his door.

Job was assigned a serious cabal. What this group of spirits was able to pull off was much bigger than what one demon could have accomplished. This string of catastrophes was not coincidental, and the following verse reveals the culprit who masterminded it.  

So the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.                                                                                             Job 1:12

 We could sit and cry all day long about what happened to Job, but since our discussion is about spiritual cabals we will stay focused on the strategy that the enemy used against him. Satan formulated the plan, drafted demons out of his army, and implemented it all in one day—just to make Job curse God (Job 1:11). Thankfully, it did not work; and, in the end (Job 42:12–17), God “double-teamed” Job in a good way by doubling his blessings!

David was a worshipper and a warrior who was passionate to defend his God and His interests—a man after God’s heart as well as the slayer of Goliath. This combination definitely drew the attention of demons and a double-team/cabal. We see this initially with Saul’s jealousy and his consistent assassination attempts on David’s life, which forced him to live on the run for a number of years; then, once he became the official king of Israel, he was successfully tempted into adultery and even murder; then, against God’s will, he conducted a census of Israel to measure his strength; and eventually, his house was divided by his own son, resulting in the deaths of thousands of Israelites. David lamented over the effects of this spiritual cabal in Psalm 18:4 when he recorded, “the pangs of death encompassed me, And the floods of ungodliness made me afraid.”

Moses also had a cabal set up against him when he was called to go back to Egypt after spending many years in the desert. This can be seen clearly in the apocryphal book of Jubilees 48:2b–4.

And thou thyself knowest what He spake unto thee on Mount Sinai, and what prince Mastema [Satan] desired to do with thee when thou wast returning into Egypt. Did he not with all his power seek to slay thee and deliver the Egyptians out of thy hand when he saw that thou wast sent to execute judgment and vengeance on the Egyptians? And I delivered thee out of his hand, and thou didst perform the signs and wonders which thou wast sent to perform in Egypt against Pharaoh.                                                                    Jubilees 48:2b–4

It is understandable that Satan would form a confederacy against Moses, who was God’s chosen man to free the Israelites from their slavery. In Exodus 4:24–26 there is an account of Moses’ failure to circumcise his son that may have left the back door open for a spiritual attack. This record shows that Moses’ life was on the line, but he was saved when his wife grabbed a sharp stone and performed the ritual on their son.

Elijah seems to have had a cabal fashioned against him after the incident at Mt. Carmel (1 Kings 18) when Jezebel cursed him. He certainly appeared spiritually disoriented for awhile according to 1 Kings 19:4.

But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, LORD, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!”                                                                                                                    1 Kings 19:4

 John the Baptist was probably also double-teamed by a spiritual cabal as evidenced by his questioning if Jesus was actually the Messiah when he was put into prison (Matthew 11:2–3).

Paul of Tarsus, the apostle, confessed that the messenger of Satan was sent to buffet him (2 Corinthians 12:7). He likewise penned the truth in Ephesians 6:12 that we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers, and he probably knew this from experience as well as by revelation. Again, it is rather predictable that if spiritual cabals exist, certainly, Paul would get a double- or perhaps even triple-team against him.

Jesus the Messiah was obviously double-teamed probably more than once, but most notably in the hours leading up to His crucifixion. There are a couple of verses in Psalm 22 that prophesy of the cabal set against the Messiah during this time.

Many bulls have surrounded Me; Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me.                                                                                                Psalm 22:12


For dogs have surrounded Me; The assembly of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet; I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me.                                                                Psalm 22:16–17

I have often wondered about the night Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane when He prayed in such agony that His sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood (Luke 22:44). Kenneth Hagen, Sr. stated in a teaching that every demon from Satan’s kingdom tried to crush Him that night. We can get an idea of what this was like from the Mel Gibson movie, The Passion of the Christ, yet we know that it had to be much worse than what a movie could ever express. What Jesus accomplished through these hours, as well as by His crucifixion and resurrection, is what now allows us to break free of any cabals that are assigned to us.

A powerful truth that is often overlooked is that Jesus descended into hell in His spirit body and paid the spirits imprisoned there a visit; in fact, 1 Peter 3:19 says that He preached to them. I believe that the chilling message He preached to them was that He paid for the freedom of all those who call upon His name.

Christ also suffered when he died for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners that he might bring us safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit. So he went and preached to the spirits in prison—those who disobeyed God long ago when God waited patiently while Noah was building his boat. Only eight people were saved from drowning in that terrible flood. Now Christ has gone to heaven. He is seated in the place of honor next to God, and all the angels and authorities and powers are bowing before him.                                              1 Peter 3:18–20 and 22 NLT

During His visit to the prison of spirits, Jesus not only showed off His victory over them but He also established the rules of engagement. He made a way for us to break these cabals; but in order to do it successfully, we must follow His instructions.

How to Break a Spiritual Cabal

The key combined element in breaking a spiritual cabal is the authority we have in the name of Jesus Christ along with the blood He shed for us. Anytime His shed blood is mentioned in faith, evil spirits cut and run. The sacrifice of the perfect, sinless blood of the Lamb of God legally became the substitution for all those who call upon His name.

Many Christians correctly believe that demons have no rights over them because of the blood payment of the Righteous One; however, when has the devil ever kept the rules? He is known as the deceiver and the father of all lies; He is a liar from the beginning and no truth is in him. We must understand that we have authority to enforce our rights to that blood payment so that the deceiver does not overstep his boundaries.

Jesus’ blood was shed for our forgiveness, making it illegal for evil spirits to attach themselves to anyone who calls upon His name for salvation. By our continued application of that blood, we enforce that law. If we do not understand and act upon that authority then we will remain defenseless against any cabals he assigns to us. We have authority in the name of Yeshua the Messiah to dissolve and abolish these cabals. The following verses in Colossians contain truths that can help us. 

And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed [“spoiled” in the King James Version] principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.                                                                                                      Colossians 2:13–15

When Colossians 2:15 says, “He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it,” the word “it” is referring to the cross in verse 14. Our victory and the authority to dissolve these cabals are in the cross—in the blood that was shed and in the sins that were forgiven. The imprisoned spirits of 1 Peter 3:19 were included in that public spectacle when Jesus showed up to preach to them before His ascension. He spoiled, or disarmed, all the principalities and powers of Satan’s kingdom. He stripped them of their weaponry and power and humbled them by His victory.

Simply stated, sin is what gives demons and spiritual powers a way into our back door. Jesus shut the door and painted it red with His blood, legally making us off-limits to demons and principalities and powers. However, the devil and his minions do not abide by the rules unless we enforce them. The body of Christ and those suffering under demonic double-teams need a fresh revelation on the blood of Jesus.

In the Old Testament, total repentance was required to break these cabals; and it is still required today. However, unlike the Old Testament where animal sacrifices were a necessary part of their repentance, Jesus’ blood was shed once and for all and must be “reapplied” to our lives within our repentance. His blood is the payment that is necessary to enforce the eviction of the trespassing demonic cabal.

After personally experiencing some cabals in my own life as well as seeing my brothers and sisters suffer under their attacks, I have learned a little about counterattacking these double-teams by enforcing the law to make them obey the rules. Remembering that Jesus Christ is our defense attorney or advocate is an absolute must.

My little children, these things I write to you, that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.           

                                                                                    1 John 2:1

 Jesus Christ the righteous pleads our case in the heavenly courtroom. He vouches for us, as if to say, “There is no sin chargeable against my people because I paid for it.”

These cabals get assigned to those in God’s kingdom who are bright stars for Him—those who are following Christ and proclaiming His liberty through their words and actions—but yet have sinned in some way that has opened a back door. Remember the Old Testament “stars” mentioned earlier in this article, like Moses, Job, Elijah, and David. These were all wonderful servants in God’s kingdom and yet there was an open door somewhere in each of their lives that allowed these cabals to negatively affect them. Just as Job cried out for His redeemer to save him (Job 19:25–27), they probably each cried out in a similar way for that same Redeemer—that Advocate—who they knew would come. They knew from the prophecies that this Redeemer would pay the price for the forgiveness of their sin and expunge their guilt, making it illegal for demons and spiritual powers to come against them.

For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth.                                                                                     Job 19:25

We can probably all agree that we have enough sin for demons to come against us; and Jesus even made an interesting statement in Matthew about agreeing with our adversary quickly.

Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you are thrown into prison.                                                Matthew 5:25

Therefore, we do not plead or even claim our innocence; however, we do claim righteousness and forgiveness by the blood of the Lamb as presented by our Attorney, Jesus Christ the Righteous. When His blood is presented in the courtroom, the case is over.

Applying the Blood of Jesus in Prayer

If you have discerned that there is a spiritual cabal assigned to you, the following prayer can help you to apply the blood of Jesus and enforce the law that will evict these trespassers off your property. (This prayer can also be used when ministering to a brother or sister who is being double-teamed.)

Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus Christ and commit my ways to you. I confess my sins and weaknesses and stand in the righteousness of Jesus Christ, not my works. I have sinned and come short of the glory of God, but Jesus did not; and He is my payment and Redeemer. I agree quickly with my accusers that I have sin, but I claim my righteousness in Jesus Christ. Because I am righteous, no demon or evil spirit has any right over me. I dismiss this cabal in the name of Jesus Christ because all principalities and powers have been disarmed and defeated by the cross and the blood shed there for me. I abolish this assignment and demand that all spirits cease and desist at the threat of being put in the pit until the day of final judgment. I abolish this spiritual cabal in the name of Jesus Christ and by the authority given to me by Him.

In addition, partaking of Holy Communion afterward and consistently for a while will help you to remember that His blood paid for you. It reaffirms your righteousness and promised protection under the covenant blessings you received through the new birth when you first called upon the name of the Lord in faith.

In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”                                                                              1 Corinthians 11:25

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.                                                                      Revelation 12:11a

The Lord has given us what we need to overcome our enemy, regardless of any strategy he uses against us. It is time to look at our lives and consider if we have been double-teamed and, if so, to walk in the authority He has given us, claim our blood-bought rights, and be set free from any and all spiritual cabals!