Confusion on Spiritual Warfare
by Link Hudson
One of the major problems with the 'spirit of' issue is that people mean different things when they say 'spirit of.' For many Charismatics, Pentecostals and Third Wavers a 'spirit of fear' is a demon with 'fear' written on his forehead or a demon that epitomizes fear. For others it is a demon that manifests itself as 'fear' in a particular instance. For others, the phrase refers to a spiritual condition of fear in a persons life.

We need to keep in mind what kind of terminology we use. If one believer says to another 'you have a spirit of fear.' The one speaking may mean 'You have a spiritual condition of fear.' or 'Your spirit is fearful.' The listener may think, "I am demon-possessed and have a spirit of fear! How could this happen to me?" Many Christians think that 'spirit of' refers to an actual demonic entity.

A man may have an inclination toward fits of wrath. From Galatians we know this is a 'work of the flesh.' Evil spirits may goad and tempt the man to sin in the area of wrath, but he is not 'demonized' like the Gergazene demoniac. If you pray with the man and then start rebuking the 'spirit of wrath,' he may think you are weird, or crazy. Or, he may believe you and think he is like someone in the movie 'The Exorcist.' Remember in I Corinthians 14, where we read that if all in a meeting speak in tongues, the unbelievers or unlearned will think we are mad. The same applies to rebuking spirits that aren't there, or spirits that aren't the root of the problem.
What Spirits Are There?
The scripture says that 'God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.' Does this really teach that there is such a thing as an actually entity called a spirit of fear? Or is the point, rather, that the Spirit God has given us is not a spirit of fear?

Be careful when reading scripture. Compare the 'spirit of fear' passage to other passage which mention spirits not given to us,...