By Art Hobba, President, Principle Based Leadership                      April, 6, 2023

In the Scriptures written by the Apostle Paul, he teaches offensive and defensive tactics of spiritual warfare, including mental, emotional, and faith-based disciplines. He does not take aside learned elders or those with the spiritual gift of discernment of spirits into their own elite clergy huddle. He is teaching all within hearing, as his letters were read out loud.

He wrote of many things of grave spiritual importance as well:

  • The processes and disciplines of Sanctification
  • The courageous stance of loyalty to his calling and to the God of the Gospel of Jesus
  • The hope and destination of our salvation—now and in Heaven
  • The process of mentoring men into leaders so they will do the same with others
  • Strong correction and exposure of dangerous false doctrines
  • The creation of the New Man and how we need to walk in the Spirit, not the flesh

Of all of these, there is one key bookshelf missing in the preacher’s library in most churches today. Pauline (and biblical) Spiritual Warfare. It needs to be identified, and placed back into the curricula of every minister in the Chuch immediately, if not sooner. It is the key reason why the dynamic of the church in America is a fading shadow of what it was. Without fiber and real exercise, little lambs just wander away to become prey.

I have covered in some depth the subject of principalities and thrones of darkness (demonic hierarchical beings) and our primary weaponry–the Armor of God (Ephesians 6) in the Warrior and Priest coursework. It has been my privilege to introduce and train indigenous pastors to bring a discipleship Trilogy to over 30,000 ministers on 4 continents. The only continent—so far—that has not embraced it is the USA.

The Old Testament is bathed in the blood of pre-war, battle, plunder, and the aftermath of victory or defeat. One-third of biblical writings take place before, during, and after physical, deadly aggression between nations–and between God and nations—including Israel.

As ALL Scripture is said to be profitable for building up and equipping all Believers. Today as we whine so much about “how dark” these current days of evil are, church leaders must step up to learn, practice, and then train every adult member of their community (over the age of 12) in the reality of immanent spiritual attack.

All leaders of reasonable faith know this, but many will not love their congregation enough to gain the expertise they need because they are afraid. Their fear comes from the fact that our seminaries and Bible colleges rarely teach it. Why? Because they are afraid too! There is rarely room for faith–or the invisible real–in academia. Understandably, seminary professors—a few of whom I treasure to this day—are older men. They have found a safe house from the real ugly world into whom their students will sink or swim.

Most ministers–or servants of the Gospel–have little or no authority to speak on this matter for they have little knowledge and no experience. Additional pressures to remain mute on this subject come from not wanting to not stir up the sheep. No use risking a stampede–or worse—they leave the church with their tithes and offerings! And then, what of the opines of the church board: A quick vote next month and you could be out on the streets.

Instead, the large majority of ministers in the US will often discount warfare, taking the Swiss position that says, “We needn’t mind evil or its demonic influencers because Jesus defeated Satan on the Cross.” This is terrible theology!  If that is true, why is evil so rampant and triumphant today? Why did we lose 80% of the millennial generation when they left us for college? And why on Earth would Jesus, in His descent into the dungeons of Hell would merely wound the head of Satan (seizing the Keys to Death and Hell) unless he was left alive for a purpose? Why didn’t Jesus kill him right then?

And why would Paul, Peter, and John, post-Pentecost, teach their followers that the Devil and his demon are certain threats to the uninformed? Just as Peter exhorts us to embrace our fiery trials and sufferings because they make us stronger, what if God allows Satan to afflict his best against the Bride (like he did with Job) so that we as individuals in the church–and entire congregations become strong because of the good fight of faith?

These fears bind passive ministers by the dual cords of the “fear of man”—which is bondage–and the fear of the Devil, because the minister does not understand what it means to be raised into the seat of Christ both NOW and in the future? How much closer to safety and power can a Believer be?

They fear because no one has taught them and so they have no experience with invisible beings of darkness. Yet everyone who is reading this knows that they have experienced demonic fear.

Every follower of Jesus believes that God is a good Father and wants to use us as instruments of healing and redemption. We know God as Healer very well, because our pulpits proclaim it often. We all see Jesus as our Savior too, but why would the core of the Lord’s Prayer be “Deliver us from the Evil One,” if that salvation did not include His delivering power over the Devil’s influences and outright attacks on your behalf?

God reveals his virtuous personality in many places throughout the Bible. Here are but a few that underscore one of the most overlooked natures of God:

The Lord is a warrior; the Lord is his name. Ex 13: 3

Jehovah Nissi: God is my Battle Banner of Victory. This is the Name Moses proclaimed immediately after the battle Israel won miraculously by God’s intervention against the Amalekites. Exodus 17

God is the Mighty Man of Valor: The LORD goes out like a mighty man, like a man of war he stirs up his zeal; he cries out, he shouts aloud, he shows himself mighty against his foes. Isaiah 42:13

These attributes remain foreign-sounding to most churches as well. Through the millennia, God’s patience and mercy kept him from picking fights, yet God was easily aroused to war, like a Bear in winter, to defend his Beloved Israel. How much more does he desire to defend the weak and young in God’s church when we have been elevated—by the Spirit of Adoption—to full-fledged sons and daughters of God?

If you are a Christian leader and do not understand spiritual warfare yourself, get educated NOW by someone who has the experience.

There is no Boogieman.

The Warrior Course by Core 300 is a rich resource that has trained, awakened, and armed over 30,000 pastors with a biblical understanding of the three dimensions of warfare. They have gone on and trained their leaders and their congregation.

If you are afraid to do so—or to embrace the divinely delegated responsibility of your office by the Great Shepherd–then consider being afraid of the One to whom you must give an account. God’s zealous judgment—as we are now seeing take place with the rise of godlessness in our nation—always begins in the House of His Priests and Shepherds.

We, male leaders, are His adopted sons. It is time for pet theologies and pleasant talks about Justice to be over. God is calling real men from the pew or the pulpit without bias. He looks for “the 300” type of modern man like from the Age of Gideon. They became Justice. We have far more powerful weaponry for destroying arguments and pulling down strongholds of Hell.

He is calling men today out of the Stands and into the Arena. It is a spiritual dogfight for sure, but it is one we know we will win. For greater is He in you than he that is in the world.”

Art Hobba is the founder and president of Principle Based Leadership, headquartered in southern California with men’s development operations on 4 continents. A Culture-change Consultant, Executive Coach, and Author of 5 books. He is married and father to 5 boys—now men—and 2 grandchildren. You can reach him at