Enemies Are Not Flesh We Are Fighting

VERSE OF THE DAY

Ephesians 6:12-13 (Good News Translation)

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For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age. So put on God’s armor now! Then when the evil day comes, you will be able to resist the enemy’s attacks; and after fighting to the end, you will still hold your ground.

Flesh and blood is just a shell that holds our spirit we are in spiritual fights against rulers and authorities against Works of evil in heavenly places powers of the dark ages raise up the power using the armor Of God Then when the evil day comes, you will be able to resist the enemy’s attacks; and after fighting to the end, you will still hold your ground. that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.

Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Ephesians 6:12-13

Related Topics: God, Evil, Flesh, Satan, Spiritual Warfare, All Topics…

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

How often do you forget that we are in a spiritual war? Our enemy is deceptively cunning — take away the immediacy of a threat and the danger appears gone. But he’s there, always. But rather than try to guess his plans and counter all of his moves, Paul reminds us to simply take up the tools God has given us and stand up to the evil one.

My Prayer…

Lord of Hosts, my Great Deliverer, protect me from the evil one by your great power. Give me a sense of urgency as I face Satan and his schemes on a daily basis, but also give me confidence that Jesus has already defeated my foe. Help me to stand against this foe and show myself faithful to you. Through Jesus my Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.

The Thoughts and Prayer on Today’s Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@verseoftheday.com.

Lesson 56: Why Christians Must be Fighters (Ephesians 6:12-13)

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In January, 1975, three days after Marla and I moved into our new apartment in Dallas where I was attending seminary, we were walking from our carport to the door of our apartment when I heard a voice and felt a hand from behind come around my forehead. I spun around to see something right in front of my eyes. I instinctively grabbed it and pushed it away from my face. As I did I realized that I was holding the barrel of a revolver.

It’s amazing how many thoughts flash through your mind in a situation like that. I wondered what I would do if the second man standing there grabbed Marla. I thought about where the bullet would ricochet if the gunman pulled the trigger. I wondered if the barrel would be too hot to hold if he fired the gun. After a brief struggle, he yanked the gun from my hand and the two men ran off into the night, leaving me with a wound from the gun-sight that required four stitches to repair.

That incident affected the way that we lived for the next two years that we were there. Not once after that did I drive into that carport without looking around very carefully to make sure that no strange men were standing around. I never stood outside after dark to chat with anyone. There were single women who would stand out by the laundry room after dark, talking. I would not let Marla go down there alone. Those women were oblivious to any potential danger, but we knew what could happen. Even now, over 30 years later, I always look around for suspicious looking characters when I’m out after dark.

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Many Christians go through life like those women by the laundry room, unaware that there is an evil enemy on the prowl, waiting to engage them in hand-to-hand combat. Because they are not thinking about being attacked, they don’t bother to put on God’s armor. They are not ready for combat. They dally with sin as if it were harmless. They’re friendly with the world and its many temptations. As a result, they are caught off guard, fall into serious sin, and their testimony for Jesus Christ is destroyed.

Let’s be honest: most of us don’t like to fight. Our inclination is to run from conflict rather than to fight. We all like peace. But the Bible is very clear that the Christian life, both individually and corporately, is a life of mortal combat with the spiritual forces of wickedness. Because this enemy never quits his attacks, Christians must learn to be fighters. To be unprepared against such an evil enemy or to run from the fight is to insure defeat. In our text, Paul explains why Christians must be fighters:

Christians must be fighters because we struggle against the evil spiritual forces of darkness.

1. Satan and his forces are real, evil, and powerful (6:12).

In military strategy, it is fatal to underestimate the strength of the enemy. To shrug off an enemy as a pushover when he is armed, organized, experienced, and dangerous, is to invite defeat. As I said, I have seen believers that disregard the reality and power of the enemy. We dare not do that!

But I’ve also seen some that give Satan too much credit. They view him as being almost as strong as God is. It’s as if God is desperately trying to get the upper hand, but He hasn’t quite succeeded. And they blame Satan for everything, from car problems to anger problems. So they’re always casting out the demon of this or that. When they yield to their own sinful desires, they blame it on the devil. We need to avoid this error as well.

William Gurnall (The Christian in Complete Armour [Banner of Truth], 1:112) observes that there is a great difference between how God and Satan deal with their followers. God reveals to His followers the strength of the enemy, but Satan does not dare to reveal to his followers the strength of God, or they would mutiny. So we need to look at what God tells us about the strength of the enemy.

A. THESE SPIRITUAL FORCES OF WICKEDNESS ARE REAL.

Nothing delights Satan more than when people do not believe in him or take him seriously. Years ago the liberal theologian Rudolf Bultmann dogmatically stated, “it is impossible to use electric light and the wireless, and to avail ourselves of modern medical and surgical discoveries, and at the same time believe in the New Testament world of demons and spirits” (cited by John Stott, The Cross of Christ [IVP], p. 23). In 1980, a Christianity Today poll showed that only 52 percent of Baptists, 24 percent of Methodists, and 34 percent of Lutherans believed that the devil is a personal being. Among the clergy, 18 percent of the Methodists denied the existence of the devil altogether, while an additional 36 percent regarded him as an impersonal force. Only 34 percent of the general public believed in a personal devil (Christianity Today, April 18, 1980, p. 31). Such views make Satan’s work easy for him!

But Satan and the demons are not just an impersonal force of evil in the world. The devil is not just a figure of speech or the figment of the primitive, minds of the biblical authors. Rather, he is a real spirit-being. He is a created angelic being who rebelled against God and led a number of angelic hosts in his rebellion. Jesus referred to him as the ruler of this world (John 12:31; 14:30). Paul called him “the god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4) and “the prince of the power of the air, … the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience” (Eph. 2:2).

When Paul states (Eph. 6:12) that these evil forces are not “flesh and blood” and that they dwell “in heavenly places,” he means that they are not earthly creatures with physical bodies, but rather spirit-beings that are invisible to us. We do not know whether they can temporarily take on a human form of their own, as the righteous angels do, but it would seem reasonable to assume that they can. Some argue that demons in human form cohabited with women prior to the flood (Gen. 6:1-4), but I find that view to be unconvincing. Demons can take possession of human personalities and bodies, creating disease and bizarre behavior, as many instances in the Gospels and the Book of Acts show. Their normal mode of operation is to work through unbelievers and through human religions, governments, cultures, media, and philosophies to further Satan’s opposition to God. But the main point here is that they are real spirit-beings, not just an impersonal evil influence.

B. THESE SPIRITUAL FORCES OF WICKEDNESS ARE TERRIBLY EVIL.

The name Satan means adversary. Devil means accuser or slanderer. He is also called Abaddon and Apollyon, which mean “Destroyer” in Hebrew and Greek (Rev. 9:11). The name Beelzebul (Matt. 12:24) may mean “lord of the flies,” or “lord of the idol sacrifice,” where the Hebrew word for “idol sacrifice” is similar to their word for “dung” (H. Bietenhard, New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology [Zondervan], ed. by Colin Brown, 3:469). Satan appears as the serpent that tempted Eve and caused the fall of the human race into sin (Gen. 3:1-7). Jesus said that Satan is a murderer, a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44). He deceives the whole world, accuses believers before God’s throne, and persecutes them relentlessly (Rev. 12:9-10, 13).

In short, Satan and the fallen angels are evil to the core. Contrary to some TV programs where nice witches have supernatural power to do good, all satanic and demonic activity is wicked. Christians should never dabble in anything satanic or occult, including Ouija boards, seances, fortune telling, or astrology.

C. THESE SPIRITUAL FORCES OF WICKEDNESS ARE POWERFUL.

Satan and the demons are very powerful, although God limits their power. Contrary to what many think, the devil is neither omnipresent nor omniscient. He can only be in one place at a time and he does not know everything about us. But he has a large force of evil spirits to carry out his strategies worldwide and they are very experienced and intelligent. We should not trifle with Satan or think that in ourselves we are any match for him. Our text reveals at least five ways that Satan and his forces are powerful:

(1). THEY ARE SPIRITUAL FORCES, NOT PHYSICAL BEINGS.

We’ve already seen this in identifying the reality of these forces, but here the point is that we are fighting an enemy that we cannot see with our eyes. There is a sense in which we do wrestle against flesh and blood, in that sinful people can tempt us and oppose us. Even professing Christians can tempt us to sin or lead us into false teaching. And we all struggle against our own flesh, which dwells in this body of sin (Rom. 7:14-25). But our ultimate enemy, the one behind the scenes, is invisible to human sight and therefore all the more dangerous and powerful.

(2). THEY ARE SCHEMING AND DECEPTIVE.

Jesus called the devil a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44). Paul says that he disguises himself as an angel of light and that his servants disguise themselves as servants of righteousness (2 Cor. 11:14-15). One of the main ways that he works is through false teaching that appeals to the flesh and to human pride (1 Tim. 4:1; 1 John 2:18-27; 4:1-6; cf. 2 Tim. 4:3-4). Pride was probably Satan’s original sin (Isa. 14:12-14; Ezek. 28:17). God hates pride, because it takes away from His glory (Prov. 6:16-17; 1 Pet. 5:5).

Every false religion and cult promotes a way of salvation that allows sinful people to take some or all of the credit, thus feeding human pride. A test of sound doctrine is, does it teach salvation by grace alone through Christ alone by faith alone, so that all the glory goes to God? If it adds works to faith or teaches that faith comes from man, not from God, it feeds pride. Satan is the deceiving force behind all of these false ways of salvation.

Satan also uses deception when he tempts us to sin. He always portrays sin as attractive and fulfilling. He convinces us that a particular sin will meet needs that God has not met. Are you single and desiring a mate? Have you prayed, but God has not answered? Satan comes along and says, “Here is an attractive young man [or woman] for you!” You ask, “Is he [she] a committed believer in Jesus Christ?” “No, but look at how nice he is. He treats you well! You know supposedly Christian men that abuse their wives, so being a Christian is no guarantee of getting a loving mate. Besides, you aren’t committing to marry him. Just go out with him and see how it goes.” And so the unsuspecting get lured into premarital sex and marriage to a nice unbeliever!

Satan uses the same deceptive tactics to lure married believers into adultery. You’re having problems in your marriage. Along comes the most understanding, sympathetic, and attractive person! Whereas your husband never listens to you, this man always listens. Whereas your wife never responds to you sexually, this gorgeous woman is ready and willing! Be forewarned! The devil is powerful because he is a deceptive schemer.

(3). THEY ARE STRONG.

Paul emphasizes the spiritual authority of these foes. He calls them “rulers,” “powers,” “world forces of this darkness,” and “spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” His repetition of the word “against” in each case underscores the complete incompatibility and the entrenched opposition between these evil powers and God’s people.

The spiritual authority of these demonic powers is indicated in an incident in the life of the prophet Daniel. He had been praying and fasting for three weeks when an angel appeared to him. He describes him (Dan. 10:5-6) as a man “dressed in linen, whose waist was girded with a belt of pure gold of Uphaz. His body also was like beryl, his face had the appearance of lightning, his eyes were like flaming torches, his arms and feet like the gleam of polished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of a tumult.” When Daniel saw him, all his strength left him and his complexion took on a deathly pallor. He could not stop trembling. The angel went on to explain that he had come in response to Daniel’s prayer. He would have arrived sooner, but “the prince of the kingdom of Persia” had withstood him for three weeks. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, had come to his aid (Dan. 10:7-13).

This story gives us a brief glimpse into the unseen world of the angelic conflict. Apparently certain demons have authority over entire nations or kingdoms. They are so powerful that even this impressive angel could not break through until he received help from Michael, the archangel (Jude 9)! There is no warrant here for praying against territorial spirits, as some charismatic brethren encourage us to do. But it does show us that these demons have impressive power.

The story of Job also shows that Satan has the power to instigate murderous terrorist attacks (Job 1:13-15, 17); to send lightning to hit specific targets (Job 1:16); to send a tornado force wind on a particular house (Job 1:18-19); and, to strike a man with painful boils all over his body (Job 2:7). He could have killed Job if God had so permitted (Job 2:6). You don’t want to mess with this powerful enemy or underestimate his strength!

Why would God give such authority and strength to such a hideous enemy? We cannot know more than Scripture reveals, but we can know that Satan cannot do anything that is outside of God’s eternal purpose in Christ (Eph. 1:11). God will be more glorified in the ultimate overthrow of Satan and the demons than if He had never allowed them to rebel in the first place.

The Bible clearly shows that God uses satanic forces to accomplish His holy and sovereign purposes, and yet He is not tainted by their evil ways and He will ultimately judge both the demons and sinful people for their sinful choices (1 Kings 22:19-23; 2 Sam. 12:11-12; see John Calvin, The Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 1, Chapter 18 for many more examples). The most evil deed in history, the crucifixion of the sinless Son of God, was carried out through Satan’s influence on evil men, and yet it accomplished the predetermined purpose of God (John 13:27; Acts 2:23; 4:27-28)! God even uses Satan at times to chasten God’s servants (Luke 22:31-32; 2 Cor. 12:7). So, Satan is strong, but God is stronger!

(4). THEY ARE SYSTEMATIZED.

The terms used in verse 12 cannot be arranged in any definite rank or order, but they do seem to indicate an organized spiritual hierarchy of some sort. We know that Satan is the prince of the power of the air and that certain demons have jurisdiction over specific earthly kingdoms (Dan. 10:13). A disorganized army is not a strong army. So Satan and his forces are organized against the Lord and His church. They are a force to be reckoned with!

(5). THEY ARE OFTEN SUCCESSFUL.

True, Satan was defeated once and for all at the cross (Col. 2:15). Satan is no match for God (1 John 4:4). In Christ, we have God’s mighty power at work in us, power that raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him in the heavens, far above all spiritual authorities (Eph. 1:19-23).

And yet, Satan does have temporary successes in the battle. Pastors and missionaries fall into serious sin that disqualifies them from the ministry. Churches split into factions over minor doctrinal or personal controversies. Christian marriages end in divorce. Christian young people get seduced by the world, the flesh, and the devil, leading them astray from the truth. False teachers lure professing Christians into all sorts of errors. The list goes on!

So while Satan is a defeated foe, he is not a weak foe! The application is, Don’t trifle with Satan! Don’t play around with sin and think that you will come away unscathed. Don’t see how much like the world you can be without compromising your testimony. Distance yourself from the adversary. Respect his frightening power. You cannot defeat him if you flirt with evil. The only way you can defeat him is through sustained conflict.

2. Fight by taking up the full armor of God, so that you can resist and stand firm in the evil day (6:13).

Verse 13 repeats much of verses 10 & 11 to drive the point home: “Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.” As I pointed out last week, it is God’s armor and God’s strength, but we are commanded actively to take it up and put it on. Two observations:

A. EVIL DAYS WILL COME TO US ALL.

By “the evil day,” Paul is not just referring to the fact that we live in an evil world that will go on being evil until Jesus returns. That is true, but Paul is referring to the fact that both corporately and individually we will face times of spiritual attack that are unusually intense. The word “struggle” (6:12) refers to a wrestling match, or a one-on-one contest of strength and endurance. Sometimes the entire church comes into an evil day, such as the current persecution against Christians in India or the attacks on believers in Muslim countries or under Communist regimes.

But also, as individual Christians we face times of unusual attack. Perhaps your marriage is going through a difficult time and suddenly a very attractive and seductive coworker comes on the scene. It’s not a coincidence! It’s an attack of the enemy! Or, your family is in financial need when an opportunity to make some illegal easy money is dropped in your lap. Or, you’re struggling with depression when one of your friends tells you that he has some illegal drugs that will make you forget your troubles. This is “the evil day,” or what John Owen (in his great treatise on “Sin and Temptation”) referred to as “entering into temptation.”

By including himself (“our struggle”), Paul shows that he was not exempt from these battles. True, his struggles may have been different than ours, but the most godly saints face these encounters with the forces of darkness. You must know your own weaknesses and propensity toward sin so that you will be on guard when the enemy engages you in battle. If you think that you’re immune, you are especially vulnerable (1 Cor. 10:12)!

B. ADEQUATE PREPARATION IS A MAJOR PART OF VICTORY.

Proverbs 24:10 states, “If you are slack in the day of distress, your strength is limited.” In Proverbs 1:20-33, wisdom mocks the guy who waited until calamity hit to seek her. Here, Paul tells us to take up God’s full armor so that we will be able to resist when the evil day hits, as surely it will. Then, being prepared, you will be able to stand firm.

You do not need to learn any formulas or complicated steps to victory over the devil (as some books promote). The Bible is quite simple (James 4:7): “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” Or (1 Pet. 5:8-9a): “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith….” By the way, we’re commanded to flee from sin, but to resist the devil (1 Cor. 6:18; 10:14; 1 Tim. 6:11; 2 Tim. 2:22).

As Jesus showed us when He was tempted by Satan, one of the most effective ways to resist is to know and recite Scripture. And so one way to prepare yourself for battle in the evil day is to saturate your mind with God’s Word, reading it over and over and memorizing key verses to equip you for victory.

Conclusion

When the apostle Paul got to the end of his life, in spite of all of his achievements, he summed it up by saying, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4:7). He fought, he prevailed, and he stood firm to the end.

Fighting in hand-to-hand combat against these hideous forces of darkness may not be your idea of a good time! But it is an inescapable part of the Christian life. Because this powerful, wicked enemy seeks to destroy us, we must fight by taking up God’s full armor so that we can resist and stand firm in the evil day.

Application Questions

1. How can we know whether an attack stems from Satan or from our sinful flesh? Does it make any practical difference?

2. Should Christians fear the devil? How, or how not?

3. How would you counsel a believer who was in “an evil day”? What steps should he take?

4. What practical things (positive and negative) can a believer do to be prepared for the “evil day”?

Copyright, Steven J. Cole, 2008, All Rights Reserved.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture Quotations are from the New American Standard Bible, Updated Edition © The Lockman Foundation

FROM THE SERIES: EPHESIANS

What does Ephesians 6:12 mean? [ See verse text ]

This famous verse describes the spiritual battle that exists in the lives of believers. It does so perhaps better than any other words in Scripture. First, Paul affirms our battle is indeed spiritual, not physical. The enemies we face, ultimately, are not people or objects. The Devil may use those as part of his attack, but our true opponent is not other people: it is sin.

Second, Paul identifies our spiritual enemies. This list is commonly interpreted as a vague listing of the “ranks” within the demonic armies. “Rulers” seem to indicate a top level of evil spiritual forces. “Authorities” refer to general forces of evil attacking believers. “Cosmic powers” seems to refer to the worldwide nature of this spiritual battle. “Evil in the heavenly places” again emphasizes a battle beyond this world.

Spiritual battles can occur at all levels, anywhere across this world and beyond. The believer must be prepared for all types of attacks through putting on God’s armor, as Paul describes.

Context Summary

Ephesians 6:10–20 concludes Paul’s practical application of Christianity with a famous series of metaphors. Here, he describes the ”armor of God.” In this passage, Paul uses the allegory of a Roman soldier’s basic equipment to show how the components of Christianity work together as we strive to serve God. The soldier’s tools include a belt, breastplate, shoes, shield, helmet, and sword. In parallel, the Christian’s implements are truth, righteousness, the gospel, faith, salvation, and the Word of God. Christians are also given prayer. Just as a soldier’s equipment is designed for their earthly battle, a Christian’s equipment is meant for spiritual warfare.

Chapter Summary

Paul gives specific instructions to children and fathers, stressing obedience and patience, respectively. He also directs servants to serve with sincerity and good intentions, as if they were working for Christ. Masters are warned not to be harsh: the same God who judges all will not give them preference over those they supervised. All Christians are called on to use the tools given us by God for surviving the attacks of the devil. These are imagined as pieces of a suit of armor. Paul ends this letter in his typical style, with prayer, blessings, and news about his plans

What Does Ephesians 6:12 Mean? ►

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Ephesians 6:12(KJV)

Verse Thoughts

Christ gained complete victory over sin, death and Satan through His death, burial and resurrection. And Christ’s victory is ours by faith – for we are His body and are identified with Him and He with us.

The day is coming when Christ will rule and reign on this earth as King of kings and Lord of lords.. and Satan will be bound in the bottomless pit for a thousand years, but during this Church dispensation we are engaged in an ongoing, spiritual battle with unseen spiritual forces of evil – for we are members of Christ spiritual body and our spiritual battle is against a spiritual enemy.

The enemy against which we are called to wrestle can never be fought in the natural plain or in the physical sphere, for we do not wrestle against a flesh and blood enemy. We are engaged in a spiritual battle with a wicked fallen angel and many evil principalities and power – who are the authors of evil, deception, lies, fear, sin, evil, unrest and war.

Our battle is against spiritual rulers of darkness that influence the evil that is taking place in this world today – but they can never be defeated in our lives through natural weapons and worldly ways.

Our battle is not against flesh and blood but against spiritual wickedness – against the spirit that now works in the sons of disobedience. It is the Holy Spirit of God, Who works in believers and it is the evil spirit of wickedness that works in the sons of disobedience. We are in Christ and He is in us and we are to fight this enemy with the spiritual weapons that He has provided – through the Word of God and all-prayer.

The spiritual forces of evil will use the unsaved and blinded people to carry out their nefarious plans and there is only one way to defeat the spiritual enemy that seeks to shipwreck our faith in Christ Jesus – and that is by using spiritual weapons against this spiritual enemy.

For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen, spiritual world. Our daily battle is against mighty powers in this dark world, and evil spirits in heavenly places.. and the only effective weapons against this evil enemy is found IN-Christ – the-Word-of-God and all prayer – for Christ is our Salvation and Christ is the Truth Christ is our Righteousness and Christ is our Peace.

Christ’s victory at Calvary is ours by faith today. He triumphed over Satan through His death, burial and resurrection and only through HIM.. and the spiritual weapons of war that He provides can we successful wrestle against the evil forces in our world today.

Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/ephesians-6-12

Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/ephesians-6-12

Ephesians 6:12 Meaning of Our Struggle is not Against Flesh and Blood

Oct 28, 2019 by Editor in Chief

Ephesians 6:12
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Explanation and Commentary of Ephesians 6:12

Our struggle will always seem to be against flesh and blood. Isn’t it people who get in our way? Isn’t it even ourselves that are our own worst enemy? Maybe sometimes there is some truth to that, but the ultimate reality is that we are in a spiritual battle that can only be fought with spiritual weapons.

For a time, satan has a measure of authority to cause harm. Just as the Nazis were actually defeated on D-Day, but continued killing and causing trouble until V-Day, satan, a defeated enemy (Col 2:15) is not yet fully routed. Jesus has left the Church to continue to plunder his house until the end of the age.

While it is unhealthy to become obsessed with satan and demons, it is fruitless to deny their existence. But the very weakest of Christians have enough of the power of God and the authority over every demon of hell and should not be afraid. The evil one, actually powerless against the church (Mt 16:18) has one main weapon that he uses most effectively: the power of lies to deceive.

Breaking Down the Key Parts of Ephesians 6:12

#1 “For…”
Paul has said that we need to, “be strong in the Lord’s mighty power and put on the full armor of God” (Eph 6:10-11), which will be detailed in the verses that come after.

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#2 “…our struggle…”
Certainly Paul is speaking of the persecution of the Church and especially its ministers such as himself. But our struggle includes anything that we would consider a trial: our sin, particularly pride, hatred, greed or lust, or the ungodly ways of the world, misdealings with other people, and physical ailments and death.

#3 “…is not against flesh and flesh and blood,”
Under and behind all physical manifestations of struggle is a spiritual reality. A problem with another person is really a spiritual problem. A problem with the effects of a fallen world, especially when it concerns hostility to the gospel or with God’s way of living, is not truly a struggle against the flesh and blood manifestations of those problems.

#4 “but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
Rather, all darkness and struggle have one source, Satan and his mysterious hierarchy of demonic principalities who have been given the chance to cause trouble in this present darkness. Even death himself falls into this category. The “dark world” has been violently imposed upon by the birth, and then especially the death and resurrection of Christ. It will finally be snuffed out by the second coming of Christ and the final judgment. Because our battle is a spiritual one, the spiritual weapons of prayer, godliness, and the truth revealed by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God are our defense against it.

The exceptional video below gives a full commentary and explanation of Ephesians 6:12.

◄ What Does Ephesians 6:13 Mean? ►

Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

Ephesians 6:13(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

Many of the battles in Old Testament times were fought with spears and swords in the physical realm, but New Testament believers are called upon to fight battles in the spiritual sphere, for we do not wrestle against physical enemies of flesh and blood… our battle is not against human opponents. Our enemy is in the spiritual plane. The opponents with whom we wrestle are spiritual rulers and demonic powers. We fight against the forces of this dark world – the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

We are at war with an evil, spiritual enemy, where the invisible rulers of darkness and wicked spiritual beings who inhabit high places, are hell-bent on ruining the lives of multitudes and shipwrecking the testimony of Christians, in defiance of God Almighty. They are the arch-enemy of the Lord and their intent is to decimate human-kind and rid the world of Adam’s race which was made in the image and likeness of God. And so Paul instructs us, “therefore, take up the full armour of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”

Having been given an assurance of our position in Christ and a reminder of the wonderful resurrection power we have in Him by faith, Paul calls upon us to take up the full armour of God so that we are equipped to resist the satanic plans and purposes of the enemy in the evil day and to stand firm in a world that is spiralling out of control. Every one of us is to put on the whole armour of God so that we may be able to take a stand against every evil assault of the enemy – and continue to stand firm in the faith that God supplied through His eternal Son.

There are many components of the Christian’s spiritual armoury… and on closer inspection, we discover that each piece is directly linked with our position in Christ. When the enemy attacks and satanic forces are seeking to undermine our faith, we are to put on Christ – to remain covered in His perfect righteousness – to abide in Him and hope in the Lord.

The Lord Jesus is the Way, and He is Truth. He is our Righteousness, and in Him we have Peace – the perfect peace of God in our heart and everlasting peace with God, for we are His children. He is our salvation and by faith in Him, we have the indwelling Spirit of God giving us access to the throne of grace – through prayer, for mercy to find help in time of need.

He is the living, eternal Word of God made flesh… and by grace we have been given the God-breathed, inerrant, written Word of God – the Scriptures. Every single component of our spiritual armour is vital if we are to stand fast against the wiles of the enemy and hold fast in this evil day. Every piece of armour is required at all times if we are to be triumphant – for it is only as we yield to God, abide in Christ, and He in us, that we are empowered to resist the enemy and are assured a great spiritual victory.

We are called upon to take-up our weapons of warfare and to put-on the full armour of God, which is another way of saying – clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul is calling believers to put on Christ, to abide in Christ and to rest in Him – as He abides in us.

Nowhere are we called upon to stamp on the enemy’s head or rebuke Satan as many like to teach. Even the archangel Michael said, “the LORD rebuke you, Satan.” However, we are called upon in Scripture, to resist and repel the enemy. Peter tells us to, “submit to God and resist the devil and he will flee from you.” And here we are also instructed to, “resist in the evil day and stand firm,” so that having done all, we will remain standing.

We are not to compromise with the ways of the world, nor are we to be deceived by the darkness of our fallen age. We are called to resist in the evil day and to clothe ourselves with Christ, so that we may be able to stand firm on the truth of the Word of God, as we pray in spirit and truth, with all prayer and supplication – and as we patiently intercede for all the saints of God.

May we be faithful to fulfil the privileged position we have as a member of Christ’s spiritual army, and may we never seek to come against the enemy in the power of our own flesh or prideful self… but rather, may we take up our heavenly armour as we pray in the spirit and remain covered in Christ – in Whose name we stand.

Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/ephesians-6-13

Can You Explain Ephesians 6-12 In The Bible – Spiritual Kingdoms and Rulers?

HOME » CAN YOU EXPLAIN EPHESIANS 6-12 IN THE BIBLE – SPIRITUAL KINGDOMS AND RULERS?

 

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Can You Explain Ephesians 6-12 In The Bible – Spiritual Kingdoms and Rulers?

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“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against the spiritual forces of evil in heavenly places.” – Ephesians 6:12

In most of Chapter 6, Paul is reminding the church at Ephesus to be spiritually-strong. He is reminding them that their defensive armor, as well as their offensive weapons, are both spiritual. He is reminding them that their true enemy is a spiritual enemy. Of course, Christians then and now do have enemies (in the world) but here Paul is reminding them of their greater enemy (not of this world). This enemy is Satan and everything within his kingdom. This kingdom uses many forces (including in and through people and organizations) with the intent to steal, kill, and destroy.

Note, I’m a Deliverance minister. I’ve battled spiritual evil. While many of other answers to this question come from academicians who have theory or rhetoric or non-spiritual justifications for what Paul means I will be answering this question as someone who actually believes in the Bible, in Spiritual Reality, in real Spiritual Enemies, and the reality that Christians are called into Spiritual Warfare. This is clearly what the text says and clearly what Paul meant. This part is certain and non-negotiable.

Entire books have been written in detail to describe the Satanic kingdom and the operations of spiritual evil. I’m going to provide a super-short answer just to steer you in the right direction. Keep in mind different deliverance ministries have slightly different theories and understandings of how exactly things should be labeled and organized. However, the general idea has a consensus and they all have 90%+ in common. The exactness of the labeling isn’t that important. It’s our attempt to examine our enemy and know him better so we can war against him more effectively. What is most important is knowing WHO the enemy is, HOW they attack Christians, and HOW to defend yourself. Paul gives you this in Scripture.

On our Recommended Reading page are books on spiritual warfare that I would recommend, including the entire Chapter 3 of my book, The Empowered Christian Road Map, which deals specifically with how Christians can recognize and dump the garbage baggage of demonic influence in their lives. I’d also recommend my 300+ Quora answers dealing with demons and my Spiritual Warfare Bootcamp course.

The general structure works like this:

1. KINGDOMS – Jurisdictions of evil with specific purpose/intent. Within specific kingdoms exist the following:

1. PRINCIPALITIES – Chief of order, time, place or rank (the demonic brains behind evil strategies)

2. POWERS – Those demons who exert the authority or right delegated. High-ranking, evil supernatural powers, as well as the power of sin and evil in operation in the world.

3. MINIONS/ASSIGNMENTS – Lower ranking demons assigned to specific tasks.

2. RULERS OF THE DARKNESS – This might include any of the above high-ranking officials who might be considered a “ruler,” or even things like the various forms of Occultism or Witchcraft or Divination. These practices derive their power from the previous demonic kingdoms and sources, and thus are knowingly or unknowingly victims and slaves to their evil agenda. Nonetheless, the human practitioner still “rules” the darkness in this age by giving these non-physical, spiritual entities access to our physical world in ways that permit them to do more damage in it.

3. SPIRITUAL FORCES OF EVIL IN HEAVENLY PLACES – Might as well say “…in spiritual places.” It’s the same thing. By “heavenly” Paul is referring to the spiritual dimension of our existence on Earth, not actual Heaven, as in where God and the angels are. None of this evil is in Heaven. It is all on Earth, in the spiritual realm, cast out of Heaven during the fall with Lucifer. Essentially, Paul is wrapping all of this (Satan, other fallen angels, demons, witchcraft powers, etc.) in it’s various forms into one category – spiritual evil that influences life on Earth. All that which opposes the Holy Spirit’s work.

I hope that helps and may God bless, strengthen, and protect YOU who are reading this..

Author: J. Palmer

Living under the wings of God and the angels around me keeping me going and safe. Sharing the love of Christ.

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