How to Be Victorious in Spiritual Warfare, Part 4 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #56)

A series of homilies on Ephesians 5 & 6

A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”


Daniel Whyte III

Daniel Whyte III

I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians 5 & 6 (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.

Ephesians 6:10-12:

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 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.

—–

John MacArthur said, “The warfare of which Paul speaks has at its highest level a tremendous conflict between God and Satan. That is the primary level of the warfare. Everything else comes under that. It is a war of the Lord God Jehovah and His truth against Satan and his lies. It is a war between God and His Will and Satan and his will, and such a war is not only fought between God and Satan, but between demons and holy angels and between ungodly men and godly men, so that this cosmic warfare at the level of God and the highest creature He ever made, Lucifer, filters all the way down to involve every human being — including us.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “You can’t develop character by reading books. You develop it from conflict.”

—-

From these three verses, we have seen how God has given us strength and how we are commanded to stand. But what do we need strength for? What type of enemy are we to stand against?

Paul says, “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.” You cannot fight effectively in a war unless you know who your enemy really is. The devil will try to get you to think that your enemies are physical — people whom you can see and talk to. However, that is only a strategy to keep you sidetracked from the real battle.

The Bible tells us that our enemies are dark and powerful spiritual forces.

First, we have “principalities.” This term comes from the Greek word meaning “beginning or origin.” In this context, it is defined as “the first place or ruler of demons.” Satan, who led the angelic rebellion against God, is the leader of the fallen angels. It is him with whom we wrestle.

Next, we have “powers.” This word has to do with legal or judicial authorities. The book of Daniel shows us clearly that angels and demons are appointed over earthly governments. Angels are purposed with influencing the government for good, while demons try to influence the government for evil. Christians around the world today are coming into conflict with legal or judicial authorities. We must realize that, even in such situations, we are not dealing with flesh and blood, but spiritual powers — the powers behind the throne, if you will — which oppose God’s work in the world.

Third, we have the “rulers of the darkness of this world.” This term simply means “lord of the world” or “prince of this age.” These are biblical titles for Satan. Currently, his influence is prevalent in the world. He and his demons are behind the crime, violence, immorality, and spiritual darkness that we see around us. One scholar called this group the “Satanic mafia.” When we deal with people who are not saved, we must remember that it is Satan who has blinded them to God’s truth. That is where the battle starts.

Finally, Paul says we struggle against “spiritual wickedness in high places.” Commentators have struggled with exactly what this term means. Some have said it simply refers to the evil work of the devil and his demons on earth. However, the same term that is translated “high places” here is translated elsewhere in the New Testament as “heavenly places” or “heaven.” Thus, some believe this to be the actual physical dimension above earth’s atmosphere where the spiritual war, the battle between angels and demons, is raging.

Either way, the point remains: We are not dealing with flesh and blood. That is why we cannot live the Christian life in our own strength. We are dealing with dark spiritual forces led by Satan. That is why we must fight this battle God’s way, with His armor, and in His strength.

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