Ephesians Chapter 6 – Part 2 (vs. 10-12)

Eph 6 vs 7 Part 2 Books of the Bible

Part 2 – Ephesians 6:10-12

Thus far, we have noted in the last few chapters of Ephesians how to “Walk in Christ,” including:

  • Walking in Unity – 4:1-16,
  • Walking in Purity – 4:17-32,
  • Walking in Love – 5:1-6,
  • Walking in Light – 5:7-14, and
  • Walking in Wisdom – 5:15-6:9.

As we study the last section of this book we are going to learn how to … Stand in Warfare – 6:10-20.

Having learned the description of the ideal home and workplace, the focus now shifts to the battlefield. Having noted our personal internal warfare of the Angelic Conflict in the previous chapters, now we are going to note the external warfare we are all a part of during the Angelic Conflict.

Many times, the NT speaks of the Christian life in military terms. Yet, the language here describes something that is more than just a figure of speech. This battle is real, difficult, and dangerous. Although salvation is free to the person who receives it, it is not brought to its highest point without great effort. The Angelic Conflict is real and part of the reality of human life, whether people comprehend it or not.

For the believer, no true soldier of Jesus Christ can expect to be immune from it and the assaults of the enemy. Likewise, no Christian can afford to be neutral in this conflict. Therefore, in this section, believers are called to stand firm in the midst of spiritual warfare by means of God’s power, with God’s armor, and in constant prayer.

As Christians, we face three enemies: the world, the flesh, and the devil, Eph 2:1-3.

  • “The world,” refers to the system around us that is opposed to God, Satan’s cosmic system, that caters to “the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life,” 1 John 2:15-17. Society apart from God is a simple, but accurate, definition of “the world.”
  • “The flesh” is the Old Sin Nature that we inherited from Adam, a nature that is opposed to God and can do nothing spiritual to please God, Rom 7:15-21.
  • “The devil,” a real fallen angel who led the rebellion against God in eternity past, who has stayed in rebellion, and is the leader of the fallen angelic forces to thwart God’s plan for mankind and your life.

Yet, by His death and resurrection, Christ has overcome the world, John 16:33; Gal 6:14, and the flesh, Rom 6:1-6; Gal 2:20, and the devil, Eph 1:19-23. Therefore, as believers, we do not fight for victory, we fight from a position of victory! The Spirit of God enables us, by faith, to appropriate Christ’s victory for ourselves.

Therefore, in these closing verses of the letter, Paul discussed four topics so we, by understanding and applying these truths, might walk in victory: The Empowerment, vs. 10; The Enemy, vs. 11-12; The Equipment, vs. 13-17; The Energy, vs. 18-20; The Encouragement, vs. 21-24.

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eph 6 vs 10 Word Angelic conflict pt 1 - Empowerment

1. Empowerment, vs. 10.

Vs. 10

Eph 6:10, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.”

Before delving into the conflict, God reminds us of the strength and power that is available to every believer to be victorious in the Angelic Conflict, using three Greek words in this passage, DUNAMIS, KRATOS, and ISCHUS. Therefore, this section discusses a believer’s use of God’s resources to help him stand against evil powers. Therefore, our “riches in Christ” are based on: His power and strength in us, Eph 1:19; 6:10.

Whereas, every division of Eph 4:1-6:9 was introduced by the Greek inferential Particle OUN, Eph 4:1, 17; 5:1, 7, 15, and the verb “walk,” PERIPATEO, Eph 4:1, 17; 5:1, 8, 15. This final division is signaled by “finally,” as the Greek begins with HO LOIPOS, in the Adverbial use of a Genitive phrase.

LOIPOS, λοιπός means, “remaining, over, from now, rest, other.” Literally it reads, “the remaining, the rest, etc.” Paul used it often to conclude a message or give one final point, cf. 2 Cor 13:11; Phil 3:1; 4:8; 1 Thes 4:1; 2 Thes 3:1. Many times, those constructions include, “brethren,” ADELPHOS, as do some variant Greek translations of this passage. But ADELPHOS should not be included here.

But if we take this literally, as we should, it means, “for the remaining, the rest of the time, or from now on.” In other words, going forward in your Christian walk, do what is commanded in this passage, “be empowered for battle by God.”

This also tells us that Paul foresees the impact of this book on the Royal Family of God. He sees it as turning people around and moving them in the right direction. He sees it as the means of getting believers oriented to the Plan of God and entering into the tactical victories of the Angelic Conflict.

As we have seen in this book, it demands growth. From the time that you start the first chapter and begin to see that you are in the Plan of God, and that you are special in the plan of God, and that you live in a special age, from that moment on, Ephesians becomes extremely important to empower and enable you to be victorious inside the Angelic Conflict.

Psa 18:39, “For You have girded me with strength for battle; You have subdued under me those who rose up against me.”

Psa 35:1-3, “Contend, O LORD, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me. 2Take hold of buckler and shield and rise up for my help. 3Draw also the spear and the battle-axe to meet those who pursue me; say to my soul, ‘I am your salvation’.”

Next, we have the exhortation to be empowered, “be strong in the Lord,” utilizing the first Greek word for power/strength, ENDUNAMOO, ἐνδυναμόω that can mean, “strengthened, enabled, acquire strength, gain power, empowered, etc.” It comes from the root verb DUNAMAI, “be able, have power to do, have capacity for,” and the noun DUMAMIS, “power, might, ability, force.” It is inherent strength or power that characterizes God that is given to the positive spiritually mature believer.

ENDUNAMOO is in the Progressive Present, Passive, Imperative. Therefore, this is a command to the believer for the continuous action of receiving God’s power. It is being strengthened and enabled within your soul to be able to stand your ground and fight, leading tactical victories in the Angelic Conflict. The Present tense indicates the necessity of continuous dependence upon Jesus Christ. The Passive tells us we receive this empowerment from Jesus Christ, (i.e., His Word and His Spirit), showing that strength must come from outside the believer, for without God’s help we would never make it. As we will see in the rest of this verse, The Lord Jesus Christ, God, is the means by which we receive His strength and power to be victorious.

ENDUNAMOO is used three times in the LXX of the OT, first in Judges 6:34 and 1 Chron 12:18, for the empowerment of certain men for battle.

Judges 6:34, “So the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon; and he blew a trumpet, and the Abiezrites were called together to follow him.” 

1 Chron 12:18, “Then the Spirit came upon Amasai, who was the chief of the thirty, and he said,We are yours, O David, and with you, O son of Jesse! Peace, peace to you, and peace to him who helps you; indeed, your God helps you!” Then David received them and made them captains of the band.”

It is also used in Psa 52:7, for the man who falsely trusts in his own strength and riches, “Behold, the man who would not make God his refuge, but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and was strong in his evil desire.”

In fact, Heb 11:33-34, reminds us that the OT saints were strengthened by the Lord to perform mighty feats, “Who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, 34quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong (ENDUNAMOO), became mighty (ISCHUROS) in war, put foreign armies to flight.” 

These were individuals who had conquered kingdoms, put armies to flight, quenched the power of fire, etc., all by receiving this enabling power from God.

In the NT, ENDUNAMOO is used to tell us Jesus Christ is the source of this strength, Phil 4:13. For example, the Lord was the One who inwardly strengthened or enabled Paul to serve, 1 Tim 1:12. Cf. Acts 9:22; Rom 4:20; 2 Tim 4:17.

Phil 4:13, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”                     

1 Tim 1:12, “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service.”

And, as our verse, Eph 6:10 says, “in the Lord,” which is EN KURIOS in Dative of Sphere. This tells us that the Lord Jesus Christ is the source of this strength, when we are in the sphere of Jesus Christ. That is, because of our union with Him, when we are in fellowship with Him, we gain this power as a result of the filling of the Holy Spirit, Eph 5:18, and the intake and application of His Word, Bible Doctrine, Heb 4:12.

Heb 4:12, “For the word of God is alive and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

This means that by His Spirit, (the empowering and enabling ministry of God the Holy Spirit), and His Word, (Bible Doctrine resident within your soul), we have power to be victorious. With these two power options, the believer is strengthened for battle inside the Angelic Conflict.

This also reminds us of the fact that we are Royal Family of God and that we have a higher honor and privilege, greater doctrine, greater opportunity, greater horizons, and greater power than any group of believers that have ever lived.

Next, we have, “and in the strength” which is the Coordinating Conjunction KAI, “and,” that adds the following to the DUNAMIS we are to receive. The addition first includes, “in the strength,” which is the Dative in simple apposition of EN HO KRATOS. In other words, it is the same type of Dative that we just noted regarding DUNAMIS EN KURIOS; inherent power in the sphere of the Lord. KRATOS is another description of the “power” we receive from the Lord Jesus Christ.

KRATOS, κράτος means, “strength, power, and might,” but also “dominion or authority.” It is manifested power; power that is demonstrated in our lives.

In classical Greek it refers to “strength or power:”

  • In the sense of “strength,” it can be used in describing the physical strength of a man, the material strength of a substance such as iron, or more abstractly to refer to military strength.
  • In the sense of “power,” it is often used for the authority granted to certain men, thus political power, ruling power, or sovereignty.
  • Medically, it refers to the “ligaments,” those strong bands of tissue that hold the skeleton together.

In the NT, it refers to God’s manifested power and in the following doxologies, His dominion, 1 Tim 6:16; 1 Peter 5:11; Jude 25; Rev 1:6. In other words, it means His conquering power.

In Acts 19:20, KRATOS is associated with the Word of God as a growing power, “So the word of the Lord was growing mightily (KRATOS) and prevailing (ISCHUS).”

This strength or power is made available to the believer who walks faithfully in Him, Psa 59:9, “Because of his strength I will watch for You, for God is my stronghold.”

Eph 1:19, “And what is the surpassing greatness of His power (DUNAMIS) toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength (KRATOS) of His might (ISCHUS).”

Col 1:11, “Strengthened (DUNAMOO) with all power (DUNAMIS), according to His glorious might (KRATOS), for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience.”

Being in union with Jesus Christ, we have been given the power of victory over sin and death. 

Heb 2:14, “Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power (KRATOS) of death, that is, the devil.”

Then we have the final phrase, “of His might,” which is the Genitive of Possession HO ISCHUS AUTOS. Jesus Christ is the One who possesses this power, and is the One who gives this power to us, so that we too might be victorious inside the Angelic Conflict.

The word used here for power is ISCHUS, ἰσχύς that means, “strength or power,” but also “ability and forcefulness.” It refers to endowed power and is a very strong word for inner ability. It comes from the root verb ISCHUO that means, “be strong, able, forceful, or to prevail.” Therefore, ISCHUS means, “having strength, power, might, or forcefulness, with the idea of the possession of power as an endowment.”

It is used in the great SHEMA in Mark 12:30, 33; Luke 10:27 for the Hebrew MEODH that means, “great exertion or force,” for the totality of love we are to express towards God.

Mark 12:30, “And you shall love the lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.”

The instability of our minds to anchor upon the rock of Jesus Christ is not indicative of His stability or dependability, but of our fickle loyalties. The people of God tended to forget the work of God, choosing to focus on the circumstances of life rather than the faithful character of their all-powerful redeeming God. Unfortunately, in the battle of our minds, feelings become the dominant force gaining victory over the comforting work of God that was once a strong tower of hope to us. Therefore, we must remember our God in the good times and bad times, by remembering His Word and promises to see us through whatever may come our way. That is why He begins this last section by reminding us to appropriate the power, strength, and might of God in our lives, before delving into the battle call.

Kenneth Wuest translates our verse, Eph 6:10, “Finally, be constantly strengthened in the Lord and in the active efficacy of the might that is inherent in Him.” Or we could say, “Participate in the strength that is inherent in Him.”

Paul wrote this letter in regard to the various cults of the ancient pagan world that the Christians of the new church were detached from, but still feared when they fell back to relying upon their own human powers.

The IVP Dictionary of Paul and His Letters states, “Believers within the young Christian communities in and around Ephesus lived in a culture where magical practices flourished. These practices were reinforced by the renowned Artemis cult. Artemis was worshiped as a goddess of the underworld with cosmic supremacy; she bore the six magical Ephesia Grammata on her cultic image,”

The six magical Ephesia Grammata, (Ephesian letters), are an ancient Greek magical formula attested from the 5th or 4th century BC. It reads, ASKI(ON) KATASKI(ON) LIX TETRAX DAMNAMENEUS AISIA. What these six words mean is a matter of considerable speculation, if they mean anything at all. They may simply be barbarous words of invocation, devoid of meaning, similar to our “hocus pocus” today, although their use is clear. They were a spoken incantation, a protective spell, an ALEXIPHARMIKA. Similar to the mantras of Buddhism and Hinduism, they were “meaningless words” potent to protect those who could speak them correctly, their power residing in their sound, so that they were ineffective if mispronounced. Others thought they could also be six demon servants of Artemis. Roughly translated it reads, “shadowless, shadowy, the earth, fourfold (4 seasons), the sun, auspicious.” These were widely perceived as powerful words.

Eph 6 vs 10 (1) Part 2 Books of the Bible

Artemis was one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. Her Roman equivalent is Diana. Artemis was often described as the daughter of Zeus and Leto, and the twin sister of Apollo. She was the Hellenic goddess of the hunt, wild animals, wilderness, childbirth, virginity and protector of young girls, bringing and relieving disease in women; she often was depicted as a huntress carrying a bow and arrows.

At Ephesus in Ionia, Turkey, her temple became one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It was probably the best-known center of her worship except for Delos; her alleged birth place. There the Lady whom the Ionians associated with Artemis was worshipped primarily as a mother goddess, akin to the Phrygian goddess Cybele, in an ancient sanctuary where her cult image depicted the “Lady of Ephesus” adorned with multiple rounded breast-like protuberances on her chest; associating her with the fertility cults of the ancient world.

 

Artemis Eph 6 vs 10 - 1 9 18 today

Today, we see such images in accordance to the ancient images of Artemis / Diana, as the huntress goddess.

In the book of Acts, Ephesian metalsmiths who felt threatened by Paul’s preaching of Christianity, jealously rioted in her defense shouting, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” Acts 19:23-28.

The IVP Dictionary goes on to say, “The people of the region had an extraordinary fear of the hostile spiritual “powers.” Through magical practices and cultic rituals, people sought relief and deliverance from the dreaded realm of the powers. This fear was not immediately allayed, however, when people became Christians. Demonstrating his sincere pastoral concern, Paul addressed their fear of this realm. More than any other Pauline letter, Ephesians stresses the hostile role of the principalities and powers against the church. In contrast to the power of the hostile supernatural realm, Paul emphasizes the superiority of the power of God and the supremacy of Christ, (Eph 1:19-23; 4:8-10). He demonstrates that believers have access to this power by virtue of their union with Christ, thereby enabling them to resist the vicious attacks of the hostile powers, (Eph 6:10-20). He regards all these spiritual powers as evil and under the leadership of a being he calls “the devil.”

Therefore, in comparison to the Pagan religions and the Ephesia Grammata, Paul speaks of the true and real power of God that the believer can experience and enjoy that far surpasses any power that Ephesus for all of its elaborate spiritism had ever witnessed.

So, Paul is exhorting these believes, and us today, to be overcomers by reminding them that they have real power, real strength that is of and from God, so that they, and we, stop giving over to the weakness of the flesh with fear to the false god’s that have absolutely no power or strength, as they are, gods made with hands that are no gods at all,” Acts 19:26b. Cf. Deut 4:28; Psa 115:4; Isa 44:10-20; Jer 10:3ff; Acts 17:29; 1 Cor 10:19; Rev 9:20.

Acts 17:29, “Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man.”

In our culture today, everyone wants to talk about problems without talking about evil, faith, or the Spirit. Anyone who proposes a spiritual cause to a problem is labeled as a fanatic, or naïve, silly, unenlightened, or uninformed about the real issues. Some may give a sentimental value to those of faith but nothing more. In their hearts, they believe such talk is inane. But sooner or later every believer discovers that the Christian life is a battleground, not a playground, and that he faces an enemy who is much stronger than he is; apart from the Lord. Therefore, you must take into account sin and Satan when you try to assess the problems of your life and this world. Paul, as a trustworthy and inspired apostle, is not uninformed about the real problems; he is informing us about the real, unseen battle beneath these visible problems.

Therefore, we must be strengthened by the mighty power of the Lord, because we do not want to crumble when the evil one tempts us. Do not look in the wrong place for strength. Our strength is not in our resources and ability, in how long we have been Christians, in how much we know about the Bible, or in how long we have been in ministry. Our strength is in our union with Jesus Christ and His mighty power, Eph 1:19. In another passage that alludes to being a soldier, Paul says in 2 Tim 2:1, “Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” We are called to look in the right place, to the right person: Jesus Christ. Therefore, we are to say, “Yes, I am weak, but I do not have to remain weak. I will find my strength in the Lord,” Cf. 1 Sam 30:6; Heb 11:32-34.

1 Sam 30:6, “Moreover David was greatly distressed because the people spoke of stoning him, for all the people were embittered, each one because of his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.”

We must remember who we are and what is ours in Christ. The strength that is mentioned in vs. 10-11, 13 implies that the Devil can be resisted as we walk in the Lord’s strength.

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eph 6 vs 11 spiritual warfare the enemy2.) The Enemy, vs. 11-12.

This verse continues the exhortation to “be strong in the Lord,” and then identifies the enemy of our warfare.

Vs. 11

Eph 6:11, “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.”

The exhortation is to “put on the full armor of God that you may be able to stand firm against.” Then we are given the identification of our enemy, “the schemes of the devil.”

By putting on the whole armor God has provided, believers are able to stand victoriously in the tactical battles of the Angelic Conflict. This exhortation is the means by which we “become and remain strong in the Lord.” And remember, although the strategic victory is won in Christ, believers must still defend the position that Christ has won for them against the last desperate attacks of the devil and his malevolent allies.

Some of this imagery may be inspired by Isaiah, Isa 59:17; 11:4-5; 52:7.

Isa 59:17, “And He (Jesus Christ) put on righteousness like a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head; and He put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle.”

We begin with the command, “put on” is the Aorist, Middle, Imperative of ENDUO, ἐνδύω that means, “dress, clothe oneself, put on.” It is also used in vs. 14.

The Constative Aorist tense views the entirety of the action of “putting on” the armor of God; from salvation to spiritual adulthood.

The Reflexive Middle voice tells us that the believer is responsible for this putting on. Therefore, “putting on for one’s self.”

The Imperative mood is for a command, once again. This time we are commanded to “put on” God’s armor. So, this is personally accepting and appropriating the defensive armor that is already yours in Christ.

In the LXX, this word was used to translate the Hebrew LAVESH of the same meaning, and is used in 1 Chron 12:18; 2 Chron 24:20, for the Holy Spirit coming upon someone to empower them.

1 Chron 12:18, “Then the Spirit came upon Amasai, who was the chief of the thirty, …”

2 Chron 24:20, “Then the Spirit of God came on Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest…”

As you know, the indwelling and filling of the Holy Spirit was not universal to all believers of the OT. But occasionally and many times temporally, the empowerment of the Holy Spirit would come upon someone to perform certain tasks for God. Because of the Greek word ENDUO being used in the LXX for this OT empowerment, in theology we call this the “enduement” of the Holy Spirit. But now, during the Church age, all believers are permanently indwelt by God the Holy Spirit from the day of their regeneration, Rom 8:11, and all believers have the opportunity to be filled with God the Holy Spirit, Eph 5:18, to strengthen and empower them to walk inside the plan of God for their lives. This filling of the Holy Spirit is accomplished as a result of applying 1 John 1:9 post salvation. Therefore, the command to “put on” the armor of God includes the filling of God the Holy Spirit who empowers us to wield that armor of God, so that we are able to stand firm in warfare during the Angelic Conflict.

In the NT, ENDUO is also used for being “clothed” with Christ, Gal 3:27, “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” Cf. Rom 13:14. This Baptism is the baptism of the Holy Spirit, Acts 1:5; Eph 4:5. This tells us that we are also indwelt by the Lord Jesus Christ at the moment of our regeneration / salvation. Therefore, in our passage, it combines both the Spirit and Son of God as we are commanded to, “put on the full armor of God.” This is part of the DUNAMIS, KRATOS, and ISCHUS of vs. 10, along with the Word of God / Bible Doctrine resident within your soul, Heb 4:12.

Earlier in Eph 4:24, Paul said that believers must, “put on the new nature, created in God’s image, in righteousness, holiness, and truth,” cf. 5:9. He also said that we should imitate the Messiah, Eph 4:32, and God, Eph 5:1, in showing forgiveness and love to one another. Now he depicts this imitation of God in terms of putting on the armament of God to fight the daily battles inside the war of the Angelic Conflict that has already been won by Christ. It means to be identified with Christ and to fight with His strength, displaying His character. Remember, the critical battle has already been won! There is now just a mop-up operation going on. Christ is Lord, and we are in Him.

The thing we are to “put on” in this verse is given generally in the words, “the full armor of God.” It begins with the Accusative of HO PANOPLIA, πανοπλία that means, “full armor or complete armor.” In classical Greek, PANOPLIA is used for the “complete armor” used by heavily armed infantry, including both offensive and defensive weapons. In the NT, it is used for the spiritual weapons supplied by God to the believer for overcoming the temptations of the devil. It is used only here, and in vs. 13, as well as Luke 11:22.

It is a compound word from PAS, (PAN), “all or every,” and the verb HOPLIZO that means, “to arm, to arm oneself with, or equip,” cf. 1 Peter 4:1, and the noun HOPLON that means, “tool, instrument, or weapon,” John 18:3; Rom 6:13; 13:12; 2 Cor 6:7; 10:4. Read 2 Cor 6:1-10.

1 Peter 4:1, “Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves (HOPLIZO) also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin.”

Rom 6:13, “And do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.”

Rom 13:12, “The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.”

2 Cor 10:3-5, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, 4for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 5We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”

Cf. 1 Thes 5:8, “But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.”

Our implements of war are mighty, because they are supplied by God. With them, as Paul did, we can pull down, overpower, conquer, and destroy demonic spiritual strongholds. Such fortresses are prisons for the minds of men. And since the gods of this world guard the bars that hold them, only spiritual weapons more effective than theirs can set their captives free.

That is why we need to put on this armor for ourselves first, so that we are overcomers in this life, and secondly for our unbelieving neighbors, to free them from the enslavement of the enemy; sin, the world, and Satan.

And, we are to put on the “whole armor.” We are not to be partly armed with what God has appointed, and partly with such weapons as men use; nor are we only to put on a part of the armor, but the whole armor of God. A man needs all the armor of God if he is to fight the battles of the Lord. No opening at the head, the feet, the heart, the belly, the eye, the ear, or the tongue is to be given to Satan. Yet, if he lacks one of the weapons which God has appointed, defeat may be the consequence.

In Luke 11, when the Pharisees accused Jesus of casting out demons in the name of Beelzebul, He rebuked them, yet He also gave us insight to what happens when someone does not have the power of God working within their soul.

Luke 11:22, “But when someone stronger (Satan) than he attacks him and overpowers him, he (Satan) takes away from him all his armor on which he had relied, and distributes his plunder.”

Jesus went on to say in Luke 11:23, “He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me, scatters.”

The armor that we are to put on is not of our own or of the world, but that “of God,” or belonging to God, HO THEOS in the Genitive Singular. The unbeliever who does not receive the armor of God is lacking in this warfare and is defeated by it. So too will the believer be, who does not apply the armor that God in grace has given him to wield.

Therefore, Paul takes PANOPLIA from military speech, and lists six items of equipment, i.e., girdle, breastplate, shoes, shield, helmet, and sword. He has in view the actual equipment of the Roman soldier along with OT models. Since the enemy is spiritual, the whole PANOPLIA of God is needed. In repudiation to the ancient pagan gods, the background of this armor is a mythological one of God giving His own equipment, but the concept is real and spiritualized for us in this truth. Also, in an ethical context, the apostle is describing a religious and moral battle, the Angelic Conflict. The weapons, however, are not moral qualities but Divine realities. The believer can triumph in this Angelic Conflict only through the Divine power of our Lord; the power of His might.

Next, we have the purpose or goal for why we are given the armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against.

In the Greek it begins with the Accusative Preposition of Purpose PROS that means, “to, in order to, for the purpose of, etc.” Then we have, “you will be able,” using the Article HO, “the,” that goes untranslated, and the Present, Middle, Infinitive of Purpose of DUNAMAI, δύναμαι that means, “be able, have power to do, have capacity for, etc.,” along with the Accusative Personal Pronoun HUMEIS, “you” in the Second Person Plural, referring to believers.

As noted above, in the NT, DUNAMAI is used to express inherent ability and capacity to accomplish something in deed, attitude, or thought. In other words, by receiving the power of God, vs. 10, you will be powerful, vs.11, in deed, attitude, or thought.

In this case, with this power, we will be able to, “stand against,” which is STENAI, the Constative Aorist, Active, Complementary Infinitive HISTEMI, ἵστημι that means, “stand, stand firm, place firmly, establish, set, or confirm,” along with the Preposition PROS, used this time for opposition to mean, “against.” HISTEMI is also used in vs. 13, 14. “Stand” is a military term for holding on to a position. Therefore, before any offensive can be launched, one must first of all maintain his own ground.

Therefore, it means to “stand firm, stand against, or stand your ground.” Paul especially employed it in this sense. In vs. 11 and 13 it means, “stand against” and “remain standing” in battle; in vs. 14, it means “stand ready.” The point is to stand in God’s strength with God’s armor in the midst of spiritual warfare. In vs. 14, with the Imperative, some believe it is the chief admonition of the passage.

In the day of battle, Roman soldiers were to stand their ground, not retreat. As long as they stood together on a flat, open field and did not break ranks, their legions were considered virtually invincible. Nevertheless, “stand firm” contains the idea of being successful in this spiritual battle of the Angelic Conflict, as in Rom 11:20, believers are urged to continue or to stand “by faith.”

Rom 11:20, “Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear.”

Paul also cautioned those who thought they were “standing firm” on their own, by their own human power and resource, lest they “fall,” 1 Cor 10:12-13.

1 Cor 10:12, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.” He goes on to say in, vs. 13, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”

This reminds me of an anecdote once told about church attendance. It goes as follows:

  “A Pastor in a country parish heard that one of his parishioners was going about announcing that he would no longer be attending church services, stating that he could communicate just as easily with God at home or out in the fields with the natural settings as in his place of worship.

  One cold winter evening the pastor called on this reluctant member of his church for a friendly visit. The two men sat before the fireplace making small talk, but avoided the issue of church attendance. After some time, the Pastor took the tongs from the rack next to the fireplace and pulled a single coal from the fire. He placed the glowing ember on the hearth.

The two men watched as the coal quickly ceased burning and turned an ashen gray while the other coals in the fire continued to burn brightly.

  The Pastor remained silent, “I’ll be a church next Sunday,” said the parishioner.”

Finally, in classical Greek, this term was also used for “raising up an offering to a god,” and to describe the “setting up” of kings. Therefore, we could say, to “raise up an offering to our God, against the schemes of the devil.” In other words, when you stand firm against the flesh, sin, the world, or Satan you are actually making an offering of your life to God, which is Divine Good Production, the fruit of the Spirit. And as you know, all believers have been established as royalty, being in union with Jesus Christ, 1 Peter 2:9. Therefore, this armor, giving us power to stand, is the function of our Royal Priesthood and Royal Ambassadorship. And when we do stand, we are functioning in our royalty as members of the body of Jesus Christ, producing Divine good.

Conclusion, This passage reminds us that Christ has already triumphed over the powers of darkness, Eph 1:21; 3:10; 4:8, giving us new life and freeing us from the fear of angelic powers, Eph 2:2; but we have not yet experienced the full fruits of Christ’s victory, for their powers still exist, though they are defeated, Eph 4:27; 5:16. Therefore, we will continually battle the powers of evil until Christ’s return, Rom 6:1-14; Col 3:3-5.

Now we begin to understand the thing we are able to stand firm against, which is “the schemes of the devil,” that is the Accusative of HO METHODEIA with the Genitive of Possession of HO DIABOLOS.

The Accusative of the noun METHODEIA, μεθοδεία in the Plural means, “methods, strategies, schemes, craftiness, deceitful planning, and procedures.” In the unfavorable sense, it denotes a “trick, stratagem, or wiles,” with intent to lure, deceive, and ensnare. The noun was not used prior to the NT. It is used in reference to Satan’s deliberate, skillful, and malicious plan and development of a “strategy” of error to circumvent, distort, confuse, and deceive believers so they might be lured away from the true faith.

It is only found here and in Eph 4:11, which we have previously noted.

Eph 4:14, “As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming.”

The NT tells us that their schemes include at least the following: tempting to immorality, 1 Cor 7:5; attempting to deceive, 2 Cor 2:11; 11:13-14; taking advantage of bitterness, Eph 4:27; and hindering ministry, 1 Thes 2:18.

The devil,” is from the Adjective, DIABOLOS διάβολος and is not a name but a title or definition of who Satan is. It can mean, “slanderous, false accuser, the adversary,” and is somewhat transliterated for “the devil.” It comes from the Noun DIABOLE that means, “to set against, false accusations, slander.” It is used in the LXX for the Hebrew word SATAN, the adversary of God, Job 1:6-7, 9, 12; Zech 3:1-3. Devil is used about 35 times in Scripture, while Satan is used about 52 times.

Comparing 2 Cor 2:11, we are to stand firm against Satan, “so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes, (NOEMA – mind, thoughts, devices, purpose, etc.).

The strategies of the devil include the various arts and stratagems which he employs to drag souls down. The devil does not always attack through obvious head-on assaults, but employs cunning and wily stratagems designed to catch believers unawares. Paul has already pointed out some of the ways Satan works. He tries to gain a foothold by tempting us to speak falsehood, Eph 4:25, have uncontrolled anger, Eph 4:26, steal Eph 4:28, or share unwholesome talk, Eph 4:29. These are all former ways of life, the ways we once walked before God made us alive with Christ, Eph 2:1-5.

Satan makes things look attractive and desirable and distort the truth, camouflaging the evil, as he did with Adam and woman in the Garden, Gen 3. It is easy to encounter open forces than it is the cunning. That is why we need the weapons of Christian armor to meet the attempts to draw us into a snare, as much as to meet open force.

Yet, Satan does not carry on an open warfare. He does not meet the Christian soldier face to face. He advances covertly; makes his approaches in darkness; employs cunning rather than power, and seeks rather to deceive and betray than to vanquish by mere force.

That is why the believer must be constantly armed to meet him whenever the attack is made. Someone who contends with a visible enemy may feel safe, especially when he prepares to meet him in the open field. But far different is the case if the enemy is invisible; if he sneaks up on you slyly and stealthily; if he practices war only by ambushes and by surprises.

Such is the enemy we have to contend with. And almost all of our Christian struggle is a warfare against schemes and stratagems. Satan does not openly appear. He approaches us not in repulsive forms, but comes to recommend some plausible doctrine, to set before us some temptation that does not immediately repel us. He presents the world in an alluring aspect and invites us to its pleasures that seem to be harmless, yet leads us in indulgence, until we have gone so far that we cannot retreat.

Satan and his demons are seen as supernatural powers that control not only the world but the, “present evil age” cf. Gal 1:4. By Jesus casting out demons and healing the sick, He signified the overthrow of Satan’s stronghold, cf. Mark 3:23ff.; Luke 10:17, that would be won at the Cross.

There are many titles by which the Devil is known in both Testaments that cumulatively establish his existence and evil character. The NT includes:

  • Devil, DIABOLOS – slanderer, Mat 4:1.
  • Satan, SATANOS – adversary, Mat 4:10.
  • Adversary, ANTIDIKOS – opponent, 1 Peter 5:8.
  • Abaddon and Apollyon, Rev 9:11, both meaning destruction, the destroyer, the accuser of our brethren, Rev 12:10.
  • Beelzebub – ruler of devils/demons, Mat 12:24; Mark 3:22; Luke 11:15.
  • Belial, (meaning worthless or wickedness), 2 Cor 6:15.
  • An enemy, Mat 13:28, 39.
  • The evil/wicked one, Mat 13:19, 38; John 17:15; 1 John 2:13; 5:19.
  • A murderer . . . a liar, and the father of it, John 8:44.
  • The god of this world, 2 Cor 4:4.
  • The prince of the power of the air, Eph 2:2.
  • The prince/ruler of this world, John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11.
  • The spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience, Eph 2:2.
  • The tempter, Mat 4:3; 1 Thes 3:5.
  • An angel of light, 2 Cor 11:14.
  • False teacher / minister of righteousness, 2 Cor 11:15.
  • The accuser, Rev 12:10.
  • The serpent, Gen 3:1, 14; 2 Cor 11:3; Rev 12:9; 20:2.
  • The dragon, Rev 12:3, 7, 9.

The various titles and designations for Satan affirm the reality of his existence and reveal his multi-faceted character and the numerous aspects of his work. A name or nickname often reveals something about the person’s background, characteristics, or activities, so too with Satan. He is a powerful, intelligent, clever creature, and we must never forget or underestimate the reality of our enemy.

His knowledge and facility with Scripture, albeit to deceive men, further illustrates his intellect; as during the three temptations of Jesus Christ, Mat 4:5-6.

Satan’s emotion is seen in his desire to exalt himself above the rule of God, Isa 14:12-14, the “I five will’s.”

The existence of Satan is not determined by the opinions of men. The only source of information is the Bible. There are many who deny the existence of Satan. They claim that what we call Satan is only a “principle of evil,” or an “evil” that is intangible like disease germs that float around in the atmosphere and attack people’s hearts under certain conditions. That is why Satan tries to discredit the Word of God. He is not a “principle of evil,” he is a real person.

1 Peter 5:8, “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

The Bible is very clear and positive in its teaching regarding the existence of a person of evil with a personality called the devil, Job 1:6; Mat 13:39; 25:4; John 13:2; Acts 5:3; 2 Cor 11:3, 14; 1 Tim 3:6; Rev 12:9.

Job 1:6, “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.”

Mat 13:19, 39, “Then comes the wicked one . . . . The enemy that sowed them is the devil.”

John 13:2, “The devil having now put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him.”

Rev 12:9, “And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.”

The NT evidence for Satan’s existence is extensive. Every NT writer and nineteen of the books make reference to him, cf. Mat 4:10; 12:26; Mark 1:13; 3:23, 26; 4:15; Luke 11:18; 22:3; John 13:27, etc. Christ Himself makes reference to Satan 25 times. The fact of Satan’s existence finds ultimate support in the veracity of Christ’s words.

Eph 6 vs 10 (2) Part 2 Books of the BibleTherefore, acknowledging Satan’s reality, taking his opposition seriously, noting his strategy, and assuming to always be at war with him is not a lapse into a dualistic concept of two gods, one good, one evil, fighting it out. No, Satan is a creature, superhuman but not Divine; he has much knowledge and power, but he is neither omniscient nor omnipotent; he can move around in ways that humans cannot, but he is not omnipresent; and he is an already defeated rebel, having no more power than God allows him and being destined for the Lake of Fire, Rev 20:10.

Given the variety of names that Satan has, we are warned to the fact that he can attack his opponents (believers) in a variety of ways. The entire spectrum from the fierceness of a dragon, Rev 12:3, to the attractiveness of an angel of light, 2 Cor 11:14, tells us that Satan can adapt himself and his tactics to suit the person and the occasion.

2 Cor 11:14-15, “No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.”

Although he may prefer to operate in a certain manner, he will meet you where you are and use whatever might defeat you in a particular circumstance. Even though he is not all-knowing, he has observed many others over the millennia in the same situations you might find yourself, and he can predict with a high degree of accuracy what will best defeat you. He is always probing for weaknesses, misdirecting strengths, and undermining faith, hope, and character, Luke 22:32; 2 Cor 2:11; 11:3-15; Eph 6:16.

Luke 22:31-32, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; 32but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

2 Cor 2:11, “So that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes.”

2 Cor 11:3, “But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.”

He should be taken seriously, for his malice and cunning are fearsome; yet he should not be taken so seriously as to provoke hopeless terror of him, for he is a defeated enemy. Satan is stronger than we are, but Christ has triumphed over him, Mat 12:29, and believers (you) will triumph over him too, if you resist him with the resources that Christ supplies, Eph 6:10-13; James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:9-10; 1 John 4:4.

James 4:7, “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
1 Peter 5:9-10, “
But resist him, (Satan), firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. 10After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.”

In your own strength, you are no match for him at all. Not even the archangel Michael would rebuke him on his own, Jude 9. Yet, you can stand firm against him if you are “strong in the Lord,” vs. 10, and wear “the whole armor of God.”

Charles Stanley noted, “At times I hear people talking about demons, and I am amazed at the great power they ascribe to the devil and his cohorts. While I certainly believe in demonic power, I don’t quake at the thought of it. I am in union with One who is so far greater than all the demons of hell put together that there truly is no comparison. The devil is a creature, made by God and always under God’s dominion. He exists only because God allows him to exist. He has no authority over God, no ability to win a victory over God, and no power equal to that of God. As believers, we should give very little credit to the devil and demons. (More often the credit should go to our sin natures). They exist, they exert influence, but they are totally within the confines of God’s authority. The Bible states very clearly that the Holy Spirit resident in us is far superior to any power manifested by evil. John wrote, “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, (the false teachers, antichrists that reject the Person of Christ), because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4.” (Charles Stanley on Satan, “Our Unmet Needs,” page 33.)

That is why you need the armor of God. So that you will not be defeated by the schemes of the devil and instead stand your ground in your spiritual walk to turn the tide, so that you are victorious in this life and defeat any attempt Satan makes towards you. Therefore, do not be “ignorant of his devices,” 2 Cor 2:11, the very first of which, and still the most effective, is to cause us to doubt God’s Word, Gen 3:1, 4, and then to disobey it, Gen 3:5-6.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Eph 6 vs 10 (6) Part 2 Books of the BibleSatan’s Beatitudes

Christ’s beatitudes of Matthew 5 have perhaps done more to mold disciples into the Divine image than any other text. But, we must be consistently aware that there is another opposing power, namely, Satan, that seeks to influence believers with his own version of the beatitudes. They might read something similar to these:

 

  • Blessed are they who are too tired and busy to go to church, for they are my best workers.
  • Blessed are they who are bored with the pastor’s mannerisms and mistakes, for they get nothing out of the sermon.
  • Blessed is the church member who expects to be invited to his own church, for his is part of the problem instead of the solution.
  • Blessed are they who gossip, for they cause strife and divisions that please me.
  • Blessed are they who are easily offended for they soon get angry and quit.
  • Blessed are they who do not give their offerings to carry on God’s work, for they are my best helpers.
  • Blessed is he who professes to love God but hates his brother or sister for they think like I do.
  • Blessed are the troublemakers for they shall be called the children of the devil.
  • Blessed is he who has no time to pray for he will be easy prey.

Relative to the unsaved, he is in authority over them, Isa 14:17; 2 Cor 4:3-4; Eph 2:2; Col 1:13; 1 John 5:19.

Relative to the saved, he comes in conflict with them, Eph 6:11-18.

Relative to truth, he is a liar, John 8:44; the author and father of “the lie.” In that lie, He deceives the whole world, Rev 12:9; 20:3.

Rev 12:9, “And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.”

Rev 20:3, “And he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.”

The principal tactic Satan uses to attack God and His program in general is to offer a counterfeit kingdom and program. This was evident when he originally sinned by wanting to be like, not unlike, God, Isa 14:13-14. The counterfeit was first attempted on mankind when Satan offered Eve the chance to be like God, knowing good and evil, Gen 3:5.

Gen 3:5, “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

The temptation of Christ was also an attempt at the counterfeit, Mat 4:1-11. A counterfeit is as like the genuine as possible, only without some vital feature. Satan’s offer to our Lord was to have the glory due Him without the essential feature of His death.

Today, Satan promotes a form of godliness while denying its power, 2 Tim 3:5.

2 Tim 3:5, “Holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; avoid such men as these.”

Scripture depicts Satan as:

  • Opposing God’s work, Zech 3:1,
  • Perverting God’s Word, Mat 4:6,
  • Hindering God’s servant, 1 Thes 2:18,
  • Hindering the gospel, 2 Cor 4:4,
  • Snaring the righteous, 1 Tim 3:7,
  • Holding the world in his power, 1 John 5:19.

To do this, Satan disguises himself and his servants as servants of righteousness, 2 Cor 11:15. He promotes a doctrinal system through the demons who in turn use people who advocate a false asceticism or an unbridled license to sin, 1 Tim 4:1-3; Rev 2:24.

1 Tim 4:1-2, “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron.”

This is not speaking about overt “devil worshippers,” although they have existed in the past and continue to exist today, but about the false teachers of false doctrines who counterfeit the Word and Plan of God in a false system that looks like Christianity, but is not. They promote systems of legalism, works for salvation, do-goodism, human good, the prosperity gospel, etc., and on the other side, ultra-liberalism or abusive-grace where they are free to sin because of God’s grace or do not believe they ever sin because of the forgiveness of sin at the Cross and God’s regeneration at salvation. This also includes those who abuse 1 John 1:9, by thinking it is not needed for the believer post-salvation, and those who teach you can simply confess sin without repentance / recovery, thereby leading to the abuse of 1 John 1:9 as a mode of sinning, recovery, sinning, recovery, etc., without any change in behavior.

In relation to unbelievers, Satan uses the counterfeit life style to blind their minds so they do not think they need a Savior or salvation, and therefore do not need the Gospel, 2 Cor 4:3-4; cf. Rom 1:21-25; 2 Thes 2:7-10; 2 Peter 2.

2 Cor 4:4, “In whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

This blindness attacks the minds of people, and while unbelievers may think and reason, a power greater than Satan must remove that blindness. Human reasoning and convincing arguments have a ministry, but only the power of God can remove satanic blindness.

In promoting blindness, Satan uses counterfeit religion. He often does this by leading them to think that any way to heaven is as acceptable as the only way, many times through a system of human good works or a false religion; again, a counterfeit. This may include everything from asceticism to license, from theism, (as being a theist does not necessarily mean being saved), to occultism.

In addition, sometimes the devil comes and takes away the Word that people have heard in order to prevent them from believing in Jesus Christ, Luke 8:12.

Luke 8:11-12, “Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God. 12Those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved.”

In other words, Satan will use any aspect of the world system that he heads in order to confuse, conflict with, twist, change, deny, etc., the Word of God, to keep people from thinking about it or doing that which will bring them into the kingdom of God, Col 1:13; 1 John 2:15-18.

1 John 2:15, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”  

1 John 2:18, “Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.”

Col 1:13, “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.”

J.I. Packer wrote, “If I were the devil (please, no comment), one of my first aims would be to stop folk from digging into the Bible. Knowing that it is the Word of God, teaching men to know and love and serve the God of the Word, I should do all I could to surround it with the spiritual equivalent of pits, thorn hedges and man traps, to frighten people off.…

  How? Well, I should try to distract all clergy from preaching and teaching the Bible, and spread the feeling that to study this ancient book directly is a burdensome extra which modern Christians can forgo without loss. I should broadcast doubts about the truth and relevance and good sense and straightforwardness of the Bible, and if any still insisted on reading it I should lure them into assuming that the benefit of the practice lies in the noble and tranquil feelings evoked by it rather than in noting what Scripture actually says. At all costs I should want to keep them from using their minds in a disciplined way to get the measure of its messages.

  Were I the devil, taking stock today, I think I might be pleased at the progress I had made.”

Based on the outline in L.S. Chafer’s Systematic Theology, the following is a brief outline of the career of Satan past, present, and future.

Past.

1. Satan experienced a moral fall, Isa 14:12-20; Ezek 28:15; 1 Tim 3:6.

Ezek 28:15, “You were blameless in your ways From the day you were created until unrighteousness was found in you.

2. Satan’s judgment was predicted in Eden, Gen 3:15.

Gen 3:15, “And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.”

3. His judgment was accomplished at the Cross, John 12:31-33.

Present.

1. He is reigning as a usurper today, 2 Cor 4:4; Eph 2:2; Rev 2:13.

Rev 2:13, “I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is; and you hold fast My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.”

Eph 6 vs 10 (3) Part 2 Books of the Bible

Pergamos (properly called Pergamum) at that time was the capital of the Roman province of Asia, which today is Turkey. Jesus recognized it as a place where Satan dwelt and had his seat or “throne.” This refers to the idolatry of the city and the severe persecution of the Church as a result. On the city’s acropolis stood a great altar to Zeus, the chief Greek god. Nearby was an elegant temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, another to Dionysius, later called Bacchus, and another to the emperor god Trajan. Outside the city wall was a shrine to the Greek god of medicine, Asklepios, with his symbol in the form of a serpent. Thus, the city was a center for both idolatry and persecution of Christians.

2. He gains the name accuser of the brethren for what he is doing now, Rev 12:10.

Rev 12:10, “Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, ‘Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night’.”

He accuses us before God when we sin, thinking he can cause us to lose our salvation. But Christ, our Advocate, takes our case and reminds the Father again and again that He paid for all our sins when He died on the cross, 1 John 2:1-2.

3. He opposes believers in various areas of their lives. He opposes our witness to the Gospel. He does this by confusing us when he plants tares among the wheat, Mat 13:38-39, by snatching away the Word that has been sown, Mark 4:15, by aligning governmental authorities against believers, 1 Thes 2:18, or by imprisoning believers, believing this will keep their testimony from spreading or make them fearful of witnessing, Rev 2:10.

4. He is father, in a spiritual sense, to all who accept his philosophy of independence from God, John 8:44; Eph 2:2.

Future.

  1. He is one day to be cast out of heaven, Rev 12:7-12; cf. Isa 14:12; Luke 10:18.
  2. He is to be confined to the abyss for one thousand years, Rev 20:1-3, 7.
  3. When released from the abyss, he will lead armies against God, Rev 20:8-9.
  4. His final doom is the lake of fire, Rev 20:10.

In the present, just as Satan tried the Lord, he also tries believers. His aim is to get us to commit evil. There are three ways that Satan tries to tempt us; appetite, beauty, and ambitious pride. He first creates an appetite in your soul so that it craves/lusts for something. Then he provides something that can satisfy that craving. And finally, he influences the soul to think you deserve to have that thing to satisfy your craving. This progressive scenario of temptation leading to sin is the concept of 1 John 2:16; Col 2:18.

1 John 2:16, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh (appetite) and the lust of the eyes (beauty) and the boastful pride of life (ambitious pride), is not from the Father, but is from the world.”

Col 2:18, “Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement (appetite) and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen (beauty), inflated without cause by his fleshly mind (ambitious pride).”

Satan used these same three areas of temptation against the woman in the Garden of Eden, Gen 3:6, and our Lord Jesus Christ, as recorded in Luke 4:3, 5, 9.

At any one of the three areas of temptation, we can stand firm by putting on the armor of God, utilizing the strength of His might to say no to the temptation in our soul, as our Lord did. If we do, we will be victorious experientially. Yet, if we do not, we will succumb to the demonic influence that leads to sin.

Gen 3:6, “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food (appetite), and that it was a delight to the eyes (beauty), and that the tree was desirable to make one wise (ambitious pride), she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.”

James 1:13-15, “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. 14But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.”

Satan’s only purpose is to tempt the believer to commit evil. In others words, appetite, beauty, and ambitious pride can result in lust, sin, and death to the believer who does not have the strength of Christ in His soul via putting on the full armor of God.

Another of Satan’s principal activities is to deceive the nations, Rev 20:3, by making them think they can govern righteously and bring peace in the world apart from the presence and rule of Christ. Again, his tactic is to counterfeit, where he employs demons in carrying out his deception, Dan 10:13, 20, as well as using governments to hinder the progress of the Gospel, 1 Thes 2:18; Rom 15:22.

1 Thes 2:18, “For we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, more than once—and yet Satan hindered us.”

In this case, the city of Thessalonica put out an edict to ban Paul from entering the city. Paul recognized that Satan (the adversary) is the real enemy behind all opposition to the gospel. As the adversary, Satan’s purpose is to hinder the work of God and stop the forward march of the Church.

As the “god of this world,” he blinds the minds of unbelievers, trying to keep out the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, 2 Cor 4:4.

2 Cor 4:4, “In whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

As the prince or ruler of the power or domain of the air, he is the spirit who works in those who are disobedient to God, Eph 2:2.

Eph 2:1-2, “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.”

Satan, as “the god of this world” and “the prince of the power of the air,” (equivalent to “the heavenly places” in Eph 6:12), it speaks of his rulership over the world system, the cosmos diabolicus, cf. John 12:31, “the ruler of this world.” Therefore, he rules the cosmos of this age. The cosmos is that organized framework of things in which mankind lives and moves, and that opposes God by eliminating and counterfeiting Him. It includes, as R.C. Trench stated, “all that floating mass of thoughts, opinions, maxims, speculations, hopes, impulses, aims, aspirations, at any time current in the world, which it may be impossible to seize and accurately define, but which constitute a most real and effective power, being the moral, or immoral, atmosphere which at every moment of our lives we inhale, again inevitable to exhale, which is… the subtle informing spirit of the kosmos or world of men who are living alienated apart from God.” (R.C. Trench, Synonyms of the NT).

The phrase, “prince of the power of the air,” may be in reference to Satan’s rulership of the fallen angels and the world system, but when you think of the current day technology of communication that is dependent on various types of waves moving through the atmosphere, it gives you a different perspective as to Satan’s rulership and control. The radio, TV, internet, cell phones, cloud data storage, etc., are all utilizing waves moving through the atmosphere, which Satan is desperately trying to control 100% of, if he does not already, but more importantly, his control over your life.

Therefore, Satan is the enemy of nationalism, which he often opposes with internationalism or globalism. This is because nationalism is a Divine Institution, designed by God to keep the human race, believer and unbeliever alike, from destroying itself. Nationalism is Divine Institution # 4, after #1 – Freedom of volition, #2, Marriage, and #3 Family.

The world is now divided into nations. Prior to this division, the human race almost destroyed itself. The first United Nations is found in Gen 11:1-9, at the Tower of Babel, would have destroyed mankind.

Notice vs. 1, “Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words.”  In the technology available today, language is becoming less and less of a barrier, because your IPhone can translate it for you.

In vs. 6, “And the LORD said, “Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them.”

The “impossible to do” in context means sin and evil upon the world. God recognized that the people had lost the true unity that once caused them to join in the worship of the one true God. They were seeking to retain a false unity by human efforts. This was but the beginning of their defiance. Their imagination was taking off in the wrong direction and would contribute to more and more defiance of God and evil in the world. God saw into their hearts, hearts that were, Jer 17:9, “Deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.”

As a result, the Trinity working in unity mixed up their languages and scattered them over the face of the whole earth, creating Divine Institution #4, nationalism, which frustrated the plan of Satan.

Therefore, today Satan is trying desperately to get back to Babel, by destroying nations and nationalism, so that he can achieve a one world government and rulership. That is why all world systems apart from the laws of Divine establishment are a part of satanic policy and administration. All environmental programs, socialism, globalism, health and welfare programs, etc. are of satanic origin.

That Satan is the enemy of nations today in found in Rev 12:9; 20:3, 8, “And he will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth.”

In fact, there is a new phrase being used to today to attack and hopefully destroy nationalism in support of globalism, a one world entity. It is called, “the weaponization of culture.” The weaponization of culture is the theory that history and culture within a tribe or nation upheld and passed down from generation to generation is a weapon to keep people from progressing and the “new.” These new theorist want to destroy what is old and generationally cultural to create something new, a new world order, a new one world system that will one day be led by the “the man of lawlessnesss, the son of destruction,” 2 Thes 2:3, also known as the Antichrist, “the beast from the sea,” Rev 13:1-10; “the beast,” Rev 17:8-13, (his religious title); “the beast on whom the scarlet woman rides,” “the little horn,” Dan 7:8-9, 19-26, who is empowered and backed by Satan himself. We are going to study the career of the antichrist below.

Another term they are using is “popularism,” which means the popular thoughts and culture of a nation, that are holding back progress; progress to a globalization of the world.

As you know, the root of evil in the cosmos is the fact that there is an all comprehensive system or order, the foundation of which is complete independence from God. The battle cry for this system is, “what can the creature produce independent of God.” And in fact, “how can the creature become god.” Cf. Isa 14:14.

1 28 18 Eph 6 vs 11 Angelic Conflict 10 The Enemy 7 - world economic forumThis was one of the themes given during a speech at the 2018 World Economic Forum in Davos Kloster Switzerland, by Professor of History at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Yuval Harari. In his speech, he clearly outlines the vision and direction of science and many world leaders in both business and government for the coming years. What he says I think will shock you, but will also remind you of what Satan’s ultimate goals are.

Click here for Video: (World Economic Forum in Davos Kloster Switzerland)

The cosmos represents the supreme effort of the supreme creature in an intended segregation from the will and purpose of God. Rom 14:23, “Whatever is not from faith is sin,” is not recognized or believed by the cosmos. The humanitarian enterprises, the culture, the laws, and religious forms of the cosmos constitute no evidence that God is recognized in His true position or honored.

This is a Christ-rejecting cosmos, where social ideals are borrowed from God’s teachings, His purity and grace are held forth as a pattern of life, but recognition of God and salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ is rejected. The independent, self-centered, self-satisfied, autonomous cosmos does not ask for redemption since it recognizes no need for it.

Luke 10:21, “At that very time He (Jesus) rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, ‘I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight’.”

But remember, the cosmic system’s power is impotent to achieve the ultimate goal of a kingdom on earth and has many limitations. The primary one being sin and evil inside every member of the Human race.

Satan and the Cosmos are limited in their knowledge and understanding of things. However, God is without limit in knowledge of all things, and He provides for us His wisdom from the basis of His unlimited knowledge so that we might be His ambassadors on earth, Job 37:16; 1 Cor 2:14-15; 2 Cor 4:6-7; Rom 3:11; 2 Cor 4:3-4; 1 John 4:5.

Job 37:16, “Do you know about the layers of the thick clouds, the wonders of The one perfect in knowledge.”

1 Cor 2:14-15, “But a natural man (one in the cosmos operating by his sin nature) does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 15But he who is spiritual (a heavenly citizen) appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one.”

2 Cor 4:3-4, “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

1 John 4:5-6, “They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. 6We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.”

1 John 5:4, “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the cosmos—our faith.”

This again tells us that the believer must not be fearful of the Cosmos, because we have greater power inside of us than can be imagined, 1 John 4:4.

Knowing that the cosmos is impotent and limited in knowledge and understanding, while God is omnipotent and omniscient, should give you (the believer) tremendous confidence to go forward in God’s plan for your life. In the human realm, Satan is far superior to man in power and intellect. Yet, in the spiritual realm, he is woefully inferior to the power inside of us. We (believers in the Lord Jesus Christ) have a far superior power to sustain and propel us inside God’s plan for our lives.

So, the question is, “are you utilizing the power God has given to you? Or are you wallowing in the inferiority of the Cosmos?”

Satan does all of this because his purpose is to deceive the world, keep the unbeliever blind of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and tempt the believer to commit evil and live in apostasy. As we noted previously, he deceives and tempts, especially the believer, in the three ways; appetite, beauty, and ambitious pride, 1 John 2:16, that can result in lust, sin, and death in the believer’s life who does not have the strength of Christ in His soul via putting on the full armor of God, James 1:14-15.

James 1:14-15, “But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.”

God sometimes allows Satan’s temptations to strengthen us in resisting them. Tests have three beneficial purposes in the life of the believer:

1) To prove us, 1 Peter 1:6-7.

2) To teach us, 1 Peter 4:12-13; Heb 5:8.

3) To increase our love for God, James 1:12; Rev 2:10.

James 1:12, “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”

Rev 2:10, “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”

In the areas of temptation, Satan tries to get the believer to commit sin or evil in several ways, including:

1. Conformity to the pressures and structures of society, 1 Thes 3:5.

1 Thes 3:5, “For this reason, when I could endure it no longer, I also sent to find out about your faith, for fear that the tempter might have tempted you, and our labor should be in vain.”

Paul had been forced to leave Thessalonica after probably only one month’s ministry in that city, Acts 17:5-10. Further, Satan had used some governmental ban to keep him from returning, 1 Thes 2:18. So he sent Timothy, who was not under that ban, back to Thessalonica to see if they had succumbed to Satan’s temptations. What temptations? It was too early in the first century for Paul to be referring to official persecution from the Roman Empire. These temptations must have been more of an unofficial, societal, personal nature. Perhaps Satan tempted them to continue to conform to the lifestyles they experienced before they were saved, including the worship of pagan gods and goddess. Also, many of the converts were Gentiles, and Satan may have tempted them with the pride of intellect.

He tries to bring pressure on the believer so that he may not be able to bear it. For example:

a.) The man disciplined in 1 Cor 5. Apparently, the discipline had had its desired effect, and he had confessed his sin of incest. Now the church should have received him back into fellowship. Seemingly, some wanted to do this and some did not. So, Paul urged them to do so, not only to heal any division that might develop but also lest the brother involved be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. He needed to know the forgiveness of his brothers and sisters, 2 Cor 2:5-11. Not to restore him would give Satan an advantage.

b.) The women who are widowed at a young age, 1 Tim 5:11-15. Paul urged them to marry again and bear children and lead useful lives. Some, idle and gossiping, were following Satan.

1 Tim 5:13-15, “And at the same time they also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention. 14Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach; 15for some have already turned aside to follow Satan.”

In general, we may say that Satan the adversary wants passionately to squelch the believer’s testimony. To accomplish this, he prowls the earth like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour, 1 Peter 5:8. The word “devour” is the same word used to describe the way the Red Sea swallowed up the Egyptians when they were pursuing the Hebrews, Heb 11:29. It paints a vivid picture of Satan’s ultimate goal; to completely drown the believer’s testimony and usefulness.

2.) To cover up selfishness. The story of Ananias and Sapphira serves as the classic illustration. This couple wanted to retain some of the money they received from the sale of their property, while at the same time receiving praise for their contribution. Peter discerned that it was Satan who had filled their hearts to lie, Acts 5:1-11. They had the right to own and sell property. They had no necessary obligation to give all the proceeds to the church. But they were obliged not to pretend to have generosity and at the same time cater to their selfishness by keeping part of the money received.

3.) To perform some form of immorality, 1 Cor 7:5; Rom 7:14-25; 1 John 3:10. God provided marriage for proper expression of physical needs and relationships, and He expects husbands and wives to assume their respective and mutual responsibilities. When this is not done, Satan has opportunity to tempt believers to illicit or perverted sexual sins.

1 Cor 7:5, “Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again lest Satan tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”

1 John 3:10, “By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.”

4.) Perform some form of human good, “dead works”, Mat 4:1, 3, 5; Isa 64:6; 1 Cor 3:15; Mat 6:1; Heb 6:1; 9:14. Human good is a reference to anything produced by man apart from God’s grace provision.

Satan may prefer to do some things over others. But he will do whatever he has to in order to promote his plans and programs successfully. Remember too that he is powerful, 2 Thes 2:9, he is experienced, and he has a host of demons to help him. Yet, the believer can successfully fight him only in the strength and power of God who dwells within him, 2 Peter 1:2-11.

2 Peter 1:2-4, “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.”

What God sees on the human side of the cosmos is described in Rom 3:9-18. These verses are a medley from the Old Testament describing the nature of unregenerated man and the one who lives in the cosmos, put together by Paul through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Compare Psa 14:1-3; 53:1-3, 13; 5:9; 140:3, 14; 10:7, 15-17; Isa 59:7-8, 18; Psa 36:1.

The following scriptures are all commentaries on the cosmos. 2 Peter 1:4; 2:20; James 1:27; 4:4; 1 John 4:3; 5:4; John 14:30.

2 Peter 1:4, “For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.”

2 Peter 2:20, “For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.”

James 1:27, “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”

James 4:4, “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” 

1 John 4:3, “And every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.” 

John 14:30, “I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me.”

Satan’s strategy to control nations includes: conspiracy and deceit; manipulation; world peace movements, socialism, communism, or the welfare state; internationalism; opposition to the laws of Divine establishment; the breakdown of freedom and sovereignty of any nation where establishment, evangelism, and Bible Christianity is functioning; and to malign law and order. His policy is power politics: violence, tyranny, and change.

Religion is also a part of Satan’s strategy. Religion is the creation of Satan’s genius to counterfeit the Plan of God. Religion is man seeking to use his own merits, his own works to gain the approbation of God or the gods. Satan’s false or counterfeit plan an strategy to offset the Plan of God includes a false:

1. Gospel, 2 Cor 4:3-4.

2. Ministers, Jer 14:14; Mat 24:24; 2 Cor 11:13-15; 2 Tim 3:13; 2 Peter 2:1-3, 18; Jude 4, 8; 1 John 2:18; 4:1-3.

a.) These false ministers have a phony, hypocritical facade. They are bleeding heart do gooders, who “love” everyone, being all things to all men apart from any standards based on Bible doctrine, Mat 7:15. They seek to stimulate your ego, Rom 16:18.

Rom 16:18, “For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.

b.) They use human public relations systems, legalistic flirtation, and activism to court believers, Gal 4:17 18; 2 Tim 3:5 8.

c.) They appeal to human ego, arrogance, and pride to distract believers from grace, 2 Cor 10:12. They use mutual admiration society ideas. They love to counsel others to promote their arrogance.

d.) They promote idolatry as a part of Satan’s communion table, Hab 2:18-19.

e.) They promote legalism as a system of pseudo spirituality, 1 Tim 1:7-8. They encourage people to gossip to keep others “in-line.”

f.) They possess a false spirit, 1 John 4:1-3. They are inspirational but do not function by the power of the Holy Spirit.

3.) Doctrine, 1 Tim 4:1-7; 2 Tim 4:1-4.

4.) Communion table, 1 Cor 10:19-21.

5.) Spirituality, Gal 3:2-3.

6.) Righteousness, Mat 19:16-28.

7.) Self-righteousness, Mat 23:13-36.

8.) Power and dynamics (e.g., miracles, healing, tongues), 2 Thes 2:8-10.

9.) System of gods, Rom 1:21-23; 2 Thes 2:3-4.

Therefore, believers are warned to not fall for any of these counterfeits that give a chance or opportunity for the devil to exert his influence over your life and spiritual walk, Eph 4:27.

Though the shield of faith is sufficient to quench all the flaming arrows he throws at them, Eph 6:16, he can still hinder the Christian walk, if we let him, by being susceptible to these falsehoods.

The ultimate counterfeit of Satan will be the coming Antichrist, whose activities will be in accord with Satan and who will pawn off on mankind “the lie,” 2 Thes 2:3, 7-11; Cf. 1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 John 1:7.

1 John 2:18, “Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen; from this we know that it is the last hour.”

1 John 2:22, “Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.”

2 Thes 2:9-10, “That is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 10and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.” 

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Anti christ

 

 

Click here to see:
The Doctrine of the Antichrist and False Prophet, Revelation 13.

 

 

 

Getting back to Eph 6:11, “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil,” we will continue to note the strategies of Satan to keep people away from a relationship with God.

By way of reminder, Satan / the devil is an angelic creature. He is a genius, smarter than any human being or creature who ever lived. He is also very attractive and has a beautiful voice. Isa 14:12-17 and Ezek 28:11-19 gives us a picture of Satan as a personality, a person of the highest possible mentality. Other passages throughout the Bible tell us other things about Satan; he is the biggest liar; he is the father of lies, John 8:44. He is a murderer, 1 John 3:8. And he is the highest ruler of the authority of the atmosphere, as he is the ruler of this world, Luke 4:5-7; John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; 2 Cor 4:4; Eph 2:2.

Satan rules the world through his cosmic systems. He rules all unbelievers through demon possession and demon influence. He rules reversionistic and apostate believers though demon influence, (not demon possession), because of persistent involvement in the Cosmic System.

When both unbelieves and believers have negative volition towards God and His Word in their soul, it creates a vacuum in the soul, (MATAIOTES; vanity, futility, worthlessness, depravity), Eph 4:17, that sucks the doctrine of demons, 1 Tim 4:1, into the stream of consciousness in the soul. As a result, they are influence by the things and ways of the world, and are led by satanic viewpoint, as they operate inside of Satan’s cosmic system.

Since everyone is born into the world as an unbeliever, born spiritually dead, we are born citizens of Satan’s kingdom. Therefore, the devil has to have strategy with regard to people to keep them in his citizenry. He has to do everything possible to keep people unbelievers. It is the devil’s objective that no one believes in Jesus Christ, Luke 8:12; 2 Cor 4:3-4; 2 Thes 2:9-10.                                      

Luke 8:12, “Those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved.”

2 Cor 4:3-4, “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

2 Thes 2:9-10, “That is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 10and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.”

In addition, when a person believes in Christ, the devil does not give up on them. They are members of the family of God and in God’s plan, and totally separated from Satan’s plan. Therefore, the devil has to have strategy regarding believers to get them back under his influence and keep the believer in the cosmic system, Luke 8:13-14; 2 Cor 2:11; Col 2:8; James 4:6-8, 1 John 2:15-18, 1 John 3:4-12.

Col 2:8, “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”

2 Cor 2:11, “So that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes.”

Therefore, knowing Satan’s strategies to influence both the unbeliever and the believer helps us to combat him and his cosmic system, so that we are not overcome by them and get outside of God’s Plan for our lives, Luke 8:15-18.

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Eph 6 vs 10 (4) Part 2 Books of the BibleSeven of Satan’s Strategies

1. The devil’s strategy toward the believer is first directed towards God Himself as Satan accuses believers of guilt that should lead to condemnation when we sin. Because of Satan’s jealousy towards believers who have been given eternal life in Christ, Satan makes an accusation about the sins of believers to God the Father, Rev 12:9-10; Job 1:6-11; Zech 3:1-2.

Rev 12:10, “Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, ‘Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night’.”

When Satan accuses us of guilt, he also runs into God the Son, who is seated at the right hand of the Father. At that point, Jesus Christ takes on a role beyond being our Savior. He immediately acts as the believer’s defense attorney, our advocate, (PARACLETOS) and intercedes on our behalf to present the case that every sin that the devil mentions has already been judged. The law of double jeopardy applies: You cannot be judged twice for the same offense. So, Jesus Christ mentions that and God the Father as the judge throws the case out of court, Rom 8:33-34; 1 John 2:1-2.

1 John 2:1-2, “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 2and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.”

Rom 8:33-34, “Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.”

2. It is Satan’s objective to sponsor reversionism in both unbelievers and believers involved in Christian degeneracy. As part of his deception, he provides a false religion with a false gospel and false doctrines with a false communion table, as he and his minions disguise themselves as angels of light, 2 Cor 11:3, 13-15. These are all designed to sponsor reversionism in the believer and keep the unbeliever from knowing Christ. Illustration: 1 Chron 21.

2 Cor 11:3, “But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.”

3. It is the strategy of Satan to get you to be disobedient to the Word and the Pastor’s authority in teaching it, by destroying your focus on God’s Word when being taught, (both in the presence of the pastor and by not attending services), and by ignoring the doctrines you have learned, 1 Chron 21:1; Gal 3:1.

Gal 3:1, “You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?”

4. It is the strategy of the devil with regard to believers to frustrate the will of God in the believer’s life. The will of God is categorized and classified in three ways: mental, operational, and geographical.

a.) Mental will of God: What does He want me to think?

b.) Operational will of God: What does he want me to do?

c.) Geographical will of God: Where does He want me to be?

It is the Satanic objective to frustrate all three categories.

a.) Mentally: Satan tries to stop the intake and application of Bible Doctrine in your life, and instead get you to think in terms of the world’s way of doing things, Rom 12:2; 1 Cor 14:20; Eph 4:14.

Rom 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” 

Eph 4:14, “As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming.”

1 Cor 14:20, “Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature.”

b.) Operationally; Satan tries to distract or stop the application of your spiritual gift in the ministry and service God has given to you, 1 Cor 12:4-7; cf. Gal 5:7; James 4:7-8.

1 Cor 12:4-7, “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 6There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. 7But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”

Gal 5:7, “You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth?”

James 4:7-8, “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”

c.) Geographically; Satan tries to move you out of the area, (town, state, country, etc.), God sees best for you to excel in His Plan, 1 Thes 2:18.

1 Thes 2:18, “For we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, more than once—and yet Satan hindered us.”

5. It is the strategy of the devil to neutralize the believer’s soul through worry and anxiety. He tries to create a mentality of fear and anger in your life, so that you are distracted from the truth of God’s Word and His plan for your life. He tries to neutralize consistent doctrinal perception, metabolization, and application of God’s Word through worry, fear, anxiety, mental attitude sins, reaction to disaster(s), and even death, 1 Peter 5:7-9; Heb 2:14-15.

1 Peter 5:7-9, “Casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. 8Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.” 

Heb 2:14-15, “Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.”

6. It is Satan’s objective to obscure the focus of the believer, that is your occupation with Christ and your advancement to the super-grace life. He does this in three ways:

a.) Getting your eyes on people rather than on God, Jer 17:5.

Jer 17:5, “Thus says the LORD, ‘Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind and makes flesh his strength, and whose heart turns away from the LORD’.”

b.) Getting your eyes on self, 1 Kings 19:10; 1 Cor 1:10-11.

1 Cor 1:11, “For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you.”

1 Cor 1:10, “Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.”

c.) Getting your eyes on things, Heb 13:5-6; 1 John 2:15-16.

1 John 2:15-16, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.”

Heb 13:5-6, “Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, ‘I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,’ 6so that we confidently say, ‘THE LORD IS MY HELPER, I WILL NOT BE AFRAID. WHAT WILL MAN DO TO ME?’”

7. It is the satanic objective to involve the believer in humanistic, temporal solutions to man’s problems so that Divine solutions are obscured and excluded. He tries to get believers distracted from walking in God’s plan by getting them involved in improving Satan’s world system by becoming preoccupied with temporal solutions, such as: Globalism, hyper-environmentalism, socialism, the welfare state, and other various temporal solutions to man’s problems.

From Isaiah 14, we see that in order for Satan to accomplish his strategies, he:

  • Weakens the nations, Isa 14:12.
  • Makes the earth to tremble, Isa 14:16.
  • Shakes kingdoms, Isa 14:16.
  • Makes the world a wilderness, Isa 14:17.
  • Destroys the cities thereof, Isa 14:17.
  • Does not open the house of his prisoners, Isa 14:17.

Chafer notes: “Next to the lie itself, the greatest delusion Satan imposes — reaching to all unsaved and to a large proportion of Christians — is the supposition that only such things as society considers evil could originate with the devil — if, indeed, there be any devil to originate anything. It is not the reason of man, but the revelation of God, which points out that governments, morals, education, art, commercialism, vast enterprises and organizations, and much of religious activity are included in the cosmos diabolicus. That is, the system which Satan has constructed includes all the good which he can incorporate into it and be consistent in the thing he aims to accomplish. A serious question arises whether the presence of gross evil in the world is due to Satan’s intention to have it so, or whether it indicates Satan’s inability to execute all he has designed. The probability is great that Satan’s ambition has led him to undertake more than any creature could ever administer. Revelation declares that the whole cosmos-system must be annihilated — not its evil alone, but all that is in it, both good and bad. God will incorporate nothing of Satan’s failure into that kingdom which He will set up in the earth.” (Lewis Sperry Chafer, “Systematic Theology,” Vol. 2, PP 100-101)

Larkin notes: “Satan is very subtle in his methods, and if it were possible he would deceive the very elect. He knows all the great Scripture subjects that are of universal interest to humanity, and he is too wise to attack them openly, so he adulterates them with false doctrine. He has tried to rob the Church of her “Blessed Hope” of the Lord’s return by mixing with it a lot of false teaching and “time setting” as seen in “Millerism,” “Seventh Day Adventism” and “Millennial Dawnism.” To prevent mankind from turning to the Lord for healing, he has invented the systems of “Christian Science” and “New Thought.” To satisfy the craving of the human mind to know what is going on in the Spirit World, Satan invented “Spiritism.” Satan seeing that he could not stamp out the Church by violence and persecution has changed his tactics and is now trying to seduce her into conformity to the world, and to try to better an “Age” that God has doomed to destruction. His present purpose is to build up a “magnificent civilization,” and he has deceived the Church into believing that it can bring in the “Millennium,” without Christ, by the Betterment of Society. His hope is that the “Gospel of Social Service” will take the place of the “Gospel of Grace,” and by diverting the attention of Christian people to “secondary” things, they will neglect the primary work of soul saving, and thus delay the evangelization of the world, and postpone the Return of the Lord, and his own confinement in the Bottomless Pit.” (Clarence Larkin, “Rightly Dividing the Word”)

So, the question is, “How do we properly relate to Satan’s cosmic system in which we are presently situated in?”

1. Use it, but do not abuse it, 1 Cor 7:30b-31.

1 Cor 7:30b-31, “…. those who buy, as though they did not possess; 31and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it; for the form of this world is passing away.” 

There is nothing wrong with using the things of this world, as long as we are not abusing or overusing them. Do not let the things of this world have top priority; do not let your marriage be the most important thing in life, do not weep too long; do not be so happy you cannot be serious; do not put your trust in things you can properly buy, etc. To put greater emphasis in life on the things of this world is to abuse the cosmos. To have a “take-it-or-leave it” attitude while using these things is proper use. 

2. Enjoy, but do not love the things of this world, 1 Tim 6:17; 1 John 2:15.

1 Tim 6:17, “Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.”

What God gives us in this world can legitimately be enjoyed. As long as we realize that He is the provider of them, our dependence is on God whether He gives us little or much, Phil 4:12-13, and that all the things of this world are uncertain.

Phil 4:12-13, “I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

So, the next question is, “When does proper enjoyment become improper loving?”

That depends on each individual and the mentality of your soul. Each believer has to examine objectively and honestly his or her own particular circumstances. Nevertheless, if you love things or stuff, or even your own life more than God, then you are making an idol of those things, and therefore are loving them improperly. An idol is anything at any time that comes between a believer and his love for God. 

And remember that God has given us the power to overcome all things. Because of the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union overflowing into the Church Age, the body of Christ when ruled by the head, (our Lord Jesus Christ), has received the delegated Divine power to resist the devil, 1 John 4:4; 5:4.

1 John 4:4, “Greater is He who is in you, (omnipotence of God the Holy Spirit via the Word when you are led by God’s power) than He who is in the world, (power of Satan as ruler of the world and Cosmic System).”

1 John 5:4, “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world– our faith.”

Therefore, the believer can live victoriously in Satan’s world through faith in Christ who Himself has become the victor over Satan, 1 John 5:4-5. Every believer, whether new or mature, has victory simply because he is a believer. But to experience that victory every day and win the tactical battles within your soul, it involves victory over the habits and activities we are involved in, along with the defense mechanisms we put up within our soul. Faith in Jesus makes us believers and thus overcomers, and to live victoriously every day, we must put on the Christ-like nature as we live inside of Satan’s cosmic system.

2 Cor 2:11 states the general principle, hold your ground against the devil, so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his strategies.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

3 18 18 The Word eph 6 vs 12 The Angelic Conflict, Pt. 10 The Enemy, Pt. 9, Our StruggleVs. 12

Eph 6:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

In Eph 2:2, we read, “…according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience”

There, we see that Satan is a prince of the demons also known as the fallen angels, cf. Mat 12:24; 9:34; Luke 11:14-18.

Mat 9:34, “But the Pharisees were saying, ‘He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons’.”

As such, Satan is a king, and as a king he has a kingdom. Our Lord said in Mat 12:24-30, “If Satan cast out Satan he is divided against himself; how shall then his ‘kingdom’ stand?”

We also see in Scripture that Satan is the “ruler of is world,” John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11, and the “whole world lies in the power of the evil one,” 1 John 5:19.

Therefore, this world is his kingdom or dominion, and it is doubtless of the fact that the world of “evil spirits / demons / fallen angels,” is organized, and that Satan is at its head, as he is also called, “the god of this world,” 2 Cor 4:4.

2 Cor 4:4, “In whose case the god of this world (Satan) has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

Being “the god of this world,” also implies that he is the object of the world’s worship, while at the same time it indicates he is the master mind and leader moving the evil spirit of his godless activities in this world.

Now, what we see in Eph 6:12, is one of the listings in Scripture that describes with some nuance the evil forces that Satan rules and leads, which are also antagonistic towards Christians and therefore part of the enemy we battle against on a daily basis. This verse tells us about Satan’s kingdom that works in conjunction with Him to currently rule this earth.

It begins with the Conjunction HOTI, “that, because, since, for,” in the causative force that should be translated “because.” This introduces the reason why we need to “put on the full armor of God;” because of the spiritual warfare we are a part of.

“Our struggle is not against,” begins with the Greek negative OUK, “not.” It is used as a negative for a statement of fact and goes with the Indicative mood of the verb EIMI, “is,” that is also in the Present tense and Active voice. EIMI tells us this is a continuous ongoing struggle that we, believers, are actively involved in. With this we have the emphatic Personal Pronoun HEMEIS, in the Dative, 1st Person, Plural for “our” that includes all believers, including Paul.

Next, we have the Subject Nominative Singular of PALE, πάλη that means, “wrestling, struggle for victory, or hand-to-hand combat.” PALE is only used here in the NT. It refers to the sport of wrestling well known in ancient times. Brought to prominence by the Greek athletic games, this competition required each wrestler to throw his opponent to the ground. According to Thayer, the overcomer’s hand pinned the defeated’s neck to the ground, and victory was declared. It denotes the struggle between individual combatants, one-on-one fighting, in distinction from an entire military campaign that would be noted in the word, STRATEIA. Therefore, Paul used it metaphorically to depict the Christian’s struggle in overcoming our enemy, Satan and his cosmic system.

In Ephesians, the imagery is military warfare between soldiers. Yet, PALE is a wrestling term. Therefore, it gives us the imagery of close, hand-to-hand fighting or combat. This tells us that the Devil and his cosmic system are not firing laser guided missiles at us from a distance. No, they are up close and personal, hand-to-hand. This is also seen in the word, “against,” which is PROS in the Greek that literally means, “face-to-face.” Therefore, this is a face-to-face conflict for victory.

Jesus told Peter in Luke 22:31-32a, “… Satan has asked to sift you like wheat. But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail ….”

Satan wanted to get up close and personal with Peter, as he also did with Job, Job 1-2, as his cosmic system also does with you too.

As you know, Peter failed when Satan sifted him at the arrest, trial, and crucifixion of our Lord, but our Lord knew that Peter would grow stronger as a result, so that in the future, he would be victorious when wrestling with Satan and also help others in their struggles with the Angelic Conflict, Luke 22:32b.

Luke 22:32b, “… and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

Another interesting fact about the meaning of PALE, is that in the ancient days of Greek wrestling, when the loser was determined, his eyes where gouged out with the result of blindness for the remainder of his life. With this imagery in view, our wrestling against the powers of darkness is no less desperate and fateful.

Therefore, this tells us about the reality of the fight we believers are in. In other words, if we do not put on the full armor of God so that we can be victorious in this struggle with the cosmic system, we will be defeated, and our spiritual eyes will be gouged out, which means we will be blinded by Satan for the rest of our lives here on earth.

John 12:40, “He, (Satan), has blinded their eyes, and he hardened their heart; lest they see with their eyes, and perceive with their heart, and be converted, and I heal them.”

Rom 11:7, “What then? Israel has not obtained that which he seeks for; but the election has obtained it, and the rest were blinded.”

2 Cor 4:4, “In whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

1 John 2:11, “But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”

Wisdom of Solomon 2:21, “Such things they did imagine, and were deceived: for their own wickedness has blinded them.” (KJV Apocrypha)

For the believer to be blinded by Satan means he does not understand that he is not walking with Christ and is rejecting the things of God. He is blind to his negative volition towards God and His Word, and is blind to the fact that he is instead walking inside of Satan’s cosmic system. This is the deception that Satan tries to bring into the life of the believer. This is the meaning of the “hardening of your heart,” “scare tissue on your soul,” and “black out of your soul.” This is the meaning of the vanity, futility, darkened, excluded from the life, ignorance, hardness, callousness, sensuality, impurity, with all greediness in Eph 4:17-19, and you don’t even realize it. This is the consequence of not going forward in God’s plan daily. And, if you are not going forward, you do not even know it, because your spiritual eyes have been gouged out by Satan and his cosmic system.

Yet, because of the grace and love of God and the Lord Jesus Christ, Jesus came and went to the Cross to heal those who have been blinded by Satan, Mat 11:5; 15:31; Mark 10:51; Luke 4:18; cf. John 10:21. For the unbeliever the healing occurs upon their belief in Jesus Christ as their Savior. For the believer the healing comes by their faith in God’s Word, beginning with the Rebound Technique of 1 John 1:9, and then with the resultant filling of the Holy Spirit, the consistent intake and application of Bible Doctrine. Therefore, we see the vital importance of putting on the “full armor of God,” so that we do not end up blinded by Satan and his cosmic system.

Now, in Eph 6:12, we have OUK PROS, which first tells us what our struggle “is not against.” This is followed by the words, “flesh and blood.” In the Greek, it is reversed, HAIMA KAI SARX, “blood and flesh.” It indicates the literal, but also the figurative of natural life, human life, mortal nature, or physical life. In other words, our warfare is not against the people of this world. In fact, we are told to love our neighbors many times in Scripture, Lev 19:18; Mat 5:43; 19:19; 22:39; Rom 13:8-10; Gal 5:14; James 2:8, etc. Therefore, regardless of religious, ethnic, or socio-economic status, we are to express love to all of mankind, even our enemies, Prov 25:24; Mat 5:44; Rom 12:20.

Unfortunately, too many people, including too many Christians, make other members of the human race as the objects of their hatred, and we fight against each other. But God says our enemy is not man but Satan and his fallen angelic forces in the rest of this verse.

Yet, you might have wondered, “Paul, what do you mean, we do not wrestle with flesh and blood? You have been beaten with rods, imprisoned, left for dead, shipwrecked, endangered countless times, and more. What do you mean our battle is not physical?”

Yes, we might suffer at the hands of man, but we always have to keep in mind the true battle that is going on behind the scenes. We have to keep in mind the spiritual warfare that we are engaged in. That is what allowed Jesus to say, while He was hanging on the Cross with insults being hurled at Him, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,” Luke 23:34.

Therefore, we know from the apostle Paul that behind our daily battles is another battle. There is an unseen, cosmic, and spiritual battle in which we are engaged.

Paul tells us this with the contrasting Conjunction ALLA that means, “but, yet, or rather” and the Preposition PROS, “against,” used four times in the description of our true enemy we are wrestling with every day. It is broken down into four categories: the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness…” The enemy includes: 1) Rulers, 2) Powers, 3) World forces of this darkness, and 4) Spiritual forces of wickedness.

The number four in Scripture represents God’s creative works, creation, material things, and material completeness. It is the world number and especially the city number. This tells us that these are created beings who rule the world and its individual cities. The number 4 = 2 + 2, and the number 2 has the context of “division,” as these four scopes of demonic authorities are divided from God and are trying to divide man from having a relationship with God.

The number four is also made up of three plus one. As we see the listing in Eph 6:12, we have three titles for the leaders of the fallen angelic forces and one for the general population of fallen angels. Three meaning “divine perfection” and one “unity,” tells us that this is a perfect order of demonic angelic forces that are in an evil unity conspiring against God and His family.

As such, our “wrestling opponents” are spiritual and supernatural foes of evil, as we see in the last phrase, “in the heavenly places,EN HO EPOURANIOS in the Dative case. The Adjective EPOURANIOS, ἐπουράνιος comes from the root Noun HOURANOS that means, “heaven.” So, EPOURANIOS means, “heavenly or celestial.” If used as a substantive, it can mean, “the gods above.” But here it is used to emphasize the location of our opponent, their abode or dwelling place which currently includes the first, second, and third heaven; our atmosphere, the stellar universe, and God’s throne room outside of our universe, respectfully, cf. 2 Cor 12:2.

Jesus also used EPOURANIOS in John 3:12, to contrast “heavenly things” with “earthly things,” If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how shall you believe if I tell you heavenly things?”

This raises a question, if we are “flesh and blood,” how do we fight an enemy that is spiritual and supernatural? Well, we certainly cannot fight it, nor win it, by using our flesh and blood, i.e., earthly things. In other words, we cannot fight this battle with our human strength, our human intellect, our human resources like money and wealth, or guns and military weapons. Even the atom bomb cannot defeat this enemy!

Yet, there is a way we can defeat them and be victorious. Because of our salvation won in Christ, we have been elevated from the earthly to the heavenly, and therefore are first qualified to be entered into this battle, Eph 2:6; 2 Tim 4:18; cf. Eph 6:12. That means we are “fair game” in this spiritual warfare and are fair competition. In other words, we are capable of competing in this match, because we have something in common, spiritual assets and resources, 1 Cor 2:13, 15; 15:44; Gal 6:1; Eph 1:3; Col 1:9; 3:16; 1 Tim 4:14; 1 Peter 2:5. And our assets and resources are far superior to our enemies.

Eph 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” 

Col 1:9, “For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.”

At the same time, God has made available to the believer all the spiritual assets necessary to be victorious experientially in this wrestling match. That is why we must put on the “full armor of God,” 1 Cor 2:13-15; Rom 12:1.

1 Cor 2:13, “Which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. 

1 Cor 2:15, “He who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one.” 

Rom 12:1, “I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.”

Yet, if we do not put on the armor of God, we will remain as if we were unsaved and do not have the spiritual assets necessary to be victorious, with the result of being perpetually spiritually blinded by Satan, 1 Cor 2:14; 3:1.

1 Cor 3:1, “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ.”

1 Cor 2:14, “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.”

Therefore, we are fighting against a spiritual and supernatural foe: The rulers, powers, world forces of this darkness, and spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenlies. To fight, we have to be equipped with spiritual and supernatural power that only God and His Word through the filling of the Holy “Spirit” can supply.

And remember, we are not just shadow boxing in this spiritual warfare. The enemies are real. That is why Paul stated in 1 Cor 9:24-27, “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 25Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; 27but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.”

And thanks be to God that He has qualified us to fight on a level playing field, and provided for us the necessary spiritual power to not just compete, but to win and overcome by His grace.

Now, getting back to our opponents in Eph 6:12; we are given four categories of adversaries that we need to pin to the mat. So, let us see how this four-fold evil cosmic system is defined, so that we know our enemy and with knowledge overcome them.

You see Christianity, unlike all the other cults, is not about teaching you things to persuade yourself to function in a thoughtless manner. It does not just tell you to say something and to go on saying it mechanically, whether it is true or not, or whether you feel it or not. That is not Christianity. Christianity always gives reasons for what we are to do or be doing. Therefore, Paul introduces this passage by explaining why we need to “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might,” and why we need to, “put on the full armor of God.” He tells us why we need it all. In this case, it is because of the enemy we are facing every day while we are here on planet earth. It is because of the fallen angelic race that has aligned themselves with Satan in opposition and antagonism against God and His people. Therefore, we need to know our enemy well, and Paul tells us about it in the details of this passage.

Eph 6:12, “For our struggle is … against the rulers (1-ARCHE), against the powers (2-EXOUSIA), against the world forces of this darkness (3-KOSMOKRATOS SKOTOS), against the spiritual forces of wickedness (4-PNEUMATIKOS PONERIA).

Paul previously referred to the first two of these hostile angelic creatures in the unseen realm in Eph 1:21,

Eph 1:21, “Far above all rule (1 – ARCHE) and authority (2- EXOUSIA) and power (DUNAMIS) and dominion (KURIOTES), and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.”

Likewise, in Eph 3:10 Paul lists the “rulers,” ARCHE, and “authorities,” EXOUSIA,” once again.

Eph 3:10, In order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.

Those verses tell us that God’s plan of redemption was made complete and ultimately revealed for man and the angelic realm, when God raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him at His right hand. As a result, those cosmic rulers and authorities were disarmed and put to shame by the Cross of Jesus Christ, Col 2:15.

Col 2:15, “When He had disarmed the rulers (1 – ARCHE) and authorities (2- EXOUSIA), He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him, (Jesus Christ).”

Paul also lists these angelic authorities in Col 1:16, regarding our Lord’s creative act that shows Jesus’ ultimate authority over them all.

Col 1:16, “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones (THRONOS) or dominions (KURIOTES) or rulers (1 – ARCHE) or authorities (2- EXOUSIA) — all things have been created by Him and for Him.”

This passage includes all angelic creatures, fallen and elect, as well as human authorities. But in our verse, it is only speaking of the fallen angelic realm, i.e., “in the heavenlies.”

Therefore, combining these passages, we have a list of 7 titles for the fallen angelic realm that is part of Satan’s cosmic system:

  1. Thrones, THRONOS.
  2. Powers, DUNAMIS, (inherent power).
  3. Dominions or Lordship, KURIOTES.
  4. Rulers or Principalities, ARCHE.
  5. Powers or Authorities, EXOUSIA, (power exercised).
  6. World forces of this darkness, KOSMOKRATOS SKOTOS.
  7. Spiritual forces of wickedness, PNEUMATIKOS PONERIA.

The first three speak to the realms of the kingdoms controlled by the fallen angelic forces, and the last four speak to the ones ruling in the various realms of the kingdoms.

Col 1:15-16, asserts that Jesus Christ was instrumental in the creation of “thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers;” along with “all things in heaven and earth, visible and invisible,” they were created, “in, through, and for Him.” The powers were originally a divine creation and were to find their goal in Christ.

Col 1:15-16, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.”

Yet, due to the evil that was found in their heart, they rebelled against Him, and have now been defeated by Him. 

Col 2:15, “When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.” 

Rom 8:38, “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities (ARCHE), nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers (DUNAMIS). 39nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

So now, let us explore the titles given to the four-fold forces of demonic evil found in Satan’s cosmic system:

1. “The Rulers,” sometimes translated “Principalities.” Here, we have the Accusative Plural Noun ARCHE, ἀρχή that means, “beginning, origin, authority, rule, domain, or sphere of influence.” It is used similarly in Eph 1:21; 3:10. It is also used in Rom 8:38; 1 Cor 15:24; Col 1:16; 2:10, 15.

In Classical Greek, the term ARCHE functions both in an ordinary sense and in a philosophical sense as “First Cause.” Because this word always signifies primacy, if it were in the singular, we would think this to be Satan as the first to rebel against God in eternity past. In fact, in John 12:31; 16:11, Satan is called HO ARCHON HO KOSMOS, “the ruler of this world.” But, because it is in the plural in our verse, it is more than one individual, and Satan has already been noted in vs. 11.

Given the imagery of this title, we see these as other angels who were and are a part of the rebellion of Satan, “from the beginning.” As “primacy,” we also see this word as leaders “in rank, power, dominion, or office,” cf. Rom 8:38; 1 Cor 15:24; Col 1:16; 2:15. Therefore, these are the leading and ruling fallen angels, as it were, of Satan’s fallen angelic army that have been with him since the beginning of his rebellion. They seem to be first both in rebellion and authority inside of Satan’s fallen angelic hierarchy.

So, these are the highest ranking fallen angels. They are Satan’s top rulers, the top officers, the highest and most powerful angels under his command. They are the equivalent of the “archangels” in God’s elect angel organization, so they are the counterfeit “archangels” of Satan’s system. They assist Satan in his rulership of the entire world, but are not assigned to any one country or territory; rather they lead the rest of the angelic forces.

2. “The Powers.” Here we have the Noun EXOUSIA, ἐξουσία that means, “authority, right, power.” This term is most frequently used in the NT for the right or authorization to use power bestowed by an office. It is a derivative of EXESTIN which means, “it is possible” or “it is lawful,” that is, the right to act according to legal or moral standards. The root Verb EXOUSIAZO means, “to have power over someone or exercise authority.” It is closely related to DUNAMIS, which is not used in this listing of four enemies, but differs, by its intent of the delegation of authority rather than the capability of the inherent power of DUNAMIS.

EXOUSIA is used in 1 Cor 15:24; Eph 1:21; 2:2; 3:10; Col 1:6; 2:10, 15; 1 Peter 3:22, and is especially used with ARCHAI to signify supernatural powers in, Eph 1:21; 2:2; Col 1:16. EXOUSIA’s derived meanings are: “authoritative position, office of state, office-bearers, or rulers,” and is “often used in an official sense to describe the authority of a king or other ruler,” (Plato Definitiones 415b, c; cf. Bauer). Cf. Rev 17:12-13.

Rev 17:12-13, “The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they receive authority (EXOUSIA) as kings with the beast for one hour. 13These have one purpose, and they give their power (DUNAMIS) and authority (EXOUSIA) to the beast.”

As in Rev 17, they are seen as the other “beasts” of Dan 7:12, speaking of other kings or rulers during the reign of the Antichrist.

Dan 7:12, “As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but an extension of life was granted to them for an appointed period of time.”

The sense of “authority to rule” is found in the Septuagint (LXX), where EXOUSIA occurs about 50 times. EXOUSIA usually replaces the Hebrew word MEMSHALAH, meaning, “the territory of one’s dominion” as in Psa 114:2, (LXX 113:2) and Jer 51:28 (LXX 28:28), and SHALETAN meaning, “power or dominion,” There we find the word “dominion” is many times translated by the Greek EXOUSIA, as also in Dan 7:12, 14, 27; 11:5 and other places, to speak of the rulers or heads of nations, i.e., “the powers or authorities” over nations.

Dan 11:5, “Then the king of the South will grow strong, along with one of his princes (SAR) who will gain ascendancy over him and obtain dominion; his domain will be a great dominion indeed.”

Dan 7:27, “Then the sovereignty, the dominion and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.”

Therefore, EXOUSIA is an authority to rule over a nation, one bearing such authority, and the sphere controlled by this authority. As such, these are Satan’s ruling angels over the nations; fallen angels who have the right to rule nations from the spiritual realm. They are the “authorities” in the demonic realm of Satan in the lower atmosphere who constitute his kingdom in the air as Kings, Presidents, heads of state, etc., who have been given authority to exercise rulership over a nation. In this case, the authority has been delegated by Satan and his leading ARCHE.

3. “The world forces of this darkness.”

The third “against,” PROS, in this passage speaks of, “world forces of this darkness,” HO KOSMOKRATOR HO SKOTOS.

SKOTOS meaning, “dark, darkness, or gloom,” reminds us that we are talking about evil forces, demonic forces.

“World forces,” is one compound word in the Greek, KOSMOKRATOR, κοσμοκράτωρ. It is made up of the words KOSMOS that means, “world,” and KRATEO that means, “to take hold of (forcefully), get possession of, obtain, to take into one’s possession, etc.” KRATEO is used of persons, or in this case, of fallen angels as those who, “have power over, rule over, or are master / lords of others.” It always implies a certain degree of force with which one brings a person or thing wholly under his power, even when resistance is encountered. It also means, “to take hold of by the hand.” Therefore, this is a ruler who has direct contact with the people, unlike the king who is aloof to them. Combined with KOSMOS, its simplest definition is, “lords of the world,” who have interaction with the people.

Louw Nida states, “The expression ‘world ruler’ should not be understood in terms of merely ruling over the earth as a physical object but of ‘ruling over those who are on the earth. It is a supernatural power having some particular role in controlling the destiny and activities of human beings – ‘power, authority, lordship, ruler, wicked force.” They translate it here as, “cosmic powers of this dark age.” (Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament).

KOSMOKRATOR is only used here in the NT, it is a hapaxlegomena and it is not used in the LXX. Here, it is in the Accusative Plural, meaning, “cosmic lords of this darkness.”

This word is “rare” and “late,” thus difficult to trace. The association of KOSMOKRATOR was originally in regard to astrology, and only later was it used in reference to gods and political rulers. (See Kittel, 3:913; cf. Bauer, and Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary.) In fact, KOSMOKRATOR is used of the god Serapis or Sarapis in the magical texts, (See PGM XIII.618-40). An Egyptian god created to unify the Greeks and Egyptians in the realm of Ptolemy I. The god was depicted as Greek in appearance, but with Egyptian trappings, and combined iconography from a great many cults, signifying both abundance and resurrection. This false god was a syncretistic deity derived from the worship of the Egyptian Osiris and Apis, and also gained attributes from other deities, such as chthonic powers linked to the Greek Hades and Demeter, and benevolence linked to Dionysus.

“These forces are called rulers of the world in order to bring out the terrifying power of their influence and comprehensiveness of their plans, and thus to emphasize the seriousness of the situation.” (Theological Dictionary of the New Testament).

The context in our passage confirms that Paul is not speaking about physical / human world rulers or powers, but of supernatural, spiritual forces which are opposed to the Church and to the redemptive work of God on earth. Therefore, we see this group as those below the EXOUSIA, below the demonic spiritual kings over nations and are more like governors of states or cities, lords of territories, or lower ranking military officers that personally lead troops into battle.

Some manuscripts include, “of this age or of this world,” HO AION in the Genitive Singular, but it is not found in the most reliable ancient texts.

4. “The spiritual forces of wickedness. 

Our fourth, “against,” PROS, (i.e., enemy), is, “the spiritual forces of wickedness / evil,” HO PNEUMATIKOS HO PONERIA.

PNEUMATIKOS, πνευματικός is a Greek Accusative Pronominal Adjective in the Plural that means, “pertaining to the spirits or spirituals.” It comes from the root, PNEUMA that means, “breath, wind, or spirit.” Christian literature uses PNEUMATIKOS especially in the sense of “spiritual” having to do with the (divine) spirit, and in this case, “evil spirits.” It does not occur in either the apocryphal or the Septuagint.

Therefore, it pertains to “the nature of spirits” or “spiritual beings,” in this case the divine beings known as fallen angels. The first time PNEUMATIKOS is used in Scripture is in regard to the believer having a spiritual gift, Rom 1:11, which emphasizes the spiritual life the believer has received from God. We also saw this word in Eph 1:3; 5:19, in regard to the spiritual life of the believer. Matthew uses a cognate of this word, PNEUMATA, in regard to the DAIMON or DAIMONION; i.e., “demons,” Mat 8:16; cf. Mark 1:34. So, this word can be used for both the elect of God and fallen. In our passage, it is emphasizing the spiritual nature and life of the fallen angels.

It is contrasted in the NT with PSUCHE, which means, “soul or soulish” and speaks to the natural or soulish body of unregenerated man. In contrast, even though these angelic creatures are fallen, they are still “spiritual beings,” as only is the believer of the human race. Once again, we see that our enemy is not “blood and flesh,” it is not people or mankind, but it is the spiritual forces of evil who are in the world, that is Satan and his fallen angels.

Given the general nature of this phrase in regard to the demonic spirits, versus the rulership connotations noted in the first three titles, this word implies a collective of the evil powers viewed as a body. We could say, this is Satan’s counterfeit body to the body of Jesus Christ, which is the Church.

“Wickedness or evil,” is the Greek Noun in the Genitive of quality PONERIA, πονηρία that means, “wickedness, depravity, sinfulness, evil nature, malice, etc.” It is a characterizing Genitive. Its original Greek meaning was, “defectiveness or physical sickness.” But later took on the nuances of “wickedness, evil, and sinfulness.”

So, once again we see the “illness” of the spiritual realm, the fallen angels that we personally wrestle with, versus wrestling against the symptoms of this illness, which is “blood and flesh,” that is, antagonistic members of the human race.

In most instances, PONERIA is used for wickedness or willful ungodly action. It is the “intentionally practiced evil will.” The NT uses it exclusively in its ethical meaning of opposition to God. This describes the mode of operation for the fallen angels who are in rebellion of God. It means maliciousness and it is to be distinguished from KAKIA, which is simply the evil habit of mind or depravity, where PONERIA means evil being expressed and affecting others. Hence, Satan is called ὁ πονηρός, “the wicked one,” the one who is in absolute antithesis to God, i.e., the devil in 1 John 2:13-14; 3:12; 5:18-19; cf. Luke 3:19; 7:21.

Therefore, PNEUMATIKOS PONERIA is used as a “catch all” phrase to identify the rest of Satan’s demonic forces, the “rank and file” as it were, that he uses to deceive the world.

Therefore, the hierarchy of Satan’s cosmic system could look something like this:

3 25 18 The Word Angelic Conflict ConclusionAs they sit on or over Thrones / thronos; Powers, dunamis; and Dominions, kuriotes.

Finally, we have, “in the heavenly places,” which is the Dative of Sphere EN HO EPOURANIOS, ἐπουράνιος in the plural that means, “heavenlies or celestial.” It is made up of EPI, “at” and OURANTOS, “heavenly.” The emphasis of the term and Dative case is on the location, the sphere or realm that these fallen angelic creatures reside. It identifies the dwelling place of the divine spirits. This is the abode or dwelling place of all the angels, and specifically in our verse, the fallen angels or “evil spirits.” Ephesians has the repeated formula EN TOIS EPOURANIOIS, ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοια, “in the heavenly (places),” Eph 1:3, 20; 2:6; 3:10; 6:12. In our verse, it is the cosmic level in which the battle is both fought and won in the believer’s life.

The use of “heavenlies” in Ephesians includes:

1) The sphere and source of Divine blessing, Eph 1:3.

2) The sphere of Christ’s power and His strategic victory in the Angelic Conflict, Eph 1:20.

3) The sphere of the Christian life and positional victory for the believer, Eph 2:6.

4) The sphere of angelic activity and judgment, Eph 3:10.

5) The sphere of spiritual conflict, the Angelic Conflict, Eph 6:12.

It is first used of God the Father, Mat 18:35, to describe His place of residence, “in the heavens.” God Himself and Christ belong to this heavenly world, the right hand of God, the throne, the government, is represented. Here the term, like οὐρανός, has a local nuance.

There are three heavens noted by Paul, the first is our atmosphere, the second is the stellar universe, the third is outside of our universe that is God’s throne room, cf. 2 Cor 12:2.

2 Cor 12:2, “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a man was caught up to the third heaven.”

Currently, the fallen angels reside in all three. During the Tribulation, they will be subjected to the first two only, Rev 12:8.

Nevertheless, as Paul stated, there is nothing in this world material, spiritual, or supernatural that we cannot defeat when we have the power of God resident within our souls.

Rom 8:38-39, “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor (fallen) angels, nor principalities, (ARCHE), nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers (DUMAMIS). 39nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

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Eph 6 vs 10 (5) Part 2 Books of the BibleThe Demons: The gods of the Nations.

In regard to the fallen angelic race and their hierarchy of leadership under Satan’s authority, we see that God gave Israel insight as to their rulership over the nations to influence and rule the world, as part of Satan’s cosmic system. The following passages in this study show us that Israel had a world view that regarded the pagan gods of other nations as being demonically inspired, and in fact, the worship of those demons. As such, we can understand that the false gods of old, as well as the false gods of today, are all inspired by the fallen angelic race in the endeavor of garnering worship for themselves, while keeping people blinded to the one true and only God; God our Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Israel’s world view, which is better called “Divine viewpoint,” goes back to what some call a “Deut 32 worldview,” which sees the nations after the Tower of Babel, Gen 10, being led and ruled by angelic authorities that are part of Satan’s cosmic System.

In Genesis 10, when God divided the peoples, He divided them into 70 nations at that time. The listings given are according to Noah’s three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

Regarding Japheth’s sons Gen 10:5 says, “From these the coastlands of the nations were separated into their lands, every one according to his language, according to their families, into their nations.”

Regarding Ham’s sons Gen 10:20 says, “These are the sons of Ham, according to their families, according to their languages, by their lands, by their nations.”

Regarding Shem’s sons Gen 10:31 says, “These are the sons of Shem, according to their families, according to their languages, by their lands, according to their nations.”

Then Gen 10:32 says,These are the families of the sons of Noah, according to their genealogies, by their nations; and out of these the nations were separated on the earth after the flood.”

This division into the initial 70 nations finds its way back into various worship ceremonies God gave to Israel and in the actions of Jesus Christ. We will note them later in this study. But first we need to explore Deut 32 to see how these nations are led by the fallen angelic race.

In Moses’ song of Deut 32, the Lord is focusing the attention of the Israelites upon the sovereignty of God and His relationship with all the nations, including Israel.

In vs 8, in contrast to the name “Lord” (YAHWEH) as the God of Israel, the title “Most High” (ELYON) is used only here in Deuteronomy, (cf. Gen 14:18-22; Psa 83:18; 97:9), and expresses or emphasizes the sovereignty and authority of God over all nations, including the leaders of those nations both human and angelic.

Deut 32:8, “When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when He separated the sons of man, He set the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel, (BEN, בֵּן, YISRAEL, יִשְׂרָאֵל).” Yet, it is interesting that the Dead Sea Scrolls text, (Qumran fragment, 4QDt), for Deut 32:8, reads “sons of God” (BEN ELOHHIM), and in the LXX it reads, “angels of God,” which in the Greek is AGGELOS THEOS.

Interestingly, the title, “sons of god,” BENE-HO’ELOHIM, is used of the fallen angels who cohabited with women in the pre-flood era, Gen 6:2-4, and generically for the angels of God, both fallen and elect, Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7. In the NT, this title is only used for believers, John 1:12; Rom 8:14, etc. 

Next, we see how the nations are aligned to various false gods. Yet, Israel was not.

Deut 32:12, “The LORD alone guided him, and there was no foreign god with him.”

Deut 32:16-17, “They (Israel) made Him jealous with strange gods; with abominations they provoked Him to anger. 17They sacrificed to demons (SHEDH) who were not God, to gods (ELOHIM) whom they have not known, new gods who came lately, whom your fathers did not dread.” 

Deut 32:21, “They have made Me jealous with what is not God (EL); They have provoked Me to anger with their idols. So I will make them jealous with those who are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.” 

Deut 32:33, “Their wine is the venom of serpents (TANNIN), and the deadly poison of cobras.” 

TANNIN is a noun meaning, “sea monster, sea dragon, or serpent.” These terms/names are also used for Satan with synonymous Hebrew and Greek words and relate the false gods of the nations to Satan and his demonic forces.

And we see in Deut 32:37-39, “And He will say, ‘Where are their gods, the rock in which they sought refuge? 38Who ate the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink offering? Let them rise up and help you, let them be your hiding place! 39See now that I, I am He, and there is no god besides Me; It is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded and it is I who heal, and there is no one who can deliver from My hand’.”

This also reminds us of Isa 43:10, “‘You are My witnesses,’ declares the LORD, ‘and My servant whom I have chosen, in order that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, and there will be none after Me’.” Cf. Isa 44:6.

In comparing Gen 10 with Deut 32, we see that all the other nations, except for Israel, had a false religion that was in actuality demon worship. Behind these false gods lies a demon, most likely of the leadership ranks of Satan’s system as noted above; ARCHON, ARCHE, EXOUSIA, or KOSMOKRATOR. This is also seen in Daniel 10, where the nations have “princes,” SAR / SARIM equivalent to the Greek ARCHONTON or ARCHON, as Michael was the SAR of the chosen nation Israel.

Dan 10:12-13, “Then he (Gabriel, cf. Dan 8:16; 9:21) said to me, ‘Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. 13But the prince (SAR – STRATEGOS) of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes (SAR – ARCHON), came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings (MELEKH – BASILEUS) of Persia.”

Note that the Hebrew utilizes the same word SAR for two of the three entities noted here, but when it was translated into Greek, the LXX, two different words are used. In all, there are three titles given here for angelic hierarchy. SAR – STRATEGO for a chief magistrate or highest civil officer, SAR – ARCHON, for primacy or top rulers, and MELEKH – BASILEUS, meaning a king, and in this case, it is in the plural for “kings.” All are speaking of the angelic realm. In fact, regarding the fallen angels, we see “a prince” and “kings” being in authority over the nation Persia.

Dan 10:20-21, “Then he said, ‘Do you understand why I came to you? But I shall now return to fight against the prince (SAR – STRATEGOS) of Persia; so I am going forth, and behold, the prince (SAR – STRATEGOS) of Greece is about to come. 21However, I will tell you what is inscribed in the writing of truth. Yet there is no one who stands firmly with me against these forces except Michael your prince, (SAR – AGGELOS).”

Here, we see that the future kingdom of Greece has an assigned fallen angel prince standing over it, and Michael, “one of the chief princes” of the elect angels having authority over Israel. Apparently, the elect Archangel Michael is the Prince of the nation of Israel under God’s Plan for His chosen race, Dan 10:21; 12:1; Jude 9; Rev 12:7.

Rev 12:7, “And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war.”

In addition, the Psalmist of Psalm 82 spoke of the Divine viewpoint regarding the nations being under the evil control of Satan and his cosmic system. Note in vs. 1, “rulers” is the Hebrew word ELOHIM that is used for God in Scripture, but here it is used for fallen angelic rulers.

Psa 82:1, “God takes His stand in His own congregation; He judges in the midst of the rulers, (ELOHIM – gods).”  

Psa 82:6-8, “I said, ‘You are gods, and all of you are sons of the Most High. 7Nevertheless you will die like men and fall like any one of the princes, (SAR).’ 8Arise, O God, judge the earth! For it is You who possesses all the nations.” 

In fact, in the Feast of SUKKOT on the 15th to 21st of Tishri (the 7th month), Num 29:12-35, which we call “Tabernacles,” or better yet, “Booths,” Lev 23:42-43; Deut 16:13, 16, it is interesting that the Israelites where commanded to sacrifice 70 bulls over the seven-day period.

The 70 bulls are sacrificed to give thanks to God in the celebration for the deliverance of Israel out from the other 70 nations, and their pagan gods. This feast was to be celebrated during and after the wandering in the wilderness. YHWH delivered them from every other god, which is represented in this festival. It celebrates YHWH’s victory over every other god; victory over all the fallen angels.

This feast is also called the “feast of Ingathering” in Ex 23:16; 34:22. This major autumn festival marked the ingathering of the grape and vine harvest. It speaks to when the Lord will return and establish His Millennial reign here upon the earth, cf. Rev 14:10; 19; 16:19; 19:15.

It signifies that upon His Second Coming, the Lord will gather together all the people and nations under His rule. The 70 nations that He separated at the Tower of Babel with their demonic rulers will be regathered under the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In Zech 14:9-16, we see that of all the feasts of Israel, this one will continue during the Millennial reign for all nations to celebrate. It is a model of thanksgiving. Cf. Amos 9:11-12 with Acts 15:16.

Zech 14:16, “Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths.”

“The setting (Zech 14:1-13) is the final victory of Yahweh over the nations, a battle in which Jerusalem is set apart and protected from the general carnage. When it all ends, Jerusalem reigns supreme, living water flows from its midst, and Yahweh is “king over the whole earth.” What follows is nothing less than the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham (Gen 12:1-3; 18:18-19): the blessing of all the nations. Those from all nations who survive the final apocalypse join in an annual pilgrimage, which now becomes the event by which every nation on earth participates in the worship of Israel’s God and the celebration of his goodness. Tabernacles has become the feast to end all feasts and represents the full flowering of God’s promises, through Israel, to all the nations.” (Dictionary of the Old Testament Pentateuch)

The number 70 in Scripture stands for “perfect spiritual order carried out with all spiritual power and significance.” (E.W. Bullinger, Number in Scripture)

It is interesting that the Lord sent out 70 disciplines to pave the way for His personal evangelism, as He set out to reclaim all the nations through His work upon the Cross, Luke 10:1, 17.

Luke 10:1, “Now after this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come.”

Luke 10:17, “The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”

Therefore, the world in which Paul viewed, (consisting of many more gentile nations, as is today), was dominated by invisible divine powers with cosmic geographical rulership, which we also call, Satan’s cosmic system. This is the true enemy that the believer is up against, and which we are to “pin to the mat,” when we pick up and put on the “full armor of God.” In other words, we utilize God’s Divine power to defeat the fallen divine authorities’ power over our lives.

Now we have to ask ourselves the question:

“Do these passages form part of your essential thinking regarding life?” “Are they always a part of your daily thinking and viewpoint regarding your life and the world around you?” As you look around the world today do you say, “Here is the explanation?”

Do you normally think like that? I certainly hope so. But, if you do not, you have a very defective sort of Christianity, and you are not prepared to face the enemy as you should be. The fact is, and your daily Biblical reasoning should be, “There is an enemy who is ever threatening and trying to knock me down.” Therefore, your great task in life, your great business in life, is to keep standing. And to do so, you must know your enemy and be adorned with the armor of God to be victorious in this mighty conflict.

You may think that this kind of talk is depressing. Yet, this is the most comforting, cheerful, optimistic teaching that is known to me. What is truly depressing to me is to be confronted by a situation that I do not understand. When I do not understand a situation I am in, that is when I feel lost, hopeless, depressed, fearful, and worried. But when I have knowledge and understanding of the situation, then I feel empowered, exhilarated, and unconquerable. That was the point of our Lord’s parable in Luke 14:31-32.

Luke 14:31-32, “Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand?”

The believer who does not understand the teachings here is either a new believer or one fast asleep in the arms of the devil, or is an utterly defeated Christian. Yet, my prayer for you is the same as Paul’s prayer of Col 1:9-13, that you have a daily Divine viewpoint with knowledge and understanding by the strength of the Word of the Lord, knowing that you have been delivered out from the dominion of darkness and transferred into the kingdom of His beloved Son. That is why God, through Paul, gives us insight into the warfare we are a part of, and the enemy we can defeat.

Our Lord said to Paul, which He says to us too in Acts 26:16-18, “But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you; 17rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, 18to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.”

It is strange that the world thinks so little about these things and they are not first in their thoughts regarding the situations of life. It is strange that they make these things strange.

Unfortunately, this way of thinking is strange to them because they are too subjective, they start with themselves and they end with themselves. “I want peace with God, I want my sins forgiven, I want to feel happy, I want joy in my life, I want this, I want that.” Because their focus in life is so subjective, they do not think in terms of objectivity and understand the world and their lives from the Divine perspective and the reality in which they are in. The reason for this is ignorance or the blindness they have allowed Satan to cause in their lives.

But the fact is, there is an angelic warfare that is led by Satan and His myriads of evil spirits that work their evil into this world, and if we are not careful, into our lives as well. Their nature is evil, their commission is evil, and their work is evil. They are evil in their object and purpose, and in all that they bring to pass.

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Click Here for Part 3, (vs. 13-14). The study includes:

Exegesis of Ephesians 6:13-14

Stand in Warfare – 6:10-20 ~ The Equipment:

E. The Believer’s Walk in Warfare; God’s Provision for His Children’s Spiritual Battles, Eph 6:10-20.

1. The Exhortation to Arms, The Believer’s Warfare, Eph 6:10-13.

d.) The Warrior’s Resource, The Explanation of Our Armor, Eph 6:13–17.

  • The Doctrine of The Armor of God
  • The Doctrine of Truth
  • Attributes of God
  • The Doctrine of Righteousness
  • 40+ Things We Receive at the Moment of Salvation
  • Blessings & Rewards for the Believer / Crowns

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