Vol. 17, No. 5 – February 4, 2018
Eph 6 :10-24, Stand in Warfare!
1. The Empowerment, vs. 10.
2. The Enemy, vs. 11-12.
3. The Equipment, vs. 13-17.
4. The Energy, vs. 18-20.
5. The Encouragement, vs. 21-24.
2.) The Enemy, vs. 11-12.
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.”
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, and 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.
This 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.
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:
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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 counterfeits of the Plan of God in religion including a counterfeit:
- Gospel, 2 Cor 4:3‑4.
- Ministers, 2 Cor 11:13‑15; 2 Peter 2:1-3, 18; Jude 4, 8.
- Doctrine, 1 Tim 4:1-7; 2 Tim 4:1-4.
- Communion table, 1 Cor 10:19‑21.
- Spirituality, Gal 3:2‑3.
- Righteousness, Mat 19:16‑28.
- Self‑righteousness, Mat 23:13‑36. This self-righteousness is based on morality in the Cosmic System. For example, the Mosaic Law is sometimes distorted into self‑righteousness, which rejects faith in Christ for relationship with God and accepts man’s works or deeds as the way of relationship with God.
- Power and dynamics (e.g., miracles, healing, tongues) 2 Thes 2:8‑10.
- System of gods, Rom 1:21-23; 2 Thes 2:3‑4.
False teachers are a part of his strategy, Jer 14:14; Mat 24:24; 2 Tim 3:13; 2 Peter 2:1; 1 John 2:18; 4:1-3.
- They 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.”
- They use human public relations systems, legalistic flirtation, and activism to court believers, Gal 4:17‑18; 2 Tim 3:5‑8.
- 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.
- They promote idolatry as a part of Satan’s communion table, Hab 2:18‑19.
- They promote legalism as a system of pseudo‑spirituality, 1 Tim 1:7-8. They encourage people to gossip to keep others “in-line.”
- They possess a false spirit, 1 John 4:1-3. They are inspirational but do not function by the power of the Holy Spirit.
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 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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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:
#18-011, 18-012, 18-013
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A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us.
Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life. So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:
“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ,
died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”
If you have done that, I Welcome You to the Eternal Family of God !!!