ON SPIRITUAL WARFARE
VERSE BY VERSE EXPOSITION ON
EPHESIANS 6:10-18 BY WAYNE
Spiritual Warfare, Pt 1
Spiritual Warfare, Pt 2
Spiritual Warfare, Pt 3
Ephesians 6:15,16 Spiritual
Warfare, Pt 4
Spiritual Warfare, Pt 5
Ephesians 6:12,13 Spiritual
Warfare, Pt 6
Spiritual Warfare, Pt 7
VERSE BY VERSE EXPOSITION ON THE
VERSE BY VERSE EXPOSITION ON
RESISTING THE ROARING LION
Exposition of 1Peter 5:8
Exposition of 1Peter 5:9
VERSE BY VERSE EXPOSITION ON
THE BATTLE IN OUR MIND
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 Exposition
Cyberhymnal Hymns on Topic of
2 Chronicles 20:1-25 Ambushing Satan with Song
- John Piper
THE METAPHOR OF THE CHRISTIAN
Exposition of 2 Timothy 2:3-4
Three Kinds of Soldiers - Ten Principles of
Roman Soldier by Edward Gibbon
(Decline & Fall of Roman Empire)
The Roman Soldier - Description
from Jewish Historian Josephus
A Few Soldier Stories and Sermons
THE AMALEKITES: A PICTURE OF
PERSISTENT SPIRITUAL WARFARE
Nissi: Exposition of Exodus 17:8-16
FOR OUR STRUGGLE IS NOT AGAINST
FLESH AND BLOOD: hoti ouk estin (3SPAI) hemin e pale pros aima kai sarka: (Luke
13:24; 1Corinthians 9:25, 26, 27; 2Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 12:1,4) (Matthew
16:17; 1Corinthians 15:50; Galatians 1:16)
of the verb eimi (1510).
So what? Clearly the implication is that this struggle or hand to hand
combat is not a one time occurrence but is a daily, ongoing, continual
warfare, whether we like it or not. The lie of Satan is that we have a
battle here and there, and so we don't need the armor at all times. That
is a lie and to act on it leaves the Christian soldier vulnerable. Ask
yourself "Do I really believe I am in a persistent, personal and
pernicious war?" If you don't believe this you are already in trouble!
But even if you believe it, you are in jeopardy, unless you fail to act
on this truth by walking in a conscious awareness of your need to be
clothed with Christ, the armor of light, the armor of the God. To
reiterate, don't just study Ephesians 6:10-18 or you will have a flawed
view of the struggle and your resources. You must study the preceding 5
chapters for they explain your spiritual resources and spiritual
responsibility, both of which are absolutely mandatory if you are to
our struggle - Note that Paul does not call the believer to
enter into spiritual warfare. He simply announces it as a fact and explains that it is not mere men you face
but the wiles of the scheming devil. In military strategy one must never
underestimate the strength of the enemy. Paul is certainly not guilty of
such fatal misjudgment but gives a realistic report of its potential. As discussed below this struggle
involves hand to hand combat using trickery, cunning and strategy.
But here is where the analogy with wrestling breaks down somewhat, for
this spiritual battle is not a power struggle but a truth struggle.
God's Word of Truth renews our mind (Ep 4:23-note),
and determines how we think and believe and therefore how we act and
behave. Then as we obey the truth we are in fact standing firm,
resisting the lies of the devil and the world (and our flesh) which says
you can serve two masters and still be a disciple, and still be
controlled by the Spirit. Don't be so rigid, so radical, so judgmental.
One of the best friends Satan has is Hollywood which suggests the evil
forces are effective predominantly because of the power they wield (they
do have power but this is not the focus). Don't be fooled by the horror
movies. It's a truth struggle NOT a power struggle. So come to the foot
of the cross every day, staying there, denying self, holding fast to the
traditions you have been taught, and obeying the truth and the truth
will set you free as you enter His victory over sin and Satan at the
cross. It's no more complicated then that. And be careful to avoid
morbid preoccupation with the demonic ("behind every rock", "a demon of
this and a demon of that", etc) and fear of the spiritual forces of
darkness. We are called to fear God.
Ray Stedman writes that...
Paul then goes on to analyze
and define for us the nature of the struggle and this is a crucial point
to understand. He tells us that our conflict is not against flesh and
blood. That is, spiritual warfare is not about the struggle of man
against man. It is not a political struggle, a social struggle, an
economic struggle, or even a religious theological-doctrinal struggle.
It is not a struggle between human beings. It is a struggle within human
beings. Let me ask you a question: What is the one thing that gives you
the most difficulty in life? For most of us, the answer to that
question, in one form or another, comes down to one thing: People. You
may struggle intensely with a family member, your spouse or child or a
parent. Or you may have personality conflicts and struggles in your
office, or in your church, or in your neighborhood...But the apostle
Paul says that our struggle is not against flesh and blood. Our true
battle is not against our political opponents or the IRS or family or
co-workers or neighbors or any other human agency. The battle is not
against people, but against unseen spiritual powers. In fact, the entire
human race is under a vicious assault by certain principalities and
powers, world rulers of darkness, wicked spirits in high places. (Stedman,
Ray. Spiritual Warfare)
Ruth Paxson writes...
The warfare involves
powerful antagonists in terrific, desperate, hand-to-hand battle.
Tremendous issues of life and death, defeat and destruction must be at
stake, for it is no ordinary combat. The word "against" stands
out five times upon the page. We have an out-and-out adversary who is
actively and aggressively warring against us, assisted by powerful and
"Not against flesh and
blood." This negative statement clarifies the atmosphere immediately
regarding the nature of our foe. The conflict is not with the human and
the visible, but with the superhuman and the invisible. We do not belong
to the same order of being or to the same plane of life as our foe.
Ephesians 6:10-18 reveals a
battlefield where the empowered, energized hosts of the Lord are pitted
against the demonized, mobilized hosts of the devil. It is a mass
organization of the supernatural forces of heaven against the subtle
fiends of hell. One necessity in victorious warfare is to know the
enemy. (Paxson, Ruth: The Wealth, the Walk and the Warfare of the
Christian. 1939. Revell)
that we do not fight a visible enemy and therefore ordinary weapons will
not suffice in this war. Paul explains that...
though we walk in the
flesh (as flesh and blood men and women), we do not (ou =
absolute negation!) war (strateuo = literally serve in the army and
figuratively engage in spiritual conflict) according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare
(strateia = military engagement, a military campaign) are
not of the flesh,
but divinely powerful (dunatos = means they are capable and competent,
in context because they are God's not ours) for the destruction (causing
destruction by tearing down) of fortresses. We are
destroying speculations (reasonings) and every lofty thing raised up against the
knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the
obedience of Christ (2 Co 10:3, 4, 5-
Wayne Barber explains who our
real enemy is writing that...
Our enemy is not flesh and blood. Our
enemy is not people! They are not our true enemy. Now I don’t know about
you, but that kind of confuses me sometimes when I get out in the real
world. When I get out there I realize I can see people. I just can’t see
the unseen enemy. How quickly I am suckered into the trap of thinking
that people are my enemy. I have said many times, "If it were
for people, I could live the Christian life." You’ve
done it, too. In your prayer time you have said, "God, if
will just get rid of this person who is bothering me, it will be
alright." We have this paranoia when it comes to people. We think people
are our enemies. It is what controls the person that is my true enemy.
People are not my enemy. That is why God consistently says in Ephesians,
"Be diligent to preserve the
unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace." He is saying, "People, you
are not each other’s enemy.
We mistakenly think people are our enemies; our boss, our husband, our
wife, our children, people we work with, whoever. What do we do? We
think if we can defeat them in some way, if we can get rid of them, we
can have peace and victory. That is all upside down. We end up fighting
each other. That is what Paul said, "Flesh and blood are not our enemy." They
are not our enemy. We use hateful words, critical things. We have to
tear somebody else down to build ourselves up as if we are in some kind
of competition with one another. We forget we are on the same team. If
we fight we lose. The war was won at Calvary. We are not to be each
other’s enemy...(You may be saying now wait a minute) Flesh and blood
are the ones bringing me all the harm. Flesh and blood are the ones
injuring me. I don’t understand. Paul is trying to say, "Hey, folks, you
need to realize the war zone you are in is not the people. Our enemy is
what controls the people. We don’t war against flesh and blood.
Paul is saying, "We war not against
flesh and blood." Behind every person who harms and injures us and
deceives us is a spiritual enemy. Now I think that is the confusing part
to me. Though we don’t war against flesh and blood, flesh and blood are
the pawns that he uses to come against us. That is what bothers me.
Because you see, I can see flesh and blood. I can’t see what is behind
them when somebody writes a letter, when somebody says something to you,
when somebody tears you apart, when somebody disappoints you. That hurts
you and you want to go after them. But you have to remember he is using
them. Love them but hate what is using them.
Evidently this person is coming against you and his mind is totally
upside down. He doesn’t have a clue what he is doing. What is going on
in your life right now? Who is it that is threatening you? Who is it
that is bothering you right now? What is it that is bothering you? Track
it back. You will find deception of some kind at the root of that whole
thing. The only thing we have in this world to stand on that is the
truth, besides the Lord Jesus, is His Word. When you start believing a
lie, it will flip you over and you won’t even realize it. You will end
up fighting the wrong thing and not even know that there was a spiritual
enemy behind it. There is deceit in this world we live in today.
our attention to some commentaries that draw a questionable conclusion
regarding the nature of our adversaries noting that...
Some interpret the nature of
principalities and powers in purely naturalistic terms. Markus Barth
wrote, “We conclude that by principalities and powers Paul means the
world of axioms and principles of politics and religion, of economics
and society, of morals and biology, of history and culture.” But this
contradicts what Paul says about our battle not being against flesh and
blood. (Ephesians 6)
(pale from pállo = shake, vibrate; related word palaio
= wrestle) is used only here in the Bible (not in the LXX). Pale is the
literal word for wrestling. As such it pictured hand–to–hand combat
between wrestling athletes, this combat in the ancient world being
characterized by trickery, cunning and deception.
describes the contest between two individuals in which each endeavors to
throw the other and which ultimately is decided when the victor is able
to press down his prostrate antagonist with his hand upon his neck! When
we consider that often the loser in a Greek wrestling contest had his
eyes gouged out with resulting blindness for the rest of his days, we
have a taste of how the Ephesian saints who read Paul's letter would
have received this illustration. The believer's wrestling against the
powers of darkness is no less desperate and fateful.
Pale was also used
to describe hand–to–hand combat of soldiers, such combat requiring
both deftness and speed.
Pale describes the struggle between individual combatants which
distinguishes it from strateia (4752)
which refers more to the entire military expedition or campaign, to
military service or to warfare
Pale pictures one
engaged in an intense struggle involving physical or nonphysical force
against strong opposition. Paul uses pale in the figurative sense to
picture the believer's struggle and conflict against evil angelic forces
arranged in a military like hierarchy described below.
One might be troubled at the change
of figure from that of a Roman soldier to that of a Greek wrestler,
arguing that a soldier does not engage in a wrestling contest clad in
full armor. But the difficulty disappears when one sees that the figure
of a wrestling match speaks of a contest at close quarters, and an
individual contest, between the Christian and his demon enemies.
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans)
(pros) is marker of direction, of movement toward or of closeness
of relation or proximity which in this context clearly pictures an
unfriendly, hostile relation (against, toward). Pros (against) is
repeated before each of the designations -- rulers, powers, world
forces, spiritual forces.
In Ephesians 2
Paul explains to his readers that when they were non-believers they were
under the power of these evil forces writing...
you were dead in your trespasses and
sins, in 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. (See notes
(sarx) is used 147 times in the NT. Note that a simple definition
of sarx is somewhat difficult because sarx has many
nuances (some Greek lexicons list up to 11 definitions for sarx!).
The diligent disciple must carefully observe the
of in order to discern which nuance is intended. The range of meaning
extends from the substance flesh (both human and animal), to the human
body, to the entire person, and to all humankind. Refer to the table
below for the 4 basic definitions of sarx in Strong's Lexicon. In the
present context Paul is referring to the human body composed of "flesh
and blood" and standing for men in general.
(129) (haima) refers to blood as the
basis of life or what constitutes the life of an individual. (Lev
17:11). Blood is the basic component of a living organism. Here the
phrase "flesh and blood" indicates our struggle is not against men but
against invisible spiritual beings.
BUT AGAINST THE RULERS AGAINST THE POWERS AGAINST THE WORLD FORCES OF THIS
DARKNESS: alla pros tas archas pros tas exousias pros tous kosmokratoras
tou skotous toutou: (Eph 1:21; 3:10; Ro 8:38; Col 2:15;
1Pe 3:22) (Ep 2:2; Job 2:2; Lk 22:53; Jn 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; Acts
26:18; 2Cor 4:4; Colossians 1:13)
- Paul pulls back the curtain of the invisible slightly to give us a
brief glimpse of the tremendous spiritual forces arrayed against the
children of God. His point is that although interpersonal relationships often appear to be our major
battleground (we say things like "I could live this Christian life if it
weren't for the people I have to deal with!"), Paul explains that the
real battle is against a hierarchy of evil invisible supernatural beings
who are organized and determined to disrupt, discourage, disillusion,
discomfort, disarm, disrupt, dissatisfy, dissuade, distract, disappoint,
disgruntle, disequilibrate, disenthrall, dishearten, dishevel, distress,
disqualify, disquiet, dispossess, disturb, disunite, destroy, deceive,
etc, etc, all the while seeking to cause believers to doubt the Word of
God and the faithfulness and goodness of God. So often we hear the
phrase "the battle between good and evil" but this passage makes it
abundantly clear that evil is not some imaginary, inanimate force but
instead is an active, organized evil perpetrated by an invisible, albeit
not invincible, foe. Too many Christians have failed to realize that
they are engaged in this titanic spiritual struggle of the ages, and
that they were "drafted" into God's army the moment they were saved by
grace through faith. To be ignorant of our calling and the magnitude of
this great struggle is a dangerous ignorance.
three enemies -- the world (controlled by Satan), the flesh (fallen in
Adam, influenced by Satan and the world he controls) and the Devil. In
Ephesians 6:10-18, Paul's focus is upon the spiritual adversary, but one
needs to remember that these three "divisions" are somewhat arbitrary,
because the effects of the world and the flesh cannot be
separated from the devil and his minions who work through these other
"enemies". One word of encouragement - you are in a spiritual war
and just as occurs in real warfare, you will experience some victories
and some defeats in individual battles. That is part of growing in grace
and the knowledge of Christ Jesus, maturing in your Christian walk,
progressively being set aside more and more (being sanctified, being
conformed gradually more and more into the image of God's Son). But as
long as we are in these mortal bodies, we are not yet perfect and sin
will still bring passing pleasure (emphasize "passing"!) and will still
hold out a lure for us to snatch in a moment of weakness (or perhaps a
moment of self-sufficiency, self-assurance, or self-confidence rather
than in reliance on Christ). And so inevitably we will lose some of the
battles. That is a reality, whether your name is Billy Graham or Charles
Haddon Spurgeon. But when you lose a particular battle and you lie on
the ground, bloody and bruised (spiritually speaking), don't let the
enemy (the accuser and slanderer) tell you that you are a "loser"
and you will never have victory. He is a liar for he knows that he is a
defeated enemy (Col 2:15-note
where Christ disarmed the enemy powers). His continual ploy will be to
try to keep you from standing in the shadow of the Cross, which is the
of God. And so dear saint, beloved of God, heir of eternal riches with
Christ, possessor of the Spirit of Truth, arise! Shine! Stand! Check
your armor! Allow the Comforter to soothe and heal your wounds and renew
your mind, reenergizing you for battle, as you eat the bread of life,
the Word of Truth. Then walk out, walk worthy of your calling as a
fellow soldier, walk in love, walk in light, walk filled with God's
Spirit, walk in the power of God, Who gives us the victory through our
Lord Jesus Christ. (1Cor 15:57). Take your position on the battlefield
and stand firm! And don't be surprised because the next attack may come
sooner than you think. And let's assume that this time you stand firm
and win this battle (e.g., enabled by the Spirit you choose to abstain
from those fiery missiles of fleshly lusts which wage war against your
soul -- see 1Pe 2:11-note).
Be quick to praise God and give Him the glory for that victory. Take
heed, be careful, for if you think you have just stood and won in your
own strength, you will fall (1Cor 10:12).
In Genesis just after Satan
had deceived Eve and sin had entered the world, God predicted a
spiritual war between the offspring of the Messiah and of Satan, but in
the same verse God also promised that the Messiah would triumph over
And I (God the Father) will put
enmity (hostility, hatred) between you (Satan the Adversary) and the
woman (Eve), and between your seed (Satan's children, cf
Jn 8:44 "You are of your father the devil", 1John 3:10 "the
children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who
does not practice righteousness is not of God") and her
seed (the Messiah and the spiritual children of God through faith in the Messiah); He
(Messiah) shall bruise you on the head (the more deadly blow), and you
shall bruise him on the heel (crucifixion actually did cause bruising of
the heel as the victim pushed up with the legs in an attempt to aid
breathing). (Genesis 3:15)
In Acts 19
we encountered a preview of "coming attractions" Luke recording the
spiritual warfare in Ephesus in considerable detail...
(Demon possession - God prevails)
11 And God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul,
12 so that handkerchiefs or aprons were even carried from his body to
the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil (poneros =
actively harmful or hurtful) spirits went out. 13 But also some
of the Jewish exorcists, who went from place to place, attempted to name
over those who had the evil (poneros = actively harmful or
hurtful) spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, "I
adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches." 14 And seven sons of one Sceva,
a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15 And the evil (poneros
= actively harmful or hurtful) spirit answered and said to
them, "I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?" 16
And the man, in whom was the evil (poneros = actively harmful or
hurtful) spirit, leaped on them and subdued all of them and
overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
(Jesus' Name and Word of God
magnified and grew) 17 And this became known to all, both Jews and
Greeks, who lived in Ephesus; and fear fell upon them all and the name
of the Lord Jesus was being magnified. 18 Many also of those who had
believed kept coming, confessing and disclosing their practices. 19 And
many of those who practiced magic brought their books together
and began burning them in the sight of all; and they counted up the
price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the
word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing.
(Ephesus was a center of idol
worship of the "goddess" Artemis and this led to conflict between
darkness and light) 23 And about that time there arose no small
disturbance (stir, commotion) concerning the Way (name for believers
in Acts). 24 For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made
silver shrines of Artemis, was bringing no little business
to the craftsmen; 25 these he gathered together with the workmen of
similar trades, and said, "Men, you know that our prosperity depends
upon this business. 26 "And you see and hear that not only in Ephesus,
but in almost all of Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away a
considerable number of people, saying that gods made with
hands are no gods at all. 27 "And not only is there danger that this
trade of ours fall into disrepute, but also that the temple of the great
goddess Artemis be regarded as worthless (literally = nothing,
absolutely nothing) and that she whom all of Asia and the world worship
should even be dethroned from her magnificence." 28 And when they heard
this and were filled with rage, they began crying out, saying, "Great is
Artemis of the Ephesians!"
Idolatry and Immorality - the relationship
and the antidote
Gentiles were without God in the world and so they created gods of their
own making but the Jews had no excuse for they had been clearly warned
by Moses concerning the spiritual danger of idolatry...
They (In verse 15 they =
Jeshurun = an affectionate name for Israel = "upright people"!) made Him
jealous with strange gods; with abominations (LXX
= idols - foul, loathsome things) they provoked Him to anger. They
sacrificed to demons (daimonion - those angels who fell with
Satan and constitute the evil force that fights against God and His holy
angels) who were not God, to gods whom they have not known, new
gods who came lately, whom your fathers did not dread. (Deut 32:16-17)
Comment: Moses wrote that the so called "gods" Israel worshiped
were not divine but they were real! And that reality was demonic!
He explained that idol worship is a form of demon worship because of the
fact that evil angelic spirits impersonate the idol and work their
wicked strategies through the system of false beliefs that are
associated with the idol. The psalmist in fact records that Israel,
God's chosen people followed idolatrous pagan practices to such an
extent that they even sacrificed “their sons and their daughters to
the demons” Ps 106:37-note!
In a parallel
passage in the NT Paul elaborated on the inherent danger of
idol worship writing to saints in Corinth a city well known for
rampant idol worship, a practice out of which many in the church had
been delivered by grace through faith...
(Paul asks) What do I mean then? That
a thing sacrificed to idols is anything, or that an idol
is anything? 20 No, but I say that the things which the Gentiles
sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, and not to God; and I do not
want you to become sharers in demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the
Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord
and the table of demons. (1Cor 10:19, 20, 21)
MacArthur explains that "Demons are the spiritual force behind all
idolatry. Those who sacrifice to idols sacrifice to demons. When
worshipers believe an idol represents an actual god, Satan sends one of
his demon emissaries to act out the part of that imaginary god. There is
never a god behind an idol, but there is always a spiritual force; and
that force is always evil, always demonic. Demons can exhibit
considerable power. Many cultic and pagan religious claims are faked and
exaggerated; but many are true. They are evil but true. Much that goes
under the name of astrology, for instance, is simply exploitation of the
gullible. But many predictions come true through the work of demonic
forces. Demons are not unlimited in power, but they have power to
perform enough wonders and to make enough predictions come true to keep
superstitious worshipers deceived and loyal -
1Corinthians. Chicago: Moody Press)
In chapter one
of Ephesians Paul had explained that the Father...
raised Him (Christ) from the dead,
and seated Him at His right hand
in the heavenly places, 21 far above
all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that
is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come. 22 And He
put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over
all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fulness of Him who
fills all in all. (See notes
(Paul also explained that as
believers in Christ) the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ...
has blessed us with every spiritual blessing
in the heavenly places
in Christ, (See note
In Ephesians 2
Paul described the believer's former position in Adam (before
they believed) and their new position in Christ explaining...
(Our old position - subjects of Satan) And you were dead in your
trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the
course of this world, according to the prince (archon -
one who was first in rank and power = Satan) of the power (exousia
= speaks of the right and the might) of the air (the celestial
air surrounding the earth - this would equate with the "first heaven" in
a 3 heaven scheme - see
the three heavens), of the spirit (in context an
actively evil spirit) that is now working (literally energizing) in the
sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the
lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind,
and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. (See notes
(Our new position - in Christ) But God, being rich in mercy,
because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were
dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace
you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with
Him in the heavenly
places, in Christ Jesus.
In Ephesians 3
Paul explained that one of the purposes of the church was...
in order that the manifold wisdom of
God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the
authorities (or powers = same word exousia as in Eph 6:12) in the
heavenly places. (Eph
In Romans 8 Paul again alludes to
angelic beings writing...
For I am convinced that neither
death, nor life, nor angels (probably good angels who would not
seek to separate us in contrast to the next group of evil angels who
could not separate us from Christ's love), nor principalities,
(arche = first in rank and referring to fallen angels or demonic spirits
with supernatural power) nor things present, nor
things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created
thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in
Christ Jesus our Lord. (Ro 8:38, 39-notes)
Comment: Our position in
Christ is safe and secure even from our supernatural enemies, the evil
spirits. As emphasized in these notes, the spiritual war is a battle not
so much over power but over truth and the battlefield is our mind.
Truths such as this renew our mind and strengthen us for the warfare.
In the book of
Daniel God pulls back the curtain ever so slightly to let us see into
the spiritual war going on in the heavenlies. Daniel records his
encounter with an angelic messenger...
Then behold, a
hand touched me (Daniel) and set me trembling on my hands and knees. 11
And he said to me, "O Daniel, man of high esteem, understand the words
that I am about to tell you and stand upright, for I have now been sent
to you." And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling.
12 Then he said to me, "Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day
that you set your heart on understanding this (a "message...true and
one of great conflict" Da 10:1) and on humbling yourself before your
God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words.
13 "But the prince (LXX
= strategos --
-- from stratos = an army + ago = lead = military leader
or officer and also the name given to Roman officers as consuls and also
the leaders of cities) of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for
twenty-one days (Da 10:2 "In those days I, Daniel, had been mourning
for three entire weeks."); then behold, Michael, one of the chief
= two words, chief = protos = first in rank or order , princes
= archon = ruler as of a nation, commander, one who has eminence in a
ruling capacity) came to
help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia.
14 "Now I have come to give you an understanding of what will happen to
your people in the latter days, for the vision pertains to the days yet
15 And when he had spoken to me according to these words, I turned my
face toward the ground and became speechless.
16 And behold, one who resembled a human being was touching my lips;
then I opened my mouth and spoke, and said to him who was standing
before me, "O my lord, as a result of the vision anguish has come upon
me, and I have retained no strength.
17 "For how can such a servant of my lord talk with such as my lord? As
for me, there remains just now no strength in me, nor has any breath
been left in me."
18 Then this one with human appearance touched me again and
= enischuo = to make strong, to strengthen one in soul as in Lk 22:43 "Now
an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him"
speaking of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane when the spiritual battle
against Him must have been the most intense)
20 Then he said, "Do you understand
why I came to you? But I shall now return to fight against the prince of
Persia; so I am going forth, and behold, the prince (LXX
= archon = ruler, commander, chief, the one exercising authority
or who has eminence in a ruling capacity) of Greece is about to come. 21
"However, 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 (LXX
= archon). (Daniel 10:10-18, 20-21)
In Revelation 20 John records
that Satan will be bound for 1000 years (see studies on
so that he should not deceive the
nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these
things he must be released for a short time. (Re 20:3-note)
Who is Satan allowed to deceive? "The nations" [which could refer to
Gentiles but could also refer to actual nations composed of
Gentiles] and in Daniel's time it appears that he worked through our
evil angels such as the prince of Persia.
In the gospel of John Jesus
prophesied of His triumph over the powers of darkness declaring...
"Now judgment is upon this world; now
the ruler of this world (Satan) shall be cast out. "And I, if I
be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself." (John
Comment: Jesus is predicting His death on the
Cross which brought condemnation to the world who rejected Him and which
brought defeat on Satan, which will be consummated in the future when he
is cast into the Lake of fire to be tormented forever. Even though for a
season he will be permitted to go to and fro on the earth [Job 1:7, 2:2,
Satan is a defeated enemy.
(Jesus addressing His disciples
declared) "I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler (archon = first
in rank and power) of the world (Satan) is coming, and he has
nothing in Me (Satan possessed nothing in Christ and had no power over
Him) but that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the
Father gave Me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go from here. (John
Comment: Satan had come to
Jesus at the beginning of His earthly ministry and claimed He was ruler
of the world, a claim our Lord did not deny then or in this passage.
(Jesus again affirmed that) "the ruler
of this world has been judged (perfect
tense = has been
judged and stands as still judged) ." (John 16:11)
Comment: Jesus was referring
to His judgment of Satan that would be finalized by Christ's death on
the cross. Satan is the prince of this world, but he is a defeated
prince. Satan has been judged and the verdict announced. All that
remains is the executing of the sentence, and that will occur when Jesus
In Colossians 2 Paul describes
Jesus' victory over the powers of darkness writing to the saints that...
when you were dead in your
transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He (God the Father)
made you alive together with Him (Christ), having forgiven us all our
transgressions, 14 having canceled out (wiped away, blotted out
our bond of debt wrought by the wages of sin, Christ completely
cancelled our "IOU" to God) the certificate of debt consisting of
decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out
of the way, having nailed it to the cross (When a criminal was
crucified, the charges against him were specified and nailed to his
cross). 15 When He had disarmed the rulers
and authorities (exousia),
He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them
(Paul pictures Christ's triumph over Satan and his evil spiritual
forces, using a word that described a victorious Roman general returning
to Rome in a long procession preceded by city magistrates and
trumpeters, then the enemy spoils taken, then the captives headed by the
king of the conquered country, then officials of the victorious army and
at last the victorious general himself) through
Him. (Col 2:13, 14,1 5-See notes
Comment: Disarmed is in the
which pictures Jesus initiating and participating in the disarming,
stripping off and divesting the rulers of their authority and power.
Satan and the demons no longer have authority over the believer who is
walking in the light. Paul's description would have been familiar to his
readers as "disarm" was used of a triumphant Roman general who
stripped his foes and led them as captives behind his chariot in his
In a parallel passage, Peter
And corresponding to that (Noah and 7
others brought safely through the deadly worldwide flood), baptism now
saves you-- not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God
for a good conscience-- through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who
is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and
authorities and powers had been subjected to Him. (1Pe 1:21, 22-See notes
Comment: Peter is not teaching as some twist the Scriptures
that immersion in water by a particular denomination saves you. Peter
pictures the waters of baptism as corresponding to and prefigured by the
deliverance of Noah’s family by water. Noah and his family's
identification with the Ark by going into the ark when the flood came is
a type of the believer's identification today, in which he or she
identifies Christ's finished work on the Cross and in so doing in a
manner of speaking that person is now safe within the "Ark", Who is
Christ Jesus Himself. See discussion of Greek word
In the Revelation John
described Satan's future writing that...
there was war in heaven, Michael and
his angels waging war with the dragon. And the dragon and his angels
waged war, 8 and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a
place found for them in heaven. 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. 10 And 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, who accuses them before our God day and night.
This event will transpire in the middle of
Daniel's Seventieth Week
the inception of the last 3.5 year time period which Jesus identified
specifically as the
means first, chief or beginning. Here arche is a metonym
(a figure of speech consisting of the use of the name of one thing for
that of another of which it is an attribute or with which it is
associated) that stands for those having the position of priority and
In context Paul is
saying there is an invisible audience of evil princes or chiefs among
angels (rulers is plural in the Greek so he is not referring only to
Satan). Paul is also teaching that even in the invisible angelic world
there is a stratification of authority.
In John 14 Jesus speaking of Satan declares...
not speak much more with you, for the ruler (archon - first in
rank) of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me (John
Satan the ruler of the world has no power over Him whatsoever.
from exesti = it is permissible or allowed) means
permission, authority, right, liberty, power to act.
Until the end of the age these
demonic forces, already defeated by Christ on the cross, are allowed to
exercise a certain limited exousia (plural in this verse) in temporarily
opposing the purposes of God.
The idea in
exousia can be summed up as the right and the might. In this
verse exousia is a metonym that stands for those invested
with the "right and the might". As in Ep 1L21 (note)
the context of the book indicates that those invested with the right and
the might are the hosts of heaven, the angelic forces of God, including
the good angels and the host of fallen angels ruled by Satan and inextricably
arrayed against God and His eternal purpose.
The following two passages from
Colossians and Acts show that Satan and his demons have the
or the right and the might to rule over the kingdom of darkness (note
contrasting kingdoms of darkness and light in both these passages).
In Colossians Paul describes the before/after picture of a
believer writing that God the Father...
has qualified us to share in the
inheritance of the saints in light (believers live in the kingdom
of light with Christ as their kind King) for He delivered (rhuomai
= past completed action) us from the domain (exousia)
of darkness (unbelievers live in the kingdom of darkness where
Satan is their malevolent master), and transferred us to the kingdom of
His beloved Son, in Whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
(Col 1:16,17-See notes
in His instruction to Paul to preach the gospel to the
to open their eyes so that they may
turn from darkness (skotos
= the essence of darkness) to light and from the dominion
of Satan to God, in order that they may receive forgiveness of sins and
an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.'
applies this truth about the evil forces having the right and the might
in the kingdom of darkness writing...
I don’t know about you, but to choose not to obey truth, to choose not
to surrender to Jesus Christ automatically puts me into a realm that I
am not supposed to be in (the kingdom of darkness). Immediately I become
one who suffers the consequences of the evil one who has the
authority, the right and the might in the sphere of darkness. That
scares me. I think of all the dumb choices I have
in my life. Only in the realm of darkness do they have that authority.
denotes the executive power whereas arche represents authority
granting the power.
exousia is the one who has the power to delegate authority, and the word
exousia, is the one who carries it out and executes that authority
or power. Arche is the authority granting the power, and exousia is the
one who executes the power which pictures a divine order or an invisible
explains that exousía evolved
"from the meaning of "leave or
permission" or "liberty of doing as one pleases" and passed to that of
"the ability or strength with which one is endued," then to that of the
"power of authority," the right to exercise power or "the power of rule
or government," the power of one whose will and commands must be obeyed
by others." (Vine,
W E: Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament
Words. 1996. Nelson)
Vincent adds that
"Authority or right is the dominant
meaning in the New Testament." (Word studies in the New Testament. Vol.
1, Page 3-171)
World forces of this darkness - These are "the world-rulers
of the darkness". Where do they reign? Over the realm of darkness, not
over light, so they do not rule over believers, who are light in the
Lord, unless the believer chooses to sin and walk in the darkness. Then
he is in the kingdom of the world rulers whose realm is the darkness.
Next time when you are making provision to sin, think for a moment about
the kingdom you preparing to enter! Do you really want to walk into the
realm of darkness?
from kósmos = world, the world system opposed to God + krateo = to hold) describes one
holding power over the world and thus means ruler of the world system,
that is actively opposed to everything that God stands for. In the plural as used in this verse it
speaks of Satan and his demonic forces composed of fallen angels who
control the present evil world system.
was used by the Greeks to describe their so-called gods who rule the
world (Helios, Zeus, Hermes) and also to refer to “cosmic”
spiritual beings (planets). The Emperor Caracalla received this title in
an Egyptian inscription.
The title kosmokrator (power,
potentate) occurs frequently in classical and rabbinical literature. It
denotes one who aspires to world control. It was attached to savior gods
in the ethnic religions and identified with the sun. (Gaebelein,
F, Editor: Expositor's Bible Commentary 6-Volume New Testament.
that kosmokrator is a
This rare and late word is used for
the gods, and in astrology for the planets, as heavenly rulers. In Eph
6:12 it is one of the terms used to describe the evil forces with which
believers have to contend. It denotes the force and comprehensiveness of
their designs. (Kittel,
G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. Theological Dictionary of the New
(skotos from skia = shadow thrown by
an object. Skia it can assume the meaning of skotos and
indicate the sphere of darkness) is literally that sphere in which light
is absent. Note that skotos
is the essence of darkness, darkness itself and as applied to sin is the
essence of sin. On the other hand the closely related word skotia
speaks more of the consequence of darkness, and so the consequences of
sin is the darkness that man has to live in, that darkness entering into
Adam in the Garden of Eden.
The dark is the
habitation of the enemies of Christ in this world and in the world to
come the final goal of those who will not accept Him as Savior and Lord.
Consistent and rebellious sinners are those for whom the mist of
darkness is reserved (2 Peter 2:9). Darkness is a tragic picture of a
life which is separated from God, now and forever, unless the Gospel
opens their eyes.
Darkness is metaphorically
to describe the spiritual powers of Satan and his evil empire...
"While I was with you daily in the
temple, you did not lay hands on Me; but this hour and the power of
darkness are yours." (Luke 22:53)
soldiers, marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus going on before!
Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
Forward into battle see His banner go! —Baring-Gould
Christ's soldiers fight best on their knees.
AGAINST THE SPIRITUAL
OF WICKEDNESS IN THE HEAVENLY PLACES: pros ta pneumatika tes ponerias en
(pneumatikos from pneuma = spirit) refers to that which
belongs to the supernatural world as distinguished from what belongs to
the natural world. In a word, our struggle is against "invisible" forces
whose evil disposition leads them only to intentionally practiced ill
will. The phrase spiritual forces of wickedness was used in
Paul’s day by astrologers who believed there were angels or gods behind
the heavenly bodies (cf. see notes
that affected human life (horoscope). This all began with Babylonian
astrology and is alive and well in our modern world with its affinity
for horoscopes, etc.
from poneros from pónos = labor, sorrow, pain and and
poneo = to be involved in work, labor) refers to depravity, to an evil
disposition, to badness or to an evil nature. Poneria is used in
the NT only in the moral and ethical sense and refers to intentionally
practiced ill will. Poneria describes the state of lacking moral
or social values (baseness, sinfulness, maliciousness, malevolence).
Poneria is active malice. Poneria is malevolence, not only
doing evil, but being evil. Webster defines malevolence as the condition
which arises from intense often vicious ill will, spite, or hatred.
another Greek word for evil which speaks more of the vicious disposition
of one's mind (one's ill will or hatefulness, a mean-spirited or vicious
attitude or disposition) whereas poneria pictures the active
exercise of this evil.
used seven times in the New Testament (twice in the plural, Mark 7:22;
Acts 3:26) to signify all kinds of evil. Here are the 7 NT uses of
Matthew 22:18 But Jesus
perceived their malice, and said, "Why are you testing Me, you
Mark 7:22 "deeds of coveting
and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander,
pride and foolishness. (Comment: Here coveting or pleonexia, a desire
for more, is associated with poneria).
Luke 11:39 But the Lord said
to him, "Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the
platter; but inside of you, you are full of robbery and wickedness.
Acts 3:26 "For you first, God
raised up His Servant, and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of
you from your wicked ways."
being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil;
full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips,
1 Corinthians 5:8 Let us
therefore celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven
of malice (kakia) and wickedness (poneria), but with the
unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
(note) 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.
Recall that the
root word poneros means active evil in opposition to good. When Satan is referred to
as the "Evil One", the NT writers chose poneros rather
than kakos, this latter word basically denoting a lack of
something (it is not as it ought to be and thus is bad) but also used to
refer evil in a moral sense.
writes that poneria...
speaks of wickedness, not merely in
the abstract, but active. It has in it, the ideas of “dangerous,
destructive.” Our word “pernicious” excellently describes it.
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans)
(Comment: Pernicious is defined as highly injurious
or destructive and implies irreparable harm done through evil or
insidious corrupting or undermining)
a lengthy note on poneria...
Wickedness poneria. Plural.
Rev., wickednesses. From ponein, to toil. The adjective poneros means,
first, oppressed by toils; then in bad case or plight, from which it
runs into the sense of morally bad. This conception seems to have been
associated by the high-born with the life of the lower, laboring,
slavish class; just as our word knave (like the German knabe from which
it is derived) originally meant simply a boy or a servant-lad. As ponos
means hard, vigorous labor, battle for instance, so the adjective
poneros, in a moral sense, indicates active wickedness. So Jeremy
Taylor: “Aptness to do shrewd turns, to delight in mischiefs and
tragedies; a loving to trouble one’s neighbor and do him ill offices.”
Poneros, therefore, is dangerous, destructive. Satan is called ho
poneros, the wicked one. Kakos, evil (see evil thoughts, ver. 21),
characterizes evil rather as defect: “That which is not such as,
according to its nature, destination, and idea it might be or ought to
be” (Cremer). Hence of incapacity in war; of cowardice (kakia). Kakos
dolos, the evil servant, in Matt. 24:48, is a servant wanting in proper
fidelity and diligence. Thus the thoughts are styled evil, as being that
which, in their nature and purpose, they ought not to be. Matthew,
however (15:19), calls these thoughts poneroi, the thoughts in action,
taking shape in purpose. Both adjectives occur in Apoc. 16:2. (Vincent,
M. R. Word Studies in the New Testament)
poneria and poneros (are
translated in NIV and NASB as) "wicked." The concept is a strong one,
focusing on actions that are dangerous because they are destructive to
L O: Expository Dictionary of Bible Words: Regency)
commenting on Mark 7:22 notes that...
There follows evil deeds. In Greek
there are two words for evil—kakos, which describes a thing which
in itself is evil, and poneros, which describes a person or a
thing which is actively evil. Poneria is the word used here. The
man who is poneros is the man in whose heart there is the desire
to harm. He is, as Bengel said, “trained in every crime and
completely equipped to inflict evil on any man.” Jeremy Taylor
defined this poneria as “aptness to do shrewd turns, to
delight in mischiefs and tragedies; loving to trouble our neighbour, and
to do him ill offices; crossness, perverseness and peevishness of action
in our intercourse.” Poneria not only corrupts the man who
has it; it corrupts others too. Poneros—the Evil One—is the title
of Satan. The worst of men, the man who is doing Satan’s work, is the
man who, being bad himself, makes others as bad as himself. (Barclay,
W: The Daily Study Bible Series, Rev. ed. Philadelphia: The Westminster
Barclay adds that...
this word means more than badness.
There is a kind of badness which, in the main, hurts only the person
concerned. It is not essentially an outgoing badness. When it hurts
others, as all badness must, the hurt is not deliberate. It may be
thoughtlessly cruel, but it is not callously cruel. But the Greeks
defined poneria as the desire of doing harm. It is the active,
deliberate will to corrupt and to inflict injury. When the Greeks
described a woman as ponera they meant that she deliberately
seduced the innocent from their innocence. In Greek one of the commonest
titles of Satan is ho poneros, the evil one, the one who
deliberately attacks and aims to destroy the goodness of men. Poneros
describes the man who is not only bad but wants to make everyone as bad
as himself. Poneria is destructive badness. (Ibid)
the following note on poneria...
A. Classical and Hellenistic Greek.
This word has such meanings as “defectiveness,” “sickness,”
“imperfection,” and “lack.” Morally it means “baseness,” “depravity,”
“intentionally practiced evil will.”
B. The OT and Later Judaism. In the LXX the term has such senses as
“uselessness,” “badness,” “ugliness,” “displeasure,” “misfortune,”
“trouble,” and, morally, “evil” (disposition, plan, will, or acts). The
usage of later Judaism is similar; meanings of the equivalent terms
range from “imperfection” to “wickedness.” (Kittel,
G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. Theological Dictionary of the New
(epouranios from epi = upon + ouranos = heaven)
means celestial, what pertains to or is in heaven. A spiritual battle is
going on in this world and in the sphere of “the heavenlies,” and you
and I are a part of this battle. Knowing this makes “being strengthened
standing firm” vital!"
As discussed above (click
here) heavenly place in
regard to the demonic forces corresponds to the "air" in (Eph
Wuest writes that in this context
the heavenly places here are not those highest ones
inhabited by the holy angels, but the lower heavens, the lower
this earth. (Wuest,
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans)
><> ><> ><>
Midnight Encouragement -
Ephesians 6:10-12 - The Midianites and
their allies had invaded Israel. It was the time of the judges, and
Gideon could muster only 32,000 men against an army "as numerous as
locusts" (Judges 7:12-notes). Then God cut the army down to 300 (Judges
7:2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7-notes).
Gideon was afraid, so God sent him into the enemy camp at night.
Crouching behind cover, the Israelite captain heard one soldier tell
another about a dream (vv.13-14). A loaf of barley bread had tumbled
into the Midianite camp, destroying one of its tents. His friend saw it
as a sure sign that Gideon would win the battle.
Gideon was greatly encouraged. After worshiping God, he returned to the
camp, organized his 300 men with their trumpets and lamps, and routed
the superior Midianite forces (Judges 7:15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22-notes).
As Christ's followers we're not battling armies, but we are at war.
Spiritual foes attack us (Ephesians 6:10-12). They undermine our
confidence and sap our strength. We're also battling ourselves—our
weaknesses, fears, doubts (Romans 7:15-25). After a while, we can get
But our God is the great Encourager. When our resolve weakens or vision
fades, by His power He will give us the strength we need (Ephesians
3:16-note)—even when the enemy seems more numerous than a swarm of
locusts.—David C. Egner (Our
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
As we meet fierce
foes on the pathway of life,
Whether Satan or self or sin,
Let us look to the Lord for encouragement;
If we do, the battle we'll win! —Fitzhugh
To trust is to triumph, for the battle is the Lord's.
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No Place For
The Devil -
A teacher in a Bible school gave his students an hour-long exam. They
were to spend half their time writing about the Holy Spirit and the
other half about the devil.
One student wrote steadily for the whole hour on the first subject, the
Holy Spirit, and then wrote at the bottom of his manuscript, "I had no
time for the devil."
That wasn't the way to get a good grade on an exam, but his comment does
point us to the only way we can resist and overcome Satan. If we fill
ourselves with God's Word, pray, and submit to the Holy Spirit, we will
not "give place to the devil" (Eph. 4:27-notes).
The word place in that verse is significant. The devil cannot gain a
foothold in an area of our life that the Holy Spirit controls. When we
are saved, we receive the Holy Spirit, yet it is possible for a true
believer to "give place" to Satan. The only remedy is to be "filled with
the Spirit" (5:18), which means to be completely surrendered to the will
Before you launch out into the world today, have you stopped to read the
Scripture suggested at the beginning of this article? Have you prayed?
Are you filled? If so, go forth to conquer with the shield of faith and
quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one (Ep 6:16-notes).
--M. R. De Haan, M.D. (Ibid)
o'er Satan and sin's dark shame,
Look only to Jesus, there's power in His name;
The devil can't harm you nor cause you to sin,
When you trust the Savior, the victory you'll win. --Anon.
The Christian who wields the Sword of the Spirit yields no ground to
><> ><> ><>
Ephesians 6:11-17 - The army of
Alexander the Great was advancing on Persia. At one critical point, it
appeared that his troops might be defeated. The soldiers had taken so
much plunder from their previous campaigns that they had become weighted
down and were losing their effectiveness in combat.
Alexander commanded that all the spoils be thrown into a heap and
burned. The men complained bitterly but soon saw the wisdom of the
order. Someone wrote, "It was as if wings had been given to them—they
walked lightly again." Victory was assured.
As soldiers of Christ, we must rid ourselves of anything that hinders us
in the conflict with our spiritual enemy. To fight the battle
effectively, we must be clad only with the armor of God (Ephesians
The Bible also likens Christians to runners. To win the race, we must
"lay aside every weight" that would drag us down and rob us of our
strength and endurance (Hebrews 12:1-notes). This weight may be an excessive
desire for possessions, the captivating love of money, an endless
pursuit of pleasure, slavery to sinful passions, or a burdensome
Yes, if we are to fight the good fight of faith and run the spiritual
race with endurance, the watchword must be: Off with the weight!—Richard
De Haan (Ibid)
Fight the good
fight with all thy might!
Christ is thy strength and Christ thy right;
Lay hold on life and it shall be
Thy joy and crown eternally. —Monsell
If your Christian life is a drag, worldly weights may be holding you
><> ><> ><>
Impact - John Wesley was
convinced that the prayers of God's people rather than his preaching
accounted for the thousands who came to Christ through his ministry.
That's why he said, "God will do nothing except in answer to prayer." An
overstatement? Yes. But the fact is that our praying is a powerful
weapon in the war between God and Satan.
In today's Scripture reading, Daniel was so disturbed by a revelation
about Israel's future that he could do nothing except fast and pray.
Three weeks later a heavenly messenger appeared, saying that God had
sent him when Daniel prayed, but that the prince of Persia had detained
him (Da 10:13). This "prince" was an evil spirit who sought to influence
the rulers of Persia to oppose God's plan. He had detained God's
messenger, until the archangel Michael came to his aid.
A cosmic conflict between good and evil is continually being fought in
the invisible spirit world. Paul reminded us that it involves
Christians. He listed the spiritual armor and weaponry we need for these
battles (Ephesians 6:13-17), and then he added "praying always" (Ep
Our prayers can have a significant impact on the outcome of those
spiritual battles. May we, therefore, faithfully pray as we fight the
good fight (1Ti 1:18). —Herbert Vander Lugt (Ibid)
when we pray,
Powers of evil lose their sway,
We gain strength and fear gives way—
Therefore, let us pray. —Anon.
Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees.
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The Valley of the Shadow of Death
by William Cowper
My soul is sad, and much dismay’d;
See, Lord, what legions of my foes,
With fierce Apollyon at their head,
My heavenly pilgrimage oppose!
See, from the ever-burning lake,
How like a smoky cloud they rise!
With horrid blasts my soul they shake,
With storms of blasphemies and lies.
Their fiery arrows reach the mark,
My throbbing heart with anguish tear;
Each lights upon a kindled spark,
And finds abundant fuel there.
I hate the thought that wrongs the Lord;
Oh! I would drive it from my breast,
With Thy own sharp two-edged sword,
Far as the east is from the west.
Come, then, and chase the cruel host,
Heal the deep wounds I have received!
Nor let the power of darkness boast,
That I am foil’d, and Thou are grieved!