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Grace Bible Church
Tree of Life
A Weekly Review
Week ending 072813

As a Christian soldier, who we really wrestle against. Part 2.

 

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.

 

It’s interesting but the schemes of the devil is Satan attacking both the grace of God and the judicial decisions of God.

 

The noun pale which means warfare or wrestling, not struggling as we know it but warfare. And the definite article identifies this as the warfare or the spiritual warfare and the good fight of faith which we are called to fight and to endure.

 

1TI 1:18, This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may fight the good fight,

 

2TI 4:7, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith;

 

The definite article also distinguishes this spiritual warfare from all other types of

combat. This word pale also means to be stuck together which is decided when the victor is able to hold his opponent down with his hand upon his neck and it is sticky because it is gluey. This doesn’t mean that we have physical contact with the devil and his demons, it is simply showing the closeness of the battle.

 

The demon Table of Organization and Equipment is made up of four different categories. We must understand these categories because it has a great deal to do with the Christian way of life. It has a great deal to do with what we can do and what we cannot do as believers. God has given us fantastic power for offensive action. God has also provided fantastic equipment for defensive action. However, we are going to see the fantastic power and authority that Satan has and the vital reason why we are given a greater power from God, 1JO 4:4.

 

So the military has a phrase which is called the TOE which means a Table of Organization and Equipment. And God the Holy Spirit has seen fit to give us a list of Satan’s TOE, Satan’s military table of organization and equipment. There are four categories listed next.

 

Now, remember some of your warfare will be with human beings but even so, if you use the problem solving devices and the virtue that comes from divine righteousness, you can turn the curse into a blessing.

EPH 6:12, Because our struggle is not against blood [people’s souls] and flesh [their old sin nature], but against the rulers,

 

The word against is pros, meaning that the enemy which we are face to face with is about to be defined. And each category of the demon table of organization is introduced with this preposition pros plus the definite articletas to tell us what we are really against. Each one of these prepositional phrases implies the idea of disadvantage, opposition, and a hostile relationship. Therefore in this Greek idiom, pros is translated against.

 

We will note that our spiritual warfare is against:

 

The rulers = the highest ranking demons in Satan's organization, such as Abaddon or Apollyon and Beelzubul or Beelzebub. This group alone should motivate you to learn about the armor of God and use it. They have tremendous power and we need the armor of God to handle their power and deception.

 

The powers = refers to demon officers who have phenomenal authority. They are extremely well-trained and under one of the greatest systems of leadership and organizations that has ever existed among creatures. This is why 1CO 14:40 says, “But let all things be done properly and in an orderly manner.” Because Satan is so well organized it is extremely important that we are as well or he will take advantage of our sloppiness and disorganization.

 

The world forces of this darkness = the world rulers which refers to Satan’s demon ambassadors who control many of the rulers of this world. These world rulers are invisible and they carry out Satan's objectives and they influence human beings in positions of rulership.

 

Whatever our warfare or combat is, there is something that it is not, it is against flesh and blood. One of the easiest ways for a believer to fail in spiritual warfare is to get their eyes on flesh and blood or people. This means that they blame people for their problems. They become bitter and angry with people. They become vindictive and revengeful. They don’t want reconciliation or restoration which is the desire of God. The point is that Satan and his kingdom of darkness loves to destroy the believer’s focus. Satan loves you to get your eyes on people,

JER 17:5-12, 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.” 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. For he will be like a bush in the desert And will not see when prosperity comes, But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness, A land of salt without inhabitant. Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord And whose trust is the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, That extends its roots by a stream And will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought Nor cease to yield fruit. The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds. As a partridge that hatches eggs which it has not laid, {So} is he who makes a fortune, but unjustly; In the midst of his days it will forsake him, And in the end he will be a fool. A glorious throne on high from the beginning Is the place of our sanctuary.

 

So, to get your eyes on people is to cause you to get angry and reactionary toward people when they let you down or when you think they are the ones that you’re battling with. Satan and his kingdom of darkness also causes you to get your eyes on self, 1KI 19:10, 1CO 1:10-11.

 

1CO 1:10-12, Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree, and there be no divisions among you, but you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment. For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you.

 

And when you do this, you are failing in the realm of spiritual warfare.

 

So back in EPH 6:12, Because our struggle is not against flesh and blood,

 

Now the word against is pros plus we have the accusative singular of relationship which expresses and idiom for opposition.

 

We have two nouns coming up. The first one in the Greek is haima which is the word for blood. In fact, it doesn’t say flesh and blood, it says blood and flesh. Everything in the word of God is important. The way that the words are arranged and the way the words are related.

 

So, blood is used first to emphasize people rather than their sin nature. Blood is mentioned first because you cannot function in the soul without the circulation of blood to those frontal lobes. The solution to all of the problems you face is found in the psuche, the Greek word for the soul. And that means the circulation of metabolized doctrine in the soul.

 

So blood comes first. Blood is what circulates through the body. Blood is what provides the oxygen. Blood is what provides the ability to think, so blood circulating is very important.

 

Then flesh is used, sarxz in the Greek for the old sin nature. The point here is that we are not in combat with people and their sin natures. There are times we do get on the offensive against people but never against Satan and his kingdom. So we have blood before flesh because blood represents the concept of reaching the soul.

 

It is the soul that is saved.

 

EPH 6:12, Because our struggle is not against blood [people’s souls] and flesh [their old sin nature],

 

This means that our spiritual combat or spiritual warfare is not against a visible enemy. We’re on the defensive against an invisible enemy. We are in a state of warfare, exposed to invisible enemies, and we are naturally unprepared for this warfare in our own strength. This is why we must be equipped from God’s armor, for no weapon of our own will be able to defend us.

 

The enemy we have to contend with bears an incurable hatred against us, and seeks nothing less than our destruction and overthrow. And that is because the Trinity lives inside of us and Satan hates the Trinity, especially the presence of TLJC. Satan and his kingdom of darkness is mightier than we are; and unless we have help from above, we are no match for him, he is an artful enemy, invisible and near us. What is worse, he has a contact or a strong agent within us, called our old sin nature.

 

All of this introduction should give you some idea as to the necessity of the spiritual armor God has made available, as well as the reason why you should be on the defensive and not the offensive. So we begin with the highest rank in the demon table of organization which is in the accusative plural from the noun arche.

 

Arche is taken from an ancient Greek word called archon and it refers to rulers, leaders, chiefs, those in position of high rank. We know of certain rulers that are actually found in Satan's table of organization. For example, there is Abaddon or Appollyon, who is a demon king who is located in the abyss, REV 9:11. The abyss is a part of Hades and what most people call Hell.

 

Abaddon is mentioned once in the New Testament and six times in the Old Testament. In Rev 9 Abaddon breaks out of this jail with the help of Satan who at that time has been cast out of heaven and can never return there again. Let me show you some of his fantastic power and the type of enemies we have to deal with when it comes to spiritual warfare.

 

REV 9:1-2, And the fifth angel [this is Seraph angel or a six winged angel] sounded [his trumpet], and I saw a star from heaven [Satan] which had fallen to the earth; and the key of the bottomless pit [the abyss]was given to him. And he [Satan] opened the abyss; and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the atmosphere became darkened by the smoke of the pit.

 

Remember that demons who indwelt a man asked our Lord not to send them to this place called the abyss, it is the place of maximum security for criminal angels.

 

LUK 8:27, And when He had come out onto the land, He was met by a certain man from the city who was possessed with demons; and who had not put on any clothing for a long time, and was not living in a house, but in the tombs. And seeing Jesus, he cried out and fell before Him, and said in a loud voice, “What do I have to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me.” For He had been commanding the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had seized him many times; and he was bound with chains and shackles and kept under guard; and {yet} he would burst his fetters and be driven by the demon into the desert. And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion”; for many demons had entered him.

 

These demons knew they had violated certain principles of the Angelic conflict and that they could be tossed into the abyss. Apparently at least 1000 demons indwelt this man, contrary to the rules of the angelic conflict.

 

The abyss which is the fourth compartment of Hades is the jail for certain demons who have been incarcerated there because they disobeyed the rules for the angelic conflict in human history. It is translated the bottomless pit and the abyss in the book of Revelation. The abyss, at the present, is the barracks for the first demon assault army under the command of Abaddon (Hebrew) or Apollyon (Greek). This first demon assault army will invade the earth during the Tribulation period, REV 9:1-12.

 

They are released from their prison to become part of the administration of punishment to cosmic believers and unbelievers. And at that time, the invisible angelic conflict will become visible. These events indicate a tremendous and radical change in God’s plan after the Rapture of the Church occurs. When Satan is cast down to the earth, he is going to be permitted to release his three hard-core demon armies. And they will attack human beings physically.

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