October 26, 2017
Ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggedy beasties are more than things of myth. These entities come from the unseen spiritual world and are very real demons. Many people relegate them to an over-active imagination, but God’s word tells us they’re real. A spiritual battle rages all around us and we’re the victims of satanic hatred. Everyone serves one of two masters: Jesus Christ or Satan. Jesus is God Almighty, but Satan is the god of this world and is evil. The people in this world who follow Satan act on his behalf and make life miserable for Christians. Most of them don’t know that they’re following the prince of this world, but by rejecting Christ they’ve made the choice to follow Satan. They don’t have the moral guidance of Scripture and can only act in a way that pleases Satan. The battle is real, but if you’re fighting people (your spouse, your boss, your parents, etc.) then you’re fighting the wrong enemy. Satan and his minions are the enemy but will be defeated through Jesus Christ who said “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this word be cast out.” John 12:31. Jesus has won the war, but we still face spiritual battle. The battle needs to be fought with spiritual weapons.
The Apostle Paul faced much satanic opposition as he went about his missionary journeys to spread the Gospel. The blessing for us is that he wrote a letter to the Christians in Ephesus in which he told how our spiritual battle is to be fought. “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood , but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:10-13. It’s important to recognize just who the enemy is. Our enemy isn’t flesh and blood, but an unseen foe who attacks from the spiritual realm. Paul names the enemy as “principalities, powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world”. These are ranks of angels, specifically fallen angels who follow Satan. The demonic world is real and that’s where the battle truly lies.
The satanic entities which Paul names are seen throughout Scripture. Daniel chapter 10 tells us that Daniel had prayed for 21 days and then an angel appeared to him. The angel told Daniel that he had been delayed by the “prince of the kingdom of Persia” and that he would have to go fight the prince of Greece. These princes are the entities Paul refers to as “principalities”. The “powers” referred to are evil beings that keep people under bondage to drugs, alcohol, pornography, infirmity, etc. We’re told in Luke13:11 that Jesus saw a woman who had a “spirit of infirmity” and had been doubled over for 18 years. Jesus loosed her from that spirit. In Luke chapter 11 Jesus talks about the eye being the light of the body, but if the eye is evil thy body is full of darkness. The ruler of darkness is evil indeed. Spiritual wickedness in high places is better translated “heavenly places”. In Ephesians 2:2 Paul says that before accepting Christ we walked “according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in children of disobedience”. The enemy is Satan and his minions, not people.
A spiritual battle calls for spiritual weapons, and Paul describes those weapons in Ephesians chapter 6. Weapons used in any war take knowledge and strength in order to use them properly. A Christian who is spiritually weak will find that the battle is difficult, tiring, and may eventually give up. The Christian who is spiritually strong will still have face battles but will have the strength to fight and win. Proper diet is an important part in having a strong, healthy body. The same is true to maintain a strong, healthy spirit ready for battle. Our spirit feeds on the word of God. When Satan tried to win against Jesus in the wilderness he challenged Jesus to turn the rocks into bread. Jesus had been fasting and His body needed food, “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4. Jesus quoted Scripture, specifically Deuteronomy 8:3. It’s important for a Christian to study and understand Scripture. A person who suffers from bulimia may put food into their mouth and swallow, but will vomit it out before it nourishes their body. They grow weak and become malnourished. Scripture needs to be taken into our minds and hearts and digested so it will feed and nourish our soul. If you never grow past the “feel good” verses you’ll never be armed for battle. Verses which speak of God’s love for us are wonderful to rest in, but when it comes to spiritual warfare we need to understand how to fight. The Holy Spirit is powerful but very few Christians understand the power we have available through Him. Peter is an example of a man who was dramatically changed by the power of God and was able to speak boldly with no fear once emboldened by the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul was changed from a murderous vigilante doing the biding of Satan into a powerful man of God who spread the Gospel and faced danger boldly because He understood the power of God. That power can be yours.
The Apostle Paul wrote many letters and if we study them we’ll be well armed for spiritual battle. One such letter was written to the congregation in Corinth. Satan had a strong influence in the Corinthian congregation and they were losing their spiritual fight. They were giving in to the darkness of the pagan culture around them. Sin was accepted and they were proud of their open-mindedness in accepting sexual immorality. 1They could no more fight a spiritual battle than a newborn baby can. Paul couldn’t write to them as mature Christians. “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.” 1 Corinthians 3:1-2. Unfortunately that’s where most Christians are today. Sundayschool lessons and morning sermons are milk. Has your pastor preached on Romans chapter 1? How about 2 Timothy chapter 3? Unless he preaches line upon line and precept upon precept I’m sure he hasn’t. Don’t wait for the pastor to feed you meat. Study for yourself. Read, study, digest, and apply Scripture to your life. Be armed for doing battle against the powers of darkness.
Parents, feed your children meat. They won’t get it in Sunday school. “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6. Today most parents turn their children over to public school. That’s a big mistake. Reading, writing, and arithmetic aren’t as important as teaching them to be sexually active, to accept homosexuality, and believe teachers above parents. Children who are only fed spiritual milk will grow to be weak adults who cannot fight in the spiritual battle. When Paul wrote to Timothy he reminded him that he had been taught truth as a child. “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou has known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 3:14-15. Spiritually deficient children will lose every spiritual battle because they are unequipped. So will spiritually deficient adults. Children need to be taught to measure everything by God’s word. If God’s truth is brought into question then the spiritual weapons are weakened.
Another important part in becoming strong is to exercise. Physical exercise builds strong muscles and spiritual exercise builds strong Christians. Memorize Scripture so that when a spiritual attack begins you can have it ready in order to fight the powers of darkness. What do you do if you’re tempted into sin by a co-worker or a friend? Counter the temptation with Scripture. Jesus quoted from Genesis when He said “And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Matthew 19:4-6. Satan wants divorce, fornication, and other immoral acts. By knowing Scripture and exercising your knowledge of it you’ll win spiritual battles. Sin weakens you and makes it easier for the powers of darkness to gain the upper hand in your life. Are you strong enough to resist any temptation that might come your way? “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7. It will take strong resolve on your part to resist temptation, but the more you exercise resistance the stronger you’ll become. God won’t force His will upon you, but if you submit to Him your strength will grow.
The next step is to practice. Good soldiers don’t neglect their weapons and Christian soldiers in a spiritual battle need to practice daily. Don’t just talk the talk, but walk the walk. “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” James 1:22. Having a fish bumper sticker doesn’t make you a strong Christian. Resist road rage when someone cuts you off in traffic and give God glory and you’ll find yourself growing stronger in the Lord. Reach out to fellow Christians when you see they have a need. Witness to the lost people around you. If you practice doing these things they become easier. Satan would prefer that you sit home and watch television rather than reading Scripture and putting Christianity into practice. Speak out boldly for Christ and acknowledge Him in everything. Jesus commended Peter for declaring that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God. “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18. Jesus Christ is the foundation of our faith. Hell will not prevail against Him. He is our strength and our salvation. Onward Christian soldiers! Start marching to war against the “principalities, powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places”. Be prepared to fight a good fight.
Brothers and sisters, are you being fed meat or milk? If milk then you aren’t armed for battle. Our victory comes through Jesus. “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39. Wickedness is growing stronger and this wickedness is caused by principalities, powers, and the rulers of the darkness. If your pastor isn’t teaching the entirety of Scripture you may not understand that increased wickedness is a sign of the end times. Don’t wait for a man who’s paid to tickle your ears to feed you spiritual meat. Arm yourself for battle. Study prophecy and find out how Jesus described the end times. Understand the importance of Israel and keep an eye on the happenings in the Middle East. The end times are upon us and if you know anyone who has not accepted Christ for salvation then today is the day you need to share the Gospel…tomorrow may be too late.
Graduate from drinking milk to eating spiritual meat that will make you strong to fight the spiritual battle.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham’s previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html and at this website