Spiritual Warfare: The Battle Conditions

I. The spiritual warrior must be strong and powerful (Ephesians 6:10).

A. This the “empowerment” from the Lord.

1. The Greek word is endunamoo – increasing in strength.

a. All circumstances are made positive (Philippians 4:13)
b. Saul’s conversion “increased” his strength (Acts 9:22)

2. The “strengthening” is with “all might” (Colossians 1:11)

a. Abraham was “strong in faith” (Romans 4:20)
b. Timothy was “strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:1)
c. Some “out of weakness were made strong” (Hebrews 11:34)

B. This increasing strength is in the “power of his might”

1. The Greek words are kratos and ischus – an unusual play on words.

a. Kratos is often translated “dominion” (Jude 1:15) in the sense of total authority.
b. Ischus is often translated “strength” (Matthew 12:30) in the sense of physical ability.

2. The initial battle qualification for the spiritual warrior might well be translated: “brothers, be increasingly endowed with our Lord’s dominion and ability…so that you can stand against the wiles of the devil.”

II. The spiritual warrior must be able to stand against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:11).

A. The ability to stand is important.

1. The Greek word is dunamai the prime verb from which the word dunamis is derived.  Both have the basic connotation of innate ability – “power within” or “power capability” or “inherent power.”

2. The constant teaching in Scripture is that without God we “can do nothing” (John 15:5; 1 Corinthians 2:14, etc.).

3. The precious promise is: “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us (Ephesians 3:20)…. “I can do (prevail over) all things through Christ…” (Philippians 4:13).

B. The ability to stand is sufficient to resist Satan’s “methods.”

1. The Greek word for “stand” is histemi – to make(take) a stand.

a. The Greek word translated “against” is pros
b. The primary definition for pros is “in front of.”

2. The translation could be: “take(make) a stand in front of….”

3. The Greek word for “wiles” is methodeia – scheming, plotting, deceit, trickery.

a. It is only used 2 times in the New Testament
b. Ephesians 4:14 which speaks of “cunning men” who “lie in wait” to deceive.
c. Ephesians 6:11 describes Satan’s deceit.

C. The phrase, “of the devil,” may help us understand his “wiles.”

1. Those who belong to Satan do not do righteousness (1 John 3:10)

2. Those who listen to “foolish and unlearned questions” can be “snared” and “taken captive” by the devil (2 Timothy 2:23-26)

3. Those who aspire to leadership while still a novice can come under the “condemnation” of the devil (1 Timothy 3:6) and fall into reproach and the “snare of the devil (1 Timothy 3:7).

4. The Lord Jesus was “tempted of the devil” (Luke 4:2-13; 1 John 2:16).

a. He was tempted while hungry – the desires of the flesh.
b. He was tempted to show off – the pride of life
c. He was tempted with power and wealth – the desires of the eyes.
d. He “resisted” the devil with Scripture – 1 Peter 5:8-9.

III. The spiritual battle is not waged against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12).

A. We are “wrestling” as we “stand against” the “wiles of the devil”

1. The Greek word is pale – to vibrate, to writhe

2. The word is only used this one time in the New Testament

a. We are to “resist” (withstand; oppose) – 1 Peter 5:8; James 4:7.
b. We must not “give place” – Ephesians 4:7
c. We must “fight” (contend with adversaries) – 1 Timothy 6:12

B. We are fighting against “principalities.”

1. The word means “Chief Ones.”

2. The word is often translated “beginning.”

3. The word often refers to judges and rulers.

4. The word here refers to angelic “First Ones.”

C. We are fighting against “powers.”

1. The word means “authorities.”

2. The word implies the authority to rule.

3. The word is here refers to spiritual authority.

D. We are fighting against “rulers of the darkness of this world.

1. The term relates directly to satanic rule.

a. “Ruler” – KOSMOKRATOR = world power.
b. “Darkness” – SKOTOS always associated with evil (Acts 26:18; 2 Corinthians 6:14; Ephesians 5:8-10; Colossians 1:13 1 Thessalonians 5:5; 1 Peter 2:9)
c. “World” – AION = age or period (2 Peter 3).

E. We are fighting against “spiritual wickedness in high places.”

1. The term relates directly to angelic activity.

2. The passages in Jude 6, 2 Peter 2:4, and Philippians 2:10 may provide additional insight.

IV. The spiritual battle is waged against angelic creatures, not humans.

A. Note:  Humanity can and does submit itself to angelic manipulation and in some cases to angelic control and even possession.  Since we do not “see” the angelic principalities, powers, and rulers, we often focus on their human puppets and forget that the real battle is a spiritual one against spiritual enemies.

B. Angels are SPIRIT Beings created to serve.

1. They are created by God (Colossians 1:16-17)

2. They are created to be “ministering spirits” (Hebrews 1:14)

3. They are a “higher order” than Man (Hebrews 2:5-9)

a. Sexless -- Matthew 22:30
b. Stronger -- 2 Peter 2:9; 2 Thessalonians 1:7
c. Smarter -- 2 Samuel 14:20

4. They are “terrible” in sight (Hebrews 12:21)

5. They are innumerable -- “billions” (Revelation 5:11)

C. Angels can become visible in Human form.

1. Abraham and Lot -- Genesis 18

2. Hagar -- Genesis 16

3. Jacob -- Genesis 32

4. Nebuchadnezzar -- Daniel 3; Daniel 6

5. Women at Tomb -- Matthew 28

D. Angels have an active role in Humanity.

1. Protection and Provision in Distress.

a. Hagar in desert -- Genesis 16:7. 13
b. Peter in jail -- Acts 12:5-11
c. Paul in shipwreck -- Acts 27:23-25
d. “Little Ones” -- Matthew 18:10

2. Protection and Power in Battle.

a. Elisha and servant -- 2 Kings 6:15-17
b. Hezekiah and Assyrians -- 2 Kings 19:35
c. Death -- Luke 16:22; Psalm 9:13; 23:4
d. End of the Age -- Matthew 13:39-41

3. Carry out God’s orders on Earth.

a. Sodom and Gomorrah -- Genesis 19
b. Egypt and firstborn -- Exodus 12
c. Jerusalem plague -- 2 Samuel 24:16-17
d. Herod of Jerusalem -- Acts 12:22-23

4. The Return of Christ

a. Vengeance on enemies - 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9
b. The Seals, Trumpets, Vials, Woes
c. Demons of the Pit -- Revelation 9
d. The Angel with the Sickle - Revelation 14

V. These activities are the keys to our appropriating God’s Spiritual Power.

A. Conscious, willful, choice to serve God.

B. Joyful, genuine worship of God.

C. Courageous, confident faith.

D. Constant, loving hunger for God’s Word.

E. Perpetual fellowship with God’s people.



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