Spiritual Warfare Bible study – pt 1 – video and notes

Notes for this teaching are below the Video

 

  • Last week we looked at Jesus’ final words IT IS FINISHED!
    • In Greek it is tetelestai meaning completed, perfected, brought to a close.
      • It was an accounting term used to mark a debt paid in full.
      • It was a slave term used to show that a slave was no longer in bondage
      • As an artist term, it was declared as he stood back and announced: “The picture is perfect” as the artist laid down his brush.
  • It was a military term that was shouted as the FULL and FINAL victory over the enemy was accomplished – meaning the war, the battle is over
    • On the battlefield, it was a loud cry to lay your weapons down and go home (REST) because the battle/war was finished… FULL and FINAL victory over the enemy!
    • There was no need to be on guard, keeping your weapons in hand, JUST IN CASE the enemy comes back
  • The victory was FINAL and COMPLETE
  • The question last week was asked, “If we are not to battle, what about Ephesians?”
  • That’s a great question… because if we still believe we are in a battle, then it’s hard to walk in the COMPLETE victory of IT IS FINISHED.
    • We will always either be trying to do battle to get something that in reality is already ours
    • Or to keep something from being stolen from us by the enemy
  • Col 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
    • Disarmed is apekdyomai in Greek meaning COMPLETELY stripped
    • COMPLETE VICTORY
    • We quote Colossians 2:15 but do we really believe it?
      • Do we really believe it was a complete victory?
      • That the enemy was completely stripped, rendered powerless and that nothing more is required of us?  No battling needed?
  • Personal experience with learning IT IS FINISHED vs warfare
    • By not being warfare focused, demon focused, power and principality focused – by realizing and resting in the truth that there is ONE Power (God) it freed me to rest in His finished work
    • Seeing that my new life in Him is a FINISHED life
      • Omnipotent – One Power
      • Omnipresent – One Presence
      • Omniscient – One Mind
    • Nicole – HCC – deliverance
  • The deeper your revelation of IT IS FINISHED the less need you will have for spiritual warfare
  • Realizing and Resting in this FINISHED life that is yours is powerful!  
  • He is seated and you are seated… no need to do battle… IT IS FINISHED!
  • If anyone had a revelation of the finished work of Christ it was Paul
    • Phil 1:21 for me, to live is Christ
    • Gal 2:20 I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me, and this life I live, I live by the faith OF the Son of God who loved me and gave His life for me
    • Paul was passionate about his new life IN CHRIST
      • Galatians 1:16 he said the message he was to preach was the same thing that God revealed to him… Christ in me!
      • Col 1:27 he said it is Christ in you the hope of glory
  • We have to learn how to rightly divide Scripture
    • in context of chapter and verse, as well as understanding who Paul was writing to
    • and ALWAYS in light of Jesus’ finished work
    • Over the next couple of weeks, we won’t be looking at any scriptures in the Gospels – those were spoken by Jesus as an Old Covenant minister to the Old Covenant Jews
    • And we won’t be looking at any scriptures in Revelation and only a couple in the Old Testament
    • We’ll mainly be looking at what Paul had to say regarding warfare
  • In writing to Ephesians, Paul was not writing to us – he’s writing to a transitional generation
    • A transitional generation were those who lived on both sides of the cross
    • Paul was helping them transition in their “thinking” from the old man – who they were before the cross TO the new man that they now were after the cross in Christ
      • We do not have an old man/new man – that was completed at the cross
      • We have always been the “new man” in Christ… never been enslaved to sin… never been dominated by death. We have always been free.
    • While we can learn great truths from his letters about who we are in Christ… but his letters were to that transitional generation, not to modern day America

Ephesus

  • Ephesus was a major political center and a hub for the practice of magic
    • They worshipped Diana or Artemis whose temple was on the highest hill in Ephesus and dominated the city
    • They believed that she possessed all power, had authority over their fates, could exercise her authority over “demons,” she was called the goddess of light and the savior
      • Diana was a god made by human hands (Acts 17).. There was nothing real about her.
      • Her “powers” was in their imagination… and it was very real to them
      • As a man thinks in his heart, so is he
      • Our imaginations are powerful and can influence our perception of reality
    • These Ephesians had an extraordinary fear of hostile spiritual powers, religion and magic claimed to offer relief from this oppressive fear and even promised means of control over the dreaded demonic realm.
    • The cult of Diana/Artemis was so powerful and widespread (religiously and economically) in the first century that it caused a very dangerous environment for those who preached the gospel as well as for those who turned to Christ

In addition to this religious oppression, there was a ruling oppression in Ephesus

    • The Roman authorities had absolute rule and even established Emperor worship inside Diana’s temple.
    • They also presented themselves to the people as pater, patriae meaning father of the family, or father of the fatherland
      • It wasn’t a term of endearment but a reminder to the people that Caesar was the one with ultimate authority and rule and the one they owed a debt of loyalty to.
      • He was the one that the “gods” bestowed favor and grace upon for the people of Ephesus
  • Both of these…. Diana/Artemis and the Romans had “armor” or garments that identified them and represented aspects of their nature
    • Both entities were “clothed” in garments that identified their power and rule over the people
  • It was to the churches of this city, Ephesus, that Paul wrote his letter
  • His passion about this finished work of Jesus is evident in the very first chapter as he talks about the power of Christ
    • He presents Christ as supreme in power and exalted to believers who would’ve come out of the cult of Diana and fearing what the “evil powers” might do to them as a result
      • He reassures them that they are sharers in that divine power through believing
    • He writes about the absolute power of Christ – in fact in Ephesian 1:19-20 (which is one sentence) he uses all four of the predominant Greek words for power – dunamis, energea, ischus and kratos
      • dunamis is strength, power, ability; dynamic miracle working power
      • enegea is His power working in us; it is the power that raised Christ from the dead; resurrection power
      • ischus means to hold or possess something; it is His holding power, staying power, possessing power
      • and kratos carries the sense of supremacy; refers to manifested power; kra means perfect or complete – finished!  
      • ALL of that power IN us…. strength, ability, dynamic miracle working power.. resurrection power…holding power, staying power, possessing power… manifested power, manifested supremacy, complete and finished power!!
    • He writes to them that God is the Father from whom EVERY family in heaven and earth is named (Eph 3:15)
      • He alone is Father and we are His sons and daughters
      • There were divisions in Rome and some (depending where they lived) had greater access to Caesar (the father of the fatherland)
      • But in Christ all divisions and barriers have been destroyed (Eph 2:11-14) and ALL have access to the Father at any time.
    • He also writes that we have been clothed with the new man in Christ which is created in righteousness and true holiness
      • and clothed with the whole armor of God… the finished work of Christ

 

  • I love the letter to the Ephesians…. Sometime we’ll have to do a chapter and verse study of it
    • But for now we’ll just look at chapter 6:10-17

 

  • You can’t jump to chapter 6 without looking at Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians in chapter 1:17-23

 

Mirror:  I desire that you will draw directly from the source; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory ignites the spirit of wisdom and of revelation in you in the unveiling of his Master Plan (His doxa – glory, intent). I desire that you know by revelation what he has known about you all along!  (18) I pray that your thoughts will be flooded with light and inspired insight; that you will clearly picture His intent in identifying you in Him so that you may know how precious you are to him. The saints are His treasure and the glorious trophy of His portion! (We are God’s assets and the measure of his wealth!) (19)  I pray that you will understand beyond all comparison the magnitude of His mighty power at work IN us who believe. Faith reveals how enormously advantaged we are in Christ. (20) It is the same dynamic energy that He unleashed in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and forever established Him in the power of His own right hand in the realm of the heavens. (21)  Infinitely above all the combined forces of rule, authority, dominion or governments; He is ranked superior to any name that could ever be given to anyone of this age or any age still to come in the eternal future. (22) I want you to see this: He subjected all these powers under His feet. He towers head and shoulders above everything. He is the head; (23) the church is His body. The completeness of His being that fills ALL in ALL  resides IN US! God cannot make himself more visible or exhibit himself more accurately.

 

  • Church is the word, ekklesia, comes from ek, a preposition always denoting origin, and klesia from kaleo, to identify by name, to surname;
    • The “church” is His redeemed image and likeness in human form.

 

Ephesians 6:10-17

  • Daily these Ephesians saw the “armor” of the Roman authorities and the “armor” of Diana
    • Paul is reminding them of their armor…their identity in Christ
    • They were seeing the fearful, oppressive armor of these ruling authorities, of these religious idols in the high places – it represented their reputation.
  • Paul is reminding them to “put on” the full, complete (FINISHED!) armor of God in v. 11
    • Put on – enduo – to sink into a garment; to put on another
      • In other words, get comfortable in who you are… the true you in Christ
    • Armor is weapons, tools, implements
    • Sink into the complete, finished pieces of armor that clothe you… that identify who you are
  • That you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil
    • Stand is to come to a halt; don’t be moved
    • Wiles is schemes, deceit
    • Devil is diabolos meaning to slander, accuse;
      • Devil here is not a noun… it’s not a person, place or thing. It’s an adjective and it describes a noun
      • The noun here is wiles… slanderous deceit, accusatory deceit
      • Diabolos is two words dia meaning because of and ballos meaning cast down; thrown down
        • Because of the fallen mindset… the mindset that believed the original lie that they weren’t like God
        • Human life was reduced to slavery and the soul-ruled earthly realm through Adam’s fall but is now awakened to lordship in the heavenly realm of spiritual realities through the knowledge of our co-resurrection with Christ.
      • The only other time devil is used in Ephesians is also as an adjective in Eph 4:27 saying not to give slanderous, accusatory opportunity (noun)… it is not saying do not give the Devil opportunity
      • Vines Greek NT dictionary says:  diabolos an adjective, “slanderous, accusing falsely,” is used as a noun, translated “slanderers” in 1 Tim 3:11, where the reference is to those who are given to finding fault with the demeanor and conduct of others, and spreading their innuendos and criticisms in the church; in 2 Tim 3:3, RV (AV, “false accusers”);  Titus 2:3 (false accusers)
      • So the only time diabolos is a noun (person, place or thing) is in 3 verses and all are dealing with human behavior – false accusers.
    • He’s saying, acquaint yourself with (put on) all that God’s victory in Christ (God’s whole armor) represents so that you may be able to stand against, not being moved by the deceit of false and slanderous accusations against who you really are.
  • Verse 12 says 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.
    • Flesh and blood is Hebraism referring to mankind in general

 

    • I like the Mirror Bible for this verse.  
      • To target one another is to engage in wrong combat. We represent the authority of the victory of Christ in the spiritual realm. We are positioned there (in Christ); we target the mind games and structures of darkness, religious thought patterns governing and conditioning human behavior

Verse 13 –  that you may be able to withstand in the evil day

    • Withstand is oppose; to resist; to stand against
    • Evil is poneros meaning full of hardships, misery and labor
      • To oppose or set yourself against, to stand against hardship, misery and labor
  • The rest of v. 13 says (KJV) and having done all, to stand.
    • I used to think that meant and when you’ve done all to stand, keep standing until you see the victory
    • But in the Greek it says: and ALL (absolutely all!) katergazomai stenai (stand)
      • Katergazomai is achieved, worked out; brought to a decisive finality!  FINISHED!!
      • Paul is saying, this is your standing and withstanding power… this is what keeps you from being moved against slanderous and false accusations about who you are

 

Let’s read Eph 6:11-13 again in light of those definitions…..

 

Eph 6:11-13: So, acquaint yourself with ALL that God’s victory in Christ represents (in you, as you and through you) so that you may be able to stand against the deceit of false accusations and false slanders against who you are. That you may be able to oppose and set yourself against any contradiction, because the days of hardships, misery and labor are over! AND stand in this power:  ALL, absolutely ALL is FINISHED!

 

God’s armor represents His reputation, His victory defines you!

 

  • Verses 14-17

 

    • Truth – He is Truth in you; unconcealed, undeceitful; aletheia (truth) also means reality; He is the Reality of who you are in Christ
    • Righteous – He became sin and made you righteous
    • Preparation is ready, prepared because all that was necessary was done;
      • With is “en” which means IN
      • Peace is eirene which means joined together into a whole; wholeness; refers to the dovetail joint in carpentry; set at one again; oneness with Him
      • Prepared and made ready in wholeness… in our oneness with Him
        • And having an understanding of our wholeness, our oneness with Him, we are then eager and passionate to communicate that oneness – announcing peace to all
    • We have His faith (the faith is His faith – we co-believe with Him) as our shield to quench the fiery darts of the enemy
      • Diana/Artemis was believed to use poisonous arrows or darts
      • Our translations say “evil one” but evil is an adjective describing the arrows… evil arrows
      • You will be able to quench (suppress, check, inhibit) the flames of the evil (miserable, pain ridden, toiling) arrows
    • Our minds are clothed with salvation…. we are sozo minded
      • Sozo – delivered, healed, prospered, WHOLE… nothing missing, nothing broken
    • And our words are the spoken word of God… we speak what we hear the Father speak
      • Co-speaking with God is our sword

 

I like these verses in the Mirror Bible

 

Eph 6:11-17:  Fully immerse yourself in the detail and significance of every individual part of the armor of God. (Acquaint yourself with all that God’s victory in Christ represents.) Just like every aspect in a soldier’s armor significantly completes their battle uniform to best equip them to face every 1method and strategy that an 2enemy could possibly employ against them. (12) People are not the enemy (whether they be husbands, wives, children, or parents, slaves, or bosses. They might host hostile, law inspired thought patterns through their unbelief or ignorance) but to target one another is to engage in the wrong combat. We represent the authority of the victory of Christ in the spiritual realm. We are positioned there (in Christ); we target the mind games and structures of darkness, religious thought patterns, governing and conditioning human behavior. (13) It is most important therefore to acquaint yourself with every aspect of God’s armor. You are fully fit to powerfully defeat any onslaught or contradiction on any day of confrontation, triumphantly standing your ground. The days where the law of hardships, annoyances and labor dictated your life are over! (14) Take your position: you have the truth (of who you are in Christ) wrapped around your hips like a soldier’s belt, holding the complete body armor together. Righteousness covers your heart like a bulletproof breastplate. (15) You wear your eagerness and passion to communicate the good news like soldier’s shoes. Announce peace; the battle has already been fought and won (16) It is most important to engage your faith as a man-size shield that covers your whole person and empowers you to extinguish the flame in every arrow of contradiction that you might face. The only visible part of you is your faith! (To co-believe with God protects your whole person, body, soul and spirit.) (17) Pondering redemption realities is your headgear that protects your mind; inspired thoughts give voice to God’s word—this is your spiritual sword.

  • Paul was assuring them, reminding them of their FINISHED identity
  • It’s not a battle that they need fight on a daily basis… it’s a FINISHED battle
  • IT IS FINISHED – tetelestai was a loud cry that the battle is finished and they could lay their weapons down and go home (rest)
  • Our weapons (armor – holpla) are:
    • righteousness (Romans 6:13; 2 Cor 6:7)
    • light (Romans 13:12)
  • We’ve made those verses about warfare when in reality they are about identity
    • About what Christ finished for us
  • The devil in these verses we saw was not a noun but the Greek word diabolos describing the false accusations of a fallen mindset, not realizing the we are image and likeness of God… whole and complete in Him
  • We’ve become very demon conscious as a church – we’re going to talk about that next week
    • Thinking we’re always in a supernatural battle against evil forces
    • Believing we’re attacked when we are “out of the will of God” and also attacked when we are “in the will of God”
      • Which produces either condemnation or self-righteousness in our thinking.
  • Paul understood IT IS FINISHED… he lived his life as a FINISHED life, complete in Christ
  • Our life is not lived on a battlefied… even if you spiritualize that with the fact that it’s fought from the position of seated in heavenly places.
  • Our life is VICTORY! The battle has already been won!
  • In closing, let’s look at Ephesians 6:10 finally be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might
    • The Mirror says it well and really captures the heart of Ephesians In conclusion, and with reference to the theme and context of this writing I encourage you to realize your strength in the Master; your union with Him is your limitless resource.
    • He is ALL Powerful in you, as you and through you
  • This is a study that you could spend weeks on… and maybe sometime we’ll do that because I do believe it’s an important revelation that is needed in the body of Christ so that we can walk in who we are and what belongs to us
    • but for now we’ll just spend one more week on it before jumping into the truth that we are Not Just Healed but WHOLE.
  • So next week we’re going to look at some more “warfare” Scriptures in light of IT IS FINISHED, Christ’s COMPLETE victory, and what God has to say about warfare in Isaiah.

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