When I was baptised at my local church I always remember a conversation with a fellow brother in Christ who came over to me afterwards. There was a sense of urgency and fear in his voice as he told me that everyday when I wake up I should pray over and read out Ephesians 6. I found it strange that just after such a great moment in my life, immediately the emphasis was on the negatives of satan and not the positives of Christ. So being a new Christian I did as he said and I continued to do this for a long time. He meant well and he himself was only relaying the message that he had been taught by the church and you will hear the same message from a lot of other churches around the world today. The body of Christ, have fallen into believing a lot of lies by being deceived, and when we look at the subject of spiritual warfare, we know from scripture that we are in a battle with our enemy Satan, and his forces. But they are giving way too much ground to the enemy when he has already been defeated at the cross.
Now I’m not disputing or disregarding what he said about the importance of Ephesians 6 but it gave me this impression that we should be fearful and afraid of satan. I eventually left this church and a few years after this I heard a revelation about satan which revolutionised my entire Christian walk and blew everything I had read and everything the world is teaching about satan out of the window. Let’s look at these key verses in Ephesians 6:10-17;
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”
Now we have a lot of knowledge in those verses about our battle with our enemy. So I pray that your eyes and hearts are open to receive this revelation that our teacher the Holy Spirit has revealed unto us, and have your understanding corrected. It has blessed us and many other brothers and sisters in Christ. We are all called disciples which means to be taught but not many are getting before the teacher the Holy Spirit.
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you." John 14:26
Now back to Ephesians 6. In 6:11, ‘wiles’ means trickery or lie in wait and also verse 14. “having girded your waist with truth”. Now all the armour is directed to having our minds and heart to know the truth of Gods word as we know the devil is a liar (John 8:44). Now as we go along the list of armour you can see that they all are leading to the mind, because without the mind you are lifeless. The end of verse 14 says “having put on the breastplate of righteousness”. So, you need to know that you are righteous because of what Jesus has done for you by Gods grace (Romans 5:15-17).
Ephesians 6:15 is about understanding the gospel of peace – the gospel of the kingdom of our King Jesus. Verse 16 we are told to take the “shield of faith” to “quench all the fiery darts”. Well these fiery darts are NOT from satan putting thoughts into our minds. That's carnal if that's what you were led to believe, it's not true so let’s turn this around. People are not who or what we are wrestling against, but instead it is satan and his forces. Satan uses people to do his “wickedness” which means in strongs concordance lawlessness, iniquity, unrighteousness, sins of darkness. If you look up the word wickedness in strongs concordance, it means iniquity which means sins as you will discover as we go along.
Ephesians 6:17 - The helmet of salvation is to do with the mind and the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God is the defence from your mouth. But first the Word must be planted in your mind and hearts by renewing your mind (Romans 12:2).
So I believe that as you are reading this you are aware of the armour, all Christians should be, but there are way too many incorrect teachings out there about spiritual warfare which you will see and understand as we continue. Let’s go back to Genesis chapter 3, now Satan needed something to use to speak through, which in this case was the snake. Now without using the physical i.e. snake or persons then there is no other way in which satan can communicate to us as Holy Spirit filled Christians .
Now we all know what Satan has done, he has blinded people's minds from the truth, the Gospel. Just where he had us before Gods light broke threw to our hearts. We need to always remind ourselves that as born again Christians we are not of this world (John 15:19).
So the fiery darts are from the wicked, now if you look up that word ‘wicked’ it is the same as wickedness, so we know who the wicked ones are (Matthew 13:49, 1 Corinthians 5:13, Colossians 1:21, 2 Thessalonians 3:2, Matthew 13:38). Now I hope you are starting to see what the Holy Spirit has revealed to us because this will set you free from legalism and religious bondage. We were all once the same as satan, we knew good and evil (Galatians 4:3). Man created satan, he is the same as man. Man taught himself the evil ways from the knowledge of the evil from the tree in Genesis 3 and is using the same evil that man already knows to do, which we once were of but are no longer.
“in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,” Ephesians 2:2
Now the devil, has no direct access like he did before, as we are no longer in his kingdom of darkness, but in the kingdom of almighty God amen (Luke 12:32, Luke 17:21). The fiery darts come from people, non believers, false teachers, false prophets and wolves in sheep’s clothing. He targets the born again Christian, which Jesus warns us about (Matthew 24:4, Matthew 24:11, Romans 16:18, 1 Corinthians 3:18, Ephesians 4:14, 5:6, 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 1 John 3:7). But we know who the deceiver is from the beginning of mankind, satan in the garden of Eden.
You might be thinking well what about Jesus, when he rebuked satan when Peter spoke to Him in Matthew 16:23. Well pay attention to the last part of what Jesus said,
“you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”
Do you see it? Jesus was saying Peter you are thinking carnal, carnal means natural, which is the same way that the devil thinks, that's why it's called his world for now.
So how about the temptation with Jesus in Matthew 4:1-10? Now verse 1, it's the Holy Spirit who leads Jesus into the wilderness, a desolate desert to be tempted of the devil and look who is in charge here, the Holy Spirit and Jesus. Verse 2 He fasted.
Verse 3, “And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.”
The word ‘if’ here should actually say, I know you be the Son Of God, command that these stones be made bread! So stones are natural or physical the same as bread.
Jesus replied in verse 4 “it is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God”. So Satan used the natural, the physical and God used spiritual - His Word.
Verse 5 the devil takes Jesus to the pinnacle of the temple. Verse 6 “If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone” Now we can see he is trying to use the word of God against God, how dumb, but he actually changes the passage which is from Psalm 91:11-12. Not much has changed with satan and man (those not saved or born again), the same also with carnal minded preachers and teachers who don't complete the verse or verses in context.
Verse 7 Jesus replied with His Word, “It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God”. Then verse 8, satan tempts Jesus with all the kingdoms of the world (physical again) and the glory of them. Verse 9 worship me I will give you them (the physical).
Verse 10 Jesus said “Get thee hence (behind), Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve”. Job done! Praise the Lord.
Now this was a one on one, there was not a person in sight for satan to use to talk to through unlike the snake in the garden of Eden. They were in a desolate place, empty, now compare this with Jesus rebuking satan by Peter in Luke 4:8 and Matthew 16:23, the word behind is hence, Matthew 16:23. I hope that you can see there is no compassion. Satan is carnal and Peter’s mind was carnal too and Jesus was showing us this truth.
What a revelation this is! So, brothers and sisters you can see from the study of all these verses that spiritual warfare for us Christians is just dealing with what the world - the physical has to throw at us. Our external issue is with satan (Ephesians 6:12). As we have discussed in our other series uncovering satan, satan has no access to our minds and our internal issue is the battle of the mind, the flesh vs the spirit (John 3:6). So stand fast in the liberty by which christ has set us all free and renew your mind to this awesome truth in Jesus name amen.