The Berean Expositor
Volume 45 - Page 164 of 251
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The Epistle to the Ephesians (13).
pp. 173 - 177
Paul now comes to the final section of the epistle, which gives a revelation of the
unseen and unfelt spiritual warfare that is constantly going on behind the scenes between
God and the spiritual forces for good, and Satan and the powers of darkness that
antagonize the Divine plan every inch of the way. But for the complete protection that
the Lord has provided, the believer would have good cause to be afraid. The panoply of
God, however, is all-sufficient for such a dangerous situation:
"Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Put on the whole
armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil" (Eph. 6: 10,
11 R.V.).
Every member of the Body of Christ is reminded here where his true strength lies for
this tremendous conflict. It is not in self, or on the human plane in any way. Mere
human power would be less than useless against such spiritual enemies. Nothing less
than the mighty resurrection power of Christ mentioned in chapter 1: 19-23 is sufficient,
plus the protective armour that He provides, which covers the believer from head to foot.
The Apostle had used a similar figure in I Thess. 5: 8 ". . . . . putting on the
breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation". There is the
possibility that Paul goes into greater detail here, because he had an object lesson
constantly with him in the person of the Roman soldier to whom he was chained and who
guarded him day and night. He reminds us that our warfare is not with our fellow human
"For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against
the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of
wickedness in the heavenly places" (6: 12 R.V.).
Principalities and powers are the highest rank of heavenly being's, the very
aristocracy of heaven. Angels are apparently heaven's servants. They are "serving
spirit" (Heb. 1: 14). Some of these principalities acknowledge the lordship of Christ, and
come under His Headship (Col. 2: 10). Others have rebelled, possibly at the fall of Satan
and the triumph of Calvary not only dealt with human sin and death, but procured victory
over these spiritual foes:
"Having put off from Himself the principalities and the powers, He made a show of
them openly, triumphing over them in it" (Col. 2: 15 R.V.).
The word translated "world-rulers" is important. Occasionally the Word of God
draws aside the curtain, as it were, and lets us see things that are going on in the spiritual
world around us, which are unperceived by our senses. In the tenth chapter of Daniel, for
instance, we are introduced to two angel princes who impede the one who was being sent
to Daniel to assist him and he was hindered for three weeks (Dan. 10: 13, 20). Later on,
Michael, the archangel, is introduced, who has the responsibility of the interests of the