A series of homilies on Ephesians 5 & 6
A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”
I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians 5 & 6 (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 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.
John MacArthur said, “The warfare of which Paul speaks has at its highest level a tremendous conflict between God and Satan. That is the primary level of the warfare. Everything else comes under that. It is a war of the Lord God Jehovah and His truth against Satan and his lies. It is a war between God and His Will and Satan and his will, and such a war is not only fought between God and Satan, but between demons and holy angels and between ungodly men and godly men, so that this cosmic warfare at the level of God and the highest creature He ever made, Lucifer, filters all the way down to involve every human being — including us.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “You can’t develop character by reading books. You develop it from conflict.”
From these three verses, we have seen how God has given us strength and how we are commanded to stand. But what do we need strength for? What type of enemy are we to stand against?
Paul 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.” You cannot fight effectively in a war unless you know who your enemy really is. The devil will try to get you to think that your enemies are physical — people whom you can see and talk to. However, that is only a strategy to keep you sidetracked from the real battle.
The Bible tells us that our enemies are dark and powerful spiritual forces.
First, we have “principalities.” This term comes from the Greek word meaning “beginning or origin.” In this context, it is defined as “the first place or ruler of demons.” Satan, who led the angelic rebellion against God, is the leader of the fallen angels. It is him with whom we wrestle.
Next, we have “powers.” This word has to do with legal or judicial authorities. The book of Daniel shows us clearly that angels and demons are appointed over earthly governments. Angels are purposed with influencing the government for good, while demons try to influence the government for evil. Christians around the world today are coming into conflict with legal or judicial authorities. We must realize that, even in such situations, we are not dealing with flesh and blood, but spiritual powers — the powers behind the throne, if you will — which oppose God’s work in the world.
Third, we have the “rulers of the darkness of this world.” This term simply means “lord of the world” or “prince of this age.” These are biblical titles for Satan. Currently, his influence is prevalent in the world. He and his demons are behind the crime, violence, immorality, and spiritual darkness that we see around us. One scholar called this group the “Satanic mafia.” When we deal with people who are not saved, we must remember that it is Satan who has blinded them to God’s truth. That is where the battle starts.
Finally, Paul says we struggle against “spiritual wickedness in high places.” Commentators have struggled with exactly what this term means. Some have said it simply refers to the evil work of the devil and his demons on earth. However, the same term that is translated “high places” here is translated elsewhere in the New Testament as “heavenly places” or “heaven.” Thus, some believe this to be the actual physical dimension above earth’s atmosphere where the spiritual war, the battle between angels and demons, is raging.
Either way, the point remains: We are not dealing with flesh and blood. That is why we cannot live the Christian life in our own strength. We are dealing with dark spiritual forces led by Satan. That is why we must fight this battle God’s way, with His armor, and in His strength.
Now, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, please keep in mind that the Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” Just pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will. I will be sharing more on the matter of salvation in the next segment of our service which starts in about 5 minutes.
Revive the Family Prayer List
PRAY FOR SPECIFIC FAMILIES
Philippians 4:6 says, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
— Lanitra in Kentucky
help her as a single mom to raise her 3 children; provide financially for their bills and other household needs
— Edmund in Zielonka, Poland
help Edmund; his wife, Dorothy; their daughter, Ann; and their sons, Peter and Daniel, to serve You
give wisdom for learning in school to Daniel
provide work for Edmund and Dorothy
help Peter to find and follow Your direction for his life
bless Ann with a husband
— Freddie in Fairbanks, Alaska
help him to deal with his totally rebellious children
— Jimmie in Jacksonville, Florida
strengthen him and his family, help them to do right
— Anne Avei
help her to study your Word well
PRAY FOR CHURCH LEADERS
Paul said in Ephesians 6:18, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”
District Leaders of the United Methodist Church
Todd B. Love
Farley E. Stuart III
Owen L. Dolin
James Andrew Williams IV
Becki S. Curry
Mark A. Gibbons
Timothy M. Carpenter
Cynthia D. Davis
PRAY FOR GOVERNMENTAL LEADERS
1 Timothy 2:1-2 says, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”
James R. Langevin
John B. Larson
Sander M. Levin
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for over twenty-seven years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.