THE SEVENTH TRUMPET – TWO SPIRITUAL WONDERS AND
THE STRUGGLES OF THE FLESH
In our last study we began to look at the mind of a Christian. We looked at eleven characteristics of the human mind and its problems. Today we will be continuing the struggles of a Christian’s walk [live with the renewed life a priority].
Note: It is extremely important that Christians recognize and apply the blessings that God has made available for his/her protection. To help the Christian in our spiritual warfare, (Ephesians 6:13) we must remember that it is our duty, as Christians, to be involved.
“Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Ephesians 6:13).
(6:10-11). – Introduction Spiritual warfare: Paul has been discussing the believer’s walk (Ephesians 4:1-6:9).
Now suddenly he jolts the reader and the hearer; he changes course. He says there is another way to look at the believer’s life in Christ. The believer’s LIFE IS A BATTLEFIELD. Immediately upon receiving Christ, the believer finds himself in a constant struggle of one kind or another. He is engaged in an unceasing fight, an unending war. He is a combatant, a soldier in conflict; His calling is not to a life of enjoyment and ease, but to a life of hard conflict. There are foes within and foes without. From the cradle to the grave there is constant struggle against the corruptible lusts of the flesh and the imposing temptations offered by the world and Satan – a struggle against an excessive corruption that inevitably leads to death:
“I find then a law, that when I would do good, evil is present with me” (Romans 7:21).
“For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would” (Galatians 5:17).
“For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Galatians 6:8).
“That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the NEW MAN, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24).
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might” (Ephesians 6:10).
- The Christian soldier’s charge (Ephesians 6:10-11).
- The Christian soldier’s enemy: the devil and his strategies (v. 11).
- The Christian soldier’s warfare: not human, but spiritual (v. 12).
- The Christian soldier’s duty: to take the whole armor of God (v. 13).
- The soldier’s armor (v. 14-17).
- The supernatural provision for the Christian soldier is prayer – always praying (v. 18-20).
(Ephesians 6:10-11) Spiritual Warfare: There is the charge to the Christian soldier. Note the word “brothers.” It is Christian believers who need the charge, not the world.
Christian believers must diligently heed what is about to be said: There is no other way to conquer the enemies who stand so violently opposed to the Christian believer. Unless the believer heeds the charge and message of this passage, he will cave in to temptation and sin and end up walking through life just as most men do:
- not experiencing the abundance and joy of life.
- not experiencing the power and deliverance, care and concerns, love and fellowship of God’s daily presence.
- being uncertain and unsure of the future.
- unsaved person does not have the confidence of being acceptable to God.
- unsaved person does not have the assurance of living forever with God.
A believer must heed what God says in this passage; he must do exactly what God says in order to conquer the great enemies of life. The charge is twofold.
1. The believer must be strong IN THE LORD and in THE POWER OF HIS MIGHT. Note the stress upon power and strength.
Three different words are used;:
- be strong
- in the Lord’s power
- in the Lord’s might
Each of these words is used to stress the utter necessity of the believer being strong and possessing power. Who’s power? God’s POWER.
- The word “strong” (endunamoo) means power, might, strength. The believer must possess power, might, and strength as he/she walks through the course of this life.
- The Lord’s power (Kratos) means His sovereign unlimited power, and dominion over all.
“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye SHALL BE witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the UTTERMOST part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
- The Lord’s “might” (ischuos) means strength, force, ability. It means His ability to use His strength and force wisely, that is, in perfection.
The believer is to be strong in the sovereign unlimited power of the Lord – in the power of His might – in His ability to use His power exactly as it should be used.
Ephesians 1:21 Power, God, Believers, Exalted believers are to experience the power of God – the same power that exalted Jesus Christ above all creatures, both in this world and in the next world. Being seated at the right hand of God simply means having the highest seat of honor and authority in the universe. What God did was exalt Jesus Christ to rule and reign over all authority, no matter how great or powerful. Christ has been exalted above “all principality, power, and might, and dominion.” And to make sure nothing is excluded — Jesus Christ has been exalted above “every name that is named, not only in this world, but in that [world] which is to come” (Ephesians 1: 21). All things are placed in subjection under Him.
“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;” (Philippians 2:9-10).
“Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows:”(Hebrews 1:9).
“Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him”(I Peter 3:22).
The point is this: God gave Jesus Christ the authority to rule and reign over all; He demonstrated that He has the power to exalt us to rule and reign with Christ. This God promises to do.
“His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord” (Matthew 25:23).
“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:” (Matthew 25:34).
“And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities” (Luke 19:17).
“Do ye not know that the saints shall judge [rule hold authority over] the world? And if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to this life?” (I Corinthians 6:2-3).
“And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers to come,” (Hebrews 6:5).
“Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?” (James 2:5).
“And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:10).
“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them…” (Revelation 20:4).
“And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 22:5).
But note the critical point: the believer’s strength is not human, fleshly strength; it is not the strength of anything within this world.
FACT: The believer’s strength is found ONLY IN THE LORD – in a living, dynamic relationship with Him. The Lord is the source of the believer’s strength. There is no other source that can give man the strength to overcome this world with all its trials and temptations and death.
2. The believer MUST put on the armor of God. Once the believer is STRONG WITHIN, then he is ready to be clothed with the armor of God.
BUT NOTE: No amount of armor is worth the material it is made of unless the soldier has the heart to fight. The believer must — absolutely must – be strong in the Lord before he can be clothed with the armor of God and begin to wage war against the foes of life.
Once a man has the presence and power of God within his heart, it is then that he begins to arm himself to wage war against the spiritual enemies of life. But note a most critical point: he must put on the WHOLE ARMOR of God, leaving nothing out. If he leaves a piece of the armor off, he exposes himself to the enemy and stands a good chance of being wounded, perhaps even killed.
The charge is to be strong in the Lord, in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God.
“For with God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37).
“That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the INNER MAN;” (Ephesians 3:16).
“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).
“Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness,” (Colossians 1:11).
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
“For thou hast girded me with strength to battle: them that rose up against me hast thou subdued under me” (2 Samuel 22:40).
“Fear thou not; For I AM WITH THEE: be not dismayed; FOR I AM THY GOD: I WILL STRENGTHEN THEE; YEA, I WILL HELP THEE; YEA, I WILL UPHOLD THEE WITH THE RIGHT HAND OF MY RIGHTEIOUSNESS” (Isaiah 41:10).
Ephesians 6:11 Satan and spiritual warfare in the Age of Grace or in the end time: there is the enemy of the Christian soldier that we need to be concerned about. The enemy is the devil and his strategies. The word “wiles” (methodei) means the deceits, craftiness, trickery, methods, and strategies which the devil uses to wage war against the believer. He will do everything he can to deceive and capture the believer whether in the Age of Grace or in the end time. Remember, one of the titles given to Satan in Scripture contains certain power to blind the minds of the careless.
Let’s review certain strategies that will appeal to the lust of the eyes. Satan will see to it that something crosses the eyesight of the believer, something that is very appealing to the flesh and pride of life:
- some delicious food
- some attractive person
- some person who is exposing the body
- some possession: clothing, land, cars, houses, whatever
- some position of authority one has been seeking. But not obtaining.
- more authority and power
Satan will present something to the eyes that is so appealing, the believer is doomed unless he is clothed in the FULL ARMOR OF GOD. Satan will entice the believer to eat the second helping, take the second look at something or someone, buy the unneeded possession, or begin to selfishly seek more power and more position. He will use all the strategies he can to appeal to the flesh and pride of the believer.
“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44).
“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Romans 6:16).
“I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness” (Romans 6:19).
“Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the PRINCE OF THE POWER OF THE AIR, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others” (Ephesians 2:2-3).
“From whence come wars and fightings among you? Come they not hence even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:1-4).
Next study, we will begin with another strategy of the devil that so many Christians fall prey to, that of the false teacher who is leading a church or a Bible study group.
FACT: The armor and understanding of the attacks of Satan are so important, whether it is “now” in the Age of Grace or in the end time that we are seeing in the Book of Revelation.
The Christian soldier’s duty is to take the whole armor of God. Note how the believer’s need is for “the whole armor” of God is again stressed. This shows how essential the armor is. We must put on the armor of God. It is an absolute necessity. Why? Because of the “evil day.” What is the “evil day?”
- It refers to TODAY – to the onslaught of evil that is in the world today.
- It refers to ANY day – the onslaught of temptations and trials that confront us at any given moment during a day.
- It refers to the day OF UNUSUAL TEMPTATION AND TRIAL – to a special onslaught and barrage of evil that is thrown against the Christian.
We must withstand the day of evil. But we cannot withstand unless we have done our duty – unless we have obeyed and prepared ourselves — unless we have taken the whole armor of God.
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