For part one of this two-part article, click here.
Paul concludes his letter to the Ephesians with a command to the church there. He tells them to be "strong in the Lord and the power of His might."
How? First, by knowing your position in Christ and secondly by actively exercising your faith by staying fit spiritually and using God's prescribed armor and weapons.
Our strength is found in Christ: in His power and might. We are, in Christ, united with Him. The key is in the phrase "in the Lord." The power is "located in" or "contained" in Jesus Christ (used nine times in Eph. 1).
Paul wants the reader to understand that we must be strong in Christ, be spiritually disciplined, and recognize we are fighting against unseen forces that influence and impact humanity with evil.
Paul wants the believer to understand that there exists spiritual kingdoms, or principalities, opposed to God's kingdom. They are just as real as physical kingdoms, but they exist in spiritual realms.
Paul defines our struggle as being against nonphysical entities; he calls them principalities, powers and rulers in Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV).
Take terrorism, for example. Many in the secular world see it as a clash of cultures, the culture of Islam versus the Western culture. No, it is a spiritual conflict, with unseen forces at work influencing humanity.
The same is true regarding Marxist ideology and Communism versus freedom experienced in democratic, capitalist countries. Principalities and powers are influencing communist leaders to exercise totalitarian rule and oppression over people.
Ephesians defines these conflicts as spiritual—spiritual realms at war. The Greek word for principality (rulers) is archḗ, literally meaning origins or beginning. Kingdoms are called principalities because they were identified with a specific point where the power originated.
The ruler of a principality, árchōn, was a high official or a prince. Paul speaks of the árchōn that works in non-Christians (Eph. 2:2).
Consider what Daniel described when he encountered an angel after three weeks of prayer and fasting, "But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia" (Dan. 10:13).
The English word prince is translated from the Greek Septuagint as árchōn. It is the same Greek word Paul uses in Eph. 2:2 and similar to archḗ in Eph. 6:12. The angel, sent to bring Daniel a message, was dispatched the first day Daniel began to pray but was hindered due to spiritual warfare in the heavens. Only after a higher-ranking angel, Michael, came to assist were they able to overcome demonic powers to reach Daniel.
Our warfare is not with others, but with anti-Christ powers that want to stop us, blind humanity and stop the advancement of God's kingdom.
The enemy seeks to steal, kill and destroy. He is a legalist and looks for ways to establish strategies against us, our families, our churches and society.
Our focus should not be on the enemy, rather on the glory and majesty of Christ. However, spiritual warfare is unavoidable; we cannot ignore this. Social justice activism has a place, but there is a danger in trying to transform culture by activism alone.
There is much warfare over America right now.
Unseen forces are at work through elements of the radical left, which is largely anti-Christ and anti-biblical, to allow a spirit of death to reign over our nation.
Our nation is guilty of over 50 million babies being aborted and killed since 1973. Late-term, partial-birth abortion is barbaric. Since the innocent killing of George Floyd, the energy of the radical left has been focused on overturning society as we know it. Yet, they are blinded to the scourge of death abortion has caused. For sure, racism is a demonic evil that must be stopped, but America is not systemically racist nor is our entire police force racist or corrupt.
In 2019, there were only 10 murders of African Americans caused by the police. Of those 10, only two were ruled as homicides and the officers subsequently charged. Compare this number to the thousands murdered last year, in our inner-city streets, by citizen against citizen. Where is the outcry by the radical left? Or the outcry about the millions of babies murdered through abortion? It does not fit their agenda, which is being influenced by unseen powers to enslave our nation to Marxism.
Consider how last week Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, "called for dismantling economic and political systems that serve as a 'system of oppression,'" according to BlackEnterprise.com.
The Minnesota representative said last Tuesday that most conversations about police brutality and racial injustice do not go far enough in their call for change. She and others on the extreme left want a cultural revolution—to rewrite our Constitution, redefine cultural values and remove our liberties.
The enemy is attempting, through Marxist, socialist ideology, to remove Judeo-Christian values that are the foundation of our constitution and liberties.
Black Lives Matter—period. But so, do Hispanic lives, Asian lives, Caucasian lives. All lives matter—racism is never to be tolerated. As Christians, we celebrate and honor the civil rights movement championed by the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr in the '60s. But the Black Lives Matter organization is dangerous.
Black Lives Matter, on its website, lists many goals—the majority of which most people would support, such as: "We work vigorously for freedom and justice for Black people and, by extension, all people."
But despite such mainstream ideas, leaders of the Black Lives Matter organization come from a far-left point of view. The founders are Marxist.
Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors revealed on Fox News, "Myself and Alicia, in particular, are trained organizers. We are trained Marxists. We are super-versed on, sort of, ideological theories."
Further, the organization is radically pro-abortion (20 million African American babies aborted since 1973) and against traditional sexual norms and family: "We foster a queer-affirming network."
This should awaken us and cause us to seek God fervently in this hour. Our nation is being held hostage by the far left, Black Lives Matter organization and mob rule. People are being threatened, losing jobs and in fear when their views (present or past) contradict the values of the far left and Black Lives Matter. I submit to you there are unseen forces at work to rob us of civil liberties and religious freedom in the USA.
Church in America: to bring lasting societal change, spiritual breakthrough must occur. We must learn how to combat the enemy with kingdom authority and maintain that position. America needs an awakening!
I'll continue this next week—keep the faith and stay strong in the Lord and the power of His might!
Bob Sawvelle is the founding and senior leader of Passion Church in Tucson, Arizona. Passion Church is a vibrant, kingdom-minded church in the heart of Tucson that values God's love and presence. He is a doctor of ministry, doctoral mentor for the Randy Clark Scholars cohort at United Theological Seminary (UTS), an adjunct professor teaching master's-level classes in evangelism, discipleship and church planting with the Global Awakening Theological Seminary (GATS) and an online course facilitator for Global Awakening's Christian Healing Certification Program (CHCP) and Christian Prophetic Certification Program (CPCP).
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