“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood . . .” (Ephesians 6:12).
With the intense, “Finally, my brethren” (used only five other times in the New Testament), we are put on notice that a battle is raging “in high places” in which we are required, “having done all, to stand” (vv.10,13). This battle is against “principalities” (chief ones) and “powers” (authorities) who are “rulers of the darkness of this world” (v.12).
The real, dangerous, and vicious enemy is none other than Lucifer, the devouring lion (I Peter 5:8) and prince of the world (John 12:31; Ephesians 2:2), whose boundless pride, inestimable beauty, and wisdom (Ezekiel 28) drove him to insurrection in heaven (Revelation 12) to father the lie and begin all murder (John 8:44). His hatred of God and things godly is implacable, and his power over death (Hebrews 2:17), ability to blind minds (II Corinthians 4:4), snatch the gospel from hearts (Matthew 13:39), take foolish people captive at his will (II Timothy 2:26), and even inflict physical injury (II Corinthians 12:7; Luke 13:16), is an awesome and terrible capacity.
Yet we are given the promise that the One in us is “greater than he that is in the world” (I John 4:4). In fact, we are assured that our weapons are “mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds [castles] . . . bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (II Corinthians 10:4,5). What a magnificent promise! The Creator God lives in me (Galatians 2:20), manifested in the person of the Holy Spirit who uses my body as a temple (I Corinthians 6:19), now specifically providing the full armor (panoplia) of God which enables us to “withstand in the evil day” (Ephesians 6:13).
This warning and exhortation are greatly needed today, when false prophets are multiplying and ancient pantheism and occultism are being revived as a so-called “New Age.” HMM III