When I was about 12 years old I was swept up into the world of professional wrestling which if asked, at that time, I would have told you, 'Of course it's real!' I remember there were good guys, like Bobo Brazil and Flying Freddy Curry; and, there were the bad guys like the Shiek, Dick the Bruiser and the Outlaws. I know how fake it all was now but at the time, until I finally caught on I would have insisted to you how real it was. I want to focus our attention today on 'big time wrestling'. The kind of spiritual wrestling the Bible tells us we are to engage in. And, it's right here where many people in the body of Messiah would tell you that it's all nonsense, to get a hold of yourself, demons and fallen angels are not real.
If this is you my friend, you are the one who needs to wake up today. You need the Spirit of God to wake you up to the spiritual world around you. We, as believers in Yeshua the Messiah are to be 'Born Again' of the Spirit! We are living in a time of great deception today and everyone who calls themselves believers in Messiah need to understand that not to see the spiritual reality around us is to be spiritually blind. This is crucial. I'm not railing against any fake TV pro wrestling stuff now; but , the continual spiritual warfare we all find our souls engaged in everyday. Everyday we are bombarded from the world. From the spiritual dark side we are attacked. We can become very rattled by the enemy, if we allow him. The devil is out to destroy our faith in the Lord. Sadly, so many today have seen their faith shipwrecked on the rocks of unbelief, self-pity, frustration and skepticism. They often just don't understand they are in a war and need to pick up their weapons! Our 'big time wrestling' is anything but fake!
Satan, in his attempt to overrule truth and destroy anything belonging to the Lord our God attacks us anywhere he can be successful. He seeks to destroy our life in Yeshua and everything attached to it. The Bible states:
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour"
(1 Peter 5:8)
Do you think Peter was exagerating? As we will see, the Apostle Paul made it very clear that our warfare is not against people but against the spiritual powers that operate behind the scenes and through people. That is the wrestling match we have. The big difference is that our warfare has higher stakes: eternal life and death. Please be warned: We cannot win a spiritual battle with carnal weapons! Our wits, our scholarship, our crafty human ways are not what needs to be called on when we encounter a spiritual crisis. We must realize who the real enemy is and fight with the spiritual weapons the Lord has given to us. For example, whether by habit or design, we often think that anger will put people in their place. However, the Lord tells us:
"For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God".
Unfortunately, in our carnal setting anger against people makes us play right into the hands of the devil. Our anger is a carnal weapon. The way to overcome the spiritual powers that come against us through people is to turn the other cheek, which is a 'spiritual weapon'. This doesn't seem very appealing does it? You see, we don't recognize the value because we tend to think carnally and not spiritually. This is where we need to grow. If we use 'spiritual' weapons when tempted it will cause the demons to flee in terror. However, it is our natural tendency to use natural, carnal weapons that keep us from moving forward in our spiritual lives. When we are poor we are tempted to steal. The Lord tells us to give. This is using our weapons in 'spiritual' warfare', in the 'spiritual' realm. In God's 'spiritual' Kingdom we need to use 'spiritual' applications.
We are not fighting physical battles but spiritual ones. Through our giving when we are in need, we frustrate all of Satan's plans and loose the power of God on our behalf. We must learn to think and live with the 'mind of Messiah'; and, we must learn to approach our lives the way Yeshua did:
1 Corinthians 2:15-16,
"But he that is spiritual judgeth all things,
yet he himself is judged of no man.
For who hath known the mind of the Lord,
that he may instruct him? but we have the
mind of Messiah."
Now let us get into the 'nitty gritty' of this 'spiritual war':
"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"
There are 4 ranks of Satan's hierarchy mentioned in this verse:
1. "Principalities" , are the rulers in Satan's hierarchy. The Greek word used for "principality" in this verse is "ARCHE," and it probably is referring to fallen archangels. One archangel, although not fallen, that is mentioned in Scripture is Michael, who is referred to in Daniel 10:13 as being one of the 'chief rulers'. Angels of this type many times seem to have demonic authority over the affairs of entire nations.
2. "Powers", probably a lesser rank of 'Principality'. Satan's kingdom is based on power and hate. This is all he knows. The demonic ranks are all determined by how strong each demon is. They will sometimes work together and sometimes fight each other. "Powers" may be rulers over smaller regions on earth.
3. "Rulers of the darkness", Properly, 'the world-rulers of this darkness'. This phrase is simply a poetical expression of the idea conveyed by the title “the prince of this world,”.
4. "Spiritual wickedness in high places" is easier understood as 'wicked spirits in the earth's atmosphere'. They are the most frequently engaged enemy that we deal with. The purpose of these spirits is to work against and destroy all that is of Yeshua the Messiah.
In my boyhood, I realized that the professional wrestling matches were phony and everyone knew in advance who would win. Well, at least this much is in common with the spiritual reality of the days we live in now. We ALL know in advance the future of Satan, the principalities, the powers, the rulers, and the spiritual wickedness in high places. In the very near future their doom is certain and their kingdom will be shattered and thrown into the Lake of Fire. Praise God!
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Messiah Yeshua our Lord."