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A Final Word about Spiritual War

Most epistles of the apostle Paul end with salutations and thanking those individuals helping behind the scenes. Instead of devoting the final chapter of Ephesians to this practice, Paul provides a final word about the invisible war in the spiritual dimension. At the conclusion of this warning, Paul does squeeze in four verses to thank Tychicus for his faithful service. Yet, it is what comes before this which you should pay close attention to and grasp.

In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides]. 11 Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil, Ephesians 6:10-11.

Perhaps Paul is referencing his confession in 2 Corinthians 12:7-12. When Paul says “be strong in the Lord,” this may be code for at your greatest moment of need or weakness, place your full confidence and trust in Jesus. Yet, there is more to know about the ongoing spiritual war. While imprisoned at the time Paul wrote Ephesians, Paul appears to have a vision, comparing the Roman soldier standing guard outside his door with necessary spiritual armor.

For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere. 13 Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place], Ephesians 6:12-13.

Since the reality of the passage above is overwhelming, Paul offers spiritual weapons that Christians can use before entering spiritual combat. This attire contains a belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, cleats to dig in, a shield of faith and helmet of salvation, Ephesians 6:14-17. These first five pieces of armor are defensive in nature. However, when believers take up the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, you can begin to go on the offensive. While defense is important in the realm of sports, being proactive and going on the offensive is crucial to taking back lost ground.

by Jay Mankus

The Machaira

The Greek word used by the apostle Paul to describe the sword of the spirit is machaira. The actual word is μάχαιρα, an 18 inch dagger used as a weapon of war during hand to hand combat. This piece of the armor of God represents the Word of God which serves two purposes. First and foremost, as a defensive weapon to correct and expose the lies of the Devil. Then, transition onto offensive by attacking secular worldviews through wielding the promises within the Bible to shine light upon an ever darkening world.

For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere, Ephesians 6:12.

One of the problems with war is identifying the enemy. As chaos on the battlefield ensues, some hide, retreat or pretend to be on your side. Perhaps, this explains the apostle Paul’s words in the passage above. Within any war, there are powers, rulers and spiritual forces working behind the scenes. Instead of giving into anger, frustration or rage, the person you are mad at could simply be a vessel of the Devil, distracting you from the real battle.

And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God, Ephesians 6:17.

Just prior to introducing the Sword of the Spirit, the helmet of salvation is mentioned first. When armor isn’t put on in the correct order, soldiers become vulnerable, not completely covered. This helmet protects your mind from becoming concussed. During the battle called life, there will be individuals who won’t feel saved as doubts from the Devil are implanted within your minds. Life can be tiring, especially if you live pay check to pay check. Yet, without protecting yourself with the armor of God, you’re destined to fail. Therefore, may the machaira empower you to rely on the Bible to defend and enhance the kingdom of God.

by Jay Mankus

Guarding Against Spiritual Concussions

Prior to modern CT scans, little was known about concussions. A computed tomography scan, formerly known as a computerized axial tomography scan or CAT scan, makes use of computer-processed combinations. This technology enables many X-ray measurements taken from different angles to produce cross-sectional images of specific areas of a scanned object, allowing the user to see inside an object without cutting. This procedure helps connect the dots between blows to the head and their impact on the human brain. Any type of force, impact or jolting to the head can result in
temporary unconsciousness.

Above all, lift up the [protective] shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, Ephesians 6:16-17.

Just as safety concerns has improved modern sports equipment, the apostle Paul introduces a spiritual armor designed to combat spiritual concussions. Faith serves as a protective shield to deflect and extinguish Satanic attacks. As a fallen angel, Ephesians 2:2 refers to this spiritual entity as the ruler of the air. Other passages in the Bible suggest that certain areas, cities and regions are under demonic control, oppressing any unwelcomed visitor. Thus, unless you are fully armed with the helmet of salvation to protect your mind, violent invisible blasts will result in spiritual concussions. Victims will experience confusion, doubt and temporary unconsciousness.

For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective]. It is sharper than any two-edged [bsword, penetrating as far as the division of the [c]soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And not a creature exists that is concealed from His sight, but all things are open and exposed, and revealed to the eyes of Him with whom we have to give account, Hebrews 4:12-13.

Beside prayer, the only offensive weapon included in this armor is the sword of the spirit. The double edged portion is symbolic of having the ability to transition from a defensive position to offense in one move. The best example is found in Matthew 4:1-11 where Jesus corrects the Devil during his temptation in the wilderness. Jesus quotes Scripture in each of his three responses. However, the Devil takes the Bible out of its intended context to trick Jesus. While Jesus was able to fight back, if you don’t know the Bible well enough you are vulnerable to spiritual concussions. Eve was the first person to receive this type of concussion when Satan planted an ungodly thought within her mind. Unfortunately, it’s been downhill ever since, lulled into carnal and sensual desires. May this blog serve as a warning to inspire you to put on the whole armor of God daily to avoid a similar fate.

by Jay Mankus

State of Hysteria

For the drama kings and queens, worry warts and pessimists, hysteria is a relatively normal state.  This condition of emotional distress often leads to melt downs or what I call tizzy’s, an adult version of a tantrum.  Blowing things out of proportion makes for great reality television, at least from a ratings perspective.  However, have you ever thought about what force or inspiration is ultimately behind hysteria?

According to Exodus 23:27-28, the God of Israel sends a spirit of hysteria into the land of Canaan.  The purpose of this terror is to drive out the Hivites, Canaanites and Hittites out of their land.  Like a stirred up hornet’s nest, God uses supernatural powers to accomplish His will.  Without the numbers, strength or weapons, Jehovah Jireh delivers a promised land an ordinary group of people, unable to take the credit for this miraculous event.

If this happened in the Old Testament, I wonder if God has the desire to allow a similar state in the world today.  Although, modern outbreaks of hysteria are likely from another force, demons using angelic powers.   Some nations experience countless years of civil unrest.  Meanwhile, others countries promote a generation of starving children.  Somewhere in the middle, hysteria roams from city to city, resulting in hate crimes, violence and suicide.

God provides weapons against such spirits in Ephesians 6:10-20.  With all but one defensive, the Word of God is double edged, able to go from defense to offense in one motion.  May these tools help you build an invisible force field of faith around you, saving yourself from caving into the hysteria in this world.  Keep the helmet of salvation tightly secured to guard your mind from suffering from spiritual amnesia, 1 Thessalonians 5:8.  Finally, apply 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 daily as you take each thought captive, making each obedient to Christ.

by Jay Mankus

The Mind Magician

Unless you are an anomaly, everyone has done at least one thing in life that you regret.  Most people have committed numerous things which have been stored up within their conscience.  The mind magician uses guilt to trigger shame in your soul, serving as a dark cloud, looming over your thought life.  Meanwhile, the dead works known as past sins can haunt individuals, replaying in their minds with similar consequences.

stock photo : The war with the dragon. 1) Le Sainte Bible: Traduction nouvelle selon la Vulgate par Mm. J.-J. Bourasse et P. Janvier. Tours: Alfred Mame et Fils. 2) 1866 3) France 4) Gustave Doré

Performing the same card trick over and over, Satan forces millions of people to relive sins they’ve already been forgiven of by God.  Tiny voices create doubt by suggesting, ” a real Christian would never do such a sin!”  Still upset by Jesus’ miraculous third quarter come back, Satan’s fate is sealed.  Nonetheless, the Great Deceiver is willing to throw the kitchen sink at your brain, hoping to take as many souls as possible with him.

The Great High Priest has a spiritual potion in Hebrews 9:14 to cleanse your conscience from dead works.  The apostle Paul has left further instructions to snap you out of any spell, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, cast by the mind magician.  Unfortunately, many are bewitched today, like the Galatians in chapter 3, verses 1-5.  Therefore, put on the helmet of salvation, 1 Thessalonians 5:8, as one of the last lines of defense.  Devote yourself to prayer, Colossians 4:2, submit to God, James 4:7 and the mind magician will be forced to flee.

by Jay Mankus

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