Our text from Ephesians chapter 6 verses 11 to 13 reminds us that we oppose the darkness. In our outreach to our Jewish community here, and to all other, this is what we are about. We are trying to let the Light shine; we are trying to bring in light into those darkened minds. Unfortunately, people prefer to sit in the dark. Have you ever read that poem by Byron, 'The Prisoner of Chillon'? Chillon Castle is found in the south of Switzerland, near the border of France. It was also a place where there was a dungeon, and there was a man called Bonivard, who was kept as a prisoner there. He was in that dungeon so much that finally, when they liberated him, he didn't know what to do without his dungeon; without his chains; and the blinding sunshine. He almost wished that he was back in that dungeon again.
So we see how we have to come to people, and at first our message is unwelcome to them. 'Thank you, we are comfortable as we are.' But they are sitting in darkness. And we have to break the hold of these
'rulers of darkness' over them. These rules are
'spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.' Wicked spirits, in other words; spiritual hosts of wickedness. There's a Hebrew term, that's a hebraism; that's how the Hebrew Bible would put it; the Hebrew idiom; and the fact that we have Hebrew idiom translated over and over again in Greek shows that the writers were Hebraic, and they thought in a Hebraic way. Wicked spirits.
In the Book of Daniel, Daniel had a heavenly visitor, and the visitor said,
'I was delayed from coming to you, because I had to wrestle with the prince of Persia,''and after I've left you, I have to go and wrestle with the prince of Greece.' These princes of Persia, of Greece, of Rome; they were the evil, spiritual powers that manipulated those kingdoms and those empires. And we read about all these evil powers;
'The spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.' Interesting! Why should they be in the heavenly places? Obviously not where GOD dwells, but in the Book of Job we get the curtain just drawn aside a little.
'When the sons of GOD came to present themselves before GOD, satan also came in among them.' He claimed a place among them. 'I have a right to be here.' That was his claim. 'Because, after all, most of those people down there are mine.' 'Where do you come from,? said GOD. 'I come from walking to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it. It's all my domain.' That's Satan's claim. And GOD used Job to show that his claim was a false one. We also read that in Revelation, Chapter 12, he is cast out of Heaven. So he manages to get to some part of Heaven anyway; the lower heavens.
Now, the hallmark of every true Believer is that we know what it is to struggle against these evil things; evil thoughts; blasphemies. Have you felt sometimes you had to throttle yourself because you are being tempted to say something evil, and you could almost not resist it? There is a devil at work trying to force you; but he can't do it without your permission! And if you feel that you can't resist, remember, you are not strong in yourself; you have to be strong in the LORD; that He will give you the strength you need. And as you call on His Name, the power is broken! As you call on the Name of YESHUA! And the devil will try and stop you from doing that.
One of my friends said that he woke up at night, (he is with the LORD now), John Rice, he woke up at night and he felt he was being throttled. He was in bed; he felt he was being throttled. And he tried to name the Name of YESHUA, but he could hardly get the word out of his mouth. Once he managed to, the whole thing was broken. So we don't know the extent of the power of the evil one; but we take the Name of GOD;
'The Name of the LORD is a strong tower, the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.'
We wrestle, lastly. It is collective. It is individual, yes; but it is also collective. For example, go back to Galatians, Chapter 6, verse 2; here's the collective:
'Bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the Law of Messiah.' Verse 5:
'For each one shall bear his own load.' There are two words used there: the word 'burden' in verse 2, is a burden that is too heavy for one person to carry. So when you see someone struggling under the load, you come and give them a helping hand; you put your shoulder underneath the load, or take the heavy end. Help them along. But in verse 5:
'Each one shall bear his own load,' that speaks of a load you and I can carry individually. Sometimes we see someone else struggling, and we come alongside them to encourage them; to comfort them; to help them in their trouble. But every one of us also has an individual load to carry. So it can be individual; it can be collective.
So here is the second trumpet call, verse 13:
'Therefore, take up the whole armour of GOD.' It is repeated, isn't it? We saw it already in verse 11:
'Put on the whole armour of GOD.' Here it is, repeated. When the children of Israel were about to march to the Promised Land, after they had built the Tabernacle;
'GOD said to Moses, 'Make yourself two silver trumpets. When you blow with one of them, that's to call everybody together. When you blow with both of them, that's when you're to march. And if you come against your enemies, blow both the trumpets.'' And here, we have the same thing. The trumpet call has been repeated; verse 11:
'Put on the whole armour of GOD.' The second trumpet, in verse 13:
'Therefore take up the whole armour of GOD.' That means, march! You're facing an enemy; you're going to conquer in the Name of GOD! But it means you have to fight the good fight of faith. The two trumpets.