Our text from Ephesians chapter 6 verse 12 tells us why we put on the whole armour of GOD. We wrestle against powers and none of us is exempt! Here is the reason why we must
'put on the armour of GOD'
: Let's go back to Ecclesiastes, Chapter 8. Solomon is speaking there. Ecclesiastes, Chapter 8, verse 8:
'No one has power over the spirit to retain the spirit; and no one has power in the day of death. There is no discharge in that war, and wickedness will not deliver those who are given to it.'
Wickedness here, speaks about the devil's grasp of the unBeliever.
'Wickedness will not deliver those who are given to it.'
There is a war against wickedness being described here, and
'There is no discharge in that war.'
So Solomon is telling us, 'We are in a war!' We are in a war not only against outward enemies; but against inward enemies. We have to fight ourselves. Sometimes we have to speak to ourselves. It isn't the first sign of madness to speak to yourself! If you have been feeling self-conscious about it, because you speak to yourself, that's okay, you go right ahead, especially when you talk to yourself. David says,
'I will say to my soul, 'Why art thou cast down, O my soul, and why art thou disquieted within me? Hope in GOD for I shall yet praise Him!''
So we speak to ourselves. This conflict; it is a wrestling, and it is not a human conflict. The LORD YESHUA said,
My kingdom is not of this world, else My servants would fight that I should not be delivered to the Jews. But now, My kingdom is not from hence. We are wrestling then, not with flesh and blood; it isn't an earthly conflict. In the Garden of Gethsemane when Peter drew his sword and struck a servant of the high priest and took off his ear, YESHUA said,
''Put up your sword in its place again. They that use the sword shall perish by the sword. The cup which My Father has given to Me, shall I not drink it?'' So He taught His disciples that it is a spiritual conflict that we are involved in. We are involved in wrestling against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
The principalities; these are the highest spiritual powers. The word is 'princes', 'princes of darkness'. Those that are in supreme control; that includes Satan, himself. In the Book of Zechariah, (we have to look at that.) Zechariah, Chapter 3, we see satan at work there. The Prophet, Zechariah, was given a vision in which he saw the high priest, Joshua, standing before the Angel of the LORD. Joshua, the high priest, was the representative of his people. He was clothed with filthy garments, which represented the sins of his people; and we read here, Chapter 3 in verses 1 and 2:
'Then he showed me Joshua, the high priest, standing before the Angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at His right hand to oppose him. And the LORD said to Satan, 'The LORD rebuke you, Satan. The LORD Who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?'' And as we read on, we find the Angel of the LORD not only rebuked Satan, and sent him on his way, but replaced those filthy garments with new garments! Verse 4:
'Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him saying, 'Take away the filthy garments from him'; and to him He said, 'See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes!''
This is what Messiah does! As we come to Him, the devil accuses us, 'You have no right! You have no right to ask for mercy! Look at all the things you've said and done!' Satan, standing at our right hand. What does Messiah do, because this 'Angel of the LORD' here is the Messiah? He turns around and He doesn't rebuke us; He rebukes our accuser; and the reason is because He, Himself that rebukes the accuser, is our 'Sin bearer; our Substitute!' If, in a court of Law, I have been discharged; given absolute discharge, and someone rises up after the Judge has passed his verdict, and said, 'Absolute discharge.' Suppose someone says, 'Objection, your Honour!' Do you know what the Judge will say to him? 'Sit down! Or I'll have you in contempt! I'll have you arrested for contempt of court. Sit down! I have passed my sentence; I know what I am doing. Sit down!'
And what we see here, the Angel of the LORD says to Satan,
''The LORD rebuke you! Even the LORD Who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?'' You and I are brands plucked out of the fire! And the devil might as well accuse YESHUA, as accuse you! Because you are in Him; He is of GOD, made unto you wisdom and righteousness, and sanctification and redemption. Thank GOD for so great a salvation! But that doesn't mean they won't try! They do try. They try it on. But the LORD always rebukes them.
Principalities; powers; they are the second in rank in the evil angel hierarchy. Then we have, thirdly, 'the rulers of the darkness of this age'. That means, they rule by darkness; they rule by keeping the darkness there. They try and prevent the Light from entering in. The god of this world, says the Bible, has blinded the minds of those that believe not; lest the Light of the glorious Gospel of Messiah, Who is the image of GOD, should shine to them. They make sure the people are kept in ignorance; kept in darkness. This is the system in all false religions. Keep the people ignorant! They reign through darkness; they reign through ignorance; they reign through unbelief. And Shaul said, 'When GOD called me, He called me to turn people from darkness to light; from the kingdom of Satan to GOD.