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WRESTLING: Eph. 6:12
In Ephesians chapter 6 at verse 12, we have the only passage which can be directly applied to the sport of wrestling. However, it is important to remember that the general terms that we looked at previously that described the contestants apply to the contestants of all the different contests in the Grecian games. Therefore, what was said then applies to the runners, boxers and wrestlers and should be kept in mind as we consider each of these events. Now let us consider specifically the analogy of the wrestler in the Word of the Deity.
Upon looking at the context of Ephesians 6:12, we immediately notice that the imagery of a soldier is being presented to the reader and it must be asked whether verse 12 can apply to the sport of wrestling. The answer is that it probably applies to both for the word for "wrestle" can have an application appropriate to both areas. The Greek word for "wrestle" is, "PALE, (from PALLO to vibrate, shake) from Homer down, wrestling (a contest between two in which each endeavors to throw the other, and which is decided when the victor is able ... his prostrate antagonist, that is hold him down with his hand upon his neck; ..." Grimm-Thayer page 474. From The Expositor's Greek Testament on page 383 of volume 3, we have the following comment, "The term PALE, which occurs only this once in the New Testament, is used in classical Greek occasionally in the general sense of a battle or combat ... but usually in the specific sense of a contest in the form of wrestling. If it has its proper sense here, as most probable, there is a departure for the time being from the figure of the panoply, and a transition to one which brings up different ideas." Thus, from its meaning and use, it is possible to apply to both areas, but that its primary sense is that which applies to the sport of wrestling as found in the Grecian games. In fact, a similar transition occurs in 2 Tim. 2:3-5 where verses three and four apply to the image of a soldier and verse five to that of the Grecian games. (Again there is a sense in which verse 5 could apply to that of a soldier, but it is not the primary sense.) In light of all of the above discussion, we are going to consider this verse from the point of view of wrestling.
The very first word which verse 12 opens up with shows that there is a connection in thought between what Paul has just said in verse 11 and what he is about to say in verse 12 and beyond. The Greek word translated "for" is, "HOTI, introduces that which rests on a patent fact, that ... because, in as much as, seeing that." Bullinger page 296. Paul has just finished explaining that we needed to put on the whole armor of the Deity so that we might be able to stand fast against the wiles ("METHODEIA, ... method, art, artifice, cunning device, contrivance, craft, wiles, ..." Bullinger page 883.) of the DIABOLOS. The reason why he has given this advice in this passage is thus very clear. It is so that we can hold our ground under the very cunning craftiness of our opponent the falsely accusing enemy or adversary. The DIABOLOS, of course, is representative of all that springs forth from the carnal mind, or sin-in-the-flesh, in opposition to Yahweh's law, plan and purpose. Exactly what the term encompasses at this particular point in Paul's letter to the Ephesians will be set out in verse 12 where Paul considers us to be in a hand to hand struggle for the victory with various opponents. He shows this connection through the use of the Greek word translated "For".
Paul now points out that it is "we" or each and every one of us who have put on the saving name of the Lord Jesus Christ who are involved in this agonizing hand to hand struggle or fight with certain adversaries he is about to define.
Paul begins his analysis of the various opponents by first stating who the opponent is not. He states that our opponent is not flesh and blood. The word in the Greek for "not" is, "OU, ... not, no, expressing full and direct negation, independently and absolutely; hence objective, ... denies absolutely and directly ... denies what is a matter of fact ... negatives an affirmation ... is used when an object is regarded independently in itself ... implies non-existence absolutely ..." Bullinger page 525. In other words, we are not literally involved with the fighting of other men. Paul is quick to point this fact out so that he is not misconstrued and thus have certain of his readers who were of a more volatile nature going out and eliminating all opponents who would dare to persecute the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. Such action (as well as such teaching) is out of harmony with the teachings and example of the Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, are not permissable. In fact, we are commanded the complete opposite, namely, to agape-love our enemies. In this manner, Paul emphatically points out that this is just an analogy not something to be treated or carried out literally but to be studied for its symbolical and spiritual truths.
The phrase "flesh and blood" occurs four times in the New Testament, namely,
Matt. 16:17: And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
1 Cor. 15:50: Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
Gal. 1:16: To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:
Heb. 2:14: Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
and quite clearly points to frail mortal man in complete contrast to what the Deity is and what we can become through the power of the Deity. This usage seems to be directly related to such passages as Lev. 17:11 which says, "the life of the flesh is in the blood." (Lev. 17:14; Deut. 12:23-27: Note that in verse 27 the phrase "the flesh and the blood" occurs in reference to sacrifice.) Through this phrase Paul places in bold relief the true state of frail, weak, temporal, mortal man and thus all the doctrines and philosophies and supposed manifestations of might and power which spring forth from him and founded on such a foundation of grss or sand. It is these latter ideas that are going to make up our opponents in this passage.
Paul now introduces the four opponents that the Ephesian brethren and we ourselves are wrestling with. They are "1.) against principalities, 2.) against powers, 3.) against the rulers of the darkness of this world, 4.) against spiritual wickedness in high places." These are what make up the DIABOLOS referred to in verse 11. Let us now look at each of these opponents individually and determine the necessary means needed to subdue him (it) and be victorious.
The first opponent brought to our attention is "principalities" which comes from the Greek word "ARCHE, beginning; of time, the commencement; of dignity, the first place; government, the highest dignitaries of the State; ARCHE relates to the dignity of the position; EXOUSIA to its executive authority and power." Bullinger page 603. "...II. first place or power, sovereignty ... power over ... method of government ... 2. empire, realm ... 3. magistracy, office ... 4. in plural, ... the authorities, the magistrates ..." Liddell and Scott page 252. The word occurs in the following New Testament passages:
Luke 12:11 "magistrates" "And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and power, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say:"
Luke 20:20 "power" "the chief priests and the scribes ... watched him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor."
Rom. 8:38 "principalities" "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
1 Cor. 15:24 "rule" "Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the Kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power."
Eph. 1:21 "principality" The Deity has exalted Christ to His right hand in the heavenlies, "Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:"
Eph. 3:10 "principalities" Paul was selected to "preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; and to make all man see what is the fellowship of the mystery ... To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in the heavenlies might be known through the ecclesia the manifold wisdom of God."
Eph. 6:12 "principalites"
Col. 1:16 "principalities" "For in him were all things created, that are in the heavens, and that are on the earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers ..."
Col. 2:10 "principality" "And ye are complete in him, which is the head of principality and power:"
Col. 2:15 "principalities" "And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it."
Titus 3:1 "principalities" "Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work."
Jude 6 "first estate" "And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in aionian chains under darkness unto the judgment of the grear day." For an excellent exposition of this passage see Bro. H.P. Mansfield's, Contending Earnestly For The Faith."
The Diaglott translates this term as meaning "the governments" which is exactly what the above definitions and passages indicate. Paul was telling the brethren in Ephesus that the gospel message would bring them into direct conflict with the political governments of that time. It was exactly the same message that Jesus had given his disciples in Luke 12:11-12. In fact, Jesus himself was brought before the civil and religious governments of his time which ended in his crucifiction and Paul was repeatedly brought before religious and civil authorities until his death by Nero. No doubt many of the brethren in Ephesus would experience precaution and even death at the hands of the pagan civil and religious governments of that time. However, thanks to Yahweh and the Lord Jesus Christ, we, at present, are not experiencing similar problems in most areas where the brethren are found. But we must realize that things could change at any moment and, therefore, we must constantly exercise ourselves unto all Godliness so that we might be in excellent spiritual shape just in case a similar situation arises. It must be remembered that we are conscientous objectors and this in the past has forced many a brother to stand before the governing bodies of many a country and faithfully witness to his conviction. In fact, Christadelphians have suffered in many ways such as imprisonment, beating, and even death because of this very point. So let us not be so naive in these present tolerant times to say it could not happen to me, but let us fervently practice for any future spiritual wrestling matches with the governing bodies! Remember the disciples were told that the holy soirit would teach them what to say but we do not have the holy spirit gifts so we do not have that advantage. However, we do have the gift of the holy soirit, namely, the complete revelation of Yahweh in His written word. Therefore, it is His spirit-word constantly studied that will allow us to develop the mind of the spirit and ennable us to faithfully stand before all challenges by the civil authorities. Remember also it is our duty to make our position clear unto them as well as all of mankind for we are the lights of the world with the word of life combusting in our minds and shining in our words, character and way of life.
The second opponent that is introduced is referred to as "the powers" which is a translation of the Greek word, "EXOUSIA, (from EXESTI, it is allowed, one can, it is permitted, denying the presence of a hindrance) delegated authority, liberty or authority to do anything; combining the two ideas of right and might ..." Bullinger page 593. It occurs in the following New Testament passages:
Matt. 8:9 "authority"
Luke 7:8 "authority"
Luke 12:11 "powers"
Luke 19:17 "authority"
Luke 20:20 "authority"
Luke 22:53 "power"
Luke 23:7 "jurisdiction"
John 19:10 "power ...power," II. "power"
Acts 9:14 "authority"
Acts 26:10 "authority"
Acts 26:12 "authority," 18. "power"
Rom. 13:1,2,3 "power(s)" (5 times.)
1 Cor. 15:24 "authority"
Eph. 1:21 "power"
Eph. 2:2 "power"
Eph. 3:10 "powers"
Eph. 6:12 "powers"
Col. 1:13 "power"
Col. 1:16 "powers"
Col. 2:10 "power"
Col. 2:15 "powers"
Titus 3:1 "powers"
NOTE: It is important to realize at this point that the only passages selected above were those which directly apply to those who have the delegated authority in the governments of this present day and age to execute the laws of the land and not to those that apply to Yahweh, His son, the apostles, ourselves and the immortalized saints except for 1 Cor. 15:24, Col. 2:10 which occur in the listing under principalities. It is well worth the time and effort to check out these latter usages!
The Diaglott translates the term as "the authorities" and this along with the K.J.V.'s rendering above adequately express what is being conveyed by the Apostle Paul. The first opponent was the civil and religious governing bodies as a whole and the second opponent is the individual rulers, officials and magistrates who execute the decisions and laws of the government. As has already been noted the civil and religious governing bodies were very hostile to the brethren in Paul's time and thus various rulers were noted for their ferocity with which they executed the laws of the land such as those under Nero who would be the chief ruler or ARCHE referred to previously. It is at this point that it is important to realize that all power in heaven and in earth has been given unto Jesus by his Father (Matt. 28:18; 17:2; Col. 2:10,15; 1 Pet. 3:22.) and he along with his immortalized saints will crush all opposition to it in the establishing of the Kingdom and the period beyond the Owlam (1 Cor. 15:24; Rev. 2:26;14:18; 18:1). (All of these passages are those in which our word translated "powers" in Eph. 6:12 occurs.) Thus, let us wrestle with all our spiritual strength and skill acquired from a life time of spiritual training against all civil and religious officials who are usurping the authority of the Deity and destroying many people as a result. Remember if we do not contend against these blind leaders of the blind (Matt. 15:14; Luke 6:39), then the dead will be burying the dead (Matt. 8:22; Luke 9:60) without any witness against their system of darkness and we would have failed in as far as our duty as Christ's witnesses is concerned.
The third opponent is described as "the rulers of the darkness of this world." The word for "rulers" in the Greek is, "KOSMOKRATOR, lord of the world. Here, plural, the world holders [of this darkness.]" Bullinger page 653. "... world-rulers (used of world-ruling gods ... and of the emperor Caracalla ..." Arndt and Gingrich page 446. "... lord of the world ... 2. of the Emperors ...." Liddell and Scott page 984. This word only occurs in this passage in the New Testament. At that time the followers of Christ Jesus were in conflict with the very chief leaders such as Nero the emperor of the Roman Empire at whose hands Paul was put to death. The emperors required that they be worshipped as gods and, thus, the throwing of incense upon an altar dedicated unto the emperor became the test of whether an individual was a Christian or not. Those who remained faithful and would not do it met with a violent judicial death. Of course, at present in the free Western World, as it is called, there is no such repression of religious beliefs by those who are the chief leaders but that does not mean that things could not change. If such be the case, then our answer must be that of Peter and John before the Sanhedrin when questioned about the cure and message that accompanied the cure of the lame man at the gate of the temple called Beautiful, namely, "Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard." Acts 4:19-20. Later when questioned by the high priest about their disobedience they answered, in part. "we ought to obey God rather than men ..." (Acts 5:29) This must always be our attitude in wrestling with any adversary of the Truth. It is an attitude that the flesh rebels again but which can be achieved as a result of the constant discipline the spiritual athlete endures as discussed previously. Now note the success of the spiritual athlete's training in regards to the incident referred to above, "... and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ." Acts 5:40-42. Thus, we see such a physical, mental, and spiritual challenge to their faith and faithfulness was successfully met and overcome because of their previous period of spiritual training. In the same manner, we can be successful spiritual wrestlers.
In dealing with the significance of the phrase, "of the darkness of this world" the first problem that must be dealt with is that connected with the word "world". Some texts include the word AION, translated "world" in the K.J.V., and others do not. If one uses the text used by the translators of the K.J.V., then the significance of the passage is that Paul is dealing with the rulers of the darkness of the particular age we find ourselves in, namely, the Gentile Age. If one does not use this particular text, then the word is omitted and the passage would be rendered as "of this darkness". However, the definite article does occur in the text and if used in the translation we would have "of this the darkness." Thus Paul, in either case, is using a term which is representative of the state of things that the principalities, powers and world-rulers find themselves in and are a direct result of their own carnal minded thinking.
The word for "darkness" in the Greek is, "SKOTOS, darkness, absence of light ... (b) neuter." Bullinger page 201. It only occurs in the following passages as classified below:
1.) A term applied collectively to those ignorant of God's plan or purpose with the earth or that condition that those members of the kingdom of men find themselves in: Matt. 4:16; 8:12; 22:13; 25:30; luke 1:79; 22:53; Acts 26:18; Rom. 2:19; 13:12; 2 Cor. 6:14; Eph. 5:8,11; 6:12; Col.1:13; 1 Thess. 5:4,5; 1 Pet. 2:9.
2.) Individuals who are spiritually ignorant: Matt. 6:23; Luke 11:35; John 3:19; Acts 26:18; Rom. 13:12; 2 Cor. 6:14; Eph. 5:8; 1 Thess. 5:4; 1 John 1:6.
3.) Literal darkness but with a possible symbolical meaning: Matt. 27:45; Mark 15:33; Luke 23:44; Acts 13:11; 2 Cor. 4:6; Heb. 12:18; 2 Pet. 2:17; Jude 13.
4.) Things which are forgotten or hidden: 1 Cor. 4:5.
From the above analysis it is quite clear that the adversaries Paul is talking about are those who he refers to in Eph. 4:17-19 as "Gentiles" that "walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness." This is a very apt description of those who are unenlightened in "the things concerning the Kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ." Acts 8:12. Paul further describes this condition in 2 Cor. 4:3-4, "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of the world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." Such a description of our adversaries helps us in our training and strategy in order to successfully wrestle against them. The only means we have of overcoming darkness is through light. Darkness can not exist where there is light. There exists a direct relationship between light and darkness, namely, the greater the light the less the darkness. Every increase in light leads to a decrease in darkness! Think of a dark room! Nothing can be seen because sight is dependent upon light! In such a situation we feel completely helpless for we can not see where we are or where we have been or where we are going. All we can do is stumble around the room until we either injure ourselves or find a corner to sit down in or find a light source. Now strike a match and we can now perceive to a very limited extent our surroundings and we feel a bit more secure. Now switch on a light source containing a 25 watt bulb and we see even more and our cinfidence grows accordingly. Now turn on a light source with a 150 watt bulb and everything in the room is distinct and we feel absolutely confident because the darkness has been completely destroyed. Likewise, as we partake of the spirit-word and apply it to our lives we begin to manifest a light which destroys the spiritual darkness that was natural to ouselves at one time and is the natural condition of our opponent. The more we study and apply the greater becomes our light and the greater becomes our spiritual strength and the more successful we will be in overcoming our opponents who as spiritual wrestlers we are opposing. (Consider 1 Sam. 2:9; Prov. 4:18-19; 2:13; Ps. 82:5; 112:4.)
Consider the following analysis of light in connection with the above:
God declared the light he provided was good: Gen. 1:4; 2 Cor. 4:6.
The light enlightened the earth: Gen. 1:15,17; Jer. 31:35; Matt. 5:14-16; Luke 8:16.
The light separates from darkness: Gen. 1:18; Is. 9:2; Jer. 31:35; Matt. 4:16; Luke 1:79; 2:32; 11:33; John 1:5; 3:19-21; Acts 26:18; 2 Cor. 6:14.
Israel had light in their dwellings but Egypt was in thick darkness: Ex. 10:21-23.
Israel led by light of the pillar of fire: Ex. 13:21; 14:20; Neh. 9:12,19; Ps. 78:14; 105: 39.
Rebellion against light: Job 24:13.
We are led by the Deity's light: Job 29:3; Is. 2:5.
Light produces Life: Job 33:28,30; Ps. 18:28; 27:1; 36:9; 49:19; 56:13; John 8:12.
The Way Of Light: Job 38:19; Prov. 4:18; 1 Pet. 2:9; 1 John 1:7; 2:9,10.
The Deity enlightens: Ps. 18:28; Is. 42:16; 60:19,20; Micah 7:8; 2 Cor. 4:6; 1 Pet. 2:9.
The Deity is the source of Light: Gen. 1:14-16; Ps. 27:1; 36:9; 118:27; 136:7; 139:11-12; Is. 45:7; Dan. 2:22; John 1:4; 1 Tim. 6:16; James 1:17; 1 Pet. 2:9; 1John 1:5.
Righteousness compared to light: Ps. 37:6; Matt. 17:2.
Light equated to truth: Ps. 43:3; John 1:7-9; 3:21.
Divine favor: Ps. 4:6; 44:3; 89:15.
Reveals that which is secret: Ps. 90:8; John 3:21; 1 Cor. 4:5; Eph. 5:13
Light benefits the righteous: Ps. 97:11; 112:4; John 11:9-10.
Light equated to word of Deity: Ps. 119:105,130; Prov. 6:23; Is. 8:20; Luke 11:35-36; John 3:19-21; 11:9-10; 12:35-36; 2 Cor. 4:4,6; 2 Cor. 11:14; 1 Pet. 2:9; 2 Pet. 1:19; 1 John 2:8,9,10.
Immortal saints symbolized by stars of light: Gen. 1:16; Ps. 148:3.
The Life of the righteous: Prov. 13:9.
The Light of the eyes: Prov. 15:30; Matt. 6:22,23; Luke 11:34-36.
King's favor: Prov. 16:15.
The effect of Light is sweet: Ecc. 11:7.
The failure to distinguish between light and darkness: Is. 5:20; 59:9; Jer. 13:16.
The Deity is referred to as "the Light of Israel": Is. 10:17.
That which flows forth from rulers and potentates, secular or religious: Is. 13:10; 60:19; Jer. 4:23; Ezek. 32:7-8; Matt. 24:29; Mark 13:24; Rev. 7:16; 22:5.
That which emanates from Christ and his immortalised followers: Gen.1:14-16; Ps. 136:7; Is. 30:26; 60:3; Hab. 3:4; Rev. 21:23,24; 22:5.
Jesus as a source of light: Is. 9:2; 42:6; 49:6; Matt. 4:16; Luke 1:79; 2:32; John 1:7,8,9; 3:19-21; 8:12; 9:5; 11:9-10; 12:35-36,46; Acts 26:23; Eph. 5:14.
The Deity's judgments enlighten: Is. 51:4.
True Life is symbolized by light: Ps. 18:28; Is. 58:8,10; 60:1; Micah 7:9; Matt. 17:2; Acts 26:23.
Light symbolizing Life: Jer.25:10; Lam. 3:2; Amos 5:18,20; Rom. 13:12; Eph 5:14; Col. 1:12; Rev. 18:23; 21:11.
Light equated to knowledge: Dan. 5:11,14; Rom. 2:19.
Judgments upon Ephraim and Judah compared to light: Hosea 6:5.
To be open (revealed): Matt. 10:27; Luke 12:3; 2 Tim. 1:10.
The saints are the children of light: Luke 16:8.
Preaching of John the Baptist: John 5:35 (See footnote page 128, Vol. 8 of The Story Of The Bible by Brother H. P. Mansfield.)
Paul is symbolized as a light to the Gentiles: Acts 13:47.
The fourth and last opponent that Paul mentions in Eph. 6:12 is described in the K.J.V. as "spiritual wickedness in high places." The word in the Greek for "spiritual" is, "PNEUMATIKOS, belonging to the spirit, or determined by the PNEUMA; influenced by it, or proceeding from it." Bullinger page 730. It only occurs in the following New Testament passages:
Rom. 1:11 "spiritual" Paul tells the brethren in Rome that he desires to impart some spiritual gift unto them. That is, a gift which flows forth from the spirit manifested in power in himself as well as the word of the Deity. It would appear the fruit of the spirit are in mind here. See Gal. 5:22-23.
Rom. 7:14"spiritual" Paul states that the law is spiritual or has its origin in God who communicated it to Israel through His angel by His spirit and thus, it is spiritual. This is in direct opposition with that which is carnal or has its origin in flesh which is the contrast Paul makes here.
Rom. 15:27 "spiritual" Paul states that the Gentiles are partakers of Israel's spiritual things or all that pertains to salvation. Again, a contrast is made with carnal things or in this case with money.
1 Cor. 2:13 "spiritual" Here the spiritual things referred to are the words of the Deity communicated by the holy spirit.
1 Cor. 2:15 "spiritual" Here Paul refers to a person whose mind is steeped in the spirit-word and thus, has the mind of Christ as spiritual. Such a person lives a life that manifests the characteristics of Yahweh as revealed in His word and thus, is described as spiritual as opposed to the unenlightened mind which is carnal.
1 Cor. 3:1 "spiritual" Here Paul refers to the brethren in Corinth as carnal or being by the mind and impulses of the flesh and not spiritual or being guided by the word of Yahweh.
1 Cor. 9:11 "spiritual" Paul tells the brethren that he had sown unto them spiritual things or that which pertains to Yahweh and His plan of salvation and therefore, he had a right to reap their carnal things or those things that spring forth from the flesh such as money and all material things.
1 Cor. 10:3 "spiritual" Both the manna and the quail was provided by Yahweh's spirit or power manifested in the angel of His presence and thus, it was spiritual meat. In this manner, by logical extension, it becomes a symbol of the spirit-word.
1 Cor. 10:4 "spiritual ... spiritual" Both the water and the rock out which the water flowed were acted upon by the spirit of Yahweh and thus salvation for the Israelites was once again effected. Therefore, the water is referred to as a spiritual drink and the rock as a spiritual rock. The power or spirit of the Deity was manifested through both.
1 Cor. 12:1 "spiritual" Here the word "gifts" does not occur in the original and therefore, "spiritual" can either define those who had the spirit gifts or the actual gifts themselves. In either case, the manifestation of the spirit of God for the purpose of salvation is associated with the word spiritual.
1 Cor. 14:1 "spiritual" Here the emphasis seems to be on the miraculous gifts of the holy spirit.
1 Cor. 14:37 "spiritual" Here the term spiritual seems to indicate one through whom the spirit of God was manifested.
1 Cor. 15:44 "spiritual ... spiritual" Here spiritual is being used to define that type of body one will possess after being given the Divine nature as opposed to the natural mortal body one now possesses. A spiritual body is one which is animated completely by the spirit of God and is completely filled and enveloped by it.
1 Cor. 15:46 "spiritual ... spiritual"
Gal. 6:1 "spiritual" Here spiritual is describing one who possesses the spirit gifts.
Eph. 1:3 "spiritual" Here spiritual is being used to describe the blessings that all those who are in Christ receive. All these spiritual blessings are those which have their origin in God and flow forth to us in harmony with His plan of salvation.
Eph. 5:19 "spiritual" Here spiritual is being used of the type of songs we should sing, namely, those governed by the mind of the spirit as contained in the spirit-word.
Eph. 6:12 "spiritual" Here spiritual is being used to describe wickedness and therefore, must refer to religious error that was being manifested in opposition to the saints. Rotherham translates this passage as, "Against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenlies (the political heavens)."
Col. 1:9 "spiritual" Here spiritual is describing the type of understanding that Paul prayed that the brethren in Colosse might have, namely, that governed or based upon the spirit-word.
Col. 3:16 "spiritual" Same as Eph. 5:19.
1 Pet. 2:5 "spiritual ... spiritual" Here spiritual is being used to describe the symbolical house that we are a part of when baptised into Christ because it is created by the work of God by His spirit through His son. Also, it is applied to the symbolical sacrifices that we offer up in our daily service unto God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
The word translated "wickedness" has the definite article in front of it in the original and should be read "the wickedness." It comes from the Greek word,"PONERIA, evil nature, delight in evil, malignity, malevolence, the wicked act of the mind ..." Bullinger page 882. "...in our literature only in the ethical sense wickedness, baseness, maliciousness, sinfulness ..." Arndt and Gingrich page 697. It only occurs in the following New Testament passages:
Matt. 22:18 "wickedness" Jesus perceived the treachery of the Pharisees and the Herodians and the narrative describes it as wickedness.
Mark 7:22 "wickedness" One of the manifestations of the heart that Jesus describes as defiling men.
Luke 11:39 "wickedness" Jesus contrasts the outward righteouis appearance of the Pharisees with the true state of their mind by saying that their "inward part is full of ravening and wickedness."
Acts 3:26 "iniquities" Peter told the Jews that "unto you first God, having raised up his son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities." Thus, it is used to represent what Jesus' sacrifice effected in saving mankind.
Rom. 1:29 "wickedness" One of the terms that Paul uses to describe those who reject God.
1 Cor. 5:8 :wickedness" Paul admonishes the Corinthian brethren to remove this characteristic as well as malice in order to combine that with a positive attitude of sincerity and truth at the Memorial of Jesus' sacrifice.
Eph. 6:12 "wickedness" Paul uses this term to describe the wickedness of the religious opposition the followers of Christ would have to oppose.
The phrase "in high places" is literally "in the heavenlies." The word in the Greek translated "high places" in the K.J.V. is , "EPOURANIOS, OURANOS, heaven, the over-arching and all-embracing heaven beneath which is the earth and all that is therein with EPI, upon, in, heavenly, what pertains to, or is in heaven." Bullinger pages 363, 364. It only occurs in the following New Testament passages:
Matt. 18:35 "heavenly" A term used to describe the status, character and nature of our God in association with His title as Father. In fact, it probably directly related to His position in the heavens and thus representative of exaltation.
John 3:12 "heavenly" Jesus uses this term to describe those things which are representative of the mind of God and His plan and purpose with the earth.
1 Cor. 15:40 "celestial ... celestial" Here again our term refers to the quality of life possessed by such as the angels and Christ and the Deity in contrast to that possessed by mere mortal man.
1 Cor. 15:48 "heavenly ... heavenly" Here the contrast is between what we are now and what we can become, namely, immortal and incorruptible or heavenly possessing the type of life which our heavenly Father has. Again, note that verse 46 makes a similar contrast between the natural and the spiritual. Thus, earthy and natural are terms that describe us now but spiritual and heavenly describe us as to what we will become.
1 Cor. 15:49 "heavenly" Of course, spiritual and heavenly also describe the type of moral life we are suppose to be leading now. Verse 49 continues these thoughts.
Eph. 1:3 "heavenly" Symbolically, we are with Christ in the heavenlies since he is there at the right hand of the Father and we are in him through baptism. Thus, figuratively, we partake of that type of existence we hope to realize in the Kingdom when Christ will rule in the political heavens and we will possess a nature which is heavenly or comparable to that of our heavenly Father.
Eph. 1:20 "heavenly" Here Paul refers to Christ's exaltation by the Father to His right hand in the heavenlies.
Eph. 2:6 "heavenly" The symbolism is that described in Eph.1:3.
Eph. 3:10 "heavenly" Here Paul refers to the political heavens of his day and age to which it was their duty to witness to those who ruled in them.
Eph. 6:12 "high" Here Paul refers to the political heavens of his day and age and the religious error that was manifested there in which was in opposition to Paul and the true followers of Christ. Paul's thought could encompass the heavenlies in Christ where the saints were for there were those there that apostasized and joined with the religious error of the pagan and Jewish worlds to oppose the true believers.
Phil. 2:10 "in heaven" "In the heavenlies" could refer to either the angels or the saints in Christ Jesus or both.
2 Tim. 4:18 "heavenly" This term is used to describe the Kingdom for it belongs to our heavenly Father; and Christ and his co-rulers have a nature which is heavenly; and the character of the times will be that much exalted as the heavens are above the earth compared to the times of government by earthy rulers now.
Heb. 3:1 "heavenly" Our calling is described by the term heavenly because it is from our heavenly Father and His son who possesses a similar heavenly nature. Also, it is descriptive of the exalted nature of this calling.
Heb. 6:4 "heavenly" The heavenly gift is the gift of the spirit which they had only tasted through the spirit gift manifestation in their midst. But in the Future the heavenly gift will be bestowed upon the true believers in abundance so that they will be possessors of a heavenly body of immortality and incorruption also described as spiritual and Divine.
Heb. 8:5 "heavenly" The Mosaic law and all its ritual was a shadow of the heavenlies which are realized in Christ now and in the future.
Heb. 9:23 "heavenly" The heavenlies referred to here are Christ and the saints.
Heb. 11:16 "heavenly" Heavenly is used to describe the country that Abraham was seeking for it would be from God and not man.
Heb. 12:22 "heavenly" The heavenly Jerusalem is a phrase descriptive of Christ and the saints.
In bringing the above information together about the fourth opponent, we are immediately impressed with the fact that the brethren then and now were and are confronted with wicked and malicious religious leaders both in the heavenlies in Christ and in the political heavens of the kingdom of men. In Paul's day and age, Jews, Pagans and apostasizing Christians were opposing and oppressing all true believers in every way they could. Of course, that has been the history of the truth throughout the ages. Religious leaders and their adherents wherever and whenever they had the power in the political heavens of their geographical location went to great lengths to stamp out all others. In fact, Christ and the Apostles constantly warned that this would be the case so that all true believers would be forewarned and prepared to meet all the trials and tribulations that they would be put through. The Apocalypse alone has much comfort and warning centering around this very point and thus is valuable to all spiritual wrestlers in every day and age. Thus, let us study their message and be prepared.
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