Ephesians 6: 12

[A Scripture Study on Ephesians 6: 12]



In all of my days studying God’s Word, I have never done what is called a Scripture Study.  I have done Word Studies, but never a Scripture Study.  I have never heard of it being done before, so it has become my own idea.  It can become monotonous to use the same format every time I do a teaching for you.  This teaching will be unique because it will break apart and analyze the above Scripture. 


I am going to get to Ephesians 6: 12 as it is written in the King James Version.  Now I am going to repeat myself to you once again so that you understand why we use the King James Version.  It puts the words that are added by the translators into italics.  When a translator is not sure of the interpretation of a word due to a number of reasons, he adds his own word to try and make sense of the Scripture.  The King James Version is the only version that I know that will show you which specific word that the Scribe has added by his own free will.  Sometimes, what the Scribe adds is correct and many times it is incorrect and will throw the Word of God into pieces – in other words, it won’t make any sense.  Now I have gone over this with you time and time again and I will not feel it is necessary to do so any longer.  Now, once and for all you know beyond a shadow of a doubt why we use the King James Version. 


Now, we will return to the original Scripture of Ephesians 6: 12.  If you would look at the Scripture and especially at the last word, you will see that this word is in italics and it tells you that it was added by the translators.  You will see that we will replace those italics with a more sensible explanation.  So I am glad for you that this Scripture we will be studying in detail does have a word that is in italics.  Your understanding of this verse in all of its totality is going to help you a great deal in your spiritual understanding.  Let’s go to this verse as it is written in the King James Version.


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.  -- Ephesians 6: 12


We have to really ask ourselves, “Do we really understand this Scripture?”  I have a note in my Bible that is really exciting and enlightening.  I will save it for later.  There is a part of the Scripture that I want to review since it has given me some trouble over the years.  At one time, the ministry that I studied with did a theatrical presentation about seed of the serpent.  It included many types of devil spirits and also many actual believers.  It showed what was taking place in the spiritual realm.  This is what you must know and realize every day of your life.  The word that I’m concerned about is the third word in the above Scripture and that word is ‘wrestle’.  It can be said that we are soldiers for the Lord but it can also be said that we are athletes of the spirit.  Hence the word ‘wrestle’.  I wanted to get that by you quickly because later were going to see a number of Scriptures where the athletic term can be used in place of a military type term.  Ephesians 6: 12 is most interesting and important once you understand what it is really saying.  It will set you free in many areas and it will give you a knowledge that you need to overcome your personal adversary.  You will finally know the truth about what we deal with every single day.


Another area of the verse is the last word which is ‘places’.  It is in italics as you can see.  A more literal translation of this last word would be ‘from on high’.  I am not adept at Greek or Aramaic texts, but have learned from the people in my previous research department what these different translations should be.  The enemy is second in power to God and God is definitely up on high above everything pertaining to this world.  So the enemy who is second in power to God can also be referred to as being ‘from on high’.  Now you can see the counterfeit of the enemy as pertaining to anything that refers to God – even his position.


A different part of the verse says “against the rulers of the darkness of this world”.  This should be stated as the “world rulers of the darkness of this age”.  Why is this important?  Because they are not only rulers, but they are world rulers.  They rule the world and we need to be specific to have accuracy.  So they are world rulers of the darkness of this age.


Now we are going to go back to the word ‘wrestle’.  We are going to stay with the athletic terminology of the context of this verse and many others, as you will see.  What exactly does it mean when it says we are to wrestle not against flesh and blood?  Then what in the world do we wrestle against?  Believe it or not, we wrestle against principalities and against powers and against the rulers of the darkness of this age.  We do not wrestle against human beings, but we wrestle against human beings who are influenced by and controlled by devil spirits.  It is really quite a shock when you first learn this, but you must be spiritually sharp to live the more than abundant life and to be more than a conqueror in every single situation.  Now here is the statement that really shook me.


I am going to repeat it again for you so that it will stay with you even more so.


You compete against people who are influenced by devil spirits.  It is always a spiritual competition.


That’s what the verse is really saying.  The word ‘against’ is the Greek word anaphora which is used to emphasize spiritual conflict.  You can get a rough idea so far as to how much doctrine is in this one verse of Scripture.  It is imperative that you understand this Scripture so that you can understand what is working against you.  It has been said to love the person and hate the spirit.  It is difficult to do because many times because to defeat a devil spirit you must get away from the person in which that spirit is operating.


To help you understand this athletic terminology, I feel it is best that we turn to some examples that relate to the subject.  In one part of my research materials, it is written:  “As soldiers of Christ, we are not to become unduly involved in the trivia of this life, as II Timothy warns”.  Now you can change this sentence and substitute the word ‘athletes’ in place of the word soldiers.  You see how it still fits especially due to the fact that we are in a wrestling match with the god of this world.  Now let’s take a look at II Timothy.


Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier [athlete] of Jesus Christ.  – II Timothy 2: 3


You can see how the word athlete fits into the Scripture correctly.  An upcoming explanation of how the word soldier slowly has become the word athlete will originate in Ephesians.  I am certain from so many examples that I have seen that we are actually athletes of the spirit and at the least we should stay in good spiritual condition by study and applying God’s Word.


But the main part of this teaching has already been taught to you and that is pertaining to Ephesians 6: 12.  You must remember that we are dealing with the devil spirit realm and not with flesh and blood.  I know it may sound a little scary to you, but you must remember that greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.  This way you can give the devil headaches wherever you go.  It is necessary that you believe that the spirit of God in Christ in you is greater than what is in the world for you to be more than a conqueror and to defeat the enemy in your personal life.  It’s not hard to believe.  Remember:  When you hold out a pen above your desk, and you drop it, you are 100% sure that it’s going to fall straight down.  Believing is that simple.  You don’t have to grunt and you don’t have to groan – all you need to do is to believe.  That teaching is one of the greatest teaching I ever heard from an assistant branch leader – a woman – who was one of the most dynamic believers and teachers I ever had the privilege to listen to.


Let’s go back to II Timothy and go to the next verse. 


No man that warreth [serves] entangleth himself with the affairs of this  life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier [an athlete].   – II Timothy 2: 4


The figurative language of soldiers and athletes needs to be explained to a certain extent as these words are found throughout the Bible.  The most critical advice given to us as athletes of Christ has already been given to you in Ephesians 6: 12.


We must remember that our battle is a spiritual one and it is not a physical battle.  Therefore we must equip ourselves with spiritual resources to fight evil powers.  We do not use swords and armour but we prepare ourselves with the resources of God’s Word.  The following verse will be the best verse that I can give you pertaining to this explanation of athletes versus soldiers.  That Scripture is the next one following Ephesians 6: 12.


Now I want you to watch the literal translation of this verse pertaining to our subject matter.  In my Bible, I have had these words written in next to this verse for at least 10 to 20 years so I am certain that they are accurate.  This, I should mention to you, is somewhat of an advanced teaching and you must study it over and over again until it finally sinks in.


Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  -- Ephesians 6: 13


The following is a much more literal translation of the verse and it includes a note that I have mentioned in my Bible that verifies and proves that we are not dealing with the military instruments of war.  But our fight is between the ears and we deal with the resources of God which defeats the enemy.  It is all between the ears and that is where we condition ourselves to be athletes of the spirit.


Now let me get into the literal translation of Ephesians 6: 13.


Wherefore take unto you all the resources of God, that ye may be able to withstand the evil one, and having done all, to stand.  -- Ephesians 6: 13  [Emphasis added]


To help you, I have increased the font size of any changes that took place in the original Scripture.  It only makes sense to the man of God that we are using resources and not military tools to fight against the enemy.  This makes us become more and more like an athlete who must stay in good physical condition and mental condition so that we can beat the enemy at his game which is to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.


So in conclusion, we are always dealing with and competing with devil spirits.  Believe me, when you walk with God’s Word, they run.  It is when you are out of fellowship and you are sinning, that the adversary can get to you and believe me he will.  That is why it is important to know the Word of God as much as possible.


It is my greatest desire to teach you all of the possible Word of God rightly divided that I can teach you on this computer.  I have never under shepherded anybody on the computer before 1998.  I was as hot as can be when it came to witnessing because it just came natural.  I don’t want glory.   What good is glory?  Give the glory to God.  He is the one who deserves it.  Now this teaching is so important that you do not yet realize it.  But as you study it more and more, you will begin to see spiritually what is going on behind the scenes.  The enemy hides while God comes right out the open.  We have exposed another one of his devices and methods today.  I can only hope that this blesses you and it increases your knowledge of the magnificent Word of God. 


Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize?  So run, that ye may obtain.  – I Corinthians 9: 24