Friday: Further Thought ~ The Call to Stand

Further Thought:

 “Our work is an aggressive one, and as faithful soldiers of Jesus, we must bear the blood-stained banner into the very strongholds of the enemy. ‘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.’ If we will consent to lay down our arms, to lower the blood-stained banner, to become the captives and servants of Satan, we may be released from the conflict and the suffering.

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But this peace will be gained only at the loss of Christ and heaven. We cannot accept peace on such conditions. Let it be war, war, to the end of earth’s history, rather than peace through apostasy and sin.” — Ellen G. White, The Review and Herald, May 8, 1888.

How does Ephesians 6:10-20 relate to the book of Revelation? The passage exhibits the same basic view of last-day events, or eschatology, as the battle motif in the book of Revelation (see Revelation 12:1-17Revelation 16:12-16Revelation 19:17-21Revelation 20:7-10). In both, the people of God are under attack by the enemy who is “in heavenly places” and “is active and powerful in the present aeon” (or age). In both, the people of God are encouraged by “the picture of the future aeon.” Further, “both scenarios explicitly point to the final battle when the enemy will be conquered completely after which the new aeon will be established forever,” a new age in which “the final glorious state of the people of God” and “the eternal doom of the enemy” will be evident. (See Yordan Kalev Zhekov, Eschatology of Ephesians (Osijek, Croatia: Evangelical Theological Seminary, 2005), Pages 217, 233-235.)

Discussion Questions:

When have you most clearly confronted the powers of darkness? What have you found to be the most helpful strategies at those times?
Informed by Ephesians 6:10-20, how would you minister to someone who seems especially oppressed by “the spiritual forces of evil” (Ephesians 6:12, ESV)?
How do we best discern and reject “the schemes of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11, ESV)? For example, how often do you feel ready to give up your faith because you feel that you are too sinful, too corrupt, to be saved? Who is putting that thought in your head — Christ or the forces of darkness? Especially at times like that, why must you claim many of the wonderful promises we have been given in Jesus?



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