The events of September 11, 2001, as well as the current economic crises both in the U.S. and the world remind us of the words of the Apostle Paul, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves…without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers…fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors…” (II Timothy 3:1-4) Our Lord also addressed the world events that would be prevalent prior to His return, “And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars…for nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famine, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in various places.”
Certainly these are “perilous” times that we live in both here at home and abroad. After ten years of fighting terrorism we still awaken on a daily basis to some terrorist attack in the world. We hold out prospects for peace in the Middle East, but there seems to be only escalating violence that draws the United States into yet another military endeavor.
Certainly there is a place for exercising military action where there is “just cause” such as responding to the attacks of 9/11, but ultimately how are we to succeed in putting down terrorism and violence both here at home and abroad? The Bible tells us, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (II Corinthians 10:4-5) Ultimately all war and conflict is instigated by satan and his demons. God created this world and inhabited it with two perfect people in a perfect world where everything worked together in perfect peace and harmony until Adam and Eve disobeyed God and brought the curse of sin upon the world. The battles we fight are ultimately spiritual battles between the forces of evil perpetrated by the devil himself and God who represents the forces of good. The Apostle Paul writes, “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. Wherefore take unto you the armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand.” (Ephesians 6:12-13)
The battle primarily revolves around four institutions that God has ordained to help guide man in this life. The four institutions are marriage, human government, the nation Israel, and the Church. The devil has one purpose and that is to destroy each of these God ordained institutions. The conflict that Paul is addressing in the book of Ephesians is the conflict that the devil is wageing against the church, the body of believers who have trusted Christ as savior. Here Paul describes who our enemy is and who it is not. It is not human physical warfare. Our enemy is not other people. The devil may use people and work through people, but people are not the enemy. Our enemy is described as a personal foe, hand-to-hand, face-to-face conflict to the finish. A life and death struggle. Paul is describing a very real and formidable adversary. We should set up and take notice to the words of the Apostle Paul as he describes the battle that we are in. Our battle as believers in Christ (the church) is against principalities. Principalities are high-ranking hierarchy of demonic authority. Possibly a reference to satan’s generals who have the oversight of entire nations. (Daniel 10) Against powers. These are demonic powers that possess or oppress human beings. (Mark 5) Against the rulers of the darkness. These are world leaders who are influenced by demons in charge of satans worldly business. Spiritual wickedness in high places. These are demons in charge of false religion that lead people into believing that they are true children of God, but they are not. Jesus referred to these in Matthew chapter 7. “Many will say on Judgment day Lord Lord, we have prophesied in your name, cast out devils in your name, and done many wonderful works.” Jesus responds to these imposters, “I never knew you, depart from me ye workers of iniquity.”
Ultimately the reason we were attacked on 9/11 is because we as Americans are perceived around the world as being “Christians.” For this reason we have a very formidable foe (satan) who desires our demise. Lest you feel defeated and helpless take heart because we can overcome the enemy through the power of Christ. “Ye are of God little children, and have overcome them: Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (I Jn.4: 4) There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man, but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able but will with the temptation also make a way to escape that ye may be able to bear it. (I Corinthians 10:13)
Pastor, Randy Mason
Liberty Baptist Church
Pastor Randy Mason