Useful Bible Studies > Ephesians Commentary > chapter 6

The great war in the spirit world

Ephesians 6:12

Daniel 10:12-14 records how the prince of Persia opposed an angel, a special servant of God. This prince was clearly not a human prince, because he was able to delay that angel for 21 days. No person could do that, so clearly the description is of an event in the spirit world.

Such an account may seem very strange to us. However, we are all aware of events in our world over which people have no control whatever. For example, often events happen in international politics that no person ever wanted to happen. Similarly, the opinions, beliefs and attitudes of large numbers of people can change greatly, without any clear explanation. So, powerful forces affect our world that we simply cannot identify in this world.

The Bible’s explanation is that a great war is happening in the spirit world (Revelation chapter 12). The devil does not act alone, but he has the support of a great army of evil spirits. Their complete defeat is certain, but it will not happen until the proper time (2 Peter 3:3-9). That time is immediately before Christ returns to rule our world (Revelation 19:11 to 20:4).

In the meantime, the battles continue between good and evil forces in the spirit world. On God’s side are his vast and powerful armies of angels, who act to support his people (Psalm 91:11; Hebrews 1:14). Also on God’s side is every person who becomes a Christian. They support God by their decision to stand for God, by their prayers and by their right attitudes. In the next few verses (6:13-18), Paul will show some other ways by which they fight in this great war.

Next part: What it means to 'stand for God' (Ephesians 6:13)


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© 2019, Keith Simons.