For We Wrestle…
Ephesians 6:12 “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].”
For we wrestle – Greek, “The wrestling to us;” or, “There is not to us a wrestling with flesh and blood.” There is undoubtedly here an allusion to the ancient games of Greece, a part of the exercises in which consisted in wrestling; see the notes on 1 Corinthians 9:25-27.
The Greek word used here – πάλη palē – denotes a “wrestling;” and then a struggle, fight, combat. Here it refers to the struggle or combat which the Christian has to mainrain – the Christian warfare.
So, we have a reference to the ancient games! Do you know of which it speaks? The Olympics, yes the ones that are still fought between our nations today. First, let me touch on that for just a bit. Why would we be taught to fight one another when GOD specifically says to love one another? These are not normal standards being set up here. Secondly, the Olympics are customs which dates back into antiquity.
According to legend, it was Heracles who first called the Games “Olympic” and established the custom of holding them every four years. A legend persists that after Heracles completed his twelve labors, he built the Olympic stadium as an honor to Zeus. Following its completion, he walked in a straight line for 200 steps and called this distance a “stadion” (Greek: στάδιον, Latin: stadium, “stage”), which later became a unit of distance.
Although these are said to be legends they are not just legends, but a reality. The fallen angels came and copulated with the women of earth and produced these demi-gods. These hybrids are stronger and quicker than mere mortals, accomplishing super-human feats.
These hybrids were called the Twelve Olympians. Roman cultures felt as though they owed much to the ancient Greek gods, and they indeed contributed beliefs and practices once kept by these demi-gods into their traditions. The tradition of the Olympics stood the test of time, it was and still revered now as a pageantry, a spectacle of athletic contests which make for a visual event told of around the world. The Olympic Games were situated around solstices, because of who these demi-gods worship and their pagan practices which was the beginning of false religions. The earliest mention of the Olympics and its foundation was in the writings of Pindar. He attributed their origins to Hercules who, on his return from victory over King Augeas of Elis, founded the games at the tomb of Pelops (Mouratidis). It was not until the 50th Olympiad that there was evidence that the games honored Zeus. The Greeks located the origin of the Olympic Games squarely in the sphere of the divine; gods and heroes who they worshiped.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood – Ουκ εστιν ἡμιν ἡ παλη προς αἱμα και σαρκα· Our wrestling or contention is not with men like ourselves: flesh and blood is a Hebraism for men, or human beings. The word παλη implies the athletic exercises in the Olympic and other national games; and παλαιστρα was the place in which the contenders exercised. Here it signifies warfare in general.
Against principalities – Αρχας· Chief rulers; beings of the first rank and order in their own kingdom.
Powers – Εξουσιας, Authorities, derived from, and constituted by the above.
The rulers of the darkness of this world – Τους κοσμοκρατορας του σκοτους του αιωνος τουτου· The rulers of the world; the emperors of the darkness of this state of things.
Spiritual wickedness – Τα πνευματικα της πονηριας· The spiritual things of wickedness; or, the spiritualities of wickedness; highly refined and sublimed evil; disguised falsehood in the garb of truth; Antinomianism in the guise of religion.
In high places – Εν τοις επουρανιοις· In the most sublime stations.
Although shrouded in mystical legendary notations, what is to be revealed is a subtle thread linking most religion traditions together like tightly strung beads on a resplendent necklace. It begins and ends with the same beings known to us through the Scriptures as the Watchers.
The Watchers are realized as thrones, dominations, princedoms, vitures, powers and principalities, with ranks, orders and hierarchy just as our military is structured, in fact ours comes from GOD’s Laws and Satan’s is counterfeited from GOD. The earth – dark, and wretched and ignorant, and sinful – is just such a dominion as they would choose, or as they would cause; and the degradation and woe of the pagan world are just such as foul and malignant spirits would delight in. It is a wide and a powerful empire. It has been consolidated by ages. It is sustained by all the authority of law; by all the omnipotence of the perverted religious principle; by all the reverence for antiquity; by all the power of selfish, corrupt, and base passions. No empire has been so extended, or has continued so long, as that empire of darkness; and nothing on earth is so difficult to destroy.
When GOD speaks of warfare, these are the supernatural spirits that HE speaks of. Their contest is not primarily just with people, or with the internal corrupt propensities of the soul; it is goal of this vast and dark kingdom is to be set up over humanity an reign as kings, princes, and so forth.
In high places – ἐν τοῖς ἐπουράνιοις – “in celestial or heavenly places.” The same phrase occurs in Ephesians 1:3, Ephesians 2:6, where it’s translated, “in heavenly places.”
The word (ἐπουράνιος epouranios) is used of those that dwell in heaven, Matthew 18:35; Philippians 2:10; of those who come from heaven, 1 Corinthians 15:48; Philippians 3:21; of the heavenly bodies, the sun, moon, and stars, 1 Corinthians 15:40. Then the neuter plural of the word is used to denote the heavens; and then the “lower” heavens, the sky, the air, represented as the seat of evil spirits; see the notes on Ephesians 2:2. This is the allusion here. The evil spirits are supposed to occupy the lofty regions of the air, and thence to exert a baleful influence on the affairs of man. What was the origin of this opinion it is not needful here to inquire. No one can “prove,” however, that it is incorrect. It is against such spirits, and all their malignant influences, that Christians are called to contend. In whatever way their power is put forth – whether in the prevalence of vice and error; of superstition and magic arts; of infidelity, atheism, or antinomianism; of evil customs and laws; of pernicious fashions and opinions, or in the corruptions of our own hearts, we are to make war on all these forms of evil, and never to yield in the conflict.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood,…. The Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions, and some copies, read “you”, instead of “we”. This is a reason why saints should be strong in the Lord, and why they should put on the whole armor of God, and prepare for battle, since their enemies are such as here described: not “flesh and blood”; frail mortal men, such as were wrestled against in the Olympic games, to which the apostle alludes. For this wrestling, as Philo the Jew says, concerning Jacob’s wrestling, is not of the body, but of the soul.
It may be said to be the rulers of the darkness of this world, or of the dark Heathen world, and were in high places, and were of wicked and malicious spirits, where the power or posse of devils reside, and where they are above us, over our heads, overlooking us, and watching every advantage against us; and therefore we should have on our armor, and be in a readiness to engage them; and so the Syriac and Ethiopic versions render it, “under”, or “beneath heaven”; and the Arabic version, “in the air”.
The spiritual wickedness are supposed to be the angels which kept not their first estate; who fell from the heavenly places but are ever longing after and striving to regain them; and which have their station in the regions of the air. Perhaps, the principalities and powers remain mostly in the citadel of their kingdom of darkness; but there are other spirits which range abroad, to whom the provinces of the world are committed; the darkness is chiefly spiritual darkness which prevails during the present state of things, and the wicked spirits are those which continually oppose faith, love, and holiness, either by force or fraud; and labor to infuse unbelief, pride, idolatry, malice, envy, anger, and hatred. We contend with these fallen spirits for the heavenly things which are promised to us; and we strive against them, that we may not be deprived of those we have.
Ephesians 6:19And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,