Rev. 19:11-16 King of Kings

SINCE THE SIXTIES, a battle for sexual purity and sexual identity has increasingly rocked the Western world. Its origin is spiritual. What we see on earth reflects conflicts in the unseen world.

For example, I was speaking to a Sunday School class of about one hundred Christian adults. My subject was sexual purity and the importance of biblical men and women’s roles. I had just stated that the prophet Elijah epitomized true masculinity, and that his nemesis, Jezebel, represented a perversion of femininity.  Suddenly a man stood up, raised his hands, and turned to the audience, “Stop this meeting. This man is preaching heresy. I can’t believe we are listening to this?”

My first response was panic. What should I do? Should I defend myself? How will I restore order? Not knowing what else to do, I prayed, “God help me. Show me what to do.”

As I prayed a supernatural peace descended and enveloped me. With it came a certainty that God was in control, that he would restore order, and that he would take care of me.

My antagonist spoke for a few more seconds and then sat down. An anxious quiet settled over the crowd. What would happen next?

Then the pastor of the church, who was in the audience, rose and defended my talk. When he was finished, I  resumed where I left off.

The resistance from this man, and the anger with which he spoke, surprised me. Given my subject matter, it shouldn’t have. Although I have been teaching the Bible for almost thirty-five years, resistance like this has happened rarely. It happened in this case because my subject threatened the devil’s jurisdiction. I had just experienced a minor case of spiritual warfare.

Paul reminds us that our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the “rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Eph. 6:12). Spiritual warfare, is all around us, and when it surfaces it can be intimidating. The Devil will speak through anyone, believer or unbeliever, that either through ignorance or malice, allows themself to be used.

Satan actively disseminates rebellion. We fight the same enemy that Jesus and Paul fought. The conflict is over the same issues, but it often looks different in each generation. For example, we have moved from the worship of Asherah in the 8th century BC, to the worship of Diana in 100 AD, to Mary worship in Catholicism today. All are examples of female idolatry. In terms of parent/child relationships, the battle has morphed from infant sacrifice in the 8th century BC, to “exposing” children under bridges of first-century Rome, to our culture of abortion.

Brothers and sisters, let us not be naive. “We wage war not wrestle against flesh and blood…but against spiritual fores of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). Be dialed into the spiritual world. Unless God intervenes, we will experience more, not less, spiritual oppression like this in the years to come. But this should not provoke fear. Jesus Christ is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He will conquer! We may lose an occasional battle, but we will never lose the ultimate war.