The True Enemy – Reflections on Paul

In this articel, Pathøs – vocalist and rhythm guitarist for Symphony of Heaven, drummer for Elgibbor and vocalist for Virtue of Decay – writes about our true enemy and how we can defeat him.

PATHØS, an unworthy servant of Christ Jesus our Lord, to the universal Church, to all those who hold fast to the eternal Gospel, which was once for all delivered to the saints, and who have perhaps for a little while undergone trials, hardships, or persecutions of many kinds. These have come so that your faith, which is worth more than gold, may be proved to be genuine and true on the day when Christ Jesus is revealed from heaven. Fear not, for God will bring judgment on all, including those who have harmed you, for God has said, “It is mine to avenge. I will repay.”

The Apostle Paul wrote to our brethren in Ephesus many years ago with the wisdom and insight given to him by Jesus our Lord, and it was really God’s Word through him. I want to draw your attention to the end of his letter where he exhorts the brethren to put on the full armor of God.

(10) Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. (11) Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. (12) For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (13) Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (14) Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, (15) and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. (16) In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. (18) Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Ephesians 6:10-18

Pay close attention to the 12th verse. What is our struggle, and who is it really against in this age? Our brother Paul says it is not against flesh and blood, it is not against things that we can see with our human eyes. Our struggle, he says, is against the “ἀρχάς” (archas, meaning rulers), “ἐξουσίας” (exousias, meaning authorities), “κοσμοκράτορας” (kosmokratoras, meaning cosmic powers) and against the “πνευματικὰ τῆς πονηρίας” (pneumatika tes ponerias, meaning spiritual forces of evil). Paul is pointing us to a fundamental truth in our struggle as saints on this earth. We are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against spiritual enemies.

For he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.

(Psalm 103:14).

Perhaps too often, though we are dust, we have allowed the dust to blind our eyes. For many generations, our brethren around the world have been subjected to all kinds of trials. Some have even been counted among the martyrs and confessors, those saints of old spoken of in Eusebius and Church history. Surely some may have escaped our notice, but not God’s. He surely stands by those who call on His name, just as He stood by Paul when all had forsaken him and he was delivered from the lion’s mouth, and also by our brothers in Egypt when they were beheaded by the sea not so long ago.

What I am saying, my beloved family, is this. Let us not miss the forest for the trees. When we think that world events, wars, and rumors of wars are just the business of mortal men, we must remember that there is something behind the scenes that we cannot see.

For now we see through a glass darkly.

(1 Corinthians 13:12)

For our Father has chosen us to be a part of His mission on this earth to change lives, to change hearts, to make alive where once was dead. Do not be discouraged, for God has summed up all things in Christ, and He alone says,

I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please’.

(Isaiah 46:10)

Let us not be troubled because of the evildoers, those who steal, kill, and destroy. Our Lord is above all, and what they intend for evil, God can use for good to accomplish His will.

Remember just a few years ago, during The Great Struggle. Many of us, myself included, had our hearts broken by what we were seeing around the world. We saw secular governments violating laws, corporations violating basic human decency, and neighbor turning against neighbor. The world was falling apart then. But what do we see now? Do we not see a great awakening? Do we not see the light dawning in many souls? Do we not see many sleepers awakening?

As it is written in the same letter of Paul:

“Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.

Ephesians 5:14.

When we face human opposition, let us remember who has strengthened our feeble knees and made our feet sure. Let us remember that the same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in us as we hold fast to His Word in faith.

We should no longer let fear creep in where we mistrust those we love, for whom Christ died, His Body. Know that God has called you to a great adventure, and in these times there will certainly be great and terrible things. But God gives us armor to withstand all the attacks of the evil one. He provides for us the Belt of Truth, the Breastplate of Righteousness, feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the Gospel of Peace, the Shield of Faith, the Helmet of Salvation, and the Sword of the Spirit. We can be well equipped to do the work God has for us, spiritual weapons and armor for spiritual war.

But do not think that we are called to ignore the things that are happening around us, as if we have no real relationship to world events. Rather, let us lead! Remember Daniel, that great prophet of old who, though a captive of two empires, was perfectly positioned on the front lines of God’s war.

He interpreted Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams and testified God’s message to the king, so that when it came to pass, the king became like a wild animal, but finally saw the truth and praised God! For the testimony was true, and the king could not deny it, but praised the God of heaven, knowing that:

The Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world, and gives them to whomsoever He will.

Daniel 4:25

Imagine if Daniel had never been among the exiles, what would have happened? Where would be the strong testimony he gave? The king was eventually deposed by the Persians, but surely those around the events saw the glorious miracles and perhaps even became followers of the God of Israel.

Remember that Daniel was the chief of all the magicians, astrologers, and wise men of Babylon because he had the living God in him by His Spirit. Not many centuries later, those with a similar name, coming from the East, probably of the same order, saw the star of the King of Israel in the sky, perhaps they had this knowledge and expectation from things that had been handed down by Daniel himself? I cannot help but wonder.

My beloved family, take heart in these words. For many there are occasions for us to worry, to be anxious about the things we see in this world. But God is in control of them all, and our true enemy is not flesh and blood, but a spiritual enemy. We have overcome by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony.

Be not afraid, God has already won and we are a part of that victory as we continue in the grace of our Lord Jesus. All things are subject to Him, and He is at the right hand of the Father until all His enemies are put under His feet. Therefore, fight the good fight of faith, act as men!

Let prayer be our arrows and the love of God be our trebuchet. Do not fall for the lie that mere flesh and blood is our true enemy, but rather we should “love our neighbor as ourselves” and do good to all people who are made in God’s image. Let God’s Word be our shield and our strength and our sword. Hold your ground, the Lord is near! All things will work out according to His purpose and plan, regardless of what we see with eyes blinded by dust. We have the power of the Spirit to overthrow strongholds, and every argument that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and that, my dear friends, is the true front line.

I have endeavored to write only a short letter to all of you, with the mercy that God gives to all of His children. I pray that this blesses those to whom it finds its way, as I consider this only a simple and honest offering, not to be compared to the writings of so many great saints who have come before me.

I greet the artist Trebuchet SDG, as I used his artistic musical offering during some of the writing process. Greet all those around the world who love the Lord Jesus with an undying love. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Come quickly Lord Jesus!

In His service / PATHØS

About the author: I am PATHØS, founder, vocalist and rhythm guitarist for Symphony of Heaven. I also play drums for Elgibbor and vocals for Virtue of Decay. Surrendered my life to Christ and was baptized at the age of 11. Married for almost 20 years to a wonderful woman and have 3 beautiful children. God bless you all.

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