8-27-2022 Unholy Triumvirate
6:10-13, John 10:10
the Ephesians were having a hard time dealing with spiritual warfare, so Paul
encourages them: Finally brothers, be strong in the Lord and in the power of
His might. Put on the whole armor of God
that you might stand against the wiles of the devil. For we don’t wrestle against flesh and
blood, but against principalities, powers, the rulers of darkness of this world
and against spiritual wickedness in high places. Therefore, take unto yourselves the whole
armor of God that you might be able to stand in the evil day and having done
all that you can do to stand, stand! (Eph. 6:1-13)
been telling His disciples that He would have to go to Jerusalem, die and rise
again. Peter then took Jesus and said
“Be it far from you, Lord. This shall
not happen to you.” Then Jesus replied
“Get behind Me, Satan. You are an
offence to Me for you don’t desire the things of God, but those of men (Matt.
recognized who it was that motivated Peter’s comments – Satan. So He acknowledged exactly whom He was addressing. Just as the devil entered Judas Iscariot’s
heart to betray Jesus (Luke 22:1-4) he had, that quickly prompted Peter’s
comments. They sounded good – to keep
Jesus safe, but it would have interfered with Jesus’ ultimate plan to save us
from our sin. Did Satan possess
Peter? Was Peter evil? Of course not! Just momentarily ‘misused’! (get the picture?)
chapter ten Jesus tells us the parable of the Good Shepherd who takes care of
His sheep. In the parable Jesus cites
one, anyone, who is NOT the shepherd, is he who sneaks into the sheepfold and
comes to steal, kill and destroy – the sheep of the Good Shepherd.
us, clearly, that He (Jesus) IS the Good Shepherd (John 10:11). He does take care of His sheep!
years of my life showing me the reality behind this parable. How often are we blinded until the Holy Ghost
reveals to us exactly what is right before our eyes? When He (the Holy Ghost) is come into our
lives, He will lead us into all truth (John 16:13) and understanding -of the
deep things of God (1 Corinth. 2:7-16).
don’t fight against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, powers and
rulers of darkness of this world and spiritual wickedness in high places (Eph.
6:11-18). So, praying in the Spirit, we
put on the armor of God, fervently seeking God so we can stand against the
wiles of the devil. Understand that
praying in the Spirit is either or both praying in our God-given Spiritual
language or praying in our ‘natural’ language focusing totally on the Lord.
First I want
us to be on the same page about some of the words used in Ephesians six and
The Greek word
used for principalities in Ephesians is arche
(G746) it is also basically a magistrate, power, principle or rule in respects
to order, time, place or rank. That is,
it is one who has been given authority in a specified area. Think mayor,
governor, president, king, etc.
word used for powers is exousia
(G1849) which means authority, liberty, jurisdiction, right,
strength in light of force or mastery.
Again, one who has overall authority, but not necessarily limited to a specific
darkness of this world
word used here is kosmokrator (G2888) which stems from kosmos (G2889) or world and krateo (G2902) which is to take, keep,
lay hold of or retain. Kosmkrator is a ruler and he rules the darkness or akotos G4655) which stems from akia (G4639)which is shade or
shadow. Ergo, the phrase rulers of the
darkness of this world. More
specifically, one who has authority which he exercises that authority secretly
or through deception.
in high places
wickedness is the Greek word poneria
(G4189), which is wickedness or iniquity which stems from poneros (G4190) which means evil, bad, grievous, harm, etc. And ‘high places is epouranios (G2032) which is celestial,
sky, the heaven(ly). Satan is the prince
and power of the air (G109) (Eph. 2:2), or or we might say the ‘breeze’ (or
spirits) that blows across the sky. But,
note again, not for the good of those subject to that authority.
declares that our enemy has three intents on his heart, so let’s take a look at
steal, kill and destroy.
Luke 8:11 –
steal the word from our heart. Satan’s
job is to do just that! Steal the
precious Word of God from our heart. Actually
his job is to keep us from getting God’s Word into our heart, but once God’s
Word begins to settle in, the devil does his best to steal it away. We may face problems which seem too difficult
to overcome or we may even decide that the things of this world look better
than the love of God. Sound familiar (read
What can I
(G 2813) is a prime word which means to steal.
Suggest anything to you? (hint –
– Herod orders death of the children.
Satan’s attempt to keep Jesus from taking root in anybody’s heart was to
destroy Him early in His earthly existence (within two years after His birth –
John 13:2 –
devil puts it into Judas’ heart to betray Jesus. He brings the authorities to the mount to
arrest Jesus. Some may say Judas thought
he would force Jesus’ hand as a king, but Satan intended to kill Jesus, thus
stopping God’s plan for salvation.
27:19-24 – “give us Barabbas”. To assure
Pilate that all the people of Israel wanted Jesus to die, Satan aroused the
27:48-54 – physical death of Jesus on the cross. This is why Jesus allowed Himself to be
crucified on the cross. Satan thought he
had won! Jesus was dead. Yet Jesus gives us the promise of eternal
life through His resurrection on the third day!
(G2380, is to kill, slay or sacrifice.
Think about this from Satan’s viewpoint.
Then Jesus’. In case you are
having difficulty – Satan’s intent was to kill, Jesus’ intent was eternal
sacrifice so we could live.
1 Peter 5:8
Apollumi (G622) is to kill, destroy, mar,
die, perish, etc. Webster’s defines
destroy as to eliminate organic existence, demolish, annihilate. Can we add ‘obliterate’? Peter tells us that Satan also wants to
devour us. Not just ‘kill’ us, but
totally destroy us or any evidence of our existence. Think about it. How many people today believe that God does
not exist? God told Moses “I AM that
I AM” (Exod. 3:14). God always was, is
and will always be (Rev. 1:8). How many
reject this truth, even as an idea? When
people don’t believe in God, Satan has fulfilled his goal of total annihilation
catch the progression of this passage? Steal
– kill - destroy?
getting the idea on how Satan operates?
take a look at our ‘unholy triumvirate’ and see how they fit into the scheme of
What do I
call the unholy triumvirate – the spirits of:
manipulation, control and predator
says that to manipulate is deal with hands, to skillfully manage or utilize,
control or play upon, to change by artful (sly), unfair or insidious means.
works things around to its own liking.
What does it want? Who? How?
What? when? Where? Get the
drift? It wants anything and everything
to go its way. To please what it
wants. And to use any and all means
necessary to accomplish this. It wants
to be ‘king of the world’ and do nothing to gain it. That is except to manipulate the things or
people to gain what it desires. It
beguiles people showing a pretense of friendliness. One gets more of what they want with a lump
of sugar than a pile of poop. This
spirit is friendly (as long as things go its way) and even likeable. Again, as long as things go its way, it’s a
happy camper. If you remember the Popeye
cartoon and his buddy Wimpy. Wimpy’s
catch phrase “I’ll gladly pay you tomorrow for a hamburger today.” Wimpy never intended to pay up! But he was such a sweet, pleasant, likeable,
rotund guy, who could refuse him?
phrase “beware of the wolf in sheep’s clothing’? How about “all that glitters is not
gold”? Pyrite is just a cheap imitation
of that precious metal.
We need to
ask God for discernment so we can know that with which we deal!
Webster’s says that control is to check, test or verify
by evidence or experimentation, exercise direct influence over, have
power over or rule.
of control is what drives the manipulating spirit. He lies underneath and behind what is
obvious. Control doesn’t mind if we spot
the manipulator. He’ll lay low for a
season then rise up and then change his approach to continue his work. Control orchestrates then the manipulator
implements. They go hand in hand, but
they are separate.
Webster’s defines a predator as one that preys (upon), destroys or devours. The predator’s ultimate goal is to destroy
with his coup d’etat being to keep souls away from God. After all, what is the ultimate
destruction? Burning in the fires of
eternal hell. Think about feline predators. Ooh, I guess all cats (of any size) are
actually predators in this sense. They
scout out their prey, stalk it waiting for the right moment, then pounce! The cat’s goal is dinner, to literally and
totally devour its prey. The
predator spirit operates in the same manner.
It scouts out its victim, stalks it, but then, it seduces the intended
prey with that which will get its attention.
For the predator spirit, the goal is not immediate death, just to keep
the attention of the victim by focusing on false promises until literal death
does come in. And that, of course, leads
to the ultimate death (eternal separation from God).
And the predator
spirit completes this triumvirate by prompting the spirit of control to do his
thing. Hiding in the shadows watching as
that these spirits can influence our lives through obsession or
Webster, obsession is persistent, preoccupation with an unreasonable
idea or feeling. Or, basically, anything
that takes up too much of your time and/or attention.
again according to Webster’s, is the act of having or taking control or occupying
without regard to ownership. Something
owned or occupied. An individual’s normal
personality being taken over by another.
the difference between obsession and possession is influencing as compared to
actually taking over. Influencing is
external pressure where taking over becomes internal occupancy.
examples come to mind. Satan did not
enter into Peter, but clearly influenced his judgment as Jesus was telling the
disciples that He must die (Matt. 16:21-23). Scriptures say that Satan did
enter into Judas as he conspired, against Jesus, with the church counsel (Luke
22:3-4). Later, Paul encountered the woman with a diving spirit. This gal was harassing Paul until he finally
turned around and commanded the spirit to leave her (Acts 16:16-18). There was also the crazed demonic at the
Gergesenes where Jesus commanded the spirits (legion) to come out of the man
and allowed them to enter the pigs (Matt. 8:28-22). And then there were the ‘sons of Sceva’ who
tried to cast out a demon in the name of Jesus who Paul preached. The demon said “Jesus I know. Paul I know.
But whoooo arrrre you?” the brothers were unsuccessful and the
possessed man sent them out naked and bleeding (Acts 19:13-16).
these situations so you understand demons can be violent or subtle and one
clearly needs to walk in the authority and power of Jesus before tackling any
some people believe in God and angels and some don’t. Some people believe in the devil and demons
and some don’t. A person is entitled to
his/her belief, but just because one rejects the existence of spiritual beings doesn’t
mean that they don’t exist. In fact, one
of Satan’s biggest covers is that people don’t believe that he exists. Nor that they believe in God! What one doesn’t believe in can’t hurt,
right? Denial is Satan’s biggest cover. It gives him the freedom to do what he wants,
where he wants or when he wants – because people a) don’t believe he is or b) don’t
believe or trust in God (the Father) for protection.
the predator spirit to activate the controlling spirit who puts the
manipulating spirit into action. All too
often, we jump on the person who is influenced or actually possessed by these
spirits forgetting that we don’t fight against flesh and blood but against principalities,
powers, the rulers of darkness of this world and against spiritual wickedness
in high places.
is in Christ Jesus who has overcome the world (John 16:33). For all things are put under His feet
(Eph.1:22-23). And He will never leave
us nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5). God so
loves us that He gave His only begotten Son to stand the gap so we could have
eternal fellowship with Him (John 3:16).