Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Spiritual Wickedness

"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."  (Ephesians 6:12)

In the Bible you will find the word "spirit" in both upper and lower case; and the difference between the two can sometimes be a matter of life or death. For instance, the Spirit talked about in 1 Corinthians 3:16, Galatians 4:6 and 5:22 is the Spirit of God, whose acquisition brings eternal life; but the spirit we read of in the first few verses of 1 John four will, most assuredly, send a man or woman to hell. I make this stark contrast only because the Word of God does.

There are people in this world who are aware of forces in life that are unseen, but real, and these people are often characterized as being "spiritual." But the vast majority are more alive to their senses than the Scriptures, and are dangerously open to cults, gurus, and demons. There is a "spirit of the world" (1 Cor. 2:12) in diametric opposition to the Spirit of God. Only those who are indwelt by the latter are capable of withstanding the former. Ephesians 6:12 characterizes it as a wrestling match between the saints of God and a damnable enemy set on possessing our mind, heart, and body—"spiritual wickedness in high places."

It was the Apostle Paul's desire that the people of Colosse would be "filled with the knowledge of [God's] will in all wisdom and spiritual knowledge" (Col. 1:9 [emphasis added]). Not all knowledge is Spiritual knowledge; sometimes it's just spiritual claptrap. Then he describes such a man or woman, in 1 Corinthians 2:15, as being able to judge "all things.” In other words, you can spot them by their good judgment. Spirituality is manifested in Biblical, wise decisions, not airy, meaningless dialogue. It is more interested in holy living than in a "holistic" lifestyle.

People who are spiritual may rise above the material world, but that won’t get them all the way to Heaven. Only men and women who have put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ and His Word are partakers of the Spirit of God:

“Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist...” (1Jno.4:2-3)

“God is a Spirit,” says John in his Gospel, and anyone who worships Him, must worship Him “in spirit and in truth” (4:24); but Satan also is a spirit (Isa.14), and those who worship him do so “in the spirit of error” (1Jno.4:6).

Pity the man or woman who does not know the difference.

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