For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12
Some Christians have been taught that spiritual warfare is against spiritual forces only. They think that people are not involved at all. Their reasoning is that the verse above states that our warfare is not against flesh and blood, but against heavenly or supernatural entities. This is misplaced and requires correcting.
Our struggle is indeed against rulers (arche; Strongs 746), powers (exousia; Strongs 1849), world forces of this darkness (kosmokrator; Strongs 2888), spiritual forces of wickedness (pneumatikos; Strongs 4152). What all of this means is that behind the evil and wicked behavior that people exhibit are demons (daimonion; Strongs 1140).
What we must understand is that the wicked, evil, and violent behavior that people exhibit is empowered and motivated by demons. That does not excuse the man or woman who is being manipulated by evil spiritual entities. God will most certainly judge them for their wickedness and for allowing themselves to be controlled by demons.
My point is simply this: Christians must oppose people and their wicked behavior, while recognizing that they are merely pawns of our enemy, the devil. Using passages such as this as an excuse to refuse to fight evil because “our war is not against flesh and blood” is naïve and clearly misguided.
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