Angelic Conflict part 308: Darkness reigns for a short time – 2Co 5:17-21; 10:3-5; Mat 16:15-19; Eph 2:19-22; 1Co 3:10-11.

Class Outline:

Title: Angelic Conflict part 308: The keys of the kingdom of heaven - 2CO 5:17-21; 10:3-5; MAT 16:15-19; EPH 2:19-22; 1CO 3:10-11.


Jesus' miraculous ministry was not simply symbolic of the final judgment of all God's opponents - in principle it achieved that judgment.


He in principle won the war, struck the decisive deathblow, vanquished satan, restored humanity, established the kingdom; yet some battles must still be fought before this ultimate victory is fully manifested.


Hence our Lord did not just carry out His warfare ministry; he commissioned, equipped and empowered His disciples, and the whole of the later church, to do the same.


Christ set in motion the creation of a new humanity, one that again exercises dominion over life, by giving us His power and authority to proclaim and demonstrate the kingdom just as He did.


This is why the believer has been given a new spirit of power and strength as opposed to the old spirit of fear.


2TI 1:7

For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.


ROM 8:15

For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!"


2CO 5:17 Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.


2CO 5:18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation,


2CO 5:19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.


2CO 5:20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.


2CO 5:21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.


MAT 16:15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" 


MAT 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."


MAT 16:17 And Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.


MAT 16:18 "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it.


The Lord thus gives to all who will in faith receive it, His authority to break down the gates of hell and take back what the enemy has taken when we gave it to him at our fall.


My weapons are not of the flesh or of any worldly matter, but the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God, the gospel, and the divine power of the resurrection life.


Grace gifts are our weapons and our strength.


2CO 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh,


2CO 10:4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.


2CO 10:5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ [Spirit or flesh; sin or grace?],


The lofty things raised up against the knowledge of God were, and is, the intellectualism of man. There is nothing wrong with intelligence, but everything wrong with a pride in one’s intelligence over and against the mind of Christ. A thought taken captive to the obedience of Christ is a thought that is measured against the mind of Christ and the resultant, proper conclusion.


ROM 12:14

Do not be wise in your own estimation.


1CO 1:19

For it is written,

"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,  

And the cleverness of the clever I will set aside."


As Paul saw, humility is one of the greatest weapons in the arsenal of the believer. The intellect is as much a source of sinful pride in man as is beauty, popularity, and physical strength. The nerd isn’t always humble. Human methods will never defeat the schemes of demonic forces. Christ has given us the privilege of fighting the last skirmishes of the conflict and in this war there are many casualties, and we must not use human methods to bring down demonic walls, made up of sinful pride and ignorance, but the weapons that are divinely powerful through the grace gifts given by our Lord.


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MAT 16:19 "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." 


MAT 16:20 Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ.


JOH 14:12

"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father.


JOH 20:21

Jesus therefore said to them again, "Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you."


Now that the strong man is bound, each believer has been given the power to carry this task out through sanctification from death, the world, satan, and the flesh. As the church expanded so did the number who would accomplish this and it has ever done so through the grace and mercy of God, and will continue to do so until the Lord returns for her.


We have looked at Jesus' miracles and shown them to be acts of war against satan and his kingdom, demonstrating authority and power over all that mankind lost to the devil and thus the ultimate restoration of all of them.


Now we turn to a few examples of His teaching that are in line with His engagement in combat with God's enemy.


There is much in His teaching that is about the high standards of the kingdom of heaven as well as insights into the character of God, His salvation, and His plan.


Yet in our study, we will see in some of His teachings many valuable insights into the nature of the war that ravages the earth, insights that should influence our understanding of the problem of evil.


The Lord asks His disciples, "Who do the people say that the Son of Man is?"


MAT 16:13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He began asking His disciples, saying, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" 


They offered a few of the opinions that were floating around at the time.


MAT 16:14 And they said, "Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets."


Ok, fine, so now on to them, who do you say that I am?


MAT 16:15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" 


Peter, not known for his shyness...


MAT 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."


The Lord is delighted at Peter's answer and noted that Peter was blessed to have this revealed to him from heaven.


MAT 16:17 And Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona [son of John], because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.


Just a bit later Peter tried to actually thwart the Father's plan to have Jesus crucified and raised.


MAT 16:21 From that time Jesus Christ began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day.


MAT 16:22 And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, "God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You."


Peter gets no points for sincerity. Sincerity about something that is wrong is sincerely wrong. Of course, it's not as if Peter or anyone else could have stopped Him from the events of His death and resurrection in Jerusalem.


JOH 10:18

"No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father."


MAT 16:23 But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's."


Everything that opposes God's will, in the view of our Lord, derives itself from the evil one.


When Peter was confessing Jesus as the Son of God he was under a different influence as his confession was inspired by the Father. When Peter attempts to stop His mission he is influenced by satan.


Our Lord used Peter's confession of faith to give His disciples an important lesson about the future church. Using Peter's name as a springboard, Christ says: