3

In Ephesians 6:12

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.

What does the heavenly realms mean? Is it heaven? If it means in the heaven? Why is evil spiritual force in the heaven?

1
  • Upon reading your question, I considered responding but I haven’t the time to give an answer that would adequately meet standards of this stack. The answer you’re looking for is physically located between the clouds and the firmament in Biblical cosmology. That is the place of battle and judgment and is referred to as the second or middle heaven. Each heaven can be subdivided further but only three majors heavens exist in Biblical cosmology. An generic answer isn’t what you’re really asking in my estimation Jan 1 at 15:53

3 Answers 3

4
  • The Heavenly Places is where these rulers of wickedness reside (Eph 3:10; 6:12)
  • The Heavenly Places is where Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father (Eph 1:20)
  • We are moved out of the realm and control of the demonic and into the Kingdom of God (Eph 2:2) AND moved to...
  • The Heavenly Places is where we are in Christ (Eph 2:6)

Notice that Jesus' position in the heavenly places is "far above all principality and power and might and dominion" that are located in the heavenly places. (Eph 1:21)

We see that Christians are seated in heavenly places right now in Christ. (Eph 3:6)This tells me that heavenly places are here on earth. The prophets foretell Christ establishing his kingdom here on earth, not somewhere out in the galaxies, nebulas, or any other outer space ideas we may imagine.

When heaven intersected with earth at the cross, our access to God was granted in the heavenly places in Christ.

3

The Greek word (adjective) translated, "heavenly realms" is ἐπουράνιος (epouranios) in Eph 6:12 occurs 19 times in the NT, but is used as an ajectival substantive (ie, without the noun) five times only and all in Ephesians. BDAG lists the following meanings:

  1. pertaining to being in the sky or heavens as an astronomical phenomenon, celestial, heavenly, eg, 1 Cor 15:40.
  2. pertaining to being associated with a locale for transcendent things and beings, heavenly, in heaven

(a) of God, Matt 18:35

(b) of Christ, 1 Cor 15:48

(c) of ... heavenly Jerusalem, Heb 12:22; heavenly kingdom, 2 Tim 4:18; heavenly Father, Heb 11:16, etc

(d) as a substantive of things: sitting in heaven Eph 1:20, 2:6; powers of heaven of angelic beings Eph 3:10. "heavenly" can be the dwelling place of evil spirits Eph 6:12 - contrast with Eph 1:3 = "blessed in heavenly realms".

Thus, we have several verses in the same book of Ephesians:

  • Eph 1:3 - our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
  • Eph 1:20 - which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms
  • Eph 2:6 - And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
  • Eph 3:10 - His purpose was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms
  • Eph 6:12 - 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.

All these are clearly discussing an unseen "locale" for various spiritual forces, the detail of which is not revealed and not important. It is simply the "place" where all spiritual battles occur, and thus does not mean heaven itself which is discussed elsewhere such as Heb 8:5, 9:23, 11:16 and 12:22.

Thus, the safest way to understand this adjectival substantive (unique to Ephesians), "heavenly realms" ἐπουράνιος (epouranios) is simply the "place" where spiritual battles occur.

2
  • Thank you so much for your answer and interest. even though I'm not man in English culture, In private, I thought that in heavenly knowledge seems to be better instead of in heavenly realms, because of preposition "against"
    – bak1936
    Jan 1 at 10:05
  • 1
    +1 Very, very good answer. I like to think of it like this. The earth is a part of the physical realm like heaven is a part of the heavenly/spiritual realm. The earth is not the only place in the physical realm, and likewise, heaven is not the only place in the heavenly/spiritual realm. Heaven is a specific place in the spiritual realm like how the earth is a specific place in the physical realm; they are the places of God and humankind respectively.
    – Rajesh
    Jan 1 at 21:37
1

What does the heavenly realm mean?

In Ephesians 6:12

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.

What do the heavenly realms mean? Is means heaven

Heavenly realms, heavenly places other translations, it does literally mean heaven.

OTHER TRANSLATION

Ephesians 6:12 NET

12 For our struggle[a] is not against flesh and blood,[b] but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness,[c] against the spiritual forces[d] of evil in the **heavens.[**e]

Ephesians 6:12 CSB

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this darkness, against evil, spiritual forces in the heavens.

WAR IN HEAVEN.

About forty years after Paul wrote his letter to the Ephesians, the apostle John saw in his vision a war that will break out in heaven sometime in the future. In this war, he depicts Michael and his angels against Satan and his angels, Satan and his angels did not prevail and were hurled out of heaven. [Read Rev. 12:7-9]

Revelation 12:7-9 Christian Standard Bible

The Dragon Thrown Out of Heaven

7 Then war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels also fought, 8 but he could not prevail, and there was no place for them in heaven any longer. 9 So the great dragon was thrown out—the ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the one who deceives the whole world. He was thrown to earth, and his angels with him.

GREAT JOY IN HEAVEN

Revelation 12:10 Christian Standard Bible

10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say, The salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have now come, because the accuser of our brothers and sisters,who accuses them before our God day and night, has been thrown down.

SATAN IN THE ASSEMBLY OF GOD.

And Jehovah said to Satan: “Have you noticed my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him. He is a good, faithful man. He respects God and refuses to do evil.”

Satan’s Accusation of Job

Job 1:6-8 ASV

6 Now it came to pass on the day when the sons of God came to present themselves before Jehovah, that [a]Satan also came among them. 7 And Jehovah said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered Jehovah, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. 8 And Jehovah said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job? [b]for there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and turneth away from evil.

4
  • This is a good comment. Just one question about this. "the apostle John saw in his vision a war that will break out in heaven sometime in the future" Are you saying that the satan and the demons have not yet been kicked out of heaven, and are still living there? By the way, "satan" is not a name, but a title meaning "adversary." Hebrew is like English in that it never assigns a definite article to a name. No one calls me "the Rajesh", just Rajesh. Hebrew's the same. In the Tanakh, "satan" always comes with a definite article attached, giving the meaning in English as "the adversary."
    – Rajesh
    Jan 1 at 21:24
  • So, the "satan" in Job might not be the "original serpent" at the garden of Eden, but some other adversary who also greatly stepped out of his bounds(with reference to God). Otherwise, great answer.
    – Rajesh
    Jan 1 at 21:30
  • Rajesh: Satan in Job is the "original serpent."Jesus said of him: ”He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. [John 8:44; 1Job 3:8] Jesus here shows that Satan was once in the truth, but forsook it. Beginning with his first overt act in turning Adam and Eve away from God, he was a manslayer, for he thereby brought about the death of Adam and Eve, which, in turn, brought sin and death to their offspring. [Ro 5:12] Jan 3 at 9:49
  • Satan seduced Eve into disobedience to God’s command. In turn, Eve induced Adam to take the same rebellious course. [Gen 3:1-7; 2Cor 11:3] Jan 3 at 9:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.