The Whole Armor of God
Paul refers to the whole armor (panoplia, pan-op-lee'-ah) as being one word as opposed to two, and seems to imply that the armor was an all or nothing proposition. Then he tells us what the armor is for. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. So the armor is for us to take a stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood. So it is not to be used against mankind. Unfortunately, the first thing some new believers do is to put on the armor and begin to do battle with unbelievers. Just as bad are the believers that do battle with other believers. But this is not what the armor of God is for.
He speaks of the wiles (methodeia) of the devil. Methodeia is a Greek word that denotes a path or roadway that is traveled over. This is because the devil continuously attempts to secure a foothold so that he may begin construction of a roadway to your mind.
Next we are briefed on who the enemy is.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities (chiefs) against powers (authorities) against the (world) rulers of the darkness (obscurity) of this world (age or time) against spiritual (supernatural) wickedness (malicious hurtfulness) in high places (above the sky).
This is the hierarchy of the devil and all his lower level devils and demons. From his perspective, he is the god of this world and has a pecking order of intelligent princes and mindless grunts to do his works of oppression (influence, depression, oppression, obsession and possession).
Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand (resist) in the evil day, and having done all, to stand, stand therefore
So here again we see that we are to take a stand of resistance against the devil and all of his cohorts. And by extension, we are to stand in resistance against all the works of the devil. James 4:7 says resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
I want to point out that this is the armor of an intercessor, and that intercession is much more than prayer! This is Jesus' armor!
Isa 59:16 And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him.
Isa 59:17 For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak.
Now let's examine each piece of the armor that Paul is describing.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth.Paul called this the belt of 'Truth'. What could he have been referring to?
In John 17:17 Jesus says, "Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy Word is truth."
The written Word (or logos) of God, the Bible is that 'Truth.' Does this mean the New Testament and the Old Testament? The first chapter of John also reveals that Jesus was (and is) the living Word of God, and that He, Jesus, was the God (Eloiem) of the Old Testament as well as the Incarnate Word of the New Testament.
John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
2 Cor 6:7 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,
Just as the belt is central to the armor of God, the written Word of God (the Bible) is central to all that pertains to spiritual warfare. Knowing by the written Word that we have been made and are the righteousness of God, will tightly secure our breastplate of righteousness. Faith (the shield) comes by hearing the Word of God. Also, we are to fill our hearts with the Word of God. In this case, the scabbard, which holds the sword, could represent the heart filled by the Word of God. And "out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks." When our heart is full of the written Word, we can unsheathe the sword of the spoken Word of God. When we hear the Word of the Spirit speak to our spirit, we can always test what was said by comparing it to the written Word. We can be confident that we are in the will of God by knowing, living by and walking in the promises of the written record of the Word of God.
1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us:
Hold up your Bible and repeat this confession:
This is my bible.
It is the Incorruptible,
of the Word of God.
I am what it says I am.
I have what it says I have.
I can do what it says I can do.
In Jesus' name.
Stand therefore, … having on the breastplate of righteousness;2 Cor 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Jesus, who was righteous, took on and bore every form of sin and darkness that belonged to us, and in exchange, placed on us His righteousness, making us (you and me) the righteousness of God!
What is righteousness? It simply means, "Right standing before God." Or in legal terms it means being found innocent. Just as Justification is the act of being acquitted.
In 2 Cor 6:7 Paul first refers to righteousness as 'armor,' which most likely came from the book of Isaiah.
Isa 59:17 For he put on righteousness as a breastplate.
All too many Christians do not know that they have been made righteous. The majority of all Christians are right now walking in constant guilt and condemnation, feeling like failures and not 'worthy' to serve God or receive anything from Him. The devil is constantly bombarding man with missiles of lies and accusations and reminders of past sin. Without the breastplate of righteousness, these missiles will penetrate your heart.
Also, the devil will try to talk you out of your breastplate. He will 'tell' you that you are not righteous, not worthy. He will throw the sins of your past right into your face. The very sins that you have been acquitted of, the very sins that God has removed as if never existing.
Here are just a few scriptures on righteousness:
Psa 37:17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholdeth the righteous.
This is saying that the righteous will always be able to outlast the wicked.
Prov 10:30 The righteous shall never be removed:
Rom 3:21-22 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe
Rom 5:17 For if by one man's (Adam's) offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ
Man was an eternal criminal before God and could not approach His throne. But now, because Jesus graciously gave the believer His righteousness, then all the believer has to do is to receive it by faith, and it changes him! He has been found innocent of all charges and is righteous in the eyes of God. He can now boldly approach the throne of God.
God has freely imparted righteousness to you and that righteousness serves you as a beautiful and effective breastplate.
It is a God-given righteousness. It will give a boldness and confidence you never thought possible.
When you know you wear the breastplate of righteousness, you will pray in power and authority.
See yourself as God sees you!
Say it! I am the righteousness of God!
I have on the breastplate of righteousness!
Before you go somewhere, you have to make preparation to dress and equip yourself for the occasion, climate and terrain. If you are going downtown, are you going to put on your mountain climbing boots, leather shorts, backpack and climbing gear? If you are going into the jungle swamps, do you wear your arctic parka, insulated long underwear and snowshoes? The same kind of preparation is required concerning the gospel. Which shoes do I need? How should I prepare them?
That brings up a good question. What is the gospel? One organization seems to teach one thing and another teaches something else.
The Bible speaks of:
The Gospel of The Kingdom
The Gospel of God
The Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ
The Gospel of Peace
The Gospel of your salvation
Confusing? It shouldn't be. The "Gospel" simply means "Good News."
Jesus preached the "Good News!" He didn't preach that God was a harsh judge and if you do wrong He is going to kill you and send you to hell! Would that be "Good News?" He didn't preach that God killed your loved one to get you closer to Him. No, that's not "Good News" either.
This is the gospel that Jesus preached:
Luke 4:18-19 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me (the Anointed One, the Messiah) to preach the gospel (good news) to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance (release) to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to [set at liberty] (send out as delivered) those who are oppressed (bruised, trampled and stepped on, crushed and broken down by calamity) to preach (proclaim) the acceptable, (and accepted) year of the Lord [the day when salvation and the free favors of God profusely abound (Isa 61:1-2)]. Then He said, "Today this scripture has been fulfilled, here and now!"
The 'Good News' that He preached was that God Himself, has come to earth, as a man called Jesus to remit our sins by becoming our sacrificial atonement, thereby providing our whole and complete salvation, if we become citizens of His Kingdom by making Him our personal Lord and King. In doing so, even more good news was introduced to us. We were introduced to God the Father. We were introduced to the Holy Spirit. It was revealed that Jesus was the God (Elohiym) of the Old Testament, which walked with Adam in the garden, and taught Moses and the prophets. We were shown by example, that complete salvation was more than spiritual, but also physical, mental, emotional, financial, educational, etc. That the God-given dominion and authority of mankind in the earth, lost by Adam, has been reclaimed by Jesus, and has been delegated to the subjects of His Kingdom through power of attorney to use His mighty Name. Oh and so much more!
Yes the Gospel IS the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ! But is SO MUCH MORE!
Are you prepared? Are you prepared to save the lost? Are you ready to cast out demons? Are you ready to lay hands on the sick, and SEE them healed? Are you ready to take a stand against the oppression of the Devil? Because STANDING is what you are called to do. We are to prepare and equip ourselves (and others) to 'stand' as a 'Peace Keeping Force.'
The devil (Satan) is an outlaw and even though he and his group of renegades have been defeated and disarmed by Jesus, they still come to steal, kill and destroy in the world. Therefor we are to prepare and equip ourselves (and others) to 'STAND' against them. Plus the word "shoes" in the Greek means something that you "put under your feet". Aren't we supposed to put Satan under our feet?
If I told you that your assignment was to take a stand directly in the path of the attacking enemy, you would want to be equipped and prepared. You would also want an army of like equipped and prepared soldiers standing shoulder to shoulder with you! Because that IS your assignment! Strap on your spiked armored boots with the metal greaves, so that once you balance yourself and plant your long spikes deeply into the ground you cannot be moved!
But what is faith?
Heb 11:1 Says that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
We not only have to have and 'seize' the shield of faith, we have to know how to use it. When God began revealing the things of faith to me, He started with Mark 11:23-24.
Jesus speaking beginning in vs. 22:
Have faith in God.
Mark 11:23 Now listen, I telling you the absolute truth here, That whoever shall say directly to this mountain, (problem, situation, disease, etc.) "Mountain, Get out of my way, and go jump in the lake!"; and will not doubt in his heart, but will have faith that what he said will happen; he will have whatever he said.
Mark 11:24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
The Greek literally says:
Therefore, say what soever you suppose to ask. Pray, have faith, receive and you shall have (or, it shall come to pass).
Now this is the framework of how faith works! And we are talking about how to use the shield of faith!
Rom 10:17 Faith comes by hearing, and hearing the (rhema, or spoken) Word of God.
This is how faith comes! This is how to take or seize the shield of faith, by hearing the spoken Word of God. So, the Word of God is what faith should be based upon. Now, back to how to use it. Jesus told us to speak aloud directly to the situation based upon what the Word says. He said that if we do, and have faith in what the Word said, and do not doubt, that we will have whatever we said! Now how do we express to God, that we have faith and do not doubt, during the time we are waiting for the manifestation of what we said to arrive? We praise God and give thanks for it as though it had already manifested! This is not particularly easy when what you are wielding your shield of faith against is a sickness or disease that is causing severe pain or discomfort, but without the shield of faith you are an open target to the enemy. So what I am saying is that the shield of faith in application is praise and thanksgiving.
Why does it say 'above all' take the shield of faith? Simply for the reason that salvation (the helmet) righteousness (the breastplate) the gospel (the shoes) and both the written Word of God (the belt of truth) and spoken Word of God (the sword) must all be received by faith. Healing, deliverance and forgiveness must also be received by faith.
The shield of faith is movable to deflect attacks no mater from which direction they come. For if the devil cannot get to you directly (from the front) he will attack from another direction. If all personal attacks on you fail because of the strength of your faith, he will often attack you through another person to attempt to provoke fear or offense to allow him a foothold. Refusal to fear or be offended will foil even these attacks.
Individuals can even combine their shields of faith together by joining their faith with that of other believers, creating a wall and or a roof of protection during a mass attack.
[Don't get me wrong, nothing is wrong with heaven! In fact I plan on being there myself. But even if eternal salvation IS the most important part, it's still not the only part! If you attend a church that ONLY teaches salvation or the new birth some call it, they may be sending you into battle with a beautiful helmet strapped on your head, but otherwise you are standing there stark naked! With nothing to protect you from the fiery darts of the enemy, you are wide open to every attack of the devil.]
The Devil knows that to control you he needs to control areas of the mind. The old saying is that if you give the Devil a ride, he will end up driving the car. If you allow him access to your mind (even just a tiny foothold) he will attempt to begin construction on a four-lane freeway into it. Don't get me wrong, nothing is wrong with heaven! In fact, I plan on being there myself. But even if eternal salvation IS the most important part, it's still not the only part! If you attend a church that ONLY teaches salvation or the new birth some call it, they are sending you into battle with your beautiful helmet strapped on your head, but otherwise you are standing there stark naked!
The rhema Word, in the context of the sword, is you, the soldier, speaking (or quoting) aloud the logos (written Word) or the rhema (spoken Word) that was sown into your heart.
Remember the parable of the sower?
Mark 4:3 Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:
Mark 4:4 And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.
Mark 4:5 And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:
Mark 4:6 But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.
Mark 4:7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.
Mark 4:8 And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.
Then Jesus explained the parable, adding, "If you don't understand THIS parable, you won't understand anything I say."
Mark 4:14 The sower soweth the word.
Mark 4:15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.
Mark 4:16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;
Mark 4:17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended.
Mark 4:18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
Mark 4:19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
Mark 4:20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold (3000%) some sixty (6000%) and some an hundred, (10,000%).
So the Word is sown into the heart.
Remember that the scabbard that held the sword hung on the belt of truth, the logos, the Bible, the written Word of God. The Bible is the source of the Word that needs to fill your heart, (the scabbard). Then when needed, the sword (the rhema Word) can be smoothly extracted from the scabbard (heart) and wielded effectively.
Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure, (deposit) of his heart produces that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure (deposit) of his heart produces that which is evil: for (out) of the superabundance (overflow) of the heart his mouth speaks.
We are to use the very same sword of the spirit that Jesus used on the Mount of Temptation! Now, the devil has been tempting, Jesus for forty days while Jesus was fasting.
Luke 4:3 And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. (i.e., "Do what I say do!")
Luke 4:4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God, [Deu 8:3]. (i.e., I do what GOD says to do, not you devil!") The sword was so sharp that I don't think the devil felt the cut.
Luke 4:5 And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, showed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
Luke 4:6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.
Luke 4:7 If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.
Luke 4:8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Again Jesus slices the devil!
Now, the Devil has already been sliced left and then right with the sword of the Spirit cutting a big "X" on his chest which he now feels then sees. So now Satan pulls his own sword and tries to copy and twist what Jesus is doing!
Luke 4:9 And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence:
Luke 4:10 For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee:
Luke 4:11 And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Jesus deflects the attack and plunges His sword of the Spirit deep into the Devil's heart of hearts, leaving him seriously wounded.
Luke 4:12 And Jesus answering said unto him, It is written, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
After this the Devil retreated to lick his wounds for a while.
So then, to properly wield the sword, you must be knowledgeable of what the Bible says (particularly the promises and statements of fact) and receive that word into your heart. Keep receiving to the point that your heart begins to overflow out of your mouth, in the power of the Holy Spirit and authority of the Name of Jesus. So when the devil comes and gets close enough to attack your mind, pull the sword and perforate his stony heart.
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication.
Paul is referring to prayer of all types. For instance, the prayer of intercession, the prayer of faith, the prayer of thanksgiving, the prayer of supplication, the prayer of agreement, the prayer of petition, corporate prayer and of course praying in the Spirit, (or tongues). It is important to understand and keep in mind that prayer, all prayer, is about relationship and not ritual. In the Old Testament, prayer was often compared to sweet incense, showing that our prayer is a personally pleasant experience to God.
1 Tim 2:8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands.
The Hebrew word 'towdah' is used throughout the Old Testament translated as thanksgiving, praise and confession. The word itself refers to the extending or lifting of hands.
The New Testament word 'aiteo' is translated "I ask or demand." At first glance these concepts of demanding my seem offensive to some, but consider what John 15:7 has to say, "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask (aiteo, demand or require) what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." The concept is one of a covenant, conditional to the first half of the verse.
1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
1 John 5:15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
What is the confidence that we have? And, how do we know what the will of God is? Let's go back a few verses.
1 John 5:10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.
1 John 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
The 'record' he is referring to here is the written Word of God, the Bible! So, what is the confidence that we have? And, how do we know what the will of God is? The will of God is simply what God has already SAID in the Bible through promises and statements of fact! If we know what God said his will was and what he promised us, we can have confidence and boldness to 'aiteo,' ask or demand these things.
The problem is on many levels. Most Christians do not know what God has promised in his word, therefor they do not know God's will and have no confidence to receive what God has for them. Religious tradition has taught all too many that they are unworthy worms lower than snail spit, and as a result, people are actually afraid to ask for anything, let alone know how to receive from God. And then we have the ever popular "Suffering doctrine," which is a 'doctrine of devils' designed to keep mankind in sickness, disease, poverty and ignorance, (to the "glory" of Jesus!)
Now it's time for you to put on the whole armor of God.
As you repeat after me, envision that you take each piece of the armor and put it on.
I put on:
the belt of truth,
the breastplate of righteousness;
shoes of the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Above all, I take the shield of faith, wherewith I will have the power to quench every fiery darts the devil fires my way.
I take the helmet of salvation
I take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
I take the lances of Prayer which is all types of prayer and supplication in the Spirit,
Now I have the power to withstand evil, and take my stand as a solider in the army of the Almighty God.
My duty and assignment is to stand in the gap shoulder to shoulder with the other soldiers of the Lord as He places me. Resisting every attack of the devil. Holding the ground, refusing to be moved, healing the oppressed and destroying every work of the devil.
Remember to put this armor on each and every day, and like the credit card commercial says, "Don't leave home without it!"
Title: The Whole Armor of God
Issue: Spiritual Warfare