THE ARMOR OF GOD
By David Ben Yakov
© 2004 David Ben Yakov / Delusion Resistance
In these closing days of Human history, the Bible tells us that Christians will have it much harder than in previous times in history. Our most trusted source of prophecy; Jesus Christ (Yeshua Ha Mashiach), gave us an idea of what the last days will present to mankind and especially believers:
So, since the days are going to be so evil, it is well advised that Christians should learn a bit about what is called Spiritual Warfare. The purpose of this page is to look at that warfare, and to see what God tells us what to do to fight the good fight. God had the Apostle Paul write to the Ephesians in regard to their spiritual situation. The letter is divided into three distinctive parts plus an introduction and a conclusion. The first section deals with the believer's stand in Grace. The second section deals with The Walk and Service of The Believer. The third section deals with The Walk and Warfare of The Spirit Filled Believer. In essence, the letter say something like this: "You are now believers in Christ Jesus and you live in Grace, not under the law. Because of this, you must act like children of the Father; in an upright and holy manner. And furthermore, you will come under attack from people who really don't know that they are pawns of unseen evil entities who seek to destroy you through them. So therefore, put on your spiritual armor so that you can conquer the real source of the trouble."
This website deals with two great delusions that are being perpetuated by the demonic realm, and nurtured by those in the physical realm. The first delusion which is called the "theory of evolution," has it's foundation in the demonic realm. The whole purpose of evolution is to destroy the thought of a Creator God. When the creator is discredited then His laws aren't credible and if there is no law, there is no sin. If there is no sin, then there is no reason for the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. That's the idea of evolution in a nutshell. Satan knows that he can't stop what Jesus did when He hung on the cross to atone for our sins, but he can try his best to dismiss the need for that atonement. We hear about evolution time and time again. It's sort of like the reeducation that the communists tried to accomplish so many times around the world. They separated people from the truth, fed them a lie on a consistent basis and after a while people believed the lie. This has worked well in modern day America in the public school system. First, they took prayer out of the schools. Then they didn't allow Christian activities around the schools and now they persecute people who try to pray or mention God in any manner. That is the separation. Then, they fill the kid's heads full of the lie of evolution until they eat, sleep and breath the lie. Without God in the schools, there is no accountability toward teachers or fellow students. You want to know why two kids can enter a school and slaughter their classmates? Read this paragraph again and you will know why. There was a cute cartoon in the press a few weeks after the Columbine tragedy. It was of two little boys; the first one saying, "why didn't God stop all of the killing in that school." The second boy replied, "He wanted to, but He's not allowed in there anymore." Such truth in so few words.
There are many people who think that the subject of UFO's and evolution are are separated by a wide chasm. Well, in the middle of the last century, that explanation might have held a bit of water, but the two have always been closely allied in the spiritual realm as they are today. For the past 40 years or so the two have been growing together and now are inseparable. For a long time science could count on the theory of evolution to explain the emergence of life here on earth. In recent years, many intelligent people have stood up and questioned the viability of evolution to answer those questions. Science has now turned to the idea that since evolution is basically impossible, given time restraints and violations of certain undeniable laws of physics. They are now starting to support that life had to come to Earth from outside our biological realm; hence, and extraterrestrial origin. Some say that it was life that came here inside meteorites and others that intelligent life brought life here to Earth. In either case, the origin is extraterrestrial.
Science has also been turning to the metaphysical world for explanations. By giving credence that life might have come here from "outside" sources, some have been listening to what those outside sources are saying. There are many channelers, psychics, automatic writers and others who claim to be speaking for extraterrestrials or what they call "ascended masters." A look at the subjects shows that they are one and the same. The interesting thing to note is that all of these so-called "sources" of information only seem to attack one type of belief system; the one based on the Judeo-Christian belief system. As Chuck Missler puts it, "why would such intelligent beings travel so many trillions of miles to teach New Age doctrine here on Earth?" The reason is that they don't come from that long distance, but from right here on and around earth. The fallen angels along with their demonic cohorts are behind all of this mischief and delusion. Now, because this is a spiritual fight, we need to know of a spiritual way to battle.
When the Apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesians, he had to describe spiritual warfare in earthly terms that they could understand. In that day Ephesus was under the dominion of the Roman Empire. The Romans didn't believe in separating the soldiers from the public like we do in modern society. They didn't build elaborate army bases and such, but housed the soldiers in and around cities, towns and villages. It was not uncommon to see a brigade of soldiers marching down the middle of town once or twice a day. These soldiers were not dressed in fancy garb either, but dressed like the day when they went out to battle; in full armor with sword hung in their belt and perhaps a spear in their hands. They were a fully prepared fighting force ready to act on a moment's notice. Because they were such a familiar site, Paul could use their image for what he was trying to get across to the Christians at Ephesus.
So what does Paul actually say? Let's look at the scripture and then we will explore what it all means:
So what do we get out of the scripture? Well, the first thing that Paul tells us to do is to put on the armor. The armor will do no man good if it is left at home or neglected. Something that is not mentioned in this scripture is the upkeep of the armor. The soldier had to maintain his sword, shield and armor. Rusted armor can fail and if the sword is not sharp it is not very effective. If the handle of the shield breaks off and you can't hold it you are in dire straits and in peril. I think we get the picture here.
When did the Roman soldier put on his armor? He put it on before he left his abode, and he never forgot it. The volatility of the Roman world reminded him on an almost daily basis for the need for his armor. He kept his armor on until he returned to his abode. Likewise, we should put on our armor when we leave the house. But I submit to you that we should wear our armor the whole time we are awake. You see, our unseen enemies can enter our homes, although it is hard for them to do that on their own. Our modern society has allowed to procure devices that allow us to invite influences into our homes and we might not even notice it. Television, radios, VCR machine and most recently the Internet have become medias by which the enemy can enter our abode. Therefore, our armor has to be on from the time we wake until the time we close our eyes for sleep.
Helmet of Salvation:
" Take the helmet of salvation"
Looking at the armor, starting from the head and working to the feet; we first have the Helmet of Salvation. There is no more fitting a garment to go first. If a person isn't Born Again in Jesus then he isn't saved by God's grace and has no salvation. Our new life status is the foundation that the rest of our spiritual lives stand on. The salvation given to the believer was procured by the precious blood of Jesus, which makes us clean and initiates us into the Kingdom of God. In Old Testament times when a person brought an offering to the priest to atone for their sin, that person had to believe without a doubt that his sin was cast aside and he was no longer guilty. Without that belief, then the sacrifice was just another dead animal and it meant nothing. In the same way, our sacrifice, in the person of Jesus Christ, has to be believed, without the shadow of a doubt and if it isn't, then there is no atonement.
So putting on the Helmet of Salvation is really denoting that the believer has to recognize each and every second of every day that they are saved through the Blood of Jesus Christ. Satan and his minions try to convince every Christian at one time or another that we are too bad to be saved; that the last sin that we committed was the last straw and that we have exceeded the limit of God's grace. That is a lie straight from hell because the Grace of God knows no bounds and is limitless. When a person is convinced that they have exceeded God's grace limit they in essence have removed the helmet of salvation and the rest of the armor sheds itself off of the body. You see, when a person believes that they have exceeded the limit, they no longer believe that they are righteous, so the breastplate comes off. They also believe that they have betrayed the truth, so the belt of truth comes off. Then, when they feel that all hope is lost, they toss the sword of the spirit because they feel that God doesn't hear them and that the Holy Spirit has abandoned them. And when all is said and done, the shield of faith is worthless because the faith has withered. So, the helmet of salvation is the cornerstone, so to speak, of the whole armor.
Now let's look at what an earthly helmet does. The Roman helmet is quite different then the helmet that is worn in today's army. That is basically because of the difference in weapons that are used. Modern helmets are made in a way to cause a bullet to graze off and away from the head of the soldier. The helmet that was popular in the Roman Army of Paul's time was made not only to protect the cranium, but also had a sloping edge down the back to protect the neck and two flaps that draped down between the ears and the eyes. The protection for the back of the neck was necessary because they used swords at that time, and one of the best ways to overtake an enemy was to approach from the back to cut the head off at the neck. Headless soldiers aren't very good fighters. The flaps of metal between the eyes and the ears was to also protect from sword blows from the side. Rome, after it's many military campaigns knew from experience where the enemy liked to strike to be most effective, and they guarded their soldiers against that harm.
Paul knew that the mind of a Christian is where Satan first likes to attack. Ideas come in through the eyes, ears, nose, tongue and sensory nerves of the skin and the first place where they are processed is the brain. After processing by the brain, the information goes to the heart, where if it is something good or something holy it brings joy and that joy is manifest in the person and then spread to others. If however that information is evil or lustful, and it is not dealt with while in the brain, it goes to the heart and the evil grows there and is manifest by our words and actions. That is why the Apostle Paul says:
Every person who has been Born Again has had their mind renewed. Every morning, or whenever you wake up, the first thing you and I should do is to confirm that we are saved through the Blood of Jesus. That confirmation, which is putting on the helmet of salvation, causes you to realize that you are saved, you realize that you have faith, that you are righteous and that you know the truth. Also, you will know that the Holy Spirit, which is called a sword, is in you to help you get through the day and to fight the good fight. Let's face it that knowing that the Holy Spirit of the Master of The Universe is residing and walking with us makes the battle much easier to fight. The word of God, The Bible, is also called a sword and it is imperative that we read His word and meditate on it every chance we get. That way we fill our brains and hearts with good things, not the mush that the world offers. We must also remember that salvation is a three phased process. We have been saved from the sins of the past. We are being saved from the sins of the present and we will be saved from our sins in the future. The knowledge of our salvation should be the cornerstone of our daily prayer life.
So, now we have seen why the helmet of Salvation is so important, and we know that it is the basis upon which all the other pieces of armor work so effectively. What are those other pieces of armor and how do they work.
Breastplate of Righteousness:
" with the breastplate of righteousness in place"
The breastplate was a very important piece of equipment to the Roman soldier. You see, the parts that were exposed without armor, the arms and the legs come in pairs. If an arm is injured there is still another arm to fight with. If a leg is injured it is still possible to hobble around and fight. We were created however with only one heart and it is the most important organ of the body because it sends blood to nourish the rest of the body. A person can live with some limbs missing and even with a brain injury, but if the heart is killed, then the whole body dies.
In the same way, a breastplate of righteousness is important for the Child of God. But did you know that the breastplate is directly related to the use of the shield? Righteousness is a byproduct of faith, as we can only become so when we trust in God with all our hearts, minds, souls and strength. We can see exactly how one is recognized as righteous by God by looking at the following scripture:
A person who, in sincerity, comes to Christ Jesus and becomes a new creation is already righteous in God's eyes. The true Christian is righteous because he or she has affirmed that they want the Almighty God to take over their lives and they trust that He will work wonders in their lives. They also become righteous because they trust in the Holy Sacrifice provided by our Father through the crucifixion of His one and only son, as an atonement for sin. In essence, the breastplate of righteousness remains on the believer as long as their salvation is intact and they live by faith.
So one might ask if the backslidden Christian is still righteous before God. I would in turn return the question by asking if the backslidden person is living in faith. The answer then is that though they still might be saved from the eternal fires of hell, they are no longer living by faith, otherwise they would not be in a backslidden state. God regards faith as righteousness and a person who has walked away no longer has faith.
That is why our righteousness can't only be the one imputed by God, but we also have to live righteous lives. When a Christian lives in an unrighteous manner it gives the devil a foothold that he can use to further destroy our lives. The illustration of yeast invading the loaf is a good example of what a foothold can do in your life:
In the same way, a little unrighteousness becomes a lot of unrighteousness. And besides, unrighteousness and sin never stay secret, no matter how hard you try. Remember that Satan and his minions love to broadcast the sin of a Christian all over which hurts God and your testimony for Jesus Christ. So, living a righteous life is required so that there is nothing to keep secret. Armor is a high maintenance item that constantly has to be cleaned and shined.
The Belt of Truth:
" Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist"
The belt that the Roman soldier wore served different purposes depending on what time of history that you look at. In early Roman times, around the time of Jesus' birth, the belt had a dual purpose. The type of armor that the soldier of that age wore was a series of finely looped chains, all linked together both lengthwise and widthwise to form what looked like a loose fitted garment. The armor hung from his shoulders to just below the groin area. Because this was like a loose garment, it needed a belt to fit it tight against the body, much like modern day belts keep the pants tight and the shirt tucked in. The belt also was where the sword was sheathed. In later days, just around or after Paul wrote his letter to the Ephesians, the Roman army changed it's armor style to include segmented armor. The belt was still used but was worn differently. Instead of it being used to hold the looped chain armor down, it was used to support the segmented armor to take some of the weight of the armor off of the shoulders of the soldier.
The belt in the Christian Armor is our knowledge that Jesus walks into battle with us every day. Jesus is the truth of God, sent to us in human form:
Just as the belt held the chain armor down and helped to keep everything in place, so Jesus in our lives keeps us in order and keeps us together. He is the binding force that keeps our lives from falling into ruin. Without the belt of His truth our armor would flap all around while in battle and expose us to the blows of the enemy. It is also noteworthy that when a person has a new life in Jesus, through his forgiveness, and that person walks circumspect in that life, that they tend to be truthful and trustworthy.
If, when describing the armor, Paul was talking about the segmented armor, then the symbolism would mean that the belt of truth is really the truth that Jesus upholds our righteousness before the Father. He is the support on which the armor rests, removing the burden from our puny little shoulders.
Truth is also our foundation. The truth of our foundation is the truth of who we are in Jesus Christ. We are God's children. We are loved by Him. Jesus Christ died for us. When we are engaged in spiritual warfare, this the the first thing that we must remember. Nothing can touch us that doesn't first pass through the hands of a loving and powerful Heavenly Father.
Consider also that the belt was used to sheath the sword in the Roman soldier's uniform. The sword of our spiritual armor is the Sword of The Spirit. The Spirit and truth always go together. As a matter of fact, as seen below, Jesus even calls the Holy Spirit, the spirit of truth:
Do you see how synonymous the pieces of armor are with each other. Each piece compliments the other and when one is missing, the armor is incomplete. The helmet of salvation signifies our salvation. When we are saved, we are righteous in God's eyes and we know the truth and walk in the truth.
" with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace"
Footwear was essential for Roman soldier. In the heat of battle a lot of fancy footwork was needed to insure that you didn't get killed. Their battle was not like ours, where our soldiers shoot the enemy from hundreds of yards away. For the most part, the Roman soldier's battle was hand to hand with your enemy within five feet of your person. Enemies could approach from all sides and they needed to move around a lot to keep abreast of their situation.
In the accounts of the Jewish Historian Josephus, we read about the shoes of the Roman Soldier. He wrote that their shoes were thickly studded with sharp nails. Other historians tell us that the successes of both Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar were due to their shoes. They tell us that their armies feet were shod with footwear that would allow them to travel great distances in a short time and to navigate rough terrain with ease. The modern equivalent would be some sort of combination between combat boots and the shoes that are used in many outdoor sports, called cleats. If you are familiar with American outdoor sports, you know that in football and baseball the players wear these cleats. They are protrusions in the soles of the shoes that allow the player to dig into the turf. This allows them to get a quick start without slipping and also to maintain a firm grip on the soil when they are running and turning.
There are two meanings that this scripture could have; both are applicable. Of course, the first means preparedness. Part of the Christian's walk is to be ready to go out at any time to present the Gospel of Peace. That Gospel is the Word of God. We have to know His word inside and out and be prepared
It could also mean a sure foundation or base. This means that the believer himself has already been reconciled to God through the Gospel of Peace, giving him a firm foothold in the battle in which he is engaged. As the words to the hymn say:
In Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.
And then we have the scripture, where Jesus himself uses a metaphor of a house built on the rock to describe Himself.
As mentioned above, the Roman soldier's shoes had nails in the soles to give sure footing and grip. With our spiritual shoes shod tightly on our feet we have the same thing. We can dig our feet firmly into the soil and not be moved by the schemes of Satan. They also enable us to move quickly to avoid the fiery arrows and so that we can turn quickly on our enemy to strike. Consider also, that the rough times that we go through in this life can be categorized as rough terrain. With adequate footwear, we are able to walk through those times and come out unharmed.
Finally, there is one more point to ponder about the footwear. There were several parts of the Roman Empire where snakes and scorpions were a threat to the soldier. Having such elaborate footwear was definitely an advantage where these creatures are concerned. When wearing his leg armor and his battle shoes, the Roman Soldier was impervious to the attack of these creatures.
It is interesting to note the words of Jesus just before he sent the disciples out to evangelize the cities of Israel. He was endowing them with the Holy Spirit and in the course of His instruction to them he said:
What he was doing was dressing them in their armor before he sent them out. He described the wiles of Satan as serpents and scorpions and said that they would tread (trample) over his works and deceptions. In the same way, when we apply our spiritual armor footwear, we have the authority to trample on the works and wiles of Satan. They are as dust under our feet. Part of dealing with those wiles is knowledge of scripture. When Jesus went into the wilderness for 40 days and nights, He was tempted by Satan. You'll notice that every time that Satan tried to tempt Him, Jesus answered with Scripture. Jesus is the Word of God, and the Word of God is the rock upon which we stand.
The Shield of Faith:
" take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one."
The shield that the Roman Soldier carried was quite a piece of equipment. It is a common misconception that the shield was similar to the round shield carried by earlier and later armies of other empires. Those empires had small shields that were around 3 feet in width and didn't protect the whole body. The Roman shield was rectangular and was about as tall as the soldier himself. He could use it while using his sword or he could crouch behind it to protect himself from arrows and spears. The Roman soldiers also did something that might sound peculiar but was in effect genius. Before battle, they would soak their shields in streams or lakes until they became saturated with water. This of course made them heavy, but it also caused the extinguishing of any flaming arrows that the enemy would shoot at them.
Likewise, we are told to take up our shield of faith. What is our shield? It is the knowledge that our God has our lives in his fill view and that He is in control of every situation or circumstance that comes against us. The word faith these days has been deluded quite a bit, especially in American culture. To most, faith is defined as believing in Jesus. Put another way, the modern definition of faith is believing that Jesus was Jesus. True faith is not only believing that Jesus is the Messiah, but believing Jesus for his promises, His love, His grace and His return. It is believing that whatever comes our way is in His hands. Read Romans chapter 11 to see the examples of faith. Faith can't just be proclaimed, it has to be a way of life.
Now I mentioned above that the Romans would soak their shields in water before a battle. How does apply to the Christian believer? Well, in the gospels, Jesus describes the Holy Spirit as:
As true believers in Jesus, we can soak our shields in "Living Water." That is, our faith is bolstered by the Holy Spirit that lives within us. One of the names of the Holy Spirit is "comforter," which can be seen below:
The "Comforter" brings comfort in the time of distress. So therefore, when we use our shield of faith, which is soaked in the Living Water of God (the Holy Spirit) not only does He extinguish the flaming arrows of Satan's hordes, but He gives comfort in that time of distress. It is such a blessing to see that the names of God and His attributes all interlock with each other. He is a complete and unbroken circle of beautiful holiness!
The Sword of The Spirit:
and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
The sword of the Roman soldier was unique. It was not the sword that you and I traditionally think of. We think of the sword that was wielded by the barbarians, or by the Briton around the time of the great kings. Their swords were very long and very cumbersome. The Roman sword was short in comparison. It was double edged and made of superior metals. The Romans spared no expense where their soldiers were concerned. They knew that the Roman soldier was all that stood between the barbarians and their lifestyle.
One might think that the shortness of the sword was a disadvantage to the Roman soldier. To any other army it would have been such, but to the Roman it was not. The reason why it was such an effective weapon to the Romans was not the weapon itself, but the skill of the soldier. The Romans were the best swordsman in the world. They were put through rigorous training, both hand to hand and sword to sword and their teachers showed no mercy. There were no failures in the Roman Army. They could use their swords like no others. Their savagery and mastery of the sword made their enemies tremble in fear. The Romans use the sword both as a offensive weapon to strike blows and a defensive weapon to glance off the strikes of their enemies.
Likewise, the Word of God should be the Christian's best offensive and defensive weapon. What does the Bible say about the Word of God and the Sword of The Spirit?:
We can see by the above that the "Word of God" and the "Sword of The Spirit" are synonymous with each other. First and foremost, Jesus is the Word of God. His whole being is the very essence of God's message to mankind. Therefore, the Bible in it's entirety is the Word of God, and is Him. The fact that He quoted the scriptures so many times proves it's validity. The Bible is a sword when it is used in battle. Remember, it is a spiritual writing as well as a physical writing and has great ramifications in the spiritual realms. When a Christian quotes scripture in time of spiritual battle, it is really Jesus saying those things to the enemy. In effect, you are quoting not only Jesus' words, but are presenting Jesus as the commander of the battle and it causes the enemy to shudder and run from the confrontation.
The word in the Greek language for "resist" is the word that is transliterated anthistemi, which when translated means resist, but not in our traditional meaning. In effect, it means to "oppose," or to "stand against."
I just think that the word "resist" in modern culture just means an attempt but not a whole hearted fight. On the other hand, when something is opposed or stood against, there is actual force being exerted against it. That is why the scripture says that the Word of God is a sword. It is a forceful implement that is used to slay an unseen enemy and to foil the unheard of plans that are formed against the People of God.
As I mentioned earlier in this document, we know that Jesus was led into the wilderness and while there He was tempted Satan. Now we know that since Jesus is the Word of God, He could have said anything to rebuke Satan. But Jesus chose every time to use the Sword of The Spirit; The Word of God. Now He did this because it was ordained for Him to do it, but He also did it for an object lesson to His people. As Christians, we are supposed to be imitators of Christ Jesus. So if Jesus used scripture to rebuke Satan, it should be so with the Christians too.
Invocation through prayer:
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
We know from what we read in historical accounts that the Romans were a ruthless people. They were given over to public orgies and killed people for sport in the arena. We also know that they were a very religious society. They weren't religious in the Christian sense of the word, but worshipped many gods. They had greater gods and lesser gods. Almost all of the gods were of Greek origin and Romanized by given Latin names. Even the Roman soldiers were religious. Before a battle, they would pray and sacrifice to Mars, the god of war.
The Christian warrior should be no different. We should pray daily for the assistance of Jesus, The Holy Spirit and the holy angels in our struggles. We can't see the spiritual realm like the heavenly hosts can and they can aid us in ways that we could never think possible. Another reason for prayer before spiritual battle is to give the glory to the Lord. It is common for us, being the humans that we are to want to take the credit for victories won over an enemy. By bringing God into the battle right at the start, we have to acknowledge Him as the victor, not only in the present engagement, but in all past and future ones also.
In conclusion, we have seen that the Armor of God is a very important item to clothe ourselves with each and every day. It starts out with the knowledge of our salvation through the precious Blood of Jesus. With that salvation comes righteousness through faith. Righteousness is imparted by God, but also must be maintained through acts of faith. When we are saved and righteous we wear the belt of truth and become truthful people in a world of lies and deception. We also become truthful by our daily walk with the Master of Truth and by reading His book of truth. With the Gospel Shoes on our feet we stand on the truth of God's word and it keeps us on a firm footing, allowing us to fight our enemy. With our shield of faith, dipped in the spring of living water we are able to hide from the the flaming arrows of Satan and also have those arrows quenched. And, we have the sword of His word to fight and slay the enemy. Lastly, we have prayer in which we invoke the help of Heaven in our fight. We are also exhorted to pray for each other, for each of our daily battles. No army is made up of only one individual because that would be suicidal. Therefore, as The Army of The Living God, we must fight together in a concerted effort to win for Jesus.