Text: Ephesians 6:10-18 Christ Our Armor
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
It is vital that the believer recognize that they are in a battle. Not knowing the spiritual conflict that is raging around the believer is one reason there are so many defeated Christians. This is the basic fact that allows one to prepare for battle and face an enemy that can only be seen with spiritual eyes. Ignorance is a Christian’s greatest weakness. Keep Christians ignorant and they will be no threat to Satan. One of the other most important things to know is that there are two kingdoms that are in conflict. This is the source of all spiritual battles that we face. There is the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light. These are the kingdoms of Satan and the LORD respectively. Paul in his letter to the church at Rome admonishes the saints to put on the armor of light. Christians are in a war against the kingdom of darkness and our weapons are spiritual.
We have been admonished, To lean not unto our own understanding which seems simple enough but this is a journey that is a life-long struggle and requires us to truth the LORD every day. Jesus commanded us to, seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness. Here we have been admonished to “seek” which implies a continuous effort and a never-ending process of learning--it is a life-long study. The Word of God gives us the means to develop the art of spiritual self-defense. The Christian is in a daily battle fighting the enemy of the soul. The only protection against defeat is in knowing the Word of God. It would be foolish for someone to say they are not interested in being thorough in their understanding of how to live a victorious life in Christ Jesus. Being faced with an enemy that is experienced in spiritual conflict the challenge for us today is to master the Word of the LORD.
The Battle Begins
The moment a person accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and receives God's Holy Spirit, that person is instantly and literally translated from the kingdom of darkness of this world into the kingdom of God's light by God's Holy Spirit of truth. The Apostle Paul describes this process as the "mystery" revealed, which is "Christ in you" the hope of glory.
Col 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
Col 1:27 to whom God was pleased to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
The believer is saved from the power and bondage of sin, the carnal nature, the devil, and supernaturally empowered with the Holy Spirit. The power of darkness is anything that blinds a person to the reality of sin. It is the power of darkness that blinds a person to his or her need for salvation, and from receiving God's gift of Holy Spirit. By the conviction of the Holy Spirit God draws the sinner towards Him by the Light that lightest everyone who comes into the world that leads to salvation in Christ by the cross. The people of the world reject the truth of Christ and are under the control or deception of the god of this world, which is the devil. Scripture states,
1 John 5:19 "We know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in the evil one."
2Co 4:4 in whom the god [devil] of this world hath blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not dawn upon them.
The Art of War
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matt. 6:33)
“These were nobler than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” (Acts 17:11)
Without trying to over-analyze, the command “seek" it directly implies an endeavor, to find knowledge that must be sought out by work and discipline. In other words, it's a process, a path, a journey, a continual quest.
This seems simple enough. But that's the whole trick isn't it? The key word here is "seek." It should be indisputable that this skill is not to be approached lightly. But when do you know you understand the righteousness of God? I don't think we ever truly do, which is why the "seek" part implies a continuous effort and never-ending process. We must maintain an open-ended approach to a life-long study of the righteousness of God. We should never become conceited in thinking that we have learned all the skill which is to be learned already, we are deceived if we think we understand all there is to know.
The subject "Art" here is our own focus on self-development in a systematic methodology of the teachings of God’s Word. There is no questioning the depth of wisdom and sophistication of fighting knowledge contained within the scriptures. It's important for us to explore. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to victory or defeat. So, it is a subject of study which cannot be neglected.
It's long been an axiom of military science and martial arts that wisdom begins with an honest evaluation of strength and weakness. There is nothing to gain by self-deception and self-delusion when it comes to gauging our capabilities and vulnerabilities.
Our success is based on five conditions:
Personal salvation, - “Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 517)
Yielding to the Will of God, “Do not yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but yield yourselves to God, as one alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.” (Romans 6:13)
Filled with the Spirit, - “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” (Romans 8:9)
Studying to be approved, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)
Applying the Word of God, “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” (1 Timothy 4:16)
The believer that applies and acts upon this knowledge will be successful in defeating the enemy of the soul. The believer that ignores this will suffer defeat. Paul in writing to Timothy advised him to take heed to his own life, and the doctrine or teachings of the scriptures; he was to learn how to apply the principles of spiritual warfare. By working to prepare ourselves to fight the good fight of faith we obtain the abilities to execute the principles of spiritual warfare.
The Enemy of the Soul
The enemy of our soul is Satan. Satan is the god of this world system and is called “evil” in 1 John 5:19. Jesus faced the same enemy as we face when he was led into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. We read,
Luke 4:5 - 8: And he [the devil] led him [Jesus] up, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, To thee will I give all this authority, and the glory of them: for it hath been delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship before me, it shall all be thine. And Jesus answered and said unto him, It is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
This position of Satan’s power and world domination was acquired when both Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, being tempted of the devil in the Garden of Eden. The lure of the temptation of Adam and Eve was to be like God. Satan hates God and His creation and seeks to win humanity over for its destruction. All dominion over the earth was originally given to Adam and Eve, but because of their sin, all of humanity and nature itself fell under the destruction and power of the devil. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: Rom. 5:12
The enemy of the soul first appeared to man in the Garden of Eden when he deceived Eve into disobeying the LORD. God had given a command not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. ”But you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die." Gen 2:17 Eve being deceived, disobeyed the LORD. “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.” Gen 3:6
The result of just one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people. By yielding to the enemy of the soul, by one man’s disobedience every one now born into the world is born a sinner. So, by the sin of Adam death was passed upon all mankind. All of us came into this world with a desire to gratify the cravings of our carnal nature. James writes, “Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” This is how the enemy of our soul wages war against us through the need to gratify the cravings of our carnal nature.
Satan lost the battle to dethrone God and was cast back to his domain-Earth. He now attacks God by making war on humanity. With this understanding of events, we can see that our battles in this spiritual warfare come from principalities, powers, rulers of darkness, and the spiritual host of wickedness in high places. We are in a life and death struggle against evil. The enemy of the soul is the god of this world—Satan.
From the moment Adam disobeyed the commandment of the LORD all of God’s creation, the plants, the animals, sea life, and of course humanity itself began to suffer and die. This account is found in the first 3 chapters of the book of Genesis. The sins of Adam and Eve brought the curse of sin to all the earth, in which we have our redemption only in Christ. It is only Christ, the Son of God, Who suffered the penalty of this curse to set us free and bring us back to God; therefore Christ is the only way in which we can be saved.
Our Weapons of Warfare
The power of God is released, as we utilize every piece of the armor of God against evil spirits, who are labeled by Paul as principalities, powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness on high. We are asked to prepare ourselves as soldiers in spiritual warfare, because as a forbearer of God's truth and power, Christians and God's work are targets of the devil for destruction. The intense hate of the devil, and his devil spirits against God's creation is unimaginable, but nonetheless real, he is cruel and merciless; however, he cannot defeat God, and therefore he uses trickery and deception to defeat believers or draw them into vulnerable positions. Some of these positions are: fear, doubt, confusion, condemnation, temptation through pressure or pleasure, spiritual blindness, pride, affliction or persecution, intended to frustrate the purposes of God through His people. He is cunning and attempts to oppress us in our weakest areas (through our thought life or other people and circumstances), in which the "unaware" are led into chains of depression and other forms of bondage.
We have been commanded to “Put on the whole armor of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” The armor consist of having our, “. . . feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: We are to, “Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; which is also referred to as the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. This is the armor that will quench the fiery darts of the wicked-“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.”
When we are equipped with the armor of God the power God protects us against evil spirits, the principalities, powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness on high. We are asked to prepare ourselves as soldiers in spiritual warfare, because as a witness of God's truth and power, Christians and God's work are targets of the devil for destruction. The weapons of the devil are: fear, doubt, confusion, condemnation, temptation through pressure or pleasure, spiritual blindness, pride, affliction or persecution, intended to frustrate the purposes of God through His people. He is cunning and attempts to oppress us in our weakest areas (through our thought life or other people and circumstances), in which the "unaware" are led into chains of depression and other forms of bondage.
If we fail to use the protection that God has given us we will find that we are no more than the amusement of the Satan. The conflict will vary; however, if we rely on our strength, we will fall into an endless pattern of defeat, being victimized by the same snares or traps. Often, hostile situations may reoccur because the spirit forces behind a condition are left undetected, and by relying on our human wisdom and strength, we are left without a solution to our problems. We must attempt to identify the area of the enemy's infiltration. We need to keep in mind that we are never told to remove the armor of God; it is a way of life for the Christian.
The Armor of Light
Theology According to Truitt
Put on the armor of light. And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. Rom 13:11-14
While preparing a series of messages on spiritual warfare, I ran across this passage of scripture. I am sure that we are all familiar with the passage in Ephesians 6 that talks about the whole armor of God. In fact, you may have had a Sunday school teacher who had you make all the armor from cardboard and remember the verse that went with each piece of armor. This passage in Roman is hidden in the message of how we should conduct ourselves as Christians being people of the day and not of the night.
What started out as reading a few commentaries on the 12th verse which took me on a wild ride of information jumping. You know where you are reading something, and a new idea is presented, and you follow it, and another new idea is presented. Well, this ride was an exciting ride.
I was waiting for a meeting to start so I thought I would check out some more on the “armor of light”. I was trying to find how light could be the armor of the Christian. No luck. This got me to thinking about when Adam was created-- how was he clothed? It has long been taught that he was clothed in light. So, this started me on a new search. But before I get to the interesting information let’s go back to the command.
Christians are commanded to “put on the amour of light” and “to put on the Lord Jesus.” What does this mean? To be clothed with a person is a Greek phrase, signifying to assume the interests of another--to enter his views, to imitate him, and be wholly on his side. Putting on the armor of light is being clothed with Jesus Christ, signifies I have put on Christ; and consequently, having the mind that was in Christ.
Christians are soldiers amid a spiritual conflict and must have personal protection armor that they may stand against the enemy of the soul. A Christian undressed is unarmed. The graces of the Spirit are the armor, to secure the soul from Satan’s temptations and the assaults of this present evil world. Put on the righteousness of Christ for justification; be found in him (Phil. 3:9 ) as a man is found in his clothes; put on the priestly garments of the elder brother, that in them you may obtain the blessing. Put on the spirit and grace of Christ for sanctification; put on the new man (Eph 4:24); get the habit of grace confirmed, the acts of it quickened.’’ Jesus Christ is the best clothing for Christians to adorn themselves with, to arm themselves with; it is decent, distinguishing, dignifying, and defending. Without Christ, we are naked, deformed; all other things are filthy rages, fig-leaves, a sorry shelter. "Put him on as Lord to rule you, as Jesus to save you, and in both as Christ, anointed and appointed by the Father to this ruling saving work.’’
I think we get the point of how important it is to identify with Christ. But what is interesting is that Paul would use the expression “the armor of light.” The fact that God is light is important to our study of putting on the armor of light. It includes a description of God's character as well as implications for the life of Christian discipleship. In fact, the character of God as light and the Christian putting on the armor of light has it foundation in the creation of Adam. This is where I started down a long road of inquiry.
Adam was created in God’s image and likeness which includes the appearance of God. We can reason more of how Adam was before he fell into sin by understanding how he was clothed in light. Adam was covered with light as with a garment, similar to his God. Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, You are very great; You are clothed with splendor and majesty, covering Yourself with light as with a cloak, Ps.104:2
We also have seen that the Holy Spirit was indwelling in Adam when he was created. God breathed into Adam and he became a living soul. God created Adam in His image and likeness concerning his general shape (head, shoulders, hands, and feet) plus Adam was emitting light in a manner like God and he was also filled with the Spirit of God. The question that I had to ask myself was where did the light come from?
This question side tracked me into searching for the answer. Here is what I found. Fritz-Albert Popp thought he had discovered a cure for cancer. It was 1970, and Popp, a theoretical biophysicist at the University of Marburg in Germany, had been teaching radiology -- the interaction of electromagnetic (EM) radiation on biological systems.
What Popp discovered was that benzo[a]pyrene (the cancer producing molecule) absorbed the UV light, then re-emitted it at a completely different frequency -- it was a light "scrambler". The benzo[e]pyrene (harmless to humans), allowed the UV light to pass through it unaltered.
Popp was puzzled by this difference and continued to experiment with UV light and other compounds. He performed his test on 37 different chemicals, some cancer-causing, some not. After a while, he was able to predict which substances could cause cancer. In every instance, the compounds that were carcinogenic took the UV light, absorbed it and changed or scrambled the frequency.
Popp kept wondering why a cancer-causing substance would be a light scrambler. He began reading the scientific literature specifically about human biological reactions and came across information about a phenomenon called 'photorepair'. The quick summary of this phenomenon is that light aids in the healing process of the cells. Well this led me to another question, is there light within the body?
What is it that enabled the tens of thousands of different kinds of molecules in the organism to recognize their specific targets? Photons (Light) control everything in the cells of our body. Photons switch on the body's processes like an orchestra conductor bringing each individual instrument into the collective sound. At different frequencies, they perform different functions. Popp found that molecules in the cells responded to certain frequencies, and that a range of vibrations from the photons caused a variety of frequencies in other molecules of the body.
Remember in the Gospel of John, “That was the true Light, which lights every man that comes into the world”. If the cells of our body repair themselves through a process of photorepair and light controls every cell within our body, could light then play a major role in how man was designed? So, I asked myself this question, does light play a part in our DNA?
To save you from all the scientific language let me cut to the chase. One of the most essential sources of light and biophoton emissions is DNA. DNA was like the master tuning fork of the body. It would strike a particular frequency and certain molecules would follow. Our DNA not only emits light but absorbs light as well. Our DNA is like an electric capacitor which can store tiny amounts of electricity and then discharge it. In a similar way, we can speculate that the light that was coming from Adam was not being produced from his own self, but was first absorbed from God and then reemitted, very much like how things glow in the dark. Glow-in-the-dark objects need to be exposed to light, or charged, to glow.
Adam must have emitted large amounts of light or photons from his DNA. When he sinned, the light that he received from God, the source of the light, was presumably extinguished. Proverbs 13:9 says: “The light of the righteous rejoices, but the lamp of the wicked will be put out,” Then Jesus spoke to them again: "I AM THE LIGHT of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the Darkness but will have the LIGHT OF LIFE." (John 8:12) In HIM WAS LIFE; and the LIFE WAS THE LIGHT of men. (John 1:4 KJV)
The conclusion of Dr. Popp’s research was best summarized in his own words, "We now know, today, that man is essentially a being of light."
When Paul told the Christians at Rome to put on the armor of light he was telling them to become a new creation. Our new man has been created in God’s image – imagine that! We, as new creations are in the image of the One who made us! Paul states that Jesus is the image of God: “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation,” (Colossians 1:15 NET). Then he states that we are in that image using the same Greek word “and have been clothed with the new man that is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of the one who created it,” (Colossians 3:10 NET). We must not forget, however, that Adam was originally created in the image of God. So, if in our new man we will be like God (not be God in all of his glory, but like Him!), then we must conclude that when God made Adam in His image or likeness and Adam emitted light in a way similar to God. When Adam was connected to the source he was protected from the enemy of his soul.
When we put on the armor of light we are connecting to the source of Light and are protected from the enemy of our soul. Have you put on the armor of Light?