THE ARMOR OF GOD
I have found that the armor of God and spiritual warfare are two of the most overlooked points in Christian's lives today. In fact I am astonished at just how many Christians know little if anything about spiritual warfare at all.
For example, have you put your armor on today? Do you know how to put it on? Do you know
all of the parts of the armor? Do you know where in Scripture to find the description of it? Do
you know what each part is designed to protect? Do you know how to fight when you come
under demon assault?
Unfortunately far too many Christians think of Satan as merely a defeated foe, and think of him as someone who merely tempts us or causes difficulty in our lives. Consider this though. If Satan was harmless why would God give us His armor to protect us, and the sword of the Spirit as an offensive/defensive weapon against Satan and his angels?
Yes, Satan was indeed defeated by Jesus at the cross but he and his angels still have power in this world, and will have power until Jesus returns and Satan is cast into the bottomless pit for 1,000 years.
1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he
should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after
that he must be loosed a little season.
And for those who doubt that Satan has power in this world, please read the following Scriptures;
1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and avoided evil.
2 And there were born to him seven sons and three daughters.
3 His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east.
4 And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them.
5 And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. This did Job continually.
6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.
7 And the LORD said unto Satan, From where have you come? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Have thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that fears God, and avoids evil?
9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Does Job fear God for nothing?
10 Haven't You made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.
11 But put forth Your hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will curse You to Your face.
12 And the LORD said to Satan, Behold, all that he has is in your power; only upon himself put not your hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.
13 And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house:
14 And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them:
15 And the Sabeans attacked, and took them away; yes, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell you.
16 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and has burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped to tell thee.
17 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans came in three bands, and attacked the camels, and have carried them away, yes, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell you.
18 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house:
19 And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell you.
20 Then Job arose, and tore his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshiped,
21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return there: the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.
1 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.
2 And the LORD said to Satan, From where do you come? And Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
3 And the LORD said unto Satan, Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that fears God, and avoids evil? and still he holds fast his integrity, although you moved me against him, to destroy him without cause.
4 And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yes, all that a man has will he give for his life.
5 But put forth Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse You to Your face.
6 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in your hand; but save his life.
7 So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and struck Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.
8 And he took a potsherd to scrape himself; and he sat down among the ashes.
9 Then said his wife to him, Do you still retain your integrity? curse God, and die.
10 But he said unto her, You speak as one of the foolish women speak. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.
11 Now when Job's three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they came every one from his own place; Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite: for they had made an appointment together to come to mourn with him and to comfort him.
12 And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they tore every one his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven.
13 So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none
spoke a word to him: for they saw that his grief was very great.
(Those who may think that Job was an allegorical or mythical figure should also read Ezekiel
14:14, 20 and James 5:11, in which God Himself and the apostle James affirm that he was a real,
living man who indeed suffered what was done to him in the Scriptures above.)
1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
2 Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.
3 And the devil said unto him, If You be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.
4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
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.
6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give You, and the glory of them: for that is delivered to me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.
7 If You therefore will worship me, all shall be Yours.
8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get behind me, Satan: for it is written, You shalt worship the Lord your God, and him only shalt you serve.
9 And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, If You be the Son of God, cast yourself down from here:
10 For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over you, to keep you:
11 And in their hands they shall bear you up, lest at any time you dash your foot against a stone.
12 And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, You shalt not tempt the Lord your God.
13 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.
11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon.
12 And he exercises all the power of the first beast before him, and causes the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
13 And he does great wonders, so that he makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.
14 And deceives them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast
should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast
should be killed.
Those who might discount the Job references as being Old Testament examples and therefore
invalid because Jesus had not yet defeated Satan, Revelation records that the false prophet will
also be able to make fire come down from the sky in the sight of men, even as Satan did in the
book of Job; he will also have power to cause an idol of the Antichrist to move and speak, which
powers are attributed to Satan.
On a side note, another primary reason why we should be familiar with God's written Word, is that in Luke 4:9-11 above, Satan quoted word for word Psalms 91:11-12 to Jesus, but he took it completely out of context. The actual Psalm reads;
1 He that dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, [He is] my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
3 Surely he shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler, and from the plague.
4 He shall cover you with his feathers, and under his wings shalt you trust: his truth shall be your shield and buckler.
5 Yhou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flies by day;
6 Nor for the disease that walks in darkness; nor for the destruction that wastes at noonday.
7 A thousand shall fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you.
8 Only with your eyes you shall behold and see the reward of the wicked.
9 Because you have made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, your habitation;
10 There shall no evil befall you, neither shall any plague come near your dwelling.
11 For he shall give his angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.
12 They shall bear you up in their hands, lest thou dash your foot against a stone.
13 You shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt you trample under foot.
14 Because he has set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he has known my name.
15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him, and show him My salvation.
The promises in this Psalm are from God to us, and does not mean that angels will literally hold us up so that we will not fall if we trip on a rock. It refers to the fact that God will have His angels protect us in our spiritual walk with Him. This also shows that Satan will use Scripture when it suits his purposes, but he will not always use it in context.
Also, this does not mean that God has wings and feathers. It refers to birds hiding and protecting
their young from harm. Even so does God hide us from the destruction of the wicked.
Now, back to the meat of this study.
In 1944 the Nazi High Command knew that Germany had lost the war, but it didn't keep them from fighting savagely to the end. The same will be with Satan and his angels. They know they have lost the war, but they will keep fighting to the bitter end and will try to take as many people to the Lake of Fire with them as they can.
They will not stop until Jesus comes and neither can we. It is a life-and-death struggle with
eternal consequences, and we need to understand this! We are at war, and we can't fight if we
don't know how to wage war spiritually and arm ourselves for the battle.
For those who may not think we're at war, you might want to read Paul's warning below;
II CORINTHIANS 10:3-5
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge
of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
We have faced physical and spiritual demonic attacks, and only by claiming the armor and using the power and authority of Jesus Christ that He has given us were we able to win. But you must have faith and believe that you have power over Satan and his works or you will be ineffective and will lose the battle.
Yes, Jesus defeated Satan at the cross and took away his authority in this world, but not
hispower! He is still a powerful enemy to be reckoned with, and is not ever to be taken lightly!
Ever heard the phrase, "Never underestimate your enemy"?
Scripture warns us of the power of Satan when it says;
I PETER 5:8-9
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour:
9 Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
One thing to note about lions. When on the prowl, they roar to intimidate their prey, attempting to paralyze them with fear. But when they attack they are silent. Satan is the same way. Why should he use the direct approach when a silent unexpected attack would be just as effective if not more so? And who can successfully fight a lion without weapons and armor?
We sing "Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war" and yet think little about this world being a literal spiritual battleground, which is why so many Christians suffer when they don't need to. We beg God for deliverance from demonic attacks, and yet we don't use the authority and weapons He has given us to fight with! In battle a soldier is expected to fight and use the weapons he is given to the best of his ability and God expects the same from us.
Jesus said to the disciples, and through them to us;
9 Behold, I give to you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject to you; but rather rejoice,
because your names are written in heaven.
We are expected to use the power and authority given to us. I think many Christians fear spiritual warfare is because in any war there is a chance you'll get hurt. This is true, and Satan fights with very real spiritual and physical weapons. But believe me, if you don't fight Satan and take authority over him I guarantee you WILL get hurt!
And when Jesus said that nothing will hurt us, he meant that our spirits will not be harmed. He
never promised us that physical harm would not befall us. In fact He warned us constantly about
persecutions, and there are many examples of persecutions of Christians both in the New
Testament as well as secular history.
Now, let's take a look at the armor as quoted in Scripture, and see exactly what it is and what it does.
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 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.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girded about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Ok, let's take it from the top.
Helmet of salvation:
This is designed to protect the mind. The mind is the gateway to the soul, and it is here that the doorway lies that gives Satan access and entrance into a person, especially in cases of possession. Once Satan enters, he binds the human spirit and gains control over the soul which generates our personalities. That's why as a person becomes demon infested their behavior starts to change. The infesting demons begin controlling the soul, or in some cases shove the human soul aside and take direct control.
Such were some of the cases of demon-infested people that Jesus dealt with. These people no
longer had control over themselves and when Jesus confronted them, note that it was the demons
that spoke through the possessed people, not the souls of the people themselves.
28 And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.
29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with You, Jesus, thou Son of God? art You come here to torment us before the time?
30 And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding.
31 So the devils besought him, saying, If You cast us out, allow us to go away into the herd of swine.
32 And he said to them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.
33 And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told every thing, and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils.
34 And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they
begged that He would depart out of their coasts.
21 And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the Sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught.
22 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.
23 And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out,
24 Saying, Leave us alone; what have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are, the Holy One of God.
25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold your peace, and come out of him.
26 And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him.
27 And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying,
What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority He commands even the
unclean spirits, and they do obey Him.
Notice in the above Scriptures that it was the demons that spoke to Jesus. In the first case, it was
two violently insane men both who knew immediately who Jesus was, even though He had
seemingly never been there before. The men didn't know Jesus, but their demon masters did. We
can't see into the spiritual world unless given special permission by God, but demons can see into
both the physical and the spirit worlds.
The same with the man in the synagogue. The controlling demon knew immediately who Jesus was, and spoke through it's human host.
The reason why God doesn't allow us to see into the spirit world is to protect us from what we
would see. For if we could see the demons we were fighting, we could become paralyzed with
fear both by their size and appearance. And by the same token it forces us to rely on God in faith,
believing in One that we cannot see, to help fight an enemy we many times cannot see either.
God gave us a logical mind to reason with, to distinguish the difference between good and evil, right and wrong, truth and error, a result of Adam's eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. For more about this subject, please see the study on the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil in this Web site.
The subconscious mind believes everything it is told. It is well known that in cases of hypnotism, that if a person is given a strong onion and is told that it is an apple, the subconscious believes it to be so, and the person eating it will believe it to be an apple, because the conscious mind is "asleep" and cannot tell the subconscious differently. (Need I say more about the spiritual dangers of hypnotism to a Christian?)
The subconscious relies on the conscious mind to protect it from evil. Therefore the conscious mind is a barrier that Satan must get past to enter and conquer a person's soul. He must use temptation as a form of bait to get past the conscious mind for if the person accepts the "bait", the doorway opens and Satan, the ultimate lawyer, has a legal right to attack the person and will definitely use that in a petition before God to do so. And if a person continually gives in to the temptation, the door will open wide enough that Satan will enter and take control. And believe me, he will!
Remember, your conscious mind provides the "early warning system " of a demonic
attack!And if you don't know the Scriptures, how will you be able to use the sword of the Spirit
to defend yourself?
The author of Hebrews rebukes the readers of his letter for not exercising their minds in understanding the Scriptures when he says;
12 For when for the time you ought to be teachers, you have need that one teach you again which are the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
13 For every one that uses milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
14 But strong meat belongs to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use
have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
The author of Hebrews is saying that the people he was writing to had not grown in the Word, and were still stumbling over the foundations of Christianity, when they should have been knowledgeable enough in the Scriptures to teach others. Thus they were still "babes" in the Word, needing for someone to feed them milk, essentially the fundamentals of Christianity.
Paul reinforces this point when he says;
I CORINTHIANS 14:20
20 Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be children, but in
understanding be men.
II TIMOTHY 1:7
7 For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound
Therefore the helmet is designed to help us to resist the subtle influences and direct assaults of
Satan against our minds in his attempt to gain control of our souls.
The breastplate of righteousness:
This is designed to protect our heart. Not necessarily the physical heart, but the emotions. When you are hurt emotionally and cry, your body is reacting to the emotions generated by the soul. When you are happy your body reacts to the joy that your soul feels with laughter and the like.
Satan is a master of manipulation and emotions are a favorite target. If he can access and control the emotions, then he can circumvent the conscious mind and gain control of a person. Have you ever reacted emotionally and then realized later what you had done? Basically reacted without thinking? Me too.
Strong emotions many times seem to have a way of bypassing logical thought, causing us to act impulsively, irrationally, or do something without thinking. Love, hate, fear, lust, rage, jealousy, all strong emotions, all have a way of becoming intense enough to seemingly "short-circuit" the conscious mind and cause us to do things without thinking first, things which we many times regret later.
Scripture records numerous times where leaders brought trouble upon themselves because of this.
A good example of this would be the case with king David and Bathsheba. David reacted with lust for Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite, and slept with her while Uriah was away at war. Then, when she told him that she was pregnant with his child, he called her husband home from the war that Israel was fighting at the time and tried to get him to sleep with Bathsheba. That way Uriah her husband would think the child to be his own.
However Uriah, being an honorable man, slept with the servants figuring that none of his comrades fighting the war were sleeping with their wives, so why should he sleep with his wife when they couldn't sleep with theirs?
David, growing more and more fearful, ordered Uriah back to the war and ordered Joab the captain of the army to put Uriah in the forefront of the battle, then retreat suddenly so that Uriah would be killed.
Joab did so, and Uriah was killed in battle. David then married Bathsheba to try to cover his sin, but the prophet Nathan revealed before all Israel both his sins of adultery and murder. David had reacted emotionally, rather than with logical thought which would have stopped him in the first place.
Therefore the breastplate is given to us to keep Satan from accessing our emotions and overriding
our conscious mind, causing us to sin without conscious thought warning us that what we are
about to do is wrong.
The belt of truth:
This piece of the armor is linked with the sword of the Spirit. Just as a belt is used to hold the
scabbard of a sword, the belt of truth holds the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God,
and is itself, truth. The power of the sword is the truth, which Satan cannot stand against as there
is no truth in him. More on the sword in a bit.
The shoes of the preparation of the Gospel of peace:
These are to protect our feet from the snares and traps that Satan lays in our path, trying to
disrupt our walk with the Lord.. Ancient gladiators used nets during fights in the arenas, trying to
snare the sword arm or the feet of their opponents so as to gain an advantage in the battle. Face it,
it's hard to fight effectively when your feet are entangled!
Wait a minute, we're missing a piece. Where's the backplate?
Aha! Here we come to a vital point in this study. God seemingly didn't provide us with a backplate, as we are expected to face Satan in battle. If we turn our backs on him because of apathy, complacency, fear, laziness or the like, he has an open target to attack.
However, if we face him fully armed and armored, and we have Almighty God standing behind us to back us up, there is no greater protection for our backs that I can think of! However this also brings up another important point.
Never, ever engage in a battle that the Lord has not sent you into! Many well-meaning Christians either get into a battle without the Lord's permission, or actively seek battles just to prove the Lord's power.
Consider this, though. If you enter a battle without the Lord's permission, He will not back you up, and you will suffer defeat.
Case in point. When the twelve spies sent by Moses returned from scouting Canaan after the Israelites had left Egypt, ten of the spies brought horrifying stories of giants in the land and massive walled cities that were too fortified to be destroyed. Only two spies, Joshua and Caleb believed that the Lord was capable of bringing Israel victory over the Canaanites. As a result, the Israelites railed against Moses, and wanted to return to Egypt.
The Lord became fed up with their constant whining, and ordered Moses to take Israel back into the desert, promising that the entire generation of Israel from the age of twenty years old and upward would die in the wilderness, and would not enter the Promised land.
Rebellious Israel decided to take things into their own hands. Scripture records;
1 And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night.
2 And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said to them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness!
3 And why has the LORD brought us into this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt?
4 And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return to Egypt.
5 Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel.
6 And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, tore their clothes:
7 And they spoke unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land.
8 If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it to us; a land which flows with milk and honey.
9 Only rebel not against the LORD, neither fear the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defense is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: do not fear them.
10 But all the congregation cried to stone them with stones. And the glory of the LORD appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel.
11 And the LORD said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be before they believe me, for all the signs which I have shown among them?
12 I will strike them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of you a greater nation and mightier than they.
13 And Moses said to the LORD, Then the Egyptians shall hear of it, (for You brought up this people in your might from among them;)
14 And they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land: for they have heard that you the LORD are among this people, that You, LORD, are seen face to face, and that Your cloud stands over them, and that You go before them, by day time in a pillar of a cloud, and in a pillar of fire by night.
15 Now if You shall kill all this people as one man, then the nations which have heard the fame of You will speak, saying,
16 Because the LORD was not able to bring this people into the land which he swore unto them, therefore he has slain them in the wilderness.
17 And now, I beseech thee, let the power of my Lord be great, according as You have spoken, saying,
18 The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation.
19 Pardon, I beseech you, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of Your mercy, and as You have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.
20 And the LORD said, I have pardoned according to your word:
21 But as truly as I live, all the Earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.
22 Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not listened to my voice;
23 Surely they shall not see the land which I swore unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it:
24 But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and has followed me fully, him will I bring into the land where he went; and his children shall possess it.
25 (Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwelt in the valley.) Tomorrow turn and get you into the wilderness by the way of the Red Sea.
26 And the LORD spoke unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,
27 How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against Me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against Me.
28 Say to them, As truly as I live, saith the LORD, as you have spoken in My ears, so will I do to you:
29 Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me,
30 Doubtless you shall not come into the land, concerning which I swore to make you dwell in, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.
31 But your little ones, which you said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which you have despised.
32 But as for you, your carcases shall fall in this wilderness.
33 And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases are wasted in the wilderness.
34 After the number of the days in which you searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, you shall bear your iniquities, even forty years, and you shall know my breach of promise.
35 I the LORD have said, I will surely do it to all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die.
36 And the men, which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander upon the land,
37 Even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the LORD.
38 But Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of the men that went to search the land, still lived.
39 And Moses told these sayings to all the children of Israel: and the people mourned greatly.
40 And they rose up early in the morning, and went up into the top of the mountain, saying, Behold, we are here, and will go up unto the place which the LORD has promised: for we have sinned.
41 And Moses said, Why now do you transgress the commandment of the LORD? but it shall not prosper.
42 Go not up, for the LORD is not among you; that you be not destroyed before your enemies.
43 For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and you shall fall by the sword: because you are turned away from the LORD, therefore the LORD will not be with you.
44 But they presumed to go up unto the hill top: nevertheless the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and Moses, departed not out of the camp.
45 Then the Amalekites came down, and the Canaanites which dwelt in that hill, and
struck them, and routed them, even unto Hormah.
Because of their sin and rebellion the Israelites were not to enter into the Promised Land. Even so with us, we must keep ourselves free from sin. For when Satan prepares to attack he first looks closely at us to see what our weaknesses are.
If we have active sin in our lives, this shows up as a weakness in our armor, a weakness he can and will exploit. By the same token, if we are not close in our relationship with the Lord because of sin, complacency, or whatever, he will use this against us also.
As was shown above, Moses knew that the Lord would not go before Israel to war against the Canaanites, so he and the ark of the Covenant stayed in the camp. And the Lord stayed in the camp also.
This is why we need to remain in close fellowship with the Lord, avoid sin, and ask for cleansing and forgiveness from Him if we do sin, just to remain strong spiritually.
By the same token, we are not called to fight all battles we come across. There have been many times where I wanted to fight for another Christian who was embattled, and the Lord forbid me. He chooses our battles for us, and if we go to battle presumptuously, He will not protect us, and we will more than likely suffer defeat.
Some battles are for others to fight, and we should not question the Lord in this matter.
Case in point. Some years ago my wife and I were visiting a lady who is also a Christian. As we were visiting I suddenly sensed a demon presence in the back part of the house. Within moments we all felt it. So, I went down the hall and tried to cast it out, but couldn't.
I questioned the Holy Spirit, and he told me it wasn't for me to cast out, but He wanted this lady to cast it out. She immediately protested that she couldn't do any such thing. We prayed about the issue and then instructed her as to how to put on the armor and cast the demon out. She then went down the hall, ordered it to leave in Jesus' name and I felt it go.
She came back totally astonished that she, through the power of Jesus Christ had been able to cast it out and I had to admire her for her courage and faith. Up to that point she had felt she wasn't strong enough as a Christian to do spiritual warfare, and the Holy Spirit proceeded to teach both of us a lesson. The battle was for her to fight, and she needed to believe that she could have authority over demons in Jesus' name.
Some dispute the idea of there being no backplate mentioned in Scripture, saying that the
breastplate was linked to a backplate, and was considered as part of the armor. This may be the
case, although I find it interesting that no backplate is specifically mentioned.
Shield of faith:
This is the mightiest piece of defensive armor we have, and is also the most vulnerable. A warrior trusts in his shield as the first line of defense against attack, and if the enemy penetrates that shield, the warrior is in for hand-to-hand combat.
Our faith in Jesus must be one of the strongest parts in our Christian relationship. If our faith is weak, our shield is weak and we will fall to Satan's attacks far more than we should. Remember, faith is a requirement to pleasing God. As Scripture records;
10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that does not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident: for, The just shall
live by faith.
6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe
that He exists, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Therefore God expects our faith to be strong enough to be our first line of defense against Satan. And our faith is strengthened by reading and understanding the Scriptures.
Also, it is very important that you have a close personal relationship with the Lord if you expect Him to protect you. His arm isn't short that it cannot protect you, but you also need to understand several things.
The seven sons of Sceva in the book of Acts tried spiritual warfare without having a right relationship with the Lord or knowing about the armor, and learned a very powerful lesson concerning these issues. Scripture records;
13 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.
14 And there were seven sons of one named Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.
15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?
16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
17 And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell
on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.
Note several things here. First of all, they didn't have Jesus in their hearts. And they tried to use authority they didn't have. The demon was able to clearly see that they didn't have the Holy Spirit within them or the armor to protect them, so he wasn't required to obey them.
Next, the demon-possessed man attacked all seven of themat once and wounded them, so that
they had to flee from the house in terror, naked and ashamed. For those of you who think Satan
has no power in this world remember, this was after Jesus was resurrected!
The sword of the Spirit
This is the only piece of offensive weaponry that we are given. A sword can be used for defense and offense, and in olden days a man's life very many times depended on his skill with the sword.
Even so, in a spiritual battle whether we win or lose the battle could very well depend on our skill with God's sword, namely the truth found in His word.
We don't seem to appreciate the power contained in God's word. By His word the universe and everything in it was created. By His word all things function, be it stars and galaxies or the smallest subatomic particle. By His word we live, or die.
To many people it seems ridiculous that we are required to use armor and a sword that we can't see or feel, to fight an enemy that we can't see or seemingly hurt. And on the surface, it DOES seem ridiculous.
But we also must remember that as Paul said in I Corinthians 5:7, we walk by faith, not by sight. And we also are in a spiritual battle, not necessarily a physical battle. And just because we can't see who and what we are fighting doesn't mean we are being ineffective or unfruitful.
And while the physical battle may be quoting Scripture, praying, or rebuking our spirits are doing something far different! Our spirits are involved in the battle and occasionally that battle spills over into the physical world as I and others have found out.
But without a good knowledge of the Scriptures, you might as well be battling against an armed and armored enemy with no other protection than your bare fists. Not a good thought to contemplate, is it? And don't worry about the fact that you can't see the armor or the enemy. Do what God told you to do, and you'll win the battle.
The fact that the sword is a spiritual weapon is noted in Hebrews, which says;
12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword,
piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and
is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
God's word is like a spiritual sword, cleaving down to the very essence of our beings. And from
reading or hearing the Word of God, comes the conviction that we feel in our souls as our
thoughts and actions are laid bare before the eyes of the Lord.
And it is here that a true test of our faith comes. We believe in an invisible God, and yet we have difficulty believing in invisible armor and an invisible sword. And some Christians don't even really believe in an invisible devil or demons, strangely enough.
However, just because we don't see these things doesn't mean that they are not real. We can't see death, but we believe it to be real. We can't see Hell, but we're terrified of going there. We can't see Heaven, but we hope to go there. We didn't see Jesus resurrected but we believe it happened.
We need to heed the words of Proverbs which says;
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.
7 Be not wise in your own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
We may not understand what we are doing in the spirit world, but that doesn't matter. God in His
infinite wisdom has cut us off from seeing into the spirit world after Adam's fall, and there must
be a good reason for it. We as Christians must accept that, and abide by it. Again, we walk by
faith, not by sight.
In summary, we need to claim the armor of God each day. I would suggest claiming it at night just before you go to sleep, as the armor will help protect you while you sleep and seems to last about 24 hours at a time. Satan has no qualms about attacking through dreams.
Memorize the parts of the armor, and what they are designed to protect. Also read Ephesians 6:10-18, and memorize it as well.
Remember that the armor is used in the spiritual world but if the battle spills over into the physical world it functions in the physical world also, even if we can't see it. We don't need to see it, we just need to believe that it's there.
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
We have the power and authority of Jesus Christ Himself to help us as He Himself told us in Luke 10:19, in which we have authority over all the power of the enemy. BUT, we are only to fight battles that He sends us into, not battles of our own choosing!
And remember also that the armor doesn't seem to have a backplate. We must face Satan to battle
The armor is indeed effective if we know and understand it's use. And once we become used to
wearing it and using it, we can fight the fiercest battles with confidence, for we will be armed,
armored, and have Almighty God Himself protecting our backs.And truly the devil will flee from
Fathers, you are the spiritual watchman of your household. It is your responsibility to
remain close enough to the Lord to be able to protect your family against demon attacks.
You are the head of the household, and your family is under your protection both
physically and spiritually.
In cases where there is only a single parent, be it either man or woman, the same still applies. You are the head of the household before God, and are responsible for your family's protection.
Granted, there are people who are called to spiritual warfare as a ministry, but all of us should
be ready to fight in the spirit when called to do so, and we are all required to know the
armor of God, and know how to use it. We especially need to know how to use the vital
defensive weaponof the shield of faith, and the offensive/defensive weapon of the sword of
Soon Satan will be thrown down and to Earth to make his final stand, which means he will be personally directing things here on Earth. We will come under intense spiritual attack and physical persecution during that time, and we need to be ready and strong for the Lord.
The time to start training is now, not when the enemy is besieging the gates!
Lord Jesus, please open the eyes of your people in the matters of spiritual warfare!
Questions? Comments? E-mail: email@example.com
Return to Spiritual Warfare contents page
Return to Main Menu