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Mountain Moving Ministries
THE ARMOR OF GOD

The OFFENSIVE and DEFENSIVE Weaponry

For effectual spiritual warfare

by Marvin C. Loveness, TH.B



The armor of God, often thought of as the "defensive" weaponry is primarily used for OFFENSIVE warfare. As Paul told the Corinthians:

For though we walk in the flesh (physical sphere, the body of the natural man), we do not war after the flesh (the natural man):

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds ( all fortified opinions, falsehoods, temptations, etc);

Casting down imaginations, reasonings and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; (2Cor 10:3-5)

That is example of OFFENSIVE warfare, and we need the SPIRITUAL armor of God to "fight the good fight", as Paul told Timothy: KJV 1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses

Let's take a quick look at a few other examples of admonitions to fight an offensive

warfare:

KJV 1 Timothy 1:18 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare;

(notice the additional "armament" for warfare: the prophecies, the spoken (rhema) word of God given Timothy to fortify and strengthen and empower and embolden him in spirit).

KJV 2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.

Let's take a quick tangent to look at spiritual warfare from another perspective:

"Prevailing with God ....apprehending the kingdom and its power and strength" :

DBY (Darby) Matthew 11:12 But from the days of John the baptist until now, the kingdom of the heavens is taken by violence, and {the} violent seize on it (snatch it, forcibly take it)."

This verse could be a sermon in itself. I see several applications here, but I want to focus on one thing: "SPIRITUAL AGGRESSION". This is another "clue" that the warfare of the Christian walk is to be AGGRESSIVE and OFFENSIVE in nature.

KJV Luke 16:16 The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth (forcibly enters) into it.

KJV Luke 13:24 Strive (fight, labor fervently) to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

Since we are the "SPIRITUAL ISRAEL" we can't let the classic example escape us:

" And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, ' I will not let thee go, except thou bless me'" (Gen 32:24-26).

ISRAEL: PREVAILER WITH GOD: Jacob wrestled with God until God blessed him. Supplication is often the spiritual counterpart of this kind of wrestling. God wants us in "weight training classes" to build muscle, endurance, skill, and strength to prevail; He wants a people of IMPORTUNITY, who know what they want and how to get it.....unselfishly

In Philippians 3, Paul speaks of apprehending the call on his life, and PRESSING FORWARD for the mark of the high calling, forgetting the past and press forward, forcibly, intensely, as in a veritable chase, "offensively". Elsewhere he speaks of running the race to WIN, as in the Olympics.

But in ALL this, it is "not by might, nor by power, but by MY spirit (not our strength)', saith the Lord"...(Zec 4:6) ...and By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, 2Cor 6.7

As a prelude to the armorment, lets look at Ephesians 6:10;

"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might."

"BE STRONG": this is in the imperative command mode, it is not just a suggestion.

Paul, by the Holy Spirit of God, is telling us, with a sense of urgency, to have the moral AND spiritual strength of the Lord AND the "power and might" of his "strength that gives supremacy and victory."

Paul prayed that we might know "what is the exceeding greatness of his power in us who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Eph 1:19 ...,that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man (Eph 3:16)

...and now he is urging us to be STRONG, BE STRENGTHENED BY this power of God that gives supremacy and victory over the wiles of the devil !!

Let's look at just a few of the many precious promises/commands in the prophets:

Isa 35:3 Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.

4 Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.

5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.

6 Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.

Isa 48:28 28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.

29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.

30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:

31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Deut 20:3,4 And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them;

4 For the LORD your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.

You see, it is God's strength and power and might that really tears down strongholds, reasonings, falsehoods. demonic powers and principalities. Yet he has chosen to work IN us and through us to accomplish his will and purposes, and to put under foot his enemies.

Continuing in verse 11:

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand (uphold authority or force) against the wiles (strategems, cunning attacks, deceptions, craftiness) 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.

Notice Paul admonishes us to put on the WHOLE armor of God. Too many Christians try to put on just part of the armor, usually the first part left off is the "breastplate of righteousness".

And many if not most will enevitably neglect faith, the very vital element of our walk, and daily prayer......who has time for that, right?

Any part of the armor of God that is left off our "inner man" will will leave us very vulnerable to the crafitness and power of the devil.

Also, take note that in the King James it says "we WRESTLE not against flesh and blood". The word "wrestle" would much better be translated "confict, or FIGHT", for this is not a picture of a wrestling match but of warfare, ....spiritual warfare, suited up with spiritual armor for a spiritual conflict or fight. "Conflict" or "fight" fits the analogy better.

THE ARMOR OF GOD:

Finally, at last, we come to THE armor of GOD;

Eph 6:13-18 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt 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 ye 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:

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

As a footnote here, the words "whole armor" is actually only one word in the Greek. The implication is that you need to be protected from all sides, and shouldn't even consider entering the battle with one missing piece. What good soldier would leave his helmet behind, or his sword, or breastplate, or go barefoot into battle?

"Panoplian" means "whole armor"; the word "hopla" is translated "armour, weapons, instruments" and is used primarily of components.

For instance:

2 Cor 6:7 ... the armour (intruments) of righteousness on the right hand and on the left;

Romans 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments (hopla: weapons, armor, intruments) of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

Romans 13:12 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 armour of light.

KJV 2 Corinthians 10:4 (For the weapons (instruments, armor) of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;

KJV 1 Thessalonians 5:8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

Actually, the previous verses really serve to enhance our analogy of spiritual armament and preparedness, but in Ephesians, the stress is on FULL PREPAREDNESS, FULLY EQUIPED. Our God wants us FULLY ARMED, FULLY PREPARED, READY FOR BATTLE AND SUITED UP TO WIN !! So let's take a look at this one verse at a time:

EPHESIANS 6:14-18;

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness

"Stand therefore"... again, this indicates an aggressive resistance and offense against the powers of darkness that war against the kingdom of God, against you and me.

Now he says "having your LOINS girt about you with truth": which simply means to equip one's self with knowledge of the truth, or to buckle truth around your waist (your inner man) and so you will always be prepared to give an account of what you believe :

KJV 1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

KJV 1 Peter 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

"Girding the loins" is an expression showing preparedness for unobstructive "pressing forward, advancing, readiness of thought, strategy, tactics, etc. Preparedness of mind and spirit for confrontation against the powers of darkness and deceit. This vigilance and readiness of battle reminds me of Gideon's army when the Lord commanded the men to go to the stream and drink, some knelt down and scooped the water up to their mouth, reflecting readiness, alertness, watching for the tricks of the enemy and ready for them; whereas the others put their face into the water, becoming easy, unsuspecting prey for the enemy.

Jesus said in Luke 12:35

"Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;" In other words, be ready for action.

And in Isaiah 11:5 (Messianic prophecy) "And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins" , (the seat of strength, vigour)





Paul goes on to say: "and put on the breastplate of righteousness"

The breastplate was a very significant part of the elaborate garment of the High Priest of Israel, fashioned by God in Exodus 35-59.

And it says of God in Isaiah 38:

16 And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him.

17 For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke.

It is GOD'S breastplate of righteousness we wear, the righteousness found in Christ Jesus !

KJV Deuteronomy 6:25 And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us.

13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

The breastplate in Bible times was a corset made of very strong material placed over the chest to protect the soldier from blows or arrows. Spiritually, the breastplate of righteousness and other Christian virtues protect us from the blows of the enemy, the devil and his hordes of demons.

Righteousness: is defined in Thayer's Lexicon as: 1) in a broad sense: state of him who is as he ought to be, righteousness, the condition acceptable to God 1a) the doctrine concerning the way in which man may attain a state approved of God 1b) integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness, correctness of thinking feeling, and acting 2) in a narrower sense, justice or the virtue which gives each his due

Hence, the "breastplate" of correct, upright, godlike thinking, feeling, manifesting and acting; integrity, virtue (moral uprightness) purity of life (including our thoughts), and a sense of moral, spiritual justice (tempered with mercy, compassion).

Incidently, God's nickname for Israel is "Jeshurun", or, "Upright One", describing her ideal character, and WE are of course the "spiritual Israel", therefore, we are God's "Jeshurun"

In verse 15, he goes on to say: And your feet shod with the preparedness, (literally, the readiness, the state of being ready for the proclamation)... of the gospel of peace.

The word "Feet" has the connotation of service, pathway, conduct, our walk in life. our behavior, our manners, etc. Simeon prophecied of Jesus that he was "to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."

And since we are in Christ, it stands to reason that we are to "conduct ourselves" (shod our feet, our walk) in such a manner as to lead others to the gospel of peace, giving light to them that are in darkness, and setting the crooked path straight (Heb 12:13) We are to be ready, prepared to advance against the enemy, against sin, against the tumult of the world, of trials, and of the kingdom of darkness. Paul said in Romans 16.20 that the GOD OF PEACE will crush Satan

UNDER YOUR FEET shortly. And Jesus said "PEACE I give you, not as the world gives do I give to you". We are to armor up and spread the good news of PEACE WITH GOD through Christ Jesus.... the good news of "God in Christ reconciling the world to himself"; Let's spread the good news of peace -- the state of being reconciled with God!

Satan is the prince of the world, but Christ is the PRINCE OF PEACE, and we are his ambassadors!! So like John the baptist, let's be that "voice of one crying in the wilderness, " Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight". Let's be prepared and ready in mind, heart, soul and spirit to "give light to them who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide their feet into the way of peace".

Next we come to the POWERFUL shield of faith:

Ephesians 6:16 Above all, (denoting elative significance, highest degree, supreme importance, and with all boldness ) taking (lift up and carry) the shield of faith, confidence, trust, reliance, wherewith ye shall be able to quench, extinguish, stifle and suppress all the fiery darts, arrows, javelins, missles, and all weapons of the wicked one.

The word for "shield" is "thureon" and originally was used to describe a large stone to block the doorway, and later known as a shield in warfare. Faith, confidence and reliance on God for all things in your life will utterly BLOCK Satan from the doorway of your heart, and the shield of faith in God will quench the pain and anxieties and the seemingly "unbearableness" of every trial and temptation the devil throws at you, and you can sleep in the bottom of the boat in the bossom of Jesus as the storms toss, or rise and comand the storms and winds to cease. excercising the "faith of the Son of God", (Gal 2:20).

How can the shield be used in offensive warfare, seeing how it defends and protects us from the enemy's aggression? Let's look at an example from a strategic young King/general, Alexander the Great. It has been said that as Alexander's armies marched through a valley to battle, that the enemy soldiers threw rocks at them from the clift-tops. To protect the army so they could advance, one set of soldiers held their shields up and over their heads and placed them end-to-end, forming a protective covering, under which the other soldiers marched to the front lines.

Our shield of faith often is used to advance others in spiritual warfare, protecting them from the stones and weapons of the enemy. As an example, the "gift of faith".... faith from one believer "infused" into another, quenching the fiery dart of unbelief, dissallusionment, hopelessness, and giving them the ability to march forward in the army of God with new life and new zeal.

Remember, by definition, the word "taking" means "lifting up, carrying". In Galations 6 we see we are to go to our brother and help carry his load, our faith in action protecting and carrying him when he is weak. By faith, Abraham recieved the promise, his faith quenching the lies that said it could never be. He persevered and won the battle by faith, confidence, trust.

In verse seventeen, Paul speaks of the Helmet of Salvation. He tells us to "take" the helmet.

More literally, we are to GRASP, or GRAB the helmet of salvation. Again it is written in the imperative mode, which means "do it, its not an option". It is said that putting on the helmet signifies the beginning of the battle. Don't go to battle without your helmet, or it will end before it begins. It says in Romans 13.14 to PUT ON the Lord Jesus Christ, and JESUS means "Yeshua (Yehovah) our SAVIOUR). Put on the helmet of our salvation, our deliverance, deliverance and salvation through the spiritual conflict.

In Isaiah 59:17 it says that God arrayed himself with the helmet of salvation. The helmet of salvation protects us from sudden death, and from the blows of the enemy against the "spirit of our mind". It is an attribute and a gift from God, and our protection and safety.

In I Corinthians 2:16 Paul tells us we have the mind of Christ, and in 2 Thess 2:2;

2 Thessalonians 2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

And again, Paul says

"I KNOW whom I have believed, and am PERSUADED that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day".

With the Helmet of Salvation, we KNOW the source of our salvation and protection and cannot be easily moved or disuaded.

KJV 1 Thessalonians 5:8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope (anticipation, joyful expectation, confidencence, assurance and knowlege) of salvation.



The word for helmet in Greek (perikephalaia) also means "head-covering". Now to the Corinthians, Paul wrote of headship:

KJV 1 Corinthians 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

We, being soldiers, are not only clothed with the armor of God, but we are to be submitted to God through Christ, the head of the Body, He is our saviour and our salvation. God is his head, his covering, and he is our head, our covering.



Continuing in verse seventeen, he says to take, grasp the "sword of the spirit which is the SPOKEN word (rhema) of God".

There are two words for "sword" in the scriptures: "Machaira" and "Rhomphaia". Here, the word Machaira is used, and it is considered the shorter of the two swords, more like a dagger, some curved for close warfare, some are straight for thrusting.

It is used here metaphorically to show the penetrating power of the word of God. And the sword is of course possibly the most offensive weapen in the armament, as we "cast down strongholds and imaginations and reasonings". But remember, we are not striving or fighthing flesh and blood (our brothers or our neighbors) but principalities and powers of darkness. They are the ones we are to use the sword against. We are to come to our brethren primarily in the strength of meekness ("lest we also be tempted"), but even in the rare occasion we need a firmer hand, make sure it is in a righteous spirit, not destructive. Remember, Jesus came to set the captive free and mend the brokenhearted, (Luke 4:18), but has given us spiritual weapons of warfare to fight the powers of darkness.

"Rhomphaia" is a longer sword, and although it is used in battle, it is not as easily wielded stealthfully. It is used in judgement and is perhaps better depicted in that fashion in the book of Revelation.

"Rhema" means "spoken word", and may include exhortations, anointed preaching/teaching, word of knowlege, word of wisdom, (spoken) revelations, prophecies, tongues and interpretations, prayers and supplications, exhortations as well as speaking the scriotures. It says in I Peter 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles (lit; the "logos, the word") of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen

We are wielding the sword of God when we bind demons, cast them out, take authority over principalities that cover the government. When we pray for kings, rulers, pastors, etc. and in all manner of intercession, we are cutting assunder the work of darkness. When we excersise the gifts of the spirit we tear down strongholds, and when we exhort, comfort or encourage one another, we are cutting assunder the ploy of the enemy of dispair with the anointed word of God.

The distinction between rhema and logos is that rhema is specifically the SPOKEN word of God, whereas logos encompasses not only the spoken, but the thought, reason and even the written expressions of God. In other words, the word "rhema" specifically and solely means "to speak", and points to more than written scripture. alone Prophecies, word of knowlegde and word of wisdom, as well as tongues and interpretation of tongues; all these and more which are "operated by the spirit of God", (as it says in 1Cor 12) are the "rhema" of God. When you exhort by the anointing of the spirit of God, you are wielding the "sword of the spirit". Peter said "when you speak, let it be as the oracles of God ( 1Pet 4:13).

And regarding temptations that confront us, Jesus is our example:

Jesus told the devil duing the temptation in the wilderness:

KJV Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word (rhema) that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." He used the "sword of the spirit, the 'rhema of God'" against the devil to combat temptation

Jesus said:

KJV John 14:10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words (rhema) that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

We are being conformed into the image and likeness of the Son of God, (Ro 8:29), and so we want to speak "not of ourselves" but the words of our father that dwells in us (Matt 10:For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.). (KJV)

KJV John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

When we speak the "oracles of God", they are spirit and they are life. When we speak our own thoughts, our own mind, they are flesh, and only of the natural man, and will not produce the same fruit, nor express the mind and heart of God. It is "the anointing that breaks the yoke":

.KJV Isaiah 10:27 And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.

There are two reasons why I am emphasing this point regarding the word of God:

For one, Many believe that the only way God speaks personally to us is through the Bible. For another, many believe that the only "sword of the spirit" is the Bible, but it is really "every word that proceeds from the mouth of God, by every gifting of his spirit.

And in reality, the spirit of the Lord still speaks to his people, as well as through his people, in word and in song. And if we are "walking in spirit" we will "speak the words of our father that dwells in us", and we will speak the words that will bring "spirit and life" to the soul, and death to the work of the adversary.

Now the Bible is very clear that we are to "try the spirits", and not believe everything that is spoken. And it says in Thessalonians to 'PROVE all things, hold fast that which is good. If the Bible was the ONLY means of communciating the word and heart and intent and voice of God, then we wouldnt have to prove, try or test anything else, but just rule it out.

So let's grasp every aspect of the "sword of the spirit" and deal the death blow to the anit-christ spirits of darkness and deception in our world. Let's put on the WHOLE armor of God and "fight the good fight".

Now, having said that, how do we put on the whole armor of God? I believe at least part of the answer lies in verse eighteen:

(Lit. trans) "Through (by means of) ALL prayer and petition (and supplications), praying (imperative mode) at ALL times IN SPIRIT; and continually watching (being on the look-out) in ALL perseverance and unremitting persistance, and supplication concerning ALL SAINTS."

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