We receive bestowments from the ‘gift’ of the Lord, i.e. the Holy Spirit. He is the ‘Gift’, and many are His bestowments of power upon us. We are to accept these bestowments, for we are in a battle here against the devils’ forces, and we need supernatural power to resist his attacks.
There is a command to accept ‘armor’ from God. We have no option, if we want to win these battles.
"WHEREFORE TAKE UNTO YOU THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD..."
While growing up, my father often said as he taught the Word of God, "Whenever you see a 'wherefore' or a 'therefore', see what it is therefore..." The word - "wherefore" in the above verse indicates that "because of" what has been stated beforehand, there is something we must do. What was stated just previous to this "wherefore"?
"FOR WE WRESTLE NOT AGAINST FLESH AND BLOOD, BUT AGAINST PRINCIPALITIES, AGAINST POWERS, AGAINST THE RULERS OF DARKNESS OF THIS WORLD, AGAINST SPIRITUAL WICKEDNESS IN HIGH PLACES."
Since we are in a battle against some evil spirits of various ranks and powers, we need the armor of God.
These beings that Paul is telling us we battle are these:
archas (principalities) -
These are the highest rank of evil powers under the authority of the devil himself. These are probably the arch angels of the devil, perhaps they were arch angels to God before their sin.
exousias (powers) -
These are those that are immediately under those of the highest rank. They are probably angels that fell with the devil in his original sin, or angels that transgressed later, as in the days preceding the flood when they came and transgressed with women and produced a race of half-angelic giants...
kosmokratopas (rulers of the darkness of this world) -
These are the ones that rule perhaps a 1000 other demons. They are the spirits of the giants of the pre-flood days, and they are more powerful than other demons, because they are half-angelic, and half-human.
pneumatika ponerias (spiritual wickedness) -
These are the normal demons that we are accustomed to dealing with in spiritual warfare. They came into existence from the humans that were of the creation before Adam, that the devil was to lead in worship to God. They were all killed in the rebellion that came as Lucifer sinned and had these beings worship him instead of God. Their spirits now roam this earth, and they desire to inhabit a human body, since they no longer have a body. They are extremely evil since they have fallen in league with the devil.
Since we are in battle with these evil forces, special armor is required for us. Our armor needs to make us able to withstand the attack of these enemies.
"...THAT YE MAY BE ABLE TO WITHSTAND IN THE EVIL DAY..."
What are we to do?
In verse 11, it tells us to "PUT ON" this armor. This verb is "enduo", which means "to be clothed." It is in the passive voice, which means we just let, i.e. allow, God to give us the armor. Our part is to just receive it, God has made an offer of it. We don't earn, or work to get it. In verse 13, we are told to "TAKE UNTO YOU". This also indicates that we need only to receive it, hold to it, not refuse it, keep it. The armor must simply be accepted.
The armor is complete.
When we have the armor of God, we need nothing more. We are told it is the "WHOLE ARMOR" (Ephesians 6:11, 13). The word in the Greek is -"panoplian". It comes from two words - "pas" = "all", and "hoplon" = "weapon." Among the Greeks, the word "panoplia" referred to the complete equipment that was used by a heavily armed infantry. So, when we accept the armor of God, we are completely armed for the battle that we fight.
The wiles of the devil
"PUT ON (enduo) THE WHOLE ARMOR (panoplia) OF GOD THAT YE MAY BE ABLE TO STAND AGAINST (stanai) THE WILES (methodias) OF THE DEVIL."
Our goal is to be able to "STAND" against the devil. This word means "to stand firm, unshaken, established, and steadfast." We must not be shaken, unsteady, and defeated by our enemy, the devil. He has his "WILES". This word means "craft, deceit, a cunning device, tricks, and schemes." Many are ignorant of the devil's wiles. Many are defeated because they are not armed properly, and have no idea what tricks the devil is trying.
In II Corinthians 2:11, we are told that we are "NOT IGNORANT OF HIS DEVICES..." This is a different word than "methodias" that was used for "WILES". We don't always know all the devil's "WILES", but we do know his "DEVICES." This word is "noema", which means "thoughts, purposes, and designs." We do know the devil's purpose toward us. He wants to destroy us, get us to backslide, turn us against God, create disharmony between the saints. We know that, but we don't know the particular details of his plan to achieve his purpose. Some Christians even forget the "DEVICES" of the devil. Some think that the devil has forgotten them. They seem to think that if they don't bother him, he won't bother them. When one gets into the battle, it doesn't take long to learn that the devil has purposed to destroy us. When Christians get to that realization, they need to then start to learn the "WILES" of the enemy.
SOME OF THE VARIOUS WILES OF THE DEVIL
II Timothy 1:7
"...FOR GOD HATH NOT GIVEN US A SPIRIT OF FEAR, BUT OF POWER, AND OF LOVE, AND OF A SOUND MIND."
Some magnify the devil's power, and talk defeat, discouragement, and doubt. One of the devils main tricks is to get us afraid to fight him, to give up. Peter told us that we are to "RESIST" the enemy. So we can "resist".
"YOUR ADVERSARY THE DEVIL, AS A ROARING LION, WALKETH ABOUT, SEEKING WHOM HE MAY DEVOUR, WHOM RESIST STEADFAST IN THE FAITH."
2. FALSE DOCTRINES AND FALSE MIRACLES
We are commanded to prove, and to test all things to see if it is God or the devil at work. (I Corinthians 2:12-16, Philippians 1:9-10, I Thessalonians 5:21-22, I John 4:1-6)
The last days are to have many false prophets, and lying signs and wonders. don't follow every miracle worker. Test and try them and their doctrines by the Word of God.
3. OVERCONFIDENCE, APATHY
Some think the devil has given up on them. The devil hasn't given up. He never gave up on our perfect Savior, let alone us. He's too stupid to give up. He will someday even invade heaven, after the rapture to try once again to destroy us (Revelation 12). He is just too stupid to give up.
"LET HIM THAT THINKETH HE STANDETH, TAKE HEED LEST HE FALL."
If a Christian is tricked by the devil into thinking that they have reached a place of sanctification, or strength, that they can easily defeat the devil now, and that nothing he can do can trick them anymore... beware! The devil often tries to get Christians to become overconfident.
4. DESTRUCTION OF A BELIEVER'S TESTIMONY
The devil will use many tricks to try to destroy all the influence that a Christian has built. A co-worker, or family member can be disillusioned by a failure, or momentary lapse of a Christian's proper example. Sometimes the devil brings a Christian to a seemingly unique position, and tempts them to think that a momentary lapse is innocent enough. The devil knows that there are many eyes watching. Many families have been shipwrecked by the idea that a testimony can be put down, and picked up at will.
Everyone seems to think that they are the only Christian that has ever been tempted to commit suicide. The very topic heading probably shocked some. The devil likes to get us into seemingly hopeless situations and then quietly suggest suicide as the solution. No ! You are not the only one who has had such a thought. Probably all Christians have had the ideas of suicide put into their mind by our enemy. We need to recognize its source, and rebuke the devil and his suggestion.
The devil tries to get us into a lukewarm state and keep us there. None of us stay on the mountain top always. There are valleys, and low places. We dread them. Yet, sometimes when we are not in the valley, or in a great battle, we become satisfied with a plain of lukewarmness. Some Christians have lived on that plain for years. If the devil can get them to believe that its better to be lukewarm constantly, than to have the ups and downs of battling the devil. Lukewarmness will bring us to a place of making our Lord sick of us. We must beware of such a state.
7. FEELING THEY ARE MISSING THINGS
Many are tricked into the thought that they miss so much if they serve God. The devil started using that trick with Adam and Eve. He is still using it, and is too often successful with it. In reality, when we serve God, we miss shame, guilt, sin, hell and loss of the presence of God.
8. MAKING SIN SEEM NON-SINFUL
If the devil can get us to rename sin to names that seem innocent, he can get us to dabble with them. He has tried for millennia to rename sin. "Adultery" becomes "an affair" or "making love". "Homosexuality" becomes "gay". "Murder" becomes "choice". "Judgmentalism" becomes "defending the faith". The list could go on and on.
9. PRIORITY SWITCHING
If the devil can't get us to give up God and church, he tries to get us to bring in other priorities to replace God as number one. Camping, bowling leagues, golf tournaments, sporting events, family reunions, the second job, can all seem innocent at first. Soon the devil has gotten many to put those as priorities above God. Work, pleasures, and other responsibilities that we engage, need to be closely watched. They may not be wrong in themselves, but if they replace God as first in our lives, they are sins.
10. KEEPING UP WITH THE TIMES
The devil would like to get Christians to lower their Biblical standards to something closer to the world's. His excuse it usually "to keep with the times." Major denominations lately have been debating the idea of accepting homosexuality as acceptable, allowing on to freely choose to murder the unborn, etc. The Bible and God have not changed. Sin is still sin. The days do not change God's mind on what is sin. What was damning in Jesus' day, is still damning today.
11. MANY OTHER TRICKS:
The Bible describes these tricks of the devil as "FIERY DARTS" (Ephesians 6:16). This is the Greek word "belos", which referred to "combustible arrowheads" that armies used. These arrowheads burst into flames as they hit the target. The pain to a person that is hit, could be excruciating. If it missed the target, the fire could destroy property of the target. The "WILES" of the devil are dangerous. We need to beware of his tricks.
Many let the devil take his shots at them, and never fight back. No wonder some drift away, or stagger into church defeated. We must learn to be victorious Christians. Quit allowing the devil to fill your mind with his "FIERY DARTS". Remember the four levels of evil spirits that we fight. There is no reason to sit back and relax, we are in a real battle. The Lord doesn't want "foxhole" Christians. He doesn't want us on the "home front" yet. Get back on the battlefield in full armor. Don't let the devil win by "default."
"NEITHER GIVE PLACE TO THE DEVIL."
"IF GOD BE FOR US, WHO CAN BE AGAINST US?"
"NAY, IN ALL THESE THINGS, WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERORS THROUGH HIM WHO LOVED US."
There are two types of armor. We will look at the first type in this lesson, i.e. the defensive armor. These things are provided for us by the Lord because He knows that the devil is on the attack. We need to have a good defense.
TWO KINDS OF ARMOR
1. DEFENSIVE ARMOR
2. OFFENSIVE ARMOR
In this lesson, we will examine the defensive armor that we are to accept from God as bestowments of the powers to resist the attacks of the devil. Then, in the next lesson, we will examine the ‘offensive’ armor, with which we can attack the enemy.
1. HELMET OF SALVATION
The word for "helmet" is from the Greek "perikephalaia". It comes from two Greek words:
peri = around
kephale = head
It was an armored headpiece to protect the head from attack.
In I Thessalonians 5:8, it says:
"PUT ON...FOR A HELMET, THE HOPE OF SALVATION..."
The "hope" of our salvation is the return of our Savior. So this helmet refers to the hope of the Lord's return, when we will receive our eternal reward. It is this hope of His coming that gives us the mental fortitude to battle evil. Knowing that we are saved, and that God has a heavenly home for us, will help us in the fight. The fact that we are saved also reminds of the hedge of protection that God puts around us.
2. BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
The word "breastplate" comes from the Greek word "thoraz". It was a two-part breast cover that protected the body on both sides from the neck to the waist. The breastplate protects the vital organs from attack. Satan attacks our life, and past. He reminds us of all our sins. What protects us is not our righteousness, no, it is the righteousness of Jesus. Our righteousness is as "filthy rags." So, while the devil is trying to attack you, and your life... remind him that the righteousness of Jesus is your defense.
"NO WEAPON FORMED AGAINST YOU SHALL PROSPER, AND EVERY TONGUE THAT SHALL RAISE UP AGAINST YOU, THOU SHALT CONDEMN. THIS IS THE HERITAGE OF THE SERVANTS OF THE LORD, AND THEIR RIGHTEOUSNESS IS OF ME."
3. GIRDLE OF TRUTH
The word "girdle" is from the Greek word -"zoma". It was a belt that held the garments close to the body so that it would be easier to move about. The loose fitting garments would otherwise hinder the movement of the soldier. This belt was often hollow, or folded so that it could also serve as a purse.
The fact that we have the truth, and can trust what God has revealed in us, gives us ability to fight better. In this belt of truth, we carry our sword, food, water pouch, etc. All the staples of life are bound up in the fact that we know with certainty that we have the truth.
4. BRAZEN BOOTS
This is the Greek word - "knemides". It referred to the cover for the front of the leg. This front cover that was tied to the leg and often to the leather sandals, protected the lower legs, and feet from the stones, brush, etc. that were in the battlefield. It is the "preparation of the gospel of peace..." that protects us from the rough times and things we meet in life. Whenever a trial comes unexpectedly to us, we need to have studied the Word of God, so the peace that the Scripture gives us can flood immediately to our minds, when the trial strikes. The Word of God produces peace.
"GREAT PEACE HAVE THEY WHICH LOVE THY LAW, AND NOTHING SHALL OFFEND THEM."
5. SHIELD OF FAITH
The word for "shield" is "thureos." It referred to the Roman shield that was 2 foot by 4 foot. These shields were usually made of wood that was covered with a metal cover. They were heavy and bulky, but the soldiers moved slowly ahead with them, safe from the attacks of the fiery arrows of the enemy. These shields were often used by gathering a group of soldiers about in a circle. When the shield were held in front of them, it made a hedge like protection. Several other soldiers in the center of the circle could
These bestowments of defensive weapons are vital to our survival in this enemy territory. God has miraculously offered them. Too many think their ‘goodness’, their piety, their holiness, will enable them to be un-attack-able. That is a trick of the devil to get us to think we can do without the ‘shield, helmet, etc.’ We need the armor God has provided for us.