HOW TO SCARE THE DEVIL AND his HELPERS!
"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) - the highest rank of evil power under the authority of the devil himself, these are probably like arch angels of the devil...perhaps they were arch angels to God before their sin
exousias (powers) -those immediately under those of the highest rank, these 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, these are probably 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 God 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.
"PUT ON (enduo) THE WHOLE ARMOR (panoplia) OF GOD THAT YE MAY BE ABLE TO STAND AGAINST (stanai) THE WILES (methodias) OF THE DEVIL."
There are two types of armor. First, we will look at 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
HELMET... GIRDLE... BREASTPLATE... BOOTS/SHOES... SHIELD
2. OFFENSIVE ARMOR
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.
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."
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.
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."
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 shields were held in front of them, they made a hedge like protection. Several other soldiers in the center of the circle could hold their shields overhead and give a turtle like shell of protection. When the arrows of the enemy came down upon them, this circle of shields easily protected them. Satan is always firing darts at us. We need "faith" to block his darts. When the attack is especially heavy, we need to gather together with others of faith, and stand against his attack together.
This is the protection that God has provided. We need to be aware of how it is to be used. It is freely given of God to all of us. None of us are exempt of the battle, so God made these defensive weapons available to all of us.
We are not to be "foxhole Christians." We are to attack the devil and his strongholds. God did not put us here on earth to suffer, die, and hope our defensive armor protects us till the rapture. We are supposed to be offensively minded toward the devil, and to tread on him and defeat his plans.
"AS THE FATHER HAS SENT ME, SO SEND I YOU."
Did Jesus come to be beaten by the devil? No! He healed the sick, preached the Word, raised the dead, cast out devils, etc. In the same way, we are to attack the devil, demons, and the destructive work they are doing in this world.
THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT
The "sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God," refers to the "machaira" of the Roman times. It was not a sword as we usually think. We think of a sword as the three musketeers would have used. But this sword though was a short sword, a dagger, or like one of our knives. It was used in close combat.
God did not offer us a spear, to throw at the enemy 20 yards away. Nor did He offer us a bow and arrow, to shoot at the enemy on a hillside away from us. No! He gave us a short dagger, that we must march right up to the enemy and bravely use. We are to come face to face with the enemy. Not hiding in a foxhole, occasionally rising up to hurl a spear and then duck into safety again. We are to get into the battlefield, bravely confront the devil and his plans and use the short dagger that the Lord has given us, i.e. the Word of God.
A sword is an offensive weapon. It is used to destroy the enemy, and bring him to surrender. Fighting with a sword is difficult and dangerous. It takes much practice. Yet, in spiritual sword fighting, many Christians are novices. Many have never attacked the enemy. Many don't know how to use the "sword. Many carry a sword they have seldom used. This is not how the Lord planned our attack.
What is this "sword?"
"...SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, WHICH IS THE WORD OF GOD..."
The "WORD" referred to here is the Greek word "rhema" and not the word "logos" that many have assumed it to be. Rhema denotes an utterance of God. Logos denotes the Word of God, i.e. the Bible. Rhema is the speaking of God through us, perhaps using God's Word, or by prophecy, by word of knowledge, or by inspiration.
It is surprising when we look to see how the word rhema is used in the Bible.
"BUT I SAY UNTO YOU, THAT EVERY IDLE WORD (rhema) THAT MEN SHALL SPEAK, THEY SHALL GIVE ACCOUNT THEREOF IN THE DAY OF JUDGMENT."
Here the word, rhema, refers to the times when one may say: "God is saying... to you." Whenever a person of God speaks for God in this way, he or she must be very careful to be sure it is truly God speaking. For we shall someday have to account to God if it was not God speaking through us. Rhema is the uttering of God's message to someone.
"AND HE ANSWERED TO HIM NEVER A WORD (rhema)..."
Christ gave no message from God to him. It does not mean that Jesus did not speak at all. Rather, only that Jesus did not speak a rhema message from the Lord.
"PETER REMEMBERED THE WORD (rhema) OF JESUS, WHICH SAID UNTO HIM, 'BEFORE THE COCK CROW, THOU SHALT DENY ME THRICE.'"
This was not a quote from the Bible that Jesus spoke to Peter. A rhema word does not need to be a quote from the Bible. Here is was a message from God to Peter. Jesus spoke this rhema to Peter. So when we speak rhema, we are speaking a message from God through our lips.
"FOR HE WHOM GOD HAT SENT SPEAKETH THE WORDS (rhema) OF GOD; FOR GOD GIVETH NOT THE SPIRIT BY MEASURE UNTO HIM."
The rhema here are the words that God gives His servants to speak when He sends them. Rhema is not our own word, but it refers to the message of God. This verse says that whenever God sends us forth to do His work, He will give us rhema to speak. We will be able to speak for God, or rebuke the devil with the rhema of God.
"THESE WORDS (rhema) SPAKE JESUS IN THE TREASURY AS HE TAUGHT IN THE TEMPLE."
The words that are referred to here were a message from God to the Pharisees that Jesus spoke to them. Anytime we speak an authorized message from God, we are speaking rhema
"PETER...BE THIS KNOWN UNTO YOU, AND HEARKEN UNTO MY WORDS (rhema)."
Here the rhema was the entire sermon that Peter preached on the day of Pentecost. Three thousand were saved by the words that Peter spoke from God to those on that day.
"WE HAVE HEARD HIM (Stephen) SPEAK BLASPHEMOUS WORDS (rhema) AGAINST MOSES..."
The false witnesses claimed that Stephen was claiming to speak forth the message of God to these people (which he was!). They understood the difference between normal words, and the words that one speaks from God.
"WE SHALL TELL THEE WORDS (rhema) WHEREBY THOU AND ALL THY HOUSEHOLD SHALL BE SAVED. ... THEN I REMEMBERED THE WORD (rhema) OF THE LORD, HOW THAT HE SAID, JOHN INDEED BAPTIZED YOU WITH WATER, BUT YE SHALL BE BAPTIZED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT."
Here again, the rhema refers to words spoken by one under the authority of God.
"BUT WHAT SAITH IT? 'THE WORD (rhema) IS NIGH THEE, EVEN IN THY MOUTH, AND IN THY HEART, THAT IS THE WORD (rhema) OF FAITH, WHICH WE PREACH... SO THAT FAITH COMETH BY HEARING, AND HEARING BY THE WORD (rhema) OF GOD."
Faith is built up in us by the speaking forth of the rhema of God. The "gift of faith" from the Holy Spirit is often misunderstood. It is the imparting of faith by our words from God. Just as one with the gift of miracles imparts a miracle from God to another as he or she speaks, so the gift of faith is a similar imparting by us speaking forth a rhema from God.
II Corinthians 13:1
"IN THE MOUTH OF 2 OR 3 WITNESSES, SHALL EVERY WORD (rhema) BE ESTABLISHED."
Whenever one speaks forth rhema, the hearer has the right, even obligation, to ask God for one or two more confirmations that the rhema spoken was truly from God.
I Peter 1:25
"BUT THE WORD (rhema) OF THE LORD ENDURETH FOREVER, AND THIS IS THE WORD (rhema) BY WHICH THE GOSPEL IS PREACHED UNTO YOU."
II Peter 3:2
"THAT YE MAY BE MINDFUL OF THE WORDS (rhema) WHICH WEE SPOKEN BEFORE BY THE HOLY PROPHETS."
"BUT BELOVED, REMEMBER YE THE WORDS (rhema) WHICH WERE SPOKEN BEFORE OF THE APOSTLES OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST."
Whenever the word rhema is used, it refers to the words spoken under the authority of God. We have been given the right by our Lord to speak the words of God through our lips. We need to learn how to use this rhema of God properly. It is our "SWORD" of offensive power against the devil.
"AND I SAY UNTO YOU - THAT THOU ART PETER, AND UPON THIS ROCK I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH; AND THE GATES OF HELL SHALL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST IT. AND I WILL GIVE UNTO THEE THE KEYS OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN; AND WHATSOEVER THOU SHALT BIND ON EARTH SHALL BE BOUND IN HEAVEN, AND WHATSOEVER THOU SHALT LOOSE IN EARTH SHALL BE LOOSED IN HEAVEN..."
The "keys" are symbols of authority. We speak with authority. This same power is promised to all Christians.
"IF YE HAVE FAITH AS A GRAIN OF MUSTARD SEED, YE SHALL SAY TO THIS MOUNTAIN, 'REMOVE HENCE TO YONDER PLACE, AND IT SHALL REMOVE, AND NOTHING SHALL BE IMPOSSIBLE TO YOU.'"
"VERILY, I SAY UNTO YOU, WHATSOEVER YE SHALL BIND ON EARTH SHALL BE BOUND IN HEAVEN AND WHATSOEVER YE SHALL LOOSE ON EARTH SHALL BE LOOSED IN HEAVEN."
"ALL THINGS WHATSOEVER YE SHALL ASK IN PRAYER, BELIEVING YE SHALL RECEIVE."
"IF YE ABIDE IN ME AND MY WORDS ABIDE IN YOU, YE SHALL ASK WHAT YE WILL AND IT SHALL BE DONE UNTO YOU."
Thus, the Christians are promised to have the authority and right to speak the rhema. We are offered the armor of God. We are to use the "sword" which is the "rhema" of God.
With this rhema sword we can:
Bind Satan and his angels in chains (Revelation 9:14, 20:2)
Bind men by God's power (Matthew 16:19, 18:8)
Loose infirmities (Luke 13:12-16, Mark 7:35)
Loose men from chains and prisons (Acts 16:26, 22:30,24:6)
Loose men from sin (Revelation 1:5, I John 1:9)
Loose men from bonds of death (Acts 2:24)
Loose from deafness and dumbness (Mark 7:32-35)
Loose from blindness (Matthew 9:27-31)
Loose from leprosy (Matthew 8:1-4)
There are many examples of this rhema power of God in operation:
Elijah - the woman with the cruse of oil and handful of meal
Elijah - woman who filled many jars with one small vessel of oil
Elijah - shut up rain for over 3 years
Elisha - shut up rain for 7 years
Christ - calmed the sea
Christ - walked on water and bid Peter to come to Him
Christ - fed the 4000, and the 5000 +
The laws of nature can be bound and loosed by the rhema of God. We have this authority and power when God gives us the words to speak.
"BEHOLD, I GIVE UNTO YOU POWER (exousia, authority) TO TREAD ON SERPENTS AND SCORPIONS (demon powers) AND OVER ALL THE POWER OF THE ENEMY, AND NOTHING SHALL BY ANY MEANS HURT YOU."
"RESIST THE DEVIL, AND HE'LL FLEE FROM YOU."
"THOU SHALT TREAD UPON THE LION AND ADDER, THE YOUNG LION AND THE DRAGON SHALT THOU TRAMPLE UNDER FEET."
Don't be afraid to expect and to use rhema. Go to situations where rhema is needed. Go to where the devil needs bound, or where blessings need loosed. Then expect God to give you the words to speak. The rhema can be spoken, and it will be as though God spoke the words Himself.
In order to properly use rhema, prayer is vital. Could Elijah had spoken rhema to cause fire to fall from heaven without first praying? Too many want to speak rhema without communication with headquarters to know what God wants spoken. Imagine a soldier in the battlefield not checking with headquarters to see if he should attack or retreat. No! First, he checks with headquarters, and then he knows what he should do. In the same way, we should learn to commune with God, so that we know what His will is for us to speak.
Soldiers in the Lord's army must keep in touch with the Commander. We're the gun that will fire, but He will give us the bullets. To run off to battle without prayer and communion with God, is like running into battle with an empty gun. Many Christians do that.
Intercession is vital. We need to stay sensitive to the Spirit. To be ready to battle the devil, and to be able to loose God's power on people and situations, we need an intercessory nature. This is a definite must. Intercede daily for leaders, government, family, enemies, unsaved, sick, etc. Then you are tuned in for God to give you the rhema to speak.
Many try to speak rhema without being an intercessor, but this is why the church often has revival services with no signs and wonders. Too many have the gospel, with no power. Keep in touch with God. Let the Spirit put burdens upon you. Carry those burdens to God in prayer daily. Some will be answered through prayer. Some will be answered by God giving you the rhema to speak. You will see the enemy bound, and the blessing loosed.
I Timothy 1:18-19
"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, HOLDING FAITH, AND A GOOD CONSCIENCE."
There are many kinds of soldiers in God's army. There are many deserters, many cowards, many shirkers, many "hope-to-make- it -throughers", and many conquerors. We are told to "WAR A GOOD WARFARE..." Christians cannot be wishy-washy, show- up- on- Sunday- only, keep- the - Bible - somewhere - in- the - house kind of Christians. Christians must get militant against the devil. We are in a battle. We must begin to battle the devil as never before. The army of God cannot become entangled with this world.
II Timothy 2:3-5
"THAT THOU ENDURE HARDNESS, AS A GOOD SOLDIER OF JESUS CHRIST. NO MAN THAT WARRETH ENTANGLETH HIMSELF WITH THE AFFAIRS OF THIS LIFE; THAT HE MAY PLEASE HIM WHO HATH CHOSEN HIM TO BE A SOLDIER. AND IF A MAN ALSO STRIVE FOR MASTERIES, YET IS HE NOT CROWNED, EXCEPT HE STRIVE LAWFULLY."
To be a good soldier, we must:
ENDURE HARDNESS - be ready for some suffering and hard times...
NOT GET ENTANGLED WITH THE AFFAIRS OF THIS WORLD - don't get wrapped up in so many other things that God is only a sideline...
STRIVE FOR MASTERY - try to excel at being a soldier for Jesus, don't be satisfied to just get a passing grade, get the A+...
STRIVE LAWFULLY - there are rules to obey, commands to adhere, we are not "Lone Rangers", we battle together against the devil...
DO YOU HAVE THAT KIND OF GUMPTION ???
Some act as though they have years to get ready for a single battle. This war is already in progress. The devil and his forces are already attacking. To save your loved ones, to keep your possessions from the enemy, you must be fighting the devil now.
"THE NIGHT IS FAR SPENT, THE DAY IS AT HAND; LET US THEREFORE CAST OFF THE WORKS OF DARKNESS (we must cast off all the sins of this life), AND LET US PUT ON THE ARMOR OF LIGHT (this means the same armor the God reveals is available to us in Ephesians). LET US WALK HONESTLY (from the Greek, euschemonos = decently), AS IN THE DAY (this means -as if we know that we are not in darkness where our sins are not seen, but are in the light where God sees everything); NOT IN RIOTING AND DRUNKENNESS (not in revellings and drunken orgies), NOT IN CHAMBERING AND WANTONNESS (in the Greek this means - not in whoredoms and perversions), NOT IN STRIFE AND ENVYING (we are not to be fighting each other, but the devil and sin). BUT PUT YE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, AND MAKE NOT PROVISION FOR THE FLESH (don't make the carnal side of you stronger), TO FULFIL THE LUSTS THEREOF (if we feed our fleshly nature, it will be strong enough to control our being)."