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What Has God Done For Us Ephesians 1: 15-23; 2:1-15 Ephesians 2:6-22; 3:1-11 Four Steps to Power
Fourth Step to Power The Body of Christ Our Minds Our Attitudes
Our Tongues A New Walk Slaves and Masters There's a war going on
Belt of Truth
Sword of the Spirit
Prayer Putting on Jesus
 
The Armour of God
 
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Ephesians 6:10-20

There's a War Going On--We're in a War, a Raging Battle

In Jim Wilson's "Principles of War" he says this "war" we're in is more deadly than any man has ever fought--the war of the soul. ["Principles of War: How to Use Proven Military Strategies in Spiritual Warfare" by James I. Wilson, available online from http://www.amazon.com ] The spiritual warfare in New England appears to be more intense than in southern California. It is harder for Christians to do things for the Lord in this area than it has ever been for us out in California. Daniel 10 shows us there is a battle going on that we don't even see. I have seen a great opposition to us right here in New England. It is very intense. [Another very well written book on this subject which takes this study even further and looks at the same material covered here is a book titled "SPIRITUAL WARFARE" by Brian Brodersen, available online at http://www.thewordfortoday.org/product_nav.html . Look under the section Calvary Basics and you'll find this book listed. This short book (for $3.50) is a must. It can be read by most at one sitting, but you may find yourself reading it over and over again.]

Ephesians 6:10-20, "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should."

"Finally Brethren, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power." Ephesians 1:15-23 and 3:1-7, 14-20 cross references to this thought. Ephesians 1:15-23, "For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way." Ephesians 3:1-7,14-21. "For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles--Surely you have heard about the administration of God's grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God's holy apostles and prophets. This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise of Christ Jesus.

I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God's grace given me through the working of his power…"(vs. 14-21) "For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

You can know about the power of God, but you need it in you to accomplish victory. Our opponent is too great for us alone, but he and those that are his are not too great for God's power.

When I think of New England, I think of Gideon. He was the least of the least in Israel. 130,000 Midianite soldiers opposed him. There is a direct correlation between physical warfare and spiritual warfare. Jim Wilson outlines 11 principles of warfare every army must follow to succeed. I managed to get 8 of them here:

  1. Every army or fighting unit needs an objective.
  2. You must be on the offensive, not defensive.
  3. Concentration of forces [brings max. fire-power to bear on the target]
  4. Mobility [for when you meet an obstacle, you can go around it.]
  5. Cooperation [team work facilitates mobility, concentration of forces, being on the offensive, economy of forces and pursuit of the enemy. This one’s very important!]
  6. Economy of forces [no wasted actions, firepower or manpower]
  7. Pursuit of the enemy [cousin to being on the offensive. Taking the battle to his doorstep, instead of letting him show up on yours.]
  8. Obedience [Our marching orders in detail, showing the specifics of the territory and battle we’re to fight, including minefields to avoid and other pitfalls and snares the enemy has laid out. The Law of God contains all of this information. Jesus indwelling in us through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit makes obedience possible. On our own it is not possible.]
  1. What is our objective? Evangelism and reaping the harvest (making disciples), isn't it? This is the stated mission assigned by our Commander-in-Chief, Jesus Christ. Matthew 28:18-20. "Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." [refer to link article "What is Evangelism?" for an in-depth description of our marching orders, evangelism.]

  2. An army on the offensive has a military advantage. God's crippling blow against Satan was Christ's death, burial and resurrection. A very good analogy was the crippling blow the United States Navy delivered to the Japanese Navy at the Battle of Midway. This one naval battle ended Japanese Naval superiority. The rest of the war, although extremely deadly, was a mop-up operation. The carriers the Japanese lost in that battle was their famed Kido Buti, their famed fast powerful carrier strike force which had hit Pearl Harbor. After that battle, the Japanese had lost their offensive strike weapon--from experienced pilots to the carrier force itself--they lost the whole offensive strike weapon.

    Our armour is intended to be offensive in nature, helping us to go into harm's way. It is God's will that we be exposed to attack, but not defeated. It's quite likely Paul was chained to a Roman soldier as he wrote this passage in Ephesians 6. We are told to put on Christ here. We're told to put on the whole armour of God. Romans 13:11-14. "And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in licentiousness and lewdness, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts." We can see here that putting on the armor of light is accomplished by putting on Jesus Christ. Jesus is the armor of God, the armor of light. King David put off his armor in his castle when he should have been in battle and he was hit harder than ever by Satan (the Bathsheba incident). To put on the armor of God is to hang out with the Lord. We don't have a choice here. John 14:6. "Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'" Hebrews 12:2. "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down a the right hand of the throne of God."

    Hudson Taylor finally learned what it is to "put on Christ." Refer back to the section about Hudson Taylor to more fully understand this essential priciple.]

Standing militarily equals:

  1. Having good intelligence, knowing your enemy's plans.
  2. Having good protection, offensive armour. [putting on Jesus.]
  3. Having good offensive weaponry.

Who's our enemy? Isaiah 14:12-15. "How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars [angels] of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain [Hebrew: sides of the north]. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.' But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit." Revelation 12:3-4, 7-12. "Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. His tail swept a third of the stars [the word stars can symbolically refer to angels when used in certain contexts] out of the sky and flung them to the earth…And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down--that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: 'Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night has been hurled down. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.'"

There could be billions of angels in existence. Satan deceived and drew one third of all of them to himself. Satan or his demon allies are not Omnipotent, or omnipresent like God is. Satan may have been the counterpart of Michael. Satan is called a roaring lion by Peter. 1 Peter 5:8. "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings."

2 Corinthians 11:13-15. "For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve."

2 Corinthians 4:3-4. "And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."

The mind of the enemy: Read Job 1:6-22; 2:1-10. God uses Satan. Look also at Joseph's life. His brothers meant evil, but God worked it to the good. Satan's weapons are ignorance, and lies. The external weapon he uses is the world, his societies which make up the world we live in. The internal weapon he uses against us are the desires of the flesh. God's ultimate weapon is Love, Agape Love, and forgiveness. Forgiveness and love disarms the enemy and his works.

Your battle is never against people. Daniel 10:4-14. "On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bank of the great river, the Tigris, I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of the finest gold around his waist. His body was like chrysolite, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and his voice like the sound of a multitude. I Daniel, was the only one who saw the vision; the men with me did not see it, but such terror overwhelmed them that they fled and hid themselves. So I was left alone, gazing at this great vision; I had no strength left, my face turned deathly pale and I was helpless. Then I heard him speaking, and as I listened to him, I fell into a deep sleep, my face to the ground.

A hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. He said, 'Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you.' And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling.

Then he continued, 'Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. [A spirit king, the prince of Persia] Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.'"

Ephesians 6:12-13. "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."

Vs. 14-19, "Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should."

The first article of our armor is the "belt of truth". There are two interpretations for this belt.

  1. The Word of God [but the "sword of the Spirit" is defined as the word of God.
  2. A true sincere life without hypocrisy.

A hypocritical life will lead to defeat. You're an easy target for Satan if you're a hypocrite. Satan is "the accuser of the brethren." Don't give him ammo! John defines spiritual hypocrisy pretty accurately. 1 John 1:1-8. "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched--this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives."

John here either gives you confidence that you are in the Lord, or a hypocrite, with you pants down around your ankles! It's hard to fight with your pants down around your ankles. That's why the admonition to put on the "belt of truth." Our heart should be to do the truth, to live it. God is not into lip-service. Obedience is very important in warfare, especially spiritual warfare. When the church is girded in truth it is strong. When it is girded in disobedience it is broken down and weak. Obedience is like a soldier’s marching orders for a particular upcoming battle. You follow them. You don’t neglect specific details in these orders which tell you to go this way or not to go that way—to avoid pitfalls in the terrain or enemy entrapments and minefields. Remember, obedience is the 8th principle of waging successful warfare. Being 8th doesn’t make it less important. Missing any one of these points can cause failure. If you don’t think so, watch a real war movie about soldiers who unknowingly walked into a minefield.

A Roman soldier's belt also held the famous Roman short-sword. This weapon was a superior weapon in close combat situations. Vs. 17, "Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." Jesus took up and used the "sword of the Spirit" against Satan in his titanic battle with the devil in the desert. Matthew 4:1-11.

This is recommended reading for Messianic Jewish and Sabbatarian Churches of God brethren prior to and during the Days of Unleavened Bread (starting at Passover).  This book is all about putting spiritual "leaven"-sin-out of our lives.  It shows just how evil sin really is, how devastating it is to our very lives. 

"Go And Sin No More" book review

"Go and Sin No More is a masterful book on an unpopular subject.  Speaking as one who has and is experiencing a revival of cleansing and deliverance, Michael Brown brings to the table a rich resource for all who seek a biblical view of sin and its absolute consequences to the believer's soul."

 

FRANK DAMAZIO  Senior Pastor, City Bible Church, Portland, Oregon.

 

"Personal holiness is the key to God's ultimate plans for us all.  "Be ye holy; for I am holy" (1 Pet. 1:16 KJV) is a command, not a suggestion.  Romans 8:29 clearly emphasizes this great truth: "For those God foreknew He also predestinated to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers."  Conformed to His likeness!  That is what God's call to us to live holy lives is all about.  It's the central element of God's wonderful plan for our lives.

        How can we be holy?  In ourselves, we cannot.  We can only do so by the ministry of the Holy Spirit within us.  [So if you try-all on your own--to apply this book to your life to break the chains of a sin or sins that are binding you, it will not help.  You must be born-again, filled and indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God before this book will do you any good whatsoever.  But if you are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, this book is powerful.  It is spiritual weaponry of immense power, it is a cutting torch which directs the Holy Spirit in your life, cutting those chains of repetitive sin that may be binding you.]  That is why for 47 years Campus Crusade for Christ-now in 172 countries with a staff of 19,000 and 181,000 volunteers-has strongly emphasized the ministry of the Holy Spirit.  "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13, KJV).  We cannot effectively do anything, even witness for Christ, without the enabling and power of the Holy Spirit.Go and Sin No More is a magnificent, comprehensive work on the important but oft-neglected subject of holiness.   Dr. Michael L. Brown's wonderful insights make this one of those rare life-changing books.  Every Christian who reads it will be blessed and will never be the same.  I believe it is God's message for this hour.

 

[the late] DR. BILL BRIGHT

Founder [and former] President

Campus Crusade for Christ International"

 

A Few Excerpts.

 

"This book provides a massive spiritual assortment of ammunition we can use to wage war against the flesh, the devil, and the world."

 

 "There are three things sin will always do.  It will keep you longer than you intended to stay, take you further than you intended to go, and cost you more than you intended to spend.  Sin is treacherous! 

        And since we know we're in a daily battle, let's arm ourselves with all the ammunition we can to help us submit to God and say no to the flesh, the devil, and the world."  (pp. 60-61)

 

"Paul wrote that a little leaven leavens the whole lump (see 1 Cor. 5:6; Gal 5:9), and the Word tells us that one man's sin-Achan in Joshua 7-caused thirty-six Israelites to die, since his transgression stopped the Lord from going out to battle with His people.  There was an enemy in God's own camp!  Yet he sinned secretly, none of the leaders knew anything about it-meaning that our secret sins can have public consequences too.  This is a deep spiritual matter, my friend." (p. 65)

 

".sin can render the anointing ineffective.  It is literally poison to our whole spiritual system.  There are tragic stories, stories that we know too well, of men and women who were mightily used by God until sin drained them dry.  [and I might add, this is talking about repetitive sin, not the occasional slip-up which we confess and don't keep repeating.].Think of a godly woman mightily used to heal the sick.  How much suffering is relieved through her ministry, how much torment lifted.But she gets caught up in greed, mishandling the ministry funds an lying to her constituents.  Before you know it, the anointing is gone!  For a while it appeared as if she could mess up and minister at the same time.  But no, the pollution gradually drove the Holy Spirit away.  Sin saps the anointing, be it the anointing to preach or teach, the anointing to heal or deliver, the anointing to counsel or lead-sin will steal it and leave nothing in return.  Worst of all, by destroying the anointing on one person's life, hundreds, thousands, even millions of others who could have been blessed through that vessel will have to turn elsewhere.you have a sacred duty not to squander that divine enabling.  Many lives are dependent on your faithfulness.  So don't let sin put out the embers that burn in your heart; rather, fan them into flame (see 2 Tim. 1:6)."  (p. 66)

 

"Why sin if you know that sooner or later you're going to get caught?  Why do something in secret that eventually will be known in public?  Why defile yourself under the covering of darkness if your unclean act will eventually be brought to light?.You see, in God's universe, nobody really "gets away" with anything.  "The sins of some men are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them" (1 Tim. 5:24).  One way or another, what we do will catch up with us, either in this world or in the world to come.  "In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not cannot be hidden." (1 Tim. 5:25).Of course, if you truly repent and turn from your sins, the Lord will wipe them away, sometimes even softening the blow of the negative consequences of those wrongful acts." (pp. 72-73)

 

"God shows us the traps in advance [through his Word].  Satan only shows us the bait." (p.85)

 This book is all about those traps and bait of Satan, sin, and the reasons why we should avoid them at all costs.  Reading this book in a slow, meditative way will actually give a believer the ability to cut through the chains of longstanding habits of sin.  If you find yourself bound by a particular sinful habit, a secret sin-habit no one knows about, do read this book.  As the late Dr. Bill Bright said, it will change your life. 

 The full name of the book is:

 

GO and SIN NO MORE

A CALL TO HOLINESS

 

By Michael L. Brown

 

A Division of Gospel Light

Ventura, California, U.S.A.

http://www.gospellight.com

or call 1-800-4-GOSPEL

 

ISBN 0-8307-22389-7

 

For more information on ICN Ministries, or for a complete resource catalog of other books and tapes by Dr. Michael L. Brown, write to:

ICN Ministries

8594 Highway 98 West, Pensacola, FL  32506

Phone: (850) 458-6424: Fax: (850) 458-1828

Email: RevivalNow@msn.com

To order online you might also try http://www.christianbooks.com or

 

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