Spiritual Warfare, Pt. 2

Scripture: Ephesians 6:14-18, 2 Corinthians 10:3-6, Romans 13:12
Date: 07/23/2016 
Part two of Pastor Doug's series on Spiritual Warfare. There is a spiritual battle going on all around us but we do not need to fear. As we near the end of this world, we will see an increase of diabolical powers, signs, and wonders.

The Armor of God - Paper or Digital Download

The Armor of God - Paper or Digital Download
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Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness. Let us put on the armor of light. You don’t want to go into battle with the devil proud, because you’re wearing the devil’s armor every time if you’re trusting yourself. We’ve been talking a little bit in review about ‘why is there evil in the world?’ And that there was a war between satan (lucifer) who was once a good angel, and Christ and his angels and they were cast out.

And because our early parents listened to the word of the devil instead of the Word of God, then there has been – this world has become the beachhead, really, of a battle between good and evil and all people, from our first parents we, basically became infected with this disease of sin. Now, today, in part two, we’re going to talk a little more specifically about ‘how do we battle the devil?’ And it’s something that Jesus told us we should expect would happen. Part of the early church certainly recognized that there is a battle between good and evil and that people are being harassed by the devil. I believe that when we are saved the Lord sets us free. That doesn’t mean that a person, after they’ve been saved by the Lord, cannot again be harrassed by devils.

We’ll talk about that in a minute. Mary magdalene, out of whom were cast seven devils. If you read in the book Desire of Ages, it sounds like seven different times. And Christ, again, talks about a man who has an evil spirit cast out but he doesn’t do anything to replace it. And Jesus says seven devils worse than the first come back.

And so, there are believers who maybe have fallen back in the old life, like a prodigal, and they need deliverance as well. And so, this is something applies, not only to our ministry, but may apply to us personally: we’re all harassed by the devil. We explained that, right? Everybody’s tempted by the devil. Some people experience demonic possession in varying degrees. And how do we get involved in this warfare then? Well, Paul gives us some guidelines.

This was in our memory verse. I’d like to repeat to you Ephesians chapter 6, verses 14 through 18. He says put on the whole armor of God. We need to “stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth” – there’s seven implements we’re going to talk about in the armor – “having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and as shoes for your feet having put on the readiness given by the Gospel of peace in all circumstances take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one and take the helmet of salvation and the swowrd of the Spirit, which is the Word of God; praying at all times in the Spirit with all prayer and supplication to that end alert with all perseverance making supplication for all the saints.” Now we’re going to discuss what these different implements of armor represent, but I thougt it’s always nice to have a visual. One of the members of our church is handy with metal working and he’s – come on up here – can you see the steps? (Loud stomping) we don’t want an insurance claim.

So this represents some of the armor of God. Bob, I think, actually made that helmet. Isn’t that right? That’s pretty cool. And – all of it – he made all of it! That’s right, the greaves and so forth. And so, here you’ve got – you’ve got the shield that, you know, you should be able to tuck behind and protect your body.

You’ve got the helmet. He has a really beautiful metal sword – that double-edged sword – and so he’s got that one right now – he’s got the greaves, the breastplate, and there – you notice, under the armor, this can pinch you. You wear a robe. And then you’ve got your belt of truth. And you put your sword, normally, on a scabbard that would be on the belt.

And so, this is the implements of armor that are discussed in the Bible. I knew all the kids would wake up right about now in the sermon. Are you stuck? No. Okay. Well, thank you very much, bob.

He says that’s heavy and he doesn’t even have full body armor on. Some of the medievel, when – that’s more like the medievel armor, when they wore full armor, it could weigh over a hundred pounds. And those guys used to go off into battle wearing that stuff. Now, when I read about armor in the Bible, it never seemed to do a lot of good. David did not want to wear Saul’s armor.

He tried, but Saul, of course, was taller than everybody else and i’m just imagining that David put on Saul’s armor and he’s peaking out of the neckhole and he said, ‘this isn’t going to work.’ He wasn’t used to it. It didn’t fit. You’ve got to work in your armor. Ahab went into battle trusting his armor but he had a little crack and an arrow found a little crack in his armor and struck a vital vein and he bled to death and died. So man-made armor is not what our trust should be in.

This verse that we’re reading here in Ephesians is talking about a spiritual armor. And, as we go through these different implements we’ll talk a little about what they represent in our lives, in a practical way. If we just talk about metaphors and you can’t put it in your life, it doesn’t do you any good. Fighting with evil forces in the church, in the world are very real. We need real answers, amen? 2 Corinthians 10, verse 3, “for though we walk in the flesh,” – Paul says – “we do not war according to the flesh.

” – It’d be easier if we thought we could wrestle with and box the devil, but you can’t. You can’t clobber him with a baseball bat – “for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exhalts itself against the knowledge of God.” - So we’re fighting against things that fight against the knowledge of God – “bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” – The opposite of your thoughts being in the captivity of Christ is when the devil starts hassling you in your thinking. Romans 13, verse 12 – Paul said, “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.” And so, this is an armor of light. God said to the church, ‘you are the light of the world.

’ It’s a truth connected with it. And so, with that, maybe we should go into the first implement. So we’ve got the belt of truth – first thing Paul talks about – having yourself girded with this truth. You can read in Isaiah 11, verse 5, “righteousness shall be the belt of his loins, and faithfulness the belt of his waist.” Now, the belt was a very central thing. It sometimes was more of a girdle than, you know – we’ve got our leather belts that we wear.

It was a little wider and it was the kind of thing, you know, cowboys, when they wear a gun on a holster, they don’t got a skinny belt. It was a little bit bigger. They’d hang their swords on this. They would sometimes have the equivalent of a fanny pack. They had, sometimes, some of their gear and their necessities – their water bottle and things that they might need were all strung to the belt.

It held everything in place. In the Bible, soldiers often wore robes and clothes, but when they went into battle they would gird their clothes up into their belts so they wouldn’t be tripping over it. You can read an example of that when it talks about 1 Kings 8:46, “then the hand of the Lord came upon Elijah; and he girded up his loins” – that means he took his robe and tucked it in his belt – “and ran ahead of ahab to the entrance of jezreel.” So they’d gird themselves. The belt, it held everything in place. What holds everything in place for us is the truth.

Jesus said, ‘the truth will set you free.’ Christ said, ‘i am the truth.’ The truth is what we’re sharing now. All these points that we’re giving you. It makes sense that it would be the first thing. the Lord loves truth. Among the things that God says he hates [is] dishonesty.

In Proverbs chapter 6:16, he hates a lying tongue. God wants the truth. The truth sets us free. 2 Corinthians 6:7, “by the word of truth and by the power of the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left.” – By the word of truth. So how do we fight the devil? He’s The Father of lies.

We fight him with truth. You need to be ready to give an answer for what you believe. There’s so much error in the world. When you share truth there’s something liberating about that. The next thing is the breastplate of righteousness.

And you can read in Isaiah 59:17, “for he put on righteousness as a breastplate.” You know what that means? Isaiah wrote this six hundred years before Jesus. Paul, when he talks about the armor of God, is not in prison dreaming things up, Paul is remembering the words of Isaiah. He’s quoting old testament principles that this armor of God is talking about the righteous characteristics of God. “He put on righteousness as a breastplate and a helmet of salvation.” Isn’t that what Paul just said? Helmet of salvation – so the breastplate, [bob] just demonstrated, it was – especially on the front – it was often just tied off like a girdle in the back because the Romans never provided armor for the back of the soldiers because they said, ‘you are never to turn your back to the enemy.’ It twas only for the front. And it protected the vital organs in the front.

And when it’s called the breastplate of righteousness, that’s really saying living a life of righteousness protects you. You accept the righteousness of Christ. Now you notice I mention, when bob demonstrated his armor, that under the breastplate part of it, they would actually sew a robe underneath there because, if you’re out in the sun, can you imagine being out there when it’s a hundred degrees for an hour wearing armor? I picked up my flute once after it sat out in the sun for a little while, and you burnt your fingers trying to play it. You stand out there without some lining – so this robe of righteousness kind of goes underneath the breastplate of righteousness and this represents the righteousness of Christ. But that righteousness of Christ that he gives us as a gift in justification is something we should be living in sanctification.

If you’re going to go into battle with the devil – if we’re going to do what Jesus told the disciples to do, we need to know that our lives are right through accepting the righteousness of Christ and then trying to walk in the light – a righteous life, amen? The devil’ll just laugh. Job 29:14, he says, “i put on righteousness, and it clothed me.” Now, was job a righteous man? We want to embrace the righteousness that God gives us as a gift. And, through his grace, he gives us power to live a new life. So it covered the vital organs that – the Bible says guard your heart. And it’s talking about that – guarding our heart – as well.

Then you’ve got next these Gospel shoes, “how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things.” The feet, in the Bible, represent your walk. It represents the direction of your life. Romans 6:4, “…even so we also should was in newness of life.” If you’re going to go into battle with the devil, you want to make sure – your own life? Are you living in the will of the Lord? Are you following him? 1Timoth 4:16, “…in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.” So, quite practically, if you’re going to be reaching out for others, one of the things that happening is you will be saving yourself in doing the same. And so, be involved in doing the will of God and in sharing the Gospel, in walking in the light as you walk in the light – you have those Gospel shoes. You want Jesus to wash your feet? Put on those Gospel shoes and then you can do battle with the enemy, amen? Don’t go anywhere, friends.

In just a moment we’ll return to today’s presentation. You’re not alone. We all live in a war zone where we sense this constant struggle between good and evil, right and wrong that’s raging inside us. It’s a battle we all face. We want to be stronger for God, but it often seems the flesh is weak and we frequently fall.

Well, i’ve got good news for you. It doesn’t need to be that way. Amazing Facts is ready, right now, to send you a very special and inspiring free resource. It’s called the armor of God. This book provides practical tips to help you live a victorious Christian life even in the face of strong temptations.

To get your free copy, call the phone number on your screen and ask for offer #173 or visit the web address on the screen. And, after you read this incredible resource, make sure and share it with a friend. Well, let’s get back now to today’s presentation and learn some more Amazing Facts from the Word of God. Shield of faith. In verse 16 here in Ephesians 6 it talks about satan attacking our faithfulness.

Jesus said if you’ve got faith, all things are possible. And so, constantly the devil is going to be attacking our faithfulness and our faith in him. We’ve got to hold up the shield of faith. The Bible says Christ is the author and perfector of our faith. 2 Peter 1:4, “by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

” I think it was - the spartan soldiers had this big shield that they would carry – a bronze shield – and it was just big enough where they could duck down and they could resist a hail of arrows. It would deflect all these arrows at the end. And you’ve probably heard the story of the 300 spartans who, onstensibly, heldd off the persian army, at a pass, until the home troops of greece could rally an army adequate to fight. And, you know, if you can believe the stories in history, these 300 soldiers withstood 15 times as many soldiers that were coming against them – I mean, actually killed 15 times – before they were finally all killed. But they stood up under a hail of arrows that the persians rained down on them, because they got behind the shield.

The devil is always going to be throwing flaming arrows at your faith – they’re doubts that he sends – and we meet those doubts with the promises of God. And you just don’t even want to get near those arrows of temptation. The shield creates an insulating area between you and the other weapon. When you see that the devil is throwing doubts and fears, don’t let it get near you. You keep the shield out.

Don’t even entertain the temptations. And that’s what that’s all a symbol of. Moving on, you’ve got the helmet of salvation – in verse 17 – your most vital organ, you know, you can go into battle and lose and arm, a leg, a foot, but you don’t want to lose your head. Because it’s all over then. And if you get clobbered on the head, it’s a knockout for the enemy.

You, above the neck, have seven entrances. Interesting number, you know? Most things are symmetrical in the Bible. You’ve got two eyes, two arms, two legs, two nostrils, two ears, but you’ve got one mouth. But you’ve got seven sacred entrances to your soul above your [neck]. You’ve got to be careful what comes into your eyes.

You’ve got to be careful what comes into your ears. I expect you’ve got to be careful what comes into your nose and your mouth, because these can all have an impact on who you are. You know, I often, when I think about this helmet of salvation, in my mind, I almost picture an astronaut who’s out in space. His helmet is very important. If he gets a break in his helmet, he dies.

It’s creating a whole atmosphere for him because he is from a different world and when he’s in space, he’s in an alien environment and, in order to live, he’s got to breathe this environment from his home world. We, as Christians, are living in an alien world. We’re to be breathing the atmosphere of heaven. What we’re thinking about, what we’re looking at, what we’re listening to, and even the things we smell and eat all affects us. And so, you need to control the avenues to the soul.

This is the helmet of salvation. Also, it’s very simple, knowing that you’re saved – you are a child of the King. Have that as a crown on your head so that it affects everything you do – putting on the helmet of salvation. Then you’ve got, probably one of the most important implements, which is the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. What did Jesus use to fight against the devil? Every time satan came he said, ‘it is written.

It is written. It is written.’ How did Christ cast out devils? You know, it often happened when he was in church. Christ was preaching – proclamation of the word. And the devil would start screaming, ‘have you come to torment me?’ How was he being tormented? By the word – the truth. They hate that.

Three times Jesus quoted the [Bible] – just three times – to satan. And he said, ‘get behind me, satan.’ And the devil had to leave, from the Word of God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. How do you resist the devil? Claim the promises of God in His Word. This is a double-edged sword.

It cuts both ways. Jesus said, ‘i didn’t come to send peace, but a sword. It doesn’t mean Jesus came to send trouble, it meant that the Word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword. Jesus is pictured, in Revelation, with a sword coming out of his mouth. Do you really think, in heaven, Jesus’ll have a sword coming out of his mouth? What does that represent? His Word.

Now, it’s not just any sword. What kind of sword? Double-edged. Double-edged sword. The Word of God – you’ve got the new and the old testament, you’ve got the two witnesses – Ten Commandments are written on two tables off stone. It cuts no matter what direction.

The Word of God is the only offensive weapon in the arsenal of the armor. Most of it is to protect you – the helmet, the shoes, the shield, the breastplate – but the sword is for offense. We go forth conquering for Christ with the Word of God. So when we’re dealing with fallen spirits, the most important thing is make sure that you are armed. Do you know the Bible? You don’t have to know everything, but you need to be equipped a little bit.

Jesus even told the disciples, ‘don’t go out preaching until you’ve received the Holy Spirit.’ And so, we want to have the Holy Spirit that will bring the words to our remembrance. So, the seventh implement, it’s really – Paul mentions it – it’s not something you can visualize, but it’s prayer. You know, soldiers, before they go into battle, are often challenged and encouraged by their commander. They’re in communion. They’re getting their orders with their commander.

And, it’s not just any prayer, notice what Paul says here, ‘all prayer.’ Ephesians 6:18, “praying always with all prayer and suppplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end” – soldiers gotta being on guard – “with all persesrvance and suppliccation for all the saints” – notice the word – all, all, all, all – four times. Psalm 86, “be merciful to me, o Lord, for I cry to you all day long.” 2 Thessalonians 1:11, “therefore we also pray always for you…” Luke 2136, “watch, therefore,” – Jesus said – “pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand beffore The Son of man.” So you’ve ‘all prayer’ – we’re to be armed with. Alright, this first section i’ve just been talking about the armor. I’m saying that if you’re going to be – Jesus said you’re going to encounter evil in the world. You’re going to encounter evil spirits.

Not very often do you have someone start shrieking and writhing and calling out with some strange otherworldly voice. Most of the time it doesn’t happen that way. You might go your whole life and never encounter anything like that. But it doesn’t mean that people aren’t harassed with unclean and evil spirits. The Bible talks about people who are tormented with evil.

Jesus is very clear. He gives us the Spirit so that we can do battle with the devil. How do we, in a practical sense, do battle? First of all, prepare your own heart. We sort of discussed this by putting on the armor. You don’t want to go into battle with the devil proud, because you are wearing the devil’s armor if you’re trusting yourself.

The devil is proud. You want to do in with a spirit of humility, considering yourself, lest you also be tempted. It’s what the Bible says – Galatians 6:1. Ephesians 4:2, “with all humility and gentleness, with patience…” we need to have a humble attitude. Prayer is the answer.

So you’ve got ‘prepare your heart’, ‘pray’, ‘cite Scripture’. We talked about what Jesus did with the devil, but if you’re dealing with a person – when it says ‘citing Scripture’, that doesn’t mean just that, you know, you’re supposed to ramble of a bunch of verses. But the application of the Scripture – you notice, when Jesus quoted Scripture to the devil, he quoted Scripture that applied to the temptation. So the proper application of Scripture is something the devil hates, because the devil can quote Scripture too, can’t he? But he twists it to people’s destruction. In modern terms, when you share the Word of God with people, devils are evicted.

As we are involved in giving Bible studies – you might not hear a person shout and scream or roll around, but of you are calmly in a person’s house and you’re opening the word, you will notice, sometimes, a glint in a person’s eye. They’ll say, ‘wow, i’ve never understood this.’ They change – all of a sudden the front yard’s clean. All kinds of things begin to happen. You may not know it, but you cast out an evil spirit that had their life through studying with them. So when I say, ‘quoting the word’, I don’t mean you just start showing Scriptures over a person and they’re going to scream and an evil spirit comes out.

Most of time the unclean, evil spirits come out of people as we share the Gospel – as we study the word. So, as we go forth sharing with Christ, we’re taking the word with us. This is the sword of the Spirit – the Word of God. Amen? It says, ‘believe’. As you’ve been preparing your own heart and citing Scripture and praying – and perhaps praying and fasting – believe that God is going to work in that person’s life.

Jesus said, in Mark 9, “if you can believe, all things are possible…” martin luther said, ‘our songs and our Psalms sorely vex and grieve the devil, whereas our passions and our impatiences, our complainings and our cryings, our saying, ‘alas’ and ‘woe is me’ please him well. He laughs in his fist. He takes delight in tormenting us, especially when we confess, praise, preach, and laud Christ.’ If we’re saying we’re Christians and we complain all the time, we don’t believe our own promises to preach the Gospel, it makes the devil happy. We’ve got to believe that God is going to do what we’re asking him to do. Invoking Jesus’ name: all that we do is in the name of the Lord.

Acts 16:18, it says that “Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to” – this girl who was possessed with an evil spirit – “’i command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.’ And he came out that very hour.” There was a girl who was demon possessed. And, again, it says ‘these signs’ – Christ said – Mark 16:17, “these signs” may? No. “These signs will follow those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons;” – we don’t need to be afraid. Do we know how the story ends? Amen. The devil – the devils tremble.

They are kept in everlasting chains reserved unto the judgment of the great day. They know their days are numbered. Christ will declare to those that are lost, ‘away, depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’ Satan knows that they are going to be consumed in the fires that destroy the world and purify the earth at the same time. And so, we don’t have to be afraid. Want to know God's plan for our world and solutions for your life's challenges? Beautifully redesigned, Amazing Facts 27 Bible study guides provide encouraging Bible-based answers to questions on healthier relationships.

When Jesus will return and much more. Prefer to watch while you read? Our brand-new prophecy encounters dvd series makes the perfect companion set. Order your study guides and dvds today by visiting afbookstore.com or by calling 800-538-7275. (Sound of rain) (sirens) (Pastor Doug) the heavens were parted for him. The Holy Spirit came down.

This is what God wants you to experience. You come to Christ, your sins are washed away. You become a new creature. It’s a land of beginning again and how many of you wish you could get a new start? (Narrator) for I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. Inasmuch as you do it to one of the least of these, my brethren, you did it to me.

For life-changing Christian resources visit afbookstore.com or call 1-800-538-7275. Don’t forget to request today’s free offer. It’s sure to be a blessing. And thank you for your continued support as we take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. We hope you’ll join us next week as we delve deep into the Word of God to explore more Amazing Facts.

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