This post has become very popular through people "googling" it. Most likely you googled this post and are anxious to get an explanation of The Whole Armor of God. (Thank you for selecting this site!) I realize you are most likely in a rush to answer some burning question...and that is okay...and you will get a non-contradictory answer. However, please mark this post and come back to it when you have more time to look at the associated links. This post is a part of a Series. If you choose to look at the associated links, you will end up with an understanding of The Whole Armor of God that exceeds what you will hear from "the experts". If you are in a rush, skip down to "THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD" heading.
Also, people who believe the Whole Armor of God is Offensive are deceived. There were three very specific types of Spiritual Warfare mentioned in the Bible and all three were different and had a different purpose. The Enemy has a method of Spiritual Warfare and it is nothing like our method of Spiritual Warfare. Our response to the enemy's method of Spiritual Warfare is Defensive Spiritual Warfare which is the Whole Armor of God. The back is not covered in the Whole Armor of God because the enemy does NOT attack from behind. The enemy's method is based on us CHOOSING to accept the enemy's method of taking us on a journey rather than STANDING. People who do not understand this are leading you astray. Here is an excerpt from the previous post explaining the meaning of verse 11:
"11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil."
Well, this was warfare because he was describing "the WHOLE armor of God"! Armor is used for warfare and Paul would eventually describe the WHOLE armor of God. However, notice the WHY behind putting on this warfare armor: to be able to stand against the WILES of the devil. Stand implied that we are DEFENDING, NOT attacking! The purpose of EVERYTHING we will look at today ought to result in STANDING...defending. What were WILES?
WILES was Strong's #3180 methodeia - "from a comp. of 3326 and 3593 [comp. "method"]; travelling over, i.e. travesty (trickery):-wile, lie in wait."
As for the two words making up this compound word:
-meta was Strong's #3326 "a prim. prep. ...denoting accompaniment"
-hodeuo was Strong's #3593 "to travel:-journey".
So, WILES were trickery by travesty...by deception...by accompanying on a journey! This was NOT STANDING...there would be movement!
Paul was saying to put on the whole armor of God so that you can be able to stand against the devil's trickery by deception...and the devil does this by convincing you to cease from STANDING and go on a journey! AGAIN, EVERYTHING about Spiritual Warfare relates to dealing with deception, NOT Physical aspects. In fact, Paul was going to stress THAT point because he was not done giving us the WHY.
Again, please read the previous post if you aren't convinced about this being DEFENSIVE Spiritual Warfare.
Finally, we have an Offensive Spiritual Warfare method that is ONLY initiated through us by the Holy Spirit. Please take the time to review the three previous links that give an overview to each if you are serious about understanding what THE BIBLE said about Spiritual Warfare.
This month, we are covering a seemingly simple concept that has powerful, revelatory, and wide ranging applications: Right-Right vs Right-Wrong...Right WHAT-Right HOW/WHY vs. Right WHAT-Wrong (or NO) HOW/WHY.
In the previous post, we summarized the intent of the other critical passage from Paul on Spiritual Warfare (Ephesians 6):
Paul spoke to the Ephesians about Spiritual Warfare from a defensive perspective. Paul talked about putting on the WHOLE armor of God so that we can stand against the WILES of the devil. This is DEFENSIVE...don't be deceived.
Again, everything that Paul described related to Spiritual Warfare involves being able to handle deception (trickery and travesty) from the devil.
Also, in this Series, there are posts that cover:
What SPECIFICALLY is said during Spiritual Warfare
(That last post is the first in a series of seven posts examining all the Spiritual Warfare examples from the Bible where what people spoke during Spiritual Warfare is documented.)
Today, we will cover the specific components of the WHOLE armor of God.
THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD
"14 Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 withal taking up the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the evil one."
So far, the WHOLE armor of God involves:
-Truth (for the loins)
-Righteousness (for the heart)
-Gospel of peace (for the feet)
-Faith (shield to quench ALL fiery darts)
I have written a lot about each of these. Here is ONLY a summary of each area with corresponding links:
Truth is facts that create. Truth has a Right WHAT with a Right HOW/WHY.
Deception has a Right WHAT, however, since it doesn't have a Right HOW/WHY, it doesn't create.
(Notice, the whole armor of God does NOT have a covering for the back. That is because this armor is defensive and is focused on withstanding an attack...not an ambush. The wiles of the devil come directly at us as a Right WHAT...with a Wrong HOW/WHY. I can't stress this enough, DECEPTION is a Right WHAT with a Wrong (OR NO) HOW/WHY. Check out the link provided above. Also, James wrote: resist the devil and he will flee. Notice, this means that we KNOW the devil is attacking. If the devil were able to attack without us knowing...from behind...then we wouldn't know to resist...and the Word of God would be WRONG. The Word of God is NOT WRONG.)
Today, religious leaders speak of truth, but they either don't have a definition or they have a definition that doesn't create. For instance, one of the more popular definitions of truth is "reality"...as in "truth is reality".
However, there are things that are real that are NOT truth...for instance, the devil is real, but in him there is no truth. Stating that "truth is reality" is actually a form of deception...it is the first step in allowing people to see the devil as truth.
The KEY aspect to TRUTH is that it CREATES. Everything else is either a fact (reality that doesn't create), lie (something that is NOT reality/fact), or deception (a fact that destroys).
Notice what part of the body is protected by TRUTH...the loins...the source of creation. If our loins are girded by truth, then our ability to create will be profitable. If our loins are not guided by truth, our loins won't create, or worse, they will be destructive.
Righteousness from us is works and leads to Reward.
Righteousness from God through us is grace and leads to Salvation.
Grace is "the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life".
The heart is different than the mind and brain.
The heart cannot lie.
Notice what the breastplate of Righteousness covers: the heart.
GOSPEL OF PEACE
We saw that The Gospel is actually in three parts:
1. Christ Died
2. Christ was Buried
3. Christ was Resurrected
We also saw in the same post The Gospel (based on a teaching done by Joel Swokowski) how these three aspects follow: Salvation (Death), Reward (Burial), and Eternal Life (Resurrection).
We also found out that Peace is active...it is a harmonizing between individuals. Peace is the effect!
Preparation in this passage referred to being prepared...
So, we ought to be prepared to share the Gospel (cause) well enough the effects are Peace between individuals.
We also saw how a person was supposed to keep themselves so clean that all they needed to do was wash the dust from their feet. (John 13 "10 Jesus saith to him, He that is bathed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.)
In the post titled, "Dust, we saw how dust represented the world. We ought to come in contact with the world in order to witness to them...to preach The Gospel. However, we are not supposed to let the world get all over us...we shouldn't be covered in dust...just our feet.
So, our feet (the point of contact with the world) ought to be covered with The Gospel of Peace. However, notice this said "the preparation"...this meant we ought to be prepared to share The Gospel. This is NOT an emotional thing. Preparation meant we understand the HOW/WHY...not just state the WHAT. How much preparation does it take to learn the Right WHAT? (Even the enemy knows the Right WHAT.)
Faith is the belief in something that can't be seen and/or belief in something that hasn't happened yet.
Faith is built on understanding and experience.
In order to grow in faith, a person must get more understanding and/or experience with the object of their faith.
Faith is proven in actions.
Notice, faith is a shield that protects us from ALL the fiery darts of the enemy. We know the weapons of the enemy is based on deception and made up of THOUGHTS...which are based on WORDS and SENTENCES. Faith is what protects us from the deceptive THOUGHTS, WORDS, and SENTENCES from the enemy.
Notice, this meant that faith is more than emotion...it requires THINKING.
Now, back to the rest of the armor of God:
"17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 with all prayer and supplication praying at all seasons in the Spirit, and watching thereunto in all perseverance and supplication for all the saints,
19 And on my behalf, that utterance may be given unto me in opening my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel,
20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak."
HELMET OF SALVATION
Notice that Salvation was associated with the mind/brain. We spent an entire month doing a Series on Salvation. We saw that Salvation is based on grace and faith...two causes that can be intentionally grown in and based on UNDERSTANDING and experience.
Also, from the I Corinthian Series: "For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ." (I Corinthians 2:16)
SWORD OF THE SPIRIT
If there was any doubt as to HOW Offensive Spiritual Warfare occurs, this should make it obvious. The ONLY Offensive weapon in Spiritual Warfare is the Sword of the Spirit. Paul stated the Sword of the Spirit...the ONLY Offensive weapon in Spiritual Warfare...is the Word of God.
WORDS are the KEY to Spiritual Warfare!
(I realize I'm taking this slow this week, but I want to make sure everyone gets their thinking on track before we get into the details of Spiritual Warfare. People who don't realize this ALL depends on WORDS end up being confused and disappointed when we get to the scriptures and practical applications of Spiritual Warfare. People think we are going to have lightning shooting out of our fingers, when it is actually more like truth coming out of our mouths. The following posts will PROVE that the ONLY time Offensive Spiritual Warfare was successful in the Bible was when it was initiated by the Holy Spirit AND the correct WORDS and SENTENCES were spoken. If you are interested in Offensive Spiritual Warfare, please continue reading the Series by clicking "Next Post" at the end of this blog entry.)
In fact, look at how Paul closed this section with these words: prayer, supplication, utterance, mouth, speak...EVERYTHING pointed to Paul using WORDS and SENTENCES.
In fact, prayer and supplication are ALSO a part of the armor of God.
EVERYTHING that Paul mentioned that is in the WHOLE armor of God is based on WORDS and SENTENCES!
In order to understand the SPECIFIC application of Spiritual Warfare and how The Whole Armor of God is ACTUALLY supposed to work, we need to look at the passages in the Bible that documented the SPECIFIC WORDS used during Spiritual Warfare.
Remember, WORDS are the SPECIFIC application of Spiritual Warfare according to Paul in 2 Corinthians 10.
Tomorrow, we will look at how the offensive perspective of Spiritual Warfare...
Author's Aside: This post is very popular with people who google "Whole Armor of God". This post is only one part of the two month Series on Spiritual Warfare.
On July 31, 2009, this Series was completed. Here is the link for the Conclusion to this Series: Spiritual Warfare Conclusions.
Here is the summary of the conclusion:
There are two aspects to Spiritual Warfare: Defensive and Offensive.
Defensive Spiritual Warfare involves removing strongholds, taking all our thoughts into captivity, aligning our doctrine with God's Doctrine, guarding our hearts, and not focusing on the cares of this world. The SPECIFIC HOW of Defensive Spiritual Warfare was described by Paul in Ephesians 6 as "The Whole Armor of God"...but this is ONLY Defensive Spiritual Warfare.
Defensive Spiritual Warfare is a work we ought to constantly do so that we are ready for when the Holy Spirit initiates Offensive Spiritual Warfare. Paul stated this in II Corinthians 10. So, put on the Whole Armor of God so that you are ready to avenge all disobedience when the Holy Spirit leads you!
Offensive Spiritual Warfare involves casting out unclean spirits and healing people. In every successful instance, we have saw the participant in Offensive Spiritual Warfare makes a Statement that is a statement of the will for someone or something that can't state a will OR for someone who has faith and is in agreement.
Offensive Spiritual Warfare is made up of WORDS and SENTENCES. These WORDS and SENTENCES are a Statement of a will. This Statement of a will depends on the faith (understanding and experience) of the individual. Notice, in "The Whole Armor of God" there is ONE Offensive Weapon: The Sword. What did the Sword stand for? The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God! Offensive Spiritual Warfare is initiated by the Holy Spirit and COMPLETELY involves WORDS! How much more blatant does this have to be?
Why don't we see more signs and wonders? Ultimately, we aren't successful in Defensive Spiritual Warfare. While we have seen that our doctrine tends to be based on man-made tradition instead of God's Doctrine, there is no reason why a person needs to have all of God's Doctrine before they participate in Offensive Spiritual Warfare. However, having strongholds can prevent the Holy Spirit from operating at full capacity because there is always a part of you that the enemy can access. We need to remove strongholds, especially the biggest ones.