This Means War! – XVIII

Ephesians 6:17 – The Helmet of Salvation

(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

…the helmet of salvation…” (verse 17) is the last piece of defensive armor described in Ephesians 6. There are two more pieces that we must carry into battle against our spiritual enemy and his demon troops, but they are offensive weapons – “…the sword of the Spirit” (verse 17) and prayer (verse 18).

And take the helmet of salvation….” A soldier’s helmet protects the head, that’s obvious. But as it applies to the Christian in battle with the devil and his forces…

  • …the helmet protects the head!
  • …the head houses the brain!
  • …the brain contains the mind!

Thus the protection afforded by…the helmet of salvation…is protection of the mind!

It starts with the knowledge of our salvation!

We are saved…

✞  ...by Jesus Christ alone! 

...by His grace alone!

...by faith alone!

✞ ...by His work alone!
  • This is extremely important! John wrote in his first epistle, I John 5:11 through 13:
And this is the testimony; that God has 
given us eternal life, and this life is
in His Son. He who has the Son has life;
he who does not have the Son of God does
not have life. These things I have writ-
ten to you who believe in the name of
the on of God, that you may know that
you have eternal life....

God designed Christianity to be an I know sobelief, not an I hope soreligion! This is why John wrote (verse 13 above), “…that you may know that you have eternal life….

  • If you have accepted Jesus as your Savior and Lord of your life, you have eternal life as a present possession!
  • You must know this if you are going to be free to accomplish what God calls you to do!
You see, if you don’t know you have 
salvation, but only hope that you do,
then you can never be sure if you
will be accepted by the Lord!

➔ “Am I really good enough?

➔ “What more do I have to do to
be acceptable to God?

Thus your belief degenerates into a
religion of works!

➔ The problem with a religion of
works is that you never know
if you have accomplished enough
to please God!

➔ So you either keep trying more
and more or you simply give up.
  • This useless struggle derails ahope soChristian away from the spiritual battle in which we are to engage and experience victory!

In John chapter 6, the Lord miraculously fed 5,000 men (see verse 6) with “…five barley loaves and two small fish….” (John 6:9). The total number of people fed, considering there were women and children there also, was probably thousands more!

  • …Jesus perceived that they [those who were miraculously fed] were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king….” (John 6:15). Why did they want to make Him king? Free food!
Who often gets the most votes in an 
election? The candidate who promises
the voters the most benefits!

You can be our king! Just continue
to give us free food!
  • So the Lord told them, “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” (John 6:27).
I think they were focusing on just 
one word Jesus said, “...labor...”!
For they asked Him in verse 28,
What shall we do, that we may work
the works of God?” (A religion of
works!).

Jesus’ answer to this question is the KEY to eternal life!

This is the work of God, that you 
believe in Him whom He sent....Most
assuredly, I say to you, he who be-
lieves in Me has everlasting life.
(John 6:29; 47). It is by faith,
believing...

...that God invaded humanity
in the person of Jesus Christ!
(see Isaiah 9:6, 7; Luke 1:30-
33).

...that Jesus lived the perfect
life that none of us could ever
live! (see Hebrews 4:15; I Peter
2:22).

...that on the cross He offered
that perfect life as a sacrifice
for our sins! (see II Corinthians
5:21; I Peter 2:24).

...that He rose again from the
dead, defeating death, sin, hell,
and the devil! (see Romans 6:9;
I Corinthians 15:57).

...that He lives forever to receive
all who come to Him in faith! (see
Hebrews 7:25; Revelation 1:18).
  • Becoming a true follower of Jesus Christ begins with a single work! And that workwe are called to perform is to put our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ! If you know you are saved, you are protecting your head/brain/mind with …the helmet of salvation…!

Jesus went on to tell those who wanted to make Him king on their own terms:

Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you 
eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink
His blood, you have no life in you. Who-
ever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has
eternal life, and I will raise him up at
the last day.” (John 6:53, 54).
  • Yes, we are to consume Him, taking Him fully into our hearts and lives. And we are to celebrate this consumption every time we partake of the Lord’s table. This is what Paul wrote in I Corinthians 11:23 through 26 concerning that eucharistic institution:
For I have received from the Lord that 
which I also delivered to you: that the
Lord Jesus on the same night in which
He was betrayed took bread; and when He
had given thanks, He broke it and said,
“Take, eat; this is My body which is
broken for you; do this in remembrance
of Me.” In the same manner He also took
the cup after supper, saying, “This cup
is the new covenant in My blood. This
do, as often as you drink it, in remem-
brance of Me.” For as often as you eat
this bread and drink this cup, you pro-
claim the Lord’s death till He comes.
  • But many of His hearers in John chapter 6 were taking what He said too literally! How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?” (verse 52).
Some early opponents of Christianity 
also took the instructions concern-
ing the Lord’s table literally. They
claimed that the followers of that
heretic Nazarene practiced cannibalism,
eating His flesh and drinking His blood
– killing innocent babies to obtain
that flesh and blood!


These literal reactions to Jesus’ words
show the truth of what Paul wrote in
I Corinthians 2:14, “But the natural
man does not receive the things of the
Spirit of God, for they are foolishness
to him; nor can he know them, because
they are spiritually discerned.

But there is more to “…the helmet of salvation…” than just the protection of the knowledge that you are saved. And in the next Gem, we will explore this subject further.

This Means War! – XVII

Ephesians 6:16 – The Shield of Faith

(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

The shield of faith is the fourth piece of armor the Christian must put on if he or she is to battle the spiritual enemies – Satan and his demons: Above all, taking the shield of faith, with which you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.

What is faith? According to Hebrews 11:1 and 6,

Now faith is the substance of things hoped 
for, the evidence of things not seen....
But without faith it is impossible to
please Him [God], for he that comes to Him
must believe that He exists, and that He
is a rewarder of those who diligently seek
Him.

You can’t physically see God, and you can’t hold His promises in your hand like an iPhone or car keys, but the Lord and His promises, are very real!

  • But you can hold in your hand a Bible which contains God’s promises to His children!
  • And faith grasps His many promises as solid facts, promises that are already accomplished, though they might not as yet be received!

True faith, as described in the Hebrews scripture above, is believing that the God of the Bible exists and He faithfully cares for every one of His children.

  • It is the trust a child has in his or her good earthly father, a daddy who lovingly watches over his son or daughter and will provide for their every need.
  • It is like that little boy or girl who will boast, “My daddy can do anything!……because he or she really believes it!

Speaking of daddy, the word “Abba” appears three times in Scripture. This Aramaic word can be translated as “Daddy.

  • A little child of Jesus’ day might see his or her father coming home from the shop or field. That little one might run out to greet him with arms raised, excitedly yelling, “Abba! Abba!” (“Daddy! Daddy!”).
  • The God of all creation invites His son or daughter to trustingly climb up in His lap, cuddle in His arms, hug Him around the neck, give Him a kiss on the cheek, and tell Him,I love you, Daddy!Such intimacy…
✞  ...is not blasphemous! It is dear to 
the heart of God!

...illustrates the trusting love and
faith the Father desires from His
children!
  • Jesus, in Mark 14:36, was praying to His Father in heaven the night before He was crucified: “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.
The risen Savior told Mary Magdalene 
on the morning of His resurrection,
...go to My brothers and tell them,
‘I am ascending to My Father and your
Father, to My God and your God.’
(John 20:17 – International Standard
Version).

We have been adopted into God’s fam-
ily as His sons and daughters!


➔ As the heavenly Father was
Jesus’ Father...

...He also is our heavenly
Father!
  • The Apostle Paul twice refers to God the Father as Abba:
Romans 8:15 (English Standard Version) 
– “...you did not receive the spirit
of slavery to fall back into fear, but
you have received the Spirit of adop-
tion as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba!
Father!’

Galatians 4:6 – “...because you are
sons [and daughters], God has sent
forth the Spirit of His Son into your
hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’

Let’s get back to the shield of faith: This shield is not the smaller shield hand-carried into combat by Roman soldiers and used to ward off the close-quarter blows of the enemy combatant. It is the large shield behind which a soldier could hunker down, protected from the barrage of the enemies’ arrows as they came flying in.

  • The arrows are called “fiery darts” in our featured Scripture because such darts are designed not only to deliver a serious puncture wound but also to burn a soldier’s body! The photo above is of one type of a Roman fire arrow. The metal ‘cage’ below the tip would be loaded with combustible material dipped in oil or pitch. Lit afire and launched at the enemy, it could cause serious injury and death from wounds and burns. These types of arrows were of limited range and were not always practical.
  • The large shield behind which a soldier could hide was coated with a substance formulated to douse the flame of the fiery dart. The arrow would bury its tip in the shield where the flame was either extinguished or burned itself out.

Such arrows will come from our spiritual enemy! For Satan is always trying to wound God’s children, making them ineffective for the Lord’s purpose! Remember what Jesus said in John 10:10 when He warned His followers of the devil’s chief motivation against us: “The thief comes only to steal, to kill, and to destroy.” But the shield of faith will protect us from the fiery darts hurled by the enemy of our souls!

This is what our faith is designed to do – extinguish the fiery darts of the enemy!

  • For instance, the devil would have us believe that we amount to nothing before God, and that we can’t accomplish anything worthwhile for Him in our lives!
  • Well, Satan has a grain of truth in that accusation! Before God, if a person is not safe within the embrace of Jesus Christ…
✞  ...we cannot fulfill God’s plan and 
purpose that He has planned for us
as His son or daughter! (see Jeremiah
29:11).

✞ ...we will forgo riches in heaven
that we would have laid up by living
for Him! (see Matthew 6:19, 20).

...we will lose our eternal
soul! (see Mark 8:34-37).

But in His Son, you and I are very precious to the heavenly Father! How precious are we to God?

  • In Hebrews 12:2 we are told, “[keep] looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has set down at the right hand of the throne of God.What could have given Him such joy that He would choose to endure the cross? Consider what Jesus would endure when He was crucified:
✞  Physical suffering – crucifixion 
was the most painful and humili-

ating death ever devised by man!

Spiritual suffering – “...He...who
knew no sin was made sin for us...
(II Corinthians 5:21). Jesus became
the condemned sinner before God,
and the Father poured out His wrath
upon the Son!

➔ During the last three hours on
the cross, when “...there was
darkness over all the earth...
(Luke 23:44), the Son was separ-
ated from the Father for the
first time! He who had said,
The One who sent Me is with Me.
I always do what pleases Him,
and He will never leave Me ...
(John 8:29 (Contemporary English
Version); now cried out, “My God,
My God, why have You forsaken
Me?” (Matthew 27:46).

➔ I believe that somehow compacted
in those three dark hours, the
Savior experienced hell – the
eternal suffering every human
being deserves for sinning
against the holy God!
  • Once, as I was reading Acts 12:5 through 19, it dawned on me how valuable I am to God! The incident recorded in this passage is when Herod threw Peter into prison intending to kill him the next day. We are told in Acts 12:1 through 3:
Now about this time, Herod the king 
stretched out his hand to harass some
from the church. Then he killed James
the brother of John with the sword.
And because he saw that it pleased the
Jews, he proceeded further to seize
Peter also.

To make sure Peter did not escape,
Herod assigned 16 soldiers to guard
him!
(see verse 4).

But that night before the scheduled
execution, an angel invaded the sit-
uation and set the apostle free
! (see
verses 7 and 8).

And here is what struck me, which is
recorded in verse 19: “...when Herod
had searched for
[Peter]..., and [had]
not found him, he examined the guards,
and commanded that they should be put
to death.
God traded one believer for
16 unbelievers! I am that precious to
my Lord.......and so are you!

Faith lays hold of all this and much more! Faith clings to presence of God and to His promises, defeating the lies (the fiery darts) of the enemy!

Carry your protective shield!
Your faith is that shield!

This Means War! – XVI

Ephesians 6:15 – Having Shod Your Feet with the…Gospel of Peace

(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

I think this is a good representation of the Roman soldier’s battle footwear. The hob-nailed sole was designed to keep the soldier standing firm as he fought the enemy even if the footing was slippery.

The Apostle Paul authored four epistles (Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon) which are designated “Prison Epistles” because he was under house arrest in Rome, guarded by a Roman soldier (see Acts 28:16). This was his first Roman imprisonment, and when he was released he continued his missionary work. But being so detained in house arrest, he only had to look up from his writing to see the assigned guard in full military garb! He used the soldier’s uniform to illustrate the spiritual armor the Lord provides for us as we are to engage Satan and his demons in Spiritual warfare!

Paul described our spiritual footwear in Ephesians 6:15 as, “…having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace.

Let’s break this command into shorter words or phrases and see what we can learn.

…having shod your feet….

  • This word “…having…suggests we have already donned our shoes before we go out to battle! Looking over the commands the apostle lays out for us in Ephesians 6:14 through 19, this word “…having…” applies to all the pieces of armor Paul is describing.
  • …shod your feet….
Growing up on a dairy farm in the 
mountains of Northwestern Connecticut,
my two brothers and I often went bare-
foot in summertime. The bottoms of our
feet would become hardened and tough.
We could walk over stones and other
rough ground without much discomfort.
Now, after wearing shoes for many years,
I have become a tenderfoot!

We don’t know where God might send us.
But we can know this: If God sends us
out to our next-door-neighbor or to a
jungle tribe halfway around the world,
the devil will be doing all he can to
make us uncomfortable to go!

  • “…your feet….”
God has given us feet to take us 
where we are directed to go. But it
is not always where we want to go!
It is where Jesus, by His Holy Spirit,
directs us!

✞ A soldier must be trained to go and
do what his or her military superior
orders!

➔ One of the chief goals in basic
military training is to break
down the self-will of the indi-
vidual. This is so the soldier-
in-training can be built up to
follow commands and be useful
to the larger scheme of things,
the overall mission of the
fighting force!

Individualism can be a huge
detriment when battling with
the enemy!

…with the preparation of the gospel….

  • Preparation
✞  Jesus is our Commander in Chief! He 
gives the orders where we should go
and what we should do! How do we pre-
pare to obey? He showed us how by His
prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane
when He was facing crucifixion on
the cross!

The physical suffering was
going to be horrendous!

➔ The spiritual suffering was
even greater! Paul tells us
in II Corinthians 5:21, “...
He...who knew no sin...[was
made] to be sin for us....
Jesus became the sinner be-
fore God! And the Father
poured out His wrath upon the
Son who paid the eternal price
for every single sin we ever
committed!

Yet He prayed, “Father, if it is Your
will, remove this cup from Me; never-
theless not My will, but Yours, be
done.This is the prayer we must be
prepared to pray before any decision
is made!
  • …the gospel…We are to prepare our feet to carry the good news (“good news” – that is what the word gospel means!) Here is how Peter explained being prepared to share the gospel: But dedicate your lives to Christ as Lord. Always be ready to defend your confidence in God when anyone asks you to explain it. However, make your defense with gentleness and respect.” (I Peter 3:15 – Good News Bible). How should we explain it? Consider these following verses to acquire a basic understanding of the gospel:
Jesus Christ came into the world to 
save sinners...” (I Timothy 1:15).

...all have sinned and fall short of
the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23).

Christ himself carried our sins in
His body to the cross, so that we
might die to sin and live for right-
eousness. It is by His wounds that
you have been healed.” (I Peter 2:24
- Good News Bible).

If we confess our sins, He is faith-
ful and just to forgive us our sins,
and to cleanse us from all unrighteous-
ness...and the blood of Jesus Christ...
[God’s] Son cleanses us from all sin.
(I John 1:9, 7).

He who hears My Word and believes in
...Me has everlasting life and shall
not come into condemnation, but has
passed from death to life.” (John 5:24).
  • There are many plans concerning “…the preparation [the presentation] of the gospel….” One of the better ones is called “The Roman Road.” Here are the verses from the book of Romans in the order to be presented:
Romans 3:10 – “As it is written: ‘There 
is none righteous, no, not one....

Romans 3:23 – “For all have sinned and
fall short of the glory of God.

Romans 5:12 – “...through one man sin
entered the world, and death through
sin, and thus death spread to all men,
because all sinned....

Romans 5:8 – “But God demonstrated His
own love toward us, in that while we
were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 6:23 – “...the wages of sin is
death, but the gift of God is eternal
life in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Romans 10:9-13:

...if you confess with your mouth
the Lord Jesus and believe in your
heart that God raised Him from the
dead, you will be saved. For with
the heart one believes to righteous-
ness, and with the mouth confession
is made to salvation. For the Scrip-
ture says, “Whoever believes on Him
will not be put to shame.” For there
is no distinction between Jew and
Greek [or any other nationality],
for the same Lord over all is rich
to all who call upon Him. For “who-
ever calls upon the name of the LORD
shall be saved.”
  • Be ready to go where your Commander in Chief sends you! Be prepared to share the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ with others so they can escape the imprisonment of Satan!

…the gospel of peace.

  • The gospel brings peace between God and man! As it says in Ephesians 2:13 and 14, “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off are made near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace….
  • The gospel brings peace within! Galatians 5:22 and 23 (English Standard Version) tells us, “…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithful-ness, gentleness, self-control….
  • The gospel generates peace between people as we interact with one another. We are told in II Corinthians 13:11, “Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.” (see also Proverbs 16:7).

Put on your battle shoes!
…the preparation of the gospel of peace…!

This Means War! – XV

Ephesians 6:14

The Breastplate of Righteousness

(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

The second piece of spiritual armor is described in the second half of Ephesians 6: “…put on the breastplate of righteousness….” There are three kinds of righteousness described in the Bible: self righteousness, positional righteousness, and practical righteousness!

Self righteousness – The best Biblical picture of self righteousness is found in this parable of Jesus in Luke 18:10-14:

Two men went up to the temple to pray, one 
a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with
himself, “God, I thank You that I am not
like other men — extortioners, unjust,
adulterers, or even as this tax collector.
I fast twice a week; I give a tithe of all
I possess.” And the tax collector, stand-
ing afar off, would not so much as raise
his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast,
saying, “God be merciful to me a sinner.”
I tell you, one man went down to his
house justified rather than the other;
for everyone who exalts himself will be
abased, and he who humbles himself will
be exalted.
  • Notice several things about this self righteous Pharisee:
He ...prayed thus with himself....” I 
believe Jesus said it this way because
the Pharisee was the only one who was
really ‘hearing’ his prayer!
Oh, God
knew what he was saying! But, His
...
eyes...
[were not] open, and [His] ears
[were not] attentive to the [Pharisee’s]
prayer made in this place.” (adapted
from
II Chronicles 7:15).

✔ He was thankful that he didn’t do the
sinful things other men did......as if
he, himself, was not a sinner!

He pictured himself quite favorably
compared with that sinful tax collector!
  • Self righteousness…
✡  ...was how too many of the Jewish 
religious leaders thought of them-
selves.

✞ ...is how too many people think of
themselves today!

Imputed righteousness – that which is given to us by One outside of ourselves!

  • Paul explains what imputed righteousness means in II Corinthians 5:21 – “For He [the Father] made Him [the Son] who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” This describes a great exchange!
  Jesus, on the cross, took our sins 
upon Himself totally and completely!

In return, He gave us His own right-
eousness!
  • Both sin and righteousness are pictured as garments in Zechariah 3:1, 3-5: (see also Isaiah 61:10; 64:6).
...Joshua the high priest...was...stand-
ing before...the LORD...clothed with
filthy garments....Then...the LORD...
spoke...” Take away the filthy garments
from him....See, I have removed your
iniquity from you, and I will clothe you
with rich robes....Let them put a clean
turban on his head....

By the Lord’s...

➔ ...death on the cross, He dis-
robed our filthy rags of sin!

➔ ...resurrection, He clothed us
with His own righteousness!

We, who have accepted Jesus as Savior,
now stand before God (positionally in
Christ)...

...not as sinners but...

...as perfect as Jesus Himself!

✡ Look again at the Scripture above. Even
the Jewish high priest needed a
change of spiritual clothes!
  • David, in Psalm 32:1 and 2, explained it this way: “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity….
King David had committed adultery and 
murder (see II Samuel chapter 11). But
he found forgiveness and restoration
that he describes in Psalm 51:1, 9, 10:
     Have mercy upon me, O God, according 
to Your lovingkindness; according to
the multitude of Your tender mercies,
blot out my transgressions....Hide
Your face from my sins, and blot out
all my iniquities. Create in me a
clean heart, O God, and renew a stead-
fast spirit within me.

Paul quoted Psalm 32:1 and 2 verbatim in
Romans 4: 7 and 8, and he further dealt
with the subject in Romans 8:1, “There is
therefore now no condemnation to those
who are in Christ Jesus....


Putting together Psalm 32:1 and 2, and
Romans 8:1, we get a good picture of
imputed righteousness:

Blessed is he whose transgression
is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man to whom the LORD
does not impute iniquity....There
is therefore now no condemnation to
those who are in Christ Jesus....

Practical righteousness – This type of righteousness is what in this life we are to become as believers!

  • We are to become more and more like Jesus in the out-working of our Christian faith!
Paul had this in mind as he wrote Colossians 1:9 and 10:

...that you may be filled with the
knowledge of His will in all wisdom
and spiritual understanding; that
you may have a walk worthy of the
Lord fully pleasing Him, being fruit-
ful in every good work, and increas-
ing in the knowledge of God....

In II Corinthians 3:18 the apostle writes:

But we all, with unveiled face, be-
holding as in a mirror the glory of
the Lord, are being transformed into
the same image from glory to glory,
just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

➔ “...glory to glory...” is ex-
pressing a day by day, or moment
by moment
change!

It is an ongoing process, a life-
long transformation for the

Christian! (see Hebrews 12:1-3).

Paul desires for his converts (and for
us) what he wrote in Ephesians 4:15,
...speaking the truth in love, may
[you] grow up in all things into...
Christ....
  • This practical righteousness is the work of the Holy Spirit within us, as we cooperate with Him.
  • John wrote in I John 3:2 concerning the culmination of that process of becoming like Jesus:
Beloved, now are we the children of God; 
and it has not yet been revealed what we
shall be, but we know that, when He is
revealed, we shall be like Him; for we
shall see Him as He is.

If anyone is going to successfully engage the devil and his minions in spiritual battle, he or she must…put on the breastplate of righteousness…! Such a piece of armor covers the heart, the lungs, and other vital organs.

You need…

…positional righteousness
Jesus Christ in your heart as your Savior!

…practical righteousness!
Follow Him as your Lord in obedience!

Without both kinds of righteousness, you will be unprotected in a very vital area, and unfit for the battle to which God has called us!

Stand therefore…having put on
the breastplate of righteousness…
!

This Means War! – XIV

Ephesians 6:14 – The Belt of Truth

(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

Let’s start looking at the armor God has provided for our use as we engage in spiritual battle with the enemy.

The first part of spiritual armor is described in Ephesians 6:14: “Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth….” This ‘armor apron’ protects the vital organs of the mid-part of your body.

  • In the online jewishencyclopedia.com, it is stated, “The liver is the seat of life. The archers pierced the liver with their arrows (Prov. 7:23), thereby quickly causing death.” In Biblical thinking, the liver is much more than just the organ with which we are familiar. This vital organ (signifying all of life) is protected by being girded with truth!
  • But other body parts are covered also. A soldier would be seriously compromised in fighting the enemy when wounded in the area of the groin!

This part of the battle dress, when properly donned, covers vital parts with truth, and truth will protect your spiritual life from the attacks of the enemy!

Why is truth so important in fighting the devil and his minions? Remember in This Means War! – IV, Jesus, in John 8:44, characterized Satan as …a liar, and the father of it.” Also, Paul wrote in II Corinthians 4:4 (King James Version), “…the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Because the devil is so good at blinding the minds of his victims and fostering deception, the truth is that much more essential to Christians when counteracting Satan’s lies!

What is truth?” Pilate asked that question in John 18:38. He was standing before the One who boldly stated in John 14:6,I am…the truth…Jesus Christ is truth incarnate! But (oh, the irony of it) Pilate turned away from the truth without even waiting for an answer!

  • To begin to gird yourself with truth, you must start with Jesus! It is absolutely necessary to have Him as your Savior and the Lord of your life!
  • But to better understand (as Pilate said) “What is truth?” we need to look at John 17, Jesus’ high-priestly prayer. It is recorded in verse 17 that the Savior prayed, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
✞  The Word of God, the Bible, is indispen-
sable in the Christian’s life!


According to Hebrews 4:12, this Word
...is living and powerful, and sharper
than any two-edged sword....

Scripture, seriously taken in, will do
amazing things in and through the be-
liever!

Romans 1:17 tells us, “The just shall live by faith.This statement must be important because it is given three other times, in Habakkuk 2:4, Galatians 3:11, and Hebrews 10:35. God does not waste words! Faith is absolutely necessary to live out the Christian life!

As Paul wrote in II Corinthians 5:7, “…we walk [we live] by faith, not by sight.” Few in this earthly life have seen Jesus, or heaven, or angels, or demons. But we are called as biblical Christians to believe God’s Word as absolute truth!

  • The word is necessary to begin the believer’s life! I Peter 1:23 reminds us that we were…born again…through the word of God which lives and abides forever….
  • Living out the life to which Jesus Christ has called us is all by faith on this side of heaven! And this “…faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17).
If we take out the middle two words of 
this verse, “...by hearing...” (because
much imparting of Scriptural knowledge
in Paul’s day was done by oral trans-
mission) and put the rest of the verse
together, it reads, “...faith comes by
...the word of God.

✞ God has designed His Word, the Bible,
to build up our faith! Nothing else
can replace it!
  • …the word of His grace…is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” (Acts 20:32). Paul was speaking to the Ephesian elders (bishops, pastors, deacons, teachers) to whom he said “I know that you all…will see my face no more.” (Acts 20:25). I believe the apostle had in mind…
✞  ...the built-up strength they would need 
in this challenging earthly life, and...

...the built-up rewards they would re-
ceive in heaven! (see I Corinthians
3:13-15).

We are built up in all of life, (beginning the Christian life, our earthly life, and into the afterlife) by what we are admonished in Colossians 3:16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly….

From a study I did some time ago, there are at least 48 other things the Word of God will do in the Christian’s life! (see the March 5, 2024 Gem, What will the Word of God do for You?”). So get into the Bible, and stay in it! Discipline yourself to take in the Word every day…

  • …as regularly as you feed your physical body with nutritious food!
  • …for Scripture is our Spiritual food! (See Job 23:12; Jeremiah 15:16).

There is another action a Christian needs to complete to “…gird your waist with truth….Be involved in a good Bible-believing church!

  • Paul wrote in II Timothy 3:15 that “…the house of God…is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
  • Regular communal Christian worship and fellowship are very important to help establish a person in the truth!

So do these three things…

…know the One who is the truth!

…immerse yourself in the word of truth!

…be active in the church of truth!

Putting on the belt of truth is the start of dressing in the spiritual armor to successfully battle your spiritual enemy! But it is only the start…

This Means War! – XIII

II Corinthians 10:3-5

(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

Before we get into the description of each piece of the armor of God, we need to realize just where this spiritual war is being fought! The photo above can give us a hint of where the location is.

  • The young woman looks to be going through devastating mental anguish!
  • She is fighting a battle in her mind!

The Apostle Paul confirms the site of the battle against Satan in II Corinthians 10:3 through 5:

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not 
war according to the flesh. For the weapons
of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in
God for pulling down strongholds and every
high thing that exalts itself against the
knowledge of God, bringing every thought
into the obedience of Christ.

It is logical that when planning to engage an enemy in battle, we must know where the fighting is going to take place! If we expect to meet our enemy in heavily wooded mountainous terrain, the engagement strategy and our choice of weapons will be different than if we are going to encounter our foe in a flat arid landscape.

It seems too many Christians are not aware of the arena in which our enemy the devil wars! But Paul makes it quite clear: the battleground is the mind!

There are three key words in this featured Scripture that indicate where it is that we are to meet and engage our enemy: “…arguments…knowledge…[and] thought….” (II Corinthians 10:5).

  • “…arguments….” – The Greek word is λογισμός (pronounced lo-gis-mos’) meaning “…a reckoning, computation…” (Thayer’s Greek Definitions), and translated in the KJV as “imaginations” or “thoughts”.
  • “…knowledge….” – The Greek word is γνώσiς (pronounced gno’-sis) meaning “…knowing (the act), that is (by implication) knowledge…” (Strong’s Greek Dictionary).
  • “…thought….” – The Greek word is νο‘ημα (pronounced no-ay’-mah) meaning “…a mental perception, thought…” (Thayer’s Greek Definitions).

What do these three words suggest? The mind! It is in the mind where our battles with the devil are fought! And if we can win the battle of the mind, then…

  • …we can win the battle over temptation and sin!
  • …we can overcome our general tendency to rebel against God!
  • …we can disallow Satan to have his evil way with us!

There are other Scriptures that support this concept…

  • In Proverbs 4:23 it says, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” To the ancient Hebrews, the concept of the heart in this context was much more than the beating, blood-pumping organ.
✡  It would be similar to what we would 
mean when we say “I believe with all
my heart....
” But it even goes beyond
that...

Heart to the ancient Jew meant the
whole inner person, including the
mind!

✡ So we could interpret Proverbs 4:23
this way: “...out of...[the mind, the
whole inner person] spring the issues
of life...[everything we think, say,
and do!]”
  • Jesus said it quite succinctly in Matthew 12:34, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
He could well have said, “...out of 
the abundance of the heart the hands
move...the feet walk...the life is
lived !

✞ Any action that comes out of our
life goes through the mind (the
heart) first, however briefly!

By the way, if this is true, then there is no such thing as an unpremeditated murder or any unpremeditated action! Any outward action has to go through the mind first, however briefly! This sure could throw a wrench into the works of the legal defense system!

But back to our premise: If all our actions go through our mind first before they are manifested in a our lives, then it stands to reason that if we win the ongoing battle of the mind, we will win the war over Satan and sin!

  • The time to defeat the devil’s suggestions, leadings, and temptations is not when I am about to DO them.
  • The time to defeat the evil one is when the first inkling of doing the deed comes into my mind!

All this points to another of Satan’s tactics – the devil has access to our minds! Now, there is no indication in the Bible that he can read our minds. But he has made a study of human beings generally, and you and me individually, to know our weaknesses and where to plant temptations that work best to lead us into sin!

  • So it behooves us to also study human makeup generally, and our own selves (our weaknesses and our strengths) specifically!
  • We must heed the admonition inscribed in the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi according to the Greek writer Pausanias: “Know thyself.

The spiritual battleground is the mind! And if we control the battle of the mind, then the thoughts, words, and actions that come out of our mind and life will reflect that victory…

…all for God’s glory!

This Means War! – XII

Ephesians 6:10-19

(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

In any discussion of spiritual warfare, one of the classic Scripture passages dealing with this subject is Ephesians 6: 1 through 19. It is here the Apostle Paul describes the armor of God and its use. He introduces the subject in verses 10 and 11, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Ephesians 6:11 mentions “…the wiles of the devil….

  • What does the word wiles mean? Merriam-Webster Thesaurus defines wiles as “…schemes…ploys…stratagems…deceptions.…
  • The devil is wiley! Wiley” means “…slick…treacherous…beguiling…devious…deceitful…” (Ibid.).

Let’s examine “…the anointed cherub who covers…” described in Ezekiel 28:12 through 19. Most conservative scholars agree that this featured cherub is Lucifer (see Isaiah 14:12) who became Satan when he rebelled against God!

Ezekiel 28:12 and 13 – “Thus says the LORD God: ‘You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty….Every precious stone was your covering: the sardis, topaz…diamond, beryl, onyx…jasper, sapphire, turquoise…emerald…gold.

  • God lavished adornments on this cherub called Lucifer which added to his beauty and station!
  • One of the adornments God gave him was great wisdom! Wisdom can be defined…
✡  ...as properly applying knowledge to 
life’s situations.

✡ ...simply as what you know applied to
what you do!

But if the gift of wisdom is corrupted by evil, and (as in Lucifer’s case) it can degenerate into wiles! As noted above, wiles is defined as “…schemes…ploys…stratagems…deceptions…” (Ibid.). Just considering the last word in the definition, “deceptions”, we are told in Revelation 12:9, “…the Devil…Satan…deceives the whole world…!

Concerning the devil, In Matthew 10:16 Jesus warned His disciples, Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

  • The Lord is not saying that snakes are especially wise! But snakes in Scripture are often a reference to Satan (see Genesis 3:1, 14, 15; Revelation 12:9, 14, 15; 20:2).
  • What Jesus is saying is that in the world controlled by the evil one, if we are to serve as Jesus’ witnesses, we need to have the wisdom of the devil but not the venom!
  • Satan, in his wickedness, is wise and wily! If we are not familiar with his devious tricks, he can play us as skillfully as Yo-Yo Ma plays his cello!

And so we are told in Ephesians 6:11, “…stand against the wiles of the devil.” Obviously, we can’t do that in our own power. He is much more powerful than we are! And he has command over an army of perhaps millions of fallen angels (demons) who do his bidding!

In his short epistle, Jude warns us in verses 8 and 9 concerning ungodly men who were posing as Christian leaders and teachers! One of their characteristics was that they despised and rejected authority, both human and spiritual:

Likewise also these dreamers defile the 
flesh, reject authority, and speak evil
of dignitaries. Yet Michael the archangel,
in contending with the devil, when he
disputed about the body of Moses, dared
not bring against him a reviling accusa-
tion, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.”

Michael showed respect to Satan’s high position and power as head of the fallen angels (demons)! This incident (only mentioned in here) had to do with the devil trying to claim Moses’ body after he died (see Deuteronomy 34:5, 6).

  • Some Bible scholars think Satan wanted to destroy the great man’s body because a resurrected Moses could be one of God’s two witnesses described in Revelation 11:3 through 12.
  • Now Michael the archangel is himself a mighty angel! He is often referred to asthe warrior angel’! But in respecting the position and power of Satan, he did not insult him. Instead of bringing “…against him a reviling accusation…” Michael simply said, “The Lord rebuke you.
I have heard teachers instruct new 
Christians, “Just tell Satan...

➔ ...‘Hey, take a hike into hell,
you dirty devil!’” or

➔ ...‘How long can you tread fire?’

Don’t try to be flippant with the devil!
Rebuke him in the name (in the power)
of Jesus Christ! (see Mark 16:17; Luke
10:17).

As we face Satan and his minions in spiritual battle, we are told in Ephesians 6:10, “…be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.

  • If that was all the apostle told us with no further specific instruction, it would be no more help than someone saying to us, “Have a good day!
  • Yes, we are to…be strong in the Lord…! And that strength must be…in the power of His might…!

But how are we to accomplish being strong Christian warriors? This is the subject of the next several Gems. And when we have learned how to “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil…”, then we will also see Ephesians 6:13 fulfilled: “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

The battle to which we are called as believers is intense and exacting! Every piece of armor listed in Ephesians 6:13 through 18 is important! Its proper use requires knowledge and training!

  • But the desired result when it is all said and done is that you and I will be found standing, not casualties lying injured and dying on the battlefield of life! Yes, there may be wounds and battle scars, but God’s will for us is to be found standing!
  • And when the war is finished and Jesus is reigning over all creation, you and I will hear our Lord say to each of us His soldiers…

Well done, good and faithful servant…

(Matthew 25:23).

This Means War! – XI

Ephesians 6:12

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

Seeking representations of the devil’s army is not an easy task! Oh, there are a number of pictures on the internet, but as I search for an appropriate depiction to portray what the current Gem is about, I sense a spiritual heaviness, an oppression, as I view Satanic drawings, paintings, symbols, etc.! So I ask God to give me protection and spiritual uplift…

  • …as I search for what I need, and…
  • …as I write exposing the evil one’s plans!

In the last Gem, we began to consider the divisions of Satan’s army listed in Ephesians 6:12: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places.

First is “…principalities…” (which we studied in the last Gem).

  • These princes are demons who are the most powerful fallen angels!
  • They have been assigned to large territories such as kingdoms, nations, or people groups called principalities (which is why they are called princes see Daniel 10:13, 20).
  • Satan is also called “…the prince of “…the prince of this world…” in John 12:31, 14:30, and 16:11… because he has stolen rule over the whole of mankind! (see Luke 4:5, 6).

Second in Ephesians 6:12 is “…powers….

  • The Greek word is ἐξουσία, (pronounced ex-oo-see’-a) and meaning “…prince, leader, chief, chieftain, official, captain…” (Thayer’s Greek Definitions).
✔  Several versions of the Bible trans-
late the word powers as authorities.

✔ These demons have authority over
certain areas, apparently less en-
compassing authority than princes
who rule over kingdoms and nations.
  • They are nonetheless powerful evil entities, and can only be opposed and defeated by God’s children as they…take up the whole armor of God…and engage in spiritual battle!

Third is “…rulers….” In the Greek, rulers are identified as κοσμοκράτωρ (pronounced kos-mok-rat’-ore) meaning “…lord of the world, prince of this age…the devil and his demons….” (Ibid.).

  • This definition seems antithetical to the idea that Paul is listing these classes of spiritual beings in descending order. This is because of what he listed first, “…principalities…” which obviously refers to demonic princes who are assigned over large swaths of the world (kingdoms, nations, people groups – see Daniel 10:13 and 20).
  • If indeed Paul is using a descending order in Ephesians 6:12, then rulers refer to less powerful demons assigned to keep smaller areas under the devil’s dominion, (such as cities, towns, and villages).

Fourth is the final class of Satan’s army identified as “…spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places….

  • These are the most plentiful demons which cause so much local and personal trouble!
  • Consider the several words Paul uses in Ephesians 6:12 to describe them:”
✔  “...hosts...” – This is an extra word 
in the New King James Bible. It is not
found in the Greek Scriptures.

➔ The word is inserted here to help
the reader better understand the
phrase.

➔ But hosts is a good word choice
because this class of demons would
be the most numerous in Satan’s
army
(as ground troops, ‘grunts’,
or infantry soldiers are much more
common than sergeants, colonels,
and generals in the armies of the
physical world).

✔ “...spiritual...” – The Greek word
is πνευματικός (pronounced phynoo-
mat-ik-os’
). As used here, Thayer’s
Greek Definitions
gives this defini-
tion which seems to describe it best:
...belonging to a spirit, or a being
higher than man but inferior to God..


✔ “...wickedness...” – The Greek word
is πονηρία (pronounced pon-ay-ree’-ah).
Thayer’s gives six possible defini-
tions: “...depravity, iniquity, wick-
edness, malice, evil purposes, and
desires....


This describes the nature and
purpose of Satan and his demons!

➔ As Jesus tells us in John 10:10:
The thief does not come except
to steal, and to kill, and to
destroy.


✔ “...heavenly places...” – places is
another added word in the New King
James trans-lation to help us under-
stand the meaning. The Greek word for
heavenly (or high in the KJV) is
ἐπουράνιος (pronounced ep-oo-ran’-ee-
os). It means, “...existing in heaven
...the abode of God and angels...of

heavenly origin or nature....” (Ibid.).

➔ While Satan will be exiled from
the heavenly places in the future
(see Revelation 12:7-9), accord-
ing to Job 1:6 and 2:1, he has
access to that holy place now!
But perhaps that is only by God’s
command for him to report.

Thayer’s gives two further defin-
itions of heavenly places: “...
the lower heavens, of the stars...
the heavens, of the clouds.


➔ This agrees with Paul’s descrip-
tion of the devil in Ephesians 2:2,
where the apostle calls him, “...
the prince of the power of the air,
the spirit who now works in the
sons of disobedience....

Considering the four organized ranks of evil beings focused against us, we who are God’s children through faith in Jesus Christ are called to battle a vast and powerful evil army! We dare not face the enemy alone, for in ourselves, even a single demon is stronger than we are! But…

  • …if we are careful to don the Spiritual armor listed in Ephesians 6:13 through 17 (we will study this in future Gems)…
  • …if we learn proficiency with our weapons – “…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God [and] praying always…
  • …if we are diligent to fight in the power of the Holy Spirit (see I John 4:4)…
  • …if we rely totally on God (see John 15:5; II Corinthians 3:5)…

…then we will win our spiritual battles!
For Jesus Christ has already won the war!

Thank God that He gives us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ.

(I Corinthians 15:57 – God’s Word to the nations).

Know Your Enemy! – X

Ephesians 6:10, 12

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

In This Means War! – VI, we looked at the minimum numbers of both angels and demons:

  • According to Matthew 26:52 and 53 Jesus said He could call more than six legions of angels to come to His assistance! A Roman legion at full strength comprised 6,000 soldiers, so Jesus could have summoned more than 72,000 angels!
  • Revelation 12:3 and 4 can be interpreted that Lucifer, the “…great, fiery red dragon…was joined in his rebellion against God by a third of the created angels who then became demons!

So if the 72,000 plus angels Jesus could have called represent two-thirds of the original heavenly host, the devil has at least 36,000 demons at his disposal! There are certainly many more than just a total of 108,000 created angels. But considering the power and might of angels, 108,000 is an awesome number!

Some people have the idea that demons are little mischievous creatures who run around causing problems, glitches, and troubles for us humans, kind of like Murphy’s Law imps! But Ephesians 6:10 and 12 provide a different picture, and it shows a formidable army of demons under the devil’s command! Paul writes…

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord 
and in the power of His might...For we do
not wrestle against flesh and blood, but
against principalities, against powers, a-
gainst the rulers of the darkness of this
age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness
in heavenly places.

In Luke 11:14 Jesus “…was casting out a demon….” Some detractors in the watching crowd were accusing the Lord by saying, “He casts out demons by Beelzebub, the ruler of demons.” (Luke 11:15).

  • Beelzebub in the Greek is Βεελζεβούλ, pronounced beh-el-zeb-ool’ , and means, “…dung god; Beelzebul, a name of Satan.” (Strong’s Greek Dictionary).
  • To these charges Jesus replied in verses 17 and 18, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and a house divided against a house falls. If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand?

If the devil in his battle against God had gained territory by the actions of one of his demon troops influencing or taking possession of a person, why would Satan then permit the Lord Jesus to cast out that demon using the devil’s own evil power to do it? It is not logical thinking!

Any kingdom (or nation) that currently exists (or has existed in the past) has always had a governmental structure. Satan’s kingdom, called “…the power of darkness…” in Colossians 1:13, is organized in much the same way!

  • The devil’s dominion consists of “…the kingdoms of the world…and their glory…,” as he told the Lord Jesus in Luke 4:5, 6. And that dark kingdom also has a governmental structure!
  • It is not haphazardly thrown together, but is organized to run efficiently to accomplish the evil one’s purposes!
  We are given a hint of that structure 
in Ephesians 6:12: “...principalities
... powers...the rulers of the dark-
ness of this age...spiritual hosts of
wickedness in heavenly places....


The picture is row upon orderly row
of competent demons serving under
King Beelzebub and administering the
kingdom of Satan to carry out his
desires!

Let’s look at the four titles identifying those serving in this wicked army:

…principalities…”: The Greek word is ἀρχη ́ (pronounced ar-khay’), and meaning, “…the person or thing that commences, the first person or thing in a series, the leader…the first place, principality, rule, magistracy…of angels and demons….” (Thayer’s Greek Definitions).

  • Principalities are led by powerful demons who are individually called a …prince…” in Daniel 10:13 and 20. We are given a peek at these evil princes and their assigned territories:
✡  “...the prince of the kingdom of Persia
...” is mentioned twice, in verses 13
and 20.

✡ “...the prince of Greece....” (verse
20).
  • The Hebrew for prince is שַׂר (pronounced sar), and meaning, “…prince, ruler, leader, chief, chieftain, official, captain…” (Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Definitions).
  • These…princes…of Persia…and…Greece…are not human leaders! They are evil spirit beings who are assigned to various kingdoms or nations of the physical world to keep that portion of the devil’s kingdom under his dark dominion!
✡  A mighty demon was in charge of the 
Persian Empire.

✡ Another was in control of the domain of
Greece, the most powerful kingdom in
the world until the Roman Empire (which
had its own demonic overseer) came into
prominence.

The city of Tyre on the eastern Mediterranean coast was an economic powerhouse in Old Testament times. So influential in world affairs was this city, and the kingdom it represented, that Satan himself was the ruling spiritual prince! In Ezekiel 28, the prophet writes what God says concerning this city. He begins the chapter addressing the human king of Tyre. But starting in verse 12, the one addressed is no longer the human king, but the corrupt spiritual power behind the king of Tyre, the one who was…in Eden, the garden of God…the anointed cherub who covers…[the one of which God said] you were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you.” (Ezekiel 28:13-15).

  • The king of Tyre was never “…in Eden, the garden of God…!
  • That earthly ruler could never be called “…the anointed cherub who covers…!
✡  By the way, a cherub is not a cutesy 
little boy or girl angel, as many ar-
tists have depicted them.

Lucifer, the cherub, is one of the most
powerful angels ever created, if not
the most powerful! And he was the ruling
prince over Tyre!

There is always a power behind the power! There is always a spiritual being, a powerful demon, who is in charge of keeping his earthly assignment under the dominion of his evil master.

  • It should not surprise us that there would be…
...the prince of the...United States 
of America!

...the prince of the...European
Union!

...the prince of the...People’s
Republic of China!
  • A mighty demonic being is given charge of any kingdom, nation, people group, etc., to ensure that part of the world is kept under the influence of the devil!
  • But it doesn’t stop with top leadership positions!
There are lesser demons assigned to 
smaller or less significant regions,
states, cities, towns, and even fami-
lies, all to keep their charges under
the devil’s control!

I would not doubt that there is a
demon assigned to specific churches
and para-church ministries to ham-
per their testimony and their work
for Jesus Christ!


Also, since the idea of guardian an-
gels is put forth in scripture (see
Psalm 91:11; Hebrews 1:14) might
there be enough demons to have one
appointed to cover and control an
individual person? That demon’s job...

...would then be to keep that
unsaved person in an unregen-
erate state! Or...


➔ ...(if that individual is a
Christian) would be to make
sure that one remains ineffec-
tive for God in witness and
works!

We have only covered the first of four named divisions of demons in Ephesians 6:12. We will continue in the next Gem. But can you already see that Ephesians 6:12 portrays a highly organized and powerful Satanic army of demons ready to do their master’s bidding! We are commissioned by our Prince (the Lord Jesus Christ) to engage these evil forces! For it plainly says in Ephesians 6:10, 11, and 13 (Modern King James Version):

Finally, my brothers, be strong in the 
Lord and in the power of His might. Put
on the whole armor of God so that you
may be able to stand against the wiles
of the devil....Therefore take to your-
selves the whole armor of God, that you
may be able to withstand in the evil
day, and having done all, to stand.

This Means War!– IX

Revelation 12:9, 10

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

In Revelation 12:9 and 10 we learn another characteristic of our enemy, the devil:

   So the great dragon was cast out, that 
serpent of old, called the Devil and
Satan, who deceives the whole world; he
was cast to the earth, and his angels
were cast out with him. Then I heard a
loud voice saying in heaven, “Now sal-
vation, and strength, and the kingdom
of our God, and the power of His Christ
have come, for the accuser of our breth-
ren, who accused them before our God
day and night has been cast down.”

The devil certainly keeps himself busy!

  • Revelation 12:10 – He…accused them…our brethren…before our God day and night….
  • I Peter 5:8 – He…walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
See the April 15th 2016 Gem entitled 
Scat Cat!

The Greek word for walks about is
περιπατέω (pronounced per-ee-pat-eh'
-o) meaning “...to tread all around
...Strong’s Greek Dictionary.

It seems like treading all around and day and night accusations are both full time jobs!

  • How does Satan accomplish both? I don’t know!
✞  We human beings, in our present 
earthly existence, are physically
limited creatures!

Lucifer, a fallen angel, is a cre-
ated spirit being who is not bound
by physical limitations!
  • Remember also that the evil one has a large number of demons (fallen angels) who do his bidding! I will cover this more thoroughly in the next Gem. However, you can preview this subject in the Gem of May 27, 2013 entitled Know Your Enemy – X.

We have two Scriptural examples from the Book of Job that show us how Satan accuses God’s children:

  • Job 1:8 through 11:
   Then the LORD said unto Satan, “Have you 
considered My servant Job, that there is
none like him on the earth, a blameless
and an upright man, one who fears God,
and shuns evil?” So Satan answered the
LORD, and said, “Does Job fear God for
nothing? Have You not made a hedge a-
round him, around his household, and
around all that he has on every side?
You have blessed the work of his hands,
and his possessions have increased in
the land. But now, stretch out Your
hand and touch all that he has, and he
will surely curse You to Your face.”
  • Job 2:3 through 5:
   Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you 
considered My servant Job, that there
is none like him on the earth, a blame-
less and upright man, one who fears God,
and shuns evil? And still he holds fast
to his integrity, although you incite
Me against him, to destroy him without
cause.” So Satan answered the LORD, and
said, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a
man has he will give for his life. But
stretch out Your hand now, and touch his
bone and his flesh, and he will surely
curse You to Your face.”

Satan’s accusations against Job involved predictions of what Job would do if all his worldly blessings, and even his health, were taken away:

   Job’s faith is superficial! He is pre-
tending to be godly to ensure You will
keep blessing him! But take away the
layers of blessing that You, God, have
laid upon him, and You will see the
real man underneath! This man is wicked
to the core and...will surely curse
You to Your face...!

Now God is omniscient! He knows all! And He can certainly see through the devil’s tricks and lying accusations. But that does not stop the evil one from accusing the LORD’s children before Him! It seems, from reading the text of Job, chapters 1 and 2, that Satan actually changes God’s mind by his accusations!

  • The Almighty, hearing the accuser, allows hard testing to come into the life of this good man!
  • But if we read the whole book we will see that the severe trials God allowed to touch Job’s life actually brought forth a much higher quality of character in him!

So it is with us! Yes, the devil accuses each Christian before God. And by these accusations, God may allow hard trials to touch us. But know this:

  • It is written in Romans 8:28 and 29, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son….
  • We are told in James 1:2 through 4, “…count it all joy when you fall into various trials. Knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
  Only Jesus was perfect and complete!

✞ God’s goal for us is to be like
Jesus!
(see II Corinthians 3:18;
I John 3:2,3
).

As we go through the hard trials of life…

  • …be aware of what it says in Hebrews 5:8 (Jubilee Bible): “…although He was the Son of God, He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.If Jesus learned human obedience by the things which He suffered, what might we learn from God-ordained suffering?
  • …also consider what Paul wrote in I Corinthians 10:13: “…God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it…..
✞  He will give us the means to escape 
the temptation, or...

He will give us the strength to bear
up under the resultant trial!
  • …keep in mind that…
  ...although we have an enemy who 
constantly accuses us, we are con-
tinually under God’s direction and
protection!

...someday, this one who continu-
ously makes accusations against the
children of God will get his due –
eternal suffering in hell!

…Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ…
!

(I Corinthians 15:57)