|Vol. V Number 35||November 18, 2001|
In Ephesians we are told to put on the whole armor of God. In this turbulent times that sage advice is well heeded for the Christian who looks at the world and doesn't know what to do. The present situation in the world with the threat of being gassed, bombed, by terrorists attacks and other evils brought about by the ones lead by Satan. All Satan knows how to do is to destroy and demolish what God has made. Satan has never created anything, but has destroyed much.
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
The start of this small portion of scripture tells us to be strong in the Lord. That is important for the Christian in turbulent times like today. We are living in an era where we are seeing wholesale destruction of souls. This wholesale destruction is Satan's means to bring about our destruction along with the destruction of the earth. Also Satan uses religion to bring about this wicked destruction. The religion that Satan uses is any religion including Christianity. In the present situation Satan is using Islam, but in the past Satan has used Christianity along with all of the other religions in the world. Satan uses organized religion as his tool to destroy everyone.
To overcome this deception we must follow Paul's admonition of putting on the whole armor of God. There are men who have always used religion, whether Christian or Muslum to forward their own nefarious schemes. Even in the 1st century church there were men who were busy corrupting the Gospel of Christ for their own means. Even the last living Apostle, John was not welcome into some churches. This use of ``organized'' religion is a tool of the Devil causing many to turn against the truth of Jesus Christ the Lord.
Our only defense against such demonic influences is to follow the Apostle Paul's admonition to put on the whole armor of God. Only by putting on the whole armor can we even hope to combat the onslaught of Satan! We are not fighting against flesh and blood, we are fighting against principalities and powers in high places. Though it may seem we are fighting against certain individuals, the reality of the matter is that we are really fighting against those who are in Satan's employ. Take Bin Laden for instance. He has all of the power of Satan behind him to convince followers to commit suicide. This is not the normal power of persuasion that we are dealing with but this is an example of the power of Satan!
What is the armor that God has for us to put on?
When wrestling against all of the principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places, we need to have the truth of the Lord about us. We need to be immersed in the truth of the Lord. When we are totally immersed in the truth of the Lord we will have the power not to be persuaded by the advocates of false doctrine. We will have the power to withstand the false teachings of those who will pervert the Gospel. How can the followers of Bin Laden have any hope about their life if they believe the lie that they will go to heaven by dying in a holy war. Can you imagine the level of deception that these people have to believe such lies? Surely they are influenced by all of the wiles of the devil. Having your loins girt about with the truth of the Lord will offer a tremendous amount of protection from the lies and deceptions of Satan and his demons.
We need to have the breastplate of righteousness to protect ourselves from the wicked. We cannot fight the wicked by being wicked ourselves. There are many who teach that in order to fight lies we must also lie. This is just another tool of the devil where he is the father of all liars. You cannot fight evil with evil. The only way to overcome evil is with righteousness. Righteousness of the Christian will deflect all the fiery darts of the wicked. The breastplate of righteousness protects you from Satan's soldiers evil.
Christians are peace loving people who do not use the same tools of Satan. Whereas Satan uses war and destruction to win his battles, the Christian loves his enemies, and even does good to the ones who despitefully use him. The Christian does not have to fight war with war, but the Christian uses the true peace of the Lord to fight his enemies. Satan is constantly telling you that you must fight the wicked with the methods of war. The Bible on the other hand teaches us that in order to truly conquer the enemy we must use the armor of the gospel of peace.
Only through the faith in the Lord Jesus do we have any hope. The shield of faith will quench all of the fiery darts of the wicked. The shield of faith will be able to stand when every thing else has fallen. When all seems dark and hopeless it is our faith in the Lord Jesus which brings us through the darkest places. When all seems lost and hopeless, faith in the Lord always makes the impossible possible. No matter what the world dishes out, Jesus is there for his own. Faith in the Lord conquerers all of the darts of the wicked.
We have a helmet that the world does not have. We have a hope that the world cannot see. Where Satan is telling his followers to commit suicide and kill thousands, the followers of the Lord Jesus have a plan of salvation that the world does not know. We have a promise of eternal life where those who use the tools of Satan only have a promise of eternal damnation.
We have only one offensive weapon which is the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. The word of God is not used as normal offensive weapons are used, but is used to bring the wicked soldiers of Satan to the altar of repentance. The word is not to be used to inflect damage, but is to be used to heal. By using the sword of the Lord to heal those who have been deceived by the master deceiver we are actually inflecting more damage than using a sword to harm the enemy.
When you have the Holy Spirit of the Lord, and you pray in the spirit you are in direct communication with the creator. Praying in the Spirit in more powerful than any weapon imaginable. When praying in the Spirit you will receive inspiration and knowledge on how to accomplish something that seems to be totally impossible. When you tap into the Spirit of the Lord, you are tapping into all of the creative power of the creator. Satan cannot even stand around when a saint is on his knees and praying in the Spirit. If the saint tells the devil to depart when he is in the power of the Lord the evil being must obey the command of the Lord.
When you use the armor of God, you are using everything that is righteous and good to fight the wicked. Religions of the world will use force and coercion to gain followers with some totally ridiculous promises to gain their disciples. Like some religions say that heaven will be one big orgy where the men will have as many wives as they can handle. And the way to immediately get to this heaven is by dying in a holy war. The Bible teaches a more common sense approach where heaven is in the Spirit world where there is no sex. In heaven there are sex-less beings who are there because they believed and followed the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The saints who use the armor of the Lord will find that they will not be deceived by the followers of Satan no matter how they come packaged. The lies and deceptions of the world will be deflected, while at the same time the forces of the enemy will be persuaded to join the ranks of Jesus' army.
3014 E Street Philadelphia, PA 19134 Church Office Phone: (215) 634-3637 Published by: Rev. LeRoy D. Cressy (215) 535-4037
Sunday School . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11:30 AM
Sunday Morning Worship . . . . . . . . . . 12 NOON
Sunday Evening . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6:30 PM
Wednesday Evening . . . . . . . . . . . . 7:30 PM
Copyright © 2001 LeRoy D. Cressy
Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this transcript as long as the copyright and this permission notice appear.