Dr. Ed Young - Battle Armor
Ed Hendee is a member of our church "Taste of Texas," talk-radio guy for many years on talk radio in the morning. Uh, Ed Hendee was at a reception, and a man came up to him that had lost both legs, and he said, "Ed, you coached me in soccer when I was a little guy". And he said, "Well, what happened to you"? He said, "I've been to Iraq". He said, "I was in a Humvee". Said, "Those IED's they put in the road exploded," and said, "It took off both my legs". He said, "Every day in Iraq, so many of our guys are being killed, or they're being crippled because underneath the Humvees..." he said, "All the Humvees had around them is light armor and mud flaps". And he said, "They figured out these, these IED's they put under the road, and they blow us up," and said, "That's how so many daily are losing their limbs and being crippled, or being killed".
And Ed said, "Well, you know, it looks like they would put some steel under there..." and he said, "Well, they haven't yet". So shortly after there, Ed, then being a part of the media, went to Iraq, and if you knew Hendee like I know Hendee, he's not satisfied with staying at Bagdad; he went out on the front lines in a fire zone... And when he got there, he saw a gunnery sergeant, who was welding scrap pieces of metal, and Humvees that had been blown up, and tanks that had been damaged under, under these different Humvees that were still there, putting metal under it. Ed says, "Why are you doing that? The government is going to send you some..." He said, "Well, we asked 6 months ago for the Pentagon to send us some metal to save the, the life and the limbs of these who are running around these Humvees every day, many, many, many hundreds of them, all over Iraq". He said, "We haven't heard from them yet".
That's the same bunch that's gonna be handling all of our Medicare, and Medicaid incidentally, our hospitalization... and Ed said, "Well, what do you need"? And he said, "What do you mean"? He said, "Give me a list. What do you need"? And so Ed got out a pen. The sergeant told him all they needed-metal, steel, etc... soldering equipment to do it, and Ed got a long list, yellow page, two or three pages. When he got through, he said, "I'll have this here in 4, in 5 working days..."
Now, here's what happened: Ed went on a mountain there. Got one of those intercontinental telephones and called a member of our church, Danny Lee. Goes to church right here. He called Danny, and Danny was at a hunting lease, 4:00 A.M. in the morning. He said when the phone rang, he knew it wasn't good news. And it was Hendee on top of a mountain in Iraq saying, "Danny, get out your pen. Take this list..." and he wrote down that long list. He said, "Danny, go buy that tomorrow and mail it to Bagdad in my name". Danny went out. He said he went to every tractor store... He went to Walmart. He went to all these places everywhere around and bought all kind of stuff-metal, steel, etc., etc... and he boxed it all up.
It cost $15,000.00 to ship it to Bagdad, airfreight. It got there the next day, and Hendee had talked to some military people in helicopters, etc... and it landed on the front line, right where he said it is... not in 5 days, but in 4 days, and they began putting metal under these Humvees! Several times, and recently, I questioned Ed. He said he was at a reception and a young man came up to him and said, "Are you Ed Hendee"? He said, "Yes..." He said, "I want you to meet my friend. He was there in Iraq, and a Humvee blew up with him, but because you had that steel put under there, he is perfectly safe. Perfectly safe". How many lives that was saved, I don't know....
Now let me tell you something, ladies and gentlemen: We run around with light armor and mud flaps. We have the name of Christian, but that's all it is. We have mud flaps on to keep the mud off of us as best we can so nobody'll see it or know about it; but in the battle in which we're in with evil in this world in your life and in my life, light armor and mud flaps is not gonna get it! Because all around us, all around us, we see people, families, individuals being crippled and killed because of evil that is so pervasive and in such disguise, presenting itself as light and ending up being deadly and dark. So the question is, as we walk up here, what do we do about it? By the way, remember how skilled our opponents are.
You see how skilled they are... Somebody comes in the church. Has a Bible under their arm. Boy, you like them. You have a lot in common with them, and they tell you about how they're investing here, and they made money there, and they tripled their money there, and you say, "Man, this guy is really successful! If you have a little deal like that and I can have a little part of it"? And you say, "Oh yeah-we got-hey, give me a $1,000.00. I'll turn it into a couple of thousand in a month or so. I got a little room there..." So you give him a $1,000.00 and sure enough, a month so, he brings back your thousand and another $1,200.00. "Whoo-hoo-hoo! Man! Any other little deals you got in the market, or whatever your doing, cut me in"! He said, "Well..."
Then he came back, said, "Boy, I had something and I tripled my money, but I didn't have room for anything. You had to put in at least $20,000.00". He said, "Well, I would have done it..." "No, no... there'll be another thing..." and so, he comes back in a little later. He said, "Oh, I got something now. It's gonna take $40,000.00". He said, "Oh, I can borrow the money. I can get it..." and he said, "I think you'll triple your money..." and a month later, he comes back. Said, "Well, I didn't triple your money; I only doubled it". "Well, I'll live with that, you know"? Forty becomes eighty... Then finally, he says, "I've got this big, beautiful deal! It's the lead pipe sent! You can't miss! But I'm gonna need $200,000.00". "I don't have money like that. I'm going to go borrow it..." and you give him the $200,000.00 say, "Swish, bang, boom, bang! Pshewt"! He's gone! He joined another church with a Bible under his arm and finds other people he wants to con!
That's how the Devil works in every area of your life and in my life, ladies and gentlemen! That's how he operates! What are we going to do about it? We had better put on not light armor and mud flaps; we'd better put on the whole armor of God, and here we have the first pieces of it. What's the first thing we put on? Is the belt of truth. The belt of truth. By the way, it says "having" put on the belt of truth... and the Roman soldiers, that's the image here... that's the metaphor here... They wore belts. And their belts were really, you know, they told the rank of the soldier. You'd tell where they'd been, and they'd wear that belt, even when they weren't in their military armor, and people would know that's a soldier.
And by the way, there was no stealth with a Roman soldier. When they walked in unison, you'd hear-choo, choo, choo, choo, choo, choo, choo, choo. It was that belt, their battles, their rank, their family, what they'd done, what they hadn't done-a mark of distinction. We put on the belt of truth. By the way, Paul's order is first. If you don't put on truth up front, all the rest of the armor doesn't make any difference. I looked at this, and I could get real pious, but I said early one morning when it was dark and very few of you were awake, I was by myself, and I was thinking and praying, and I said, "Lord, let Your Truth come into my life. Is there anything in the past or present that doesn't ring true with You in Homer Edwin Young"?
You know, I had a long morning. Little bitty words, little bitty indiscretions, some big things I missed, some things... and all of a sudden, the Holy Spirit began to just open up my life, open up my life to truth. Try it! See if there's anything in your life that does not line up with the very truth that God has revealed to us in Jesus Christ. The first thing we put on is the belt of truth. Now the problem with us putting on sometimes, we gain weight. We let the belt out, and we lose weight. I've got belts that's got all kind of marks on ém... But you gotta put on that belt of truth. It just is the core of who we must become in Jesus Christ. It's the core of who we are in Jesus Christ.
Truth always has to be there, always has to be that standard of our walk and our life in Christ, if we're going to win the battle against evil in the world. Truth-put on the belt of truth. Also he says, what do you do? You put on the vest of righteousness. The breastplate of righteousness. And what is this righteousness? What is this vest that God gives us in Christ? Everybody here who's been to church in the last little bit, you can define righteousness, remember?
You thought, "Well, I'd gotten..." No, no, no! In Christ, we're right with God, right? Isn't that great? In Christ, we can get right with everybody else, and that's what we put on. And when people look at you and me, they need to see, there is somebody who is right with God, right with themselves, and seeks to be right with everybody. That is that righteous, that is our identity. What are you known as? What, what's your deal? "Well I'm this, and I'm that..." No. What are you known as? We need to be known as simply soldiers, marching in a different direction of the stream of this world, who are, who put on Jesus Christ, and you see that, and this protects our heart and our emotions, see? That's what the, that's what the vest does. It protects us so we can be protected from the darts, from the evil one that comes, and it's already on us, if we're in Christ.
We have to recognize it. Have to recognize it... Then what's the next thing that we put on? We put on the shoes of peace. Wait a minute! Well, you're gonna need shoes, you go into battle. I wouldn't recommend going to battle barefooted, would you? That's not a very good idea... And so you put on shoes, but these shoes are peace. That seems contradictory. You see it? "I'm going to war; I'm battling with evil in the world, but I'm putting on peace"! How does that work? What gives a warrior peace? You know what it is? Purpose. You can fight when there's a reason to fight. You can go to war when you know there's a purpose bigger than you understand, but a clear purpose as what's gonna happen. Therefore, we put on the shoes of peace. It says we've got purpose as we go out to battle, as evil comes in contact with us.
Purpose. Purpose... And what's happened in our society, in our culture is that as we have been prohibited by spurious law and judgment from going out in the world with purpose, saying "I am on the side of Jesus Christ. I'm not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ". Say, "Shhh! Shhh! Shhh! You can't say that in school! Shhh, shhh! Oh, don't bring that up in the business. Shhh! Oh, don't bring it up in the little league meet... Shhh, shhh! No! Keep all the..." See? The world wants us to privatize our faith. The world says, "You keep your faith inside the church and don't bother us out here! We're gonna strip everything in this world of God, of Christ. We privatized our faith"! And if there's ever a time for boldness, it is now, for us to put on that girdle of truth, for us to know that we have that vest of righteousness that Christ has given to us, and we put on the shoes of peace because we know we have purpose in this life.
What is our purpose? To glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever. That's our witness, that's our walk. We can't let that be stripped from us as it's happening in our society. Say, "Well, what's the end result of all this evil that we see"? It is destroying the basic Judeo-Christian culture of America, the foundation upon which this nation came into being. What is culture? Good question. Culture, simply defined, is the glue that holds common values together. Did you get that? You need to know that. Culture is the glue that holds our common values together, and what's happening today is our culture is being disintegrated. It is being taken from us.
You say, "Well, what do we do about it"? We go to the Bible, and you know, I've said this tentatively. Let me say it clearly. The Old Testament tells us how God dealt with evil in that day, right? That's the Old Testament. These are stories of God's hand in history dealing with evil in that day. You can look a little slice of Biblical history here, and it's so very, very important. Go to II Kings Chapter Number 21, and you have here the hall of fame. You have a wonderful king in Hezekiah, godly king. Fifty years later, you have a godly king in Josiah. You would think in that little interim period with these two hall of fame kings, in the middle, you'd think there'd be Biblical prosperity, and honesty, and integrity. But that's not what you find in the middle. You find the reign of Manasseh. And Manasseh brought evil into the land of Israel and changed the whole culture of Israel. You have the hall of fame.
Two of the kings in the middle, you have the hall of shame. And look what the story is of Manasseh. It will sound familiar to us, Verse 21. It says, He did evil in the sight of the Lord, according to the abomination to the nations, whom the Lord dispossessed before the sons of Israel; for he rebuilt the high places, pagan altars-which Hezekiah, his father, had destroyed; and he erected altars for Baal and made an Ashtoreth as Ahab the king of Israel had done, and worshipped all the hosts of Heaven and served them; and he built altars in the house of the Lord-pagan altars, of which the Lord had said, "In Jerusalem, I will put My Name".
Verse 5: For he built altars for all the hosts of Heaven in the two courts in the house of the Lord. Pagan altars. And he made his son pass through the fire. He sacrificed his own son to fire. He made his son to pass through the fire, practice witchcraft, and used divinations, and dealt with mediums, and spiritualists. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking the Lord to anger. This is the reign of Manasseh. Now what did he do in his day that brought evil, and destruction into Israel? Number one, he tore down fences. He tore down walls. He tore down boundaries. Ladies and gentlemen, when you take down a fence, you better do it real, real slowly because you better think why that fence was put up there in the first place.
And when Manasseh began to throw out the Ten Commandments, and the worship in the temple, and he began to say, "We live in a pluralistic society. I want all these pagan gods and goddesses to be honored, and I'm gonna worship them. We're gonna put altars in the house of God. We're gonna compromise. We're gonna be open up our society to anything and everything. It's not just tolerance; it's total acceptance. It's okay. One god is as good as another god"! How many times have I heard that? How many times have I heard, you know, "There's no difference in Allah and God..." We're about to figure out there's a little difference, wouldn't you say, ladies and gentlemen? So this is what we're dealing with. Manasseh just took down fences. All the moral standards and all the things ...oh, we, we accept everybody. Everybody come in. Do whatever they... Not just tolerance, but acceptance.
See, there's a difference. We're tolerant, but we don't accept. We don't take away the moorings of the Constitution and the Bylaws, and we no longer have to worry about saying a pledge to the flag, "One nation under God, indivisible, liberty..." Oh no! You can't say-listen! This is who we are! This is the pillars upon which America was founded and the pillars of America will stay! You can't argue with that! Read the Federalist Papers! We are a nation under God! And you start taking down fences, you'd better figure out why those fences were there in the first place. When you stand against the Ten Commandments, remember, you don't break the Ten Commandments. I don't break the Ten Commandments. They break you and they break me, and they will break our nation.
Number one-Manasseh took down fences. Number two-Manasseh, what did he do? Sacrificed the children. Sacrificed his own child to a pagan god, or goddess in the Valley of Gehenna, which is right there in Jerusalem. It means "hell fire, hell". And can you imagine? They said when they would bring all their children down, which had great value, and they would take them and let them roll out of their arms into those pagan altars and sacrifice those children; there were all kinds of crying and moaning by those children. Some were not just babes; some were older. They would give their children to these pagan gods and goddesses, and all the pagans around would beat on drums, and they would just shout and, and do things like that to drown out the cries of the children.
Well, what about America? A life is taken in a mother's womb in America 1,233 every day! Since Roe vs. Wade, 1973, over 57 million children, babes, have been killed in their mother's womb. That's Metropolitan Houston, about 16 or 17 times, if we have 4 million lives killed. You can tell the direction a nation is going to go by how they treat their children. How they love their children. How special their children of. How sacred indeed is the gift of life! Israel began to be destroyed from within because Manasseh took down fences and Manasseh sacrificed children, even his own child. And the third thing he did, he silenced the voice of the prophets. Extra Biblical literature tells us that as Isaiah was speaking against the decadence of Manasseh, Manasseh cut off the head of Isaiah, says extra Biblical literature, with a wooden saw.
Heard anything like that recently? "Oh, that's oh..." Heard anything like that recently? To silence the voice of those who will speak out and speak truth into the culture. A Christian man was visiting Romania. Right in the middle of the Cold War, when Romania was run by a godless, Marxist dictator. If you mentioned God or Christ, he would either take you out, or put you in prison. And in this situation, this Christian man was walking down the streets, wrapped up. It was cold. The wind was blowing, and by himself. He was there on business, and he saw the faces of all those hopeless Romanians-cold, empty, lost-no, no hope at all.
Emptiness under that dictatorship, that godlessness, that poverty... But as he walked through, suddenly, he passed a man, and the man was whistling. And he said, "He's whistling 'Blessed Assurance! Jesus is mine!'" And so he turned around, and he didn't want to just interrupt him. He didn't know if he was being watched as, as an American there, so he came up behind him and walked by him. He started whistling. And the man looked at him, and he began to speak to him, and he saw that he didn't understand him. And then he said, "Almost as if we had planned it, together, we said..." And he said, "We embraced-embraced," and said, "He went off whistling," and he said, "I went off whistling". He said, "All of a sudden, language, race, culture, background, economics, everything was totally disappeared because we were brought together in Jesus Christ"!
That is the answer, ladies and gentlemen! No matter where we're from, what our background, what country, what nationality, what ra... I doesn't make any difference. In Jesus Christ, we are brought whole again together in Him as our Lord and as our Savior! Now, in the meantime in this culture, we need to now walk around with light armor and mud flaps. That's not going to get it. We're going to see how we put on the whole armor, completely clothed with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and we'll be able in an evil world to be the difference makers in bringing people together in defeating evil, and claiming victory, full victory as we stand, as Paul said, as we stand in Jesus Christ!