Joseph Prince - Under Attack? Put On The Armor Of God!
We are in a warfare. How many know we're in a warfare? All right, Ephesians 6 tells us, look up here, "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities", here's the hierarchy, "against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places". You can put sickness there because sometimes not all sickness is caused by a demon spirit, but they can manifest as a spirit of infirmity. Or they can manifest as a depressive spirit.
You can't break your mental, you know, disposition from that dark thoughts, that foreboding thoughts that come, the gloomy thoughts that come to your mind. These are the work of the principalities, the darkness of this age, the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Go on. "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". We stand because we are on victory ground.
Now, this is the book of Ephesians. One thing you need to learn is this, the book of Ephesians is divided into, first of all, the three W's, okay? First of all, you have the wealth of the believer in Ephesians 1. Ephesians 2, you have what we have, the riches we have in Christ, amen? All the spiritual blessings in Christ, all the riches, wealth. Then comes the walk, walk worthy of the calling, the high calling. Walk worthy. You are a prince, walk like a prince. You are a princess, walk like a princess, amen? Walk worthy of your vocation, of the calling, amen? So, you have the wealth, or you can call it sit, amen? Because we are seated with God it says in Ephesians. Our position is of rest, we start from rest. Can I have a good amen?
Wealth. Then the next W is walk. The first one is sit, then walk. Walk worthy, all right? The W will W, wealth, then we have walk, then we have warfare, the third W, which is also stand. You stand because you have the victory ground. All right, when the devil comes to lie to you about your health, you have this or not, remember that you are already standing on your possession. Okay, let's go on, "Stand therefore", now he's going to tell you the armor, the pieces of the armor.
And I think you all heard me share before, I think you all still remember that this is not putting on armor like some people teach us last time, put on your belt of truth. Click, and then you put on another click, your shoes, click. You know, your helmet of salvation, click. There's no clicking here. Sometimes, one you click, you must click all these things on early in the morning before you go out, all right? I heard that before last time, prayer teachings and all that. But really all these pieces are actually doctrinal. It's got to do with doctrines that's based on the gospel. The gospel of grace that we preach, every piece of it has got to do with it. It's nothing to do with the old covenant, it's got to do with new covenant. And if you have wrong believing in any one of these areas, that's an area where the devil can attack, where you can be shaken off from your position, are you listening?
So, the first one is, "Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth". Now, the assumption is that having girded means past tense, right? It already stands here. And it says, "Having girded", that means you have your belt of truth. Now, how many under the sound of my voice have received the truth and the truth has set you free? Amen, you're born again. If you're not, by the end of this service, praise God, you can get saved right now. Just ask Jesus to come into your life, believe on him, he died for your sins, amen? Praise the Lord, and you're saved.
Now, your loins are girded with truth. What is a belt for? All right, what's your belt for? To hold up your pants. Now, in those days, the armor of God, this is armor, okay? God's armor. Notice, "Take up the whole armor of God", verse 13. This is the armor of God, it's not our armor. And yet Paul is using the analogy of the Romans at that time, their belt is not just to hold up their pants, it's to where they hold up their sword, the scabbard, all right, the sword. And also all their small daggers, amen? And all their possessions are actually in their special girdle, okay? Having put on the breastplate of righteousness.
Now, breastplate of righteousness, that is your breastplate from the accusations and the fiery darts of the enemy. All right, the enemy aims at your heart. It comes to you and say things so that your heart, you'll be condemned. And the Bible says, "If our heart condemn us", right or not, the devil wants to condemn our hearts, correct? Okay, so this part that you must be established in righteousness. Can I have a good amen? Then it says, "Having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace".
Now, your shoes is called the gospel of peace. I said the gospel of peace. Now, this is what preparation in the Greek, it's the word "preparation". But I like what W.E. Vine's says about this word "preparation". He has this little insight from the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Old Testament, where in Psalms it says, "Righteousness and justice are the foundation of God's throne". The word "foundation" there, all right, of course Old Testament is in Hebrew, but the Greek version, the Septuagint says exactly the same word as preparation. In other words, W.E. Vine's says most likely this verse actually means, all right, not preparation, your shoes is a preparation of the gospel of peace, but it's actually your foundation. It is your firm footing.
When you have the gospel of peace, you know you're on firm footing, amen. Because the gospel of peace does not depend on you, it depends on Christ. It's not about how bad you are, it's about how good he is. It's not how faithful you are, it's how faithful he is. It's not how obedient you are, it's by the obedience of Christ. And that's what we must bring our thoughts to, to the obedience of Christ, not our obedience. The moment it's got to do with you, you know you will fail. You are no more on firm footing, okay?
Next, "So above all, taking the shield of faith. Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one". All right, the shield of faith. The Roman soldier would have this oblong shield, all right, of faith. And it's made of solid wood, but it's layered over, layered many times over with hides, okay? The leather hides of skin. And it's very sturdy. It stands against the arrows and the javelins of the enemy. But above all, above all taking the shield of faith. And this word "shield" covers actually in the Spirit, the idea of shield here is the Roman shield. But God's idea of shield in other places in Psalms and all that has this idea of all encompassing, it covers your back as well, amen?
It's a shield of faith, "With which you'll be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one". All the fiery darts of the wicked one. Don't forget what I said, all this got to do with the gospel, got to do with the gospel. You see the fiery darts of the wicked one? I asked the Lord one time, "Can you show me how the fiery darts work"? Okay, and he showed me, right? The devil shoots a fiery dart. The way he shoots is that, "You have not done this, you have not done that". Make sure your armor is on, make sure you're girded with truth, make sure that you have the gospel of peace, you understand. It's all got to do with right believing. Putting on the armor has got to do with right believing. Do you believe the truth, the fact that you are righteous in the gospel of peace? Are you listening, people, amen?
By the way, the rest of the pieces of the armor are all in participles, okay? They're all in participles. But here is the first imperative in the Greek, it's a command. "Take the helmet", means receive the helmet of salvation. It's literally the word "receive", and receive is an imperative. "Receive the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit". Now, stop here for a while. Let's look at all the pieces again, okay? Go back again to the beginning.
All right, look at all the pieces again. You have, number one, waist, you're girded with truth. The first piece, right? Then you have the breastplate of righteousness, number two. You have your feet with the gospel of peace as your firm foundation, three. Drop down, shield of faith, four. Helmet of salvation, five. Sword of the Spirit, six. God never ends on a six. What's the seven? The seven is this, praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.
Now, I'm going to tell you something really powerful here. Actually, I don't know why they don't translate the very first word in the Greek. If you read the Greek in the verse 18 in Greek, the very first word in Greek is the word "dia". And dia always means by means of, through the instrumentality of. And for some reason or through, okay? By the means of, through the channel of. I don't know why they don't translate that word there, but the translation that translates that is Young's literal translation. Young says it like this, "Through all prayer you receive the helmet of salvation, you receive the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, through, dia, by means of praying all prayer and supplication, praying at all times in the Spirit". That's praying in tongues.
Wow, how do I receive the helmet of salvation? How do I receive that specific rhema word? Because the word, go back to the New King James again. All right, "Praying always with all prayer and". Now it says, notice that? How do I receive the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, that's specific. This word here is rhema, the saying of God. How do I receive the utterance of God, that one word that I need in my fight? I receive it by praying in the Spirit. When I pray in the Spirit, I become sensitive to the Holy Spirit, and God gives me the spoken word inside here. Right, there's the written word and there's a spoken word. And the spoken word will never contradict the written word, but we all need the spoken word. We live by the rhema of God. Can I have a good amen?
So, how do I receive the rhema? How many want God to speak to you? How do you receive the rhema? How do you receive the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit? By praying in the Spirit. Okay, y'all can go home already, that's all, okay? Praise God. That's an easy job. No, listen, that's how you pray in the Spirit. Now, helmet of salvation, notice the helmet, this is the first time the imperative appears. God is saying, "Okay, you have all these pieces, now receive", imperative, in the imperative mood. "Receive, receive the helmet of salvation, and receive the sword of the Spirit by means of praying at all times in the Spirit".
So, when I pray in the Spirit, the first thing I receive is helmet of salvation. Now, this helmet of salvation is 1 Thessalonians tells us, go to first, "We who are of the day be sober, put on the breastplate of". Now helmet, the hope of salvation. Same writer, Paul by the Spirit says, "Hope of salvation". You see that? Hope of salvation, go back to Ephesians 6. What is the helmet of salvation? And that's why I find that when you tell people or when you teach, that people, there is a place where if they do something, they can lose their salvation, then I'll tell you this, you've just broken the armor, the helmet. There is a hole in the helmet. The moment you're not assured that you are saved, don't forget what I said, all the pieces of the armor has got to do with the gospel truths.
I remember years ago, the helmet of salvation for me wasn't working too well. Because I remember how it happened. I had a bout where I started believing that I had committed the unpardonable sin. Now, I'll tell you what happened. I read this book, Christian book, and it says that you can lose your salvation. I don't know why it bothered me. All of a sudden, I said, "Wow". I was enjoying this romance with the King. I was enjoying the Lord's love, I was enjoying the peace of God. I thought it was secure forever, but all of a sudden I read this book, and it says you can lose your salvation, a Christian can lose his salvation. And the guy went to point out some ways that you can lose your salvation.
And the moment I heard that or I read that, something happened to me. It's as if my mind, the helmet opened up. My thought became so dark. And the more I had those bad thoughts, the more I had bad thoughts about God, you know? And all because I believed. And it was this area that was attacked, notice that? The helmet of salvation was no longer there because of wrong believing. But when God brought me back, that's when God introduced to me the gospel of grace. When God showed me that I'm saved and I'm, the Bible says, "Having obtained eternal redemption. And I give them eternal life. No man can pluck them out of my hand. My Father, who is greater than all", amen, "has given me them, and no man can pluck them out of my Father's hands".
So, you have the Father's hand and Jesus's hands, and we are completely protected. Okay? That much I want to say, and then we go on 'cause I want to bring this to a close. Are you all learning this so far? All right, now I want to call your attention to this armor of God. Go back to the beginning of this verse of this armor. It's the whole armor of God. I want to close with the New Testament counterpart, or rather the New Testament picture of God's armor. And go to Isaiah 59. "God put on righteousness as a breastplate", you see that? It's God's armor, God put on righteousness as a breastplate.
Now, the context is that God saw that truth is fallen in the street, there's no more justice in the world. God saw that the people who depart from evil make themself a prey. How can those who stand for morality, for right things and all that, today in the world we live in today is mocked, made fun of, and even persecuted at law in some countries, amen. So, the thing is this, God saw, the context, I'm giving you the context real fast. God saw that truth is fallen in the streets. God saw that those who depart from evil make themself a... I think I said it wrongly just now. Those who depart from the Lord make themself a prey, a victim, amen? I mean, those who obey the Lord, those who want to follow the life of the Lord, they make themself a victim. God didn't like it. God saw, God looked down, he saw, he was displeased. And then, God put on righteousness as a breastplate.
Now, that's the armor of God, amen. This is the armor of God. And a helmet of salvation on his head. That's why we take on the armor of God, it is his armor, amen? He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing. It's not vengeance against us, it's vengeance against our enemies. All the spiritual darkness that oppresses you, that depresses you, and that causes pain in your body, or emotional pain, or whatever, these are the enemies he's declaring vengeance on. Can I have a good amen? "I'll be an adversary", he says, "to your adversaries. And he was clad with zeal as a cloak. According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompense to his enemies. The coastlands he will fully repay". Drop down, "So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. 'The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,' says the Lord".
The Redeemer will come to Zion, and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob, says the Lord. Next verse, "'As for me', says the Lord, 'this is my covenant with them. My"... Is it possible to put the two verses together, 20 and 21? All right, no, no, go back again to the verse. Go back, okay, "'As for me,' says the Lord". Because of time, I'm going to show you real fast, "'This is my covenant with them. My spirit who is upon you, and my words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants' descendants', says the Lord, 'from this time and forevermore'".
Now this, "As for me, this is my covenant with them. My Spirit that's on you and my words that I put in your mouth". Get up again, "My words in your mouth, all right, will not depart from your mouth, nor from your seed, your children's mouth, nor from your grandchildren's mouth". In other words, it starts with your mouth. And what is this words? We all speak words, so what is this special covenant? As for me, this is my covenant with them. I'll put my words. It's praying in the Spirit I submit to you. It's a new covenant, and the words that came on the day of Pentecost was praying in the Spirit.
So, God is saying, "Don't worry about your children praying in the Spirit. If you pray in the Spirit, it will not depart from your mouth, then it will not depart from their mouth. It will not depart from your seeds' seed's mouth". Right, you see that? Now, these two verses, go to verse 20 again. Notice, "The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those who turn from transgression in Jacob". Keep that in mind. "Says the Lord". And then verse 21, "As for me, this is my covenant with them". Do you know that these two verses are quoted in Romans 11. You all saw a flash just now, Romans 11, do you know that? But and in all the marginal rendering of the Bible, they tell you it's quoted from Isaiah 59. But look at the two together, compare them. In Romans 11, it says, "So all Israel be saved, as it is written".
Now, as it is written where? On the left, Isaiah 59. "The deliverer will come out of Zion, and he will turn away ungodliness from Jacob". Now, look at this, "For this is my covenant with them". Verse 21 on the left side, "As for me, this is my covenant with them". But instead of talking about praying in tongues, he says, "This is my covenant with them when I take away their sins". So, taking away our sins is equivalent to us praying in tongues. And that's why I'm telling you people who are not established in the fact that their sins are forgiven, they have a problem praying in tongues. They can pray, but their prayer is not a flow. Because praying in tongues is like the moment you realize in Cornelius's house, when Peter preached how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, nothing happened.
He talked about all the good things, nothing happened. But the moment he says, "Through him, all the prophets witnessed that everyone who believes in him receive forgiveness of sins", the Holy Spirit fell. And the word "fell" in the Greek is the word "embrace", the same word used for prodigal son's father embracing him. The Holy Spirit embraced everyone in Cornelius's house and they all began, it was a bear hug, it was a love hug. And they all began to speak with tongues. It was out of the flow of knowing that God loves you. Jude says, "Praying in the Holy Spirit, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, comma, keep yourself in the love of God".
So, the way you keep yourself, not your love for God, but God's love for you, keep yourself in the love of God. You know how you keep yourself in the sense that God loves you? When you drive your car, all of a sudden someone cuts in front of you, you feel anger, you pray in the Spirit. All of a sudden, you realize God loves you, you are special. This is too special for you to lose over someone who just cut you. You pray in tongues, you feel the love of God, God loving you and even love for others.
One last thing, and then I'll close. It says in verse 16, show them verse 16. Ephesians 6, verse 16. Never mind, you all know that, I'll tell you anyway. Verse 16 says, "Above all, taking the shield of faith". Do you know that the word "faith" here has a definite article, "the faith"? We all think of faith as a teaching. You know, I have faith in healing. All right, so I put up the shield of faith, and all the fiery darts of symptoms can't come near me. I think that's true. I'm not saying that's not true, it's a general truth. But specifically, all this has got to do with the gospel truths.
And when the Bible says, "The faith", it's referring to justification by faith. Taking the shield of the faith, Young's translation is taking the shield of the faith, the faith is there. Sometimes, in the book of Galatians, for example, it says, "After faith has come, we are no longer under a school master". Actually, "the" is there. "After the faith has come". What is the faith? Righteousness by faith. Are you listening, people? Are you listening? And that is where we all want to rest. Can I have a good amen? Have you been blessed? Praise the Lord.