"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

The ARMOR and Its ACCOMPANYING PARTS: PART SIX– Section Three: The Sword of the Spirit:

~~By James Fire

EPH 6:17
[And take the helmet of salvation,] and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:


We will examine the Helmet of Salvation in the next segment of this article (Part 7); right now let’s examine here in Part 6: the SWORD of the SPIRIT which is the WORD of GOD –


HEB 4:12
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

REV 19:11-13
And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself.
And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.


~* The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God, and this has a two-fold meaning; on the one hand you have the Word Incarnate, Eternally existing with the Father since before the foundation of the earth, Who then became flesh and dwelt among us (Jesus Christ; see 1 JOHN 1:1-2; JOHN 1:14; REV 19:13); on the other hand you have the Word inspired, which are the Holy Scriptures that have been ‘God-breathed’ into the various amanuenses (writers that received dictation [from the Spirit of God]; see 2 PET 1: 21; 2 TIM 3:16).

Both the Incarnate Word and the inspired Word are representations of and are themselves the Truth of God expressed; the former in the Person of Jesus Christ, the latter in the pages of Scripture.

I believe both are in view in this portrait of the warrior-saint.

This Sword, like the Shield of Faith, is a mobile part of our armor and not fixed upon us like the breastplate or the helmet; these are implements we must take hold of with a firm grip and held securely not by our own strength but by the “power of His might”. The Word of God is effective in our own personal lives, the lives of all the saints who love the Truth; it is likewise useful in tearing down the arguments and disputations of the lost souls who yet still have the mind-set of the depraved, seeing that they are still blinded by sin.

We utilize the Word of God as well against the attacks and temptations of the enemy, much as the LORD Jesus, the Word, the creator of heaven and earth, the One in Whom resides all the power of the God-head, utilized it in His duel with Satan (and if Almighty God found it appropriate to use the Word in His interactions with the devil, how much more so we, who are vessels of clay with the Spirit of God dwelling within us!).

This Sword of the Spirit is an effective offensive weapon, indeed the ultimate weapon! The quintessential ‘sacred (not ‘secret’) weapon’ of the church!

Understanding that Jesus is the Word Incarnate, the Creator of all things seen and unseen, and that He is indeed Almighty God in human flesh, its incredible to read His confrontation with Satan in the days of temptation in the desert after forty days of fasting (MATT 4:1-11; LUKE 4:1-13); He didn’t use His power as God made flesh to blast Satan into oblivion or across the universe, but rather He used the very Word of God, the Holy Scriptures and used His power to adhere and remain faithful to the Scriptures. As the Captain of the LORD’s Hosts, the LORD Jesus provided for us an example of how to conduct spiritual warfare, using the Sword of the Spirit and by the power of the Spirit (“the power of His might”) adhere and remain faithful to the Scriptures. We can do no better than using this weapon against our enemy, and we can do deplorably worse by using any other weapon of human manufacture and invention (Psychology, Philosophy, Sociology, Economics, Politics, etc)!

Any sword wielded by warriors and soldiers through out time and upon any battlefield will tell you that this weapon serves well as both a defensive and offensive device. Likewise when we are confronted by the enemy who would attack us and ruin us, the Word employed is an able defender on our behalf. The Word itself doesn’t require our defense, but we surely require its defense!

I really like Charles Spurgeon’s comment on the Word: “You need not defend the scriptures for they are like a lion in the cage. The lion itself needs no defense; you have only to let it out of its cage!”
This is not to say that apologetics isn’t a useful or necessary ministry, because we are most certainly supposed to “give a reason (apologia in the Greek) for the hope that is in us” (1 Pet. 3:15), but the Word of God is powerful when sown in the lives of people, even the most ardent and zealous skeptics and militant atheists. I have often encountered such people and all the while they protest my quotation of scripture, insisting that they “don’t believe any of that garbage”, the scriptures are able to penetrate into the very depths of the heart.

Don’t defend the Word of God (in apologetics) so much as use the Word of God!
Yet before you can use it, you need to read it, know it, and handle it properly (a wise admonition for a blade such as this, which is far sharper and deadlier than any other sword manufactured by mere man!).

2 TIM 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

1 THESS 2:13
For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

2 COR 10:4
(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

(See also PROV 30:5; MATT 4:1-11; LUKE 5:1; ACTS 4:31; 19:8-9; 1 PET 1:2-3; 1 JOHN 2:14)

Just as sword and shield are used by the warrior as the offensive and defensive aspects of any engagement in battle, likewise the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God, and the Shield of Faith are to be used in conjunction in order to be effective.

HEBREWS 4:2
For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

The Word given to the children of Israel on their way to Canaan land was not believed by the vast majority of them, thus of the original generation that left Egypt, only TWO survived their journey to lay claim to the promises God gave to that entire nation: Joshua and Caleb (not even Moses entered into the promised land! See HEB 3:11 – 4:11).

By faith we must believe God’s Word or fall into the same kind of unbelief that prohibited the people of Israel from receiving the promises God made to them!

The ‘father of the faithful’ Abraham is our great example of believing faith that acquires the promises of God’s Word (see ROM 4:3; GAL 3:6; JAMES 2:23): think of how the faith of this “friend of God” has affected all the generations of the history of mankind! Who will be affected by our faith in God's Word of Truth in this world?

ROM 4:20
He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
As saints and followers of Jesus Christ, may I encourage all of us to find and hold onto a new love, passion and zeal for reading, studying, believing and obeying the Word of God! In light of this admonition here is a video clip from Sermon Index (note: don’t let the appearance of this brother throw you with his long hair and dark sunglasses; I was initially taken aback by him too, but once you hear his testimony and his exhortation, I believe you will be as encouraged and blessed as I was! Perhaps you might want to set aside some time later to watch this as it is over an hour long):

A Revival of GOD's WORD by Jose Muniz

Now that we have watched Jose and heard his extolling of God’s Word, turn to Psalm 119 and read the Psalmists own veneration of the Word of God; how appropriate that the longest Psalm, the largest chapter in the Bible is all about the Word of God!
Note: Such words employed in this Psalm, such as “law, testimony, statutes, precepts, commandments, and judgments” have some technical differences, but essentially they are all related to the Word of God as recorded in Scripture.

PSALM 119:9-12
BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes.
The LORD Jesus said,


MATT 24:35
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
Also:

PSALM 100:5
For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

PSALM 119:89
LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.


ISAIAH 40:8
The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

We know by matter of course that when we look out the window every morning, the sky and earth will be there to greet us; it’s been that way all of our lives. None of us have spent a sleepless night filled with anxiety that they might be gone the following day.

Yet the LORD Jesus has stated that as dependable as these are, one day, they will vanish away, but not so His words! It endures to all generations, its established in the eternal halls of heaven, and will stand forever, no matter how severely the truth may come under enemy fire (or even supposedly ‘friendly fire’?).

In our engagement against the enemy, we will be challenged to disbelieve God’s Word for he will certainly attempt to inflict doubt and a decided lack of confidence in the Word of the LORD.

Yet our God is a ROCKunchanging, unalterable, unassailable, unmoving! He is sovereign and supreme, and the authority of His Word is so paramount that God even exalts it about His Own Most Holy Name (PSALM 138:2)!

In days such as these we live in now, filled with uncertainties, fears, unknowns and unanticipated perils, it’s a temptation to succumb to these pressures as we view the storms all about us, yet we always have a choice: we either believe those things within the sphere of our viewing, or believe what God has told us.

I’ll never forget how the LORD used a John Wayne movie to speak to my heart; it was the film McClintock where the Duke starred with Maureen O’Hara and Yvonne DeCarlo.
An inebriated McClintock was ‘helping’ house keeper Mrs. Warren (DeCarlo) up the stairs, but ended up tumbling back down, with her landing on top of him. McClintock’s estranged wife (O’Hara) comes out of her room and glaring down the stairs sees this sight. Once McClintock comes to, and sees her in a rage, he says,
“Now Katherine, are ya gunna believe what you SEE or what I TELL ya?”

In this world of turmoil, deception and sin, God often has to ask us the same question re: His ability to provide, protect and help us to persevere in the midst of such a domain as this. For more about this subject, please view this article FROM the MIND of FIRE:

A Different Sermon on Another Mount

‘Bible’ means “book” and we call it ‘the Holy Book’, but in all actuality the Bible is a library consisting of sixty six books, written by more than forty authors, over a span of time covering thousands of years. Contained within these ‘tomes of truth’ are various covenants and dispensations throughout this revelation, and doctrines that must be understood within the context of the whole work. Thus as the above scripture from Paul admonishes us, we must indeed RIGHTLY divide the Word of Truth, and the only way this is possible is under the tutelage of the Holy Spirit and of Christ Jesus Himself, whether directly or indirectly through an able ‘workman of the Word’ be they pastor or lay teacher (See JOHN 14:26; EPH 4:21; 1 TIM 5:17).

Every false doctrine known to the church has come about either by a misunderstanding or misapplication of scripture, or a preoccupation and emphasis of some scripture while ignoring others. This is why we must study, learn and understand ALL the counsel of God which He has given to us in the Scriptures (ACTS 20:26-28) – from Genesis to Revelation. For this reason I believe strongly in expositional studies over topical ones. This is not to say that topical teaching isn’t useful for specific purposes and on certain occasions, they certainly are! However, a steady diet of topical teaching can leave ‘gaps’ in one’s understanding of the Word.

Faithful, regular, repetitious, expositional teaching of God’s Most Holy Word will ably equip us with all that God intends for us, for if He didn’t intend for us to read Esther or Job, Micah or Obadiah (who reads Obadiah?!) He would not have wasted the time and effort, ink and parchment on behalf of the prophets and apostles who wrote such books.

From an article by Chuck Missler we have the following:

Supernatural Origin
“As most of our regular readers know, the two great discoveries that are the underpinning of this ministry [Koinonia House – khouse.org - are, first, that the Bible is an integrated message. Even though it consists of 66 separate books which were penned by about 40 different authors-over thousands of years- we now discover that it is the product of detailed and skillful engineering: every detail, every place name, even the mathematical properties of the text are the result of deliberate and careful design.

“The rabbis have a quaint way of expressing this idea. They often say that they really won't be able to interpret the true meaning of the Scriptures until the Messiah comes. "But when He comes He will not only interpret the passages, He will interpret the very words, the very letters, He will even interpret the spaces between the letters!" I used to dismiss this as just a colorful exaggeration, until I re-read MATT 5:17,18:

"Think not that I am come to destroy the Torah, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one yot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."

“Now a yot and a tittle are the Hebrew equivalents of our dotting an "i" or crossing a "t." I then realized that those rabbis were apparently closer to the truth than I had ever imagined!
“The realization that the Bible is a skillfully designed message system significantly altered my understanding of the whole and my respect for the details. But it also involved a second discovery: the Bible demonstrates that its origin is from outside our time domain.”

And further more from Chuck:

Our Sword
“Paul's use of the idiom ‘the Sword of the Spirit’ carries some other suggestive characteristics. Most of the ancient armies favored a long sword with a single edge. The Romans developed a short sword- the Machira -which, with its associated techniques, enabled them to conquer the world. It was only 24 inches long and was sharpened on both edges.

“But there was a secret to its effectiveness: training and practice. Its uniqueness was a liability unless it was used with the proper techniques, which required extensive practice. Is there a lesson here for us?

“Let's look at an example: What Bible study was given by seven different people, on twelve separate occasions (in just one book of the Bible), always yielded remarkable results, and yet is rarely given today? The Answer: Presenting Jesus Christ as the Messiah entirely from the Old Testament.

“In the Book of Acts, when they presented Jesus from the Scriptures, they were using only the "Old Testament." Could you present Jesus to your Jewish friends using only these references?
“The proper use of our "Sword" requires training, and practice, practice, and more practice, if we are to be effective for our Lord. There are (at least) four highly effective techniques to acquiring the essential skills:

“1. Serious study, with a core set of tools in your home library. If you're serious about your Bible, invest in it: acquire a resource base of your own. Pick up a good study Bible, an exhaustive concordance, Biblical helps, etc.

2. Discover the amazing results available through [CD’s, CD-ROMS, MP3 files and other recorded study materials]. You can be personally tutored by whomever you best relate to. Some have indicated that they have learned more about their Bible in six months with [these] than they have after twelve years of Christian schools plus seminary! This is one reason that our ministry has emphasized these remarkable resources (ROM 10:17).

3. Join a home Bible study. The dynamics within an intimate group is where the real action is!

4. The biggest secret of all: teach a home Bible study. The way to really learn a book is to teach it. It is not hard to collect some competent background materials and stay a week ahead of the group. Few things are as rewarding.”
Taken from:

The Sword of the Spirit

May I likewise say that when I am studying God’s Word in preparation for some study (whether on TTUF or its Sister sites or a Bible study in person, I tend not to use commentaries too often. I much prefer to utilize the Bible itself (I am fond of saying that when you sit down with your Bible, studying any particular book in it, you have available to you the best commentaries you can get, and you don’t even have to get up out of your chair for these supreme commentaries, that number sixty-five in total!

Of course I’m referring to the other books of the Bible! In other words, let the Bible make commentary on the Bible; for this reason I very much enjoy using the Thompson Chain Reference Bible, because it uses a numerical system that ‘links’ all the various subjects and themes of the Bible together in a chain (hence the name of this study Bible. NOTE: Be advised that cross references are the manufacture of biblical scholars and teachers and not in themselves inspired of God, so caution is always necessary in utilizing these, but only to a certain degree. I have found most of the Thom. Chain references to be useful and accurate).

The Thompson Chain Study Bible

I also like to use a Strong’s Exhaustive (NOT Concise!) Concordance; this is a most remarkable tool! Exhaustive means that every available reference in the scripture is recorded in this volume linking them to the list of words that are used in the Bible; concise means that only the majority and primary words are listed and this will leave out such words as deemed of lesser importance.

Just suppose you wanted to do a character study on the life of Abraham: you could scour the Bible on your own, thinking (and guessing) of every place where he is mentioned, or you could get your Strong’s Concordance and simply look up the name ‘Abraham’ (don’t forget to look up his previous name ‘Abram’ too) and you will find a list of every reference of the scriptures where Abram/Abraham is mentioned!

The same thing goes if you wanted to do a study regarding a biblical location, such as Jezreel, or Mount Sinai or Jerusalem or Bethlehem. Strong’s Concordance also has lexicons or dictionaries that explain Hebrew and Greek words (the primary languages in which the Bible was written) and their meanings, which can be very significant.

Take Bethlehem for example – if you look up the Hebrew word used for ‘Bethlehem’ you find that it is: beyth lechem or “house of bread”. How interesting that the very birth place of the One Who declared Himself to be “the Bread of Life” was born in this little town of Bethlehem!

Perhaps you wanted to do a word study on “joy” or “power” or “love” or “faith”, etc. The Strong’s Concordance is an excellent beginning point that ably leads you to all the scriptures from Genesis to Revelation that deal with any specific word you want to examine!

What about doing a study on ‘kingdoms’ such as the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven, etc.; just look up the word ‘kingdom’ and then examine all the columns of references where “kingdom” of heaven or “kingdom” of God are listed and you have yourself every scripture in the Bible where these are mentioned! Instantly you have a comprehensive Bible study right in hand!
Here’s the edition of Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance that I use (It includes many of the primary and relevant words used in the Bible and their Hebrew and Greek meanings as found in Vine’s Expository Dictionary on Biblical Words, or you can get a Vine’s as a separate work):

The STRONG's EXHAUSTIVE CONCORDANCE

Another valuable tool for Bible study is the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge; this useful tool is a veritable treasure trove of Biblical cross references! From Genesis to Revelation, every verse recorded in this work (containing the entire Bible) as a series of cross references from the entire Bible that are meaningful to that specific verse! Outstanding!

The TREASURY of SCRIPTURE KNOWLEDGE

Of course when I’ve finished studying the scriptures, I often pick up commentaries for comparison with what I’ve gleaned from my own study (this is a good method of safely verifying whether or not my own conclusions are sound or needs a bit of revision, but always the Word of God is the final authority). Commentators often have insights that I don’t, or a clearer understanding of passages that I am a bit ‘fuzzy’ on; they may even bring up a very good point or two that has escaped my notice. Yet any commentary is AFTER my own study, not before it.

These are all ‘hardware’ tools to study the Scriptures with; books that you might acquire. There are computer software programs that make study of Scripture even more accessible!

Here is one example of some free software:

E- SWORD

Here is another:

The BLUE Letter BIBLE

For those who are able to purchase materials, there are resourceful products out there for your due consideration, such as LOGOS SOFTWARE and related resources like: LIBRONIX

It is my heartfelt prayer that these tools would be employed by our readers, and that I’ve been able to excite and encourage you to really become avid students of the scriptures! As lovers are overjoyed to read the letters sent to each other, so we are overjoyed to read the Word, our love letter from God Himself! Remember that the Bible is not a mere textbook for the gathering of biblical knowledge, it’s a book born of God’s love, care and concern for the welfare of mankind; a means by which God Who is Love is reaching out to a lost race, bound by sin and needs deliverance and freedom from its bondage!

It's also represents our daily provision of spiritual nourishment, encouragement, guidance and inspiration for us who are His beloved children; how our Abba must rejoice when He beholds us feasting on His Word, and for all the spiritual health and vitality it brings us!

JOHN 8:32
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

ROM 6:18, 22
Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

GAL 5:1
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
Here ends the second to the last segment on the armor of God; once we complete a survey of the armor, we will look at some application, and learn about spiritual warfare conducted in the Old and New Testament. Until then, REMEMBER THE ARMOR!!
Read more!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

SPIRITUAL WARFARE: The Armor of God, Conduct in the Campaign & Implementing the Victory of Christ in our Lives – PART 5

~~By James Fire

The ARMOR and Its ACCOMPANYING PARTS – Section Two: The Feet Shod with the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace and The Shield of Faith:

FEET SHOD with the PREPARATION of the GOSPEL of PEACE –

Eph 6:15
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace
;

Whether one discusses the Gospel of the Kingdom to Israel or the Gospel of salvation to the Church, it’s ultimately the same Gospel (to two different entities) with the same central figure: our LORD Jesus Christ (also known as Y’shua ha Meschiach Nagid).

Here this Gospel is associated with Peace, and as Jesus Christ is our Peace, indeed, the veritable PRINCE of PEACE, we are to don these shoes prepared with the Gospel of peace, for whoever is born of God ought to walk even as He walked (1 John 2:6).

~*Here this Gospel is associated with Peace, and as Jesus Christ is our Peace, indeed, the veritable PRINCE of PEACE, we are to don these shoes prepared with the Gospel of peace, for whoever is born of God ought to walk even as He walked (1 John 2:6).

Eph 2:14
For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

Isa 9:6
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Hebrews 13:20-21
Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,

Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

We the church are comprised of saints on the move. Our feet provide useful service in bringing us where the LORD wills as we walk in the Spirit (Is. 52:7; Gal. 5:16), to deliver the message of the Gospel to a dying world, a planet of walking (Eph. 2:1b; spiritually dead) corpses.

We are the couriers of Christ Jesus delivering the diplomacy of peace from the King, offering official entrance and citizenship to all who would desire to live in His Kingdom! The church is partaker of these first fruits of peace, for it’s not until we receive this peace that we can offer the same to others, and this peace is acquired only by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Rom 5:1-2, 8-9
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.


All Christians, true believers and followers of Jesus Christ, who have repented and turned away from their old, sinful lives have had their sins judged by God already: at the cross of Jesus Christ where He died for our sins.
Because we received and trust in this spiritual Truth, we are not under the wrath of God (in judgment), but rather have peace with God, all on account of Jesus; the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world!

Look throughout the New Testament and search for that word “peace” and seldom will you encounter it without the word “grace” preceding it! Indeed, we cannot experience peace with God until we first partake of the grace of God!

By the shed blood of Jesus, the wrath of God is appeased. For those who are covered in that Holy Substance, we are now at peace with Him, reconciled to the One Who would have been a Divine Judge upon our sin, and Who would have rightly condemned us to eternal hell.

Rom 5:10
For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

We are reconciled to God! That is, a dramatic change has taken place, for if we receive the propitiatory (satisfactory) sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our sins, the justice of God against sin is met, for the LORD took our sins and infirmities (Isaiah 53: 4-8, 10-11) and has set us free from condemnation (Romans 8:1), Himself being condemned in our place (Rom. 8:3; 2 Cor. 5:20).

Note: Since we were at enmity with God as sinners, it is we who were in need of reconciliation to God and not vice versa; God is Holy and Righteous and has no need to be reconciled to us for He committed no offense against us. We are the ones who have offended His Holiness by our rebellion and sin, but God has provided reconciliation through His Son. The reason I bring this up is because many who believe in Universalism, that is the false doctrine that all souls will eventually be saved, believe that reconciliation is bi-lateral, that God and we ourselves are reconciled to each other, so that all will come to know salvation. Such is the teaching in William P. Young’s novel, The Shack.

(We have two articles on T.T.U.F. about this novel for you to consider:
A Comment or Two on Burning Down the Shack

A Look Into the Shack)

However peace with God is only the beginning for His beloved! There is far more still! We of the church not only have acquired peace with God, but also the peace of God!

Phil 4:7
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Col 3:15
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.


This is a peace sublime, unequalled by any other, no matter how euphoric or exquisite: all other forms pale in comparison to this Divine supplement for our souls! The very essence and attribute of peace, from the eternal serenity of the Spirit of God, embodied in the Person of the LORD Jesus is shared by Him to the church and is of the same quality.

It is as we continue in the grace of God, and enjoy peace with God, and partake of that sweet fellowship with our dear LORD, sowing in the Word (Psalm 119:165; John 14:27) and prayer (Isaiah 26:3; Philippians 4:6 [in this passage “careful” meaning “anxious”]), that we likewise reap the peace of God. This peace runs deep within our hearts, far deeper than any mere emotion of the soul, and abides irrevocably for those that abide in Christ (John 15:1).

It is in the midst of trial, of hardship, of abject poverty, misery, persecution and tribulation and all the “slings and arrows” of life that this peace yet abides, for it’s entirely independent of our circumstances and happenings, and our thoughts and feelings. This peace is quite able to keep our hearts and to rule (to designate, decide, direct, to govern the heart) so that no influences will govern with greater power than this. The peace of God shall govern our hearts beyond the abilities of all other considerations, all other powers and influences that may afflict us and attempt to bring us to despondency or despair! Note that thankfulness is also associated with the peace of God.

We not only enjoy peace with God, and the peace of God, but likewise we receive peace from God in a never ending supply. For those that would have it, this peace from God is like waves of the tide that perpetually wash the shorelines of our lives! Peace from God arrives when we seek Him out as our chiefest joy, our greatest prize, our deepest longing, our greatest teacher, our strongest ally, our highest love, our exclusively potent Redeemer (see Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:3; 2 Cor. 1:2; Gal. 1:3; Eph. 1:2; 6:23; Phil. 1:2; Col. 1:2; 1 Thess. 1:1; 2 Thess. 1:2; 1 Tim. 1:2; 2 Tim. 1:2; Titus 1:4; Philemon 1:4; 2 John 1:3) and allow Him to have His way with our lives, “delighting in the LORD” our God (Ps. 37:4).

Note that our feet must be “shod with the preparation [of the Gospel of peace]”

We must bind beneath us this Gospel, and never seek to have it unbound from us, for this is our sure foundation, the one and only foundation of our salvation through the LORD Jesus Christ:

1 Cor 3:11
For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

This is our sure footing; our steadfastness depends upon our stability in the Gospel, for if we are faulty in our understanding and application of this foundation, then we as warriors will be easily toppled by our enemy.

Just as the “stone cut without hands” struck the image (representing the world empire in Daniel chapter 2) in its feet and caused it to crumble; so too when the enemy strikes us at our feet and if we are not suitably founded and armored with the genuine Gospel (and not one of its myriad counterfeits that we see multiplied today) we shall crumble.

These shoes are where our walk as believers makes contact with this fallen world, and our testimony will either validate or invalidate our message (the message of THE Gospel can never be invalidated, only our message, our delivering and presentation of the Gospel runs this risk); too many evangelists and proclaimers of the Gospel today have tainted testimonies, smudged with sin and tattered with transgression. Pure religion, among other things (in its biblical sense) “is to keep ourselves unspotted from the world” (James 1:27).

This world needs to see holy saints of God, whose lives rightly reflect the glorious Gospel of our Holy God and LORD; only such consecrated vessels are suitable to carry this pure Gospel, and apart from the grace of God, none of us would be suitable! Yet this grace is only effective in willing hearts; yielded to God, and yearning for His Life in us and we must likewise reject our own lives of carnal existence (or at the least, lives of mediocrity and ‘half-way obedience’).

On a side note: The televangelists of today in larger degree have brought shame upon the Name of Jesus Christ, and upon this Gospel of Salvation by replacing God the Son with the ‘little gods’ that they claim as themselves and with such messages that promote lusting after the riches, possessions and things of this world. The clamor and “itching ears” of America’s church for such teachings (1 Tim. 6:5; 2 Tim. 4:3-4) has spelled spiritual ruin for them, and all the while they boast of such god-like power, they are defenseless against the power of the enemy that has them bound up in spiritual pride and arrogance: this is the legacy of the Kenneth Copelands, the Benny Hinns, and such like of the Word-Faith Movement. While boasting of spiritual authority, they possess none from the LORD Jesus Christ. There are others who promote successful living as if it were a birth-right of the church, and seek prosperity and self-help theology rather than the pure milk, and the meat of God’s Word. Is it any wonder that the saints in the church today are anorexic spiritually speaking? Why there is no discernment within our ranks as to what is approved and what is not regarding doctrine (so-called) being extolled among the fellowships and ministries across the land?

Jesus promised us that those who follow Him must deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Him to the death of self, of all ambition and self-will, and allow His life to be manifested in us for the purpose of GLORIFYING HIM, NOT IN CREATING A LIFE OF EASE AND PLEASURE FOR OURSELVES!

Warriors for Christ, who live in Christ, follow after the KING as dead men who have arisen with Life Eternal coursing through their spirits, onto the battle field of this rebel planet with but a single determination, a solitary goal, a sole cause: TO WAGE WAR UPON A DEFEATED FOE, SMITTEN LETHALLY BY THE CROSS OF CHRIST, and TO RESCUE FALLEN SOULS FROM HIS LAIR! THIS INDEED IS WAR!

Please listen to PAUL WASHER’s presentation:

This Is War!

We who cleave to the Gospel of Truth are the only ones in the church that pose a threat to the kingdom of darkness! This Divine ammunition has proven lethal at de-populating that devilish domain of many of its slaves of sin, and for this reason the enemy would seek to cripple us so that we can no longer advance into his realm and rescue lost souls!

The ancient soldiers of time past wore what were known as ‘greaves’, armor worn (typically) over the knee and lower leg to protect them from enemy attack. A strike to the shin bone would render a soldier ineffective and take him out of the battle. Sometimes traps were set by the enemy that would spring up and with a stone or ball of iron or brass would strike suddenly and cripple a soldier with a shattered leg.

Likewise in our walks/lives the enemy would seek to surprise us and strike suddenly with a trap that would cripple our witness for Christ, and disable our testimony by getting us to fall into sin. Thus this preparation of the Gospel of peace is of extreme necessity. As already mentioned, a consecrated life is necessary, and this is the discipline of a soldier that marches to the order of his LORD, who cares nothing for the things of this world, or the allurements of sin, but whose heart beats fervently to hear the approval of the Captain of our Salvation: “Well done, good and faithful servant”!

We must be able expositors of the Gospel and deft defenders (apologetics) of its Truth. This takes study, prayer, and biblical meditation on the truths of God’s Word: preparation in doctrine as well as sanctification as vessels unto honor.


2 Tim 2:20-22
But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.

If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.

Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.


Eph 5:15-17
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

To walk circumspectly is to walk carefully, being completely aware of one’s surroundings and any potential dangers that might present themselves. Picture a soldier navigating his way through a mine field, and you will get the picture here; or as already mentioned an ancient soldier who is on the look out for traps that might ruin his leg and take him out of the battle.

To step outside of the LORD’s will is to be endangered of stepping on such traps (“snares” Deut.7: 16; Judges 2: 3; Ps. 119:110; Prov. 29:25; 1 Tim. 6:9), thus we require His wisdom, which He readily provides for all who ask (James 1:5), and His Spirit Who alone can rightly lead us (Rom. 8:14) through.

Lastly, recognize that there are two shoes, one for each foot, and as we walk with God in this warfare, we require (as walking naturally does) balance. All our understanding of the Gospel, and of the Word in general, must be balanced and in proper proportion; we must rightly divide the Word of Truth and keep its sacred doctrines in alignment with one another. We must not be all about Truth to the exclusion of Love, and vice versa; we must not be all about holiness and not about mercy; we must not be all about doctrine and not about obeying such; we must not be all about the study of God’s Word and not about prayer!

Likewise in warfare, any soldier of martial prowess will tell you that in engaging the enemy one requires good foot work, balance, and sturdiness and solidity of strength. Thus we are equipped with the best footwear that any could ever possess!

The Gospel of salvation and all of its aspects are the means and methods by which the sinner can be made free, and the saint made freer by sanctification, and freer still in glorification. For an able treatment of these various aspects of salvation, please visit this web page:

The THREE TENSES of SALVATION by C.I. Scofield

Also for those willing to delve even more into this crucial truth (and I highly recommend it!), please review this page on “Feet Shod with the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace” by C.H. Spurgeon:

Shoes for Pilgrims and Warriors

The SHIELD of FAITH –

Eph 6:16
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.


The LORD Jesus is the sole object of our faith, and as we remain steadfast in “the faith” that is, in the teaching and application of God’s Inspired Word after the Spirit Who dwells in us and inspired the scriptures as well (Rom. 10:17; 2 Cor. 13:5), we abide in the Incarnate (made flesh) Word, and He in us!

He is likewise our source for faith and our faithful High priest

Act 3:16
And his name through faith in His name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by Him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. (see also Acts 26:18)

1 Cor 2:5
That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

Hebrews 10:23
Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

Hebrews 2:17
Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto His brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

The allegorical designation for faith here in the passage of Ephesians 6:16 is a shield; it represents the only moveable defensive part of our armor. We can rightly deduce that “the faith” is applicable to all of our lives (2 Pet. 1:3; 2 Tim. 3:16-17) and readily available for any and all aspects, just as a shield might be positioned to protect any part of our bodies.

In ancient days, there were two basic kinds of shields: bucklers and flanking shields. The buckler was much smaller, usually round, and efficient for its maneuverability but not sufficient for full body protection. The flanking shield however was quite large, almost door sized, and particularly in the Roman (and previously Phoenician) armies had ridges along its edge so that the shields could be interlocked between soldiers (hence the term flanking shield) to form a wall of protection. The Greek word used here for “shield” is thureos, meaning an oblong, large, door-like shield that protects the whole of the soldier at once.

Any who have seen the film Gladiator saw the ‘tortoise formation’ employed during one of the arena battles with the chariots. The gladiators hunched down and locked their shields to form a dome shape, impervious to attack (when done correctly).
The full sized flanking shield is suggestive that this faith – in God’s Holy Word – is suitable and practical for all our lives and its aspects; that everything is covered by this shield of faith. Also the idea that we can use these shields in conjunction with others demonstrates that my faith may be of service to you, and your faith of service to me, that the entire body is edified by the mutual faith of its individual members (see Mark 2:5; Rom. 1:12; Col. 3:16).

“Faith” as used in this passage of Ephesians 6 is pistis; it is the same Greek word used almost everywhere else in the New Testament. It means, “persuasion, credence; moral conviction (of religious truth or the truthfulness of God or religious teacher; esp. reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly, constancy in such profession; by extension, the system of religious (Gospel) truth; assurance, believe, belief, fidelity.”

The entirety of the Christian’s walk is to be in accordance with faith, specifically faith in Christ Jesus and His Word. By employing such, the believer is ‘shielded’ from the attacks (“fiery darts”, to be examined momentarily). Our approach in the Christian life is based on living by faith, for only this can and will please God; anything less than an all encompassing faith is sin, and will bring the saintly soldier into the flesh (not the spirit), the arena of the enemy where he is vulnerable to the strikes and wounding from Satan.

Rom 1:17
For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

See also: Hab. 2:4; Gal. 2:11; Heb. 10:38; Romans 14:16, 23, James 2: 19.

Hebr 11:6
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

This faith is to be evidenced in genuine salvation (not mere profession which James dealt with in 2:19 above) that will produce fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5: 22; Eph. 5:9) and good works (Eph. 2:10; 2 Tim. 3:17; Titus 2:14; 3:8, 14; and 1 Pet. 2:12). Note that such fruit and good works are not necessary FOR salvation, but are necessary as evidence OF salvation. Without such evidence there is no substantiation for assurance in one’s salvation, hence the many warnings found in scripture (Lam. 3:40; 2 Cor. 13:5; Gal. 6:4l; Heb. 6:4-6; 10: 23, 26-31). Remember the words of the LORD Jesus Christ – “…you shall know them by their fruit…” – Matt. 7:16-20.

How much faith do you have in God? One might well answer that question by asking another: How much do you love God? Your faith or trust in a person will grow in proportion to your love for that person. How much more so will our faith in God grow as our love for God and His precious Word grows?

Gal 5:6
For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
(see also 1 John 3:23)


Apologetics, the defense of ‘the faith’ that provides reasons why we believe the Bible is God’s Word and substantiates evidences that prove such and excites faith in the scriptures. Thus in defending the faith, we plow the soil of human hearts, preparing them for the seed of the Word, and as they express faith in the Word towards salvation, they themselves are defended by that same ‘believing faith’.

Consider the weapons of the enemy, ALL of these “fiery darts” which we can “quench” with this shield of faith:

These arrows, spears, missiles of the enemy are tipped with an iniquitous fire that enflames, and if left unchecked will burst into flame and consume and ruin us by whatever means of sin that proves effective against we Christian warriors. The enemy has a vast assortment of weapons to engage us with, not merely one or two different kinds of fiery darts, and not few in number either. The demon hordes of hell are virtually bristling with ample supplies of these missiles! None of these weapons can force the Christian into sin, but by means of temptations, allurements and lusts woo and sway us into the reckless domain of the flesh where we are then prone to sin. Thus this shield of faith is imperative, and of utmost importance for our protection!

Just as every soldier would inspect their shields after every engagement in battle, checking them for weaknesses or breaches; we must also prayerfully examine our faith and determine (through insights provided by God in prayer) where any weaknesses are located and repair them. These fiery darts may enflame us towards doubt, therefore seek out the veracity of God’s Word and affirm by faith that which it declares.

Likewise remember that God will ensure that our faith is tried and tested as He carefully places us in the furnace of trials and afflictions, for the purpose of refining, thus strengthening, our faith. Once completed, we are delivered from such trials and improved by them.

Consider the three faithful Hebrew men, friends of Daniel the Prophet (Dan. Ch. 3) who refused to bow to the image of Nebuchadnezzar and were judged by the king and thrown into the fiery furnace; yet they were not destroyed by those flames, but the ropes that bound and hindered them were! That’s God’s intent in these afflictions we face: that those things that bind and hinder us from doing greater exploits in His Kingdom are burned away and we are sustained and liberated by faith in Him!

1Pe 1:7
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

Jam 1:2-4
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.


These fiery darts may enflame us towards all kinds of inappropriateness of the heart: pride (the very basis of all sin), lust, envy, strife, malice, and all the works of the flesh (Gal. 5:19). If by faith we do not ‘reckon’ (to account as being true) to be dead indeed unto sin (in all its varieties and forms) there is a breach in our shields and armor in general, and thus we run the risk of being mortally wounded, and become spiritually debilitated:

Rom 6:6-7, 11-12
Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
For he that is dead is freed from sin.

Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
(read from vs. 1 – 23 to gain insight in context)

An Old Testament counterpart to this allegory of fiery darts and shields of faith would be the fiery serpents and the brazen serpent on the pole (Numbers Ch. 21); because the children of Israel continuously murmured and complained about their situation in the desert, and longed to return to Egypt, God sent a plague of fiery serpents, symbolically representing sin. The remedy was to look to the brazen serpent which God told Moses to make.

This was a rather odd remedy when one thinks about it; why didn’t God simply heal those whose hearts He knew were truly repentant? This method was quite prophetic and a type of Jesus Christ Who would bear the sins of His people (Jn. 3:14).

Just as the Hebrews looked upon the brazen serpent by faith and were healed, so too the repentant sinner looks to the Cross and finds healing from the ‘serpent of sin’; likewise when the soldier of the Cross uses the shield of faith to quench the fiery darts of the wicked one he is kept safe from sin.

The following is an excerpt from A.W. Tozer’s book, The Pursuit of God, taken from chapter 7 – “The Gaze of the Soul”:

“Now if faith is so vitally important, if it is an indispensable must in our pursuit of God, it is perfectly natural that we should be deeply concerned over whether or not we possess this most precious gift. And our minds being what they are, it is inevitable that sooner or later we should get around to inquiring after the nature of faith. What is faith? ...”

“In Scripture there is practically no effort made to define faith. Outside of a brief fourteen-word definition In Heb. 11:1, I know of no biblical definition. Even there faith is defined functionally, not philosophically; that is, it is a statement of what faith is in operation, not what it is in essence. It assumes the presence of faith, and shows what it results in, rather than what it is.”

“[. . . Reading this passage in Numbers 21 we] make an important discovery. [We] notice that ‘look’ and ‘believe’ are synonymous terms. “Looking” in the Old Testament serpent of brass is identical with “believing” on the New Testament with Christ [Heb. 12:2]. That is, looking and believing is the same thing. And [we] would understand that, while Israel looked with their external eyes, believing is done with the heart. I think [we] would conclude that faith is the gaze of a soul upon a saving God (Ps. 34:5; 123:1-2).
“And our LORD Himself looked always at God. . . Indeed, Jesus taught that He wrought His works by always keeping His inward eyes upon His Father, His power lay in His continuous look at God (Jn. 5:19-21).”

Amen, Aiden Tozer!

In my own word-study of ‘faith’ I was astounded to discover that there were only three references or so in the entire Old Testament! What I discovered was that the Hebrew word for “trust” is synonymous for ‘faith’. There are those who would turn faith into a kind of power, one that even God used in the creation of all things (they use a twisted rendering of Heb. 11:3 that goes something like this:

“We understand that through faith the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”)

So faith is likewise a power, they say, we can also employ to create our own reality, through our own spoken word (as gods, created by the Almighty God). Wrong!

The reference in Hebrews actually says:

Hebr 11:3
Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

It’s by faith we comprehend, understand, perceive that all that is created, was done by the Word of God! We trust that it is so, because the scriptures reveal these truths to us, and thus we rightly glorify God for His creation.

Rom 10:17
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Note that hearing comes by the Word of God; this sort of “hearing” implies an attentive audience towards that which is being heard, resulting in a decisive action of some sort. A courtroom hearing is an excellent example for this. After hearing all the evidences attentively, the jury is asked to make a decision based on said evidences.

In the biblical instance, the action taken is faith itself; after hearing (a spiritually imparted ability by the Holy Spirit) the Word, one acts on faith and believes what is heard. Our faith must always have as its basis the Word of God, and never our own self-will and determination to “just have faith that it will happen, and it will!” As Dave Hunt aptly points out, if that were the case with faith, what would we need God for? It would be as Kenneth Hagin, a Word-Faith preacher now deceased, has stated: “Have faith in your faith”; an obvious biblical error. One cannot have faith in one’s own faith (trust in their own trust) any more than one could carry their pail in their pail. Faith is a vessel of sorts that contains the received Word, and an attitude of action: believing and conducting oneself in accord with that belief!

It’s interesting to note that in the scriptures, the action of believing faith is akin to obedience, such as the faith that motivated Abraham to offer up that which was most precious to him, his son Isaac (Heb. 11:17)! Review the 11th chapter of Hebrews and witness the powerful faith of the saints, and how this was in direct proportion to their obedience to God!

Faith (and trust) requires an object to focus on; if it were to focus on itself, it would be powerless. However faith, even in the tiniest amount (the “size of a mustard seed”) in God’s Word as well as God Himself, according to the LORD Jesus can move mountains (Matt. 17:20)! The power is not in the faith, but rather the One in which the person places their faith, be it small or weak (Mark 9:23-27).

Note that the first three implements of armor relate with one another as these are things that the warrior-saint has: “having . . . girt with truth” and “breastplate of righteousness” and “feet shod with the Gospel of peace”. Then there are the next three implements which are likewise related to one another: the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the Sword of the Spirit and these are things that the warrior-saint is to “take up”.

“Having” in the Greek is enduo and means “sinking into a garment, to invest with clothing, to put on (interesting! Putting on the new man in Christ!); as a verb it signifies getting or entering into.”

“Take” as in “take the shield of faith, helmet of salvation, Sword of the Spirit” in the Greek is dechomai meaning, “to receive, accept; to accept by a deliberate and ready reception of what is offered; this word is different than lambano which is a self-prompted taking or ceasing upon. Dechomai is a more welcoming reception of that which is offered with a stress upon receiving from another (not appropriating by oneself).”

It appears that the first three implements of truth, righteousness and the Gospel are already possessed by the believer as a part of their inherent spirituality. “Having” these things we are to be wise and faithful stewards of God’s provision of truth, righteousness and the peace of God by reception of the Gospel.

Faith is something we must constantly employ for a saint can either act out of belief or unbelief given any circumstances of varying degrees of challenge. This call to action must be born out of willful obedience; otherwise any such faith is without effect or merit. As James indicates, “faith without works is dead, being alone” (see - James 2:20, 26).

Furthermore in our spiritual warfare, if we desire to be victorious, if we desire to be overcomers, we must employ our God-given faith, for so says the Word of God:

1John 5:4
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.


For more on the overcoming faith, please watch this 37 minute video from Sermon Index, presenting Zac Poonen’s teaching (please note that we at TTUF do not necessarily endorse everything that is published by Sermon Index):

Faith That Overcomes

The salvation of the heart, which is the spirit of man, is granted and possessed by the believer in Jesus Christ in the form of justification (salvation accomplished and deliverance from the penalty of sin); yet this armor has a helmet of salvation, which of course is worn on the head (ergo to protect the mind) and deals with sanctification (salvation in the process of accomplishment by becoming more Christ-like in thought and deed, and delivers from the power of sin). This is something the saint must endeavor by submitting their will to God; so likewise must the warrior-saint take up the Sword of the Spirit both in hand and in heart.

Speaking of the Sword of the Spirit, this primary implement is a weapon, not armor specifically and it is both defensive and offensive; it along with the shield of faith is borne by the warrior saint, one in each hand. Just as a soldier would employ both of these in any martial engagement, so too must we hold the Word of God, and “mix” it with faith (Heb. 4:2). By our faith in the Ultimate Spiritual Warrior, the LORD Jesus Christ and in His Divine protection we are safe from any onslaught of the enemy; simultaneously we engage in the offensive by the lethally effective and powerful Sword of the Spirit.

Here ends this second section of the armor of God that has dealt with the shield of faith and the feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace. In the third upcoming section we will examine the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit.

The last section dealing with the armor of God we will examine another formidable weapon that is many times overlooked by biblical commentators, that is, “all prayer” as found in vs. 18.

Concluding this study in Spiritual Warfare and the Armor of God, we will examine various lessons from the Old Testament that reveals more about the spiritual domain and the kingdom of darkness that we are set against, and then some practical applications on how to recognize and engage in spiritual warfare.

Until then may the LORD Jesus bless you abundantly in the supreme victory He has wrought for us, His body and beloved bride!
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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

IRANIUM - The Movie: What The Bible Has To Say About It

by A.M. Kisly

Iran's nuclear program presents a threat to international stability...

Yet successive American administrations-Republican and Democratic alike-have misread the intentions and actions of the Iranian regime.


How dangerous is a nuclear Iran, even if it never detonates a weapon? What are the guiding principles of the Iranian leadership? To what lengths would the regime go to carry out its agenda? How far have Iran's leaders already gone to fund the world's most powerful terrorist organizations? And why have American leaders failed to gain the upper hand in relations with Iran during the past 30 years?


In approximately 60 minutes, Iranium powerfully reports on the many aspects of the threat America and the world now faces using rarely-before seen footage of Iranian leaders, and interviews with 25 leading politicians, Iranian dissidents, and experts on: Middle East policy, terrorism, and nuclear proliferation.


* Iranium documents the development of Iran's nuclear threat, beginning with the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and the ideology installed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini.

* Iranium tracks Iran's use of terror as a tool of policy, beginning with the 444 day seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, through Iran's insurgent actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
* Iranium details the brutal nature of the Iranian regime to its own citizens, and the Iranian people's desire to rejoin the international community.
* Iranium outlines the various scenarios the greater Middle East and the Western world may face should Iran cross the nuclear threshold.





WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY?

Ezekiel Chapters 38 and 39 describe a future event in which God Himself intervenes to quell the ill-fated invasion of Israel by Magog and its allies (Persia, Cush, Phut, Libya, Gomer, Togarmah, Meshech, and Tubal). This passage also appears to anticipate the use of nuclear weapons.

While there is slight debate among bible scholars, the above list represents the following: • Magog - this is modern day Russia • Persia - this is modern day Iran • Meshech and Tubal, Togarmah - this region is modern day Turkey • Ethiopia - this is modern Ethiopia • Libya - this is modern day Libya • Gomer - this is modern day Germany.

Suffice to say that the main players, of which there is no doubt, are Russia, Iran, Turkey, Libya and Ethiopia.

A look at some recent headlines tells us this:

• Russia, the biggest End Times player, has already helped Iran build a nuclear reactor
• Iran has repeated over and over their desire to wipe Israel off the map
• Iran now has nuclear weapons capable of reaching Israel

These nations will attack Israel, the bible says, "To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places [that are now] inhabited, and upon the people [that are] gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land." Ezekiel 38:12

BUT...the Bible also assures us of the outcome of any nation or nations that would come against God's Holy Land in the End Times -

"The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD [will be] the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel...Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence [against] the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land...But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation." Joel 3: 16, 19, 20

Israel indeed has two major world wars on it's horizon, and the bible refers to this as the "time of Jacob's trouble". While the nations gather together, Israel's back will be pushed to the wall, and its resolve and endurance to the breaking point...BUT God will save His People out of this time of calamity, and He will fight for them.

The battles have yet to be fought, but the outcome has already been decided.
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Saturday, February 5, 2011

SPIRITUAL WARFARE: The Armor of God, Conduct in the Campaign & Implementing the Victory of Christ in our Lives – PART 4

~~By James Fire

The ARMOR and Its ACCOMPANYING PARTS – Section One: The Belt of Truth and the Breastplate of Righteousness:

Eph 6:13
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.


Due to the fact that we Christians still retain a sin nature, we likewise are vulnerable, susceptible and prone to fall under the onslaught and attacks from our enemy. He is a spiritual enemy, and so no tactics of the flesh or the natural realm will avail. Only spiritual weapons can affect a spiritual foe.

~The most effective weapon against a tank is another tank; a military jet with another military jet; a submarine with another submarine; likewise with our spiritual enemy.

We’ve probably all seen the films Iron Man and Iron Man 2. Tony Starks (played by Robert Downey Jr.) was like any other man physically (certainly not intellectually) and was prone to injury and mortal wounds like any one else. It was the fact that he was so mortally wounded that he required an extraordinary device that enabled his heart to function and be protected from the shrapnel embedded in his chest. This arc energy device was utilized in powering an exo-skeletal prosthesis that enabled him to perform incredible feats of strength, was imperversious to bullets and explosive devices, and gave him the ability to fly and fire high energy repulsion beams.

So also we are no match for Satan and all his spiritual evil hosts while armed with only our limited minds, understanding, intellect and strategies; we must don this spiritual armor and remain within it if we ever hope to be protected from his weapons, and be impervious to his onslaughts while we raid his kingdom of darkness in seeking out lost souls to rescue. Even prior to donning said armor, we must firstly be “strong in the power of His might”. Iron Man was a suit of high tech armor, but without the arc energy powering it, it was useless.

Likewise without the power of God and His might, the armor of God cannot function as it should. Both are necessary; both must be utilized in the life of the saintly warrior!

The Purpose of This Armor is Two Fold –

1) To protect ourselves from the enemy who would seek to compromise us and ruin our spiritual integrity, and nullify our usefulness in God’s Kingdom.

2) To enable us to safely navigate into the enemy’s domain and bring deliverance to lost souls via the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

It’s all about UPRIGHT (1, standing and walking in Truth) and OUTREACH (2, preaching the Gospel; INREACH: equipping the saints). Without the first, we are powerless to effectively engage in the second. In this armor we are well able to stand, and not fall into sin, but “withstand in the evil day” that is to resist the hurtful, malignant and ruinous intent of the enemy who would destroy us, whether that intent is to lure us into sin or to launch an assault to attack us and our faith. Together we “withstand” in our ranks, remaining faithfully in the place that God has positioned us in, and not abandoning our posts and fleeing.

With all of the preceding information laid down as the foundation for this study, let us now examine the Armor - not of the Saints, not of the Angelic hosts, but of GOD Himself!
The FIRST PIECE – The BELT of TRUTH:

Eph 6:14
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth
[and having on the breastplate of righteousness]

The LORD Jesus Christ declares Himself to be the embodiment of Truth in John 14:6; thus putting on the belt of Truth is to put on Christ Who is Truth.

“Loins” here may refer to a number of things, and in the context of this verse, I believe all are applicable: the seat of passion and procreative power (Heb. 7:5, 10); the center of strength; the ‘girding up of the loins’ speaks of ready and active service for the LORD (Lk. 12:31-40) in the light of His imminent return (which we are obligated to watch for diligently) as the primary motivator; specifically used here in Eph. 6:14 to denote “bracing oneself up so as to maintain perfect sincerity and reality as the counteractive in Christian character against hypocrisy and falsehood”.

Any actions toward passions and lusts must be bound up and restrained, held in check, reined in like a voracious wild dog, by the Word of Truth (see: 1 Cor. 9:27 – The idea behind this passage is “to buffet and debilitate to the point of having mastery over the passions and carnality of the flesh or sinful nature.

What should be understood about this dealing with the carnal, sinful flesh is the error of monastic disciplines in which monks and friars of certain orders sought to literally buffet the body with various tortures so that the sinful nature would be tamed. This is a natural method employing human effort, and is therefore useless.

What Paul spoke of in this passage of 1st Corinthians is employing the efficacy of the Cross and his identification with Jesus Christ in His death, and counting his own self to be dead indeed unto sin; see also: Romans 6:11, 13; as well as 2 Cor. 6:3-10; James 1:18). If the enemy can cause us to fall into sexual or any other kind of impurity, it is because we have not girded up the loins and brought them under subjection to the Truth, that is:

Gal 5:24
And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

Rom 6:12
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof
(see also vs. 13-14).

Eph 4:22
That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;


Being the very center of human strength, the loins must be girded with the Truth of God (our own strength, even our greatest strength will prove of no avail in obtaining favor with God or standing in righteousness before Him); so that we will have no tendency to rely upon our own might, but resort to the Truth in which is our ultimate strength. To be true, and to speak the truth are both applicable in “truth” which we are to gird about ourselves. This speaks of integrity or ‘inner truth’ (Ps. 51:6) with which we must be empowered by Christ alone and not ourselves.

If there is any hypocrisy, any deceit, anything false in us, Satan will sift and seek it out until he finds it and work upon it until we fall from our integrity and are no longer living out truthfulness; thus the desperate need for this spiritual armor to both empower and protect us!

In biblical times, people tended to wear robes, and when engaged in any sort of service, they would gather these up and bind them under their belts in order to allow freedom of movement.

Our garments in scripture metaphorically refer to our lives (Gen. 35:2; speaking of the putting away of idols, and change garments or ‘life style’; Ex. 28: 2 referring to Aaron’s holy garments, that is the holy life suitable for a priest of God; Ps. 133:2 speaking of the anointing oil that even fell to the garments of the priest, speaking of the Holy Spirit’s influence on the life; finally Rev. 19:8 speaks of the fine linen being the “righteousness of the saints”). Our lives are to be unencumbered in lesser matters when we are in service to the LORD, thus they are bound up and removed out of the way so that we may serve in liberty and without constraints of worldly matters.

We deny ourselves, our own claims to life, and see that they are bound and held captive while we engage in God’s greater purpose and the life of Christ Jesus in us.

The belt is therefore essential as that part of the armor upon others rest. If our lives are founded on Truth, if we believe, adhere and walk in the Truth of God’s Word, we have a sure foundation that cannot be moved (see Matt. 7: 24-27; Ps. 26: 3-12; 1 John 1:6 and Ps. 86:11).

Mat 7:24-25
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
(see also: Deut. 32:4)

Psa 86:11
Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.


Realize that walking* in God’s truth will influence the heart and unify it to reverence God in all ways; double-mindedness will diminish as we walk in the singularity that is truth. Double-mindedness, that is, having a mind to worship and obey God as well as a mind to worship and obey our sinful lusts, impulses and will shall spell out certain defeat!

The unification of our heart (or even as our LORD expressed it in His admonition to us to “let thine eye be single” Matt. 6: 22) to fear God above all else is the express goal for the saint, and no less the warrior in God’s kingdom. I am fond of Chuck Missler’s expression: “Jesus Christ doesn’t want to be number one in our lives on a list of ten; He wants to be number one, ON A LIST OF ONE!”
* - Note: walking from a physiological point of view requires the working of abdominal, lumbar and flexor muscles (all in the region of ‘the loins’); so too our spiritual walk in truth, personal integrity is vital if we are to walk wearing the “shoes shod with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace”. The saint who would be an evangelist or preacher of the Gospel must have integrity, lest his preaching become invalid by deception, sin and hypocrisy in their life.

For more benefits from the Truth of God, see also 1 Sam. 12: 24; Ps. 15: 2; 40: 10; 61:7; 145:18; Prov. 16:6; Is. 10:20; Zech. 8:16, 19; Mal. 2: 6; 1 Cor. 5:8; Eph. 1:13; 4: 15.

John 8:32
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.


There is nothing so liberating as the Truth; one only need submit to and obey it in order to find the freedom afforded by it. Conversely those that walks in the counsel of the ungodly, that stands in the way of sinners, and sits in the seat of the scornful are not at all free, but degenerate into complacency, and apathy and spiritual slumber (note the regression is Psalm 1: 1 – “Walking, … standing, … sitting”) for those who do not delight in the Truth as contained in God’s Law (vs. 2; the Word).

In regards to truthfulness in the believer see: Prov. 12: 19; Zech. 8: 16; Eph. 4: 15, 25; and also –

Mal 2:4-7
And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the LORD of hosts.

My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name.

The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity.

For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.

It is worthy to note that in the above passage, the degeneration of the spiritual condition of Israel as recorded in this 2nd chapter. This is the unavoidable consequence of the abandonment of truth spiritually, intellectually, morally and actually.

See the following article by Dr. Chuck Missler:

Our Quest for Truth

So we see that for the Christian warrior, the complete conformity to the Truth both in word and in deed, is a conformity to the living embodiment of Truth, the LORD Jesus Christ, and to assure spiritual victory, this conformation must be realized in the life of every one seeking to engage in a successful campaign of warfare against the enemy.

Rom 8:29
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Rom 12:2
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

For more on this issue of ‘truth’ see the following articles entitled:

GOT TRUTH?

Now, as well with the girding up of our loins with Truth, we have the next piece of armor in this warfare to put on:

The SECOND PIECE – The BREASTPLATE of RIGHTEOUSNESS:

Eph 6:14[Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth], and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
1 Cor 1:30
But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
Jesus Christ Himself is our righteousness and so He has granted us this Breastplate of His Righteousness (see also Phil. 3:9; 1 John 3:7).

Just as the loins are girded with truth, the breast must be covered with righteousness, and in the vernacular of this metaphor we can aptly perceive that in the physical, a breastplate is required to cover the vitals, that is, the heart and lungs. A wound to the arm or leg may be debilitating but a wound to the chest will more than not prove fatal!

In the natural realm of our physiology, the heart speaks of blood, the lungs speak of breath. The heart is a pump that causes blood to flow throughout our body, bringing vital nutrients for the sustaining of life; the lungs are likewise pumps that deliver the necessary air by our breathing into the blood stream.

In the spiritual realm, the blood of Christ must affect our entire being, covering every aspect of our lives, and any fiery dart that penetrates our heart that interferes with this flow will be disastrous, for it’s by the blood we can rightfully claim the righteousness of Christ Jesus imputed to us through the grace of God (see Romans 5:9, 21).

Likewise in the spiritual realm, it is the Holy Spirit, the very breathe of God (In the Greek, the word used for ‘spirit, wind, air and breath’ is ‘pneuma’ and it’s ‘ruwach’ in the Hebrew) that brings to us life, spiritual life and efficacy in our walk with Christ (See Gen. 2:7; 2 Sam. 22:16; Job 4:9; Isaiah 11:4; 30:28; Ez. 37: 5, 9 as well as John 20:22 and Acts 2:2)!
Anything that would interfere with the Spirit infusing us daily with His power will likewise bring about our debilitation!

As our hearts may indeed be prone to sin and unrighteousness, and vulnerable to the fiery, poisonous darts of the wicked one, this piece of armor has obvious worth!

Prov 4:23
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.


We have previously mentioned that the righteousness Jesus Christ demonstrated was flawless: no one, be they Pharisee or lawyer, Roman Procurator or Satan himself could find a single, solitary flaw in this sinless, pure, holy and gentle Lamb of God (See John 8:46; 18:38; 14: 30)! It is this same righteousness (See Is. 59:17 and 1 Thess. 5:8) with its supremely Divine quality that is granted to us to wear in this spiritual war! Do you think for a single moment that Satan could pierce such a breastplate as this? Could all the powers of hell even so much as dent or scratch it? Never and I say again, NEVER!

Eph 4:24
And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.



Let’s examine more closely the issue of ‘righteousness’:

“Righteousness in the Greek is dikaiosune, meaning “equity of character, or act; justification, righteousness.
It denotes an attribute of God (Rom. 3:5); it is found in the sayings of the LORD Jesus; whatever is right and just in itself that conforms to the revealed will of God (Matt. 5:6, 10, 20; John 16: 8, 10; whatever has been appointed by God to be acknowledged and obeyed by man (Matt. 3:15; 21:32). It can also refer to the sum total of requirements by God (Matt. 6:33, religious duties (Matt. 6:1 – 15).

It is used of that gracious gift of God to men whereby all who believe on the LORD Jesus Christ are brought into right relationship with God. This righteousness is unattainable by obedience to any law or by any merit of man’s own, or any other condition than that of faith in Christ. The one who trusts in Christ “becomes the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor. 5:21), i.e., becomes in Christ all that God requires one to be, all that he could never be in themselves. Faith is imputed to the believer and thereby righteousness by faith in Christ Jesus (Rom. 4:6, 11). This faith exercised brings the soul into vital union with God in Christ and inevitably produces righteousness of life, and conformity to the will of God.”

Everywhere the righteousness of God is spoken of in scripture, and is considered an integral part of His Person, just as is holiness for these two are closely related. The Psalms overflow in their exaltation of God’s righteousness: Psalms 48:10; 65:5; 97: 2; 119: 137; 145:17.

Jer 23:6
In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
We are admonished to follow after righteousness, and to be righteous in the scriptures: Hosea 10:12; Matt. 5:20; 1 Cor. 15:34.

Compare Jeremiah 23: 6 where the LORD Himself is ascribed as the very righteousness to be apprehended by the saints with Matt. 5:20 where the LORD Jesus warns His followers that . . .

Mat 5:20
. . . except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.


Obviously the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees was external and had to do with observances and acts involving in part, the mind, and the body, but not the spirit (the essential nature of man, which if unregenerate is incapable of true righteousness), nor the entirety of the mind which is to be wholly sanctified, that is pure of any sin.

Our righteousness must exceed this religious form of righteousness; it must transform us in our spiritual life, it must bring us to conformity in the will of God; it must be the making and working of the Spirit of God within us or it is absolutely worthless!

By following ‘the rules’ the religious leaders believed they could attain to righteousness, but the rules they were following was the Law of God, and this was not the purpose of the Law (see Romans 10:3; 1 Tim. 1:9). Likewise we in the church could place ourselves under ‘rules and regulations’ and think we can please God by observing these, and not wholly depending on the righteousness of God already provided for us in Christ Jesus. Beware of legalism and its deadly effects, because as it’s been said, legalism doesn’t need God, nor does it seek after His righteousness, but rather seeks to produce its own righteousness – it is ego-centric and not ‘Deo-centric’ if you will. It is carnal and not spiritual!

Only the LORD our RIGHTEOUSNESS has that quality of equity in character, and action that is instilled into the heart of one reborn by the Spirit of God, through faith and believing on the LORD Jesus Christ.

Rom 5:19
For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

2 Cor 5:21
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
In a positional sense, we are already “made righteous” by the blood of the Lamb; upon entering into the kingdom of God via the new birth, we instantly hold the position (it is “imputed” that is, laid to one’s account by God because of the Cross) of righteousness before the eyes of our holy God equal to that of the LORD Jesus Christ Himself! Astounding (see Rom. 4:11, 22; James 2: 23)!

Psa 45:6-7
Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.

Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

Isa 59:16-17
And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him.

For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak.
(see also Is. 11:5)

Jer 23:5
Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.
(see also Rev. 19:11)

There is also the practical sort of righteousness that is an extension of the righteousness imputed to the believer by faith in Christ Jesus; this is the sort of righteousness that is grown in the believer and affects his character and every day living. Remember that earlier we spoke of garments being a metaphor in the scriptures for our lives?

Isa 61:10
I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.


Here we have a picture of the bridegroom, the LORD Jesus and the bride, His church; as both are in garments and jeweled decorations, beautified in all the attributes of God, we understand that these are integral to the LORD Jesus Who is Holy, and that these same attributes of God’s nature are imputed to us, His bride. The quality is one and the same!

Also note that this verse speaks of the ‘garments of salvation’ and the word for garment in Hebrew, especially where clothing for humans is concerned usually intimates inner wear, something worn underneath (and unseen). Note that ‘garments’ is in the plural, denoting all the various aspects of salvation.

Compare this to the ‘robe of righteousness’. Immediately you notice that this is in the singular form, for there is only one brand of righteousness that is suitable before God (Matt. 22:12); all others are rejected by the Holy One.

In addition, understand that the ‘robe’ as opposed to the ‘garments’ denotes outer wear (thus observable). Just as salvation is the work of the heart and is unseen, it nevertheless manifests itself in the production of righteousness in the believer’s life. This is the practical aspect of righteousness. It is the ‘working out’ in our lives that which God ‘works in’ our hearts: the work of salvation which includes justification and sanctification.

Phil 2:12-13
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Notice that that which God works in us, brings about both a will and an inclination toward action that is well pleasing to the Father, just as He is well pleased with His Son (Matt. 3:17; 17:5).

We have covered this subject of salvation and the aspects of justification and sanctification, in depth on TTUF in the series entitled:

The Sanctifier is the Saint's Fire

We can sometimes become slack regarding the spiritual responsibility of growing in righteousness, maturing spiritually, and bearing this fruit in our lives; for all of us saints there should be a progressive growth that is discernable with the passage of time.

1 Cor 15:34
Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

To “awake” here means to arise from the stupor of the evil influences of bad doctrine, and a returning to soberness (seriousness of mind) and to walk righteously (regarding doctrine in belief and practice).

Phl 1:9-11
And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;

That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;

Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.


The prayerful exhortation made here by Paul to the Philippians is that they would abound in the love of God (and grow) more and more in knowledge and judgment (discernment) and approve (test with the intent of receiving if proven good) those excellent things, the deeper things of God as found in the Word. Likewise that the saints would be filled with fruits of righteousness: this is not a static result that once acquired, is done with, but a progression and a growth; just as fruit progresses in its growth until it ripens and multiplies, we are to progress in righteousness to maturity (See also: Prov. 11:5; 1 Tim. 6:11-12, 14; Titus 2:10-14).

To conclude this segment I thought you would be blessed to read/listen to this segment of the radio program Search the Scriptures Daily with Dave Hunt and T.A. McMahon. You may listen to the program by clicking on the "mp3" green button (on their site, link below).

Do You Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness?

This concludes this fourth segment to our SPIRITUAL WARFARE: The Armor of God series. Next we shall examine the shoes of the Gospel of Peace, and time permitting, the shield of faith. In the meanwhile saints, continue to FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH!

1Tim 6:12
Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
Read more!
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