And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION,
and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Imagine going into a
battle where the enemy is so numerous you canít even count them. On top of
that, they are totally invisible. You canít see them. The deadly weapons
they hurl at us are all packaged into something as innocent as a thought,
and weíve got to deal with this every moment of our life. Satan has
influenced and infected this world. Darkness is all around us. As a
result, he seeks to take our minds. The battlefield is the mind, and he
seeks to lead us astray from the truth of Godís Word.
(Ed note: see Torrey's Topic "Warfare
Well, weíve got good news. We have been transferred out of his kingdom
according to Colossians 1:13 (note). The word "domain"
exousia) in that verse means his
"right and might". He has no rights over us and no might over us. This is
not a power struggle. It is a truth struggle. It takes place in our mind.
Weíve got to learn to stand on what God said.
THIS IS NOT A POWER
IT IS A TRUTH STRUGGLE
Ephesians 5:8 (click
"for you were formerly darkness,
but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light"
Imagine the confrontation we are having with darkness. We have been made
light. You think we are not irritating the enemy around us? We have been
made light. We are told to walk as children of light.
Now look at Ephesians 6:17. Paul mentions the
second coupling there. He says,
(Click picture to enlarge)
That term is really intriguing to me. I looked at it
and knew that he was quoting out of Isaiah 52 and 59 about the Lord Jesus,
our mighty warrior. Think with me for a second. The Roman soldiers wore
helmets that were very heavy
(Ed note: nothing short of an axe or hammer could pierce a heavy helmet).
They were bronze. They had felt inside so the soldier would be able to
bear the weight of it. The soldiers had to put something soft on top of
their head. The purpose, of course, was to protect the head. They had face
plates which came way down and protected the face when they went into
of salvation is mentioned in another book. I think by
mentioning it there, he brings light of what the helmet of salvation is
here. First of all, my intention has got to be to obey God. Why? Because
my loins are girded about with truth. Our righteousness cannot come any
other way. It is produced by faith. I also know I have a firm grasp on the
gospel. That is the only way the good news of the gospel works itself out.
Iíve got to be obedient. That is the shield. But secondly, Iíve got my
Look over in 1Thessalonians. Let me show you the
which is so important. Paul has just explained in 1
Thessalonians 4 that "we are going to be raptured" writing
are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds
to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord.
(1 Th 4:17 -
use the word "rapture". The Greek verb is
harpazo, which means to be snatched
In 1Thessalonians 5, Paul writes...
to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be
written to you.2 For you
yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a
thief in the night." 3 While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" then
destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman
with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in
darkness, that the day should overtake you like a thief; 5 for you are all
sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; 6 so
then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. 7 For
those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get
drunk at night. 8 But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put
on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a
the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for
obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us,
that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him.11
Therefore encourage one another, and build up one another, just as you
also are doing. (See notes
Do you see the little bit of coloring he adds to that word "salvation"?
It is not just salvation. It is everything that is based in salvation,
which includes all
the promises of salvation and the ultimate promise, which is our hope.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:9 Paul writes that
God has not destined us for wrath, but
for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
It is not just at salvation. It is also at
"the day of redemption"
(Eph 4:30), the day when Christ comes to snatch His church out of this earth.
Now, the hope of our salvation, is relegated to the
final hope of being taken up with Christ. This final culmination is everything God has
promised. The word "salvation"
covers from "A-Z", "Z" being the coming of the Lord Jesus for His church.
(Ed note: see Torrey's Topic "Salvation")
Paul is saying when you have this kind of hope, when you are daily looking
forward to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, this attitude becomes your
"helmet" and prepares you for battle. This helmet protects the essential part
of you because you are not basing your life on the promises of the world.
You are basing your life on the promises of God. It all culminates in the
coming of the Lord Jesus for His church. Realization of this truth will do something in your
Years ago, I had the opportunity to go to a home for retarded children. I
want to tell you something. When it came to worshiping Jesus, they put us
all to shame. I got up in front of them, not knowing what to say. What do
you say to a group of kids like that, especially when they are slow
learners? I got up in front of them and quoted
"For God so loved the world
that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him
should not perish but have everlasting
One of those precious, precious children started saying, "Jesus, Jesus"
and started pointing up. Tears just started streaming down his face. I
looked around the room and God began to quickly give me what the agenda
was for the day. He was saying, "Donít preach anything. Just take the
Scriptures, the promises, the hope of our salvation and just keep
repeating it over and over again." It got to the point that they were all
standing up, pointing to the heavens, reaching, saying, "Jesus, Jesus,
Jesus." We are so subdued in our services. Those little "retarded" kids
knew how to praise their Lord Jesus Christ.
Most of the time in America we are preaching to "juries", not congregations.
People say, "Well, I will listen to him. I donít know. Iíve read a few
books and I donít think it is worth what he is saying." Very rarely do you
have the privilege of just preaching to hearers of a true congregation.
Do you know what I have discovered? Everybody loves to study Revelation.
They love to debate it. How many of us really
believe He is coming soon? If you do, then every day as you go out into
the war zone of this world, committed to obeying Christ which is a "shield",
you have a motivation that says,
"I will not bring shame to you, Lord. You
may come today, and I do not want to be found disobeying or dishonoring
Friend, when those two things are linked together, youíve got one
incredible weapon against the flaming missiles of deceit that the enemy
hurls at us constantly in this world. But we had better have those two
before we come to the last one.
Before I get to that, look in 1John 3:1, 2, 3. John says the same thing I
just said. Notice what John is saying is almost like what Paul has done in
the book of Ephesians. He tells us who we are, He tells us whose we are,
then he tells us the war zone that we are in and how to have victory in
it. In verse 1 he says,
great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called
children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know
us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God,
and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He
appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is. 3
And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He
Have you ever thought about that phrase? Does it ever bring tears to your
eyes? Do you ever just ride down the road and say, "I am a child of the
King!" 1John 3:3 says,
everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is
Do you think it is strange that the people of the world donít understand
us? Why? Because they are living in a world infected with darkness,
programmed by it. We have been made light. What a difference!
"Do you mean the urgency and imminency of Christ coming for His church is
a purifying factor in my life?"
That is exactly right. When I am submitted to truth, committed to
righteousness produced by Him, when I have a grasp on salvation, then I
can take up that shield, which is my willingness to obey truth regardless.
Then I can have the inner motivation of having on the helmet, the hope of
my salvation. It is like a warrior going out to battle with a helmet on
because everything about me is protected. I am not going to be led astray
by the promises of the world. I am going to stand firm on the promises of
The URGENCY & IMMINENCY of Christ's coming
for His church is a purifying factor in my life
What does God say? Stand on it. No matter what kind of garbage comes to
you from the world, remember the pagan Gentile nationsí darkened
mentalities, depraved moralities. That is the world out of which we came.
We had better live in the kingdom God has placed us into.
Finally in verse 17 Paul says to take
sword of the Spirit, which is the
word of God."
Now this gets exciting. There are two words for sword.
There is the word
for armor) which in the Septuagint is the word
for the sword that David used to cut off Goliathís head. It is was a huge
thing. It was about 5 feet 8 inches long. You also see that sword in
Revelation, the sword of judgment that is going to fall on the earth.
There was another sword that they used in hand-to-hand combat and that is
the word used here. It is the word
machaira which describes a
In the Old Testament when Joab went to avenge the killing of his brother
at the gate. Abner came out and he coaxed him out into the gate to talk to
him which was dumb because Abner left his refuge which was the city. He
came out and Joab stuck that little knife into him (2Samuel 3:27) David said, "Oh, he died a foolís death." That is that
little sword. That little sword is handy. It is quick. You have got to
have the shield, which is your intention to obey God, before this sword
ever becomes helpful to you. If all you have is the sword and no intention
to obey it, forget it. You are dead in the water when it comes to warfare.
That is why they are coupled together. Youíve got to have the shield, then
you have to have the intention of saying,
"God, I am going to look forward to the hope of your coming. I am not
going to be found ashamed."
Then you have the sword to go along with it.
Look at Hebrews 4:12 where
machaira is used again. Is it just the thoughts that come in? Is
that our problem? No, that is the devilís weapon but that is not our
problem. Let me show you in verse 12...
For the word of God is living and
active and sharper than any two-edged
and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of
both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of
The writer has three couplets. The spirit gives life
to the soul. Marrow gives life to the bone. The intentions of a man give
life to his thoughts. Stay with me. What is my shield? It is my intention
to obey God. Now if youíve made up your mind and purposed in your heart,
"I am going to obey you," that is a shield, friend.
Now, if that intention is not there it renders the thoughts active in your
life. That is why the thoughts are able to lodge and stay because you have
not made up your mind to obey God at any cost. You donít have your loins
girded about with truth. You are not committed to Christ and everything
that He is and to what He says. Where is Christianity in the 20th century?
Right there. They have no shield, but they have their sword. Oh, they can
quote Scripture. They will beat you over the head with it. But friend, the
flat of the blade has no cutting power whatsoever until I have the shield
up, which is the intention of my heart to obey God. Then I can nail that
thought with the cutting edge of that sword and the point.
As 1Cor 2:15 says, the
He examines it. He says, "Okay, letís examine this
in light of the Word of God. Is this what God says? Or is this another lie
of the one who was a liar and a murderer from the beginning, Satan
himself? Is this just simply a part of that infected darkness that is all
Friend, if you donít have your shield up, your sword means nothing. In my
heart I wanted to obey Christ. Therefore, my intention was right and I
could stop the thought. If your intention is not there, the thought is
going to lodge in your mind and you are going to wake up the next day
feeling like that thought is really the truth. It hasnít got a thing to do
with truth. You havenít made up your mind to gird your loins with truth.
Therefore, you donít have a shield. When you pick up the Word it doesnít
mean anything. It is like a rubber knife. It has no cutting edge to it
I trust that you know the truth of God is never to pursue a career. It is
pursuing a calling. If you get hung up in pursuing a career, you have
missed the whole point of your purpose for being on this earth. Oh,
careers are a part of it, but it is a calling. It is seeking to be able to
cut between what is truth and what is error.
Lustful thoughtsómen, are you having trouble with that? If you find a man
who says he doesnít deal with it, he is lying or he is dead. Why canít we
just be honest? Folks, we deal with this stuff every day! It is in your
mind. Why do you think I try to pump, "Surrender to Christ and get into
His Word"? I have said those two things so many times. If I die tomorrow,
just put it on my tombstone. That is all I have tried to say. Donít put
your faith in me. I am a pilgrim like you are. If you knew my struggles,
you wouldnít listen me. If I knew yours, I wouldnít bother you either. We
are all in the same boat.
SURRENDER TO CHRIST
GET INTO HIS WORD
If you put the last three (parts of the spiritual armor) together, they couple to the first three. It is
a truth struggle all the way. You better have your loins girded about so
that you can have your shield of faith. See how they fit? They are coupled
together. That is our armor.