Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Christian Warrior

Before you begin your Bible study, as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, be sure you have named your sins privately to God the Father.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
(Known, Unknown and Forgotten sins) (1Jn 1:9)

You will then be in fellowship with God, Filled with the Holy Spirit and ready to learn Truth from the Word of God.

"God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and Truth," (Joh 4:24)

The Christian Warrior


          In spite of man’s efforts for peace, war will continue to exist until the Prince of Peace reigns on the earth. (Ecc 3:8; Mar 13:7; Mic 4:1) For man to presume that he can accomplish in this dispensation” or in the Tribulation what only Jesus Christ can bring about in the Millennium” is the height of arrogance as well as total disregard for the Scriptures. Warfare is inescapable, and we must accept that fact with a realistic and objective attitude. Jesus Christ Himself declared the inevitability of armed conflict:

 "You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. "But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs. "Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. "At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. "Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. "Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold. "But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. (Delivered) (Mat 24:6-13)

          Only when He returns in glorious majesty at the Second Advent will Jesus Christ abolish warfare. Then and only then will the military draft and universal military training become obsolete; at that time, swords can be safely converted into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks. (Isa 2:4; Mic 4:3) In the meantime, the fate of nations will continue to be decided on the battlefields of the world, and only a strong and prepared military can avert global warfare or deter unprovoked aggression. Thus the principle remains that the nation that would guard its sovereignty, maintain its freedom and protect its privacy from encroachment by other nations must be adequately prepared for war! Eternal vigilance is indeed the price of freedom!
          Every freedom we have ever possessed has been purchased for us through the courtesy of the various armed services of our country. Our freedoms are based on the fact that we have fought and won wars! The privilege to assemble ourselves in public worship services or to evangelize the unbelievers around us is a direct result of military victory. We therefore owe an immeasurable debt to all our gallant fighting forces since 1776 and to those who won our last clear-cut victory in World War
II, especially to the men who gave their lives that we might remain a free people. In keeping with the laws of Divine establishment, we proudly salute our men in uniform!


          The question is asked in, (Jas 4:1) “From whence come wars?” The answer to that question is complex. There are single factors as well as a combination of circumstances, all of which contribute to the outbreak of armed conflict Actually, the blueprint for warfare was drawn up in eternity past, long before the existence of man. War was declared in heaven when Satan became the irreconcilable enemy of God and when one third of all angelic beings defected to his side. (Rev 12:4) The wars which we experience on the earth are but an extension of the angelic conflict.

          Truth and Evil

          Not only did a state of hostility pre-exist mankind, but so did two absolute concepts: Truth; God's Thinking and evil; Satan's thinking. Bible Truth, eternal in nature and duration, is God’s policy in the execution of His Plan of Grace. (Heb 11:2) Evil, on the other hand, had its beginning in the fall of the mightiest angel, Lucifer, and will have its culmination in God’s final judgment of this archfiend, (Eze 28:12-16) The transition between Lucifer’s God-given power and the birth of evil was the colossal arrogance of this super-creature: he wanted to usurp the throne of God. Evil is both the title of satanic policy and satanic and human thinking. (Mar 8:33) That policy entails every attempt by Satan to destroy the people of God in particular and the entire human race in general. To achieve his objective, the devil has unleashed upon the world his most destructive weapon — evil. Therefore, the issue in the Christian life is one of paramount importance: will we Think with the Mind of Christ, (1Co 2:16) or will we think with evil? (Mat 9:4) The influence of Truth leads to the attainment of maturity—the realization of your own blessing paragraph in time, and of surpassing-grace blessings in eternity. The influence of evil leads to reversionism and more often than not eventuates in the sin unto death (Maximum punitive measures administered to the believer by God).
          The people described in the James passage were carnal believers. Like their unbelieving counterparts, they had allowed themselves to come under the influence of evil. Contrary to what most people think, evil not only is sin, but a great deal more than sin. Evil includes human morality, and every attempt to solve man’s problems of life apart from God and apart from His Word. Evil also consists of social action, humanitarianism, socialism, liberalism and altruism.
Religion, legalism, etc., reversionism and apostasy are equally as evil as the social gospel. They are all evil because they are a part of Satan’s system of thinking! Certainly, this will come as a shock to many; nevertheless it is a fact, documented in the Thoughts of the Word of God! (Gal 4:8-9; 1Jn 2:15-17)
          Faith in Jesus Christ has made every Church Age believer a member of the Royal Family of God. As a believer, you have countless privileges and definite responsibilities. One of them is that you take in Truth on a daily basis, for this will insulate you from evil. More than that, God designed Truth to neutralize evil! With Truth in your soul, yours is the honor to represent the Lord, and the Divine viewpoint of life in the devil’s world!
          Whether you like it or not, you are actively involved in a conflict far greater than any battle ever fought on earth; you are a part of the invisible warfare. As a “good soldier of Jesus Christ,” you are warned NOT TO GET INVOLVED — that is, not to entangle yourself in the “thinking of this life”; rather, you are to serve Jesus Christ, your Commander in Chief, who has chosen you to be a Christian Warrior! (2Ti 2:3-4)
          It is tragic that members of the Royal Combat Battalion go AWOL (Away without leave) from following the colors of the Word of Truth; to the high ground of maturity, that place of tactical victory in the angelic conflict; thus, they succumb to the influence of evil. Quixotically, (Don Quixote) they squander their energy and their time allotted them on the earth by the Lord by charging the windmills of so-called evil and sin! In their arrogance, they imagine that they are doing great things for God and for their fellow men. In reality, they have become totally egocentric (Self-centered) and anthropocentric (Man-centered) instead of remaining Christocentric — that is, occupied with Christ. Rather than extricate themselves from COSMOS DIABOLICUS.’ they have enmeshed themselves in its machinery. Have they changed evil, or is it even possible to change evil? No! Evil was here before we came along, and evil will be here after we are gone; we cannot change evil, but evil can change us! These deserters from the Plan of God can claim that they had their share, only in helping to whitewash the devil’s domain; and in the process, they themselves have been changed for the worse. In going AWOL, they have allowed themselves to be captured and disarmed in enemy territory. Successfully brainwashed by human reality, cosmic culture and ideals, by religious and political liberalism; they have become casualties in the angelic conflict! (Col 2:8) Carnality that leads to reversionism is as devastating a defeat on the Spiritual front as is cowardice on the battlefield. Yet God’s Plan will proceed with or without us. His Plan can lift us up to great Spiritual heights or crush us as it moves forward to ultimate victory!

          Satanic Strategy

          Inconsistent as it may appear, Satan’s strategy may simultaneously require a cry for war in some area of the world and a rally for peace in another. Under the influence of evil, peaceniks have cropped up to protest justified warfare and disrupt the American way of life: Also under that same influence of evil, policy makers submit to such pressures and play right into the hands of Satan. They echo the cry for peace, even peace at any price; yet durable peace in the devil’s world is but a satanic fantasy!
          Satan understands that since the Fall of man, circumstances are far from right in this world. He blames this situation, not on his own incompetent rule, nor on man’s sinful nature, but on man’s environment. His objective to make a better world has given birth to the pipe dream of a man-made Paradise. This satanic scheme depends on idealistic liberals who sponsor visionary schemes for social improvement and unrealistic politicians who urge peaceful coexistence with enemies whose primary goal is to destroy us. Over the centuries Satan has embellished that fantasy, given it noble and high-sounding names and causes; still, peace remains a mirage — much sought after and talked about but never really attained.
          For decades now, from behind the scene, Satan has launched his liberal ambassadors of peace. Deluded, they plunge head-long into the whirlpool of social and political action in search of solutions to man’s problems apart from God and apart from His Truth. They advocate unilateral disarmament to appease nations that are openly hostile to the American system of government. To support their misguided zeal, they quote Scripture out of context, such as, (Isa 2:4) which belongs only to the Millennial reign of Christ! Yet the twisting of Scripture is nothing new to Satan or his emissaries! He experimented on Jesus Christ; (Luk 4:10-12) why not on a gullible misinformed public who will snap up his bait with enthusiasm? Disarmament is always national suicide and hurries the day when war will once more engulf the world. Much as we desire permanent peace and millennial environment, these simply cannot exist on earth until the Lord of the Armies, Jesus Christ, removes Satan in that great takeover of the Second Advent!

          The Old Sin Nature

          Satanic strategy finds a great ally in man’s inherent sin nature.” (Rom 5:12) Whereas evil emanates from the heart or right lobe of the mentality of the soul, (Zec 8:17; Mat 15:19-20) sin stems from the old sin nature’s area of weakness, even as human morality stems from the old sin nature’s area of strength. Under the endorsement of sweetness, sincerity, hypocrisy and even self-discipline, (Jer 10:8) the ugly side of the sin nature is rarely evident, only its area of strength. However, it is the activity of the old sin nature which comes into focus in. (Jas 4:1-4) Unmasked by Scripture, the sin nature presents a wretched sight. Exposed are its tendency for evil, selfishness, greed, mental attitude sins, and their expressions: gossip, slander, maligning, theft, murder etc.! Last but not least, there is the lust pattern: arrogance, power lust, materialism lust and approbation lust. Allowed free reign, lust breeds lawlessness, revolution, and self and political aggrandizement. Duplicate these trends millions of times over, and you can readily see how satanically-sponsored wars originate.
          Satan knows how to flatter and sweet-talk man’s ego, how to feed his arrogance and appeal to his natural pride. (Jas 3:14-15) His demons and human agents can be found strategically located in all the capitals of the world, where they attempt to influence rulers in favor of satanic policies. (Dan 10:13) History abounds with the fruits of their labors: the Middle Ages — a period of supreme religiosity, superstition and legalism; the French Revolution — the efforts of do-gooders (Gone haywire) to replace the decadent Bourbons; the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, on 28 June 1914, which sparked World War 1; Hitler’s Third Reich — the ambitious undertaking of a self-styled elite to raise up Germany to a world power and the Germans to a super-race status. Only eternity will disclose how many revolutions and wars have been ignited by satanic activity, coupled with the lusts of the old sin nature in man.
          Nor need we look that far afield, for these same demons and their present pawns, they appear to be highly successful in our era and in our own nation. Truth alone can safeguard the human race against self-destruction! Truth alone can change the historical trends, correct social evils or reverse the tide of apostasy, carnality and reversionism! Truth alone can make inroads into evil and hold evil at bay!

          The Threat to Nationalism

          Rivalry and hatred exist among nations as they exist among individuals. It must be remembered that nations are composed of individuals, and individuals possess old sin natures. Many a war has been started for personal or political aggrandizement. Illustrations from contemporary history include the Nazi movement, whose armed provocation and hallucination of grandeur ignited World War II; and later, Communist aggression, which has enslaved more than one third of the world’s population. Obviously, armed provocation is evil and a threat to nationalism; it must be stopped. As a mad dog has to be destroyed, so oppression must be halted. This constitutes a truly bona fide cause for warfare!
          Armed conflict among nations is more than the inevitable result of Satan’s ruler-ship of this present world and the manifestation of individual and collective old sin natures of mankind. Here is the proof that national entities are part of the Divine establishment; and their determination to retain national sovereignty in order to follow their manifest destiny is indeed God’s Plan. It is Satan’s intent to counter the fourth Divine institution” — nationalismwith internationalism. God Himself ordained nationalism (Gen 10:32; Act 17:26) to protect the rights, privacy and freedom of a people and to make possible the evangelization of the world. That illusive “peace in our time” can be achieved only when a balance of power exists between two or more nations ready for battle, or when one nation is so strong that no one dares attack! Peaceful conditions can also exist when the world is stabilized, as was the case of the Roman Empire.
          Rome began its march to world supremacy under Senatorial rule; but its lasting greatness was brought about by Roman military might. Superbly trained and equipped, that army continued to expand the borders of the Empire until it reached its culmination during the reign of Octavius (Named Augustus, the title conferred on his uncle, Julius Caesar in 27 B.C. (And later assumed by subsequent Roman emperors). Bordered by Armenia, middle Mesopotamia, the Arabian Desert, the Red Sea, Nubia, the Sahara, the Moroccan mountains, the Atlantic Ocean, the Irish Sea, Scotland, the North Sea, the Rhine, the Danube, the Black Sea and the Caucasus, Rome reigned as the unchallenged master of the world.
          It was the Roman army that created circumstances which had the most profound effects on history, particularly on Western European culture. The perpetuation of Roman military might owes its lasting significance to the fact that born-again believers were recruited from the provinces to serve in the time-honored profession of the military. Many of these Christians had reached maturity and possessed Truth in their souls. Some of the finest moments in Roman military history occurred through the courageous deeds of the THUNDERBOLTS. Composed entirely of believers, this Roman regiment distinguished itself in numerous campaigns. Motivated by Truth in their souls, these Christian Warriors fulfilled their role in the temporal conflicts as well as in the Spiritual conflict!
          Under Augustus, the Empire enjoyed the blessings of PAX ROMANA. (The Peace of Rome) For two hundred years, under the Antonine Caesars, there were scarcely any wars in the world. Industry and commerce thrived, and free enterprise brought prosperity to the Empire. Because of the laws of establishment were observed and enforced, the crime rate was at an all-time low; freedom was experienced to the fullest. Yet Rome did not relax its vigilance! The military was neither disbanded nor subjected to a RIF (Reduction in force) program. Rather, it was maintained at top-level efficiency. Consequently, its reputation as a formidable fighting force remained unchallenged. Rome was free to employ its military to make travel and transportation safe on the vast Roman highway system as well as on the high seas. Another contribution of the Roman Army was the development of postal services. But most important, under the secure protection of the Roman military, evangelism spread Christianity. Churches began to form in the provinces, for there were many periods in the first three centuries when the early Church was not persecuted and Christians emerged from the catacombs to worship God in the open. Thus, the only prolonged period of peace the world has ever known was bought with blood and true grit, maintained with vigilant strength and firmness!
          How different is the story of America! Our military power, which had reached its zenith by the time World War II was concluded; in victory for the Allies, and was disbanded. Victory was not exploited. Rather than maintain that fantastically effective fighting force, we demobilized our military. We have steadily reduced our armed forces, mothballed our fleet, given up important military bases. A disciplined society gave way to permissiveness and disrespect for authority and establishment.
Forgotten are the heroes and the sacrifices they have made! We are still benefiting from our victory. We are still a free people; yet our freedoms are gradually being taken from us. 
          Each successive war finds us less prepared, with most of our young men unwilling to assume their duties to their country. Mediocrity has become the rule rather than the exception, and it reflects the national reversionism that surrounds us. We no longer have a clearly defined objective. Pressured by world opinion, we have turned our back on the few friends this country ever had and are on the verge of abandoning yet other friendly nations. Instead, we help feed and arm hostile nations. This is insanity! By our very lack of Spiritual integrity, by our lack of national determination, we court disaster and invite attack from without, while corruption and a soft attitude toward the criminal element undermine our survival from within. Presently only five factors preserve this nation: the grace of God — Jesus Christ controls history; Truth resident in the souls of mature believers; positive volition toward Truth and the Gospel; the national policy of protection for the Jews and a minimal amount of anti-Semitism on the part of American citizens; and finally, the fact that the Word of God still goes out from our shores.
          Although the future is dismal, the present trend can be reversed through the influence of Truth, and a return to the basic establishment principles which once made ours the greatest nation on earth! Barring such a turn of events, we can only hope to snatch brands from the burning; (Zec 3:2) before the fifth cycle of discipline” destroys the land we love so well!

          Maximum Discipline of a Nation

          When the fifth cycle of discipline goes into effect, temporal warfare becomes a holy and righteous cause. God uses the instrument of warfare as a judgment on nations which have become so depraved that they have forfeited their right to survive. I refer you to the wars of the Israelites against the Canaanites; all these were initiated by Divine command! (Deut 2:20-22; Deut 7:2; Deut 9:3-4) Throughout history, whenever a saturation of evil jeopardizes any phase of the angelic conflict and thus challenges the continued existence of man on this earth, then that evil is removed. God prunes races, nations, families, and individuals. (Psa 21:8-13) The methods He uses may vary, but the results are the same — the cancer is cut out, and the human race continues, along with the angelic conflict. Were it not for God’s grace-pruning, there would have been no twentieth century, and we would not be here to perpetuate the Spiritual warfare in our generation.


          It is significant that one of our Lord’s greatest titles is that of “Jehovah of the Armies.” (Amos 4:13) Not only does that title denote the highest military rank in the entire universe, but it also presents the military profile of Jesus Christ as His most striking characteristic. The Lord is portrayed as a “man of war,” (Exod 15:3) “mighty in battle.” (Psa 24:8) Compare the distinguished service record of “two of the greatest military leaders in ancient Israel against that of the Lord! Saul, the first king of Israel from the tribe of Benjamin — the source of Israel’s finest soldiers — had slain his thousands and was extolled for his warrior-like feats. Yet David’s fame exceeded that of Saul; he was credited with tens of thousands of enemy dead (1Sa 18:7) Jesus Christ topped that record: 185,000 Assyrian soldiers were struck dead in an instant by our Lord! (Isa 37:36) And the casualty list of Amenhotep II’s combined armored infantry and cavalry, whom Jehovah of the Armies caused to drown in the waters of the Red Sea, (Exod 14:6-31) is subject only to speculation; it might well have approximated the number of Assyrian dead! The military record of our Lord will remain unsurpassed until His Second Advent, when He will return to fight once more for His people Israel. (Zec 14:3; Rev 19:11-16)
          As the Commander in Chief of the armies, of the universe, Jesus Christ exercises absolute control over the events of history. When in the course of events it becomes necessary that lives be taken in order that lives be preserved, He will not hesitate to destroy lives. Remember that no one sets a higher price on the human soul than does God, or else Jesus Christ would have never died to save mankind! Apply God’s righteousness and justice to the situation — His offer of grace before judgment — and you will see that Jesus Christ has no choice but to order his horsemen — warfare, famine (Depression) and pestilence (Disease) — to gallop across evil-infested areas of the earth. “In righteousness he judges and wages war,” (Rev 19:11) and when His purpose has been accomplished, “He makes wars to cease. . !” (Psa 46:9)
          No army ever marches until the Lord of the Armies gives it the green light! (2Sa 5:19; cf. Isa 37:33) The strongest defenses are useless when He has ordered the destruction of a national entity by means of the fifth cycle of discipline. Conversely, the weakest defense systems, fortified by Truth in the souls of mature believers, become impregnable; they cannot be defeated when God so ordains. (2Ch 14:11-12) Call it what you will, “providence” or a strange turn of events, the fact remains that God has the final word in the affairs of mankind! (1Ki 22:19-23; Rev 1:5)
          Two monumental examples of this principle of "Divine disruption" on behalf of the Allies occurred during World War II, one in the European theater of war; the other, in the South Pacific. Noted historians have admitted that grave mistakes had been made on all sides. They have found no explanations for a number of unaccountable and fateful decisions on the part of great leaders; and the motives which prompted sudden reversals of previous orders will always remain theoretical and mysterious. Let us consider these events which turned the enemy’s apparent advantage into his ultimate defeat.

          The Invasion of the West

          The tenth day of May, 1940, was an eventful day in contemporary history. On that day Winston Churchill replaced Neville Chamberlain as Prime Minister of Great Britain, and Germany launched one of the greatest attacks of the War. Germany’s invasion of the West proved conclusively that the defense tactics of 1918 were disastrously obsolete and, in fact, led to the fall of several European nations. Modern warfare was here to stay!
          The daring attack had been ordered by Hitler himself, despite the misgivings of the heads of the German Army. Hitler, of course, considered himself invincible. And it was true that even though his army was greatly outnumbered in the offensive, it was better trained, had outstanding team spirit and superior leadership. The principal actors in this drama were Germans of military genius: Field-Marshals von Rundstedt Commander of Army Group A, whose mechanized spearheads crossed the French frontiers on the fourth day of the invasion; von Kleist — Commander of the Panzer Group, led by the Generals Guderian and Reinhardt; and General Student, Commander in Chief of the Airborne Forces. Furthermore, there was Field-Marshal von Bock; his orders were to complete the encirclement of the trapped Allies. Finally, there was Adolph Hitler himself, whose fateful decision to halt the offensive led to the preservation of the British Military Force; and his own downfall. The German whirlwind offensive met little opposition from either the Dutch or the French High Commands or from the Commander in Chief of the B.M.F., General Lord Gort, whose only counterstroke was a weak armored attack at Arras.
          The real hero of the offensive was a relatively obscure young officer, General Heinz Guderian. Avidly interested in armored warfare, Guderian had studied men like Patton and deGaulle. (Themselves advocates of tank warfare) He had read extensively about the tactics of the British Royal Tank Corps in World War I and was personally convinced that the use of the tank could change the entire concept of warfare. He considered as out-of-date the ‘opinions held by the great military leaders of World War I, that tanks were only the servants of the infantry. Instead, he foresaw a greater future for the armored vehicles: Panzer groups should precede the infantry to fulfill and to exploit the principles of strategic penetration. The foot soldiers could catch up when they could! The idea was new and brilliant, if not startling; yet it proved to be an immense success. So rapid was the advance of Guderian’s Panzer Corps that it confused the timing of the German High Command.
          The German plan concentrated on four objectives: simultaneous assault on the Hague — the capitol of neutral Holland and on the Dutch center of communications — Rotterdam; the capture of key bridges before these could be destroyed by the Dutch, and the capture of one of the most modern forts of that time, located on the Albert Canal. This last objective would open up the way for an assault on neutral Belgium and expose the road to the heart of France!
          According to the plan, German airborne forces attacked key frontier defenses, while the LUFTWAFFE (German Air Force) pulverized the densely populated Dutch cities. The Germans lost no time in exploiting the resultant confusion and near-panic but pushed ahead, its panzer groups penetrating through a gap in Holland’s southern flank. On the third day of the defensive, the armored forces joined up with German airborne forces at Rotterdam. Two days later, the Dutch capitulated.
          The fall of Holland and the unexpected deployment of a small group of airborne troops signaled the invasion of Belgium. Neutral Belgium had felt relatively secure and expected to receive ample warning of the possibility of German attack in the event that enemy forces appeared to cross the southern borders of Holland. The plan would then call for a demolition of all bridges along the Albert Canal to stop the invading ground forces. However, the expected warning did not materialize. Instead, the Germans had dropped five hundred airborne troops under cover of darkness. Their task was to secure vital bridges before they could be blown up and to pin down the Belgian defenders of the fort until German reinforcements arrived.
          The element of surprise was on the side of the Germans. The defenders were caught napping, and meantime, the Sixth Army, under the command of General von Reichenau and General von Paulus rolled toward its objective. Included in the attacking forces was the 16th Panzer Corps. By the time French and British troops came to the aid of the Belgians, the latter were in a general retreat. But the Germans had achieved their stratagem: the Allies had been diverted from the main objective of the Germans. They would be engaged in the ensuing battle in Belgium, while the Germans crossed the French frontier, where they were least expected — the Maginot Line.
          Billions of dollars had been spent on the Maginot Line, which extended all the way from the Ardennes Forest to Switzerland and was considered to be impregnable. Its mountainous and heavily-forested terrain stretched for seventy miles. Because the Province of Luxemburg and Free Luxemburg could be relied upon to sound ample warning, and because the British Military Force was stationed on the other side of the Ardennes, the Maginot Line was only lightly guarded by the French Cavalry. France had been lulled into a false sense of security.
          Within two days, the dream of safety was shattered by the awesome dawn of reality. The impossible had happened: von Rundstedt’s Army Group and General von Kleist’s Panzer Corps, under the dynamic leadership of Guderian, had broken through the Ardennes. The Germans had encountered only weak pockets of resistance and had advanced down the banks of the River Mouse. Guderian’s panzers had crossed the Mouse west of Sedan, where the river bends sharply north and southward. Exploiting the natural terrain, which afforded dense wooded cover for his armored divisions but exposed in panoramic view any move the defenders might make, Guderian maneuvered his tanks into position for the assault. On the afternoon of May 14, the Panzer Group broke the last line of defense and completed the crossing. Guderian’s next goal was to proceed along the River Somme and then to swing up the Channel coast to Bologne, Calais, Gravelines and on to Dunkirk to follow up the strategic penetration.
          Guderian had convinced his superior officer, von Kleist, of the revolutionary idea of the independent use of armored divisions; yet the unforeseen speed with which his tanks advanced stunned even the Panzer Group Headquarters. The advance was ordered to halt temporarily to permit the infantry to arrive and shield the flank of the armored divisions. For the moment, Guderian’s plans were frustrated, for the German High Command was certain that the French would marshal their forces for an all-out attack on the invaders once they were deep inside French territory. The new theories of warfare clashed with the old, not only among the Allies, but also among the German leaders. Blundering civilian interference, coupled with that deplorable “too little, too late” activity for which the Allies were noted, gravely endangered the West. Things looked desperate indeed when the German offensive resumed and the German war machine drove on according to plan.
          Already the Dutch had capitulated, and the Belgians were shortly to surrender. France would fall within six weeks, and Germany was rejoicing. On May 20, Guderian’s forces arrived in Abbeville; two days later, Bologne was cut off, and the next day, Calais. Then Gravelines was taken — only ten miles from Dunkirk, the last remaining port in Europe which the Germans had not sealed off as yet. The British Military Force was trapped in Belgium, miles away from Dunkirk, with only four days’ supply of ammunition left — enough to fight one more battle. The British were doomed. If the Germans succeeded in their destruction of the British Army, Britain would be out of the War, as were the major European powers. Only a miracle could save them!
          It was then that the miracle occurred: Hitler himself ordered his victorious divisions to halt The order was unbelievable, unexplainable, in view of the finest strategic penetration ever made! The military leaders of the invasion appealed to their superiors. They questioned the order and they protested — to no avail. No one in High Command dared countermand an order the Fuehrer had personally issued! The tanks stopped rolling
          Little Dunkirk, just across from Dover, now became the center of “Operation Dynamo” — the evacuation of Britain’s fighting men from Dunkirk. At first, it was estimated that only a possible forty or fifty thousand could possibly be rescued; but because of this halt in the German offensive, over a quarter million allied soldiers were saved! The British people called it “the miracle of Dunkirk.” Thus, a miracle it was indeed, not one brought about by the personal intervention of Adolph Hitler, but by that of Jesus Christ Himself. There is no other explanation for the unexpected turn of events; the order that stopped the advance of the Germans and saved the British war effort until America entered the conflict; this will always be an enigma to historians. What accounted for Hitler’s great mistake? Why did he make this decision?
          One of the most knowledgeable modern historians in the field of warfare is a retired British officer named B. H. Liddell Hart. In his book, HISTORY OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR, the author expresses his amazement concerning Hitler’s fateful order that the invasion be halted. He questions the Fuehrer’s motivation that led him to make a decision so detrimental to the success of the German invasion of the West. Yet Hitler was not alone in this respect; other men in high positions have made fatal mistakes. The historian concludes that neither Hitler nor those leaders whose decisions led to disaster would give a truthful explanation regarding their sudden reversal of military strategy.
          Opposed to the speculations of even the most objective historian, there is the Divine viewpoint of historical events:

          The king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes. (Pro 21:1).

          Jesus Christ is original and resourceful in His control of history! He parted the Red Sea for His people’s escape in that earliest of all “Dunkirks.” (Exod 14:16) He jolted Ahasuerus’ memory through insomnia to save the Jewish residents of the Persian Empire in Esther’s day. (Esth 6:1-4) In the case of Adolf Hitler, sudden misgivings and a lack of courage caused God’s own purposes to be worked out! (Gen 50:20) In yet another phenomenon in history, our Lord used the latent personality conflict between two famous admirals to turn the tide of battle on the other side of the world.

          The Battle for Leyte Gulf

The largest and most decisive naval battle in the history of naval warfare was fought on 24-25 October 1944, during the reconquest of the Philippines. MacArthur HAD returned, and the amphibious assault phase of the Leyte Operation was completed. American Landing Troops had secured and consolidated their initial objectives along the Leyte coastline; the Battle for Leyte Gulf had begun.
          The Japanese had anticipated the invasion and feared the loss of their fuel supplies from the captured East Indies; should the Americans succeed in establishing themselves there. Japan determined to counterattack each American move, by air and by sea, with all the forces available to them. The Imperial Naval Forces’ battle plan was brilliant and daring. The Japanese were prepared to throw every kind of naval and air weapon our way in the attempted annihilation of the American Fleet. The plan included the first organized Kamikaze attacks land-based suicide missions flown by volunteer pilots who crash-dived their planes into American ships and died in the ensuing explosions.
          However, the plan was complicated and called for split-second timing and superior cooperation among the vice admirals, who were to carry out its various phases under the general command of Admiral Toyoda. The key personnel on the side of the already setting sun were: Vice Admiral Kurita, commander of the First Striking Force; Vice Admiral Ozawa, commander of the Northern Force, and the Vice Admirals Nishimura and Shima, commanders of the combined Southern, or Second Striking Force. Vice Admiral Kurita’s orders were to approach Leyte Gulf from a fueling base at North Borneo by way of Mindora Strait and the Sibuyan Sea. From there, he was to head toward the San Bernardino Strait and southward for Leyte. Kurita’s Forces comprised the most powerful section of the Imperial Navy. As he steamed toward Leyte, Kurita dispatched a small detachment — its commander, Vice Admiral Nishimura; his orders: enter Leyte Gulf, from the south through Surigao Strait. Kurita and his main force would push through from the northwest via San Bernardino Strait. Nishimura was to be joined by Vice Admiral Shima and his Second Striking Force, for Shima had been ordered to support and cooperate with Nishimura. There was no love lost between these two career officers, who had nurtured a dislike for one another. Yet these two men were to team up in a joint effort with Kurita’s Striking Force to crush in a pincer movement MacArthur’ transports and his escort carriers.
          In the meantime, Vice Admiral Ozawa and his armada had sailed from Japan. His fleet of light and heavy carriers — empty for lack of carrier-trained pilots — was designated the “Northern Force.” The fleet was to serve as a decoy to lure Admiral Halsey’s Third Fleet into a trap. If the decoy worked as planned, the United States Pacific Fleet would be split, and Kurita would be in a position to severely cripple it. The strike was set for October 25.
          Halsey did not take the bait when it was first dangled before him. In fact, he was not even aware of Ozawa’s presence. Instead of following Ozawa into the trap, Halsey had dashed in hot pursuit after Kurita. Two American submarines, cruising off the coast of Boreno, had spotted that fleet during the night of October 23. Under cover of dark, they had surfaced and speeded ahead of Kurita to meet his oncoming ships with torpedoes fired at close range. They reported the sightings; thus
the American admirals were advised of the approach and the strength of the Japanese warships.
          Vice Admiral Kurita had promptly signaled his encounter with the American subs to Ozawa. In order to carry out his role as the decoy, Ozawa attempted to get Halsey’s attention. He sent a number of uncoded signals, none of which were intercepted. Neither was his fleet sighted by our reconnaissance planes, for they had taken off after Kurita. True to his motto, “Whatever we do, we do fast,” Halsey dealt Kurita’s fleet what was presumed to be a heavy blow. The Japanese turned and retreated toward the west, Halsey’s reconnaissance planes on their tail in search for Kurita’s aircraft carriers. Instead, the searching planes picked up Ozawa’s fleet on its way south.
          Upon receipt of the new sightings, Halsey ordered his entire fleet northward in pursuit of Ozawa; he was convinced that America’s main threat came from that direction. No longer concerned about Kurita’s striking power, he had left San Bernardino Strait unguarded and had notified Admiral Kinkaid of his decision. Admiral Halsey’s fleet had been drawn to the north with Ozawa acting as the magnet; he was about to enter the trap laid for him; he had taken the bait after all!
          During the night of October 24-25, Halsey was standing away from Leyte to meet Ozawa. Unknown to him, Kurita, whose retreat was only temporary, steadily approached San Bernardino despite the damages his fleet had suffered. He was nearing the vital area of invasion, where Americans had landed advance units of Rangers on Suluan Island in Leyte Gulf. Advised of Kurita’s approach, Halsey continued to steam toward the north, for he thought that Kinkaid could easily wipe out the remnant of that vice admiral’s fleet.
          Kinkaid, however, was in a dangerous position. He had assumed that Halsey’s fleet was guarding his northern battle fleet. Therefore, he prepared to meet the enemy at Surigao Strait. Admiral Oldendorf defeated the southern detachment of the Japanese striking force during a dramatic night battle. Nishimura’s fleet was almost completely wiped out: The desperate vice admiral signaled Shima to come to his aid, but Vice Admiral Shima made no attempt to rendezvous with him. Nishimura went down with his ship. At dawn, Kinkaid turned his attention to Vice Admiral Shima. Shima, in turn, had decided to extricate himself from a battle that could end only in disaster for his forces. He retreated under cover of the smoke which the American destroyers had made. In subsequent attacks, Shima’s fleet was put out of commission as a fighting force.
          Kurita’s main force, however, had reached San Bernardino Strait but had found no enemy awaiting him there. His ships had slipped through the Strait undetected in the darkness. He sighted Kinkaid’s northern group of escort carriers, which operated about forty miles seaward in support of the troops ashore. Kurita had every opportunity not only to surprise but also to severely cripple the fleet and thus jeopardize the whole invasion. The situation was dangerous for the Americans. Kinkaid signaled Halsey urgent appeals for fast battleships to the Gulf. There, approximately four hundred of our ships lay helpless — sitting ducks in the event of a Japanese assault. There was no immediate response from Halsey; he was still intent on the destruction of Ozawa. All the time, Kurita was approaching the Gulf. Just thirty miles from his objective, he turned around and headed toward his own defeat at the hands of Rear Admirals C.A.F. Sprague, T. L. Sprague and Stump. What had caused his sudden change of mind? He had intercepted and misinterpreted the American signals — of desperate appeals — as signal for an American mass assault on his own ships.
          Once again, the Lord had overruled in the affairs of man. Two Japanese naval officers who had failed to cooperate, one of the commanders who misinterpreted uncoded signals, and the course of history was changed in favor of America! American defense proved brilliantly successful. Between dawn of 25 October and noon on 26 October 1944, serious carrier opposition to American operations in the Pacific ceased to be a problem. The effectiveness of the Japanese Armada was gone forever. In a matter of months, Japan’s rising sun would set in the billows of defeat!


          The effectiveness of every military organization is determined by its application of certain fundamental principles, along with the underlying concept of universal military training, regardless of whether that nation is at war or at peace! In every generation a nucleus of professional soldiers, experts in their particular field, must be maintained; raw recruits must be continually trained and molded into a well-motivated, well-disciplined fighting force ready to defend their country. The importance of adequate military preparedness is but one of the many maxims of warfare delineated in the laws of Divine establishment and recorded for posterity in the Word of God. Thus, the Scriptures state explicitly:

          Only in order that the generations of the sons of Israel might be taught war, those who had not experienced it formerly). (Jdg 3:2).

          From the preliminary instructions on the eve of battle to the successful conclusion of armed conflict, Jehovah of the Armies Himself defined the laws of warfare for His people Israel. (Deut 20:1-20) Frequently the Lord personally directed the Jewish campaigns and outlined the specific strategy to be employed. (Jdg 7:1-25; 2Sa 5:22-25) By no means are the axioms of warfare reserved exclusively for ancient Israel; they form the elemental concepts of warfare for the duration of human history.
          With the advance of science and technology, the crude weapons of antiquity were replaced by highly sophisticated weapons of modern warfare. Yet, while the conventional methods and arms of warfare undergo constant changes, the principles of warfare remain basically the same. It is a well-documented fact of history that great military strategists and tacticians throughout the world continue to study diligently the famous battles of the past, including those fought in the War between the States. These blueprints for battle are taught in every classroom of military science.
          Moshe Dayan, hero of the Six-Day War of June 1967, and then Defense Minister of Israel, is reported to be an avid student of the battles recorded in the Old Testament. Perhaps his interest in archeology and in the deployment of the Jewish military in antiquity was the result of his admiration for and deep friendship with the late Captain Orde Charles Wingate. An extraordinary British Army intelligence officer, Wingate was among the earliest of Dayan’s teachers in the science of warfare. Wingate was a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and knowledgeable in the Scriptures. Deeply impressed with the heroics of both the ancient and the modern Jewish fighting men, he organized the Night Squads, composed of British regulars and Jewish troops. Aggressively, these carried the attacks into the very villages that hosted the Arab saboteurs and murderers.
          Young Moshe Dayan became Wingate’s aide-de-camp. Together, they fought in fierce battles and forays to rout the terrorists in the early struggles of the people of Israel. Dayan observed Wingate’s tireless efforts to identify historical sites from their Biblical descriptions and is said to have himself utilized military routes (Long thought erased by the ravages of time) to ambush the enemy in a modern version of an old historic account.

          Thus, we note that warfare changes only with regard to weapons, never with regard to maneuvers. Certain elements of warfare remain the same: the souls of the men involved in battle; the souls of their women who stay behind; the strategy and the tactics. The principles of warfare outlined in the Scriptures apply to the present as they did to the days gone by. As a part of the Canon, these axioms are as much a part of Bible Truth as the Gospel of salvation or the Truths pertaining to the Royal Family in the Church Age. Therefore they should be explained and understood, for they are vital to the continued existence of America as a free and sovereign nation!

          The Objective

          THE PURPOSE OF A MILITARY OPERATION IS TO OBTAIN AN ASSIGNED OBJECTIVE WITH A DESIGNATED FORCE! The nation and its military — the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force — must have specific and clearly defined objectives. The selection of a national objective — strategy — depends on the political, military and economic conditions of the country. Although these conditions are variable, the primary objective in warfare must always be the neutralization or destruction of the opposing military forces. This entails the decisive defeat and annihilation of the invading or attacking armies of the enemy.
          Next in importance is the possession of localities which contribute to the national objective. The taking of cities and the capture of great segments of the civilian population are secondary. The mission assigned to a military force must be compatible with its own national objective. When the principle of objective is violated, casualties mount; and defeat or, at best, stalemate is the inevitable result of battle. For many years now our country has functioned under political liberalism and compromise. We lacked neither courage nor character, nor even good leadership in the Korean and the Vietnamese wars; we lacked a fixed foreign policy! Because we disregarded the fundamentals of objective, thousands of young lives were needlessly sacrificed on the altar of political advantage. The military image of the greatest free nation in the world was gravely discredited in the eyes of the world and demoted to the position of a “paper tiger.” To quote General Douglas MacArthur: “In war there is no substitute for victory!”

          The Offensive

          OFFENSIVE IS THE ONLY ACTION BY WHICH A DECISION IS GAINED! The only effective way to wage a war is to act on the offensive.  Offensive action brings victory, while defensive action can only avoid or delay defeat. Whereas the offensive should always be taken when there is any reasonable chance of success, the defensive should be adopted only under these conditions: to assist offensive action elsewhere; to gain time; to compensate for weakness in other areas or to envelop the enemy. The national army which remains on the defensive not only jeopardizes national security and freedom but inevitably suffers immense casualties and breakdown of team spirit. How devastating such breakdown of team spirit can be; is evidenced in the drug problems and the lax discipline presently found in our services. We can trace their origin to the failure of our policy makers who chose to put American fighting men on the defensive. Because we did not take the initiative in the attack and destruction of North Viet Nam, we lost the war in Southeast Asia.
          Another classic example of the folly and tragedy of assuming the defensive position is the French decision to remain on the defensive along the Maginot Line in 1940; consequently, France fell in only ninety days! Still, the French did not learn their lesson; they adopted the principle of defense again in Dien Bien Phu. They held out from 20 November 1953, to 7 May 1954; but in the end they forfeited all of Indo-China and the best battalions of their Foreign Legion. Oh, the heart- break and frustration that result from defeat by default!
          Certainly it takes more to attack than to be on the defensive: better training, leadership and motivation; greater courage and character in the Spiritual life as in the military; we must be remain on the offensive or we will be defeated by Satan and our sin nature! We need to return to aggressiveness and the Divine principles which once made ours a great nation! There is nothing like an offensive to boost team spirit or permit concentration of effort and freedom of action! And for the Christian soldier, there is no finer preparation than Spiritual preparation — Truth in his soul, his inner fortification! Furthermore,  Divine approbation sanctions the concept of attack; and with Divine approval comes the promise of victory on the battlefield:

          Then David inquired of the LORD, saying, "Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You give them into my hand?" And the LORD said to David, "Go up, for I will certainly give the Philistines into your hand." (2Sa 5:19)

          The Principle of Mass

          In military terms, MASS DEFINES COMBAT POWER OR A CONCENTRATION OF COMBAT POWER AT THE POINT OF MAXIMUM EFFECTIVENESS. Mass includes numbers of weapons, tactical skills, discipline, fighting ability, resolution, team spirit and leadership. Success in warfare is attained by the proper deployment of mass in a main effort, in an attack at the proper time and in the proper place. Mass further involves the PRINCIPLES OF EFFICIENCY OF FORCE, MOVEMENT AND SUPPLIES. Economy of force utilizes the employment of the mass in a main effort to the extent that the saving of troops and lives is assured to the greatest degree possible.

          The Principle of Movement

          MOVEMENT DESIGNATES: THE MANEUVER OF COMBAT ELEMENTS INTO CONTACT WITH THE ENEMY! In the offensive, this principle is applied to obtain maximum effect with minimum loss and to probe for weakness in the enemy’s line which might be exploited. Movement is most effective when concealed or when the. Element of surprise is retained! (Joh 7:10) The main factor of surprise is preparation, secrecy and rapidity of movement. It may take the form of time, place, direction, tactics or weapons.

          Security and Simplicity

          Security embraces all measures taken to preserve not only the fighting forces against surprise attacks from the enemy, but also to insure the protection of the civilian population. Simplicity is a relative term. It implies that military planning be as simple as possible. Orders should never be ambiguous; they should be free from any dependencies. Frequent changes of plans should be avoided, and unity of command must be the key to every order issued!


          Every principle of temporal warfare relates to the Spiritual life! However, whereas a cessation of hostilities in the temporal realm can eventually be expected, at least, for a short period, there is no honorable peace, no cease-fire, no truce in the invisible warfare of the ages! The believer’s Spiritual combat will continue until God assigns him a (PCS) permanent change of station, either at death or at the Harvest.” It comes as no surprise, therefore, that the Scriptures, particularly the Apostolic writings, abound with military metaphor.
          The Apostle Paul’s prolonged contacts with the Roman soldiers of his era, and his keen observations of Roman military life are evidenced in many of his epistles. During his Roman imprisonments, Paul had occasion to watch frequent military drills and parades. He used those concepts to illustrate the various echelons of the resurrection and compares them to the passing in review of the battalions of a regiment: “every man in his own order. {Battalion]” (1Co 15:23) He likens the lucid exegesis of the Word of God to military commands. A specific reference, (1Co 14:8) notes the trumpet sounds and preparation for battle. Paul counseled Timothy to “endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.’ (2Ti 2:3-4) Upon completing his basic training, the Roman soldier was branded for life. His mark announced to all who saw it that he was ready to follow the eagle on the Roman standard into battle. So highly respected was that mark, that the one who had served in the most honorable organization of the ancient world, if convicted for criminal activity after military service, would be given another chance. His sentence was often either lessened or remitted altogether. Paul referred to that distinctive mark of honor in (Gal 6:17) “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” The Words were an example and implied that Paul had gone through his own Spiritual boot camp and was now serving his Commander in Chief on active combat duty.
          Because he had lived with the military, Paul knew and understood every phase of military life. He was well qualified to apply his knowledge to the Spiritual life of the believer. His further analogies include the line maneuvering of the Roman Army to the believer’s advance toward the high ground of maturity. (Gal 5:25; Col 2:5) Desertion and absence without leave, where occasional problems in the Roman Army, and were illustrations aptly used by the apostle acting as the Lord’s chief of staff, when he braced the Galatians for having gone AWOL from grace. (Gal 1:6) In reference to the use of the faith-rest technique, Paul spoke of the “peace of God mounting guard” over the believer’s heart and mind. (Php 4:6-7) He used the triumphal processions of the Roman armies to represent the strategical and tactical victories of the Royal Family of God. (2Co 2:14-16) Not only does Paul’s application of military metaphor show his respect for the Divinely established authority of a nation, but it also enabled him to draw a Spiritual analogy between the Roman fighting man of the first century, and the royal priest, armed and equipped to vanquish his unseen enemies; Satan and the old sin nature!


          A combat veteran of numerous Spiritual campaigns, Paul was the most outstanding Christian Warrior who ever lived. Repeatedly, he blocked the blows of legalists and the attacks of Judaizers. He was frequently wounded in action; (2Co 6:4-5; 2Co 11:23-27) yet he bore his scars — outrages of human injustices — as though they had been distinguished service medals. (2Co 11:30; 2Co 12:10) It is significant, therefore, that Paul, who represents the epitome of Christian soldiery, should have had such close contact with the greatest military organization in history! Thus it was under the protection of the armed might of Rome that Paul carried out a great portion of his apostolic ministry,
          Religious Jewry considered the Apostle Paul no more than a troublesome renegade Israelite. They resented his teachings and were clearly alarmed at the number of converts he made among the Jews and of their own converts. So far, all attempts to rid themselves of Paul had failed. At last, an unexpected opportunity offered itself: Paul had come into the Temple to take a vow. (Act 21:26) Paul’s compromise of grace — his return to the shadow worship which Christ’s deaths, (Spiritual and Physical) on the Cross had abolished — very nearly cost him his life. His enemies seized their chance and incited Jewish zealots to violence. If the mob killed Paul, so much the better; it would save them the trouble. Their charges that Paul had defiled the temple and opposed the teaching of the Mosaic Law were entirely false. (Act 21:28) Mobs, however, do not have the ability to think logically! Infuriated, the people rushed upon Paul and dragged him from the Temple into the court, where they began to beat him.
          Across from the Temple stood the famous fortress, Antonia; here a Roman garrison was quartered and reinforced during the Jewish festivals to number at least ten thousand men and their officers. From its southeastern towers, the Roman sentries could observe the activities, in the Temple court. The eruption of violence was duly reported to Claudius Lysias, the commandant of the fortress, and the garrison was instantly alerted. A man of action, Claudius Lysias led a detachment of Roman soldiers and centurions and marched right into the court of the Temple. A disciplined, armed and determined military rescued Paul from the hands of the mob and moved him to the safety of Mark Antony Barracks. (Act 21:27-34) There, when it was learned that Paul was a Roman citizen, he was accorded every courtesy. (Act 21:37; Act 22:25-30)
          While he was still in military custody at the fortress, a plot was discovered to assassinate Paul. (Act 23:12-22) Again, Claudius Lysias and his men came to the apostle’s rescue. Paul was given a military escort consisting of four hundred legionary soldiers — two hundred of them armed infantry — and seventy mounted guards. Under cover of night, they arrived at Antipatris. (Act 23:23-31) From there, the cavalry saw to Paul’s safe conduct to Caesarea, where he was promised a hearing by Felix, the governor of Judea. 
          Political trickery is not confined to the twentieth century; it was also rampant in Paul’s day. When the bribe Felix expected for Paul’s liberation was not forthcoming, he detained his prisoner for two years without the hearing to which he was entitled by Roman law. (Act 24:26-27) Throughout those two years, Paul was in daily contact with a Roman centurion charged with his safekeeping. (Act 24:23)
          Upon Felix’ summons to Rome, a new governor, Festus, was appointed. Paul’s case came up in court once more. A change of venue was suggested; Paul was to be tried at the place of his arrest — Jerusalem; the intent: Paul’s murder in that city. (Act 25:1-3) Paul’s petition, “CAESEREM APPELLO”; (I appeal to Caesar) (Act 25:11) terminated the court proceedings at Caesarea and transferred the case to the “Supreme Court” in Rome, where a higher tribunal would examine him.
          Paul was one of many prisoners aboard a merchant vessel which carried goods and passengers bound for Italy. In command of the prisoners was Julius, a centurion of the Augustan cohort. (Act 27:1) His courteous treatment of Paul is recorded in Scripture. So implicitly did this Roman officer trust in the integrity of the great apostle that he permitted him liberty to go ashore when the ship docked, even though Paul was technically a prisoner of Rome. (Act 27:3) Should he escape, the centurion’s own life would have been forfeited!
          In the eventful journey, which was interrupted by turbulent weather and shipwreck, two major factors emerge: Paul’s confident command of a desperate situation and the prompt action of the Roman military whereby all lives were preserved. (Act 27:31-44)
          Paul reached his destination — Rome. For the next two years he remained there under house arrest. Yet he was granted the favor due a citizen of Rome. Moreover, he won the respect of the captain of the Praetorian Guard and of those soldiers whose responsibility it was to keep him under military surveillance. (Act 28:16-30) Certainly, it would be no pleasure to be chained by the arm — day and night — to a member of the Imperial Bodyguard! But it must be remembered that although Paul was a captive, he now had a captive audience. Out of that first Roman imprisonment came four prison epistles — Philemon, Colossians, Ephesians and Philippians — as well as a number of converts within the Imperial household! (Php 4:22) The great Christian Warrior could chalk up another tactical victory in the angelic conflict!
          Paul’s first trial before Nero resulted in his acquittal and release; he was free to resume his missionary journeys. When persecution of the early Church mounted, Christians became a hated sect, sought out and betrayed by paid informers. As a prominent leader of the Church, Paul was arrested once more, possibly near Nicopolis, where he had hoped to spend the winter. (Tit 3:12) He was brought back to Rome, falsely accused and thrown into Mamertine prison. Imperial persecution of Christianity had sanctioned the abuse of believers, particularly of those who attempted to associate with the prisoner. Doubtlessly, Paul experienced the brutality of his jailors, for he stated that he was treated as “a criminal."’ (2Ti 2:9) Shamefully deserted by most of his friends, (2Ti 4:9-10) Paul knew that His Lord would never forsake him! (2Ti 4:17) Note his objectivity, his relaxed mental attitude throughout his trial! Denied a defense attorney, he undertook his own brilliant defense; (2Ti 4:16) the Lord would deal with his accusers and the false witnesses of whom there seemed to be no lack. He had harshly condemned believers who had turned their back on grace; yet not one word did he utter against his Roman captors and tormentors! As ever, he had nothing but the highest respect for the Roman authorities.
          When the end came, Paul was prepared and ready for it. He knew that his work on earth was finished the moment he had signed his last epistle to Timothy. (2Ti 4:7-8) He welcomed the day when he could cross the golden bridge that leads from dying grace to surpassing grace. At the other side of that bridge, his faithful Lord would await him with eternal rewards and the decorations he had attained! (2Ti 4:8)
          Paul’s final moments in life were spent in the presence of his Roman executioners. As a citizen of Rome, Paul was spared the agony of crucifixion. Death by decapitation would be swift and merciful. Paul himself had acknowledged that the lictor had but a duty to perform. (Rom 13:4) To Rome, Paul may have been a criminal; but in the end, the Lord, the righteous Judge, would even the score. Like the Lord, His prisoner, Paul, was led outside the city to the place of execution. Little did the Roman soldiers realize whom they had nailed to the center Cross when they crucified the Lord of glory. (1Co 2:8) And little did the calloused executioners know that theirs was the honor to escort the greatest mature believer of the Church Age to his final victory — his conquest of death! Each step he took brought Paul closer to Jesus Christ. He advanced resolutely, for he longed to be absent from his body and face to face with his Lord. (2Co 5:8) Via Ostia was his road to Glory!


          His Equipment

          The Roman Imperial Army was the earliest of the world’s standing armies. Unlike most other ancient nations who hired professional soldiers from other lands to fight their battles, Rome had no foreign mercenaries. Its soldiers were regularly recruited throughout the Roman provinces, expertly trained and equipped for combat. Upon retirement from service, Rome offered its military men a pension for life and, often, a grant of land. As one of the greatest armies in history, the Roman Army shares honors with the Assyrians of antiquity, the Prussians under Frederick the Great, the French under Napoleon, and the Army of Northern Virginia under Robert E. Lee. In duration and effectiveness, however, the Roman Imperial Army surpassed all other armies!
          An army is made up of individuals. As an individual, the Roman military man was tough and courageous, proficient in his profession, confident of his ability to meet any challenger. He possessed the finest weapons of his era, the best equipment with which to exploit his soldier-like excellence. In the field, each Roman infantryman carried approximately sixty pounds of equipment besides his weapons and armor. The equipment consisted of a bronze food box containing three days’ rations, a kettle, a portable hand mill, a length of rope, a chain, a saw, a hook, a shovel and pickaxe and, of course, a type, of canteen, made from skins. Each eight-man squad was called a “CONTUBERNIUM.” They shared a tent and, at times, a mule, which carried the heavy millstones for the freshly-ground grain — a staple of the soldier’s diet — and all other supplies needed to sustain the soldiers in the field.
          In addition to his two light javelins, the Roman soldier carried into battle a sword — the MACHAIRA, approximately eighteen inches long — and a short leaf-shaped dagger. His armor comprised his helmet; his belt, from which were suspended thick leather strips that could be fastened in loops to protect his loins; his breastplate, worn over a sleeveless woolen or leather tunic; his boots — the famous CALIGAE; and his shield, the SCUTUM. In its entirety, the Roman soldier’s equipment, which included his weapons and armor, was known as the PANOPLIA. (Equipment) Although Paul was acquainted with all items of equipment in, (Eph 6:11-17) he mentions only those portions of the PANOPLIA which directly relate to the Spiritual conflict.
          While the PANOPLIA pertained to all soldiers, the uniforms of the officers were more ornate than those of the enlisted men. The common solider wore a plain cloth or leather “kilt” and a heavy brown cloak. His breastplate was made of leather and reinforced with metal strips or metal chains. The officer’s “kilt” was always pleated, either of supple leather or fine cloth, and his breastplate was constructed of overlapping chest and backplates of metal molded to fit his body or else
contoured to the muscular structure he hoped to attain after several years of service. These breastplates were often overlaid with silver or gold. Junior officers could be easily identified by their white cloaks; field grade officers, by their red cloaks; and the general officers, by their cloaks of brilliant scarlet or purple.

          His Organization

          The ancient Roman Army was divided into LEGIONS. (Divisions) Each legion consisted of 10 COHORTS (Regiments) of infantry and 300 cavalry and numbered altogether between 4,200 and 6,000 men, depending upon the status of the nation. ONE COHORT was further subdivided into THREE MANIPLES, (Battalions) and EACH MANIPLE into TWO CENTURIES. (Companies) The smallest unit in the Roman Army was the CONTUBERNIUM. (A squad of eight to ten men)
          There were three categories of Roman soldiers in Paul’s day: the HASTATI, the PRINCIPES and the TRIARII. The HASTATI, so named after the javelins they carried (HASTA, Latin for “javelin,” were the young recruits who had yet to experience their trial under fire. In combat, they formed the first line of battle; in their role as skirmishers, they threw their javelins and then moved to the rear. There are many HASTATI on the battlefields of the angelic conflict — young but growing believers who have not yet reached Spiritual adulthood. Like their Roman counterparts, they are but skirmishers in the unseen warfare!
          The PRINCIPES were young, vigorous and strong, well-trained soldiers who had seen combat. They were the heavy infantry in the second line of the legion in battle formation. Experts with their missiles and swords, the PRINCIPES presented to the enemy a solid iron line. Who are the PRINCIPES of the Royal Combat Battalion? They are those Christian Warriors who have attained Spiritual adulthood or Spiritual maturity!
          The TRIARII constituted the most experienced veterans and combat heroes of the Legion. Completely armed, they formed the third line of battle and acted as stabilizers to their combat units. It is the TRIARII of the Spiritual front who have seized the high ground of maturity and who can be counted on to hold their ground, come what may! These believers enjoy to the maximum the blessings that accrue from their tactical victories. They will advance to dying grace and reach eternity triumphantly, mature heroes who will be decorated in eternity!
          Spiritual combat requires expert knowledge and application of numerous Divine Thoughts! Temporal combat demands, among other things, strategic and tactical knowledge. Drawn up for combat, the Roman Legion’s three battle lines were composed often of the maniples’ 1200 HASTATI in the first; 1200 PRINCIPES in the secondhand 1200 TRIARII, plus 600 reserves in the third; 300 cavalry were posted on the flanks as combat support. Combat support is essential for the effective function of the teams of Spiritual combatants. (Eph 6:18; Jas 5:16) Prayer as our combat support is the Christian’s secret weapon! Certainly, the Apostle Paul considered prayer support as a vital factor in his own ministry. (Eph 6:18-19)
          Each Roman Legion had on its standard the emblem of Rome — a silver eagle. Its wings were spread, and its claws rested on a thunderbolt. The standard-bearer was called the “AQUILIFER” (Eagle-bearer) and was a senior non-commissioned officer, generally a knight; Likewise, each legion had its own supreme commander, a carefully selected LEGATUS, who was usually a member of the Roman aristocracy. Since his appointment was of brief duration, his own leadership ability depended greatly upon that of his military background. These latter were career officers, too young to serve in the Senate.
          The CENTURION was the principle professional officer in the Roman Army. Determined by the length of his service and the extent of his combat experience, a centurion’s rank ranged from lieutenant to that of colonel. Thus, there were junior centurions and senior centurions as well as centurions in command of an entire legion. They did not wear their rank on their shoulders or helmets; instead, they carried their badge of authority in their hand, in form of a staff of hard vine-wood,
and frequently used it to discipline lax legionaries. A cane very much like that of the centurion is still borne by British officers — the “swagger stick.”
          The elite among all Roman troops were the PRAETORIAN GUARD. Recruited solely from Italy, these favored soldiers of antiquity were the Imperial Bodyguard of the Caesars. Upon Paul’s first arrival at Rome, the Praetorian Guards stationed in the metropolis numbered ten thousand. men. Paul’s initial contact with a member of that elite troop had been Julius, a centurion of the Augustan Cohort, (Act 27:1) under whose protection he had sailed from Caesarea to Rome. His contact with the Praetorian Guard continued on a daily basis for the two years during which Paul remained in military custody in Rome.
          Formally organized in the time of Augustus, the Praetorian Guard attended the emperor wherever he went These soldiers had special privileges and received double the pay of the other legionaries; their rank was equivalent to a centurion’s. The Praetorians eventually became so powerful that their support or lack of it determined who should sit on Caesar’s throne. Even when the Roman Empire began to decline, the authority of the Praetorians continued unchallenged. In the end, however, they were disbanded by the Emperor Constantine in A.D. 312. Yet in Paul’s day, the Guard was unequaled, a distinguished corps whose excellence inspired the apostle to establish an analogy in the Spiritual realm.

          His Decorations

          Combat veterans among the legionaries and their officers displayed many spectacular decorations for fearless courage on the battlefield. The lower decorations consisted of collars or neck chains of bronze, silver or gold, wide armbands and disks or coins of the same metals. These disks or coins were sewn to a leather harness, which the Roman legionary wore slung across his shoulders and down over the breastplate. To show such decorations was, in fact, an announcement not only of one’s courage but also of one’s wealth.
          Decorations for officers included silver spearheads (Comparable to our Distinguished Service Cross or the Navy Cross) and the sought-after wreaths of golden oakleaves or golden grass. Equivalent to the British Victoria Cross or our own Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest of these decorations was called the “Civic Crown.” Neither civic nor a crown, this was a wreath worn in battle. Like all Roman decorations, the wreaths were accompanied by tax-free monetary payments for life, each of which could net a Roman military hero from fifty thousand to a quarter million dollars annually! Thus, for more than five hundred years, Rome showed its appreciation of heroics on the field of honor in a very tangible way!


          At the time of the writing of the New Testament, the Roman soldier was the dominant military personality in the world. He was respected for his professional stature, evaluated on the basis of battle courage and rewarded accordingly. He had every incentive to advance in rank, every opportunity of an increase in pay, every assurance that he would be provided for upon retirement. The great Roman military system inspired its men to ever greater deeds of valor; nevertheless, such a system can apply only in part to the Spiritual warfare. Although he is promised rewards, the Christian Warrior’s efficiency rating is not reviewed until he stands before the Judgment Seat of Christ. (Rom 14:10; 1Co 3:11-16) If we reach the goal of maturity, our report will contain this citation: “Well done, good and faithful servant!” Maturity is the basis for our blessings in time and the surpassing-grace blessings and decorations we will receive in eternity. Whatever we do in life, we should be correctly motivated by having a balance of residency in our soul — the filling of the Spirit plus maximum Bible Truth! — not only for the promise of eternal rewards! As members of the Royal Combat Battalion, we are to seize and hold the high ground of maturity, because that is what our Lord expects of us! (Joh 12:25-26) The promise of rewards contributes to our joyful expectation as part of our happiness in Phase Three! (Eternity)
          Translated “crown,” the wreath, or STEPHANOS, refers either to the highest decoration given to the Roman soldier or to the wreath won by athletes at the Olympic Games or comparable athletic events; these, too, carried great reward. In Scripture, crowns become analogous to the believer’s rewards in eternity. And even as the highest decoration our nation has to offer is given by the President himself, so the wreaths — our highest rewards — are awarded by our own Commander in Chief, the Lord Jesus Christ!

          The Wreath of Life

      Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. (Jas 1:12)

          The Wreath of Life is the highest award any believer in the Church Age can receive. Connected with his personal blessing paragraph in eternity, this decoration presupposes dying grace and obviously implies that the believer had seized and held the high ground of maturity until he crossed the golden bridge of dying grace into eternity. Occupation with Christ, that maximum expression of love toward God, equips the believer to handle adversity as well as prosperity by means of the Truth he has accumulated in his soul! Continued positive volition toward Truth maintains his maturity; therefore he persists on the glory road and will receive the STEPHANOS OF LIFE!
          For the Spiritually mature Christian, all the suffering of a lifetime fades into insignificance in comparison to the eternal glory which shall someday be revealed in him. (Rom 8:18) Encouraged by the words of the Lord, he presses on to victory:

          'Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
(Rev 2:10)

          The Wreath of Glory

          And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. (1Pe 5:4).

          The highest reward available to the pastor-teacher / mature believers is the STEPHANOS OF GLORY; yet not all pastors will wear this wreath. This special decoration will distinguish those mature pastors who spend laborious hours in consistent study of God’s Word, faithfully communicate Truth and lead their congregations to Spiritual maturity. In time, the pastor is rewarded by the positive reception of his message; in eternity, he can expect this wreath as a recognition of his “labor of love!” (Heb 6:10)
          The Apostle Paul was the greatest teacher of Truth who ever lived. Not given to compliments, he nevertheless expressed his joy over the response to his teaching; he could not help longing for a congregation of believers with positive volition; neither could he help loving those who were hungry for Truth! The Holy Spirit has recorded Paul’s words to the churches at Philippi and at Thessalonica as an encouragement to pastors and their flocks:

          For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming? For you are our glory and joy. (1Th 2:19-20)

          Therefore, my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, my beloved. (Php 4:1)

          A believers decorations; however, are not limited to the Wreath of Glory; we may win all three: the Wreath of Life, the Wreath of Glory and the Wreath of Righteousness; 30/60/100. (Mat 13:8)

          The Wreath of Righteousness

          We are not told the specific form of this wreath, only the principle under which it can be obtained. It is one thing to arrive at maturity but quite another to stay on the high ground! Apparently this decoration is awarded for the continued Spiritual growth of the believer. “Righteousness” connotes honor and integrity, and these are the characteristics of all who advance steadfastly toward glory!
          As Paul anticipated martyrdom, he could see beyond an unjust verdict of the tribunal at Rome, and he wrote:

          I have fought a good fight (Seized and held the high ground), I have finished my course (Reached the end of his life and was then experiencing dying grace), I have kept the Truth (He had been persistently positive). In the future (Eternity) there is laid up for me a wreath of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Evaluator, will award me in that day: and not to me only, but also to all those who love His appearing. (2Ti 4:7-8)

          It is fascinating to note that there is a happiness beyond the normal blessings of heaven. While our greatest joy will be the experience of being face to face with the Lord, the knowledge that our decorations — the Wreaths of Life, Glory and Righteousness — glorify Him, will make our happiness complete!
          Although the wreaths pertain only to the Royal Family of God, there are other, decorations for worthy Old Testament, believers. Enoch, for example, is said to have pleased God: therefore, he is recorded in the roster of the great mature heroes of (Heb 11:1) thru (Heb 12:4) “Enoch’s deposition stood, that he pleased God.” (Heb 11:5) Now here is how we all please God:

          And without Truth resident in the soul it is impossible to please God, for-when one is occupied with God, (The perpetuation of maturity) he must be convinced (By the inner resources of Truth) that God is a Rewarder, and that He becomes a Rewarder to those who diligently seek Him. (Heb 11:6)

          Pleasing God and consistent positive volition toward Truth are related to one another; and the key to reward in eternity is the command to press on. There will come a time when our efficiency report will be completed. Then we must all appear before Christ for evaluation, either to receive our crowns or to discover that our production in life has been worthless, as far as the Plan of God was concerned. Which will it be for you?


          Spiritual warfare is not limited to certain locales on the earth; it rages at full strength throughout the entire universe. In this great conflict, the forces of Satan war against the forces of God. Frustrated by the strategic victory of the Cross,” Satan has unleashed his demon hordes with renewed fury against the Lord’s representatives upon the earth — the Royal Family of God — in the Church Age. Therefore, the angelic conflict has been escalated for the duration of this dispensation.
          From the moment of his salvation, the Church Age believer finds himself in enemy territory, in COSMOS DIABOLICUS. (Satan’s world system) His faith in Jesus Christ has enlisted him permanently into the ranks of the Royal Combat Legion. To fulfill his role in the Battle Plan of God, the Christian Warrior must be adequately prepared and equipped to do Spiritual battle. Every combatant in the angelic conflict has access to the Divine arsenal, from which he can draw a limitless supply of weapons and provisions! Every believer has the potential of Spiritual heroics; but he cannot excel in tactical victories until he has mastered the weapons of his warfare, until he has picked up and put on the full armor of God.
          The “full armor” God designed for each royal legionary is illustrated by the various pieces of the Roman soldier’s equipment and armor. Paul’s personal acquaintance and observation of the famous legionaries and Praetorians well qualified him to describe in detail their uniforms and weapons. By inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the apostle extracted information pertinent to the conflict of the ages; this information was recorded and the record preserved under the principle of Romans 15:4:

          For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
(Rom 15:4)

          It is God’s purpose that each one of us follow the colors to the high ground of maturity and build in his soul that inner fortification of Truth, which alone can withstand the attacks of the invisible enemies. Therefore, it becomes necessary that the Christian Warrior be briefed concerning his mission in life. The military analogy to the Spiritual conflict is contained in (Eph 6:10-24) and forms a three-paragraph field order:

          (1) The estimate of the situation; (Eph 6:10-12)

          (2) The equipment for the conflict; (Eph 6:13-17)

          (3) The Royal Warrior’s responsibility. (Eph 6:18-20)


          Regardless of how humble or exalted our circumstances in life might be, all members of the Royal Family of God have a great responsibility — “to fight the good fight of faith,” (1Ti 6:12) to enter into honorable combat with the fallen angelic hosts. As goes the believer, so goes his nation! It is a sad commentary on our century that many believers never advance beyond their knowledge of salvation; they have no clue as to what the Christian way of life is all about; unstable and ignorant, they are “carried about with every wind of {False Truth].’ (Eph 4:14) Instead of preparing themselves to become effective Christian Warriors, they stand on the sidelines. Instead of coming under the influence of Truth, they allow themselves to be influenced by evil and succumb to every program and noble-sounding scheme. Unless such believers recover from their reversionism, they will become casualties in the angelic conflict. Although they can never lose their eternal life, they will have no rewards in eternity!
          While restoration from carnality” to Spirituality is instantaneous upon rebound,” recovery from reversionism is a slow and often painful process, accompanied by varying degrees of Divine discipline (Rev 3:19-22) Remember that even the greatest believers are prone to failure; yet no child of God need ever remain bogged down in the quagmire of sin or reversionism. There is an antidote for reversionism: the daily intake of concentrated doses of Truth!
          The Apostle Paul’s own recovery from the lowest ebb of his Spiritual life illustrates this principle. The battle orders Paul had received from Headquarters specifically prohibited his return to Jerusalem. (Act 22:19-21; cf. Act 20:22; Act 21:11) His orders were to proceed to Rome, France and Spain (Rom 1:10-15; Rom 15:24-29) Instead, Paul’s sentimental attachment to Jerusalem blurred his Spiritual vision. He allowed his emotions to usurp the command post of Truth in his soul, and he retreated from the Plan of God, when he should have advanced with it!
          Upon his arrival in the city, Paul found the Jerusalem church filled with carnality and desertion. He was led to believe that only a compromise on his part could persuade the congregation to listen to his “theories.” As was noted previously, Paul’s retrogression into the shadow worship of Judaism resulted in his arrest (Act 21:18-33) and demanded a prompt return to the high ground of maturity. Paul was never more conscious of the absolute necessity of compliance with God’s Plan than when he had recovered from reversionism. No believer can afford to go AWOL from God’s purpose for his life, not even for a short time! Paul’s estimate of the situation in many of the young churches was that believers were not equipping themselves for the battle in the angelic conflict. As a result, he wrote an encyclical letter — Ephesians; its aim: to lead every member of the Royal Family of God to victory, to tactical gains in the angelic warfare. Ephesians is an epistle vital to the Christian life! The first five chapters disclose God’s special Plan for a special Age. That Plan has to be mastered, and its mastery demands Spiritual growth!

          Importance of attaining maturity

          Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. (Eph 6:10)

          The adverbial use of the genitive TOU-LOIPOU (From the adjective LOIPOS — “remaining”) is idiomatic for “from now on.” It should not be translated “finally,” but “in the future.”
          Paul anticipated the tremendous impact of Ephesians, not only on the original recipients of this letter, but also on all future generations of “the faithful in Christ Jesus’ (Eph 1:1) From the time that they heard these important Church Age Truths taught, changes could be expected. Thus Paul implied, “Now that you have mastered the Plan God has for His Royal Family, get with it! Here is what I expect of you IN THE FUTURE: KEEP ON BECOMING STRONG!”
          Although the epistle is addressed to all members of the Royal Family of God, the vocative, “my brethren” (ADELPHOI MOU) is not found in this verse. However, the command to keep on becoming strong (present passive imperative from the verb ENDUNAMOO) is issued here. The customary present denotes what customarily occurs, or what may be expected to occur when the believer takes in Truth on a daily basis. The passive voice indicates that every believer receives the action of the verb: he is caused to grow strong as he matures Spiritually; and the imperative mood carries the force of a command.
          The sphere of Spiritual strength is defined to be “in the Lord” (Preposition EN plus the locative of KURIOS) and refers to positional sanctification; which is the basis for the formation of the Royal Family of God in the Church Age. Rank has its privileges indeed! This is particularly true of the believer in this dispensation. We have a higher honor, greater opportunities and responsibilities, wider horizons than had all other believers of previous dispensations. We are not simply Family of God as were the believers of the Old Testament; we are the royal sons and daughters of the Sovereign of the universe! Ours are royal privileges and royal functions; but the only way whereby our high rank in the Family of God can be made compatible with the Plan of God is by means of our consistent, daily absorption of Truth. Herein lies the secret to our strength and nobility: in the importance we assign to Truth in our lives;” in the Divine provision of Spiritual Thinking, which is the means of attaining the goal of Spiritual maturity!
          “And” (The ascensive use of the conjunction KAI) means “even.” Coupled with the preposition EN and the instrumental singular of KRATOS, (Ruling power) this phrase should read, “even by means of the rule.” The inner ruling power of the believer is resident Truth — the rightful dictator of the soul!
          During World War II, this nation used unmanned ships and planes called “drones’ in simulated combat situations to train our pilots and naval personnel for warfare. Fully powered and equipped, these drones carried no crew of their own; they were electronically controlled from nearby ships or planes and used for target practice. Until the communication of Truth has succeeded in establishing a command post in your soul, you remain a drone in the Spiritual realm. Yet God never intended for you to be a drone; He designed you to function on your own from within your soul! With Truth at your helm, you will become Spiritually self-sustaining, but not Spiritually independent of your right pastor-teacher.
          Behind the dictatorship of Truth is the very essence of omnipotent God. This is brought out by the descriptive genitive singular of ISCHUS. Translated in the King James Version, “of his might,” ISCHUS stands for the “endowed power” or the ability of God. The possessive genitive singular from the intensive pronoun AUTOS (His) identifies Jesus Christ as Eternal and Almighty God. Jesus Christ possesses omnipotence; the written Word originated in the Mind of the Living Word. (1Co 2:16) And Jesus Christ transmits His power to the believer through Truth. Thus, it is His endowed power resident in the believer’s soul which becomes the absolute criterion, the absolute dictator of every Christian.
       (Eph 6:10) constitutes an unmistakable command for our advance toward the tactical objective of Spiritual maturity. However, that objective can be achieved only by the persistent accumulation of doctrinal Truths. Once these have become ingrained in our souls, they form our inner resources, the use of which makes it possible to cope with every crisis of life and to define our goals and missions. The pastor who exhorts his congregation to greater effort and superior valor in the Spiritual life must first of all be impressed himself with the Truths he communicates to others! Hence, Paul’s choice of the words, TOU LOIPOU — “in the future” — is highly significant. They declare his own intentions to spend the rest of his life on the high ground of maturity, even while he challenges: FROM NOW ON, YOU HAVE NO EXCUSES. The command, therefore, becomes a call to arms:

          In the future, keep on becoming strong in the Lord, even by means of the inner rule of His endowed power. (Eph 6:10)

          Utilization of Divine Equipment

           Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. (Eph 6:11)

          The armor which God designed for the protection of the believer in the angelic conflict is issued to every member of His Royal Combat Legion. It provides the Christian Warrior with all that is essential for both offensive and defensive action in the unseen warfare. Since man’s soul is the battleground, it stands to reason that the Divinely-provided equipment furnishes protection for the vulnerability of the soul. (Mat 10:28) (Eph 6:11) instructs the Christian in the utilization of this Spiritual armor.
          The command, “put on (Aorist middle imperative from the verb ENDUO — “to dress, to clothe” is used of a soldier in the ancient world who girds on his equipment for battle. The constantive aorist gathers into one entirety the action of the verb ENDUO, which in the middle voice comes to mean “to clothe one’s self, to wear something.” The wearing of the full armor of God is equivalent to the attainment of Spiritual maturity and the resultant normal function of the Royal Priesthood! The permissive middle voice describes the Christian soldier as the agent who voluntarily yields himself to the result of the action of the verb; for his own best interest: he wears for himself the armor in obedience to the order he has received!
          “The whole armor” (Accusative singular direct object from the noun PANOPLIA) of the Christian Warrior is the Spiritual imagery of complete armor worn by the Roman infantry. Let me reiterate that the PANOPLIA consisted of the helmet, breastplate, belt, caligae, (Boots) shield, sword, javelins and sixty pounds of campaign equipment. The panoply (Heavy armor) was worn by three categories of legionaries: the HASTATI, the PRINCIPES and the TRIARII. They were commanded to put on that armor, and they wore it for their own good. It would have been unthinkable for any legionary to disregard an order!
          As long as strict discipline and fairness were enforced in the Roman Imperial Army, its legions maintained their excellence and strength. But once neglect and abuse of the military had weakened the system, honors and promotions were no longer the reward of merit and length of service but rather of political favoritism and the proper connections; the Roman Legion of Paul’s day existed no longer. Flavius Vegetius Renatus, a Roman of high rank, was gravely concerned over the steady decay of the Roman armies. In his book, De Re Militari (MILITARY INSTITUTIONS OF THE ROMANS), Vegetius propounded the principles which had made the Roman soldier the greatest warrior the world had ever known. He urged for a return to “the virtues of discipline and courage of the ancients.” His observation of the causes which contributed to the decline of a once-great military might are as timely and pertinent to our national life as they are to our Spiritual life:

          Another cause of the weakness of our legions is that the soldiers find duty hard; and the arms heavy, the rewards uncertain and the discipline severe. To avoid these; the young men enlist in the auxiliaries, where the service is less laborious and they have reason to expect more speedy recompenses.

          The Roman infantry abandoned its armor, and Rome lost its glory. The author of the book, THE ART OF WAR, de Jorniny, concluded:

          Effeminacy was the chief cause of the ruin of the Roman legions. Those formidable soldiers, who had borne the casque, (Helmet) buckler (Shield) and cuirass (Body armor) in the times of Scipios under the burning sun of Africa, found them too heavy in the cool climates of Germany and Gaul, and then the Empire was lost.

          There are no short-term enlistments in the Royal Combat Legion! You cannot be a Sunday soldier and desert your unit in the angelic conflict the rest of the week! Every believer is in full-time Christian service! Are you annoyed under the discipline of the Christian way of life? Are you rebelling against your drill instructor — the Divinely instituted authority of the church, your pastor-teacher? Do you refuse to pick up and put on your armor because its daily routine becomes too burdensome to bear? If so, you are defying orders from the supreme headquarters of Jehovah of the Armies! The wearing of the armor is not really a matter of choice; it is a Divine command issued to you and to all other believers: WEAR FOR YOURSELVES THE FULL ARMOR FROM OUR GOD!

          “Our God” (Ablative of source of the noun THEOS, plus the definite article used as a possessive pronoun) is the Designer and Supplier of our panoply. It is our relationship to God the Father through faith in Jesus Christ (Joh 1:12) which qualifies us for the Divine equipment for battle.

          Purpose of the Armor

          God has a definite purpose for all that He does. He did not order us to wear the armor to inconvenience us or to cause us hardship but to equip us for the conflict we must face and to protect us from our unseen mighty enemies. Your ability to hold your ground in the angelic conflict depends upon your compliance with God’s purpose for your life; you are to wear the armor “that ye may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil” (Eph 6:11)
          The preposition PROS, used in connection with the present active articular infinitive from DUNAMAI, expresses a purpose. Add the definite article and the accusative of general reference from the accusative plural of the personal pronoun SU, and you implicate every member of the Royal Combat Legion. Our ability to stand (HISTEMI, aorist active infinitive) is a present reality despite the constant assaults of the hostile angels. As a soldier in maturity, the Christian Warrior produces the action of both verbs — DUNAMAI and HISTEMI: he is able to stand and to realize his purpose on the summit of maturity. However, that victory is dependent upon his wearing the armor, and upon his reaching maturity. Once he has on his armor, he must consolidate his gains; he must seize and hold the high ground. Therefore, this phrase is correctly translated: “that you might be able to hold your ground.”
          A soldier is never more vulnerable than when he has won a tactical victory! The same principle applies to Spiritual warfare as to temporal warfare: territory won must be occupied and, if necessary, defended! Satan and his forces of evil do not permanently abandon the ground they lost to the advancing Christian. Even when the greatest Warrior — Jesus Christ — decisively defeated the archfiend in the wilderness battle, the devil departed from Him only for a season (Luk 4:13) He would attack again and again! We, too, must remain on the alert in order to hold our ground “against (Preposition PROS plus the accusative) the schemes (Plural of METHODEIA) of the devil (Possessive genitive singular of DIABOLOS).”
          In the course of military history, certain strategies and tactics have often been developed in warfare as a result of an individual leader’s personality or character. “Know your enemy” has become the watchword as well as the key to military strategists the world over. For example, anyone who fought Hannibal knew what to expect: Hannibal would allow his enemy to advance and penetrate his center only to close in on the flanks and crush his opponents. Invariably, his brilliant cavalry tactics brought about his enemies’ defeat by surrounding the entire force and cutting it to pieces. This Carthaginian general became the strongest foe Rome ever met in combat. In seventeen years of warfare, he destroyed 50,000 Roman soldiers and claimed an additional casualty list of approximately 150,000 wounded. Rome smarted under Hannibal’s victories until 202 B.C., when Scipio Africanus decisively defeated the Carthaginian at Zama in the greatest battle of the Punic Wars.
          What was it that led to Hannibal’s defeat? Scipio’s knowledge of his enemy’s strategy and tactics! Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus had studied Hannibal’s character and personality for seventeen years until he could anticipate his every move on the battlefield. During his term as consul in the Senate, Scipio made his plans to carry the war into Africa. He raised and drilled his own VOLAR. (Volunteer army) Joined by his Numidian allies, the Roman general and his men conquered Hannibal by blocking” the very tactics the Carthaginian constantly employed. Scipio’s knowledge of the enemy’s maneuvers in warfare paid off handsomely.
          The maxim, “KNOW YOUR ENEMY,” certainly applies to Spiritual warfare! It is essential that the Christian Warrior know the character and tactics of his archfiend, the devil. What is he like? What is the extent of his power, and what is his strategy concerning the nations of the world? What is his stratagem regarding unbelievers and believers? What methods can he be expected to use, and what moves on the chessboard of human history can he be expected to make? It is the ignorant believer who fails in the skirmishes of the angelic conflict; but over those who are aware of Satan’s devices, (His plans and strategy) the devil cannot gain an advantage. (2Co 2:11)

          Since we must fight in enemy territory, we must take the utmost precaution never to be off-guard! In temporal warfare, the highest ground is the most advantageous; so it is in the Spiritual conflict: the summit of maturity offers the best protection to the royal combatant! The Epistle to the Hebrews emphasizes the priestly altar, constructed of Truth in the soul, (Heb 13:9-10) as the means of coping with satanic strategy in this intensified stage of the angelic conflict. Ephesians stresses the full armor of God as the best offensive and defensive measures in combat against Satan and his forces. Both words refer to the inner residency of Truth, which is instrumental in the attainment of Spiritual maturity and the perpetuation of the tactical victory in the unseen warfare. Therefore, it becomes imperative that the royal priest utilize the Divine equipment provided for him during the Church Age!

          Wear for yourselves the full armor from God, that you might be able to hold your ground against the tactics of the devil. (Eph 6:11)


          The irrefutable fact of war is to kill or be killed, to be the victor or the vanquished! This concept, more than any other, motivates the training and vigor of a military organization. The invisible enemies are no different from our mortal enemies; they give no mercy but fight to the finish! The Christian Warrior is engaged in combat with a great demon army. The unseen angelic troops are the best organized and trained of all armies. Superior in wisdom and skill to all humanity, they can be overcome only by supernatural weapons; (2Co 10:4) that is why we must accept the grace means God has provided to enable us to hold our ground and eliminate our unseen antagonists!

          For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against Spiritual wickedness in high places. (Eph 6:12)

          “For” is the causal use of the conjunction HOTI and expresses the reason why it would be disastrous to refuse the full armor from God: because we are involved in a deadly struggle with an unseen enemy! The literal translation from the Greek OUK ESTIN HEMIN HE PALE reads: “our combat is not.” The nominative singular, PALE, does not refer to a wrestling match, as the English translation would indicate. Although the term was once used for the ancient wrestling and boxing matches of the Olympic games, the word actually means hand-to-hand combat. It infers that the Christian Warrior fights at close range with an enemy he cannot even see! The objective negative OUK (Not) plus the present active indicative of EIMI (To be) rules out any possibility of a misunderstanding regarding the nature of our warfare. In this passage of Scripture, Spiritual, not temporal, warfare is in view!
          Correctly translated “against,” the preposition PROS and the accusative singular of HAIMA (Blood) and SARXZ (Flesh) clarify this issue; only the word order is reversed in the Greek: “Our (Hand-to-hand) combat is not against blood and flesh.” It is true that periodically the Christian must serve his country in a military capacity; however, his duty on the Spiritual battleground is permanent this side of heaven.
          The adversative conjunction ALLA (But) sets up a contrast between hostile human beings and hostile angelic beings under the command of Satan, This army of fallen angels is a desperate army, fighting for life and losing every step of the way. Nevertheless, we must never underestimate this well-organized, well-disciplined opponent. That we might know our enemy and his capabilities, the Divinely inspired intelligence report discloses a brilliant military institution composed of evil
spirit beings. We are told that our combat is directed “against principalities” (Preposition PROS plus the accusative plural of ARCHE).
          While the word ARCHE means both “beginning” and “first,” it also connotes highest authority and rank. Although Satan had instigated revolution against God in heaven, he recognizes the importance of discipline. Patterned after the Divine order, Satan divided his demons into officer personnel and the rank and file demons. The title ARCHE signifies the highest rank in the demonic army and is comparable to our modern general officers and field marshals or to flag rank in the navy. These top-echelon commanders are the elite of the fallen angels, the equivalent of the archangels among the elect heavenly host.
          ARCHE is derived from a classical Greek participle and was first used in the day of the Athenian democracy. Ancient Athens was ruled by a college of nine “archons.” Their chief archon was known as “the preeminent ruler” or as “the president.” (HO ARCHON; definite article with the noun) His second in command had the title “king archon.” (HO BASILEUS) The third ruler was the commander in chief of the military. (POLEMARCHOS) The remaining six were the THEMOTHETAI, legislators who formulated the policies of Athens. The Athenian armies were always commanded by one or more five-star generals, who were called “archons.” (ARCHONTES)
          Since the Age of Pericles in the fifth century B.C., the word “archon” has gone through many transitions; but it has always retained its exact meaning: highest ruler. It was used in that sense in the classical Greek, the Alexandrian and Koine Greek of the New Testament; and it denotes that Satan’s organization of fallen angels follows the general governmental structure of ancient Athens. The ruling angels he has appointed are the evil ARCHAI (Nominative plural of ARCHE) of the spirit world. Against these top-ranking demon generals and their subordinate officers, VIP Christian Warriors — men like Peter or Paul — must take their stand in the conflict of the ages. (2Co 12:7; cf. Luk 22:31)
          The officer corps of the satanic army consists of an unknown number of corps commanders, divisional commanders, brigade commanders, combat team commanders, battalion commanders, company commanders and platoon commanders. These are termed “powers” in our English Bible. The word EXZOUSIA connotes ruling authority and includes this unnumbered multitude of demons whom Satan has vested with official power as officers under the higher command of their generals.
          Although he constantly undermines the principle of the Divinely established authorities in the human realm, Satan enforces authority in his own organization with an iron hand. Respect for authority and discipline are vital to the efficient function of any group! Satan knows this, and so should you! Perhaps the least disciplined of all believers are those present-day fundamentalists who mistake the implications of salvation. Therefore, they distort their liberty to serve God into a license to do as they please. No Christian is a law unto himself! The command, “Stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free,” (Gal 5:1) must never be construed to be a permit for either Spiritual lethargy or Spiritual anarchy! Unhappily, too many believers are draft dodgers in the angelic conflict. Like their contemporaries in the world, they want to enjoy the benefits of freedom but reject the discipline and responsibilities freedom demands! Consequently, they remain in abysmal ignorance of the Scriptures and play right into Satan’s hands. The sooner you recognize the importance of the authority of the Word, the better it is for you. Woe to the one who must learn this lesson the hard way!
          Satan’s organization is effective mainly because of the stern discipline and authority he enforces. How much more effective could be the Royal Combat Legion, if only its members submitted themselves to the proper authorities: the Lord Jesus Christ as the Head of the Church — our supreme Commander; the pastor-teacher as the communicator of Truth — our drill instructor; and last, but not least, the mandatory self-discipline of the routine of the Christian way of life positive volition! If we would hold our ground, the nobility of our soul must match the nobility of our title. We are the Lord’s representatives on the earth, and as His ambassadors, we cannot afford to retreat!
          One word in the Greek, KOSMOKRATOR is a contraction of the words KOSMOS (World) and KRATOR. (Ruler) The devil has a special corps of “world rulers:” demons who might be classified as Satan’s own emissaries to the courts and ruling capitals of the world. Do you wonder why this world is in such a hopeless mess? Well, wonder no longer! Wherever there exists a negative attitude toward the Gospel of salvation or toward Truth, there also exists a void. Into this vacuum filter the “doctrines of demons’; (1Ti 4:1) and when the Truth is rejected, satanic lies are eagerly accepted! Thus, these emissaries of the devil find it an easy task to carry out the villainous directives and policies of their master as they attempt to influence the rulers and decision makers of the world. The red carpet of SKOTOS — “darkness’ (Descriptive genitive) — has been rolled out for them and their way paved by the thick gloom of moral and religious darkness. (2Ti 3:5) Once they get a foot in the door, only the impact of Truth can expel them from the territory they occupy.
          Although Satan has yet to succeed in controlling history, he never stops trying! In Daniel’s day, Satan appointed a powerful KOSMOKRATOR as his ambassador to the royal court of Persia. (Dan 10:13-20) So influential are these evil angels in the affairs of mankind, that God Himself set up a counter-ambassador agency in all the courts of the world to meet this great threat to the survival of the human race. Thus, God ordered His mighty angel, Gabriel, to neutralize the “Prince of Persia” in Daniel’s time. The fierce battle between the elect and the fallen angel raged for three weeks (Dan 10:13) and was interrupted only temporarily that God might answer Daniel’s prayer. (Dan 10:2; Dan 10:14-20)
          Upon Satan’s recall of the Prince of Persia, the “Prince of Grecia” assumed his position at the court of Philip of Macedon. (Dan 10:20) It was the intended mission of this KOSMOKRATOR to draw Philip into the satanic camp and, after him, his son, that great genius, Alexander the Great. History proves that in spite of the demon pressure brought to bear upon the Grecian Empire, the Prince of Grecia was not wholly successful in his assignment. Alexander the Great became a champion of the Jews and the originator of the language of the New Testament Scriptures! The Sword of the Spirit was forged so that the Christian Warrior might wield it in battle. Both time and eternity reveal the wonderful principles involved in the perfect Plan of God! To Think that it should be our privilege to enter the great unseen conflict!
          This special corps of demonic prince-ambassadors still functions in contemporary history. Doubtless, there was a “Prince of Deutschland” at Hitler’s retreat at BERCHTESGADEN or at the Chancellery in Berlin! Among those presently assigned to the capitals of the world, would be the “White House Prince,” the “United Nations Prince,” the “Kremlin Prince,” the “Peking Prince” and a multitude of others. These ambassadors of darkness were standing in the wings with their vials of evil while the iron and bamboo curtains were dropped over Russia and China. Where freedom is crushed, so is the outreach of the Gospel and the liberty to teach the Word. We should be motivated as never before to be the warriors God intended us to be in order that our presence in this nation might lead to its preservation! Already, satanic influence permeates the decisions of our policy makers, and the darkness of evil threatens to extinguish the flame of freedom.
          Any country that functions under the Divine institution of nationalism, which provides freedom for evangelism on the inside and missionary activity on the outside, is going to come under attack. The more effective the outreach of Truth, the more intense will be the pressure from the enemy.
          The final category of Satan’s table of organization is the “spirit forces of evil in the heavenlies”; (Corrected translation of the neuter plural noun PNEUMATIKOS — “spirits” — i.e., “demons’; their description: PONERIA — “wickedness” or “evil”; their location: EPOURANIOS — that part of heaven, which is the home of the demons. The entire phrase includes the rank and file of Satan’s fallen angels. These are the adversaries whom you are most likely to engage in combat. Here, then, is a brief glimpse of the tremendous tactical organization of demon power. From this emerges a great principle: evil is always more effective when it is organized!

Because our combat is not against blood and flesh (Human beings), but against the rulers (Demon generals), against the authorities (Demon commissioned officers), against the world rulers of this darkness (Ambassador demons to the world courts), against the spirit forces of evil in the heavenlies. (Rank and file demons) Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. (Eph 6:12-13)


          Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. (Eph 6:13)

          Divine reconnaissance of the enemy’s location and organization is followed by this conclusion: if we are to fight a supernatural enemy, we must fight with supernatural weapons! (God's Thoughts) God laid down the ground rules for Spiritual combat. Much time and energy is needlessly wasted when we attempt to combat this by the power of the old sin nature. In his zeal to help the suffering Israelites, Moses killed an Egyptian taskmaster. (Exod 2:11-14) Forty years had to pass before Moses was ready to be God’s appointed deliverer of the Jews. Then he could say confidently, “Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord. . . The LORD will fight for you.” (Exod 14:13-14) When Moses recorded Psalm 91, he testified to the fact that Truth played a vital role in the angelic conflict: “ .. . his Truth shall be thy shield and buckler.” (Psa 91:4) Another mature hero of the Age of the Jews; David learned early in life that his survival in the devil’s world depended upon the Lord. (Psa 28:7) As a youth, David had countered the threats of the mighty challenger, Goliath, with the super weapon; Truth, and confidence in God’s provision and protection. He shouted his war cry, “The battle is the Lord’s,” (1Sa 17:47) and he overcame the gigantic Philistine.
          Since the Church Age believer faces an even greater challenge from the entire demon organization under the command of Satan, his dependence upon the full armor from God is of utmost importance. It is hard to believe that a Christian should reject as unnecessary what God has provided for him in Wisdom and in grace; (Divine Promises) yet it happens every day! The heavenly armories are stocked with a surplus of Spiritual weaponry which lies unclaimed and unused by believers who are indifferent to the teaching of God’s Word! How long do you think a Roman legionary would have escaped the fury of his commanding officer whose order he had defied? How long could he have hoped to survive the attack of the Huns or the Goths without the protection of his armor or the use of his tried and proven weapons? Just so, the Spiritual battlefields lie strewn with casualties that need never have occurred. Disobedience of a Divine Command always results in defeat in the angelic conflict!
          The command “to take” (Aorist active imperative from the verb LAMBANO) usually means “to take up” or “to take to one’s self.” In this context, however, it is used in the sense of picking up something that lies on the ground — namely, the various articles of the equipment God has issued for our use. The utilization of all Divine operating assets is a matter of personal volition; much as I would like to, I cannot make you do it, nor can I do it for you. Each royal legionary must pick up his own equipment by means of his own function of operation Z.

         As your pastor-teacher, all I can do is to show you how the armor is put on and worn to the greatest advantage!
          The Spiritual metaphor of life in the Roman military depicts the legionary in his barracks or in a tent. One moment he is off duty and has stripped off his battle gear. The next, he is ready for action — a day-long march, duty on his post or on parade. How did he get that way? He has picked up and put on his armor and fallen in line — all in a matter of minutes — for he has been trained to dress rapidly for combat. In fact, in time of emergency, he would rather sleep in his armor than take a chance of being unprepared. Spiritual combat readiness can be achieved only when the filling of the Spirit is balanced by a maximum amount of Truth resident in the soul. Can, you be ready at a moment’s notice when your call to arms is given?
          “Because of this, (Angelic conflict) pick up and put on the full armor from God.” (1Pe 1:13-17) The noun PANOPLIA pictures the entire armor of the Roman soldier and all his field gear; the ablative of source from THEOS (God) transfers the equipment from the temporal to the Spiritual warfare. You pick up your armor by your daily, consistent intake of Bible Truth; you put it on bit by bit until you reach the high ground of maturity. (Isa 28:10) When you have seized that summit, it can be said of you that you have on your full armor! (Eph 6:13)
          The result of maximum Truth in your soul is the "ability" to oppose the unseen enemies. (Satan, false thinking and our old sin nature) This purpose, aim or goal is brought into focus by the preposition HINA, (That) which introduces a final clause, and should be translated “in order that” The culminative aorist of the verb DUNAMAI (To be able) views the Christian Warrior’s potential in its entirety but regards the action of the verb from the viewpoint of existing results. The possession of the full armor enables the Royal Legionary to enter the unseen combat, but his combat ability is dependent upon his own daily attitude toward Truth. Furthermore, DUNAMAI is a deponent verb, passive in form, but active in meaning. It portrays the mature believer who resists the assault of the fallen angels (Demons) and gains the tactical victory in the angelic conflict.
          If your attitude toward the teaching of God’s Word is negative, you will never pick up or put on the full armor; you will be caught unprepared and off-guard, unable “to withstand in the evil day.” (The day of the testing of our armor (Spiritual life) for advancement) “To withstand” (Aorist active infinitive of ANTHISTEMI) indicates a very difficult tactical situation, yet one which the mature believer can master; he can stand his ground; he can resist overwhelming odds! The constantive aorist gathers into one entirety the believer’s successful resistance to the demon forces. He does so (Active voice) in superb performance of a deliberate aim in his life. (Infinitive of intended result)

          “The evil day” (HEMERA plus the locative singular PONERIA) is a reference to the time when you come under demon attack. Sooner or later, every Christian must face enemy assault Not only are your demonic foes invisible, they are far more powerful than any human being. Unless you possess the inner resources of resident Bible Truth, you cannot resist the attacks of Satan’s forces. On the other hand, if you are fully armed, you will resist the enemies and defeat them. (1Pe 5:9; Jas 4:7) You will not only hold your ground, but you will simultaneously enjoy the fantastic blessings God grants to the believer in Spiritual maturity: Spiritual and temporal blessings beyond your wildest imagination! You can anticipate a transfer from time to eternity via the high golden bridge of dying grace; you can count on the surpassing-grace rewards, which you have accumulated during your life on the earth!
          The phrase, “and having done all, to stand” describes the victory of the mature believer. The ascensive use of KAI should be translated “even” rather than “and.” KATERGAZOMAI (Aorist active participle) means “having done” “to accomplish” or “to achieve.” The culminative aorist of this verb views the attainment of Spiritual maturity in its entirety but emphasizes the existing results. In the active voice, the temporal participle of KATERGAZONAI denotes that those who wear the full armor are in a position to handle prosperity or adversity, major or minor assaults from the unseen enemies, and emerge victorious in all circumstances of life!
          “All” (HAPAS, accusative plural direct object) is in the neuter gender; therefore, it should be corrected to read “everything.” “Even after having achieved everything,” the believer in maturity has his assigned objective: he is expected to stand” (Aorist active infinitive from HISTEMI “to oppose.”) It is God’s purpose for the fully equipped Christian Warrior to continue his opposition to the demon army until the Lord summons him home! Whether or not you accomplish your purpose in life depends on your own choice. You will either be numbered among those who spend their lives in the valley of carnality, or you will join the elite of royal warriors who have stormed maturities heights and who will continue to hold the ground they have conquered despite the tremendous odds against them. The choice is yours!

          Because of this, (Angelic conflict) pick up and put on the full armor from God, in order that you might have the ability to resist in the evil day, (Day of attack) even after having achieved everything (Maturity status with full armor) to oppose the forces of Satan. (Eph 6:13)

          The Belt of Truth


          Since Tubal-cain forged the first weapons of bronze and iron, soldiers have sought to protect themselves against the onslaught of their enemies. The Bible lists a considerable array of “mighty men of valor,” their weapons and the defensive coverings they wore into battle. None is brought into sharper focus than that of the Roman soldier, whose armor lends itself as a perfect illustration of the grace provisions and protection God has designed for the Christian Warrior. As a savvy observer, Paul was keenly aware of the superiority of the Praetorians’ armor and equipment. These Romans’ fine offensive and defensive weapons used in temporal warfare furnished Paul the perfect parallel to the weapons God has made available for the escalated phase of Spiritual combat. Just as the Roman soldier could conquer the visible world with these weapons of warfare, so the Christian Warrior, much better equipped, can go forth to vanquish the invisible enemies!
          The description of the various items of the PANOPLIA is introduced by the order: “Stand!” Usually, the verb HISTEMI means “to stand.” In this context, however, HISTEMI (Aorist active imperative) refers to standing in ranks. It comes to mean “to resist,” “to oppose,” or “to stand fast,” and it applies to the Roman solider who stands in his assigned place in a combat situation, regardless of its duration or intensity. The constantive aorist gathers into one entirety the action of the verb and indicates that the believer, too, can stand fast in the ranks and resist the attack of the fallen angels, provided that he utilizes the grace equipment of the armor.

          The command, “Stand fast,” is followed by the enclitic or postpositive (An added word) conjunction OUN. Used in the inferential sense, OUN is correctly rendered “consequently” or “therefore.” The inference is based on the preceding paragraph of Divinely revealed reconnaissance and on Paul’s subsequent estimate of the situation.
          A number of rare aorist participles occur in verses 14-17; all of them are in the imperative mood. (A command) In order that you understand the thrust of this passage, you must note the principle which governs the aorist participle: the action of the aorist participle precedes the action of the main verb. The main verb, “to stand,” is found at the very beginning of verse 14 and refers to the heat of battle; the participles specify the preparations which preceded the combat. Until he reaches Spiritual maturity, the Christian Warrior is in constant training! Nor can he afford to let down his guard after he has scaled maturities heights! Like the ancient Roman soldier, he must strive continually to perfect his initial training until he is an expert in every branch of the art of Spiritual warfare! Superior Spiritual fitness requires a thorough cognizance (Understanding) of the wearing of the armor and the use of the weapons the Lord has issued him!
          The first in the list of aorist participles reads, “having (Your loins) girt about” (PERIZONUMI; aorist middle participle). A compound verb, PERIZONNUMI consists of PERI (Around) and ZONNUMI (To put on). Although this antiquated phrase fails in its communication to the believer in the twentieth century, it made good sense to Christians in the first century. They were confronted daily with the Roman occupation forces and were only too familiar with the uniformed might of the Empire. Now the apostle was urging them to model their Spiritual life after the military pattern of Rome. This they would accomplish, “after having buckled around” their “waist” (Accusative singular direct object from OSPHUS) the foundation of their unseen equipment.
          Inferred, but not mentioned by name, is the basic and most essential item of Roman military dress — the BALDRIC. Similar to our modern Sam Brown belt, the baldric consisted of two parts: a broad leather “girdle,’ (Latin: BALTEUS) which was worn around the waist, and a leather strap, which was slung across the chest and over the shoulder. The complete belt was used when heavy armor was worn, for to it was attached the bottom part of the breastplate. The wide belt around the waist sufficed when the armor was light. The baldric was studded with metal plates and fastened with an ornate buckle. Suspended from this belt were the scabbard for the sword and loops for ropes and rations; all were easily accessible as they were needed. Furthermore, thick strips of leather hung down from the belt to circle and protect the soldier’s lower body. You must admit that it was a handy piece of equipment, and no soldier could go into battle without it!
          If you can identify military badges and campaign ribbons, you can “read” the story of any man in uniform today. In a sense, this was true of the Roman soldier as it had been true of the Greek hoplite. (Heavily armed Greek foot soldier) To the initiated, the baldric told the history of the legionary. Attached to either the BALTEUS or his waist belt were large coins; engraved upon them were the various battles in which he had fought. In addition to these “campaign ribbons,” the Roman solider had fastened to his belt his most valuable possessions: silver and gold, jewelry he had plundered from captured cities or from enemy bivouacs. Those latter always came in handy for gambling or trading; they could be cut off the baldric and used when the need arose.
          Paul mentions the belt first and foremost because he understood its importance: the belt was the key to the rest of the PANOPLIA; therefore, it paralleled Bible Truth resident in the soul — the basic requirement for the full armor from God! Once the Christian Warrior has buckled on his waist the baldric God intended for him to wear, he is fully prepared for the charge of the unseen enemies. And how does he get ready to stand? “By means of Truth!’” The preposition EN plus the instrumental singular from ALETHEIA does not mean “with Truth” but signifies the means by which we reach our Spiritual objective in life: Truth, or that which is believed. The absence of the definite article calls attention to the high quality of Truth. Thus, the so-called “BELT OF TRUTH” comprises the entire realm of Truth — all its Thoughts, and all its categories — as it is assimilated by the daily function of Operation Z. If, therefore, the Christian wants to attain the status of maturity, he must take up the challenge to expose himself to the teaching of the Word of Truth; on a consistent and daily basis, no matter what distractions or temptations try to keep him from it! The objective — the high ground of maturity is well worth the effort!

          Synonyms for Spiritual Maturity

          Biblical nomenclature for Spiritual maturity relates several synonyms to Truth resident in the soul. Each synonym properly portrays some aspect of the objective placed before every believer in the Church Age.

          1.   The LANGUAGE SYNONYM consists of two Hebrew nouns, one Greek noun and its verb form. These are: (1) CHAKMAH, translated “Wisdom” — the application of Truth to experience; (2) MIQODESH, a contraction of the preposition MIN, “from,” and the word QODESH, “consecrated” — a reference to grace-righteousness, which increases through maximum Spiritual growth; (3) EPIGNOSIS, the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew CHAKMAH — “full knowledge”; and (4) the verb EPIGINOSKO — Truth in the right lobe of the mind, from which the inner resources are drawn.
          2.   The THEOLOGICAL SYNONYM, “more grace,” is found in (Jas 4:6) and literally means “greater grace.” It means that phase in the believer’s life in which Divine blessings are realized to the highest degree and the normal function of the royal priest begins.

          3.   The PRIESTLY SYNONYM concerns the construction of an “altar in the soul.” Whereas the Levitical Priesthood had a visible altar on which animals were sacrificed, the Royal Priesthood possesses an invisible but nevertheless real altar, formed of Bible Truth in the soul. The specialized priesthood of the Age of Israel has no authorization to partake of this altar; (Heb 13:10) it is reserved exclusively for the mature believer of this present dispensation — the Church Age. Thus the priestly synonym becomes a technical term for Christian maturity. Our priestly function, variously described as the sacrifices of life, lips, praise, thanksgiving, intercession, and petition commences at the point of maturity, when Truth conveys to the believer-priest precisely what he should or should not do on any given occasion!

          4.   The BUILDING SYNONYM is implied in, (Eph 4:12-16) the Word of Truth gradually erects and ultimately completes an edification complex in the soul, structured to furnish the believer the necessary inner fortification, security and protection in time of prosperity or adversity — total stability for all the occasions of life.

          5.   The TIME SYNONYM, expressed in the phrase “redeeming the time,” is an index of the believer’s sagacious use of the time God has allotted him on this earth: toward God; (Eph 5:16-18) toward the unbeliever, (Col 4:5) and believers. (Gal 6:10)

          6.   The CENTRAL CONTROL SYNONYM refers to the “inner dictator of the soul.” The corrected and amplified translation of (Eph 6:10) reads: “In the future, keep on becoming strong in the Lord, even by means of the inner rule of endowed power,” and this identifies the built-in dictator of the soul as the “inner rule.” With Truth in your soul, all systems are go! The countdown is over, and you are launched onto the high ground of the mature Spiritual life. Central Control has taken over to govern your Thinking and affords you the answers to life’s circumstances, good or bad. (Rom 8:28) You now have the ability to face anything that comes your way; you are Spiritually self-sustaining! (Num 11:23)

          7.   The CRUCIFIXION SYNONYM defines a twofold concept: (1) “take up the Cross’ and (2). “follow Me. (Christ)” The taking up of the Cross concerns your old sin nature and the human desires, (Mar 8:33-38) It is a demand of dedication on your part to the importance of Truth. The added exhortation, “follow me,” specifies the daily function of Operation Z despite opposition or distractions. True discipleship is classroom discipline, which results in growth in grace through the faithful absorption of the Word of Truth. The synonym is found in. (Mat 10:38; Mar 8:34; Luk 9:23; Luk 14:27)

          8.   The CHEMICAL SYNONYM for Spiritual maturity is labeled “salt.” (Mat 5:13; Mar 9:50; Luk 14:34; Col 4:6) Sodium chloride depicts the properties and potential of maximum Truth resident in the believer’s soul. Salt not only seasons but also preserves. The mature believer thus becomes the “salt of the earth,” the preserver of his nation.

          9.   The SANCTIFICATION SYNONYM (Derived from the Greek noun EUSEBEIA — “godliness” refers to the balance of residency, whereby the filling of the Spirit and the function of Operation Z achieve maximum Truth in the believer’s soul. “Godliness” is based on (1) the strategic victory of Jesus Christ in the First Advent; (1Ti 3:16) and (2) the escutcheon of the Royal Family — the indwelling of the Christian’s body by the Holy Spirit. (1Co 6:19) Attained under the principles of living grace, (2Pe 1:3) establishment and authority, (1Ti 2:2) godliness is a Christians duty: TO STAY IN FELLOWSHIP!  (2Pe 1:6-7; 2Pe 3:11) It stands for both the duty and the responsibility of the Royal Priesthood toward God.

          10. The MILITARY SYNONYMS are set forth in three separate field orders: (1) “follow the colors to the high ground of MATURITY” (Heb 12:1-2) — the pursuit of Spiritual maturity and tactical victory in Spiritual warfare; (2) “establish a command post in the soul” (Col 2:5-8) — the effective function of Truth in the life; (3) “put on the full armor from God!” (Eph 6:11-13) While all the synonyms indicate the believer’s preparedness and capacities, the military idioms best represent the challenge to the Christian Warrior to give a worthy account of himself on the battlefields of the angelic conflict!

          The Breastplate of Righteousness

          Vegetius noted that troops, defenseless and exposed to the enemy’s arsenal of weapons, are more disposed to flee than they are to take their stand. The case was quite different when soldiers were protected by the complete armor and when they were instructed in the expert use of their weapons; they would then fight with great courage and confidence! Ancient Rome provided both the armor and the training for its fighting men.
          The basic body armor consisted of the belt and the breastplate. The term “breastplate” is somewhat of a misnomer. In the first century, Latin and Greek were equivalent languages. The Latin word for breastplate is LORICA; the Greek word, THORAX (Literally, “door”) This LORICA was usually constructed of leather and was often overlaid with metal strips or mail. Shaped like a sleeveless coat, the coat of mail covered both chest and back; it fitted the shoulders and was fastened down the front by means of a series of studs and slots. Back hinges gave the body armor a degree of flexibility, and the metal offered added protection for the vital organs.
          The enlisted man’ cuirass was sometimes reinforced with iron or bronze and had metal fringes over the shoulders. The officers’ body armor extended farther down to protect his loins. Often the basic metal on the officer’s breastplate was plated with silver and gold. Many of the breastplates bore the officers’ rank and decorations inscribed on the metal.
          It was the belt which held the breastplate securely in place, even as it supported the heavy leather and metal kilt. In his epic, AENEID, Virgil calls the breastplate STADIOS. (Standing upright) So solid and sturdy was this ancient coat of mail that it stood upright by itself and was frequently used as a campstool. Its primary purpose, however, was the protection of every part of the soldier’s body, from his neck down to his knees!
          Certainly, it took constant practice to put on the breastplate and to become accustomed to the weight of the ancient armor. Neither Rome nor its army was built in a day! So it is with the Christian Warrior. We do not become mature believers overnight! It takes time and persistence to buckle on the belt of Truth. (Eph 6:14) takes this into consideration and states that “after having buckled on . . . the baldric by means of Truth,” we must put on the piece of equipment which is an integral part of the body armor — the BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.
          The adjunctive use of the conjunction KAI connects the belt and the breastplate by the word “also.” “Also, after having put on ENDUO, aorist middle participle “to put on” the breastplate (Accusative singular direct object from THORAX) of righteousness (Descriptive genitive singular from DIKAIOSUNE).” The Spiritual counterpart of the ancient LORICA, symbolizes the Christian’s body armor and represents the righteousness of the believer in maturity status. It is not overt righteousness but righteousness in the sense of fulfillment of the Divine standards — a way of life in the soul which characterizes the mature Christian Warrior. Thus, the breastplate is synonymous with the edification complex of the soul. (Temple) Such righteousness is totally divorced from self-righteousness; rather, it is the product of Truth resident in the soul and results in the surpassing-grace reward of the crown, or wreath of righteousness. (2Ti 4:7-8)
          Like the Roman breastplate, this type of righteousness stands anywhere on its own! It needs no props but represents the inner Virtue, the integrity of the royal soldier. Since the belt and the breastplate go together, it becomes obvious that DIKAIOSUNE-type righteousness is entirely dependent upon the accumulation of resident Truth. Overtly, it is manifest in thoughtfulness of others, in a relaxed mental attitude of live and let live, in recognition and respect of the freedom and privacy of other members of the royal combat team; in short, it is a nobility of soul that matches our noble station. (1Pe 3:8-9) If you desire these things, obey the inspired charge of Scripture:

          Stand fast, therefore, after having buckled your baldric (Or belt) around your waist by means of Truth, (Resident in the soul) also after having put on the body armor of righteousness. (Eph 6:14)

          The Equipment for the Feet

          No matter how sophisticated or unconventional our weapons of war may become, the infantry will always be the “Queen of the Services.” The foot soldier is essential to any military organization. Until trucks came into general use to transport our ground forces to the front, the infantry advanced on foot Stonewall Jackson’s foot cavalry frequently marched forty or fifty miles before they engaged the Federals. At the second battle of Manassas, his men had crossed fifty miles of territory. Yet they arrived in time to destroy the enemy’s communications and supplies and badly defeated the right and rear of General John Pope’s Union Army.
          Because the foot soldier depended upon good footwear to take him where the action was, combat boots played an important role in his career. Combat boots have earned our infantry a number of titles: “doughboy;” (World War 1) “dogface” or “GI,” (World War II) while the advent of trucks dubbed them as “grunts.” The Romans were no different; they designated their infantry by the word CALIGATI after the heavy footgear they wore — the CALIGAE.
          History records that on many occasions the infantry got bogged down, not because of poor training, but because their footwear was bad. On the roads south of Chancellorsville, the Union Army left in their wake a trail of abandoned boots. Because these boots were new and had not been broken in, the soldiers could not wear them on their long marches. They had hobbled along as well as they could; but when their feet became raw and blistered, they simply discarded their footwear. The French Foreign Legion was famous for having solved their footgear problems; its legionnaires wore no socks. Instead, they rubbed a heavy ointment on their feet to insure a more comfortable boot.
          Rome, on the other hand, never had a problem with combat boots or with diseases and discomforts of the foot so common among infantrymen. Yet Roman military might relied basically on its infantry. The very first thing the Roman soldier was taught upon his enlistment was the military step. Constant practice of quick and collective marching enabled the solider of Rome to march in common military step twenty miles in five summer hours; and in the quicker full step, twenty-four miles in the same period in full marching equipment. Consequently, the phenomenal record of these great Roman marchers stood for over one thousand years.
          Obviously, the Romans had one of the finest types of foot- wear ever invented for the infantry. Actually, the heavy combat boots resembled those of the ancient Greeks. Similar to sandals, the CALIGAE were made of hobnail-studded leather soles, half an inch thick. These were bound securely to the foot over the instep and around the ankles with thick leather thongs. Strips of cloth or fur were placed inside the sandals and served as a lining. However, the Romans did not favor the big metal shin guards worn by the Greek hoplites. Goliath, the Philistine, is said to have worn such “greaves.” (1Sa 17:6) This is not surprising, since the Philistines were a Greek people. Without the greaves, the heavy sandals proved more maneuverable, and the Romans maintained that a good soldier had no need of this added protection.
          The CALIGAE were worn by all rank and file Roman legionaries but never by their officers. This latter group’s combat boots were called CALCEUS. They covered the foot more completely, as the CALCEUS had leather gaiters which were wound spirally about the foot and leg, similar to the puttees worn in World War 1.
          Two interesting accounts from Roman history are attached to the ancient CALIGAE. The first concerns the famous Roman general, Marius. (Ca. 155 B.C.-86 B.C.) A plebeian, Marius was promoted to the rank of tribune in 119 B.C. and appointed as praetor (Magistrate, judicial administrator) in 115 B.C. Seven times a consul; Marius is described as having risen from CALIGA to CONSULSHIP! The second account is the true story of how the Emperor Caligula received that cognomen during his childhood.
          Caius Caesar Germanicus was the son of Germanicus and Agrippina. His emperor father, Germanicus, desiring to ingratiate himself with the Praetorian Guard, ordered a small pair of CALIGAE made for ten-year-old Caius and had his son march with the Praetorians. The child was fondly nicknamed “Caligula,” which means “Little Boots” or “Little GI Shoes.” The name stuck, and Caligula had all the votes! On the death of Tiberius, the army helped make Caligula the emperor of Rome.
          These famed CALIGAE were a crucial part of the Roman soldier’s equipment for combat. It was inevitable, therefore, that the Apostle Paul should mention the necessity of adequate footwear in the great Spiritual warfare. Again, let me remind you that the infantry of the ancient world depended on well-shod feet for transportation. In Scripture, feet become synonymous with service; but there can be no effective service apart from constant training and preparation along the road to maturity. It was the seasoned combat veteran of the Roman army who served his country best; and it is the Spiritually mature Christian Warrior who can serve the Lord to the maximum of his capability and capacity! The particular service in view here is witnessing.
          The wearing of Spiritual combat boots indicates readiness to serve our supreme Commander wherever and whenever He directs! The preposition EN (With) plus the instrumental singular from HETOIMASIA signify “readiness,” “preparation’ or, as documented from Arndt and Gingrich’s Greek Lexicon “equipment.’ What type of equipment is essential to effective witnessing?” It is the “equipment of the Gospel.” A genitive of description from the noun EUAGGELLION, (Compounded from EU — “good” and AGGELIA — “news,” the equipment for full preparedness in witnessing is the knowledge of Truth pertinent to salvation, described here as “the gospel [Good news] of peace.” The phrase “of peace” (Genitive singular of apposition from the noun EIRENE) must be corrected to read “even peace” and refers to the doctrine of reconciliation.
          Note that the command to put on these combat boots is not restricted to the pastor behind the pulpit; it is given to all members of the Royal Legion! EVERY BELIEVER is in full-time Christian service, of which witnessing is a part! Therefore, it is imperative that all of us be shod and ready for action AT ALL TIMES! (1Pe 3:15

          Accustomed to long and hard marches with full pack, the Roman soldier with the CALIGAE on his feet was flexible enough to meet any combat situation. After only a short rest, he was ready to charge the enemy with energy and quickness; he was fully prepared to use any or all of his weapons; and he used them well. Likewise, the Christian soldier’s effectiveness depends upon his mastery of certain Truths and his flexibility in their use. Not only does he need to have correct information about the Gospel, he also must KNOW his subject! The objective in witnessing is the accurate and clear communication of salvation; and to the believer how to reach maturity. There are no specific methods for witnessing; you will probably never handle any two situations in exactly the same way. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself used many different methods and approaches when He extended His offers of salvation; but always, His offer was GOOD NEWS! (1Co 12:6)

Typical of many evangelists and so-called “hell-fire and damnation preachers’ is their emphasis on the bad news that sinners go to hell. The Gospel is good news; the fact that you are a sinner is not! In vain, you strain to hear something that is encouraging. If you possess any norms and standards of right and wrong in your soul, you must admit that you have sinned at some time in your life. Nowhere does this passage command any believer to tramp roughshod over the unsaved segment of the human race. If this were warranted, where do you stop or start tramping, when you yourself are a sinner, yet you set yourself up to point out the sinfulness of others? Let me remind you that the Lord admonished the self-styled judges of the woman taken in the act of adultery: “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.’ (Joh 8:7) If we take this warning to heart, we must all put down our stones and go home.
          It is true that “the wages of sin is death;’ (Rom 6:23) that’s the bad news! The good news is “the gift of God . . . eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord!’ The good news — “even peace” — is the doctrine of reconciliation. Once there stood a great barrier between God and man. It was man’s sinfulness which had erected the barrier. Perfect God was on one side of it; imperfect man, on the other. Man could neither get around the barrier by being good or religious, nor could he surmount it by being sincere. Were you to spend your entire life living by your finest principles, you would be no closer to God than you were at the beginning! What, then, can you do about it? You cannot and need not do anything, for Jesus Christ did it all for you! He removed the barrier so that God and man might be reconciled. There is peace — EIRENE — between God and man, and all that man has to do is walk across the line by a totally non-meritorious type of Thinking called FAITH. (Act 16:31) Now THAT IS GOOD NEWS! Christ solved the sin problem on the Cross; and it is for you to deliver God’s message of grace:

        Also having put combat boots on your feet, with the equipment of the Gospel, even peace. (Reconciliation) (Eph 6:15)

          Effective Witnessing

          In the military metaphors of Scripture, the Roman soldier’s CALIGAE become analogous to witnessing. As these heavy hobnailed leather sandals carried the Roman legionaries to their posts of duty in the far-flung corners of the empire, so his witnessing takes the Christian Warrior to mankind throughout the world with the Gospel of salvation and Spirituality. Personal evangelism is the responsibility of every member of the Royal Family of God and functions apart from mass or church evangelism.
          Because too many fundamentalists do not understand Truth, they often think that a person is a Spiritual giant if he witnesses to a certain number of people each day. Nothing could be farther from the Truth! Witnessing is not soap salesmanship. To buttonhole some passerby on the street and ask him, “Brother, are you saved?” has discredited Christianity and is completely removed from the Plan of God. Effective witnessing demands a thorough understanding of certain principles, which I will define.

          1.   The Holy Spirit is the sovereign Executive of witnessing. Therefore, you must make it your business to learn how He deals with the soul of the unbeliever! As the Lord’s personal ambassador on the earth, you are ordered to present the good news of salvation to the unbelieving world. However, since the unbeliever was born Spiritually dead — without a human spirit (Eph 2:1) — he is incapable of assimilating Spiritual phenomena. (1Co 2:14) He simply cannot understand what you are trying to tell him. Therefore, the Holy Spirit must take up the slack and act in place of the missing human spirit to provide the necessary frame of reference for the Gospel. (Joh 16:8-11) Here is where the convincing ministry of the Spirit comes into the picture. This ministry is known in theological terms as “common grace. “ When the content of the Gospel is communicated to the unbeliever, the Holy Spirit convicts him of “sin, righteousness and judgment.” (Not us) (Joh 16:8)
          “Aha,” some will say, “I told you that sin was in there somewhere!” A Scriptural text must never be lifted out of context! If you will read on, you will discover that no one goes to the Lake of Fire because he is a sinner. If that were the case, we would all end up there! The only sin which condemns man eternally is the sin of rejection of Jesus Christ as Savior. Jesus Christ defines the sin of unbelief: “OF (Literally, concerning) sin, BECAUSE THEY DO NOT BELIEVE IN ME!” (Joh 16:9) Sin ceased to be an issue once Jesus Christ hung on the Cross. He was judged for the sins of the old sin nature even for those personal sins which you have not yet committed! So severe was God’s judgment that Jesus Christ screamed out repeatedly, “My God, {God the Father] my God, [God the Holy Spirit] why have you forsaken me?” (Mat 27:46)
          Why was He forsaken? Because He was bearing our sins in His own body on that tree. (1Pe 2:24) At the same time, Christ rejected all human morality; human output is reserved to be dealt with at the Last Judgment. (Rev 20:12) Anyone who rejects Jesus Christ as Savior; or the Spiritual life inevitably depends on his own good deeds, on his talent or ability to gain the approval of God. All these become the basis of his indictment at the Great White Throne Judgment. (Rev 20:11-15) Only one sin will be mentioned: the sin of rejection of Jesus Christ as Savior. (Joh 3:36)
          The evangelist who does not clarify the good news of salvation fails the Lord to the same degree as the pastor-teacher who does not communicate Truth! No one can rightfully claim that he was saved under the ministry of a certain evangelist. We were all saved in the same way under the ministry of God the Holy Spirit! Personal sin becomes an issue only after salvation!  (Pro 28:13) The believer must then learn to recognize the different categories of sin in order that he might know when he is in fellowship and when he is not. Furthermore, he must find out how to rebound in order to avoid carnality and reversionism. (1Jn 1:9)
          “Concerning righteousness,’ (Joh 16:11) the Holy Spirit drives home the realization that no human being  is as good as God is good. (Mar 10:18) If we would live with God, we must possess righteousness equal to God’s righteousness (Plus-R) and life, equal to that of God; nothing less will do! None of us qualifies; we all owe God perfect righteousness, (Rom 3:23; cf. Rom 3:10) we cannot pay that debt. Even if we could pay the debt, just being human stops us; even perfect Adam before the fall did not have God's righteousness and this alone would keep him and us from being a member of  the family of God. In His grace, God considered our helpless, hopeless condition and made adequate provision for us. The moment any human being believes in His Son, God credits him with His perfect righteousness and gives him eternal life. (2Co 5:21; cf. Joh 5:24).
          The reason why the Holy Spirit has to convict the unbeliever “of judgment’ (Joh 16:11) is declared in: (1Co 2:14) he lacks both appreciation as well as the ability to understand Spiritual Thoughts.
       Tell the unbeliever that as an alternative God has prepared the Lake of Fire for the devil and his fallen angels; (Mat 25:41) point out to him that he will join the devil at the second resurrection (For unbelievers only) and will suffer eternal judgment in a body especially designed for pain. He may be shocked and even regard you as a relic from the Middle Ages or a religious fanatic; he may even laugh at you and ridicule you because he cannot fathom how a loving God could treat His creatures in this manner. But present the Scriptural conditions of witnessing, then step aside and watch the Holy Spirit take over

          2.   Pertinent Bible Truth is your weapon in witnessing! This does not mean that you must quote a string of Scripture passages every time you open your mouth. Rather, present the Gospel information as you have categorized it in your soul. Like the fighting men of temporal combat, the combatants of the Spiritual conflict must know their weapons intimately! Take apart the weapon of witnessing, and you will find that it consists of seven principles; all of them are related to the Word of God.  

                   (1) The Gospel is the power of God with reference to salvation. (Rom 1:16; 1Co 1:18) Here you have the caliber of your weapons!

                   (2) The Bible is the absolute norm for Truth. (2Pe 1:12-21) This is the accuracy of your weapon!

                   (3) The Bible is the source of the Gospel (Luk 16:28-31; 1Co 15:3-4) — the arsenal from which it comes!

                   (4) The Bible is the Mind of Christ (1Co 2:16) — the Designer of your weapon!

                   (5) The Bible is Divine power (Heb 4:12) — The Supernatural Thinking of God! (Isa 55:8)

                   (6) The Bible never returns void (Isa 55:11) — its aim!

                   (7) The Bible endures forever (Luk 21:33; 1Pe 1:25) — the permanence of your weapon! God put this foolproof weapon at your disposal for one simple reason: He wants you to use it! This fact is reiterated in our next point.

          3.   The Christian Warrior, also known as the believer-priest, is the agent of witnessing. (Act 1:8; Eph 6:15-20; 2Ti 4:5) You, the royal ambassador, must witness in two areas: by life (2Co 3:3; 2Co 6:3) and by lips. (2Co 5:14-21; 2Co 6:2) There are times when you have the opportunity and the privilege to verbalize the Gospel. At other times, the witness of your life-style will be pertinent and meaningful, perhaps in your own neighborhood or place of work.

          Should the Lord open the door for you to witness, make sure that you are in fellowship and therefore filled with the Spirit. Forget all you have heard concerning witnessing gimmicks; witnessing excludes human persuasiveness! You may win an argument, but you will lose a soul whom Jesus Christ died to save!
          Some of you may be shy and be hard put to find the right words with strangers, much less with friends. How can you overcome this reticence? By putting on the full armor from God, by reaching maturity. Category One love (Love for God) provides occupation with Jesus Christ. As a result, you will want to speak of the Person you love! You will want other believers and unbelievers to have what you have; that’s the right attitude in witnessing! You will say with Paul, “I AM A DEBTOR;” (Rom 1:14) I owe the Gospel to the unbeliever; and you will discover that your shyness has disappeared! “I AM READY!” (Rom 1:15) Your preparedness — the CALIGAE on your feet — is a revealing of a maximum Understanding of the Thoughts pertinent to witnessing: Christology; (Pertaining to the Person and attributes of Christ) Soteriology; (Pertaining to salvation, particularly those of redemption, reconciliation, propitiation, imputation, justification, positional sanctification and the Truth of the Last Judgment). Furthermore, you should understand the various principles that might apply to the problems of the individual to whom you communicate Gospel information i.e., his hang-ups! All of these things are encompassed by that little phrase, “I am ready.

          4.   “I AM NOT ASHAMED” (Rom 1:16) explains the mental attitude of the mature believer regarding his witness for Jesus Christ. The assurance of your own salvation will give you the necessary stability and the confidence which is so essential in effective witnessing. (Joh 3:18) Wherever the Roman legionary was sent, he represented Rome and all that the empire stood for. This same solemn responsibility belongs to every Christian Warrior, for witnessing is an extension of his appointment as the ambassador of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. (2Co 5:18-20)

          5.   Motivation for witnessing must come from Truth resident in your soul — not Spiritual bullying or approbation lust. If you know the Truth of unlimited atonement, you will naturally be burdened for the unsaved. (1Jn 2:2) As a mature believer, you will apply that Truth in witnessing to others:

         “The production of the righteous (Mature believers) is a tree of life, and he who is wise wins souls.” (Pro 11:30)

            Paul was deeply concerned for the salvation of his Jewish countrymen. He wrote, “Members of the Royal Family (Brethren), my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them (Jews) is for their salvation.” (Rom 10:1)

           The apostle’s statement sets up a precedent for our next principle: prayer for the saved and unsaved!

          6.   The principle of prayer in witnessing has raised the question: how DO you pray intelligently for the salvation of unbelievers? You cannot pray that God will save them, for God cannot violate human volition! However, you can pray that He will bring about such circumstances as would be most advantageous for the Gospel to be heard. Pray that the unbeliever may be contacted by mature believers who have the wisdom to present the true issue of salvation with clarity and in a gracious manner. You might ask our heavenly Father to use you and to open witnessing doors before you. Furthermore, since you are commanded to pray for all who are in authority in governmental office, particularly for their salvation, petition the Father to permit the Gospel free course in our country. Pray that the unsaved leaders in our nation may see their own inadequacy to solve the problems of the world; (Psa 9:20) that they might look beyond themselves and see their need of the Savior. Request that salvation may be made crystal clear and to provide the Thoughts upon which they can make the choice!
          Prayer is the barrage laid down before the advancing infantry. The believers shod in the CALIGAE of witnessing needs your prayer as never before; each soul saved is “a brand plucked out of the fire!” (Zec 3:2) By your prayer on their behalf, you enter legitimately into their ministry. More than that, you supply the combat support that is so badly needed on the Spiritual battlefield! Although his CALIGAE carried the Roman legionary to the fight, it was not en route that he earned his decorations but in the ensuing battle. In the Spiritual conflict, however, both your plodding along the road to glory, as well as your combat duty will be rewarded. Witnessing to unbelievers and the communication of Truth to believers is but some of the many campaigns to be fought in the unseen warfare. If you carry out the Divine directive defined in this section, you can distinguish yourself in dispelling the gloom of unbelief, which Satan continues to cast upon this world! (2Co 4:2-5)

          The Shield of Faith

          To wage warfare to a victorious conclusion, an army must have both offensive and defensive weapons. The Roman Legion owed its success, not only to the number and bravery of its troops, but also to its arms and machines. The foremost of the Roman soldier’s defensive weapons was his shield. The SCUTUM, (Latin) used by the Roman infantry, was shaped like a door. (THURA; Greek) We learn from the Greek historian, Polybius, that the SCUTUM was constructed of a double thickness of planks, joined together with glue derived from the hides of bulls. The shield’s outer surface was then wrapped with canvas and covered with calfskin. Along the top and bottom rims, the shield had an ornamental metal binding made of iron. But more than being ornamental in design, this metal rim protected the SCUTUM from being damaged when set on the ground, or from the cutting strokes of the enemy’s swords, which it must ward off in combat. The shield was fitted with an iron boss in order that it might deflect the more destructive blows of stones, long javelins and those ballista (Missiles), which were in general use in antiquity.
          Attached to the SCUTUM were two leather straps; one of these fitted the soldier’s forearm and enabled him to execute the various commands for the use of his shield. The other strap served as a sling by which he carried the shield, slung over his left shoulder, while he was marching. To help the soldiers identify their own cohorts in the confusion of battle, every cohort had its shields painted in its own particular colors and insignia. In addition, the shield of each man was inscribed with his name and with the number of his cohort and century.
          In time of action, the TRIARII rested on one knee under cover of their shields. This advantageous position offered the fighting men greater protection than they would have had if they had stood upright, for it deflected the hail of darts, stones and javelins. So vital was the SCUTUM to the soldier’s survival in battle that a whole manual of arms for the shield was issued to him. Furthermore, he was drilled until he was expert in its use and could aim a stroke at his adversary without laying himself open to the antagonist’s blows. While the possession of the SCUTUM greatly reduced the casualty list of the ancient Romans, the loss of his shield often meant the loss of a soldier’s life!
          To protect the Christian Warrior in every crisis of life, God issues him a shield which surpasses even that of the Roman soldier. Scripture calls this shield the “SHIELD OF FAITH.” Figuratively, it stands for the function of the faith-rest technique, and the instructions for its use are found in our very own Drill Manual — the Bible:

           In addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. (Eph 6:16)

          “Above all” is the preposition EN and the locative plural from PAS. Translated into our vernacular, the phrase says, “In addition to all these.” (Previously mentioned items of equipment: the belt, the breastplate and combat boots) The importance of the principle of Operation Z and its objective — Spiritual maturity) the breastplate of righteousness; (The mature believer fulfilling Divine standards — analogous to the edification complex of the soul) and the feet shod with the equipment of the Gospel (Readiness and preparation for witnessing) ALL THAT GOD PROVIDES FOR THE BELIEVER IN THE DEVIL’S WORLD IS PERFECT! Thus, the shield is “in addition to,”  — an equally necessary part of the Royal Warrior’s armor.
          How do we appropriate the shield? We pick it up and carry it (ANALAMBANO; aorist active participle) by means of faith-rest. The constantive aorist views the action of the verb in its entirety; it takes the accumulation of Truth resident in the soul and relates it to the function of the faith-rest technique. Each Christian soldier produces the action of the verb in his application of faith-rest. Note that this is another of the long list of participles in this passage. The participle is circumstantial and has antecedent action to the main verb, found in the command, “Stand fast.” (Verse 14)
         “In addition to all these, having picked up and carried.” Next, the great defensive weapon, the shield of faith, is introduced as the THUREOS (Accusative singular direct object), comparable to the Latin, SCUTUM, “of faith” (Descriptive genitive singular from PISTIS).
          Ordinarily, PISTIS can mean one of three things: the Spiritual life, and faith or Truth, that which is believed or active faith. In this context, PISTIS refers to the principle of faith in itself. People frequently confuse faith with a lack of thinking and misinterpret it to mean some emotional action. This is incorrect; faith is a system of Divine Thinking. 90 percent of everything that you have ever learned, you have acquired by faith. Someone told you that one plus one equals two, and you believed it. You memorized the multiplication tables, before the new math came in, and never questioned their accuracy. You learned of our Anglo-Saxon heritage when you studied English history; someone told you about the Magna Carta, about a place called England. Although you had never been there, you accepted its existence as Truth. This system of thinking is entirely bona fide and is the principle involved in this use of the Greek noun, PISTIS.
          In contrast to the non-meritorious Thinking of faith, there are three types of thinking which are apt to sponsor arrogance: rationalism, mysticism (Demonism) and empiricism. Rationalism relies on reason alone; independent of authority or revelation, it sets up one’s opinions as the criterion. Mysticism is false thinking coming from demons, though the sin nature of others or self. Empiricism accepts as reality only that knowledge which can be-derived from experience through the senses.
          Another misconception concerning faith is that faith is blind. Faith is never blind! The verb “to believe” (PISTEUO) is a transitive verb; it has a subject and an object. The classification of the objects of faith in the believer’s life is very important. There is first of all the object of faith in salvation; secondly, there is the object of faith after salvation. What are these objects? In salvation, the subject of faith is anyone or “whosoever”; the object of faith is always the same the Lord Jesus Christ (Joh 3:18; Act 4:12; Act 16:31) Faith without its object obtains nothing but condemnation! However, a tiny grain of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ secures eternal salvation. So you see, the efficacy of faith always lies in its object.
          What we have learned through salvation, we apply in our Spiritual lives after salvation: just as we have received the Living Word, so we now walk according to the written Word — by faith. (Col 2:6) In the Christian way of life, Truth becomes the object of our faith. Thus, all efficacy of faith is either related to the Living Word or to the written Word. The shield of faith puts forward the function of the faith-rest technique against our unseen enemies and confirms are understanding of this crucial Truth, for FAITH-REST IS THE FIRING PIN THAT LAUNCHES DIVINE THINKING INTO THE DEVIL’S WORLD!

                            FAITH-REST WARRIOR

          It is not the manner in which you pick up the shield of faith which counts but THAT you pick it up! The SCUTUM or THUREOS was a large shield that protected the Roman soldier’s entire body. Many times a Roman fighting man lost his life because he was caught without his shield. Likewise, too many believers become casualties in the angelic conflict because they have failed to pick up and carry their Spiritual shields. They have no Truth residing in their souls; therefore, they lack faith and can neither launch a counterattack nor repel the missiles hurled against them. The finest shield cannot protect you as long as it remains on the ground! Why expose yourself to the enemy when such a fantastic defensive weapon is within your grasp?
          Certainly, it takes skill and practice to excel in any profession! The Roman military constantly put its troops through drills of every kind, in good weather or bad. Even the most expert soldiers were compelled to exercise on the practice field once a day to maintain agility of body and skillfulness in the art of warfare. At all times, the strictest discipline was enforced, for it was feared that a slackening of discipline would affect the courage and the structure of the soldier! While veterans drilled with swords and shields, young recruits practiced with wooden swords and round bucklers woven of willows, which were twice the weight of their actual combat weapons. If they could master those clumsy weapons with advantage, they would distinguish themselves on the battlefield.
          How graciously our Lord tests our use of the shield of faith. He does not at first burden us with severe pressures; He sends minor difficulties, small problems our way until we gain Christ-confidence and learn that Truth really works! And even when the major pressures of life appear to engulf us, we have His assurance that He will never test us beyond our ability! (1Co 10:13) Like the Roman soldier of antiquity, we need constant, daily practice! (Heb 5:14) The pastor-teacher who diligently studies and rightly divides the Word of Truth competently equips the combatants for the angelic conflict. This must be done under conditions of strict group and self-discipline. Like the Roman legionary, the royal legionary will learn to spring forward to strike a blow at his unseen enemies, look above his shield to discern conditions around him, and then sink down to shelter himself under cover of the shield of faith, ‘wherewith’ he “shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” (Eph 6:16)
          “Wherewith’ is the preposition EN, coupled with the instrumental singular of the relative pronoun HOS. The antecedent of HOS is the shield and is best translated “with which (Shield).” “Ye shall be able” (Future active indicative from DUNAMAI) anticipates the actual battle certain to follow constant and careful training. The progressive future denotes progress in future time; the active voice and the cohortative indicative mood express a command which foresees that the believer with the shield in hand will indeed possess the ability to hold his ground. That ability is derived little by little. You begin through the function of Operation Z by learning basic doctrines, such as the Truth of Divine Essence,” which guarantees every promise found in Scripture; you learn to handle your sins by means of rebound. (1Jn 1:9) You pick up some of the techniques of the Christian life; the faith-rest technique, for instance! The very first time you pick up your shield, you may do so awkwardly. However, once you discover that Truth and promises applied help you handle problems and difficulties of all kinds, your confidence will increase! The shield of faith becomes lighter through constant use! It is well able “to quench” — literally, “to extinguish” (Aorist active infinitive of the verb SBENNUMI) — the missiles hurled against it.
          The culminative aorist views the action of the verb in its entirety but emphasizes the existing results which increase from an accumulation of Truth in the believer’s soul. He has reached Spiritual maturity; he has picked up and put on the full armor from God and is prepared to elude every attack of the demon army. The infinitive mood of SBENNUMI declares the actual result of his use of the shield of faith: he “shall be able to extinguish ALL the fiery (Literally, ‘flaming’ — darts of the wicked. PONEROS — ‘the evil one’ — a reference to Satan)”
          Flaming projectiles were commonly used weapons among the ancients. Fire arrows were the incendiary bombs of antiquity. They were highly effective and are said to have existed long before the Persians employed them in their invasion of Greece in the days of Xerxes. Herodotus describes the Persians’ attack on the Acropolis, the citadel of Athens, (Originally constructed of wood) where the remnants of the Hellenistic army of hoplites were making their last stand:

          “With arrows to which pieces of light tow, were attached and smeared with pitch and set aflame, which they shot at the barricade.” 
          The hail of flaming arrows descended upon the Athenian fort, and the inferno forced out the hoplites, who were cut down by their Persian victors. Yet the courageous Greek army had bought such time as was needed for the evacuation of the Athenian population.
          One of the most famous battles of the ancient world was fought at Plataea, during the Peloponnesian Wars. Spurred on by the Thebans, who had failed to conquer the city, the Spartans had attacked Plataea in 429 B.C. and two years later took and ransacked the city. Protected by very high ramparts, Plataea seemed invincible. All the time the Spartans hauled in earth to build a mound from which they might assault the city, they took heavy casualties; yet they kept right on coming, and the Plataeans could no longer stop them.
          As the Spartan siege of Plataea continued unabated and the mound of dirt rose higher and higher, the Plataeans began to erect wooden platforms on top of the city walls. The ancient historian, Thucydides, tells how this was done and why:

          The Plataeans constructed a wooden frame, which they set upon the top of their own wall, opposite the mound. . .they also hung curtains of skins and hides on the front. These were designed to protect the woodwork and workers and shield them against the blazing arrows.

          For every attack there is a counterattack, and every weapon has its match in the arsenal of a prepared military. In the end, the Spartans’ fiery arrows found their mark in the wood, and soon the platforms were ablaze. Plataea fell to the Spartan invaders.
          Livy, too, makes mention of flaming missiles that were a part of the weaponry of both the infantry and artillery of the ancient world. He describes the huge fire dart used at the Siege of Saguntum. Called FALARICA, the shaft of the missile was made of fir. From its sharpened end projected an iron point. Half way up, the squared-off shaft was bound with tow, smeared with pitch and set aflame. Although the FALARICA did not pierce the shield, it stuck, blazing in the middle; the soldier was thus compelled to drop his shield and expose himself to the enemy. Furthermore, the FALARICA was a formidable psychological weapon; its trajectory produced a much greater flame, which struck terror in the hearts of the bravest warriors.
          Notice who has an entire arsenal of flaming missiles at his disposal — the evil one, Satan! This is his psychological weapon of fear! Additional fiery arrows are lust, condemning, worry, doubt, boredom, loneliness, bitterness, disappointment, adversity and, yes, even prosperity! There, then, is evil in its various forms Satan’s policy for his domain. Yet, for all his power, for all his devices, Satan has no weapon powerful enough to destroy or to penetrate the shield of faith. Therefore, the importance of that defensive weapon cannot be minimized; it neutralizes satanic attack!
          Let me remind you that the large Roman THUREOS or SCUTUM had two straps, the larger shoulder strap and the smaller forearm strap. When the Roman soldier marched into battle, he always carried his shield slung over his left shoulder. When he went into hand to hand combat, he slipped his left forearm through the shorter strap to counter his enemy’s blows. What he did, he did superbly!

          The Christian Warrior need not march to any geographical location to be at the front; wherever he finds himself, his soul is the arena of combat in the unseen warfare. Therefore, Truth must establish a command post in his soul! It is from your own command post that your orders are issued in your advance to victory. You must carry your Truth with you no matter where you are. Truth makes up your inner resources; Truth shields you from confusion, from involvement in inconsequential activities, from the attacks of legalism or socialism and from the influence of evil! (False Truth) There is only one way of salvation faith in Jesus Christ; there is only one issue after salvation: the absorption of the Word of Truth today, tomorrow, the next day, and the next! It is my job to equip Christian Warriors for combat in the angelic conflict by communicating the Word from the page of the Bible that it might be transferred to their souls. It is positive response on your part which will make the expert use of the shield of faith a reality in life.

          In addition to all these, having picked up and carried the shield of faith, with which (Shield) you shall be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles from the evil one. (Satan) (Eph 6:16)

          The Helmet of Salvation

          And take the helmet of salvation. .  (Eph 6:17)

          Most secular and Bible dictionaries and reference books state that the helmet is a part of the soldier’s defense equipment. This is true only inasmuch as the helmet protects the head from injury sustained in battle. Actually, the helmet should be listed among the offensive armor or weapons of the fighting man. Especially is this true of the HELMET OF SALVATION. No member of the human race can assume the offensive against the ruler of this world, Satan, or against his mighty demon army until he joins the Royal Combat Legion through faith in Jesus Christ! (Gal 3:26) Only believers in Christ are involved in this great Spiritual warfare. We are on the Lord’s side — the winning side — and it obligates us to examine each part of the Roman helmet and its significance in the Spiritual life.
          Man has traditionally preferred the lightest type of effectual protection for the head during combat. The helmets of most ancient warriors were made of quilted cloth or of heavy leather. Metal helmets were considered to be too cumbersome and inconvenient in hot climates; yet they had proved to be the best guard against head injuries. The Greeks had used metal helmets; but the Romans, finding these to be too heavy, adapted and improved them for their own needs. The Roman helmet was generally made from bronze. It fitted over an iron skullcap, which had been lined with either leather or cloth for greater comfort. A heavier helmet was worn by the Roman armies stationed along the hostile frontiers on the Rhine and Danube. The helmet covered the back of the head and was reinforced by a back plate, which protected the soldier’s neck.
          Atop each helmet was a ring into which a crest of horsehair or feather plumes could be inserted for parades or dress occasions. Those regimental plumes were never worn on the battlefield! The Roman helmet had no visor. Instead, a small metal peak jutted out in front to offer added protection against the downward cuts of the opponent. Hinged bronze cheek pieces held the helmet securely in place.
          The Roman officer wore a more ornate helmet than the enlisted man. Made of bronze or of iron, the officer’s helmet was plated with silver or gold and frequently bore his crest or decorations. Considerably wider cheek pieces fastened his helmet, and an elongated slot extended down its center to hold the officer’s scarlet plume on gala occasions. Although all helmets were constructed after the same basic design, their shapes varied for easier recognition by the soldiers.
          With the exception of the standard-bearer, who was permitted to wear a wolfs head — a singular honor bestowed upon the man who carried the colors — every man, from the highest officer down to the last buck private in the Roman Army, wore a metal helmet over an iron skullcap. Upon completing his basic training, each Roman soldier received his mark. (Brand) (Gal 6:17) At the same time, he was fitted with an iron skullcap of his own, which he was obliged to wear at all times. Once he had become accustomed to having his head covered, he would be less conscious of the weight of the helmet. The wearing of the helmet called for a special mental attitude: respect for authority, respect for military discipline, as well as self-discipline. He had learned to respect the discernment and better judgment of his superiors; he had learned to appreciate the value of the helmet in combat! Even if it were uncomfortable, it was well worth the trouble, and he welcomed the safety it offered him!
          The Roman Army was noted for rarely ever suffering head injuries. The Roman soldier simply had no excuse for losing his helmet. If he received a head wound, in battle, it was assumed that he had become a coward, had fled and left his helmet behind. His comrades would never let him escape such disgrace, and it was considered better to lose one’s life rather than report in after battle with any kind of head injury!
          As the most vulnerable part of the human anatomy, the head requires special protection. While the dense structure of the skull provides natural armor for the central nervous system and the soul under normal conditions, added protection is needed in combat. Had helmets been used during the War Between the States instead of haphazard cloth caps, many lives could have been saved. In later conflicts, this situation was corrected, and thousands were spared because the soldier wore his helmet. He may not have valued it when it was first issued, but he was grateful to possess a helmet when the hail of bullets fell or the shrapnel burst around him!
          It is of even greater importance that a human being utilize the helmet of salvation! The Greek text of (Eph 6:17) emphasizes this principle. “And” is the adjunctive use of KAI and means “also.” “Take,” is the aorist active imperative of the verb DECHOMAI — “to receive, to welcome.” The constantive aorist contemplates the occurrence of salvation — a momentary action of believing in Jesus Christ — and gathers it into a single whole. Thus, the verb sees in their entirety the forty Spiritual assets’ every believer receives at the point of salvation.
          When we believed in the Savior, we were entered into union with Christ by the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father as the King of Kings. In union with Him, we are His Royal Family. God the Holy Spirit came to indwell our bodies and sealed us until the day of redemption. What fantastic security we have! God’s own righteousness was imputed to us; we are positionally vindicated and sanctified by God! We are issued Divine equipment compatible with our station as royalty.
          Since it is the soul that is saved, (Psa 19:7; Mar 8:36; Heb 10:39) it must be guarded from harm after salvation. The active voice of DECHOMAI indicates that mankind produces the action of the verb. Although you can not be forced to believe in Jesus Christ, you may be urged to do so. This concept is brought out by the imperative of entreaty, which expresses an appeal to the free will of Homo sapiens to accept Christ. If you are not yet saved, or a mature believer the fault is entirely on your side. God is neither slow nor lethargic; His power to save you is limited only by your refusal to be saved and or to grow to maturity! However, from the moment of your salvation, you become a member of the Royal Family of God. You do not dedicate yourself to full-time Christian service; you are born into it by virtue of regeneration! You were offered the helmet of salvation, and you have “welcomed” or “received it.” You have enlisted in the ranks of the Royal Combat Legion of Jehovah of the Armies!
          The Greek word for helmet is PERIKEPHALIA, a compound noun derived from the preposition PERI (Around) and the noun KEPHALE (Head) — that which goes around the head. In the Latin, the exact equivalent of the Koine Greek, “helmet’ is GALEA or CASSIS. (Casque) Let us examine this very valuable piece of equipment. It is called the “helmet of salvation.” “Salvation” is the genitive neuter singular from SOTERIOS and is used as a substantive rather than as an adjective. The genitive of reference indicates the significance of the helmet. In order to bring out the true meaning of the word, it must be translated here as a relative clause: “Also, receive the helmet, WHICH REFERS TO BEING SAVED!”
          Each part of the Roman helmet is analogous to some facet of salvation. For example, the SKIN LINING emphasizes the work of Christ on the Cross: redemption; (Toward sin) reconciliation (Toward man) propitiation. (Toward God) The first Biblical reference to skin in connection with salvation is found in:

         “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skin, and clothed them.”(Gen 3:21)

        Since skins are obtained by the shedding of blood, we are reminded of the blood of Christ — His efficacious Spiritual death in providing salvation, which includes not only our forgiveness and cleansing from sin, but also the imputation of God’s perfect righteousness to our account!

          The BRONZE CASQUE is analogous to the uniqueness of the Person of the Savior — His virgin birth as the sinless Son of God; His Hypostatic Union as the God-Man; His impeccability. (His faultless, perfect Person) The GOLD CREST and PLUME identify the believer of the Church Age as royalty forever; the helmet of salvation is a permanent item of equipment. (1Pe 1:5) Once you have received the helmet of salvation, you can never forfeit it. (Joh 10:28)

          The Sword of the Spirit

          . . . And the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God: (Eph 6:17)

          One of the most unusual weapons ever invented was the MACHAIRA. Swords had always been symbolic of warfare and slaughter, and many kinds of swords existed in the ancient world. Earlier swords were made of bronze; those of later periods were forged of iron. Although other offensive weapons were in general use the — bow, the spear, the javelin, the mace and battle-ax, the sling, the battering ram and the catapult for throwing stones — it was generally conceded that the sword was the basic weapon for close combat. As a rule, the ancients were impressed by the size and strength of a sword. The most impressive of the five types of swords used by combatants in antiquity was the ROMPHAIA. Invented by the Thracians, the ROMPHAIA was a broadsword of considerable length — never shorter than four feet and often up to six feet in length. This broadsword had one sharp cutting edge and was held by a double handle. It was the preferred weapon of the Gauls and the Barbarians, staunch enemies of Rome, and was employed in hacking blows. Because the ROMPHAIA’s clumsy length and weight caught the Barbarian or Gaul temporarily off-balance after a stroke, precious moments were lost before he could regain combat effectiveness. It was in these moments that the soldier was vulnerable to the danger of the swift Roman MACHAIRA. Furthermore, the ROMPHAIA rarely took a heavy death toll, for after three or more strikes against Roman armor, its blade became dull.
          A second type of sword was the XZIPHOS. Shaped like a rapier, this rounded sword had a sharp point and was used only for thrusting. Since its point broke off easily, it was considered an inferior weapon in battle. Because of its highly personal character, the sword soon became a sign of rank. This was true of the AKINAKES, an ornate Persian sword worn by Persian generals; the AKINAKES usually had ivory handles and was studded with gems faceted in gold. Totally useless in combat, it was suitable only as a status symbol; therefore, the AKINAKES became the choice gift of Persian monarchs to their favorite nobles.
          The DOLON — the hidden sword — is still existent, encased in either a riding whip or in a cane. Since the ancients knew little about the tempering of metals, most blades were brittle and broke on contact. It was the Romans who introduced swords made of iron, and the Roman MACHAIRA turned out to be the most ingenious invention of warfare of its day. The blade of this perfectly balanced weapon was usually only eighteen inches long. It had two cutting edges instead of one, and it tapered off to a sharp point. Extremely sharp, the MACHAIRA was very maneuverable; its outstanding advantage was that the Roman soldier was never off-balance while he used his MACHAIRA.
          The introduction of this new weapon constituted a remarkable innovation in the weaponry of the ancient world and demanded a complete reversal in the training of the Roman swordsman. Thus, recruits were taught not to cut but to thrust with their swords. A firm grip on the excellent hand-guard of the MACHAIRA, a stab to a vital part of the body, and the enemy of Rome fell mortally wounded. Unlike his enemy, who must expose his right arm and side in order to strike a hacking blow, the legionary’s body was covered while he thrust his sword at his opponent. Since he was well-protected by his shield and heavy armor, the blow could do little harm; since he exerted less force or strain, the Roman soldier’s stamina in battle extended far beyond that of his enemy.
          The finest of these double-edged swords were issued to the Praetorian Guard. It is significant that the Holy Spirit has chosen the Roman MACHAIRA as the counterpart to the Christian soldier’s most effective offensive weapon — the MACHAIRA OF THE SPIRIT. This same analogy is used in, (Heb 4:12) where the Word of God is compared to and found to be even more powerful than the sharp MACHAIRA of the Romans. In this context, (Eph 6:17) the Bible is called the “MACHAIRA of the Spirit.” “Of the Spirit’ is the ablative singular of source from PNEUMA (Spirit) and refers to God the Holy Spirit The genitive case — that is, the genitive of source — demands this literal translation: “from the Spirit.The Third Person of the Trinity is the Source of our offensive weapon,
          On closer examination of the grammatical structure of this phrase, we note that the tense of the verb EIMI is the static present, which represents Truth as perpetually existing. In spite of Satan’s effort to erase every trace of the inspired Word of God from the face of the earth — at one time, only fifty copies of the Scriptures remained in man’s possession, and Rome had ordered these to be destroyed — there will never be a generation destitute of Bible Truth! God will personally see to the preservation of the Canon and to the impact it has on humanity. (Isa 55:11) This latter fact is brought out by the active voice; the Sword of the Spirit will invariably leave its mark! The mood of the verb EIMI is the declarative indicative, a simple statement of fact.
          When does the MACHAIRA become an offensive weapon? When it is unsheathed? As long as it remains in its scabbard, suspended from the left side of the BALTEUS, its power to devastate the enemy is but potential. The MACHAIRA has to be transferred from its sheath into the hand of the combatant! The same principle applies to the MACHAIRA of the Spirit, the Word of God! In order to become effective in the believer’s life, the Truths contained in the Word of God must be taken from the printed page and transferred into the Christian’s soul. Truth must become resident in the soul before it is usable in the life! To emphasize this point, God the Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle Paul to use the Greek word REMA in place of the more commonly used word, LOGOS. REMA means “the Word sent forth” — the Spiritual weapon taken from its scabbard, the Bible. REMA could be properly rendered “command,’ ‘or better yet, “Truth,” for it presents the concept of a specific Thought or a category of Divine Thoughts taught exegetically. Stored in its scabbard, the Sword of the Spirit is preserved for you and for all generations hereafter; unsheathed, this super weapon becomes your personal property and allows you to assume the offensive in Spiritual combat.
          How do you take this sword from its scabbard? By appropriating God’s gracious provisions for learning the Bible. Not only did God see to the formation and preservation of the Canon of Scripture, but He authorized classrooms in specific geographical areas — in which His Word might be taught. He further provided the Spiritual gift of pastor-teacher to certain male members of the Royal Family for the express purpose of equipping Christian Warriors; for the intensified stage of the angelic conflict. He made possible the ministry of the indwelling Holy Spirit for our Spiritual Understanding and growth and gave us a human spirit as the means of categorizing, processing and storing Truth. More than that, God designed the laws of Divine establishment for the protection of the church and its freedom to function unhindered and unmolested. Nor dare we overlook the principle of grace in human anatomy — our ability to breath, eat and process food into energy; our ability to think, our brain’s ability to print information — all these are vital grace systems of assimilation. There is no limitation to the Spiritual Truths that can be understood. You not only can comprehend God’s Word in its entirety, you should also know it; for from knowing God’s Word comes knowledge of God’s will for your life!
          In this analogy between the MACHAIRA of Rome and the MACHAIRA of the Spirit are found parallel Truths. It takes skill to use the MACHAIRA! The Roman soldier spent long hours in sword practice. To the Romans of antiquity, the MACHAIRA was but an extension of the wrist. The recruit must learn the correct use of his wrist; he must develop agility of elbow and shoulder, expert footwork; he must know where to aim his thrusts. All this took time and discipline, but these were essential in building Roman military might It was common knowledge that a well trained Roman soldier was worth twenty-five to fifty Barbarians in battle. The Barbarians were gigantic in stature — six to seven feet tall; they were physically stronger than the Romans. The average Roman measured no more than five feet, six or five feet, eight inches in height. Yet his MACHAIRA more than made up the "disgracing" difference in the size of the antagonists, and many an arrogant boast dissolved into a death rattle as the valiant legionaries caught the Barbarians unprepared to parry the thrust of this mighty super weapon! The Roman soldier stood his ground; he was never thrown off-balance. His maneuverability in combat was phenomenal, and his thrusting ability remained unhampered. Thus, the once scornful Barbarians learned well the lesson that size in either man or weapon does not necessarily guarantee an advantage.
          What the MACHAIRA was to the Roman soldier, the Sword of the Spirit is to the Christian Warrior. Truth becomes resident in the soul only after a period of the consistent function of Operation Z! Once the Christian soldier is fully equipped for combat, he is ready to meet an enemy, superior in every way, in close combat. Nor can he be thrown off-balance by the forces of Satan! However, no believer can afford to stay on the defensive indefinitely. Let me reiterate that in Spiritual warfare, as well as in temporal warfare, defensive action can only delay or avoid defeat! Just as the offensive action increases the effectiveness of a military organization, raises the team spirit of the troops and allows freedom of action and concentration of effort, so the offensive of the Royal Combat Legion provides both Spiritual dynamics and a profound impact on that generation. How can you, as a member of the Royal Combat Legion, take the offensive and gain tactical victory in the unseen warfare? By your daily, positive volition toward Truth! The mature believer attacks! The carnal believer retreats! Accept this Roman challenge: FORTES FORTUNA JUVAT (“Fortune favors the brave!”)
           The concept that offensive vigor leads to victory is expressed in the Roman idiom, A CUSPIDE CORONA. (“A crown from the spear”) The idiom refers to honor earned by means of military exploits in combat. Every believer with Truth in his soul has his A CUSPIDE CORONAthe mature soul has his own mature blessing paragraph in time and his resultant surpassing-grace decorations in eternity.
          Vegetius observed accurately that victory in war is not determined either by numbers or mere courage but rather, by skill and discipline! Roman conquest of the world was the result of continual training in the art of war and exact enforcement of discipline! The Roman armies, with their inconsiderable numbers, successfully opposed numerically superior enemies. Thus it was that a handful of men, conditioned to war, could march to certain victory, while their opponents, raw and undisciplined, were “but masses of men dragged to their slaughter.” Likewise, the Christian’s warfare demands both strict academic and personal discipline on a daily basis!
          One other factor should be considered — vulnerability in combat. The historian, Pliny, reports that Roman soldiers wore beards until 300 B.C. When it was proven that beards were hazardous to the combatant, the Roman soldier was ordered to shave every day; he had to be clean-shaven when he reported for duty. The shaving of the beard becomes analogous to the believer’s rebound. You cannot fight the enemy with unconfessed sin in the life! Even as the beard neutralized the finest equipment and the effectiveness of the armor, so sin neutralizes the believer in the angelic conflict and renders him vulnerable to the attack of the enemy. When the Royal Legionary falls in for duty, he must be in fellowship, for only in the filling of the Spirit can he accomplish the Divinely assigned objective!
          If Jesus Christ had to rely entirely upon the Holy Spirit to sustain His humanity during His Incarnation in order to execute the Plan of God, how much more dependent are you and I on the filling of the Spirit! Our Lord used the equipment God made available to Him for His conflict with Satan. Think of Christ’s use of the Sword of the Spirit! Never did the blade flash brighter; never was the Sword sharper nor more brilliantly handled than in the wilderness duel. (Luk 4:1-14) Yet it was not by His skillful use of the Sword, but by His strategic victory on the Cross that the Master Swordsman made possible our exploitation of His conquest. It remains for us to become expert in its use! The Holy Spirit and Spiritual Thinking will never be separated! Now or in Eternity! (2Jn 1:2)

          Also, receive the helmet, which refers to being saved; also, the sword from the Spirit, which is the Truth from God. (Eph 6:17)


     With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,  (Eph 6:18)

          The Royal Family of God enjoys tremendous privileges, some of which were never experienced by believers in previous dispensations. These privileges in no wise exempt us from certain obligations. Far from it; the Scriptures state that: From everyone who has been given much, much will be required. (Luk 12:48) One of our foremost duties is the Royal Warrior’s responsibility of PRAYER. The importance of prayer can never be overemphasized! Prayer is a part of the Christian Warrior’s offensive action, and the command for effective prayer is issued repeatedly throughout the epistles. Yet this command is obeyed less frequently and with less enthusiasm than all other orders from the Divine Headquarters!
          In the so-called “arms race,” the world’s major powers the — U.S. and the U.S.S.R. — seek to accelerate their research and development of ever more sophisticated nuclear weapons. The awesome destructive potential of nuclear weapons spiraled with the perfection of the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile. The tools of warfare have evolved tremendously since the day when the Roman ballista catapulted gigantic stones, weighing five hundred to six hundred pounds, against, their enemies. There is one weapon, however, which has far greater capability than any weapon of man’s design. Perfect from the moment of its inception in the Mind of God, that weapon PRAYER can never be improved upon.
          For the Christian Warrior who is skilled in its deployment the use of prayer unleashes the very power of God. The range of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles shrinks into insignificance over the range of the believer’s prayer missile. The instant prayer is launched; it spans stellar space to reach the heavenly Command Post — the throne room of God! And often, before ever a prayer is verbalized, the answer to it is dispatched. (Isa 65:24) Sad to say, the fantastic power of prayer goes untapped!
          Prayer is one of the greatest weapons ever forged in heaven for the use of the Royal Family on earth! Prayer can avert disaster! Prayer can halt corruption in government and the influence of evil! (Satan's thinking) There is a definite relationship between the prayer of mature believers and the outer as well as inner tranquility in a nation. (1Ti 2:1-4) By means of prayer, each member of the Royal Family of God can offer combat support to the front-line Christian Warrior. Why, then, does such a magnificent weapon go unclaimed and unused? Simply because too many Christians lack Truth in the soul and the self-discipline which is required for intelligent and effectual prayer!
          In the Greek text of, (Eph 6:18) the word order differs considerably from that found in our English Bible. The verse actually states: “By means of every prayer and petition, be praying on every occasion in the Spirit.” Here is your order to keep right on praying, for prayer is not optional; prayer is commanded every believer in the Royal Family of God.
          We might liken prayer to that branch of the military service, which is known as “the Silent Service’” — the gallant heroes of the American Submarine Service. For total effectiveness, the “Silent Service'' is known to operate under the strictest conditions of secrecy. Few of its exploits are known to the general public or even to newspaper correspondents. Just as the submarines were one of Americans most decisive weapons in World War II, so are the silent prayers of mature believers in the Spiritual conflict. Like the submarines, they surface from time to time in verbalized prayer; but always, they have far-reaching activities and impact!
          There are countless avenues, countless occasions for prayer exploits; these are inferred by the preposition EN plus the locative of KAIROS. (“At all times’ or “on every occasion”) There is an appropriate prayer before meals — the request that God sanctify the food for the nourishment of your body by removing any possible impurities. There is a prayer suitable prior to periods of Bible study. You are about to partake of Spiritual food; why not ask for the necessary concentration and objectivity which is so vital to Spiritual growth? There are prayers for Divine guidance in situations in which you lack a definite course of action. Pray that pertinent Truths resident in your soul may be brought into focus to be properly applied! Times of adversity and heartache demand that you not only draw on your inner resources of Truth, but that you make specific request to the God of all comfort! Then there is the whole realm of prayer for others within your periphery. Your prayer can become the means of encouragement to your right pastor and to his ministry. Prayer requests and petitions should be launched on behalf of all who are in authority over you on a local, state and national level. How well do you fulfill your responsibility to pray, member of the Royal Family of God?
          Prayer demands more than self-discipline and concentration; it requires alertness! This concept is found in the middle of, (Eph 6:18) in the word “watching.” The present active participle of the verb AGRUPNEO means “to be alert.Alertness comes from Truth in the soul and expresses itself in the function of effective prayer. The retroactive progressive present of this participle means that what you have begun to do in the past with lesser accumulation of Truth, you can do better now that you have advanced to the high ground of Spiritual maturity. The active voice identifies the Christian Warrior as the one who produces the action of prayer. The participle is again used as an imperative — a command. Thus, prayer is both the prerogative and the privilege of the Royal Family: “with reference to prayer, be on the alert with all perseverance!”
          EN plus the instrumental of PROSKARTERESIS actually means “persistent determination”; the instrumental coupled with PROS adds the word “all” — “with all persistent determination.Here is tenacity in prayer, tenacity in DEESIS or “supplication,” Next, we are given the scope of prayer: “for all things (PAS) concerning all saints (PERI plus the genitive of HAGIOS)” — a reference to the Royal Family of God.
          There is a need for prayer in our generation as never before! Prayer offers tremendous opportunities. We need prayer for missionary organizations which emphasize Truth and are free from legalism. We have men in military service who face discouraging odds and loneliness, yet who may have wide open doors set before them. We have one of the most fantastic opportunities God has ever given a local church — an immense ministry through our tapes and publications! What a challenge this should present to pray for all involved, for strength, wisdom and faithfulness to press the attack of Truth!
          Prayer can turn the course of our nation. We, at Berachah Church, stand at the crossroads of making a true contribution to the Lord’s service and to our nation. We have Bible classes on a daily basis; we reach our children and young people in Prep School; we have good administrative leadership and dedicated teachers. Why, then, do I say that we are at the crossroads? Because we could forfeit these phenomenal opportunities by neglecting prayer. If prayer warriors relax in heir persistent determination or alertness in prayer, the open door could slam shut! Every bulletin carelessly thrown away contains a prayer list which might have become an effective missile. Launch your weapons; pray! Petition God on behalf of all saints!

          By means of every prayer and petition, be praying on every occasion in the, (Filling of the Spirit) also with reference to prayer, be on the alert with all persistent determination and supplication for all things concerning all saints. (The Royal Family) (Eph 6:18)

          In summary, the following principles regarding prayer should be noted: (1) Prayer is the responsibility of every royal soldier during the course of the Church Age. We need both individual and collective prayer. Prayer is the using of opportunities offered us by God’s grace. (2) The effectiveness of the believer’s intercessory prayer is based on his being attired in the full armor from God. The sooner you get to maturity, the greater your prayer life will be and the more productive your priestly function. (3) In the field of prayer, each Christian Warrior is on IRF — Instant Reaction Force. When God opens the door, that door can be held open by prayer. A volunteer force of alert prayer warriors lays down the barrage of prayer; and prepared men, whom God has chosen for a task, move through that door to accomplish God’s purpose for their lives. (4) Persistence, perseverance in prayer is one of the greatest ministries for any believer of the Royal Family of God. (5) Last, but most important, there is the true motivation for prayer — Truth in the soul!

          In temporal as well as in Spiritual warfare, there is no substitute for victory! God’s Battle Plan calls for decisive defeat of all of Satan’s forces. In view of every perfect provision God made for His Royal Family — the full armor, offensive and defensive weapons, the secret weapon of prayer — there is no excuse for Spiritual retreat! You are ordered to hold your ground; you are ordered to CONQUER. You are given the weapons for victory and the battle cry of conquest: VINCIT OMNIA VERITAS“Truth Conquers All!”
 Christian Soldier with Christ soaring Do not fear the Devil’s roaring Wave on wave of Satan’s demons Clank with groaning sound. Tis the thrust of Satan’s dagger Sin and death to make men stagger; With their unbelief in darkness They shall die in Hell. Gospel of salvation In Christ a new creation The Word of God now going forth Shall launch its bolts of thunder. Onward through our Christ who saved us, He is mighty. He who raised us; Honor Christ, the Lord of Glory, Jesus Christ, our King. Christian soldier you’re victorious Trusting Christ the strong and glorious Faith with faith a mighty vict’ry Conquers sin and death. Tis the faith that gives salvation, Precious blood of our redemption; Whether poor or weak or broken, You can trust in Christ He’s the King of Kings He’s the Lord of Lords. He shall come with trumpet sound, And we shall all come with Him. Onward tis our Christ who leads us; He is mighty to redeem us; Honor Christ, the Lord who saved us, Jesus Christ, our Lord.”

No comments: