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Part Two: Metal
The Warrior As a “Man of War”
Eph. 6:11 Put on the Whole Armor of God.
We all expect the next appearance of our Lord to be in the image that our Jewish friends have been expecting all along: That being in the image of the Just King and Slayer-of-Evil; A Warrior King, a Military Man, a King to lead an army. Take a moment and think of the image of Christ in His Second Coming. You may very well visualize Him riding a white horse and wielding a Flaming Sword. Christ’s first coming exemplified the character of the Warrior as a Man-of-Peace, His Second Coming will be an exemplification of the character of the Warrior as a Man-of-War.
Part One was intended to give you enough information about your warrior nature to cause you to reflect upon the state of the Warrior within you. I hope that you have taken measures to liberate your warrior’s distinct nature. Once the nature and character of the Warrior within has been identified, recognized, and accepted as part of ourselves, it is time to train and condition our Spirit in the spiritual principles of the Warrior’s “tools of the trade.” Unless the Warrior is accepted and allowed to develop, training in his ways will likely prove fruitless and counterproductive. It is not in the nature of the other aspects of our character to take on the role of another. A Lover cannot do the job of a Warrior no matter how badly he or she may try. There is a reason we all have the Warriors’ aspect of in our nature, and that is to fight the battles of life for God, our Higher Authority. To do so, the Warrior must now be trained in the principles that will imbue him with the full protection God assures us of. These principles serve to reinforce the various aspects of character discussed in Part One as well as to create the Armor of God about oneself.
Once an individual has made a compact within himself to go forth and declares himself a Warrior for the Kingdom of God, it is only natural the individual be made aware of the weapons and armor they are to claim as their own. These are referred to as the “The Whole Armor of God” (Eph. 6:11, 13). The balance of this book will be concerned with the whole armor of God, how it works, feels, and how we are to visualize it, as well as understand and apply its practical applications. It is then that the Christian Warrior may rely on and use them. Remember what the scriptures teach us about declaring oneself: . . . 9 that if you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and if you believe with your heart that God raised him from the dead, then you will be saved. 10It is by believing with the heart that you are justified, and by making the declaration with your lips that you are saved. Rom. 10:9-10.
The following chapters deal with a separate piece of Spiritual Armor. This armor is a Spiritual Reality, one that God intends for us to recognize, develop, and rely upon. The Armor of God, although of a spiritual nature, will nevertheless manifest a physical effect when the principles are properly grasped and utilized. The spiritual principles which govern the development of the armor are every bit as sound as the protection which will be manifested by the armor. Through proper development and faith in the spiritual truths that govern these simple principles, the Warriors of God’s army will manifest the power and might of our Lord, tread where others fear, and do the remarkable and impossible.
Never mind that the armor is seemingly allegorical or intangible as often presented by the uninformed or un-empowered. Anyone making this type of statement is simply speaking from an uninformed position. What they are testifying to is the simple fact that they have never experienced true spiritual warfare, or else they would attest to the protection they moved within, having laid claim to Gods assurances and relied on His protection.
The first time the spiritual principles governing the armor are relied on and acted upon by an individual, the reality of the armor becomes every bit as real and present as the shoes worn on your feet, or the clothes on your back. Experiencing the manifestation of the armor may range from absolute unawareness to absolute surprise. Can you feel the socks on your feet or the belt around your waist unless attention is directed to them? I will bet you have at one time in your life had a hat or helmet on which protected you from the rain or a falling object, and you may have commented at the time, “Gee, I sure am glad I had that on!” Therefore, it is with our spiritual armor.
The simple reason that the protection of the armor often passes unnoticed is that it is being relied upon. When something is relied upon, it is to a measure taken for granted as being there. This reliance is the only way one can comfortably act with all the protection of the armor in place. To be preoccupied with whether or not it is present, or if it will provide sufficient protection, would constitute thinking and not doing, and often comes from the seeds of doubt and fear. Proper and diligent training serves to eliminate this form of distraction from the Warrior, enabling him to act in a moment and simply Do-What-Needs-to-be-Done. This is an element that was dealt with in the chapter on character.
I have had almost twenty years of experience with fighting in armor, exploring the traditions of medieval armored fighting forms. From my years of practical experience fighting in real armor, a very real and simple description may serve to illustrate the above point. The most important individual piece of armor worn in heavy armored combat is the helmet. The helmet is worn expressly to protect the head from attacks, which are expected, though not always seen. This is not to say that I intend to have my head hit, on the contrary, I have trained to use my shield and sword to protect this one most vital and vulnerable target from the enemy. As good as I may be at protecting my body from attack with my shield, there are those moments when I find myself in a position such that my shield is in the wrong place, possibly pinned by the enemy, and a blow may force its way past my sword and still, regardless of my best efforts, strike my head. Let’s face it . . . the enemy makes no guarantee that he will not strike my head, intentionally or not!
Now, I have written this book, so the attacks certainly have not been fatal. It is because of the protection offered by my helmet that I have survived. I relied on its protection, and it did not let me down. I was able to engage the enemy without fear of an injury to my head, not because I thought that I would not be struck there, but because of my reliance upon my protection such that if I were struck, I knew that I would not be harmed. Having endured repeated attacks to the head, first during training, then in combat, has developed within me an unshakable dependency and reliance on the protective ability of my helmet. This imbues me with an unflinching perseverance in facing the enemy. Even when I recognize a blow about to fall, I continue to press the attack because I have developed an unshakeable fearlessness towards bodily harm. This is a consequence of good training in the absolute protection afforded me by my armor. Its protection was tested in training and experienced in combat. Without having trained in it, and learned of its protective ability, I would not confidently engage the enemy in combat.
This is no different from how I trust and rely upon my Spiritual Armor. Just as with physical armor, training in its use and conditioning in the protective ability of our Spiritual Armor is essential to allow the Christian Warrior to confidently engage the enemy. Just as with the character of an individual, the “character” of my armor has been tested in “action” and developed. Remember, character develops by taking action. In much the same way, our spiritual armor develops with use and action (battle action). As separate and distinct as you may think the two are, character and our armor, you will see that they reinforce and develop together in a very direct and interrelated way. It is to this degree of understanding and acceptance that I hope you develop the practical applications of the spiritual principles discussed in Part Two.
Each piece of Spiritual Armor serves to protect us and support the various aspects of our Warriors’ character. In many instances, scriptural text will specifically address how the armor relates to certain aspects of character. I hope the reader will see how interrelated these spiritual truths are to character development and character expression.
Bear in mind that each of us is encouraged to see ourselves encased and supported by these spiritual realities, this Spiritual Armor, just as if it were a physical item. As mentioned in the first part of this book, it is this Spiritual Armor which will be portrayed in a very real way, in a physical sense, while actually being “physically” intangible (at least to many people). Each piece of armor will be depicted in such a fashion that the reader may imagine them realistically enough to visualize donning each piece as if they were literal accoutrements that may be held in the hand. It is only when the aware and spiritually alive Christian applies the following principles that the protections and fruits thereof may be fully appreciated. As an example: It is not enough to say one has faith, for faith must be acted upon and expressed or it will not serve to protect. On the contrary, acting in a purely trusting and faithful manner will manifest the protections derived by Faith in the most peculiar and unexpected manners. The principles are as real and sound as the protection derived thereof.
As with real armor, wearing one individual piece may serve to offer some protection, but then who would choose to go into combat with only a helmet and no other weapon or protection, especially when the full set is available and ready to go. Real armor was designed to be used as a fully integrated system of protection which the warrior trained in the use and wearing of. With training and experience, there develops within the warrior a certain reliance and unconscious comfort in his armor and what it affords him. The same is true of our Spiritual Armor of God. The more we train in its use and applications, the more comfortable we become in using it. In time, it will become second nature to depend upon and utilize the beneficial aspects of our armor as mentioned above. At that time, one may say they have grown reliant upon it.
The strength of real armor, historically, was proven or proofed by testing under fire. In the late medieval period, this was accomplished by actually firing a projectile at the armor. This may have been an arrow, a crossbow bolt, or even later, a bullet. The actual “mark of proof” or “proof marks,” of the armors protective value would be the mark left by the actual test. This proof mark served as a great selling feature as the protection availed by the armor had been verified as fireproof or bullet proof. It was literally tested under fire. It was only when the armor had been tested under fire and verified as fireproof that the armorer could sell his ware as armor proofed. As the protective value of the armor had been displayed, a great price would be commanded. In the same way, unless the protective value of our Spiritual Armor is proof marked, how assured of its protection can the wearer be? This means we should always test-proof our armor so that we may rely upon it when called to battle.
There are many small ways by which our spiritual armor may be tested. It is during a training period that these small tests help us to grow in confidence with the armor’s true protective value. Once we can see the proof marks ourselves, confidence in its protection in combat can be achieved. Each of the following chapters will bear witness to the protective value of this Spiritual Armor we are to don and grow accustomed to. In a sense, these scriptures may be viewed as proof marks. It is in trusting in Gods word and His proof marks, that we may quickly learn to rely upon all of the protection His armor gives us.
Rom. 5:1-5 1So then, now that we have been justified by faith, we are at peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; 2it is through Him, by faith, that we have been admitted into God’s favor in which we are living, and look forward exultantly to God’s glory. 3Not only that; let us exult, too, in our hardships, understanding that hardship develops perseverance, 4and perseverance develops a tested character, something that gives us hope, 5and a hope which will not let us down, because the love of God had been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.
From this, we can clearly see that it is the tests we endure which develop our character, as well as our spiritual armor. I suggest that you reread the above, and let it soak into your spirit and dwell upon the simple message. It speaks reams. As concerning those small tests mentioned above:
2 Cor. 12:9-10 9 ‘My grace is enough for you; for power is at full stretch in weakness.’ It is, then, about my weaknesses that I am happiest of all to boast, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me; 10and that is why I am glad of weaknesses, insults, constraints, persecutions and distress for Christ’s sake. For it is when I am weak that I am strong.
This may be a strange concept for many. I hope that it brings a certain amount of enlightenment to your spirit. If you have a reference or study bible, you may want to do a little additional reading about the concept presented above. I will leave this for the reader to pursue.
Let us look at one more scripture that addresses testing and see if it can be made even clearer for the reader to understand:
Jam. 1:2-4 2My brothers, consider it a great joy when trials of many kinds come upon you, for you well know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance, 3and perseverance must complete its work 4so that you will become fully developed, complete, not deficient in any way.
So you see, it is through tests and tribulations we are being given an opportunity to improve ourselves. It is in dealing with the daily troubles and inconveniences we experience that we are given the opportunity to try our spiritual armor for effect and thereby improve and perfect our character. Think back upon the many troubles present in our society today. Think of the aspects of character presented in Part One, and how the problems of society can be corrected if each of us remembered the aspects of the warrior’s character we are to practice and DID something rather than sit on the sidelines of life as an ineffective spectator. A kind word, a joke told to lighten someone’s mood or load-of-life, a simple compliment for a job seen well done, not participating in gossip, and out-right confronting someone when we know they are doing something wrong- These are just some of the simple examples of the way in which each of us as Warriors may make an impact and help change the world for the better. Remember that even though a warrior may be involved in the destruction of an institution or a culture, what comes out of the destruction is not salted ground, but rather a fertile, tilled soil from which will spring a healthy society or civilization. If we are successful in destroying the abuses, evil, and corruption of our society of today, we will have created the fertile ground to give rise to a better society of tomorrow.
Simply put: to accept and learn from our hardships by PARTICIPATING in them, we will not only develop our character to its fullest, but in the process, have an effect on those around us. If we were all to take our individual stands on drug abuse, child abuse, sexual harassment, mean spirited people, corruption, selfishness, and the bullying actions of others, at least we could say we put an end to casual indifference. If we as Warriors were to listen to our children and the children of others, maybe childhood runaways could be spared from a life on the street. How many broken homes of today do you think may have been prevented if a warrior somewhere had taken a stand for principles earlier. Just some food for thought. . ..
To accomplish these things, our Lord does not expect us to go into battle undeveloped or unarmed for a fight. On the contrary, He has made available to each of us all the protection and armor we need to resist the wiles of the enemy and yet to stand (Eph. 6:11) . . . this is how we are to visualize ourselves armed and accoutered daily to meet the difficulties of life and proceed with God’s will.
Just how powerful a defense and valuable asset armor is, can be found quite readily by a simple reading into some of the conflicts of medieval Europe. If one reads any accounts of castle siege warfare, the feats performed by armor-encased knights abound. A further credit to the spirit of the Warrior, and the virtue of his armor, can be found documented in the mid to late medieval period. It is not unusual to find within the records from this period instances when one knight could stand braced in a doorway or in the breach of a wall and single-handedly hold at bay all but the most determined attacks of the enemy, without being dislodged or harmed. Such are the fruits of good stance, good protection, and diligent training.
To consider the effectiveness of armor historically is one thing, but when compared to the effectiveness and power of the armor we are entreated to wear, historical armor pales in comparison. To get a more accurate picture of the true awesomeness of our Spiritual Armor, I would direct the readers attention not to those situations in which one armored knight fought another, but rather consider the awesome devastation wrought by the armored knight against the UN-armored peasant. This is a much better comparison of the power and effectiveness the enemy sees US wielding in our Spiritual Armor! An armored knight could easily quell an entire village of peasants in rebellion. The peasants had no weapons that could affect the knight, and his actions could be taken with impunity. This, in fact, is closer to the situation the enemy is placed in when the true Christian Warrior pays attention and having learned his lessons well, faces the enemy filled with God’s assurances and acting in faith and obedience.
Even if outnumbered, wounded and borne to the ground, we are entreated to keep up the fight, and having withstood all- yet to STAND! (Eph. 6:13).
Eph. 6:10-18 10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints . . ..
Would you have the strength of character to endure the following situation, and still hold the field:
Ps. 91:2-7 2I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. 3Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. 4He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. 5Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; 6Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. 7A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
A True-Warrior would just be getting started . . . undaunted, unrelenting, with but one thought on his mind: doing the will of the Father!
For the following discussions of our Spiritual Armor, the long established and traditional sequence of arming oneself for combat will take us through our discussion of each piece of armor individually. The reader will find that this process of preparation, while historically accurate, is helpful in remembering the various pieces of armor and the symbology of them individually.
In each of the subsequent chapters, a scripture passage or two will introduce each individual piece of armor. This will be followed by a brief description of the particular piece of armor, how it was constructed and worn, and the typical extent of its protective abilities. Next will be a synopsis of our Spiritual Armor as promised in God’s Word, how it serves to protect us, how we can strengthen each piece, claim its protection, and how developing each piece of armor will fortify our character as a Warrior in God’s army. These points will be borne out by a sample of scriptures which hopefully will render a clear and easily understood grasp of the concepts of the spiritual principles involved. As it may help the reader to have their own bible handy to reference to, all of the pertinent scriptures for the quotes will be stated with their chapter and verse cites for reference. Some of the versions available today may or may not carry as clear a meaning in regards to the purposes of the following chapters, so two versions in particular will be quoted from so as to render the clearest statements.
The two translations, which will be used to draw quotes from, are the King James version, and the New Jerusalem Bible. Passages from the King James version will contain superscripts on each line, while the New Jerusalem quotes will not. This should help clarify for the reader why certain passages may not read exactly the same in their own bible version. The reader is encouraged to follow the references in their own concordances to find more scriptures that may be pertinent to the matter at hand. While the author has done a thorough inclusion of scriptures which address the particular subject of each chapter, the Holy Bible is a remarkable record, and it would take a tome many times larger than this book to completely reference each topic as a study guide. The enclosed quotes should be sufficient to serve as a study of their own, as each quote has been included for a particular reason to make a point clear. This is a MOST IMPORTANT aspect of this book, and the reader is encouraged to take his or her time to slowly read the scripture quotes contained within, and dwell upon them. These quotes, when committed to memory, will serve as a balm for troubled times, and will aid the Warrior in training to develop character and remain strong in the face of opposition. It is God’s Word, and His Promises, which we as His warriors will rely upon. It is His Power and Might, which will become manifested though a careful study and incorporation of the scriptural principles discussed in each of the following chapters.
In the following chapter, chapter six, we will begin our study of the Spiritual Armor with that which is worn on the feet. This is a fitting place to start, as protection for the feet is typically donned first when preparing for combat. This stands in contrast to the typical order of dressing oneself today, as the slacks or pants worn today do not allow the feet to pass through the leg of the garment once the feet are shod--not so for a warrior preparing for combat. During the time of Christ, warriors often wore simple leggings, which could be fastened on the limbs once the feet were shod, and the body was typically covered with a tunic, which could be slipped overhead after the feet were covered. The protection for the feet will be held as symbolically representing our Willingness and Doing to spread the gospel of peace. It was also prudent to arm the feet first so as a speedy escape could be made if ample time to prepare for a general engagement with the enemy was not allowed.
After we look at the protection for the feet and legs, our attention will be directed on an interesting piece of armor, which today is not thought of as armor in the least fashion. Chapter seven will discuss the Belt of Truth as the second piece of armor we will look at. The way it was worn, the purpose it served, and the spiritual principle of truth for a Warrior in the army of God will be our study.
Following this will be a chapter on the Breastplate of Righteousness. The breastplate represents our right action, our rightness. The breastplate is seen by many as the most extensive piece of armor, and rightly so for it typically consists of the greatest amount of overall weight to be borne by the warrior. When following the dictates of right action, it will be shown how acting in such a fashion makes one a shining example.
Chapter nine will elaborate on the Helmet of Salvation. In later periods of history, the helmet was the most elaborate and technically difficult single piece of armor to be made. In comparison, while salvation and God’s plan may be difficult for us to understand, grasping the fundamentals of His grace and our redemption and salvation is very simple. God loves us, and wants all to be saved.
Chapter ten concerns itself with the Shield of Faith. The power of faith, even the size of a mustard seed, stands as good testimony to the protective strength of this piece of armor. The many strengths and powerful warding ability of faith will be examined. It must be borne in mind that even though faith is capable of protecting us from all forms of attacks as thoroughly as a bastion, Faith is effortless to bear.
The last piece of armor to be discussed, in chapter eleven, will be the warriors only listed weapon, ‘the Sword of the Word of God’. Understanding how to wield God’s word to attack the enemy is crucial to the development of a Warrior in God’s army. It is through studying the scriptures that His promises are revealed and understood, and it is by applying these principles that the absolute awesome nature of His protection and assurances can be personally manifested.
Chapter twelve will sum up some of the most important principles of the book, and will contain a few short stories from real life representing how some of the principles contained herein may be used to combat Powers and Principalities, and serve to protect the trained and disciplined Warrior. This chapter is followed by an epilogue containing autobiographical information about me and how I have seen God’s hand orchestrate my life.
Knowledge is a tool that can be fashioned into a weapon, and for this reason, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. With knowledge comes responsibility, the responsibility to use the knowledge one has gained. Make yourself a dangerous weapon in God’s army, and remember not to hide your light! 14Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. 15Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Mt. 5:14- 16. 21But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. Jn 3:21.
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