Welcome to the Workbook page for
for God’s Army
for God’s Army
A workbook and study guide to train and develop the characteristics of the Spiritual Warrior, and develop the understanding of the Armor of God. Feel free to print it off and use it for your own use and edification, or follow along online and use a notebook. (A print off will run about 50 pages, so I encourage you to email me and I will gladly email a copy to you. Then you can work on your own PC, save paper and time. Email author here .) If you want some help or more understanding of where the discussions are intended to run, contact me or acquire a copy of Awaken the Warrior. Get a copy today and learn how to energize your life~! Information on getting a copy can be found on the home page. Home
Training for God’s ArmyA workbook and study guide to train and develop the characteristics of the Spiritual Warrior, and manifest the Armor of God.
Instructions:Those sections noted with a ‘*’ and printed in the larger font are to be read by a volunteer or the presenter. Those notes in parenthesis and in (bold) are for consideration and to direct discussion within the groups and general discussions. Not all of these type notes will be found in the participant workbook. The margin notation ‘AtW #’ followed by a number refers to a specific page containing the subject in the text Awaken the Warrior. NOTE: In working through the material, the workbook sections should be completed before the text sections are read. Candid responses are sought, and in reflecting on the responses after the text is read, new individual insights are hoped to have been instilled. The scripture quotes following questions should be read only after the questions are answered. The participant is encouraged to reflect on the quotes and their relevance to the questions.
Before the Preface and Introduction are read or discussed, an informal roundtable introduction of participants should be done. Each person is encouraged to tell their name, any background information they wish to share, and why they have come or what they hope to learn from the sessions, should be expressed if this has not already been done.
©By Philip Sacco
This material is Copyrighted; all rights are reserved
Have you the courage to embark on the most difficult journey facing any of us today. It will be a journey taking you within yourself to discover what truly lies there. Whether you find a person of Character and Integrity, or not, will be your quest. Whether you decide to develop those parts of your character you may find lacking will be your challenge. To face your fears and take a stand, to develop into your full potential that God has intended, is the ultimate goal.
Are you willing to admit that maybe, just maybe, you are not perfect, that none of us are? While that fact is acceptable, it is not adequate to have that realization alone, and do nothing about it. Are you willing to attempt to resurrect a part of you that has been dormant for far too long? The very world depends on us to individually develop to our fullest capacity. The fulfillment of God’s plan for our lives depends on us acknowledging this need and surrendering to the process.
The material covered within this workbook concerns itself with real issues and real dilemmas faced by us in our daily lives, and how we choose to deal with them. Will we make a positive choice to take action and meet our challenges head on, or will we shirk responsibility out of cowardice or for lack of proper instruction? While these two extremes constitute our choices, our decisions ultimately define what we do, and who we are. Character and integrity are real issues. The Armor of God and Spiritual Warfare are just as real and can be seen as directing much of the affairs of our daily life.
To effectively wage war with the enemy and fulfill God’s plan for us, we need both the full, mature character of the Warrior within us developed to our fullest potential, and we require full training in the use and application of the Armor of God. Without one, the other suffers, and we are vulnerable. "To what?" you may ask . . . "The ravages of Spiritual Warfare" is the answer. Spiritual War is being waged today, and if we are unaware or in denial of it, it could be because we are spiritually uncommitted or have simply taken to the sidelines. It could be that we have blinders on our eyes. We may have come to the realization that Spiritual Warfare is real, but we were afraid to do anything about it for fear of the responsibilities that come with that knowledge. Perhaps we simply do not see our place in this Spiritual War or know how to take a stand. Whatever the circumstances, the time will come when we will be challenged to be accountable, to ourselves, others, and ultimately God, for the choices we make and the lives we live.
With discernment, the Holy Spirit will enlighten the Warrior within you to the realities of this conflict. Maybe you tried at some time in the past and did not continue the training of your spirit. It is time you tried again.
God has given His word. God has given His warnings. God has given you a place in the Army of God. God is calling you to Awaken the Warrior within!
Will you answer the summons? Will you take up the challenge?
This workbook is about hearing the call, accepting it, and then DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT! This is a training manual for character development, spiritual awareness and combat. It is long overdue: the time is at hand!
This workbook is the companion study guide for the book entitled "Awaken the Warrior." The book takes an in-depth look into a basic problem facing us as individuals in our society today. While the character of the Warrior is an integral part of our psyche and spirit, a severe shortcoming is indicated in society, the obscuration and denial of the Warrior. To combat this dilemma, we are required to recognize and develop the heart of the Warrior within our individual nature. The concept of the Warrior being within us all is apparent when we study the scriptures and see that God intends us ALL to put on the Armor He has prepared for us, and thus live a life rich with His assurances and blessings; do not err in thinking that the Warrior is only intended for men to the exclusion of women. God created us in his image and the nature of the Warrior is deeply ingrained within us for a specific purpose: God’s purpose.
The proper development into full maturity as a Christian Warrior requires a two-step process. First, we must come to a better understanding of the internal behavior models that guide our character into full maturity and strive to develop our character to the fullest. Second, we must increase our understanding of the spiritual principals governing the development and exercise of the Armor of God in our life, which empowers us to live the Christian life in the face of adversity.
Due to certain changes in society, there are problems on both of these levels of development. We no longer properly understand the nature and role of the Warrior, and the principles and necessity for our Spiritual Armor goes for the most part neglected. These problems are showing themselves both in difficulties we all struggle with in society, as well as personal developmental problems found in the character makeup of each of us individually.
To reach our goal of completing this process on the individual level, this workbook has been broken down into two parts. Part One-Mettle, will bring us to a better understanding of our perceptions, character and involvement. This information will draw from current understandings of clinical psychology, and will be used to ground us in a full understanding of the character and makings of a well-rounded Warrior for God’s army. Issues dealt with in part one include: 1. The nature of difficulties encountered in life, 2. Identification of the warrior character’s make-up and development, and 3. The deception of appearances, what constitutes Spiritual Warfare.
Once this foundation is laid, Part Two-Metal, takes us forward into understanding God’s provisions for us thru the Armor of God, what it consists of and how to manifest it in our life. This information is very straightforward and describes the armor both from a functional and historic perspective in comparison to the scriptural description of each piece and its spiritual use. Part two is broken down into: 1. Making a Stand- Heels and Hose; 2. Buckling down- Belt of Truth; 3. The Right Way- Breastplate of Righteousness; 4. Head and Shoulders- Helmet of Salvation; 5. Before and Behind-the Shield of Faith; 6. Taking an Edge-the Sword of the Spirit. In closing, the subject for the final section will be an examination of the spiritual preparedness of the individual~ Accolades.
We are all involved in a Spiritual War, although most of us do not want to recognize or acknowledge the fact. This is an instance when ignorance is not bliss, but rather ignorance can kill us all. Jesus warns of sitting on the fence. To Him, you are either on His side, or AGAINST HIM. He wants us all to lay claim to His guarantees, and ‘FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT!’
Fight the good fight of Faith and win the eternal life to which you are called and which you made your noble profession of faith before many witnesses. (1 Tim. 6:12)
Part One- METTLE
Comments or Questions on the Preface and Introduction?
So . . . what is ‘Mettle’?
(This is an open group discussion. Webster’s defines mettle as a quality of character or temperament; esp., high quality of character; spirit; courage; ardor; roused or prepared to do one’s best.)
Topic One- Perceptions(AtW 1-15)
(This topic will be handled in three sections: World views, the Bible and God, and Warfare. Each section will include an introduction to the subject matter, followed by personal reflection, and group discussion. The exercises are intended to lead to certain revelations that are then compared to personal views and possibly integrated into new thought or perceptions. Each group will be asked to select a spokesman to respond for the group on certain questions, and individuals will be prompted to offer their own responses on other questions. )
Section I~ World Views
A) What are some of the problems you see troubling society today?
B) Do you think there is a direct solution to the problems as you see them? (Yes, No)
C) 1. Do you think the problems you have described in ‘A’ are symptoms of a greater problem?(Yes, No)
2. If so, can you give a name to, or describe the greater problem? (Yes, No)…if yes, please do~
Pr 6:16-19These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
Pr 28:9 He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.
Ga 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envying, murders, drunkenness, reveling, and such like:
3. Are the problems facing society today of a physical sort, the consequences of our society, or would you say they indicate a spiritual dilemma?
Ep 6:1212For 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.
D) Do you blame God for the problems you may have noted above? (Yes, No)
Job 2:77So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.AtW 10
*Reflect on the days of your adolescence or young adulthood. Compare today’s news and society with
your memory of that time. Have the very principles and structure of society not changed since then? How would you compare the society of today to that of a generation ago? Societal turmoil, confusion, and moral decay are major concerns today. How many recognize the principles of our Founding Fathers in America today? Can a God-fearing society be made up of godless and wanton, unscrupulous individuals? Do the events reported in the daily news indicate something is terribly wrong? Think of the moral values of our public figures. Are there any good role models among them? All indications are there is a war going on in society today; a war unlike any we in recent history have documented or learned to cope with. We are all involved in a Spiritual War, though most do not want to recognize or acknowledge the fact. AtW xvii
In general, the problems we encounter in life may be summed up as beginning on an individual level with the compromise of moral values and principles: then, these problems are reflected in our family unit, and influencing our community, society, nation, and ultimately the world scope. To combat this deterioration, treating the disease rather than the symptoms will be a cure. The next topic, The Forge, will develop this concept.*
(In conclusion, a short general discussion of the greater problems should be developed. Such things as the relation of God to world events and our personal responsibility should be entertained.)
Section II~ The Bible and God
*The very nature of God seems to have changed a great deal when the Old and New Testaments are compared. However, when seen from the perspective of God’s plan, His nature is unchanging and easily recognized. We have been created in the image of God so as to enable us to better recognize Him in truths, virtues, and character both in ourselves as well as those around us. However, a fundamental character of God is often overlooked, downplayed or ignored. This fundamental character with its attendant characteristics, is instilled in us as well. With this mis-understanding of our makeup, we cannot recognize nor live the fully empowered life God designs for us.*
A) Have you ever doubted the existence of God? (Yes, No) Why?
B) Do you believe in God, and if so- how have you come to believe in God? If not, why not?
C) If you were to be going away for a long time, and you wanted your heirs to remember you, what would you do?
D) If a King were to return to his kingdom long after leaving, say, no one alive personally knew him when he left, how could his heirs know him?
E) Can you see how the Bible is left for us to fulfill the above conditions? (Yes, No)
F) We know God by many different names. Yahweh, Emmanuel, and God are but three examples. By what other names have you heard God referred to, meaning strictly pronouns?
G) How about other descriptive nouns or phrases that have been used to describe God?
H) Does the nature of God change? (Yes, or No) Does God reveal His character to us so that we may learn from Him and emulate His ways? (Yes, No)
I) What were the Jews looking for in the Messiah so as to recognize him?
J) Why didn’t the Jews recognize him?
*While Jesus presents the characteristics of the Warrior, He came packaged differently than what the perception of the Messiah was. As we shall see, a Warrior has two aspects: the ‘Man-of-Peace’, and the ‘Man-of-War’. How we may ‘see’ or understand a Warrior has a lot to do with the situation we see him in, and whether we are associated with him. God imparted into each of us this very makeup by which we are to recognize Him. Without knowledge and understanding of the Warrior, we may commit the same error as the Jews in not recognizing the Warrior traits as such, and thereby fail to recognize or accept these traits in ourselves, or in the Messiah upon His return.*
K) As Christians, we acknowledge the arrival of the Messiah and look for his return. How is Christ in his return described for us?
Rv 19:11-16And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
*God tells us He is a Warrior in many different ways, and is identified as such by many of the prophets. One of the first such references can be found in Exodus 15:3- ‘Yahweh is a warrior; Yahweh is his name.’ Along with simply being identified in this fashion, Yahweh shows this aspect of His character in His ability to wage war with the best of tactics. King David’s troop dispositions and tactical implementations were directed by God on many occasions. 2 Samuel has a good example of this . . . 2 S 5:22-24- ‘Again the Philistines invaded and deployed in the Valley of the Rephaim. David consulted Yahweh, who replied, ‘Do not attack them from the front; go round to their rear and engage them opposite the balsam trees. When you hear the sound of footsteps in the tops of the balsam trees, advance for that will be Yahweh going out ahead of you to defeat the Philistine army.’ Circling behind your opponent and attacking them from the rear is a well-established and proven military tactic to bring victory. While there are many such references in the scriptures, they are typically not stressed. The lesser known prophets have many excellent examples describing this aspect of God’s nature. In particular Habakkuk and Zephaniah. Example~
Habakkuk 3:8-9, 11, 13-15- ‘Yahweh, are you enraged with the rivers, are you angry with the sea, that you should mount your chargers, your rescuing chariots? You uncover your bow, and give the string its fill of arrows. Sun and moon stay inside their dwellings, they flee at the light of your arrows, at the flash of your lightning-spear. You marched to save your people. . . with your shafts you pierced the leader of his warriors who stormed out with shouts of joy to scatter us, as if they meant to devour some poor wretch in their lair. With your horses you trampled through the sea, through the surging abyss!’
The prophet Zephaniah recants the ‘Day of Yahweh’ and its description is full of war analogies, and the character of God is again described as that of a Warrior:
Zp 1: 14-18- ‘The great Day of Yahweh is near, near, and coming with great speed. How bitter the sound of the Day of Yahweh, the Day when the warrior shouts his cry of war. That Day is a day of retribution, a day of distress and tribulation, a day of ruin and of devastation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of cloud and thick fog, a day of trumpet blast and battle cry against fortified town and high corner-tower. I shall bring such distress on humanity that they will grope their way like the blind for having sinned against Yahweh. Their blood will be poured out like mud, yes, their corpses like dung; nor will their silver or gold be able to save them. On the Day of Yahweh's anger, by the fire of his jealousy, the whole earth will be consumed. For he will destroy, yes, annihilate everyone living on earth.’
Zp 3:17 ‘Yahweh your God is there with you, the warrior-Saviour.’ (This foreshadows the coming of Jesus, our Saviour, and relates to him as a warrior as well.)*
*Question or comments about the above section~
L) 1. If you want to learn to play tennis, to whom would one turn?
2. If you wanted to learn to be a racecar driver, or if you wanted to become a scientist?
3. The fact is, if we want to learn a profession or skill, to whom would we turn?
4. With this in mind, to whom would one turn to learn the art of war?
*The Psalms are full of references to this nature of God, and one in particular is found in Ps. 144:1-2- ‘Blessed be Yahweh, my rock, who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle, my faithful love, my bastion, my citadel, my Saviour; I shelter behind him, my shield, he makes the peoples submit to me.’ God is obviously a good teacher to instruct us on being a Warrior!*
M) 1. Have you ever been exposed to or thought of God in this way? (Yes, No).
2. Does this depiction of God make sense to you? (Yes, No)
3.Do you find this representation of God unsettling or disturbing? (Explain~)
4. Refer to questions F-K above, did you respond as seeing God this way, and do you understand the Man-of-Peace, Man-of-War dichotomy?
*The full aspect of the Warrior’s character as represented by Jesus will be the focus of Topic Two- The Forge. In the space below, record any revelations or comments on the presented material or any personal answers you found interesting~*
Section III~ Warfare
*Group discussion: Understanding the essentials~ In order to fight and win a war, what do you need to know?
A) Do you see a difference between being a religious, or a spiritual person? (Yes, No) Would you define yourself as either? (Yes, No)
B) Have you ever had an experience that had such an impact on your life you find it difficult to express it adequately to others? (Yes, No) What comes to mind?
Rm 5:3-5Not only that; let us exult, too, in our hardships, understanding that hardship develop perseverance, and perseverance develops a tested character, something that gives us hope, and a hope which will not let us down . . . AtW 12
C) Have you ever had an experience that others find difficult or impossible to believe? (Yes, No)
Acts 5:17-2617Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation, 18And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison. 19But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth . . .
D) If you have had an experience such as one above, do you still attempt to convey it to others? (Yes, No) Why or Why not~
(Small group discussion on the above experiences should be engaged in at this point~ group leaders may be called on to make comments. Bring out the distinction between being spiritual and religious, mindset, and how experiences change us, and our perspectives. Generally, religion is intended to bring us into relation with God, making us spiritual.)
E) Do you ever feel alone no matter how many people are around you? (Yes, No) Why do you think that is?
Jn 15:18If the world hates you, you must realize that it hated me before it hated you. If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you do not belong to the world, because my choice of you has drawn you out of the world, that is why the world hates you.
F) 1. Have you ever felt ‘Defeated’? (Yes, No) If yes, describe the experience~ (AtW 8) (it is only when we admit defeat that we are truly defeated. As long as we have the spirit to fight on, we are not defeated and have available to us the limitless possibilities God can afford us.)
2. Would you say you live a defeated life? (Yes, No) Explain~
Ezk 18:31-32 31Shake off all the crimes you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why die, House of Israel? 32I take no pleasure in the death of anyone-declares the Lord Yahweh-so repent and live! AtW 11
G) 1. Have you ever felt ‘Victorious’? (Yes, No) If yes, describe the experience~
Dt 20:4 Yahweh your God is marching with you, to fight your enemies for you and make you victorious.
2. Would you say you live a victorious life? (Yes, No) Explain~
Jn 16:3333These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. AtW 12
1 Co 15:57 57But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. AtW 13
H) 1. Do you believe we are involved in Spiritual Warfare? (Yes, No)
Ep 6:1212For 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.
2. Can you describe a situation in which you felt spiritual conflict around you?
3. Does this experience, or one like it, have any bearing on the answers to any of the questions above in this section? (B-H) (Yes, No)
Ep 6:1212For 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. AtW 8
2 Ch 20:15 15Thus saith the LORD unto you, ‘Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.’ AtW 13
I) How are we to recognize our enemy?
Mt 25:41Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
Ga 2:4 4And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage… AtW 10
Jn 10:10 10The thief (Satan) cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. . . AtW 11
2 Co 11:14 14…Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. AtW 13
2 Th 2:4 4the Enemy, who raises himself above every so-called god or object of worship to enthrone himself in God’s sanctuary and flaunts the claim that he is God. AtW 13
Jn 8:44 He was a murderer from the start; he was never grounded in the truth; there is no truth in him at all. When he lies he is speaking true to his nature, because he is a liar, and the father of lies. AtW 14
J) 1.Do you see a general acceptance of Spiritual Warfare among people today? (Yes, No)
2. Why or why not do you think this is?
*Group discussion: The thought of Spiritual Warfare as a reality is a controversial topic, even among Christians. Exchange and express views, comments or opinions on the above material, or experiences, bearing in mind the essentials one needs to know to fight and win a war as discussed earlier.
Topic Two- The Forge (AtW 16-49)
Section I~ Archetypes
*Group discussion: How do you define character? What makes us ‘a person of character’?
A) 1. Would you say you have masculine and feminine traits? (Yes, No)
2. Describe those masculine and feminine traits you feel you have~
3. Would you change this? (Yes, No) Why or why not?
4. What makes us distinguish what is ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’?
5. Name one person you know that has a character or pattern of behavior you can easily identify using one word. You may not want to write their name down, but do describe their character in one word, and what type of behavior this would represent. Example- a Wizard: magically does things which are observationally unexplainable.
B) *Many noted psychiatrists have presented that we as individuals have a set of behavior models within us by design. These models are known as ‘archetypes’- meaning the original form or model. The book "Awaken the Warrior" touches on four of the predominant ones: The Magician, The King/Queen, The Lover, and The Warrior. An archetype is a term used to describe a set of characteristics easily imagined using one descriptive pronoun to sum up the traits. Think of them as our internal hardwiring. Just as we children as we develop towards mature adulthood, each of these character models develops first thru an adolescent state, then a mature state.
The diagram below shows how we develop the various aspects of character within as we mature.*
Adolescent Development Forms become Developed Adolescent leads to Immature Adult becomes Adult form
the Trickster-loud mouthed con-artist the Manipulator
withholds knowledge, cruel nature
the Precocious Child Magician
(AtW 40-41) (AtW 41-42)
wants to learn, what and why, adventurous impulses understands technology,
and curiosity commands wisdom
the Dummy-slow learning dull wit the Innocent One
friendless, mostly a put on denies responsibility
Adolescent Development Forms become Developed Adolescent leads to Immature Adult becomes Adult form
the High Chair Tyrant the Tyrant
never satisfied, center of attention, aloof, destructive and rules to serve their own interests
arrogant, lack of responsibility, childish self pre-occupied, disregards all others
the Divine Child the King
Love and enthusiasm of life, center of the world, helps and directs all
sense of well being, joy and peace others to their best, accessible, creates order
(AtW 42) and prosperity (AtW 42-43)
the Weakling Prince the Weakling
whiner/complainer to get way, recluse won’t muster what is needed
plays the helpless victim, belittles notes injustice and sits idly by
the Mama’s Boy/Daddy’s Girl the Addict
strong attachment to a mentally ideal mother excessive must have orgasmic release, stuck on
sexual self-gratification, strives for unattainable relationships hedonistic delight, simple sensuousness
the Oedipal Child(AtW 43) the Lover(AtW44)
highly connected at a deep level, displays a sensual relationship with our spiritual sense of identity everything touched, physically shameless
accepts pleasure for what it is
the Dreamer the Impotent Lover
excludes interpersonal relationships, relates lacks the ability to derive any pleasure
to inanimate objects, lost in thoughts and imagination
Comments on the above:
the Grandstander Bully the Sadist
believes world revolves around him, lone wolf relishes inflicting pain on others
chance taker often harming those around him, chance taker unable to construct for the good of others
out to conquer and demean all things feminine
the Hero (AtW 45-47) the Warrior(AtW47-48)
doesn’t know mortality, rises to the occasion weighs each situation, evaluates when least expected, traditionally dies for his cause action required, that which he
Death of the Hero is essential for birth of the Warrior destroys leads to new development,
Aggressive, our Initiator
the Coward the Masochist
doesn’t recognize his own worth, or live up to it relishes having pain inflicted upon himself
won’t stand up for himself unable to construct for the good of others
The above information is from King, Magician, Warrior, Lover by Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette, Harper San Francisco, 1991.
1. Can you see how various character traits may be grouped and defined as an archetype? (Yes, No)
2. a. Can we as people effectively deal with our problems alone? (Yes, No)
b. Ep 4:25 ". . . we are all parts of one another." AtW 16. Do you feel this scripture may be pertinent to why this is?
3. Do you believe that we as individuals have one set of ideal characteristics to work toward developing, or are we all a composite of different characteristic traits?(Yes, No)
4. Has the change in the traditional role of men and women in our society affected you, if so, in what ways?
5. What troubles do you as a family face?
6. a. What about personal troubles, what concerns you the most?
b. Are they the same concerns as those you are dealing with as a family unit?
*It is said that Hindsight is perfect, or that if we knew in the past what we know today, we would not have made certain mistakes. Reflect on a situation or an individual you could consider the enemy. Let us assume you have the ability to time travel into the past. Knowing the strengths or the ability of your enemy, can you think of any way in which you could neutralize this enemy? Consider that your enemy has this ability to time travel, can you think of one specific way in which a change may have been affected to neutralize you?*
7. Would you define our society as patronizing or patriarchal? (Yes, No)
8. Have you ever participated in an initiation ritual? How would you define the role initiation rituals play in our society?
1 Co 6:19Do you not realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, Who is in you and Whom you received from God? AtW 33
Rm 12:1I urge you, then, brothers, remembering the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, dedicated and acceptable to God . AtW 34
Ps 51:1010Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. AtW 35
9. a. Do you think the ‘Equality Movement’ for women has been founded on a valid issue? (Yes, No) Do you think the ‘Movement’ has been beneficial to women? . . . Society? (Yes, No)
b. Are Equality and Sameness the same issue, and is this what the Equality Movement is addressing?
Rm 13:11-14Besides, you know the time has come; the moment is here for you to stop sleeping and wake up, because by now our salvation in nearer than when we first began to believe. The night is nearly over, daylight is on the way; so let us throw off everything that belongs to the darkness and equip us for the light. Let us live decently, as in the light of day; with no orgies or drunkenness, no promiscuity or licentiousness, and no wrangling or jealousy. Let our armor be the Lord Jesus Christ, and stop worrying about how your disordered natural inclinations may be fulfilled. AtW 22
1 Co 15:34 Wake up from your stupor as you should and leave sin alone; some of you have no understanding of God; I tell you this to instill some shame in you. AtW 23
Ep 5:16 Make the best of the present time, for it is a wicked age. This is why you must not be thoughtless but must recognize what is the will of the Lord. AtW 23
*Fun with identifying archetypes in ourselves and others . . .
People generally fall into four categories in how they approach life and what they hope to accomplish. Those wanting a sense of power, those wanting to help others, those wanting to invent something, and those wanting to effect change. Each approach says a lot about the individual. Which best sums you up?
1. What form of accomplishment do you hope to achieve in your life? (AtW page 82.)
*The four approaches listed above are best defined as the Ruler, the Lover, the Magician and the Warrior. Which are you?
2. Why do you think it is that some people never seem to grow up, or get it right. . .?
3.a. What are some of the side effects that are represented in the life of an immature person?
b. Do you have any of these red flags?
*Discussion: Has the idea of defining your characteristics using behavior models, or archetypes to describe them, made it easier to define any areas of your own character that may be lacking? (Yes, No) If so, in what way?*
Judges 5 Deborah
Section Two~ The Hammer-Character(AtW 49-86)
*Character cannot be taught. It must be developed in practice by the choices and decisions we make and the actions we practice.*
Col 3:12-17As the chosen of God, then, the holy people whom he loves, you are to be clothed in heartfelt compassion, in generosity and humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another; Forgive each other if one of you has a complaint against another. The Lord has forgiven you; Now you must do the same. Over all these clothes, put on love, the perfect bond. And may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts, because it is for this that you were called together in one body. Always be thankful.
Let the Word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you. Teach each other, and advise each other, in all wisdom. With gratitude in your hearts sing psalms and hymns and inspired songs to God; and whatever you say or do, let it be in the name of the Lord Jesus, in thanksgiving to God the Father through him. AtW 55
Mk 16:16-18 proclaim the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. These are the signs that will be associated with believers: in my name they will cast out devils; they will have the gift of tongues; they will pick up snakes in their hands and be unharmed should they drink deadly poison; they will lay their hands on the sick, who will recover. AtW 55
A. Exercise~ Let’s get imaginative, relax and mentally create a Warrior in our mind-
1. Is a Warrior an AUTHORITY FIGURE? (Yes, No) Do you see the image of a person you would listen to in times of crisis? (Yes, No) Does your mental image of a Warrior bring to your mind a person you would follow if so directed, or take orders from? (Yes, No) AtW 49
2. Is this a person you would trust? (Yes, No) Is this someone you would entrust your possessions with? (Yes, No) Is this someone you would entrust with the welfare and safety of your family? (Yes, No) Would you feel comfortable knowing you would be home alone with the Warrior? (Yes, No) AtW 50
3. Do you see this Warrior as a threat? (Yes, No) If you were in close contact, would this presence evoke fear in you? (Yes, No) On the contrary, would you feel safe in your Warrior’s presence? (Yes, No) With this Warrior’s immediate presence, would you feel uncomfortable, or protected? (Yes, No) Would the fact of having this Warrior present, in itself intone to you that you were in imminent danger? (Yes, No) Do you fear the Warrior’s presence, or is it something else? AtW 50
4. Does this person embody a destructive force? Would acts of wanton violence be in character for this Warrior, or does the Warrior embody controlled or focused violence? AtW 50
5. Bearing in mind I have purposely not applied a gender to the Warrior, have you? Is your Warrior a Male, Female, the same sex as yourself, or of the opposite sex? Can you describe any particular reason for the gender you have applied to the image? AtW 50
B. The Character of the Warrior: now that we have a better picture of the Warrior in our mind, just how would we describe his character?
1. How would you describe the character of a Warrior?
2. List some of the characteristics you would attribute to a Warrior.
3. Do you relate to any of these characteristics?
Jm 1:19-27Remember this, my dear brothers: everyone should be quick to listen but slow to speak and slow to human anger; God’s saving justice is never served by human anger; so do away with all impurities and remnants of evil. Humbly welcome the Word, which has been planted in you and can save your souls.
But you must do what the Word tells you and not just listen to it and deceive yourselves. Anyone who listens to the Word and takes no action is like someone who looks at his own features in a mirror and, once he has seen what he looks like, goes off and immediately forgets it. But anyone who looks steadily at the perfect law of freedom and keeps to it—not listening and forgetting, but putting it into practice—will be blessed in every undertaking.
Nobody who fails to keep a tight rein on the tongue can claim to be religious; this is mere self-deception; that person’s religion is worthless. Pure, unsoiled religion, in the eyes of God our Father, is this: coming to the help of orphans and widows in their hardships, and keeping oneself uncontaminated by the world. AtW 58
Devotion: A Warrior always shows devotion to a cause greater than his own and follows a leader for a higher ideal than self gain.
Ps 119:3838Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear. AtW 60
Mt 26:39 My Father, He said, if it is possible, let this cup pass me by. Nevertheless, let it be as You, not I, would have it. AtW 61
Justice: Justice is true and impartial. True Justice is never heavy handed.
Ps 37:30-31Wisdom comes from the lips of the upright, and his tongue speaks what is right; the Law of his God is in his heart, his foot will never slip. AtW 61
Ps 82:3-4 3Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. 4Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked. AtW 62
Compassionate: Compassion is to be shown to the fallen foe as well as the fallen comrades. This additionally shows a noble spirit. We are commanded to pray for our enemies.
1 P 3:8-98Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: 9Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. AtW 63
Merciful: None of us deserve the mercy shown us by God, so by example we are to Always show mercy in our dealings with others.
Ps 89:14Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face. AtW 64
Displays or Acts Right: Righteousness is the metal of our breastplate. Our actions define our character.
Pr 10:22Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death. AtW 65
Pr 21:21-22 21He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honor. 22A wise man scaleth the city of the mighty, and casteth down the strength of the confidence thereof. AtW 65
Nobility: It is thru noble actions we raise up the spirits of others and become leaders. Who and How we follow determines who and how we will be followed.
Rm 8:14-16For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God . . . AtW 66
Courage/Fearlessness: False Expectations Appearing Real 1 John 4:18 In love there is no room for fear, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear implies punishment and whoever is afraid has not come to perfection in love. AtW 67
Dt 31:6 6Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. AtW 68
Jos 1:9 9Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. AtW 68
Ps 31:24 24Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD. AtW 68
Trustworthiness: Showing worthiness in small things will allow us to be given charge over greater things. Truth constitutes our belt of protection.
Ex 18:21Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens . . . AtW 70
Jos 24:14 14Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth . . . AtW 70
Selfless: A Warrior is resigned that he has already paid the full price. His goal is the greater good.
Ga 5:24 All who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified self with all its passions and its desires. AtW 71
Rv 12:12 because even in the face of death they did not cling to life. AtW 71
Disciplined: To show Self restraint or control of ones self is to display the greatest of discipline.
Pr 10:17Whoever abides by discipline, walks towards life, whoever ignores correction goes astray. AtW 73
Job 36:5-7, 10-11Behold, God is mighty, and despiseth not any; he is mighty in strength and wisdom. He preserveth not the life of the wicked; but giveth right to the poor. He withdraweth not his eyes from the righteous: He openeth also their ear to discipline, and commandeth that they return from iniquity. If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures. AtW 73
Humble: We have heard that Pride goeth before a fall. Humility is another form of restraint. It also serves to keep us mindful of our rightful judgement.
Pr 15:3333The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility. AtW 75
1 P 5:5-115In the same way, younger people, be subject to the elders. Humility towards one another must be the garment you all wear constantly, because God opposed the proud but accords his favor to the humble. 6Bow down, then, before the power of God now, so that he may raise you up in due time; 7unload all you burden onto Him, since he is concerned about you. 8Keep sober and alert, because your enemy the devil is on the prowl like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 9Stand up to him, strong in faith and in the knowledge that it is the same kind of suffering that the community of your brothers throughout the world is undergoing. You will have to suffer only for a little while: 10the God of all grace who called you to eternal glory in Christ will restore you, he will confirm, strengthen and support you. 11His power lasts forever and ever. Amen. AtW 75
Willing and Able to Act: The path to Hell is paved with good intentions. If we never act on our word, we are known to be all talk. We must talk the walk and walk the talk. Faith without works is dead. Acting on our volition helps to constitute the armor of our feet and legs.
Jm 1:22-25But you must do what the Word tells you and not just listen to it and deceive yourselves. Anyone who listens to the Word and takes no action is like someone who looks at his own features in a mirror and, once he has seen what he looks like, goes off and immediately forgets it. But anyone who looks steadily at the perfect law of freedom and keeps to it-not listening and forgetting, but putting it into practice-will be blessed in every undertaking. AtW 76
2 Ch 20:32 32And he walked in the way of Asa his father, and departed not from it, doing that which was right in the sight of the LORD. AtW 77
Strong: The strength of the warrior is not just physical. He is strong in character. This allows him to make the tough choices, and act in the Spirit, not just the flesh.
Ps 37:23-24 Yahweh guides a strong man’s steps and keeps them firm; and takes pleasure in him. When he trips he is not thrown sprawling, since Yahweh supports him by the hand. AtW 78
Dt 31:5-6 5And the LORD shall give them up before your face, that ye may do unto them according unto all the commandments which I have commanded you. 6Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. AtW 78
Jos 10:24-25 and said unto the captains of the men of war which went with him, Come near, put your feet upon the necks of these kings. And they came near, and put their feet upon the necks of them. 25And Joshua said unto them, Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage: for thus shall the LORD do to all your enemies against whom ye fight. AtW 78
1 Co 16:13-14 13Be vigilant, stay firm in the faith, be brave and strong. 14Let everything you do be done in love. AtW 78
Is 40:29-31 29He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. 30Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: 31But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. AtW 79
Dogged/Persistent: Few things can be as daunting to the enemy as a dogged adversary.
Heb 12:6-7Perseverance is part of your training; God is treating you as his sons. Has there ever been any son whose father did not train him? AtW 80
Discernment and Wisdom: Good training is seen exemplified in these two traits. Knowing when to fight, how to fight and just as importantly, when to not engage the enemy.
Pr 2:6-76For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. 7He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. AtW 81
Ecc 9:15-18 15Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man. 16Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard. 17The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools. 18Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroyeth much good. AtW 81
*Hopefully everyone has a clear picture of the Warriors character at this point. Read the following scriptures and see how many character traits we have discussed you can find~*
Proverbs: Chapter 3 1My son, forget not my law ; but let thine heart keep my commandments: 2For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. 3Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart 4So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man. 5Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
7Be not wise in thine own eyes; hear the LORD, and depart from evil. 8It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. 9Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: 10So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine. 11My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: 12For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
13Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding . 14For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. 15She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. 16Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour. 17Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. 18She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her. 19The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. 20By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.
21My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: 22So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck. 23Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble. 24When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet. 25Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. 26For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.
27Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. 28Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee. 29Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee. 30Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm. 31Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways. 32For the froward is abomination to the LORD: but his secret is with the righteous. 33The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just. 34Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly. 35The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools." AtW 82
Proverbs: Chapter 4 1Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. 2For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. 3For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. 4He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live. 5Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. 6Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. 7Wisdom is the principle thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. 8Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. 9She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee. 10Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many. 11I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths. 12When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble. 13Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life…20My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. 21Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. 22For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. 23Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. 24Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. 25Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. 26Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. 27Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil. AtW 84
Discussion: new insights, comments, questions~
Section comments and insights:
James 1:19-27Remember this, my dear brothers: everyone should be quick to listen but slow to speak and slow to human anger; God’s saving justice is never served by human anger; so do away with all impurities and remnants of evil. Humbly welcome the Word, which has been planted in you and can save your souls.
But you must do what the word tells you and not just listen to it and deceive yourselves. Anyone who listens to the Word and takes no action is like someone who looks at his own features in a mirror and, once he has seen what he looks like, goes off and immediately forgets it. But anyone who looks steadily at the perfect law of freedom and keeps to it—not listening and forgetting, but putting it into practice—will be blessed in every undertaking.
Nobody who fails to keep a tight rein on the tongue can claim to be religious; this is mere self-deception; that person’s religion is worthless. Pure, unsoiled religion, in the eyes of God our Father, is this: coming to the help of orphans and widows in their hardships, and keeping oneself uncontaminated by the world. AtW 84
2 Co 6:3-10We avoid putting obstacles in anyone’s way, so that no blame may attach to our work of service; but in everything we prove ourselves authentic servants of God; by resolute perseverance in times of hardships, difficulties and distress; when we are flogged or sent to prison or mobbed; laboring, sleepless, starving; in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness; in the Holy Spirit, in a love of affectation; in the work of truth and in the power of God; by using the weapons of uprightness for attack and for defense: in times of honor or disgrace, blame or praise, taken for impostors and yet we are genuine; unknown and yet we are acknowledged; dying, and yet here we are, alive; scourged but not executed; in pain yet always full of joy; poor and yet making many people rich; having nothing, yet owning everything. AtW 85
Section III~ The Anvil-Standards, Awards and Appearances(AtW 87-100)
1. Where is God’s Kingdom as described by Christ?
2.a. Do we reside in God’s Kingdom on Earth?
b. If we are children of the King, and heirs to the Kingdom, what can we expect when we raise His banner in another Kingdom?
3. What does the phrase ‘to raise standards’ bring to your mind? In this sense, how do you define a ‘standard’?
4. What standard do you see as needing to be raised today?
Is 49:2222Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders. AtW 92
Jr 51:27 27Set ye up a standard in the land, blow the trumpet among the nations, prepare the nations against her, call together against her the kingdoms… AtW 96
Is 59:19 When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. AtW 96
Nb 2:17 …every man in his place by their standards. AtW 96
5. In defining moral standards, values, or aspects of character, to whom or where do you turn for examples?
6. Do you see the elements of our society truthfully depicted in the news?
7. Do you consider yourself to be a good judge of people upon meeting them? (Yes, No) How about after you think you have gotten to know them?
8. Are things always as they appear? (No) Why or Why not do you believe so?
Rv 13:11…the second beast will issue from the EARTH… AtW 98
Rv 13:16-18 16And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 18Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. AtW 99
Mk 8:17-18 Do you still not understand, still not realize? Are your minds closed? Have you eyes and do not see, ears and do not hear? AtW 100
Dt 11:16 16Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them… AtW 100
Lk 21:8 8And he said, ‘Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, ‘I am Christ;’ and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.’ AtW 100
9. Do you believe God has promised awards for our specific actions? (Yes, No) Describe them if so~
Ps 58:11The upright does have a reward; there is a God to dispense justice on earth. AtW 89
Mt 6:4 and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you. AtW 89
Mt 10:41 Anyone who welcomes a prophet because he is a prophet will have a prophet’s reward; and anyone who welcomes an upright person because he is upright will have the reward of an upright person. AtW 89
Mt 16:27 For the Son of man is going to come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he will reward each one according to his behavior. AtW 89
Ep 6:8 Never forget that everyone, whether a slave or a free man, will be rewarded by the Lord for whatever work he has done well. AtW 89
Rom. 6:20-23 When you were the servants of sin, you felt no obligation to uprightness, and what did you gain from living like that? But, now you are set free from sin and bound to the service of God, your gain will be sanctification and the end will be eternal life. For the wage paid by sin is death; the gift freely given by God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.AtW 89
10. God has promised the faithful Seven Crowns of Glory for their service. Have you ever heard of them before? (Yes, No)
Is 35:10For those whom Yahweh has ransomed will return, they will come to Zion shouting for you, their heads Crowned with Joy unending. AtW 90
Ps 8:5 . . . you have Crowned him with Glory and Honor. AtW 90
1 P 5:4 When the chief shepherd appears, you will be given the unfading Crown of Glory. AtW 91
Pr 14:18 The prudent are Crowned with Knowledge. AtW 90
2 Tm 4:8 I have fought the good fight to the end; I have run the race to the finish; I have kept the faith; all there is to come for me now is the Crown of Righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that Day; and not only to me but to all those who have longed for his appearing. AtW 90
Jm 1:12 Blessed is anyone who perseveres when trials come. Such a person is of proven worth and will win the Prize of Life, the Crown that the Lord has promised to those who love him. AtW 91
Rv 2:10 Even if you have to die, keep faithful, and I will give you the Crown of Life for your prize. AtW 91
Rv 3:11 I am coming soon, hold firmly to what you already have, and let no one take your Victor’s Crown away from you. AtW 91
Rv 6:2 …he was given a Victor’s Crown and he went away, to go from victory to victory. AtW 91
Group sharing and questions on the above sections~ insights gained, new thoughts on old issues, etc.
Part Two- METAL (AtW 101-113)
*Introduction: Every piece of armor is made up by and of God himself. In promoting the peace of the Lord, we are spreading His message and this itself constitutes our armor for our feet and legs. He empowers our willingness and execution thru doing. Just as the actions of Christ exemplify the character of the Warrior as an example for us, He also showed how the armor is manifested by our actions and heart. In each section, we are encouraged to think of examples of actions Christ took and how His character so portrayed represents the armor we are to likewise wear by similar action.*
Rm 13:14Let your armor be the Lord Jesus Christ, and stop worrying about how your natural inclinations may be fulfilled.
One~ Making a Stand-Heels and Hose(AtW 114-128)
*We are told in the scriptures to shod our feet with the willingness to spread the gospel of Peace. Does this mean anything to you? How does this work in your thinking? Ep 6:13, 15 Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand…And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace . . .
1. Not having used or seen this type of armor before, what would you say are some of the design traits that would make for effective armor for the legs and feet?
2. Can you think of any particular benefits or traits or hindrances gained from wearing this armor?
Ps 91:2-72I 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 . . . 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. AtW 110
Ps 18: 35-38 …you never cease to listen to me, you give me the strides of a giant, give me ankles that never weaken. I pursue my enemies and overtake them, not turning back till they are annihilated; I strike them down and they cannot rise, they fall, they are under my feet. AtW 114
Ps 28:3 Do not drag me away with the wicked, with evildoers… AtW 117
Rm 14:19 So then, let us be always seeking the ways which lead to peace and the ways in which we can support one another. AtW 117
Ps 40:2 He pulled me up from the seething chasm, from the mud of the mire. He set my feet on rock, and made my footsteps firm. AtW 118
Ps 141:8-10 To you, Yahweh, I turn my eyes, in you I take refuge, do not leave me unprotected. Save me from the traps that are set for me, the snares of evildoers. Let the wicked fall each into his own net, while I pass on my way. AtW 118
Ps 29:11 11The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace. AtW 121
Ps 18:33-34, 36 …who makes me as swift as a deer and sets me firmly on the heights, who trains my hands for battle, my arms to bend a bow of bronze…you give me the strides of a giant, give me ankles that never weaken. AtW 122
Ps 143:10 Rescue me from my enemies, Yahweh, since in you I find protection. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your generous spirit lead me on even ground. AtW 122
Ps 116:7-8 My heart, be at peace once again, for Yahweh has treated you generously. He has rescued me from death, my eyes from tears, and my feet from stumbling. AtW 122
Ps 91:10-13 No disaster can overtake you, no plague come near your tent; He has given his angels orders about you to guard you wherever you go. They will carry you in their arms in case you trip over a stone. You will walk upon wild beast and adder, you will trample young lions and snakes. AtW 123
Ps 141:9-10 Save me from the traps that are set for me, the snares of evildoers. Let the wicked fall each into his own net, while I pass on my way. AtW 123
Ps 40:2 He set my feet on rock, and made my footsteps firm. AtW 123
Pr 4:18-19 The path of the upright is like the light of dawn, its brightness growing to the fullness of day; the way of the wicked is as dark as night, they cannot tell the obstacles they stumble over. AtW 123
Ps 17:5-7 …my steps never stray from the paths you lay down, from your tracks; so my feet never stumble. I call upon you, God, for you answer me; turn your ear to me, hear what I say. Show the evidence of your faithful love, savior of those who hope in your strength against attack. AtW 123
3. What personal character traits do you think are best embodied or would be expressed by this armor?
1 Jn 3:18-19, 21-25But you must do what the Word tells you and not just listen to it and deceive yourselves. Anyone who listens to the Word and takes no action is like someone who looks at his own features in a mirror and once he had seen what he looks like, goes off and immediately forgets it. But anyone who looks steadily at the perfect law of freedom and keeps to it—not listening and forgetting, but putting it into practice—will be blessed in every undertaking. AtW 124
Mt 25:21 21His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. AtW 125
Mt 5:5 5Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. AtW 125
Pr 15:1 A mild answer turns away wrath, sharp words stir up anger. AtW 127
4. Recall an experience in your life when you believe this armor may have been in effect-
5. Recall an experience in your life when you were caught without this protection or wish you could have manifested it-
6. Relate a current experience or situation in your life you believe this armor can be effective help for you-
7. How well do your shoes fit?
8. How has Jesus showed an example of the character of this armor, or the expression of it?
Two~ Buckling down-The Belt of Truth(AtW 129-147)
*In Ephesians 6 we are told to gird our loins with the belt of truth- what does this mean to you?
Eph. 6:14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth… AtW 129
2 Tm. 3:16-17 All scripture is inspired by God and useful for refuting error, for guiding people’s lives and teaching them to be upright. This is how someone who is dedicated to God becomes fully equipped and ready for any good work. AtW 140
1. Do you normally think of belts as protective armor?
2. What sort of protections or abilities would you attribute to belts and truth?
Jn 8:32And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. AtW 133
Ps 119:104-5 From your precepts I learn wisdom, so I hate all deceptive ways. Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. AtW 138
Pr 11:3 The honest have their own honesty for guidance, the treacherous are ruined by their own perfidy. AtW139
Ps 91:4. . . His truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Atw 142
Ps 18:32-34 This God who girds me with strength, who makes my way free from blame, who makes me as swift as a deer and sets me firmly on the heights, who trains my hands for battle, my arms to bend a bow of bronze. AtW143
Ps 37:14-15Though the wicked draw his sword and bend his bow to slaughter the honest and bring down the poor and the needy, his sword will pierce his own heart, and his bow will be shattered. AtW 143
Ps 18:39 You have girded me with strength for the fight, and bent down my assailants beneath me, made my enemies retreat before me; and those who hate me I destroy. AtW 144
3. What personal character traits do you think are best embodied in this armor?
Ps 100:55For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. AtW 135
Ps 25:2, 5, 8, 15, 19-21 But in my trust in you do not put me to shame, let not my enemies gloat over me. Encourage me to walk in your truth and teach me since you are the God who saves me. Integrity and generosity are marks of Yahweh for he brings sinners back to the path. Permanently my eyes are on Yahweh, for he will free my feet from the snare. Take note how countless are my enemies, how violent their hatred for me. Unless you guard me and rescue me I shall be put to shame, for you are my refuge. Virtue and integrity be my protection, for my hope, Yahweh, is in you. AtW 140
Ps 45:3-5 Warrior, strap your sword at your side, in your majesty and splendor advance, ride on in the cause of truth, gentleness and uprightness. Stretch the bowstring tight, lending terror to your right hand. Your arrows are sharp, nations lie at your mercy, the Kings enemies lose heart. AtW 144
Ps 89:14 14Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face. AtW 146
Is 59:14 14And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. AtW 146
Pr 8:13-14 Fear of Yahweh means hatred of evil. I hate pride and arrogance, wicked behavior and a lying mouth. To me belong good advice and prudence, I am perception: power is mine! AtW 146
Pr 11:12 Whoever looks down on his neighbor lacks good sense; one of intelligence holds his tongue. AtW 146
4. Relate an experience in your life to one in which this armor has been there for you.
5. Relate an experience in your life when you were caught without this protection, i.e., has not telling the truth made you feel ‘exposed’ in some way?
Mk 7:21-2321For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness…23All these evil things come from within, and defile the man. AtW 145
Pr 8:13-14 Fear of Yahweh means hatred of evil. I hate pride and arrogance, wicked behavior and a lying mouth. To me belong good advice and prudence, I am perception: power is mine! AtW 146
Pr 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. AtW 146
Pr 29:23 Pride brings humiliation, whoever humbles himself will win honor. AtW 147
6. Relate a current experience in your life you believe this armor can help you in-
1 Pet. 2:1-2Rid ourselves, then, of all spite, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and carping criticism. Like new-born babies all your longing would be for milk-the unadulterated spiritual milk—which will help you to grow up to salvation… AtW 144
Ps. 45:3-5 Warrior, strap your sword at your side, in your majesty and splendor advance, ride on in the cause of truth, gentleness and uprightness. Stretch the bowstring tight, lending terror to your right hand. Your arrows are sharp, nations lie at your mercy, the King’s enemies lose heart. AtW 144
7. How did Jesus express the values of truth in his ministry, or in another way?
8. Do you need help with buckling down?
Three~ The Right Way-Breastplate of Righteousness(AtW 148-173)
*In Ephesians, we are instructed to put on our breastplate of righteousness, yet we are told in Romans that we all imperfect and have error in our heart. How is this reconciled?
Ep 6:14So stand your ground, with truth…and uprightness a breastplate… AtW 148
Isa 59:17 17For he put on righteousness as a breastplate… AtW 148
Rm 3:20 So then, no human being can be found upright at the tribunal of God by keeping the Law; all that the Law does is to tell us what is sinful. AtW149
Rm 3:23-24 No distinction is made: all have sinned and lack God’s glory, and all are justified by the free gift of His grace through being set free in Christ Jesus. AtW 150
1. Do you believe in personal responsibility, or has God pre-ordained all of your decisions?
2. What did Jesus die for, and did he have a choice?
3. What would you say are some of the features of the armor worn on the torso? What does it protect?
2 Tm 3:16-17All scripture is inspired by God and useful for refuting error, for guiding people’s lives and teaching them to be upright. This is how someone who is dedicated to God becomes fully equipped and ready for any good work. AtW 148
Mt 15:19 19For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: AtW 162
1 Th 5:8 8But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; AtW 153/154
Ps 37:16-17 What little the upright possesses outweighs all the wealth of the wicked; for the weapons of the wicked shall be shattered, while Yahweh supports the upright. AtW 167
Pr 21:15, 21 Doing what is right fills the upright with joy but evildoers with terror. Whoever pursues uprightness and faithful love will find life, uprightness and honor. ATW 167
Pr 12:21 No harm can come to the upright, but the wicked are swamped by misfortunes. AtW 168
Pr 10:2 Treasures wickedly come by give no benefit, but uprightness brings delivery from death. AtW 168
Ps 37:39-40 The upright have Yahweh for their Savior, their refuge in times of trouble; Yahweh helps them and rescues them, he will rescue them from the wicked, and save them because they take refuge in him. AtW 169
Isa 32:17 …and the product of uprightness will be peace, the effect of uprightness being quiet and security forever. AtW 169
4. What personal character traits do you think are best embodied in this armor?
Dt 6:25 For us, right living will mean this: to keep and observe all these commandments in obedience to Yahweh our God, as he has commanded us. AtW 149
Ps 119:142-44 Your saving justice is for ever just, and your Law is trustworthy. Though anguish and distress grip me your commandments are my delight. Your instructions are upright forever, give me understanding and I shall live. AtW149
Ep 4:32 32And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. AtW 150
Ps 15 Yahweh, who can find a home in your tent, who can dwell on your holy mountain? Whoever lives blamelessly, who acts uprightly, who speaks the truth from the heart, who keeps the tongue under control, who does not wrong a comrade, who casts no discredit on a neighbor, who looks with scorn on the vile, but honors those who fear Yahweh, who stands by an oath at any cost, who asks no interest on loans, who takes no bribe to harm the innocent. No one who so acts can ever be shaken. AtW 162
Job 29:14 Uprightness I wore as a garment, fair judgment was my cloak and my turban. AtW 167
1 Tm 6:11-12 …You must aim to be upright and religious, filled with faith and love, perseverance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith and win the eternal life to which you were called and for which you made your noble profession of faith before many witnesses. AtW 167
5. Relate an experience in your life to one in which this armor has been there for you.
6. Relate an experience in your life when you were caught without this protection.
Rm 7:14-23 We are well aware that the Law is spiritual: but I am a creature of flesh and blood sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand my own behavior; I do not act as I mean to, but I do things that I hate. While I am acting as I do not want to, I still acknowledge the Law as good, so it is not myself acting, but the sin which lives in me. And really, I know of nothing good living in me-in my natural self, that is—for though the will to do what is good is in me, the power to do it is not: the good thing I want to do, I never do; the evil thing which I do not want-that is what I do. But every time I do what I do not want to, then it is not myself acting, but the sin that lives in me.
So I find this rule: that for me, where I want to do nothing but good, evil is close at my side. In my inmost self I dearly love God’s law, but I see that acting on my body there is a different law which battles against the law in my mind. So I am brought to be a prisoner of that law of sin which lives inside my body. AtW 165
7. Relate a current experience in your life you believe this armor can help you in, or can your think of an instance when Jesus portrayed this armor?
Rm 13:12-14The night is nearly over, daylight is on the way; so let us throw off everything that belongs to the darkness and equip ourselves for the light. Let us live decently, as in the light of day; with no orgies or drunkenness, no promiscuity or licentiousness, and no wrangling or jealousy. Let your armor be the Lord Jesus Christ, and stop worrying about how your disordered natural inclinations may be fulfilled. AtW 165
1 Tm 4:7-10 Train yourself for religion. Physical exercise is useful enough, but the usefulness of religion is unlimited, since it holds out promise both for life here and now and for the life to come; that is a saying that you can rely on and nobody should doubt it. I mean that the point of all our toiling and battling is that we have put our trust in the living God and he is the Saviour of the whole human race but particularly of all believers. AtW 169
Eph. 4:29 29Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. AtW 170
8. Do you need help polishing your armor?
Rm 7:24-25What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body doomed to death? God-thanks be to Him-through Jesus Christ our Lord.
So it is that I myself with my mind obey the law of God, but in my disordered nature I obey the law of sin. AtW 166
Rm 8:1-5 Thus, condemnation will never come to those who are in Christ Jesus, because the law of the Spirit which gives life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. What the Law could not do because of the weakness of human nature, God did, sending his own Son in the same human nature as any sinner to be a sacrifice for sin, and condemning sin in that human nature. This was so that the Law’s requirements might be fully satisfied in us as we direct our lives not by our natural inclinations but by the spirit. AtW 166
Rm 6:13 …give yourselves to God, as people brought to life from the dead, and give every part of your bodies to God to be instruments of uprightness; and then sin will no longer have any power over you-you are living not under law, but under grace. AtW 167
Ep 4:18-19, 21-26, 29-32Intellectually they are in the dark and they are estranged from the life of God, because of the ignorance, which is the consequence of closed minds. Their sense of right and wrong once dulled, they have abandoned all self-control and pursue to excess every kind of uncleanness. …you were taught what the truth is in Jesus. You were to put aside your old self, which belongs to your old way of life and is corrupted by following illusory desires. Your mind was created on God’s principles, in the uprightness and holiness of the truth.
So from now on, there must be no more lies. Speak the truth to one another, since we are all parts of one another. Even if you are angry, do not sin: never let the sun set on your anger or else you will give the devil a foothold.
No foul word should ever cross your lips; let your words be for the improvement of others, as occasion offers, and do good to your listeners…Any bitterness or bad temper or anger or shouting or abuse must be far removed from you—as must every kind of malice. Be generous to one another, sympathetic, forgiving each other as readily as God forgave you in Christ. AtW 161
Ps 37:1-4 Do not get heated about the wicked or envy those who do wrong. Quick as the grass they wither, fading like the green of the fields. Put your trust in Yahweh and do right, make your home in the land and live secure. Make Yahweh your joy and he will give you your heart’s desires. AtW 169
Four~ Head and Shoulders-Helmet of Salvation(AtW174-197)
*Salvation is related to us as a helmet. Can you relate to this?
This section will show how accepting the salvation bought by Christ’s sacrifice will serve in the fashion of a helmet.
Ep 6:17…Take the Helmet of Salvation… AtW 174
1 Th 5:8 …let us put on faith and love for a Breastplate, and the hope of salvation for a helmet. AtW 174
1. What does a helmet serve to protect?
2. What sort of protections or abilities do you attribute to this piece of armor? AtW 174-177
Ps 27:1-31The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? 2When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fall. 3Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. AtW 175
Ph 4:6-7 Never worry about anything; but tell God all your desires of every kind in prayer and petition shot through with gratitude, and the peace of God which is beyond our understanding will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus. AtW 180
2 Tm 2:3-4 3Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. AtW 181
Mt 6:34 So do not worry about tomorrow: Tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. AtW 181
Jm 1:5-8 Any of you who lacks wisdom must ask God, who gives to all generously and without scolding; it will be given. But the prayer must be made with faith, and no trace of doubt, because a person who has doubts is like the waves thrown up in the sea by the buffeting of the wind. That sort of person, in two minds, inconsistent in every activity, must not expect to receive anything from the Lord. AtW 186
1 P 1:13-15 13Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; AtW 189
Ps 140:7 Yahweh my Lord, my Saving strength, you shield my head when battle comes. AtW 189
3. What personal character traits do you think are best embodied in this armor?
Rm 13:11-14…stop sleeping and wake up, because by now our salvation is nearer than when we first began to believe…Let us live decently, as in the light of day; with no orgies or drunkenness, no promiscuity or licentiousness, and no wrangling or jealousy. Let your armour be the Lord Jesus Christ, and stop worrying about how your disordered natural inclinations may be fulfilled. AtW 187-188
1 P 1:13-15 Your minds, then, must be sober and ready for action; put all your hope in the grace brought to you by the revelation of Jesus Christ. Do not allow yourselves to be shaped by the passions of your old ignorance, but as obedient children, be yourselves holy in all your activity… AtW 189
2 Ch 20:15, 17 …Yahweh says this to you, ‘Do not be afraid, do not be daunted by this vast horde, for the war is not your affair but God’s. …Take up your position, stand firm, and see what salvation Yahweh has in store for you… Be fearless, be dauntless; march out against them tomorrow and Yahweh will be with you.’ AtW 190
Mt 26:38-39 38Then saith he unto them, ‘My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.’ 39And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, ‘O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: never-the-less not as I will, but as thou wilt.’ AtW 192
4. Relate an experience in your life to one in which this armor has been there for you.
5. Relate an experience in your life when you were caught without this protection.
6. Relate a current experience in your life you believe this armor can help you in-
Lk 8:22-2522Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth. 23But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. 24And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. 25And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.
Mt 11:28-29 28Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
7. Do you see how the actions of Christ’s crucifixion showed these characteristics?
Ps 78:38-3938But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned He his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath. 39For He remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again. AtW 191
Jn 15:13 No one can have greater love than to lay down his life for his friends. AtW 192
Isa 12:2 2Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. AtW 196
8. Has this brought things in focus for you or cleared your thinking?
Rom. 10:9-10…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. It is by believing with the heart that you are justified, and by making the declaration with your lips that you are saved. AtW 178
2 Sam. 22:2-7 …Yahweh is my strength and my fortress, my deliverer is my God. I take refuge in him, my rock, my shield, my saving strength, my stronghold, my place of refuge. My Savior, you have saved me from violence; I call to Yahweh, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my foes. With Death’s breakers closing in on me, Belial’s torrents ready to swallow me, Sheol’s snares on every side of me, Death’s traps lying ahead of me. I called to Yahweh in my anguish, I cried for help to my God, from his Temple he heard my voice, my cry came to his ears!
14-15 Yahweh thundered from the heavens, the Most High made his voice heard. He shot his arrows and scattered them, his lightning flashed and routed them.
17-19 He reached down from on high, snatched me up, pulled me from the watery depths, rescued me from my mighty foe, from my enemies who were stronger than I. They assailed me on my day of disaster, but Yahweh was there to support me… AtW 196
Five~ Before and Behind-The Shield of Faith(AtW 198-226)
*Historically, the shield was used to not only protect the bearer, but was used offensively as well. The shield and the coat-of-arms it bore was also instrumental in identifying the person wielding it. Just as a single shieldman could protect another person to his side, a large shield-wall could be an effective means of forming a barrier, typically the toughest barrier to overcome in a stand up fight. Warriors of old either returned from war ‘carrying their shield or on it.’ Faith is portrayed as our spiritual shield. This section will show how this is.
Ep 6:16So take you the shield of Faith with which to quench the enemies fiery darts… AtW 198
Ph 3:20 …our homeland is in heaven and it is from there that we are expecting a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ… AtW 203
Pr 30:5 5Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. AtW 218
1. What would you say are some of the characteristics of a shield?
2. What does the scriptures tell us of the construction of our shield?
Dt 33:29Who Is like you, O victorious people? Yahweh is the shield that protects you and the sword that leads you to triumph. Your enemies will try to corrupt you, but you yourself will trample on their backs. AtW 198
Ps 18:35 You give me your invincible shield (your right hand upholds me). AtW 199
Lm 3:22-25 Surely Yahweh’s mercies are not over, his deeds of faithful love not exhausted; every morning they are renewed; great is his faithfulness! ‘Yahweh is all I have,’ I say to myself, ‘and so I shall put my hope in him.’ Yahweh is good to those who trust him, to all who search for him. AtW 207
1 Jn 5:4-5 Nor are his commandments burdensome, because every child of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who can overcome the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? AtW 208
Heb 11:1 1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. AtW 212
Pr 30:5 Every word of God is unalloyed, a shield to those who take refuge in him. AtW 216
Ps 33:20 We are waiting for Yahweh; He is our help and our shield, for in Him our heart rejoices, in His holy name we trust. AtW 216
Ps 5:12 It is you who bless the upright, Yahweh, you surround them with favor as with a shield. AtW 219
Ps 28:7 Yahweh is my strength and my shield, in him my heart trusts. AtW 219
3. What sort of protections or abilities do you attribute to a shield?
1 Tm 1:18-19. . . so that in their light you may fight like a good soldier with faith and a good conscience for your weapons. AtW 208
Jos 23:8-10 …On the contrary, you must be loyal to Yahweh your God as you have been till now. Yahweh has dispossessed great and powerful nations before you, and no one so far has been able to resist you. One man of you was able to rout a thousand of them, since Yahweh your God was Himself fighting for you, as He had promised you. AtW 216
4. Can you think of any particular benefits or traits gained from carrying a shield?
Ps 91:1-16…my God in whom I trust! He rescues you from the snare of the fowler set on destruction;…you find shelter under His wings. His constancy is shield and protection. You need not fear the terrors of night. The arrow that flies in the daytime, the plague that stalks in the darkness, the scourge that wreaks havoc at high noon. Though a thousand fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, you yourself will remain unscathed. You have only to keep your eyes open to see how the wicked are repaid, you who say, ‘Yahweh my refuge!’ and make Elyon your fortress. No disaster can overtake you, no plague come near your tent; He has given His angels orders about you to guard you wherever you go. They will carry you in their arms in case you trip over a stone. You will walk upon wild beast and adder, you will trample young lions and snakes. ‘Since he clings to Me I rescue him, I raise him high, since he acknowledges My name. He calls to Me and I answer him: in distress I am at his side, I rescue him and bring him honor. I shall satisfy him with long life, and grant him to see my salvation. AtW 216-217
Ps 140:7 Yahweh my Lord, my saving strength, You shield my head when battle comes. AtW 218
5. What personal character traits do you think are best embodied in this armor?
1 Co 16:13-14Be vigilant, stay firm in the faith, be brave and strong. Let everything you do be done in love. AtW 206
1 Jn 4:18 In love there is no room for fear, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear implies punishment and whoever is afraid has not come to perfection in love. AtW 206
2 Tm 1:7 7For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. AtW 206
Mt 17:20 …If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. AtW 208
Rm 4:18-25 Though there seemed no hope, he hoped and believed…in fulfillment of the promise: Just so will your descendants be. Even the thought that his body was as good as dead—he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was dead too did not shake his faith. Counting on the promise of God, he did not doubt or disbelieve, but drew strength from faith and gave glory to God, fully convinced that whatever God promised he has the power to perform. This is the faith that was reckoned to him as uprightness. And the word ‘reckoned’ in scripture applies not only to him; it is there for our sake too—our faith, too will be ‘reckoned’ because we believe in him who raised from the dead our Lord Jesus who was handed over to death for our sins and raised to life for our justification. AtW 213
Pr 3:5-6 Trust wholeheartedly in Yahweh, put no faith in your own perception; acknowledge Him in every course you take, and He will see that your paths are smooth. AtW 215
Mt 5:44 44But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you… AtW 219
Heb 11:32-34 What more shall I say? There is not time for me to give an account of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthae, or of David, Samuel and the prophets. These were men who through faith conquered kingdoms, did what was upright and earned the promises. They could keep a lion’s mouth shut, put out blazing fires and emerge unscathed from battle. They were weak people who were given strength to be brave in war and drive back foreign invaders. AtW 220
6. When you think of the Cross, what comes to mind-what do you ‘see’, ie. what does it mean to you?
7. Relate an experience in your life to one in which this armor has been there for you.
Jos 23:9-10Yahweh has dispossessed great and powerful nations before you, and no one so far has been able to resist you. One man of you was able to rout a thousand of them, since Yahweh your God was Himself fighting for you, as He had promised you. AtW 211
8. Relate an experience in your life when you were caught without this protection.
9. Relate a current experience in your life you believe this armor can help you in-
Ps 107:23-3223They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; 24These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep. 25For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. 26They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. 27They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end. 28Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. 29He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. 30Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven. 31Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! 32Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.
1 P. 5:6-11 Bow down, then, before the power of God now, so that He may raise you up in due time; unload all your burden on to Him, since He is concerned about you. Keep sober and alert, because your enemy the devil is on the prowl like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand up to him, strong in faith and in the knowledge that it is the same kind of suffering that the community of your brothers throughout the world is undergoing. You will have to suffer only for a little while; the God of all grace who called you to eternal glory in Christ will restore you, He will confirm, strengthen, and support you. His power lasts forever and ever. AMEN. AtW 218
10. How strong is your arm?
Rom. 5:1-5So then, now that we have been justified by faith, we are at peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; it 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. Not only that; let us exult, too, in our hardships, understanding that hardship develops perseverance, and perseverance develops a tested character, something that gives us hope, and a hope which will not let us down, because the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given to us. AtW 222-223
Jm. 2:17 17Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. AtW 223
Six~ Taking an Edge-The Sword of the Spirit(AtW227-249)
*The Word of God serves us as the Sword of the Spirit. Just as a sword can be dangerous if wielded in the wrong fashion, so can God’s Word.
Ep 6:17Receive the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God… AtW 227
What?? The Man-of –Peace and Swords~ Jesus was a radical, he was beyond a visionary, he was not one to stand on ceremony- he overturned apple-carts and healed the sick on the Sabbath. He was around swords on a daily basis. Thru His words, Christ is ever present. In the Japanese code of chivalry, Bushido, a warriors word was his essence. It literally constituted his self being.*
Rv 19:11-16And now I saw heaven open, and a white horse appear; its rider was called Trustworthy and true; in uprightness he judges and makes war. His eyes were flames of fire, and he was crowned with many coronets; the name written on him was known only to himself, his cloak was soaked in blood. He is known by the name The Word of God. Behind him dressed in linen of dazzling white, rode the armies of heaven on white horses. From his mouth came a sharp sword with which to strike the unbelievers; he is the one who will rule them with an iron scepter, and tread out the wine of almighty God’s fierce retribution. On his cloak and on his thigh a name was written, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. AtW 227
Jn 18:10 Simon Peter, who had a sword… AtW 233
Lk 22:36, 48 36Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. His followers, seeing what was about to happen, said, ‘Lord, shall we use our swords?’ AtW 233
Mt 18:19-20 In truth I tell you once again, if two of you on earth agree to ask anything at all, it will be granted to you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three meet in my name, I am there among them. AtW 236
1. What would you say are some of the characteristics of a sword?
Jr 25:30-3130Therefore prophesy thou against them all these words, and say unto them, The LORD shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation; he shall mightily roar upon his habitation; he shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth. 31A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the LORD hath a controversy with the nations, he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the LORD. AtW 229
Gn 1:3,6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26 3And God said, Let there be light: and there was light…9And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so…11And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so…14And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: …20And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven…24And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so…26And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness… AtW 230
2 Co 6:7 …in the word of truth and in the power of God; by using the weapons of uprightness for attack and defense… AtW 234
Heb 4:12-13 The Word of God is something alive and active(quick and powerful); it cuts more incisively than any two-edged sword; it can seek out the place where soul is divided from spirit, or joints from marrow; it can pass judgment on secret emotions and thoughts. AtW 234
Ps 37:14-17 Though the wicked draw his sword and bend his bow to slaughter the honest and bring down the poor and the needy, his sword will pierce his own heart, and his bow will be shattered. What little the upright possesses outweighs all the wealth of the wicked; for the weapons of the wicked shall be shattered, while Yahweh supports the upright. AtW 235-236
Ecc 8:4 4Where the word of a king is, there is power. . . AtW 239
Jn 18:6 6As soon then as he had said unto them, ‘I am he,’ they went backward, and fell to the ground. AtW 239
Ho 6:5 This is why I have hacked them to ppieces by means of the prophets, why I have killed them with workds from my mouth, why my sentence will blaze forth like the dawn—for faithful love is what pleass me, not sacrifice; knowledge of God, not burnt offerings. AtW 245
2. Do you consider a sword to be a piece of armor?
3. What sort of protections or abilities do you attribute to this piece of armor?
4. Can you think of any particular benefits or traits gained from wielding this weapon?
5. What personal character traits do you think are best embodied in this armor?
Rom 13:4 . . . it is not for nothing that the symbol of authority is the sword: it is there to serve God, too, as His avenger. . . AtW 240
6. Can you think of any ways in which Jesus portrayed himself as a sword?
7. Can you relate an experience in which knowledge of the scriptures has been of benefit?
Ps 119:169-170May my cry approach your presence, Yahweh; by your word give me understanding. May my prayer come into your presence, rescue me as you have promised. AtW 246
8. Has there been a time in your life you wished you knew the scriptures better to find a solution to a problem you may have been dealing with?
Acts 19:13-2013Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. 14And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. 15And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? 16And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. 18And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. 19Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.
9. Relate a current experience in your life you believe this armor can help you with-
Rm 8:25-26But having this hope for what we cannot yet see, we are able to wait for it with persevering confidence. And as well as this, the Spirit too comes to help us in our weakness, for, when we do not know how to pray properly, then the Spirit personally makes our petitions for us in groans that cannot be put into words… AtW 237
Ps 56:3-4 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you, in God, whose word I praise, in God I put my trust and have no fear, what can mortal man do to me? AtW 245
Ps 37:39-40 The upright have Yahweh for their Savior, their refuge in times of trouble; Yahweh helps them and rescues them, he will rescue them from the wicked, and save them because they take refuge in him. AtW 245
10. Do you need to sharpen your sword?
Jn 8:31-58To the Jews who believed in him Jesus said: ‘If you make my word your home you will indeed be my disciples; you will come to know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’ AtW 243-244
2 P 3:10 (paraphrased) always be prepared at a moments notice. AtW 248
Mt 25:1-13 (paraphrased) Be not found sleeping, unprepared and unwitting as the five virgins were. AtW 248
Ezk 33:1-9 (paraphrased) suffer not the punishment of the sleeping or unwary guard. AtW 248
Ep 6:10 (paraphrased) Rather, be strong in the Lord always. AtW 249
Ps 23:6 (paraphrased) and goodness and mercy shall by yours all the days of your life. AtW 249
*The same God that has created the Universe desires to have a relationship with each of us. He has offered us a place as heirs to His kingdom. (Gal 4:4-7 4But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.)*
1. Have you really considered this fact and what it implies?
*God has laid out for us the means by which we can know Him, and enter into a relationship with Him. Much of the process has been touched upon and discussed while discussing the armor. One of the most difficult concepts to grasp is the Trinity of the Godhead. In a nutshell, God the Father is supremely uppermost. He fashioned the world and laid the laws down for all of mankind. Jesus the Son- served to complete the Word of God. He serves as our perfect sacrifice. By His blood and sacrifice and ultimately His resurrection, we are justified. Holy Spirit- Our present advocate, the Paraclete. The Holy Spirit is the part of God represented with us every day. Serving as our daily guide and confidant, our relationship with God is most personal and effected thru the Holy Spirit. Christ sent the Holy Spirit to us in His absence.*
Jn 3:5-65Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Rm 10:8-10 the word of faith, the faith which we preach, 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. It is by believing with the heart that you are justified, and by making the declaration with your lips that you are saved. AtW 251
Jn 14:16-17 16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. AtW 255
2. Knowing we do not reside in the Kingdom of our Lord on Earth, and God can only function in our life where we have given Him access, have you asked God to take control of your life? (Yes, No)
3. Does this decision bother you, if so, in what way?
4. Has God promised us a life of carefree bliss free of trouble and woes?
5. Many people look at situations that occur in their life and speak of serendipity. Others see the hand of God at work in these situations. Describe one such occurrence in your life-
6. How do you refer to such incidents? Are they chance occurrences, or are they something else?
7. Has God surprised you in your life?
*Salvation Prayer: Most Holy and ever-caring God, You created all things to Your glory, and answer all contrite and faithful prayer. Accept the cries of this repentant sinner, and bless me with the saving grace of your Son, Jesus Christ. I acknowledge that I am a sinner, forever separated from your love by my sins. I know there is no way back to your loving presence, but by accepting the sacrifice of Jesus for all my sins, past, present and future.
Most Holy and Eternal Father, Jesus died on the cross in full payment for my sins, and by His resurrection from death, I claim my redemption by His saving blood, and sacrifice.
Most Gracious and loving God, you are faithful to your Word, and I thank you for hearing my prayers of repentance and faithful acceptance of Your promises. I ask that you guide my life from this moment on, giving me the strength and courage to forever change my sinful ways, and become more Christ-like in all ways. Jesus defeated death, and accepting His sacrifice for my sins entitles me to full fellowship as an heir to the heavenly kingdom, and I welcome full brotherhood with all faithful believers. AtW 252
*Maintaining a good relationship can be most difficult with people we know. Often we do and say things that create a wedge, a divide in our relationships. Our relationship with God is no different. To maintain a good relationship with God we need to be ever mindful of our ‘directives,’ our ‘code of conduct’ as we have been instructed in the scriptures and has been written in our heart. When we have sinned, we have violated a tenet of our relationship with God. It may help to think of being a soldier AWOL as an analogy; one that has violated his orders or in other ways been recalcitrant. Reconciliation is the means by which we maintain a good relationship with our Father. Ironically, it has been taken by many as a form of chastisement, not an experience of cleansing and reconstitution or refortification. Reconciliation is the means by which we recognize those actions we have taken that has in one way or other formed a breach in our relationship with God. It is simply in recognizing we have things to work on, that none of us is perfect, that we keep our relationship with God what it should be. He calls us to accountability for our own good. It is only if we are open and able to hear what He puts in our hearts, that we are able to maintain a healthy relationship. True, it can be a most humbling experience, but nothing can be more fulfilling or gratifying. What can be more exciting or fulfilling than to be in direct and intimate relationship with the Divine Creator?
In 1962, Pope John XXIII proclaimed a "New Pentecost" within the church. Those seeking a more intense and personal relationship with God have been encouraged to seek the "Baptism of Fire" or "Baptism of the Spirit" spoken of by John the Baptist. Have you ever heard of this before? (Yes, No)
Acts 1:5‘5For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.’ AtW 254
Mk 1:8 8I indeed have baptized you with water: but He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost. AtW 255
Jn 1:33-34 33And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. 34And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God. AtW 255
Jn 16:7 7Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. AtW 255
Acts 2:38-39 38Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. AtW 255
Prayer of the Holy Spirit: Most Holy Spirit, author of the Word of God, place within my heart a growing desire and thirst to know your Word, to have it become alive in my life. Enlighten me, as the Author of the Word, to the true richness of the blessings, gifts, and mysteries enclosed with the Scriptures. Remove anything blocking me from receiving Your full Blessing and infilling. Bless me with understanding as I study and meditate upon your Holy Word, and empower me to walk in life with greater faith. Bless me with your gifts. AtW 256
Sharing Exercise and Closing~
Rv 3:14-19, 21-22Here is the message of the Amen, the trustworthy, the true witness, the Principle of God’s creation: I know about your activities; how you are neither cold nor hot, I wish you were one or the other, but since you are neither hot nor cold, but only lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth. You say to yourself: I am rich, I have made a fortune and have everything I want, never realizing that you are wretchedly and pitiably poor and blind and naked too. I warn you, buy from me the gold that has been tested in the fire to make you truly rich, and white robes to clothe you and hide your shameful nakedness, and ointment to put on your eyes to enable you to see. I reprove and train those whom I love: so repent in real earnest…Anyone who proves victorious I will allow to share my throne, just as I have myself overcome and have taken my seat with my Father on His throne. Let anyone who can hear, listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. AtW 257
Dn 11:32 but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. AtW 257
Heb 13:2 remember to welcome strangers, for by doing this, some people have entertained angels without knowing it. AtW 258
I have fought the good fight to the end; I have run the race to the finish; I have kept the faith; all there is to come for me now is the Crown of Uprightness which the Lord, the upright Judge, will give to me on that Day; and not only to me but to all those who have longed for His appearing.
(2 Tim. 4:6-8)
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