The following article is taken from the web site of Mike Oppenheimer who has come from Judaism, through the New Age and cults, to find the truth in Jesus Christ. His ministry is targeted to teach Bible believers the truth about the many errors that are being promoted these days in the name of Jesus Christ. The Word of God is his only final authority.
Let Us Reason Mininsties
Biblical Binding and Loosing
Today we see people using the term of binding and loosing as an exercise of their spiritual authority as believers over Satan, and demonic powers and beings in the spiritual realm. Many people are convinced because of the results.
People are claiming that we have the authority and power to bind the devil and his demons. Some say that we can also bind sickness like cancer, and loose people from the devil's hold, which can include poverty.
After two years of prayer and fasting proclaiming the games would not be held the Christians in Canada were unable to stop the Gay Olympics held in Vancouver. (Prophecy today magazine). David Wilkerson wrote in his newsletter April 1991, “The entire church structure of America could not stop the showing of (The blasphemous film) “The last Temptation of Christ”… in twenty five years, have we stopped abortion? No, it’s worse than ever…there are Christians right now who claim they are taking the world for Jesus. But I don’t know of one country they have taken.”
We find many spiritual warfare seminars and prayer meetings going on to train the church in its position to take back what is rightfully ours. The church has become serious and militant in taking back the ground for Christ. With good intentions, people are trained to rid the devil and sin from society and our cities by exercising our authority in warfare praying and declarations. They take their Biblical authority over them by binding them, verbally abusing the fallen angels, even sending them back to the pit from where they came (which is not really where they come from or go to. This will be addressed later). Scripture used to validate this are Mt.12:29, 16:19, 18:18 and Mk.3:27.
Matt. 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” All authority has not been passed on to us. We need to be under his authority to have any.
Spiritual mapping is also used to identify the particular strongholds set up in certain areas. It consists of creating a geographical map which they can mark for their research. Those involved in this movement can then research a locations history and learn from its past what brought it in bondage as in certain false religions. By learning the details of the past and activities of the present it can give the prayer warriors knowledge to effectively bind the powers that be.
Territorial spirits are considered to be in control over cities, schools, and religions. These territorial Spirits are top ranking principalities (demons) which “attempt to keep large numbers of humans… in spiritual captivity.” (C. Peter Wagner Confronting the powers pg.22) Methodology is used as in copying Joshua who marched with the Israelites around Jericho and blew the trumpet on the last day and the city crumbled. By prayer marching and shouting against the enemy singing and praying the walls the enemy has built will come tumbling down.
There is also the element of hearing from God directly who gives the prayer warriors words of knowledge. This becomes a critical factor to successful warfare otherwise one might miss the target they are aiming for and they will not be bound. Names of demons are revealed through extra- Biblical revelation to the sensitive prayer warrior.
While there is nothing wrong with walking and praying its what they make out of it that distorts its meaning. Prayer walking and prayer Marches are used to confront the enemy and to push back and bind his power with praises and spiritual warfare songs. The concept is demons can’t stand praises to God so they flee. People are led into an intense program of strategic level of intercessory prayer addressing Satan and principalities by name. By tearing down the strongholds built by the enemy they believe they can cleanse whole areas in the cities of sin.
Identificational repentance is used which consists of those people confessing what their forefathers did to another race and asking forgiveness for them. This is ancestral repentance in that one can intercede and erase what others have done generations before. We are told this must be done to have forgiveness. In the book Perpetuated in Righteousness a Haole pastor (stranger- not locale) repents for all the Christians that came before him that caused the Hawaiians any hurt or pain and asks to forgive him. While this may have good intentions forgiveness only comes by individuals not from single person representing a whole race or group of people to another group. Especially when the initial ones offended are no longer here to forgive.
At these spiritual warfare sessions the audience participates together in calling down spirits of adultery, greed, homosexuality to the demons of alcohol and lust. While the participants' emotions soar at the outcome this in no way validates the means or the results (which usually are none except to feel good in a army like camaraderie and that has exercised their spiritual power over the enemy.) This is all done so that their will be no obstruction to the Gospel when it is preached. What we see as a theological slant is that we take the earthly dominion back ourselves. It is a restoration theology that is being promoted which is foreign to the scripture. It is Christ who will restore the Earth in the Millennium he has not given this power or authority over into the hands of man.
We cannot Christianize the world but we can make individual people Christians. Not by binding the demons to set them free but by preaching the Gospel and making disciples.
Looking at Mk.3:27 If one is being instructed by Jesus to bind Satan first so that the Gospel will not be obstructed then he himself did not follow his own explanation and neither did his apostles. We cannot stop other people from committing their sins by binding the demons. While prayer does move the hand of God to do miraculous things we do not have the authority to do what only God himself can do. Essentially each person has to make a choice on their own. If someone does not want to be delivered we cannot force deliverance over a person or a city. Spiritual warfare is a personal resistance for each of us against our own sinful desires which the enemy will use to his advantage. He will try to annul our effectiveness and tempt us to walk contrary to the word of God.
If one were to look at the scripture without any preconceived ideas, what is found is that prayer is address to God only. In Gal. 5:19-22, much of what is blamed on demons is really man's fallen nature, expressing itself through his flesh. Although demons can entice and exaggerate our flesh indulgences we can honestly blame ourselves for most of the activity we see today.
While we see in scripture Satan is the prince of this world, John 12:31 God of this world 2 Cor. 4:4 and the prince of power of the Eph. 2:2.
We can in no way draw a conclusion of cultural demonization in which whole cities, ethnic groups, and religions are involved, and that we as Christians come to set people free by binding the strong man and his hold. While it is true that religions have a spiritual deception, there are many invented by mans imagination and that one does not have to be religious to be blind to the Gospel.
*In Pagan theology when one would win the battle over another god they received his goods and territory. To pull down the head demon over an area and they will win that property for the Lord. Gnostics believed in strongholds located over cities in the sky. This is similar to the underlying philosophy of the Spiritual Warfare movement that we take it back with force reclaiming the cities for God. In Zoroatrianism, a Persian Gnostic religion there was the concept of two major Gods …”A good god rules the spiritual world and a bad god rules the physical realm….the problem of evil is solved by blaming everything that goes wrong on the bad god (the devil); the good god is seen no more than a counter balance. One is left with the impression that the two gods each possess equal power both in quality and quantity. Everything that is wrong in the world is the fault of the bad god. And its up to the initiate or believer to make sure the good god wins” (The Agony of deceit, moody press pp.133)
In the religion of the Vikings Odin the head God did good and whenever something went wrong it was the evil one Loki. Today people think God always does good and gives them abundance and its the devil who takes away and makes them suffer or hinders prayers. The bible teaches that God does destroy as well, and will take away things if he sees fit to do so, its not always an either or situation.
Paul was confronted with a whole city given over to idolatry in Acts17, how does he deal with this situation? He did not go into warfare prayer against their main gods Zeus or Apollo nor bind their idolatry. As he went into the synagogues and market place each day it ended on Mars hill where he challenged all the philosophies of their day. He promoted scripture and reasoned to them with the teaching of Christ, specifically the resurrection something he knew they would have a hard time with. He challenged them to make a decision.
What is the Believer’s Authority
We see Jesus, Paul and seventy disciples casting out demons (not from Christians) in Luke 10: 19. Jesus gives the 70 disciples authority over serpents and scorpions and all the power of the enemy. This statement meant all the different workings of the enemy. (Examples of casting out demons Jesus Mk.5:1-20, the 12 apostles Mt.10:1, 70 disciples Lk.10:17, others Mk.9:38-39, Philip Acts 8:7 Paul Acts 19:11-12 .
Luke 10:19-20 “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.20 “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
Mark 9:28-29And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast him out?” So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.” They still did not have the power to cast a certain demon out. Jesus said these do not go out except by prayer and fasting.
The disciples clearly did not have all authority because some demons did not leave and Jesus told them these do not come out without prayer and fasting ,in other words they had to rely on God not the authority given to them.
We do not have ALL authority, Jesus does.
But casting out demons was not the major theme of their ministry. After the disciples came back using the authority given to them Jesus said, instead they should rejoice over their names being written in the book of life. Their ministry was to have the Gospel preached, it alone is the power of God to set people free. When one has Christ living in them, the power of the enemy is broken. (I John 3:8) One can certainly cast out a demon, however Jesus said if the house that is swept clean is not filled it will be in worse shape since the enemy will come back with seven more demons making the latter state worse than the first. (Mt.12:43-45) This he used as an example of what would happen to Israel the nation if they did not accept him. It was destroyed and scattered.
So how can passages such as Luke 10:19 be interpreted? If one is under attack by the enemy, James 5:7 tells us to submit to God, resist in the Holy Spirit and the devil will flee. Whatever we might be disobedient in, we then submit to God first, then resist, and the enemy will no longer have a foothold in our lives.
We do not see any verbal rebukes when the apostles entered a new city or had prayers of pulling down strongholds over cities, cultures, or religions. There is not even a hint of this type of teaching in the word.
Take for instance Paul who himself was a victim of a Satanic messenger (Thorn in the flesh 2Cor.12:8) This would have been the perfect time for him to exercise his spiritual authority over Satan. Instead he petitioned the Lord for relief. He did not rebuke the demon nor find his operating status. God’s answer came in the assurance that his grace is sufficient. Paul didn't have an idea he could rebuke the enemy. Would this be acceptable to those who engage in the battle of Spiritual warfare today? I think not! We can also see the enemy was not inside him either in which he would need deliverance. While we can be tempted, oppressed and harassed and even afflicted by the enemy we cannot be controlled.
What we find is today's binding and loosing is a term taken out of its context and put in a spiritual exercise for today's Christians who are looking for more power. Unfortunately, this movement continues and is leading many into a spiritual exercise of futility.
Maybe you can remember back 10 years ago with Larry Lea's spiritual warfare army he was gathering of 300,000 together (of course to join this elite army cost each $100). I watched as he instructed them to pull out their swords (this is on video tape in files) and slash the enemy to bind him by swinging their swords in the air. This is how the world does its warfare except this was strictly imagination.
So how does this all relate to people using this authority in the spiritual realm on Satan and his demons?
In 2 Peter 2:9-12 we find a description of self-willed men walking carnally not respecting authority, but speak evil of angels, vs.1 It tells us these angels who are superior to us, we should not defame or accuse, but be respectful even if they are our enemy because of their position,
Jude 8- 10 - The author describes people in the church who despise authority and speak evil of those who god has given positions of dominion in. not only do they rebel against the government ( which at the time was a one world government ) but they speak evil of dignitaries Greek- Doxai - glorious ones. Most have interpreted this as the angels, which certainly fits the context. Peter in 2 Pet. Seems to make the same point as Jude follows his structured outline being of a later date. “ and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries. Whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a railing accusation against them before the Lord. Here we have both authors mentioning those who had no respect for those who are in a higher position even though they are fallen and will be judged.
We see even Michael the arch-angel did not condemn Satan, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.” Michael who is even greater than we are did not use insulting words or exert his authority. Satan is still a dignitary of the highest order so there was no disrespect of his office and position even though he is an enemy. He deferred the issue to God, he trusted the Lord to step in between them on this issue. If an angel of this order is careful with how he treats the enemy how much more should we be.
Vs. 8 and I0 describe people who speak evil of fallen angels because of having little understanding of who they are speaking to.
To sum up all this, we simply do not have the kind of authority or power to put demons in chains or chase them away from the cities. Those who claim to be doing this are not doing too good a job anyway. If they bind him how long does this last since his work continues? By now every demon and his cousin should have been incarcerated. Who’s the joker that keeps letting him loose? The Bible tells us the world will come increasingly evil, that perilous times will come (they have already arrived) we are not going to turn it around. This will culminate by the seals being broken and judgment poured out on a rebellious mankind. We can’t we bind Satan, for he will be bound for one thousand years in the millennium by a specific angel. This does not exclude us from doing good and being light and salt in a society that is putrefying.
Yet today, we do have the authority and the strength to resist the devil's temptations and lies by submitting to God, standing in Christ, and putting on His armor. (Ephesians 6:12; James 4:7)
By being in the world and not influenced from it we are obedient to Jesus, the evil one cannot touch us. In John 17:15, Jesus prays we would be kept from the evil one. We are able to resist his temptations, because greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world. By walking in the light, we have discernment of his schemes and the evil one cannot overcome us and take us captive, that light is in the word.
When someone blames a demon for whatever habit of sin they may have been entrapped in, they then depend on their deliverance by an anointed deliverer to have it remitted. They then go home with the impression that the problem is cured not realizing that most of their battle comes from the sin nature that still dwells within. Whether it is a smoking demon or one of bad eyesight or just plain lust it never goes away and then they are under the impression of having another satanic attack because it resurfaced. This is all a placebo which works form the power of suggestion only. They have never dealt with the real source of the problem. The scripture says otherwise that as long as we are in these bodies we will wrestle against our old nature which continually comes back to life . This is why Paul said reckon your old self as dead. A demon cannot ever make someone do something unless they gravitate toward that already Jm.1:14-16.
The prince of Persia is used as an example of Spiritual warfare prayer. If we look closer at this event the spiritual warfare interpretation is faulty. Daniel wasn’t praying to bind the prince of Persia, he didn’t even know the battle was taking place. He was praying for a revelation of prophecy. He was seeking knowledge of the future events of his people. The prince was not given over into Daniel’s hands or the angel Michael's, nor was he sent to hell. He was replaced by another satanic one, the prince of Greece who came afterwards who was even worse. So if this was binding like they say, it did not work but backfired.
When Moses conquered the Egyptian gods by Yahweh’s hand , Israel was finally delivered from Pharaoh’s oppression they did not go back in and conquer the land and take it for God. They headed for the promised land and so should we. Our eyes should be on the heavenly land we are citizen’s of, not an earthly dominion. Also an important note is that it was when the blood of the lamb and the word of the Lord was instituted that they were set free. It was trusting in what God said to protect them.
1 Jn.3:18 it states “The Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the Devil.”
Notice it says his works not the Devil himself. Satan was defeated at the cross Col.2:15 “Having disarmed principalities and powers He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.” The devil and his angels fate is already sealed yet God allows them to continue. But they have no power over a Christian. He works in the sons of disobedience and will continue to do so until he is bound by God, not us.
What is Biblical binding and loosing
For us to understand its true meaning, we need to go to the text it was first used in Matt. 16:13-20. (Remember, all scripture is to be read in its context for us to understand the original intent of the author.)
Matt. 16:13-20 -- Jesus asked the disciples a direct question of who they say He is. Peter is then given a revelation from the Father calling Him the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.
Editor-- Steve Van Nattan notes: The binding ministry which Jesus gave to Peter is NOT an exclusive ecclesiastical authority to Peter and the Pope, as taught by the Roman Catholic Church. Peter is not the founder of the Church, Jesus Christ is. It is an option to any godly Church leader in any setting similar to those discussed below by brother Oppenheimer. The Apostle Paul, several times in the Epistles, binds or looses some saint in discipline, responsibility, or in life choices.Jesus then states He will build His Church on Peter's statement of who He is. (Meaning the deity of Christ is what the Church is built on -- this is the fundamental confession of faith.) And the gates of hell will not overcome it ever. In Vs. 19 We see the term we are looking into -- Jesus speaks to Peter and gives him the keys of the Kingdom. “Whatever you bind on earth is bound in heaven, whatever you loose on earth is loosed in heaven”.
Giving keys to a person signified an entrusting with him to do an important task, in the scriptures they are used a symbol of authority and power, which is given specifically to Peter for his role in the beginning of the church.
Binding and loosing were used in two different manners judicially and legislatively. The traditional meaning was used in a -judicial sense “to bind” meant to punish, “to loose” meant to release from punishment.
Used legislatively “to bind” meant to forbid something, “to loose” meant to permit.
The terms of binding and loosing were used by the Rabbis as legislative authority in interpreting scripture. The Pharisees used this authority to permit laws that were forbidden and forbid laws that were permitted. By doing this they elevated their own authority to add onto the scriptures extra laws which were man-made and became tradition.
We see Peter using the keys beginning in the book of Acts, when the Church is born. He used his authority by opening the door to three groups to enter the body of Christ on three separate occasions, using the keys legislatively (loosing) to permit that which was formerly not permitted such as the gentiles to be part of Gods kingdom by faith.
In Acts 2:5-41 - In his first sermon to the Jews on Pentecost, 3,000 Jews were saved (although the Jewish people are given the Gospel first and are the natural branches in the olive tree, the church is beginning to be formed, it will consist of both Jews and gentiles as believers in one body). Eph. 2:14-17.
In Acts 8:14-17 - To the Samaritans, Philip preached, they believed, vs. 12 -- Peter then came and laid hands on them, vs. 17 -- (both Peter and John).
Peter used the keys in a judicial sense binding punishing Annanias and Sapphirra for their lying to the Holy Spirit.
Peter also uses these keys in a legislative sense of ‘loosing” something after he has the vision in Acts 10:9-48. The Lord was telling him to eat what was on the sheet. Peter refused because it was forbidden to eat unclean animals under the mosaic Law. After three times of the Lord saying to eat because they are now clean, Peter then begins to contemplate what the vision means. This had a two-fold meaning at now what was once forbidden as food is now permitted, from this Peter concludes as he sees that the Lord had cleansed all by his blood.
In Acts 10:44-48 - To the Gentiles - Peter used his authority to permit these into the body of Christ, by recognizing God's work that was done by Spirit baptism. (I Cor. 12:13)
Other Examples of Keys Used in the Scripture
Isaiah 22:22 -- Eliakim is given the key to the House of David. To Bind and loose” was the function of a gatekeeper” or “steward” (oikonomos) He would have the keys so he could go into the temple area having access to the presence of God.
Revelation 3:7 -- Jesus addresses the faithful church of Philadelphia. He, Jesus, has the Key of David (rulership - Isaiah 9:6-7). And is able to open and shut doors for His churches work in a legislative sense. Revelation 1: 18 Jesus has the keys of death and Hades. It is he who controls live and death and judges the intents of the heart.
Mt. 28:18 - All authority has been given to Him. He controls this in a judicial sense. He is the head of the Church as well as the universe.
Revelation 20:1-3 - Satan is bound after the second coming by an angel for one thousand years. This angel has the key to the bottomless pit. Today we are not able to bind his activity, this will not be possible until the second coming of Christ by the authority of a special angel, this is done in a judicial sense.
There is also another text of binding and loosing found in Matthew 18:15-20. This text is used in the application of Church discipline. This particular use of binding and loosing is valid and current in today's church. Peter one of the chief elders was given this authority in his functional position in the church.
We are told in this text that when one brother commits a trespass to another brother, the one offended is to go to the offender alone the first time, v.16. If he does not listen, or agree with the offended brother, then the offended brother is to take one or two more as witnesses to work this out. If there is still no cooperation, the one who offended is to be placed under church discipline. (Excommunication until he comes into reconciliation.) This is a progression of steps to be taken toward reconciliation until there is no alternative. The goal is always to be restoration.
Verses 18-20, the two or three in agreement, asking the Father in Jesus' name is in the context of counseling brothers for reconciliation. Jesus is in the midst of them, as the Counselor-Peacemaker. If you are gathered in His Name, His will is to bring peace to all situations. (Whatever we touch and agree on, v.19.)
The church today can only function in binding in a judicial sense which is in reference to church discipline not going after demons like Ghostbusters
This too is authority given, it is a declaration the apostles issued as an agreement to the work of the Holy Spirit in a sinner. It is in reference to salvation, they could pronounce on the promise of Christ. That if one believed and repented they would have salvation. Then accepting those who receive Christ and are placed into his body to become part of the Church. Also, it's relative to church discipline, by receiving someone back who was excommunicated or to continue (retain) the disciplinary action it is a term of agreement.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5
“Our weapons are not carnal (of flesh) but mighty in God for the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God”. Prayer and the word is our weapon if used correctly the walls will come tumbling down. strongholds are fortresses built to oppose the truth of Christ and the word. Walls are built with false ideologies and philosophies that have taken people captive. In other words it is untruth, false patterns of thinking, vain imaginations that hold people captive.
Evolution, false spirituality, sensuality without repercussions all the works of the flesh. Lies such as death is only a transition to a higher plane , everyone that is good is going to heaven.
The enemies strongholds are pulled down with the word of truth. When the Gospel is presented against the thoughts contrary to God's word (in an apologetic fashion such as Paul reasoned with the Jews from the scriptures) they will be brought into captivity and obedience to Christ. The Gospel is our presentation. All the power of the enemy is held in a lie that is believed to be the truth. The current philosophies and worldly ideas of our day that are esteemed as truth are exposed as only mans wisdom against the eternal truth of God. All falsehood is seen clearly next to the straight ruler edge of the word. The Gospel is veiled to those who are perishing 2 Cor.11:14. It is up to us to make sense out of it.
It is the truth of the word that cast down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. This can also be applied to us personally as we conform ourselves to the word, things that we once thought and had practiced that were contrary to the word are broken and brought into submission with obedience to the truth.Vs.6 Could mean when you overcome your own disobedience your punishing your old nature by your obedience it deals with self control instead of uncontrol.
Speaks of a spiritual war that is taking place on earth for the heart and minds of everyone whether they know it or not. It is an influence from the spirit realm with deceiving spirits. The same spirit that can give a psychic insight by feelings and colors or thoughts can also move someone to suicide or false teaching. In other words what a spirit does, is not their name, it is their current activity. While mans spirit is dead in relationship to God until he is forgiven cleansed by Christ’s blood. He can be very much alive to spiritual experiences from other spirits who want us to believe that we are experiencing God.
Principality = (Archai) governing authority over nations. Positions over nations
Powers =(Gr.Dynameis) angels invested with authority and ability.
Rulers of the darkness of this age = expresses the powers of authority and influence over the world system.
Spiritual Hosts of wickedness= express their character and nature as an opposing army they have military organization.
While this scripture is used to teach pulling down demonic strongholds, looking for the particular names and activities of these demons are common practice we find their is no validity to this interpretation.
Biblical Strategy in Warfare
What it really is stating is that there is an invisible enemy who has different functions like an army with organized opposition to the world and especially to the believer. Yet if we read it in context, vs. 13 tells us to put on the full armor of God to be able to stand in the evil day. Our battle is fought on three fronts; the world (love of the world), the flesh (desires of the flesh), the devil (his deceptions and temptations). The enemy studies us and stalks us by stealth, It is when he is uncovered and exposed for what he is doing that he loses his influence.
The devil will come at us at our weakest times. Look at the example of Jesus after 40 days he hungered, in other words he could have starved if he didn't eat. The Devil waited until at this time to launch his attack. When Jesus was tempted by the devil he resisted him by quoting scripture that was relevant to his situation.
He destroyed the lie propagated by putting the truth next to it. We need to have a comprehensive working knowledge of scripture to be victorious. Jesus resisted the enemy three times by quoting relevant scripture to each temptation. When Jesus was challenged on doctrine such as the resurrection by the Sadducees. He responded by stating Scripture with authority saying “You are mistaken not knowing the scriptures nor the power of God ” (Mt.22:29). This is what is meant by Paul “to put on the armor.” We need to be consistent in our walk by practicing obedience otherwise when that evil day comes we will not be able to stand. No one learns to fight a battle in one day so their needs to be a consistent resistance against the enemy otherwise we will fold during the main battle. It states in the Old Testament in Jeremiah, “if you can’t walk well with the foot soldiers how will you run with the horsemen”.
1 Jn. 2:14 "because you are strong and the word of God abides in you and you have overcome the wicked one." If we continually abide we are being built up and our spiritual muscles are developed.
1 John 5:3-5 "For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? "
Eph 6:10-18 "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints."
The armor of God in Eph.6 speaks of Christ and the Scripture. We are to be completely dressed for battle not going in with just a few pieces but be fully dressed every day. Be strong in the Lord and the power of his might. Notice it is in him we are fortified not in ourselves. All these components are necessary for a soldier to be victorious in battle.V.11 "put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the Devil." He repeats our ability to stand that shows the weight of importance. V.13 "Take up the whole armor of God’ - to be aware of the strategies of the enemy. That you may be able to stand in that evil day. What evil day? (which day? The one when the Satan is attacking with temptations, the one you’re being assaulted in). V.14 Again "stand therefore" The wrestling in this passage is not to engage in the same activity we would with man except its with spirit. There are no spinning or body slams or death blows to demons. We fight by standing and resist is the key element by having the truth exalted over lies 1Pt.5:8 We speak the written word in our heart (Logos) or out loud if necessary. Which then becomes the ‘rhema," the word used for its immediate application.
Paul invokes the image of a Roman soldier relating to us an everyday picture of the 1st century Roman soldier ready to go into battle against an enemy. He is trying to give us the view of a real battle against an enemy that is trying to influence our lives. As the Roman soldiers went into battle they would not break rank and lock shield to shield advancing on the enemy. This tactic made them invincible in moving ahead in the battle. The Roman armor was used metaphorically of our spiritual armor as Christians. Some of the pieces of the Roman armor are omitted such as the lance. As Christians most of our battle in warfare is fought separately in our own private lives when their is no one around. God is concerned with our character as individuals
THE ARMOR OF GOD IS UNDERSTANDING
AND APPLYING SCRIPTURE
1) The belt of Truth- Having an attitude of honesty and integrity, truth. Which is the Word and Jesus. This is our foundation, everything a Christian does is to be based on truth which is the Word applied in our lives. Knowledge applied = wisdom. The enemy cannot move us into his ways if we walk in truth. One must have the word in them to be ready to be used in any given situation that would be contrary to God’s ways.
2) The Breastplate of Righteousness- our protective gear. This protects our vital organs. Satan attacks this area often by condemning us for not being righteous. We are standing on his merit and work not our own. No one can be righteous on their own It is Christ’s righteousness we are clothed in (Isa.59:17, Phil.3:9, 2 Cor.5:21) We are positionally righteous, however we are daily conformed to the Son of God making us holy in a practical sense. If we do what is required of us even when we fail, the enemy cannot put a guilt trip on us. If we rest on Christ’s merits, His grace we don’t have to punish ourselves for failing.
3) Feet that are ready to go bring the gospel of peace- Speaks of our servanthood to our Lord, dying to self-motives and living for His will. The Roman soldiers had special sandals that gave them security on the battlefield. This relates to Rom.10:15 How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the Gospel of peace who bring glad tidings of good things." This is one reason why none of this has anything to do with binding and loosing. We don’t bring the gospel to anyone but those who are in need of salvation. There is no witnessing to fallen angels. (Isa.52:7) We are to make the Gospel our ownership as Paul said according to my Gospel. We are ambassadors of Christ to have people make peace with God. (2 Cor.5:18-21).
4) The Shield of faith- Is our protection from the fiery darts (flaming arrows) of the enemy. This was a large shield big enough to protect the whole body. All the thoughts he sends prompts us to sin, and when we sin he brings condemnation making us think we cannot approach God because he won’t forgive us. Trusting in Christ- know that he is with us interceding on our behalf. That his promises are true and we should not let the lies of the enemy touch us.(Gen.15:1-6) Learn to face the shield in the right direction. This means to stand toward the enemy not turn your back. If you train yourself to trust when you see no way human way possible the enemy will not be able to have his seeds of doubt and despair take root, they will fall off your shield.
5) The Helmet of Salvation- Knowing where we came from and where we are going, a guaranteed future. It is to protect our minds with knowing we are in him and in the faith. If we are unsure in the mind it will affect our walk and battle. This is often attacked by condemnation from the enemy who makes us question our salvation or not being good enough. Having the correct knowledge of our relationship deters any questions that arise and bring on guilt.(Isa.59:17) We stand in the Gospel and his truth.
6) The sword of the Spirit -which is our defensive weapon to win in the battles. To remember his promises and word that is applicable to our immediate situation. God’s eternal truths are to be put alongside anything questionable or contrary to demolish arguments that masquerade as spiritual truths. The Word which can cut and expose everything (Heb. 4:12) will do its ministry in our lives if we use it skillfully and in faith. When we are challenged by the philosophies and culture of the world today it is the word that corrects. We have the whole word of God available for any and all situations. We are to be in the word daily to fight the battle that may come at any time. If you are an anemic reader and have a low understanding you will have a defeated walk. We must apply the knowledge we take in and walk in it.
7) Praying with all types of prayer- for others and ourselves being ready to request the Lord at the drop of a pin so that we do not rely on our own strength. This is our defense and if anyone tells you not to pray or not to be in a attitude of prayer, that’s exactly what you need to do. The solution Mt.26:41 "watch and pray lest you enter into temptation, prayerlessness is powerlessness it is the quick road to defeat. We must be in the attitude of prayer a training that makes us God dependent. There are all types of different prayers for our petitioning God. The terms may change but the principle stays the same, God being the focus and we being dependent on him.
1. Put on the whole armor each day. (Eph. 6:11-18) This is done by reading the word and knowing Christ and applying His teachings. When we stand in Christ we are victorious. He fights for us as we are steadfast in him.
2. Be sober and vigilant against Satan and his wiles. (2 Peter 5:8-9) Be aware of the enemy and his attacks as well as distractions.
3. Give Satan no place. (Eph. 4:27; James 4:7) fight his temptations as soon as they are discovered in thought. Know Satan's devices, his schemes and goal to deceive. (2 Cor. 2:11) Avoid areas you know you are weak in, train yourself to concentrate on Christ and his word.
4. We Overcome Satan by standing on the word of God and in the Spirits power who strengthens our weaknesses. (Matt.1:11; I Jn. 2:14)
5. We Overcome Satan by the blood of Jesus and our testimony. (Rev. 12:11) We cannot be removed if we hold onto Christ by faith. Be assured of what took place in your life, as well as Christ’s promise to cleanse.
6. We Overcome Satan in the name of Jesus Christ and his merits. (Eph. 2:20-22) Our position in Christ brings us the victory.
7. Watch and pray that you do not enter into temptation. (Mt. 28:41; Mt. 6:13) We are to walk circumspectly knowing the evil around us that can influence and affect our spiritual life.
8. Know your position in Christ, don’t go on experiences for your spiritual walk. Walk by what he has said not by what he has not said.
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Mike's chart of the evolution of evil in the world today;