A. Existence of angels:
1. Angels are found in thirty-four books of the Bible in two
hundred seventy-five references.
2. Christ taught the existence of angels (Matt. 18:10; 26:53).
3. The angels are a distinct order of creation and have been
given a heavenly position, or sphere, above the sphere of man
(Ps. 8:5; Heb. 2:7-9 and Rev. 5:11; 7; 11).
4. Angel means "messenger." They are always referred
to in the masculine gender.
B. Creation of Angels
-- Colossians 1: 15-17
Angels are not a race but a host. They are the sons of God (Job
1:6), not of other angels. They were created (Job 38:6,7) at some
point in time before the creation of the physical world. The angels
were created in a state of holiness (Jude 6). They are innumerable
C. The personality of angels:
1. Intellect (I Pet. 1:12).
2. Emotions (Luke 2:13).
3. Will (Jude 6) -- able to leave their first estate.
D. The nature of angels:
1. They are spirit beings (Heb. 1:14).
2. They do not reproduce (Mark 12:25).
3. They are masculine except in Zech. 5:9 (feminine gender used
4. They do not lie (Luke 20:36).
5. They are distinct from human beings (Ps. 8:4,5).
--They are not the spirits of the dead.
6. They have great power (II Pet. 2:11).
E. The ministry of angels:
1. To Christ:
a. Predicted His birth (Luke 1:26-33).
b. Announced His birth (Luke 2:13).
c. Protected Him as a baby (Matt. 2:13).
d. Strengthened him after His temptation (Matt. 4:11).
e. Prepared to defend Him (Matt. 26:53).
f. Rolled away the stone and announced His resurrection (Matt.
g. At Christ's ascension (Acts 1).
2. To believers:
a. Help believers in general (Heb. 1:14).
b. Involved in answering prayer (Acts 12; 7).
c. Give encouragement (Acts 27:23-24).
d. Guardian angels (Heb. 1:14; Matt. 18:10).
e. Observe Christians' experiences (I Cor. 4:9; I Tim 5:21).
f. Interested in evangelistic efforts (Luke 15:10; Acts 8:26).
g. Care for believers at death (Luke 16:2; Jude 9).
3. To unbelievers:
a. Michael is Israel's guardian (Daniel 12:1).
b. Involved in executing the judgments of the tribulation period
(Rev. 8,9 and 16).
c. Bring punishment to unbelievers (Acts 12:23).
d. Involved when the Lord returns to establish His kingdom
F. Classification of angels:
1. Archangel -- Michael whose name means "Who is like unto
God" (Jude 9).
2. Elect angels (I Tim. 5:21).
3. Principalities and powers -- used of all angels and sometimes
of only the fallen angels (Eph. 1:21; 3:10).
4. Cherubim -- or living creatures who defend God's holiness
from the pollution of sinful beings (Gen. 3:24; Ex. 25:17- 20;
Ezek. 1:1-18). Note also the original purpose for which Satan
was created (Ezek. 28:14).
5. Seraphim (Isa. 6:2-7) -- always worshipping God.
6. The angel of Jehovah -- these are usually appearances of Christ
in the Old Testament.
7. Gabriel (Luke 1:19).
II. THE DOCTRINE OF SATAN
A. His existence:
1. Taught in seven Old Testament books and acknowledged by every
New Testament writer.
2. Christ acknowledged and taught the existence of Satan (Matt.
13:39; Luke 10:18 and 11:18).
B. His personality:
1. Intellect (Matt. 4; II Cor. 11:3) -- he quotes Scripture.
2. Emotions (Rev. 12) -- anger.
3. Will (II Cor. 2:26; Isa. 14; Matt. 25:41 and II Tim. 2:26)
-- morally responsible.
C. His nature:
1. A created being (Ezek. 28:14,15) -- Therefore he must answer
to His creator.
2. A spirit being (Eph. 6:11,12).
3. Was a cherubim (Ezek. 28:14).
4. Highest of all angelic beings (Ezek. 28:12).
a. He is a creature and therefore, not omnipotent, omnipresent
b. Can be resisted by the Christian (James 4:7).
c. God has placed certain limitations on him (Job 1:12).
6. Personality traits:
a. He is a murderer (John 8:44).
b. He is a liar (John 8:44).
c. He is a confirmed sinner (I John 3:8).
d. He is an accuser (Rev. 12:10).
e. He is an adversary (I Pet. 5:8).
D. Principle names:
1. Satan -- adversary (II Cor. 11:14).
2. Devil -- slanderer (Matt. 4:1).
3. Serpent -- deceitful (Rev. 12:9).
4. Lucifer -- son of the morning (Isa. 14:12).
5. Evil one (I John 5:19).
6. Dragon (Rev. 12:17).
7. Prince of this world (John 12:31).
8. God of this world (I Cor. 2:4).
9. Accuser of the brethren (Rev. 12:10).
10. Beelzebub -- prince of the demons (Matt. 12:24).
11. Belial (II Cor. 6:15).
E. Satan's fall:
(cp. Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14)
1. His sin (Isa. 14:5 and 12-15) -- "I wills. . . ."
a. I will ascend into Heaven (I will take God's place).
b. I will exalt my throne above the stars of God (above the
c. I will sit on the mount of the assembly in the far north.
d. I will ascend above. . . clouds (the glory of God).
e. I will be like the most high. (Satan wanted to be the possessor
of heaven and earth.) -His sin was pride (I Tim. 3:6) and it
may be characterized as counterfeiting God (like the Most High).
2. His punishments:
a. Cast out of his original position in Heaven (Ezek. 28:16).
b. In the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:14-15).
c. At the cross (John 12:31).
d. Barred from all access to Heaven during the tribulation
period (Rev. 12:7-13).
e. Confined to the abyss (Rev. 20:2).
f. Cast into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:10).
F. Satan's work as related to:
a. Tries to thwart the plan of God in every area and by every
b. Seeks to counterfeit God's program.
c. Tempted Christ (Matt. 4).
d. Possessed the body of Judas to betray Christ (John 13:27).
a. Blinds their minds (II Cor. 4:4).
b. Snatches the word out of their hearts (Luke 8:12).
c. Uses unbelievers to oppose the work of God (Rev. 2:13).
d. He will gather them to the battle of Armageddon (Rev. 16:13-14).
e. He deceives them now (Rev. 20:3).
a. Tempts believers to lie (Acts 5:3).
b. Accuses and slanders believers (Rev. 12:10).
c. Can hinder the work of a Christian (II Thess. 2:18).
d. Tries to defeat us through demons (Eph. 6:12).
e. Tempts us to immorality (I Cor. 7:5).
f. Sows counterfeits among believers (Matt. 13:38,39).
g. Incites persecutions against believers (Rev. 2:10).
G. Defense of the believers against Satan:
1. Intercession of Christ (Heb. 7:25; John 17:15).
2. Have proper attitude toward Satan (I Pet. 5:8 and Jude 8,9).
3. Be on guard against Satan (I Pet. 5:8).
4. Take a stand against Satan, although at times we should flee
(James 4:7 and II Tim. 2:22).
5. Use the spiritual armor (Eph. 6:11-18).
III. THE DOCTRINE OF DEMONS
A. Views on origin of demons:
1. The souls of wicked men who have died (Greeks).
2. Spirits of a pre-Adamic race.
3. Offspring of the fallen angels and the women before the flood
4. Those angels who followed Satan at his fall (biblical position).
||Fallen Angels (demons)
||a. Free demons
||b. Confined demons
||c. Temporarily confined demons (Rev.
9:14 and Luke 8:28-31)
B. Characteristics of demons:
1. Spirit beings (Matt. 17:18, cp to Mark 9:25).
2. Know Jesus Christ (Mark 1:24).
3. Know their own end (Matt. 8:29).
4. Know the plan of salvation (James 2:19).
5. Have a system of doctrine (I Tim. 4:1-3).
6. Immoral, wicked, unclean (I Tim. 4:1-3).
C. Activities of demons:
1. In general:
a. Attempt to thwart the work of God (Rev. 16:13-16 and Daniel
b. Extend the authority of Satan (Eph. 6:11,12).
c. Demons may be used by God in carrying out His purpose (II
Cor. 12:7; I Tim. 1:19; I Cor. 5:5 and I Sam. 16:14).
2. Some particulars:
a. Can inflict disease (Matt. 9:33).
b. Can possess humans (Matt. 4:24).
c. Can possess animals (Mark 5:13).
d. Spread false doctrine (I Tim. 4).
e. Oppose the spiritual growth of God's children (Eph. 6:12).
D. Demon possession:
1. Definition: A demon residing within a person, exerting direct
control of that person's mind and/or body.
2. Result: Physical disease or handicaps (Matt. 9:32,33), Mental
derangement (Matt. 17:15).
3. Marks of demon possession from Mark 5 (the demoniac of Gadarene):
a. Indwelling of an unclean spirit (verse 2).
b. Unusual physical strength (verse 3).
c. Fits of rage (verse 4).
d. Disintegration or splitting of the personality (verses 6
and 7). The demoniac ran to Jesus for help, yet cried out in
e. Resistance to spiritual things (verse 7).
f. Clairvoyant powers (verse 7) -- knew immediately who Jesus
g. Alteration of voice (verse 9).
h. Occult transference (verse 13) -- the demons left the man
and entered into the swine.
E. Destiny of demons:
1. Temporarily some are confined. For instance, some who were
free during the lifetime of Christ were cast into the abyss (Luke
8:31) and will be loosed to do their work during the coming tribulation
days (Rev. 9:1-11 and 16:13-14).
2. Eventually all demons will be cast with Satan into the Lake
of Fire forever (Matt. 25:41 and Rev. 20:10).
It seems that Christians never tire of trying to come up with a new
way of dealing with life. We are reminded of the Athenians at the
Areopagus, who, "Used to spend their time in nothing other than
telling or hearing something new (Acts 17:21). Within evangelical
Christianity today, there is a constant parade of novel approaches
for dealing with our sins and problems. One of those is what some
call "spiritual warfare." Spiritual warfare has become quite
the rage in any Christian circles today, despite the lack of biblical
support. This is due to several factors: the influence of charismatic
elements; pragmatism; the church's surrender to psychology during
the last twenty years; and endorsement by respected theologians. Yet,
the question is, as always, does this new movement square with the
Word of God? We will discover that it not only does not square with
Scripture, but that the spiritual warfare movement is anti-Scriptural.
THE CHRISTIAN AND DEMON POSSESSION
Definition of demonized:
The spiritual warfare teachers make a big deal out of the Greek
word often translated, "demon possessed" in the New Testament.
The word itself simply means "to be demonized." Somehow
this definition is supposed to soften the concept of a Christian
being possessed by a demon. For example, Neil Anderson says that
it means to be controlled by a demon and is a matter of degrees.
However, the New Testament never uses the term for anything less
that to be indwelt by a demon. It is never used to describe Satan's
activity of accusing the brethren, temptation, deception or persecution.
So, no matter how we translate the word "daimonizomai,"
it is always used exclusively of those indwelt by demons.
Can a Christian be demon possessed?
The question must be asked, "Can a Christian be demon possessed;
that is, indwelt and controlled by a demon?" C.F. Dickenson,
in his book Demon Possession and the Christian, devotes serious
study to this question. He deals with every major portion of Scripture
on the subject and then concludes: "We have found that though
there is a great deal of information to consider, and though men
adduce evidence of varying weight, yet we could not come to a definite
conclusion. . . . We have sought evidence from biblical and theological
considerations on whether Christians can be demonized (p149).
In other words, according to Dr. Dickenson, the same Scriptures
that claim to provide everything we need for life and godliness
(II Pet. 1:3), is inadequate to deal with this important subject.
What's a Christian to do? According to Dickenson, God neglected
to include in His Word instructions for victory over one of the
Christian's most powerful enemies. So where are we to turn? Dickenson
reassures us that we can look to experience with confidence. He
admits that, "The danger of basing our theology on experience
is evident." Yet, since God's Word does not address the subject
of the demonization of Christians, the spiritual warfare teachers
have felt free to develop a whole system of demonic warfare based
on the supposed experiences of people.
What does the Bible say?
Before we examine the faulty spiritual warfare structure we should
examine whether the Bible gives us any clue as to the demonization
of believers. The following passages need to be studied --
Col. 1:13-14 -- When individuals are saved they are delivered
from the domain of darkness.
Rom. 8:37 -- While in the context of the security of the believer,
nevertheless, we find that the Christian is promised victory through
I Cor. 6:19 -- The Christian is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. It
is inconceivable that the Holy Spirit would share our bodies with
a demon. During the time of Jesus' ministry on the earth demons
feared Jesus and usually avoided Him if possible. Why wouldn't
the same be true of the Holy Spirit?
I John 4:4 -- The Christian has the Holy Spirit within him. Demons
on the other hand inhabit the world and those of the world.
I John 5:18 -- The evil one cannot touch God's child.
II Thess. 3:3 -- Because of our Lord's faithfulness (not ours)
we are protected from the evil one.
I Cor. 5:5 -- In the New Testament we never find any indication
that a believer can be indwelt by a demon, nor are we ever given
any command or instruction concerning the casting out of demons.
This passage speaks of delivering a believer to Satan for the
destruction of his flesh. Nothing is ever said about delivering
a believer from the possession of the devil.
Why the interest in this subject:
So why do some believe that the Christian can be demonized?
Here are three reasons:
1. Experience -- Stories, some of them quite incredible, dominate
the field. The theory seems to be that if someone has had an experience,
no matter how absurd or unbiblical, it must be from God. "Story
Theology" is the predominate brand of theology today.
2. The influence of psychology -- My problems can't be my fault.
There must be a solution, outside of the Scriptures. This is the
same view of the Scriptures that the Christian psychologist teaches.
3. Blameshifting -- Anderson says, "Those who say a demon
cannot control an area of a believer's life have left us with
only two possible culprits for the problems we face: ourselves
or God. If we blame ourselves we feel hopeless because we can't
do anything to stop what we're doing. If we blame God our confidence
in Him as our benevolent Father is shattered. Either way, we have
no chance to gain the victory which the Bible promises us"
(The Bondage Breaker, p.174). Since we can no longer blame
ourselves for our own problems demons become handy scapegoats.
I. THE TEACHINGS OF SPIRITUAL WARFARE LEADERS
Neil Anderson is the most popular teacher of spiritual warfare.
Anderson was the chairman of the Practical Theology Department at
Talbot School of Theology of Biola University. He has written several
books on this subject, including: The Bondage Breaker; The
Seduction of Our Children; Victory over the Darkness;
Released from Bondage; and Walking Through the Darkness.
He also travels the country giving his "Freedom in Christ"
seminars. We will deal with Anderson's teachings as representative
of the whole group.
A. Biblical teachings:
Many of Dr. Anderson's concepts are in line with the Scriptures,
for which we give God praise. Anderson would be in agreement with
the essential doctrines of the faith. In addition, he places special
emphases on -
- Right thinking will produce right emotions.
- The greatest deterrent of mental and emotional health is a
true knowledge of God.
- The believer must understand his identity in Christ.
- Forgiveness is extremely important in the Christian life.
B. Christians can be demonized or demon possessed:
Anderson makes the following statements. "It is my observation
that no more than 15% of the evangelical Christian community is
completely free from Satan's bondage" (Bondage, p.107).
"Demonic influence is not an external force in the physical
realm; it is the internal manipulation of the central nervous system"
(p.111). "Anything bad which you cannot stop doing, or anything
good which you cannot make yourself do, could be an area of demonic
To Anderson 85% of evangelical Christians are controlled to some
degree by Satan. It would be quite an interesting search to attempt
to find Scriptural support for Anderson's assertions.
C. Christians can be delivered from demonization:
Fortunately for us, Anderson has discovered a means of deliverance
for the demon-controlled Christian. Where did he find his program?
Certainly not in Scripture -- remember the Bible apparently is unfamiliar
with this problem. He didn't find it even in the traditions of the
great saints of the past. As a matter of fact, no one in the history
of the church has ever taught the methods developed by Anderson
-- which tells us a couple of things:
1. Since this program is not based upon Scripture, and since
it is brand new to the church, great caution is in order.
2. If Anderson is correct, then most of the saints of the past,
who only had God's Word to guide them, have been hopelessly enslaved
to demons -- apparently without realizing it. What a sad thought!
D. Anderson's teachings on what the believer must do in order to
be free from demonization. His primary focus is to be contained
within the following three concepts:
1. Understanding our identity in Christ --
Much of what Anderson teaches in this section is biblical, however
he deviates in two important areas:
a. The authority of the believer.
The argument runs like this: I am seated in the heavenlies in
Christ. Christ has all power and authority. Therefore, I have
Christ's power and authority. As a result, all Christians have
authority over Satan and his demons.
It should be obvious that the third premise above is not true.
Anderson gives Luke 9 and 10 as proof texts. However, not only
are these references to the pre-pentecostal believers (who were
not in Christ), but, they are specific instructions to a specific
group of people for a specific act. These passages have no reference
to the church.
b. Binding, loosing, commanding Satan and his demons.
Anderson admits that there are no instructions
in the epistles to cast out demons because (he says) it is the
responsibility of every Christian to put on the armor of God,
stand firm and resist the devil.
The Scripture used as support is Matthew 12:29, but it is wrong
to conclude that Christ was establishing a universal principal
for binding evil spirits. By the way, who keeps letting them loose?
2. Freedom from our past --
Anderson suggests a four-prong approach:
a. The "integration of psychology with theology."
b. Freeing the Christian of "generational demonic bondage."
He is speaking of genetically inherited demons, spirit guides,
Satanic curses, and a genetic pre-disposition to addictive or
Exodus 20:5 is the supposed Scriptural basis, but it is used
out of context (see verse 6), but even if inherited sin was the
context, Ezekiel 18:19 has rescinded this.
c. Forgive God (Released, p.174).
Nothing more needs to be said here. This is nothing short of
d. Forgive yourself.
Nothing in all the Word of God gives us the authority to forgive
3. Freedom from Scriptural conflicts caused by demons -- Demonic
confrontation is the crux of Andersons ministry.
Note three unhealthy and/or unscriptural presumptions:
a. Demons (not the flesh) are the primary source of Scriptural
failure for the Christian (Gal. 5:16-21).
b. Christians can become demon possessed.
c. Spiritual warfare is an offensive, rather than defensive,
campaign including verbal assaults on Satan. "We must learn
to bind the strong man before we will be able to rescue his prisoners"
4. Steps to freedom in Christ -- Satan will be defeated only if
we confront him verbally (p.84):
Step #1 -- Renounce involvement with satanically inspired occultic
practices. (This would include any activity that a family member
may have participated in.)
Step #2 -- Choose to live by truth rather than deception.
Step #3 -- Choose forgiveness rather than being bitter. (This
includes forgiving ourselves, p.196.)
Step #4 -- We must choose to be submissive rather than rebellious.
Step #5 -- Live humbly instead of proudly.
Step #6 -- Choose freedom rather than bondage to sin.
Step #7 -- Renounce the sins and curses, which may have been
placed on your ancestors (see ex. p.201).
II. EVALUATION OF SPIRITUAL WARFARE
The Scriptures claim to provide everything we need for salvation
and sanctification (II Tim. 3:16,17 and II Pet. 1:3). Yet, by the
spiritual warfare teacher's own admission there exists no biblical
evidence that a child of God can be demonized. If that is the case,
then obviously the Scriptures provide no steps to freedom from demon
possession. We are now being told that Neil Anderson and C. Fred
Dickenson are providing for us what God's Word never does. Where
are these men getting this information? From experience -- the same
source that the charismatics get their unbiblical teachings.
A. Not only is the spiritual warfare movement derived from extrabiblical
sources, but it contradicts much of what the New Testament does
tell us about demons.
1. In the epistles there are ten references to demons (mostly
relating certain facts), but there are over fifty references to
"the flesh" as the primary enemy of the Christian. The
New Testament perspective is that the major area of conflict is
in the arena of the flesh, not demonic influence.
2. Some are claiming that demons have names that reflect their
influence. Names such as, "lust," "murder,"
"envy," "gossip," etc. Yet, nowhere in the
Bible do we find any support for this teaching. Scripture explicitly
says that these actions are a product of the flesh (e.g. Gal.
3. Anderson claims that when we deal with demons it is a "truth
encounter," not a "power encounter." However, when
Jesus or the Apostles cast out demons it was always a power encounter.
Never once did Jesus attempt to reason with a demonized individual.
Never once did He call on them to believe the truth. He always
forcibly cast demons out of such people. In addition, not a single
person in the Gospels ever came to Jesus for deliverance from
demons. The obvious reason being that when a demon controls someone,
that person has lost his ability to choose right. The spiritual
warfare teachers claim that demonized believers are coming to
them for deliverance in great droves.
4. The spiritual warfare leaders do not understand the distinction
between Jesus and the Apostles and the average Christian. Jesus'
encounters with the demons were directly related to His claim
to be the Messiah and His offer of the Kingdom. As for the Apostles,
there are three occasions in which they cast out demons after
Christ's ascension (Acts 8:5-8; 16:16-18; 19:11-12). The ability
to do this was given to verify their appointments as Apostles
(Mark 16:17; II Cor. 12:12). In the New Testament we do not find
Christians casting out demons unless they were Apostles. However,
even with the Apostles we do not find the casting out of demons
to be a major part of their ministry. Instead, the norm for dealing
with the demon-possessed was the presentation of the gospel.
5. It is interesting to realize that it is these very areas --
the ones the charismatics and the spiritual warfare people emphasize
so heavily -- that Jesus singles out as proving nothing concerning
our relationship to God (Matt. 7:21-23). Later Paul would even
teach that satanically inspired people can produce miracles (II
6. The bottom line is that this method of sanctification is taught
nowhere in the Bible. We surely can trust our Lord to have included
a means of demonic deliverance if it had been needed.
B. Some additional UNBIBLICAL teachings:
1. Binding Satan -- based on the misinterpretation of three passages:
Matt. 12:29; 16; 19 and 18:18. The context however reveals that
Matt. 12:29 was an illustration of Christ's personal power over
Satan, not ours. Also, Matt. 16:19 and 18:18 are in the context
of fulfilling God's will on earth, including church discipline.
2. Rebuking the devil -- believers are never instructed to rebuke
the devil or his demons. The New Testament views rebuking as the
sole prerogative of Jesus (Jude 9). As a matter of fact, this
is a mark of false prophets (II Pet. 2:4-12; Jude 8,9). Why do
people rebuke the devil then? II Pet. 2:12 and Jude 10 says that
they do so because they don't understand what they are doing.
II Peter 2:10 suggests that they do so because of arrogance.
3. Praying the blood -- This phrase or idea is found nowhere
in the New Testament. Christ's blood delivers us from sin.
4. Inherited curses -- four reasons why this is inaccurate:
a. Salvation delivers us from all sin -- including occultic
sins. The Bible does not recognize occult sin as a special category
that has not been dealt with at the cross.
b. Exodus 20:5 refers to the choice of each successive generation
to follow after the sins of their ancestors. Ezekiel 18:10-20
says that we will each be dealt with according to our own sin.
c. Exodus 20:5-6 and Deuteronomy 5:9-10 deals with Israel --
not the church.
d. There is not one example in the Bible of a saved person
being under a satanic curse, which had to be "broken"
by Christian exorcism or distinct confession.
e. Territorial spirits.
III. BIBLICAL INSTRUCTION CONCERNING DEALING
A. That Satan and his demons are actively involved in attempting
to destroy our lives is evident throughout Scripture. I Peter 5:8
perhaps sums up Satan's efforts and goals better than any other
place in the Bible. The big question is how are we to deal with
his onslaughts? Some are teaching today that we are to rebuke or
bind Satan. Others tell us that we are to cast demons out of people
by claiming the blood of Christ, (The Bondage Breaker, pp.69,84,85,88,107
and 111). Yet, in the New Testament we are never instructed or commanded
to cast out or bind demons.
B. When it comes to Satan we are taught to play a defensive role.
When believers go on the offensive against Satan they are stepping
out of their legitimate bounds by becoming involved in situations
which the Lord has never intended for them. Rather than instruction
concerning exorcism, binding, rebuking, etc., we are taught (in
the only three places in the New Testament where instruction concerning
dealing with Satan is found) to resist the Devil (I Pet. 5:6-9;
James 4:7 and Eph. 6:10-18).
C. Only the Ephesians 6 passage teaches us how to resist by putting
on the armor of God. Paul, as a prisoner at the time he wrote the
epistle of Ephesians, observed daily the protective armor of the
soldiers that guarded him. Using the armor as an illustration, Paul
explained to us how we can stand firm against the schemes of the
Devil. Six pieces of armor are needed to fully protect the believer
against Satan's attacks:
1. The Belt of Truth (6:14) --
The belt was essential to keep the other pieces of armor in place
and to secure freedom of movement by tying back the long tunic
that the soldiers wore. The truth spoken of here is the objective
truth of God's Word. God wants us to be completely dominated and
controlled by the truth of the Bible. It is because many Christians
are not committed to the absolute truth and final authority of
the Word of God that they are ineffective in their spiritual warfare.
We must take II Timothy 3:16,17 and II Peter 1:3 seriously. This
must be our presupposition.
2. The Breastplate of Righteousness (6:14) --
The vital organs of the Roman soldier were protected by his breastplate.
People are in need of two types of righteousness that protect
their thoughts, emotions and wills:
a. "Saving righteousness" that is given to us at
the moment of conversion (Rom. 4:5). This is the righteousness
of Christ and is credited to us without merit on our part when
we trust in Christ for the forgiveness of sin.
b. "Personal righteousness" which refers to the righteousness
produced in our lives by the Holy Spirit. This takes place in
a believer's life as he recognizes his sin and turns to Christ.
To choose to live "rightly" is a great safeguard.
3. Shoes of the Gospel of Peace (6:15) --
You will note that we are to have our feet shod with the preparation"
of the gospel of peace. This speaks of a readiness, firm footing,
mobility and protection that comes from having the gospel of peace.
The thing that assures us of ultimate victory against Satan is
that we have peace with God (Rom. 5:1,2). Therefore, we can remain
steadfast and immovable because our feet are firmly grounded on
our immovable relationship with God.
4. Shield of Faith (6:16) --
This speaks not of "saving faith," for these people
were already saved, but of a "living faith," a trust
in the promises and the power of God. Satan's primary weapon is
to get us to distrust God's Word. It is by faith in God and His
Word that we are able to handle anything Satan throws in our way.
Only by looking away from self to God, placing our trust in Him
for life, death and eternity, relying only on His Word of revelation
and promise, is it possible to repel Satan's shower of flaming
5. Helmet of salvation (6:17) --
I Thessalonians 5:8 clarifies the meaning here. He is speaking
not of becoming saved but of the "hope of salvation."
That is, we have absolute assurance of our salvation no matter
how fierce the battle becomes. Were it not for the fact that in
the midst of hardship and persecution the assurance of salvation
dwells in our hearts we might easily give up the fight. The helmet
of salvation enables us to go into battle with complete confidence,
not in ourselves but in our God (Phip. 1:6).
6. Sword of the Spirit (6:17) --
This refers to the short dagger-like sword that was used primarily
for defense, not the broad sword that was an offensive weapon.
"The sword which the Christian carries is described here
as the Word of God. But this is not the Greek 'logos,' but 'rhema.'
'Rhems' refers to a specific word or utterance. In spiritual warfare
it is not enough to have merely a general knowledge of the Scriptures;
we must also have a specific knowledge of the Scriptures and use
this knowledge correctly" (A Holy Rebellion, p.145).
Note 6:18,19 where this armor is to be bathed in prayer.