PUTTING ON THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD
During the Feast of Unleavened Bread it is important we look
at the fight we are in and the armor we need to be victorious.
The apostle Paul knew that Christians were in a fight, a
fight that was especially against Satan and the demons, powers of
the heavenly realm, who are literally physically much more
powerful than us humans. Why they can perform many acts that
would come under the term "miracle." The false prophet of
Revelation, THE greatest false prophet of all time will be able
to perform signs and wonders, miracles we would call them. Satan
and his helpers can come looking like they are "angels of light"
(2 Corinthians 11:13-15).
Then there is the fight we have with our own carnal nature
that wants to keep pulling us down, pulling us away from God and
Christ, pulling us into sin. The apostle Paul talked about that
fight, even getting very personal, opening up himself, telling us
he did at times feel very wretched. We find his description of
this battle in Romans 7.
Yes, Paul knew we were in a fight, a battle, a war so to
speak, and to win that war we needed the WHOLE armor of God. His
description of this armor is found in Ephesians 6.
"Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand
against the wiles of the devil ... Wherefore take unto you the
whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil
day, and having done all, to stand" (Eph.6:11-13).
(1) WRAPPED ABOUT BY TRUTH
The first piece of armor Paul mentions is TRUTH. I have four
books in my library devoted to helping ministers with preparing
sermons. "Swindoll's Ultimate Book of Illustrations and Quotes"
(650 pages) - "Stories, Illustrations, and Quotes - the Ultimate
Contemporary Resource for Speakers" (833 pages). These two books
contain NOTHING about the subject of "truth."
The last two books of the four do contain remarks on "truth"
- I will give them to you.
He who begins by loving Christianity better than truth will
proceed by loving his own sect or church better than
Christianity, and end in loving himself better than all.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.
The very amount of information that computers make available
threatens us with cognitive overload: Overwhelmed with facts,
people tend to mistake data for truth, knowledge for wisdom. With
a mind-set fixed on information, our attention span shortens. We
collect fragments. We become mentally poorer in overall meaning.
Hard are the ways of truth, and rough to walk.
John Milton (Courage, Honesty)
I never give 'em hell. I just tell the truth, and they think it's
Harry S. Truman
Truth does not blush.
Western culture has made a fundamental change in its religious
base. We have exchanged that one who said, "I am the Truth" (John
14:6) for the incredibly expensive doctrine of Freud and the
words of all his various disciples. Our new religion says with
Pontius Pilate, "What is truth?" and teaches that our status is
one of "original victim" rather than "original sin."
A man can't be always defending the truth; there must be a time
to feed on it.
C. S. Lewis
(Spiritual Growth, Apologetics)
You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad.
Peace, if possible, but the truth at any rate.
Martin Luther (Peace, Honesty)
From "1001 Quotes, Illustrations and Humorous Stories - for
preachers, teachers, and writers" by Edward K. Rowell
Truth: From the book "750 Engaging Illustrations for preachers,
teachers, and writers" by Craig Brian Larson, we find this:
Sodium is an extremely active element found naturally only in
combined form; it always links itself to another element.
Chlorine, on the other hand, is the poisonous gas that gives
bleach its offensive odor. When sodium and chlorine are combined,
the result is sodium chloride--common table salt-the substance we
use to preserve meat and bring out its flavor.
Love and truth can be like sodium and chlorine. Love without
truth is flighty, sometimes blind, willing to combine with
various doctrines. On the other hand, truth by itself can be
offensive, sometimes even poisonous. Spoken without love, it can
turn people away from the gospel.
When truth and love are combined in an individual or a church,
however, then we have what Jesus called "the salt of the earth,"
and we're able to preserve and bring out the beauty of our faith.
The purple dinosaur named Barney is loved by millions of
children. According to Reuters, on July 15, 1997, Barney had an
accident. During filming of the Barney & Friends show, a cooling
fan inside the sixty-pound dinosaur suit short-circuited and
started to smoke. The actor playing Barney quickly got out of the
suit but suffered smoke inhalation. He was taken to the hospital
and soon released.
The story of the accident was carried on the news, and it upset
many children. Scores of parents called the television station to
say their children were afraid that Barney had been burned, or
worse, that he was a fake.
A spokeswoman for the producers of the program said, "It can be
really devastating to a three-year-old. They love Barney and they
think that something terrible has happened to him, or that he's
Fantasies like Barney can bring a person good feelings. But a
fantasy is a fantasy, and sooner or later the truth comes out.
There are all sorts of fantasies. Those hostile to the God of the
Bible must hold on to a great number of fantasies to justify
their thinking and behavior. Sooner or later those fantasies are
seen for what they really are.
In Discipleship Journal author Mack Stiles tells the story of how
he led a young man from Sweden named Andreas to Christ. One part
of their conversation is especially instructive:
Andreas said, "I've been told if I decide to follow Jesus, He
will meet my needs and my life will get very good."
This seemed to Andreas to be a point in Christianity's favor. But
I faced a temptation - to make it sound better than it is. "No,
Andreas, no!" I said.
Andreas blinked his surprise.
"Actually, Andreas, you may accept Jesus and find that life goes
very badly for you."
"What do you mean?" he asked.
"Well, you may find that your friends reject you, you could lose
your job, your family might oppose your decision - there are a
lot of bad things that may happen to you if you decide to follow
Jesus. Andreas, when Jesus calls you, He calls you to go the way
of the cross."
Andreas stared at me and asked the obvious: "Then why would I
want to follow Jesus?"
Sadly, this is the question that stumps many Christians. For some
reason we feel that unless we're meeting people's needs they
won't follow Christ. Yet this is not the gospel.
I cocked my head and answered, "Andreas, because Jesus is true."
Those on the side of truth come to Jesus.
When the new technology of high-definition television came on the
scene, it had an immediate effect on how things were done in the
studio. Low-tech television had such poor picture resolution that
the visual details of a studio did not show up on the screen.
Actors and newscasters wore thick pancake makeup to hide
wrinkles, moles, and blemishes, but the makeup was invisible to
the relatively crude camera. Fake books rested on shelves, and
cardboard backdrops with painted wood grain stood as walls.
Still, with low-tech television, the viewer was none the wiser.
Says Jim Fenhagen, a set designer who works for the major
networks, "With the old TV, you can get away with murder."
But high-definition television, using high-resolution digital
technology, changed all that. The studio camera picks up
everything from scratches on the desk to blemishes on the skin.
That has forced a change in how things are done.
Like television personalities facing an unforgiving
high-definition camera, when we come to God, we come to the one
who sees us as we really are. We must be completely truthful with
THE BIBLE AND TRUTH
The Bible has much to say regarding the topic of "truth."
The saints are to worship God in truth - John 4:24, with
We are to serve God in truth - Josh.24:14; 1 Sam.12:24.
We are to walk before God in truth - 1 Kin.2:4; 2 Kin.20:3.
We are to observe the Feasts of the Lord in truth - 1 Cor.5:8.
We are to esteem truth as inestimable - Prov.23:23.
We are to love truth - Zech.8:19.
We are to rejoice in truth - 1 Cor.13:6.
We are to speak to one another in truth - Zech.8:16; Eph.4:25.
We are to execute judgment with truth - Zech.8:16.
We are to meditate upon truth - Phil.4:8.
We are to bind about our neck what is truth - Prov.3:3.
We are to write truth upon the tables of our heart - Prov.3:3.
The fruit of the Spirit is in truth - Eph.5:9
Ministers of the Lord are to speak truth - 2 Cor.12:6; Gal.4:16.
Those who teach are to teach in truth - 1 Tim.2:7.
The servants of the Lord are to approve themselves by truth - 2
Speaking truth is showing forth righteousness - Prov.12:17.
People with truth are the delight of God - Prov.12:22.
Truth came by Christ - John 1:17. It is in Christ - 1 Tim.2:7.
John bear witness of - John 5:33.
Truth will set us apart - John 17:17,19.
Truth is purifying - 1 Pet.1:22.
Truth is revealed abundantly to the saints - Jer.33:6.
Truth abides continually with the saints - 2 John 2.
Truth should be acknowledged - 2 Tim.2:25
Truth should be believed - 2 Thes.2:10
Truth should be manifested - 2 Cor.4:2.
Truth must be rightly put together from the Scriptures -
Truth is a shield and buckler to the saints - Ps.91:4.
We should confide in truth - Ps.31:5; Tit.1:2.
We should pray that it will be manifested to us - 2 Chr.6:17.
We should pray truth will be exhibited to others - 2 Sam.2:6.
Pray that truth be made known to others - Isa.38:19.
Truth should be magnified and praised - Ps.71:22; 138:2.
TRUTH IS GOD
Truth is one of the attributes of God - Deut.32:4; Isa.65:16.
He keeps it forever - Ps.146:6. It is inviolable - Num.23:19;
Tit.1:2. It endures to all generations - Ps.100:5. Truth is
exhibited in God's ways - Rev.15:3; in His works - Ps.33:4;
111:17; Dan.4:37. Truth is God's judicial statutes - Ps.19:9. His
word is truth - Ps.119:160; John 17:17. It is the fulfilment of
promises in Christ - 2 Cor.1:20. It is the fulfilment of His
covenant - Mic.7:20. God deals with truth to those who keep his
covenant - Ps.25:10.
THE TRUTH IS NO PART OF THE WICKED
The wicked are destitute of truth - Hos.4:1. They speak not truth
-Jer.9:5. They uphold not truth - Isa.59:14,15. They do not plead
for truth - Isa.59:4. They are not valiant for truth - Jer.9:3.
They will be punished for want of truth - Jer.9:5,9; Hos.4:1,3; 2
Truth is denied by the Devil - Gen.3:4,5.
Truth is denied by the self-righteous - 1 John 1:10.
Truth is denied by the unbelievers - 1 John 5:10
UNCLASSIFIED SCRIPTURES ON "TRUTH"
Psa. 40:10. I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth
from the great congregation.
Psa. 51:6. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts
Psa. 57:3 God shall send forth his mercy And his truth. 10. For
thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the
Psa. 85:10. Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and
peace have kissed each other. 11. Truth shall spring out of the
earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
Psa. 86:15. But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and
gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.
Psa. 89:14. Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy
throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.
Psa. 96:13. He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the
people with his truth.
Ps 98:3. He hath remembered his mercy an his truth toward the
house of Israel.
Psa. 100:5. For the Lord is good; his mercy as everlasting; and
his truth endureth to all generations.
Psa. 108:4. For thy mercy is great above the heavens and thy
truth reacheth unto the clouds.
Prov. 12:19. The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but
a lying tongue is but for a moment.
Prov. 16:13. Righteous lips are the delight of kings; and they
love him that speaketh right.
Isa. 25:1. O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will
praise thy name; for thou halt done wonderful things; thy
counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.
Isa. 59:14. Truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot
enter. 15. Yea, truth faileth.
Isa. 65:16. That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless
himself in the God of truth, and he that sweareth in the earth
shall swear by the God of truth.
Jer. 5:3. O Lord, are not thine eyes upon the truth?
Dan. 4:37. Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the
King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment.
Dan. 10:21. But I will shew thee that which is noted in the
scripture of truth.
Mic. 7:20. Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to
Abraham, which thou halt sworn unto our fathers from the days of
John 1:14. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and
we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the
Father,) full of grace and truth.
John 8:31. Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him,
If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32.
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
John 14:6. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the
life: 17. The Spirit of truth.
John 16:13. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth is come, he will
guide you into all truth.
John 17:17. Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth.
19. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might
be sanctified through the truth.
John 18:37. Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then?
Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I
born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should
bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth
heareth my voice. 38. Pilate saith unto him, What is truth?
Rom. 2:2. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according
to truth against them which commit such things.
YOU MAY LIKE TO DO A BIBLE STUDY ON ALL THE ABOVE PASSAGES -
READING THEM OUT LOUD - LET THEM SINK DEEP INTO YOUR HEART -
MEDITATE ON THEM!
We know that Jesus said God's WORD was truth. We know Jesus
promised that when the Spirit came it would GUIDE His disciples
into ALL truth.
Truth is not given in a few minutes or a few hours. When
Paul was called and chosen to do the work of the Lord, he went
away into arabia for about 3 years before returning to start
preaching and teaching the Gospel (Gal.1). I'm sure he spent a
lot of time in prayer and he was a student of the Lord.
Truth is usually given to us over a period of time. As we
study and are willing to be led by the Spirit, then more truth
will be added, given to us. And God weighs the heart and mind and
our efforts. Sometimes, maybe most of the time, truth is given
after we have SEARCHED the Scriptures as those at Berea were
willing to do when Paul and Silas preached among them (Acts 17).
They are called "noble" - they were willing to spend much time in
searching the Scriptures. It is sad to say, but today most who go
under the name of "Christian" are spiritually LAZY Christians.
They will read books and watch DVDs by the dozens of people
saying they are the ministers of Christ. They will stand is
some "awe" of preachers with DR in front of their name or PhD
after their name, and read their books and watch their DVDS by
the hours, BUT they will not read their Bibles. They will not
SEARCH the Scriptures. They will not read the Bible from cover to
cover. They do not have a burning desire to ask God for the
truth, neither will they take the time to search for it.
Paul was inspired to give a VERY BLUNT AND POWERFUL WARNING
to those, especially in the end times when THE man of sin, THE
false prophet of Revelation appears on the world scene, coming in
the name of Christ, looking like a great shinning light of
righteousness, but who will actually be AGAINST Christ - teaching
and preaching false doctrines, that will lead tens of, nay,
hundreds of millions, into DECEPTION and SIN! Paul gives a
WARNING to those who will NOT love the truth, that they might be
saved. And so God will send STRONG DELUSION on the earth, that
they should believe a LIE. And so will be judged for not yearning
for the truth, but have pleasure in UN-righteousness (2 Thes.2:7-
Righteousness is DEFINED by God, the Bible INTERPRETS
itself! Righteousness is ALL OF GOD'S COMMANDMENTS - Psalm
We shall in future studies come to the armor of
righteousness - the breastplate of righteousness that goes around
and over the heart.
For now our attention must be "truth" - and God's WORD is
truth. Make sure you are reading it, studying it, searching the
Scriptures. Only by doing so will you be able to KNOW the truth
and find who are the true servants of the Almighty God - who is
by His very nature - TRUTH!
Written during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, April 2009
To be continued