Borrowed Truths

The Armor of the Lost

Borrowed Truths

The Armor of the Lost

Please be aware that in this letter to you I am in no way attempting to make a parody of the Word of God, I will remove nothing from it nor add anything to it, it is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path, (Psalm 119:105) through it He speaks to us, guides us and it is our one great comfort in this time of our sojourning here on earth.

You will have noticed from the title of this letter the play on words from Ephesians 6:12-17, the armament section, if you will, of the Scriptures. It is here that we are told of the protective gear for the battles at hand, along with our one offensive weapon, and are given a brief introduction as to their uses. Without them you will not be able to stand against the enemy, you will fall, even with the knowledge and preparation of how to use them effectively, you will occasionally suffer injury and at times, even temporary defeat. It is in the spiritual realm that these battles occur, but as we will see in accordance with this letter, our enemies will come to us in the guise of human beings, and while some of them may indeed be possessed by demons when you meet them, most will not. Do not think that this will make the battle any easier.

What the vast majority of these individuals that you will encounter do not understand, these that will have on the Armor of the Lost, is that their father is the devil. (John 8:44) They do not completely realize it, but they are fighting for him, in love we are to engage in the battle, but we must never be foolish enough to remove even one piece of the Armor of God, for if they see even one thread dangling, they will pull at it until all has fallen from us. As you may have read in one of my previous letters to you, the Lord our God does not send us anywhere that He has not prepared us to go, but He will not send anyone who has not prepared. The armor will do you absolutely no good if you have not sought for understanding in the Scriptures in the areas of truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation and the inerrancy of the Word of God.

The battle is not for children, it is for those warriors of Christ that are willing to stand, no matter the consequences, those that have prepared for the evil day. The vast majority of the battle for our own inner man, our submission to the will and Word of God, should have been completed long ago, and although the skirmishes within us will still appear, we have learned to die daily to them, (1st Cor. 15:31) so that His will can be done in us as He sees best. Save for the Word of God, all of the believer’s armor is of the defensive sort, only the sword is used in a combative manner, not so with the armor of the lost. All of their weapons are of the offensive nature, meant to cause as much harm as possible, each in their own way, save one, the Helmet of Imminent Doom, and with it we shall begin our discussion on the Armor of the Lost.

As there are six armaments that our Lord has blessed us with, so we would expect our adversary to use the same number of items in his arsenal, and of course to twist them as much as possible. Since he is also aware that the Word of God is the only truth, he must protect his own from it, hence the Helmet of Imminent Doom, the only defensive article that he offers his own. We must always remember that when we are speaking to the lost that they cannot comprehend spiritual truths, it is not difficult or hard for them, it is impossible, (1st Cor. 2:14) and the preaching of the cross to them is foolishness. (1st Cor. 1:18) This Helmet of Imminent Doom then is for their protection from the truths of the Scriptures, from the truths and influences of them in their minds. If even one small truth was to enter in, debate within themselves would begin, and that must not be allowed.

As the Helmet of Salvation protects us by keeping our Lords promises in the forefront of our thoughts, His promises, His faithfulness and the assurance of our salvation, so the Helmet of Imminent Doom does for the lost. It continuously retains thoughts within the wearer that there is no hope, that no one can say what will happen after death. It reminds them that if there is a heaven and a hell, for this truth is known even to the lost, (Eccl. 3:11) but buried deep within them, that they had better be on their best behavior at all times, that the “big guy in the sky” has got a set of scales, and the good had better outweigh the bad in this life. But the helmet they wear also does other things, as our helmet is intended to do.

For the lost it is meant to keep certain words out, words like compassion, caring, humility and most of all brotherly love. When they do happen to sneak past the protective cover, thoughts of self-righteousness will appear in their minds, “I’m a good guy,” “I’m not as bad as some people,” “Everybody’s got their faults.” For the lost who have their Helmet of Imminent Doom pushed down tightly and the straps secured good and snug, any responses that they will have for the words of Gods truth will be ones of strong rebuttals, you will hear that the Bible is nothing more than a bunch of stories, nothing but tall tails made up by men who just wanted their names in print, fables made up by a lot of crazy people all stuck together to make some money, nothing more than stories meant to scare small children and keep old people in line. “False hope” they will say to you and berate you for believing it. The helmet that they will not take off, the protection that Satan has placed upon their head, will remind them that nobody knows what happens after your dead, “I’ll figure it out when I get there,” is usually their final response.

My friends, unless your Helmet of Salvation is on just as tight as their headpiece is, their words will sway you, they will cause doubt, and they will not have pulled out weapon one of the five that they have. You must be assured of Gods promises, you must believe that He is faithful and true, your faith must be unwavering and the truth of His word, all of His inerrant word, must abide in you in a permanent way, for the enemy, the enemy that you are to love, has yet to pull out his most powerful weapon, in fact, he will start with the least powerful one, the Belt of Lies.

Satan is the Father of lies, (John 8:44) he was a liar from the beginning, but we must remember that his first lie was not in the garden of Eden to our parents, but in heaven itself, when he deceived himself into believing that he was more than a created being, that he could attain to greater heights than God intended for him to be, in fact, as great as God Himself. The Belt of Lies that the lost wear is what all of the other weapons they carry hangs upon, literally and figuratively, it is the first line of offense, and for the believer who is not rooted in the Word, (Col.2:7) it will be the only weapon that the enemy will need.

Lies are meant to conceal or cover the truth, to cause doubt to the validity of Gods Word. These lost souls will seek first to show you what they want you to see as contradictions in the Scriptures, subjects that are referenced in two different places and have what they want you to see as conflicting points. There is great subtlety here, and for the believer that has not studied to show themselves approved, (2nd Tim. 2:15) the purpose of the Belt of Lies will not be seen to them, to create doubt where none should exist. A diligent, daily study of the Word of God, our Belt of Truth, is the only way to see their words as what they are, lies. Beyond what they consider contradictions, these wearers of the Belt of Lies will bring to your attention the thousands of different religious organizations, and the hundreds, if not more, translations of the Scriptures as proof enough, they will say, that no one really knows the truth when it comes to God.

They will speak of works that must be done along with what Christ accomplished on the cross before salvation can be attained, how litanies must be repeated constantly, or beads counted to no end before repentance can be granted. They will talk of how only those in a position of authority within any given church, those that have been placed above the average member, are the only ones with a “true” knowledge of God, and that these also, as you are, have been being deceived all along. Doubt is the desired goal, the subtlety of well- spoken lies the means to this end. They will bring up perhaps how there is no God, that He has only been a vain imagination of the minds of men seeking dominant power over the weak minded, those who are easily swayed and led by their emotions.

If you have the Belt of Truth cinched tight around you, if you are a submissive servant of Christ who has been allowing the Holy Spirit to guide you in the truths of the Scriptures, these lies will seem to you as the words of a child, and your love for these lost souls will have created within you a sadness for them, for we remember that we fight not against flesh and blood. But he is not quite finished with this first weapon yet, this creator of doubt, the Belt of Lies. The one who leads his army, the one who first spoke “Hath not God said” (Gen. 3:1) trains his servants well in the art of spiritual warfare, there is one last blow that they will attempt against you, the doubt of your own walk with Christ.

Your inability to remain on the path will be brought up, desires of your flesh that you allow to consume you at times, the small, sharp pinprick of doubt that perhaps God doesn’t exist, that you have been following an illusion all these years, that your life has been spent in vain. You are, they will say, the most to be pitied among all men, (1st Cor. 15:19) for you have served an invisible God, a God you cannot prove exists, you have lived a life in service to something that has no substance, cannot be seen or heard outside of your own mind and the minds of those that you associate with that are just as deceived as you are. All of you feed off of each other and tell “miraculous” stories of this and that, believing them as ardently as you do the fables in the book you lift up so high. You are nothing but a charlatan, selling your fake wares to those who are at the lowest point in their lives, those who will grab any hand that is offered to them, no matter whose it is, as long as it removes them from the trouble and sorrow they are experiencing. To those “members of your fellowship,” you speak of love, but rarely offer it, you speak of trusting and obeying your so-called God, and when your childish request to this invisible God are not answered, you give only platitudes and excuses, telling yourself that it must not have been in His will, and that you just need to keep believing, just have more faith.

Can you respond to this my friends, my brothers and sisters in Christ, is your Belt of Truth not just buckled on tightly, but actually unremovable from you, not just another part of your armor of God, but part of you as well. If so, then the enemy that you are to love will see this, and prepare to attack with his next weapon, for he is just getting started, he has on his Breastplate of Iniquity, and with it he will show you your sins.

Our Breastplate of Righteousness is not our righteousness, but Christs, the only sinless one. (2nd Cor. 5:21) It is not our Lord though that this individual is concerned with, it is you, and although he may not know any facts about your personal life, he knows that you have sinned, and this weapon, this Breastplate of Iniquity, has cut many Christians to the quick. Although he has not given up on his Belt of Lies, he will not require it much here, for his words, as odd as it might seem, will be those of truth for this attack.

He will bring up your past sins, those things that you blatantly did before Christ love flowed into your heart, evil, despiteful, hateful things, crimes against both man and beast. Those whom you intentionally harmed for your own pleasure, the words of jealousy, envy and hate that brought tears to the receiver, but no personal shame to yourself. Thoughts of lusts, both of the flesh and for the things of the world, and all those you used and pushed aside to get what you wanted, burning bridges at every crossing so none could follow you on your way to personal glory. He will continue, not realizing because of the righteousness of Christ, because of the Breastplate of Righteousness that God has graciously allowed you to wear, that you know in your heart that you have been forgiven of all of those sins, that at the cross they were removed, and that you have placed them as well where they belong, in the past, as you have been forgiven, you have learned to forgive yourself, they no longer torment you with thoughts of guilt.

He will move on to the sins that you have committed, both willingly and unwillingly, since that glorious day of your redemption in Christ. Both the sins of commission and omission will be brought up for you to view. The lust of the eyes that can never be completely under our control, the viewing of things that he will try to tell you that a Christian should never see, much less contemplate with desire, how no true child of God would ever glance at such items of the world. He will strike at you with his Breastplate of Iniquity, and he will strike hard, in the lust of your flesh, he will say, you have sinned beyond anything that God could ever forgive, a sexual appetite that cannot be quenched, a desire, in fact even a covetousness for those things that others have that you will never obtain, things of the world that a believer has no right to seek after, for those that do are saying that what God has given them is not enough.

He will not understand when you tell him that it is your Fathers good pleasure to give you the kingdom, (Luke 12:32) that you are an inheritor of all that is or ever will be, (1st Cor. 6:9-13) and that the transitory things of this world are becoming less and less important to you each day as you grow closer in your knowledge of your Savior. He will strike hardest then with this weapon, this Breastplate of Iniquity, in the area of the pride of your life. Your past great accomplishments will be brought up, how it was you that did this and that, how you should be proud of all that you have done, not only for yourself, but those things that you did for others. Proud of your deeds at your place of employment, in your family, that you alone are the only one who could have made all those people happy, fulfilled their greatest desires, brought joy into their lives. He will inform you that the God that you serve wants to take all that credit for Himself, how He tries to get you to believe that you are nothing and can do nothing without Him. (John 15:50) He will tell you that you are not good enough, and never will be, how the God you serve is selfish, overbearing, and that you should have the right to choose your own destiny, and not be told constantly to give Him all the glory.

You look down at your Breastplate of Righteousness, this piece of armor that the Lord of Glory has blessed you with, your thoughts return to the cross and the one who hung on it for you, the merciful Messiah who did for you what he did not have to do, and you will recall the day that you offered yourself to Him, all of yourself, no matter the cost, in love for a love that you can never repay. Your enemy hears no words from you, the tears of unspeakable joy beginning to well up in your eyes are more than enough to let him know that he has failed in his attempts with this weapon. He feels something inside of himself that he does not recognize, but just as quickly brushes it aside as he reaches behind him for his shield, his Shield of False Hope.

His shield is glaringly bright, with it he has brought many believers to their knees, for in its glare they become unable to clearly see the faith that they believed to be so strongly imbedded within them. The Shield of Faith that we carry is there to protect us from the fiery darts of the enemy, and these darts are loaded with the poison of the lack of trust. He begins to speak to you of all of those who were set as examples for us in the Scriptures, how God failed nearly all of them, prophets and apostles alike, letting them die horrible deaths at the hands of their enemies. How could anyone, he says, have faith in a God who does not fulfill all His promises to anyone in their lifetime, who offers only pain and suffering for all their hard work for Him. Would not a loving God offer to all His Children a life of peace and happiness, filled with all the things that His creation has to offer. What is this foolishness of having to wait until you die to experience real happiness and joy, why not give it to you here and now, if He loves you so much.

What is this ridiculous notion that you have to be an obedient much less willing servant or you will receive no rewards, your rewards are here on this earth, they are easy to grab hold of, and they are all yours for the taking. Why do you speak of Him providing your bread when you know full well that it was you that got up and went to work for it, it was by your hard work that you have the clothes that you wear and the food that you eat. And look here, would a truly loving God allow all this sin and misery to exist in the world, would He not want all to be the benevolent recipients of such a wonderful creation, not having to wait until they die to receive this so-called place of rest. Why would you trust anyone who has proven time and again to be untrustworthy, who lets all this terrible suffering continue, in fact, tells you in His book of fables that if you don’t suffer for Him, you can’t even come to this invisible kingdom of His in the sky.

His shield is bright and glaring, and his control over it impeccable, he is more than skilled in using it, and though he has brought it out often, it shows little more than a few scratches on its surface. You look at your shield, the Shield of Faith your Lord and Master handed to you all those years ago, the front is dented and damaged, but holds firm, the many blows that have struck against it are telling, and are reminders that you have been here before. This one has told you nothing that you have not contemplated in your own heart before, in fact, sought the Lords face for, there is nothing hidden from Him, (Luke 8:17) and you would dare not hide questions or anything else from Him, for He alone has the answer to every question. You hold up your Shield of Faith and read the verses that are emblazed on the back of it, the back of your shield, the side facing you, is more brilliant than the enemies could ever hope to be, it is flawless and undamaged, and it reminds you of the promises of the one who is faithful, the only one who has always been and always will be faithful. You look over the top of your well-worn shield, and with eyes that have no more tears of joy in them, only a steely resolve, an unflinching stare of the confidence in Christ that only those who have been tested can know, only those believers who have determined to be eternally faithful to Him who has always been faithful to them, and you speak the words of Romans 1:17, “The just shall live by faith.”

He screams in anger, stomping the dust of the earth with his feet shod with the gospel of the Preparation of War, the gospel of hatred, anger and the desire to cause harm and suffering to all that he meets that would dare to lift up the Name of Jesus before him. He rushes towards you, drawing his Sword of the Words of Man, a sword that has seen much use, much death, for not all has he had to endure to this degree, not all has he taken the time to use all of the armaments at his disposal, many he has simply done away with, crushing them before allowing them to submit to his desires.

The Sword of the Words of Man has always been his most efficient weapon, the one that has nearly always driven the so-called Christians to their knees, for it is with this weapon that many have denied the one that they have pretended to call their Lord and Master, their so-called Savior. The handle of his weapon shows much use, the blade is rusty from the thousands of uses, from the blood he has never wiped from its surface. The damage to the blade he dare not think about, not at least at this moment, when he has it firmly upon the neck of this supposed Christian, this one who will soon fall at his feet and beg for mercy, beg for his life. The damage to his blade was from those who fought valiantly, as this one has, he thought for a quick moment, from the true Christians that could not be swayed by any of his weapons, not persuaded by anything at his disposal.

He thought for a moment that perhaps he had met another one here, one who could not be turned from his God, perhaps not though, they were so few and far apart these days that he had begun to think that they were all finally gone, that only the “religious” people were left, the churchy group, the hearers but not doers. There was no more need for words with this one, the time for lies, subtle persuasion, inuendoes and bantering was over, we would now see where this ones values truly were, if he had truly died to self, or if there was still some vestiges of the desires for this world within him yet, he would now see whether or not this one’s faith was real.

“Renounce God, renounce Jesus Christ, renounce your faith in Him, curse His name, or I will kill you where you stand.”

You have drawn your sword, slowly and with great intent, you knew this day would come, your fear of it died a long time ago, and though you had not sought for it, you have no fear of it now that it is here. A peace that you cannot understand has entered your soul, a warmth in your spirit that is beyond comprehension. “To live is Christ, to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21) you say to your enemy, the enemy that you were not only told to love, but now truly do, and with all your heart, because for the first time you see him for who he truly is, a human soul created in the image of God, loved beyond all measure, lost, and just as disobedient as you once were, you have learned not only to love your neighbor, but now also your enemy.

I leave you here to finish the story within your own imagination, a story that I have been compelled to write for the same reasons that all of these letters are written to you, to glorify God, to encourage you and hopefully, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to convict you.

May God make His face to shine upon you, my brothers and sisters.               

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