Helmet, Check – Breastplate, Check – Sword, Check – Love?

As a young kid in junior high, the behavior of one of my friend’s insane uncles fascinated me. The old man visited at unexpected times, totally unconcerned with how unwelcome he was. Explaining his uncle to me, my friend whispered, “He’s a Pentecostal,” as though he deemed that sufficient to explain the old man’s eccentricities.

I stayed away from their uncle, but one morning happened to be in the house when the man got up. Seeing me, he ordered me to accompany him into his bedroom. Looking to see if anyone else noticed the abduction, I followed him as he stripped off his shirt, standing there in suspenders — the first grown-up in suspenders I’d ever seen. Then he began lecturing me: in a level voice, but carrying within it a deep intensity, he instructed me on the Dire Need Before God and the Demonic Realm to Put on one’s Spiritual Armor at the Beginning of Every Day. And, taking his lines from Ephesians 6, he began making broad gestures — gestures so clear that no demonic spirit could ever mistake his movement for merely dressing — “I gird my loins with Truth”, “I don the breastplate of righteousness”, “I shod my feet…”, “…take the shield of faith”, …the helmet of salvation…”, “and the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God!”

And with that last piece of “spiritual sweatshirt (lưới bảo vệ cầu thang)”, he swept the Sword broadly through the air, side to side and brought it fiercely down as though to cleave the skull of an invisible demon unlucky enough to stand still for a death blow. Peculiar as Uncle’s behavior seemed to me, it held a degree of fascination anyway. In fact, any time I read that passage in Ephesians 6 for the next few years, I couldn’t shift my focus away from the bizarre instruction I’d received.

But then one day, I read the passage for my self. And it didn’t say anything like what Uncle had told me.

Let’s look at a couple of those things.

First off, who wears the Armor?

One of the values of the King James Version of the Bible is that when it was translated from Greek and Hebrew, 400 years ago, English still had a plural “you”. Nowadays, the word “you” can be singular (“I love you, dear”) or plural (“I love all of you”). In the KJV, whenever you run into the word “ye”, it’s plural. That’s fantastic! There are lots of passages familiar to us which we tend to think of as applying to “me” in the singular which, in fact, are written to the Body of Christ in the plural. Like in 1Cor 3.16: “Know ye not that ye are the Temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” This verse often is interpreted as referring just to an individualChristian but in fact addresses all Christians — “Don’t you know that all of you are the Temple. . .”

Anyway, in Eph 6.11, Paul wrote, “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand. . .” The “armor of God” is not worn by this Christian or that Christian. . . it is worn by the Body of Christ: “Put on God’s armor so that you all can withstand. . . for we wrestle not against flesh and blood. . . take the whole armor that ye (or, “you all”) may be able to withstand. . .”

Point one: Who wears the Armor?

The Armor of God is to be worn by the Body of Christ. . . not simply an individual here or an individual there. When an individual Christian is overly focused on whether or he or she is “wearing God’s armor” (like Uncle Weird), you lose the point of wearing the armor anyway. We all are to be encouraging everyone — the whole Body of Christ — into wearing the Armor of God.

Point two: Who wields the sWord of the Spirit which is the Word of God”?

Why, we all do — in unity, one with another! The entire Body of Christ wields the sWord of the Spirit which is the rhema (“Word”) of God! Believers everywhere are responsible, together, to focus on accurately and profoundly hearing the Living Word of God every day. . . becoming able to live prophetically in the Word AND the Spirit. This is because the sWord of the Spirit is to be wielded by the Body of Christ . . . and not just an occasional member of it here and there!

But since we are the Body of Christ, as we wield the sWord, God wields it!

Let’s take this seriously. It’s not a trivial matter. Many people consider the Bible to be their “sword” and they use it according to their own inclinations. They use it to “slice and dice” their brothers and sisters in the Lord. Have you ever listened to a “christian” who quotes a Bible verse in order to lay some sort of judgment on another? “Well, you know the Bible says ‘to avoid all appearance of evil’. . . and what you’re doing sure looks evil to me!!!”

Ever meet other “christians” whose “Bible study” consists of sitting around arguing with each other? Or delightedly bringing up old proof texts about how the congregation across town is following the doctrines of demons? Many “christians” act as if the Bible in their hands is their own, personal possession — to be used according to their private inclinations. In Peter”s second letter (2.20), he said:

“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

The point here is simple: Prophecy is not the property of human beings. . . it came from God and therefore is still God”s.

A true disciple of the Kingdom of Heaven never loses sight of the fact that the Word of God is God’s. The Scriptures came from God by the Wind of the Holy Spirit, and when we look at it today, we have to look at it in the Wind of the Holy Spirit. If we look at it with mere, natural minds — examine, analyze and categorize it — it’s a dead letter that instead of bringing Life, it kills! [2 Corinthians 3.6]

When you open the Bible, what counts isn’t how many degrees you have after your name nor how many books you’ve written about Jesus; it doesn’t matter how many sermons you’ve preached or how many Sunday School classes you’ve sat through. When you open the Bible, what counts is whether or not the Wind of the Spirit blows the sWord of God into the impenetrable and hidden depths of your heart, cutting apart the flesh from the spiritual!

write by Alva