friendly PDF version
was a spiritual warrior of the first order; he understood the
battle at hand. His goal in Ephesians was to give the church in
Ephesus he spent three years teaching, a final message. The
message to Ephesus was a message to the whole church, all the
saints, by the Holy Spirit, through Paul. Paul wanted to the
church established on truth; he wanted the body of Christ to
know how Satan works.
On his way to Jerusalem, Paul met with the leaders of
the church at Ephesus. He warned them of what was coming, in
his absence, how wolves would come into their midst, and work
within the church. Paul called for diligence within the body of
Christ, to combat those who try to do harm to the flock.
27 "For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole
counsel of God.
28 "Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock,
among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd
the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
29 "For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves
will come in among you, not sparing the flock.
30 "Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking
perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.
31 "Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did
not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears. Acts 20:27-31
Notice in verse
28, Paul refers to the overseers, who were established by the
Holy Spirit to shepherd Godís church. In verse 30, Paul refers
to men who will rise up from within the Church of Ephesus, to
draw away disciples after themselves. Paul says to ďWatchĒ,
meaning be on guard, vigilant, alert, waiting for the attacks.
Therefore, the job of the Lordís warrior is not only to
advance the Gospel or Christ, we are also to defend the Gospel
within the church. By wearing the armor of God, we are
instruments of defense as well as offense. Satan launches
attacks from within and without the church, his goal is destroy
and pull down the army of the Lord. As soldiers of the Lord, we
are to equip and build up the saints of Christ, and looking for
opportunity to advance the kingdom of God on enemy territory.
Here is where Paul set such a great example for those
who would follow in his footsteps. In his final message to this
church, he commands them to put on Godís armor, so they will be
successful in these attacks, Satan will wage on them. Paulís
message was not only for Ephesus, but for all of us too,
instructing us how to be successful in the spiritual war.
In verses 10, Paul gives an important key to being
successful at Spiritual warfare, which is often overlooked by
many saints, he tells the church in Ephesus to ďbe strong in
the LordĒ and ďin the power of His mightĒ. To be
effective in spiritual warfare, we must be willing to be
strong in the Lord, meaning we are to discipline ourselves
in the knowledge and skills required. The saints need to learn
Godís word, increase their faith, and train for battle, like a
warrior preparing for combat.
When we are strong in the Lord, we are then able
to be in the power of His might. Though David was a boy
and Paul a weakly looking man, they were both strong in the
Lord; this allowed Godís might to be unleashed from their
lives. When we are strong in the Lord, we understand our
position, and the awesome responsibility God has given us to
represent His kingdom in this fallen world. This is why David
was outraged; he could not understand how Israel could just
stand there as a Philistine insulted God, even though he was a
In verse 11, Paul commands the church to put on the
armor of God, so the power of Lord might become active
against Satanís schemes and attacks. A saint strong in the
Lord, without the armor of God, soon becomes a victim of Satanís
attacks. Satan hunts for weak prey in the same way a lion looks
for those he may devour.
battle rages for Godís warrior
Paul wrote Ephesians, being a prisoner in Rome, seeing the
majesty and grandeur of the Roman legion, he tells the church,
our battle takes place in the invisible spiritual realms. The
warrior wearing spiritual armor has to know where the battle
takes place. Why because Satan wants the Lordís warriors to
misdirect their energy, by fighting against flesh and blood
rather then the spiritual kingdoms.
For example a Christians who has a conflict with a
conflict with an angry foul-mouthed neighbor, might take the
attack personally. Developing hatred for the person misses
Paulís point. Paul wants us to understand, we see the physical
results of a spiritual battle. A spiritual warrior must change
their perception. The warrior needs to see through spiritual
eyes, not physical ones.
For we: The
message here is for the saint, those who are lost do not know
they are captives of a spiritual kingdom. When we were lost, we
had no clue we were part of Satanís domain, trapped and
perishing under his power. When we came to Christ, we became
part of the Lordís army.
do not wrestle against flesh and blood:
Our spiritual eyes need to comprehend the war we in. The
refers to a physical competition, where the victor forces the
looser to the ground, placing his hand around the neck. We need
to comprehend we are involved in a spiritual struggle against
Satan; his goal (Satan) is force us (the saved) to the ground,
gaining control over our lives, taking away the authority we
have in Christ.
understanding the source of our fight, the Lordís warrior can
waste a great deal of spiritual and physical energy in the
struggle. Paul defines our struggle as being against
non-physical entities, he calls them principalities, powers,
rulers and hosts.
Let us take the
terrorism for example, many in the secular world, see a clash of
cultures, the culture of Islam versus the Western
culture. Ephesians defines these conflicts as spiritual,
spiritual realms at war. The Greek word for principality is
meaning origins or beginning. Kingdoms are called
principalities, because they were identified with a specific
point where the power originated. The ruler of a principality
was as a prince, or in the Greek an Archon. Paul wants
the spiritual warrior to understand, there exists literally
spiritual kingdoms, or principalities. They are just
as real as physical kingdoms, but they exist in spiritual
realms. Daniel chapter 10 is an example of such a kingdom,
there we see the Prince of Persia at war against the
prayers of Daniel.
force Paul describes, powers comes from the Greek word
also translated as authority. The war is also against areas of power
and authority. Demonic forces exercise authority or power over
areas of choice. This would include issues, which plague the
world and the church, such as adultery, pornography, abortion,
homosexuality, racial prejudice, violence and more. In these
areas, demonic forces exist, thy exercise authority over these
When a saint
enters these powers without authority, we become subject to
these powers. We need to understand, there are literal areas of
power where saints are not to tread, without our armor and
authority. Remember Satanís goal is to get his enemy, the saint,
subdued to the ground, placing his hand around the neck. Many
saints have fallen pray to Satan, by wandering into areas of
authority power under control by the enemy. A saint without
his/her armor, becomes hunted like the lion hunts prey. When
they are taken, they have been spiritually defeated, loosing
This is an important point to remember, when we are
tempted to go in areas under enemy power. Walking into a bar,
strip club, violent movies, profane conversations or listening
to music which is contrary to Christ, puts in areas of enemy
power. These areas are under demonic influence, where the enemy
of your soul rules. Now I understand many in the world might
dismiss these remarks as fundamentalist prudishness, that is ok,
how do expect the world to understand the spiritual realms? We
cant! Scripture clearly says, those who are perishing, are
blinded by Satan, they donít know they are lost. Therefore its
understandable for the lost to dismiss a spiritual message.
against the rulers of the darkness of this age: The Christian is to watch because, the battle is very real,
there are not only principalities, but princes or rulers,
who have dominion. Darkness is the absence of light, light
exposes reality. According to scripture, the lost are in
darkness, II Corinthians 4;4 proclaims the lost have been
blinded, by the god of this age or aion. There
are literal beings that are responsible, for those in darkness.
whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who
do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of
Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them II
Satan has an ordered kingdom, with a hierarchy of demonic
(fallen angels), which exercise authority and control in these
kingdoms of darkness.
against spiritual hosts of wickedness: Satan is called prince of the power of the air, meaning the
atmosphere of this physical world. Satan is not hindered by
physical constraints of the earth; he literally has the ability
to operate from celestial plane, from the air.
2 in which you once walked according to the course of this
world, according to the prince of the power of the air,
the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,
This power was demonstrated when in
Luke 4:5, when in an instant of time, he
flashed all the kingdoms of the earth before Christ, offering
Him all the kingdoms if Jesus would just fall before Satan and
worship him. We should not think Satan has physical
limitations; he operates in the minds of the lost, making them
captive in darkness. Therefore, his power is in high places,
not limited by physical obstacles.
How to face
Satan is a very real enemy at war with every saint
(believer), his goal is to remove our
to vanquish us, by putting his hand over our neck. Forcing us to
submit, causing us to loose our authority. His control is
redundant in many ways; he has a multi-pronged attack strategy.
For example, Satan does not only deceive through false
religions and counterfeit Christianity; he also attacks by
denying the existence of God. If none of this works, there is
always materialism, the deception of wealth and the sensuality
of this world to seduce the lost. He has many strategies and
schemes to capture lost souls. Scripture alone, through the
indwelling Holy Spirit, allows us to see his tactics.
However, Paul addresses the armor of God for the
believer, how we are to be equipped to withstand what has
captured the world. We as believers are separated from the
world, the Bible calls us holy, translated saints. This word
comes from the Greek
separated or called out. Since we are called out from the
world, we are no longer to be under Satanís authority, but the
Lordís authority. To wage successful war against Satan, we need
to wear the armor of God, this is the point Paul is making.
In verse 12, Paul writes about the reality of the spiritual
forces mustered against the saint. The situation might seem
overwhelming when understand; shear force and power of our
enemy. Who are we to battle against such a foe? We alone are
powerless against such an enemy, but itís not us alone, we have
an ally, who is already victorious against Satan, the Holy
You are of God, little children, and have
overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than
he who is in the world. I John
With all this force mustered against the believer, what are
we to do?
take up the whole armor of God:
This is how we
can be successful in the face of Satanís attack. Notice, Paul
writes to take the whole armor, being partially armed is not
enough. Satan and his minions are looking for holes to bring
the believer down. Every piece of Godís armor is required to
stand against Satanís methods. The Greek word for the whole
Panoplia, which means full set of armor, a compete set. Every
component of the armor is required.
that you may be able: Without the full armor of God, our ability to stand is at
great risk. The Greek work for able is
means having the strength or power. From the same root, we get the word
dynamite or power. Having the whole armor of God gives
us the power to stand against Satan. We have dynamic power, Holy
Spirit power to withstand Satan.
to withstand in the evil day:
Satan and his demonic forces will attack the believer,
therefore we should be ready when the day comes. The Christian
must walk forward, continually we must be on alert for Satanís
devices, his goal is to disable the believer and keep the lost,
lost. We need to be on alert for the coming attack, because we
live in evil days, in a fallen world.
and having done all, to stand:
Putting on and
wearing the armor of God is a process. Wearing the armor of God
and effectively using the armor is linked with being strong
in the lord and in the power of his might. When we
have done all, the word here is
meaning all things or whole. The armor of God is one whole
unit, which functions together, weakness in our gives Satan a
platform to launch his attack, preventing us from standing.
Paul point here
is we should be prepared to stand and not fall for Satanís
devices. We need to make a conscious effort to stand up
against Satanís plans.
Once we are
wearing the complete set of Godís armor, the panoplia,
next we need to make the conscious decision to stand. God has
given us the ability to choose, to make the stand. If we do not
make the choice to stand, we will fall, and being on the ground
is no fun. Satan is not just content with the saint lying on
the ground; his goal is choke off the life out of the saved
soul. Remember, the term for wrestle is defined as a victory
when the opponent has his hand around your neck.
Belt of Truth
girded your waist with truth:
The first piece
of equipment Paul describes is the belt of truth. The Roman
Legion belt was first known as balteus,
later it became
known as cingulum militare,
they were the
mark of a solider, common citizens did not wear the distinct
belt of a legion. On the belt would the gladius or
sword, fastened to the belt, which also kept the tunic and armor
in place. The distinct medal studded strips of leather, was
unique to the legions belt.
allowed kept the equipment in place, the same way truth keeps
the spiritual weapons in place. Truth means what is real, as
opposed to what is not real or false. The New Testament rests
on the reality of Jesus, Jesus makes this point very clear in
6 Jesus said to
him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the
Father except through Me. John 14;6
On the identity of Jesus, the whole armor of God
described here in Ephesians rests. This is an important point,
because many cults have a ďJesusĒ as part of their faith.
However, the ďJesusĒ they have is a false Jesus, not the
biblical Jesus. So without the truth, they are without any
armor, and still in Satanís grasp.
put on the breastplate of righteousness:
This piece of
equipment in the legion is called the Lorica
it was constructed of strips of metal fastened together by
leather. This was standard issue to the legions during the
reign of Augustus. This piece of equipment weighed from 20 to
30 pounds, its design was to protect the vital organs of the
legionnaire. The metal was designed to deflect a dart or sword
attack, which the shield or sword failed to stop. The goal is
to protect the vital organs, from enemy attack.
parallels the righteous life, when we live a righteous life; our
vital organs are protected from enemy attack. For example, the
Christian who knows the word of God (Sword of the spirit) and
has great faith (shield of faith), but lives an unrighteous
life, is open to enemy attack, regardless how well they are able
to use the other pieces of equipment. That person has put down
the breastplate of righteousness; their vital organs are exposed
to the attack of the enemy.
Shoes of the
having shod your feet:
As a believer we have authority, given to us by Jesus
Christ. Our feet are the method we move in this physical
world. What territory do we walk on? The god of this age
is Satan, who rules over the nations. We on the other hand
advance the Kingdom of God on Satan territory. How is this
kingdom advanced? What is the method God uses to advance his
Is it through
the spread of democracy? Is it through higher living standards?
Through education? No, itís through the Gospel, the good news,
which changes lives for eternity. Offering the lost person,
liberty from Satanís power, is achieved by the spread of the
Gospel. If the saved person is not willing to tell others the
Good News, the Gospel, Satan wins.
with the preparation:
Part of our
authority is to take the Gospel to enemy territory, our shoes
our ability to move on enemy territory, is our being prepared to
share the good news. The Roman legion represented, the kingdom
of Rome, where they walked was Roman territory, or was being
conquered for Rome. The Roman boot was designed to stand ground
in battle. The Roman boot was fitted with metal studs, like the
cleats of football player, to help him maintain ground in
The saint must
be prepared to march on enemy territory, prepared with the
Gospel. With the Gospel, we free the captive, from Satanís
control, offering peace to a lost world.
the gospel of peace; Satanís
goal is to keep the lost away from the gospel. The gospel of
peace is the restoration of fellowship with God through the work
of Jesus Christ, who died for our sins. Our job is to spread
the Gospel. The world is divided into two camps, those who are
perishing and the saved. We are the fulfillment of Isaiah
7 How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who
brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings
of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, "Your
God reigns!" Isaiah 52:7
Shield of faith
What did Paul
think the most important piece of equipment was for the
Spiritual warrior? Right, the shield! He tells us above all
right at the start. Faith is a shield, which allows us to put
an immediate end to many of Satanís attacks. For the Romans
the shield was not just a defensive weapon, it was also an
offensive weapon. The metal boss in the center, designed to hit
the enemy at impact, allowed the legionnaire to follow up with
his sword, to subdue the opponent.
taking the shield of faith:
How do you take
up the shield of faith? What is faith? Faith is often defined
as a religious term; religious people are called ďpeople of
For many secularist, this means blind faith, which means
faith without any basis. We however are told to take up or
raise the shield. How can we raise our faith? Letís use the
atheist for an example.
Even atheists have faith, for example if an atheists
were to fly in an airplane, does he know for certain, the plane
would arrive at its destination? No, he has faith that it will
arrive there, he does not know for certain until the event
occurs. What is the basis of his faith in the plane? He uses
reason and logic, based on experience and history of airplanes.
If an atheist were afraid to fly, how might he raise his faith
in ability of the plane to carry him? He might read about the
engineering of planes, their history and their statistics. Joe
Atheist has a reasoned faith in airplanes.
There is no reason for a Christian to have blind faith;
God has provided us with reasoned faith, faith based upon reason
and logic. The Bible is filled with prophetic evidence
regarding the Bible, and Jesus Christ, for example
Isaiah 52:13-53:12, describes Jesus and his
ministry 700-years before his birth. The Bible foretells the
exact time of Jesus death 539-years before His birth in the
70 Weeks of Daniel, Daniel 9:24-27. Why did God provide prophetic
evidence for the person of Jesus? Why did Jesus do the
miracles? To provide evidence of his identity, that we might
have faith in Him. We can choose to increase our faith, by
learning to have a reasoned defense of the gospel. We are told
in Peter to be prepared to give a reason or logic in the Greek,
of the hope we have. In other words, we are to give the reason
for our faith.
15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be
ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for
the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; I Peter 3:15
you will be able:
Raising the shield gives us power or abilities against
Satanís attacks. The word used here again is
having power or strength, being capable.
to quench all the fiery darts:
A fiery dart in
Roman times was an arrow, dipped in oil then lit on fire and
shot at opposing force. Paul uses the imagery of two warring
factions facing each other; he describes Satanís attacks as
fiery arrows, which the shield was able to deflect. The Roman
shield was actually designed and curved to allow the force of
the sword or arrow to be deflected to the sides.
How does this
work in a practice? For example lets take Mary Christian and
her co-worker. Mary is at work, and her co-worker says, ďMary do
you really believe Jesus is the son of God?Ē ďHow can you
believe such a thing?Ē The co-worker really might be asking a
sincere in her question, or she could be shooting a fiery dart
at Mary. If Mary Christian has never learned how to use her
shield of faith, the dart might hit Mary, who might ask
herself, yeah, ďwhy do i believe Jesus is the son of GodĒ, ďhow
do I know the Bible is trueĒ?
Now God allows us to experience warfare, because
through it our faith can grow. The
may be very sincere in her question, creating a door for Mary to
advance the gospel. As Mary learns why the Bible is true, and
why she believes Jesus is the Son of God, she can walk over to
her co-worker, open the Bible (the sword of the Spirit) and show
her. Now the fiery dart shot at Mary, becomes the cause of the
Gospel is advanced, as Mary explains to her co-worker who Jesus
is, and why he is the Son of God.
Satan has literally hundreds of fiery darts he can fire
at us, in each case; we should learn how to take his attacks and
train to respond. Ask yourself, what fiery darts give you the
We can choose
to raise our level of faith, by learning scripture and the
evidences contained within it. The more we engage in spiritual
combat training, the more effective we can be with our weapons.
of the wicked one:
We need to
understand Satan is the source of the attack, but God allows the
attack for our growth, that we might become more effective in
the battle. Whatever attacks Satan wages, not one can occur
without Godís knowledge.
the helmet of salvation:
Where does the spiritual battle rage? On what battlefield is
Satan active? He (Satan) works on making the mind captive. In
2nd Corinthians 4:4, Satan has blinded the minds. The
thoughts and actions of the body proceed from the mind. The
head is was a prime target in warfare, because an opponent
knows, a direct hit would finish the enemy. Therefore, the
legions were equipped with helmets to protect the head from
enemy swords or arrows. In the same way, we are to take up our
helmet, the covering of our mind, with the salvation of Christ.
remarkable promise we have in scripture, salvation! We need to
learn to trust and rejoice in the hope of our eternity, when we
are engaged in warfare.
Paul in I
Thessalonians describes the hope of salvation as our
8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the
breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of
9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain
salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
I Thes. 5:8-9
Whatever our circumstances, we have eternal hope. Our home
is not in this world, what is the worst that can happen to us?
Death!, then we spends an eternity with Christ in Heaven.
Scripture gives us the picture of eternity in
Revelation 21 & 22, so we can
learn to set our mind on our eternal dwellings, putting our hope
in salvation, not this world.
When Satan throws his fiery darts at our minds, we need
to remind him, where we are spending eternity. What our
promises are? Satan targets each of us with his own particular
weapon suited for us. For example, to the Christian who thought
money was the focus of life, before he was saved. Satan, after
his salvation, may use his past as a foothold. He may call the
person a looser, for not putting money and success first, how
could we respond?
The same way Jesus did, through scripture, we might
quote back to Satanís charges..
26 "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole
world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in
exchange for his soul? Matthew
the helmet of salvation, we remind ourselves where we will spend
eternity, in Heaven, looking forward to that day. This is how
we put the helmet of salvation to practice. Read
Revelation 21 and 22, try to get a clear
picture of your eternity in Christ. The next time you are
attacked, remember where you are going, wear your helmet of
Secondly, the Lord wants us to be sure of our
salvation, so we donít hang in doubt of his ability to save us.
He gives us two strong pictures; one is that of a down payment,
the other that of a shepherd who does not loose his sheep.
13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of
truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having
believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,
14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until
the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of
His glory. Ephesians 1:13-14
27 "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they
28 "And I give them eternal life, and they shall never
perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.
29 "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all;
and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand.
So if the Holy
Spirit is our down payment, until redemption how good is Godís
If we are part of Jesusí flock, how secure are we? Jesus
says no one can snatch us out of His hand nor the Fathers
hand? We need to learn how to rest in the promise of
salvation, putting our in the helmet of salvation.
Sword of the
sword of the Spirit:
We have a weapon more powerful then any earthly
weapon. The weapon is a spiritual weapon, which is God
extension through us. As saints, we are Godís warriors,
representing His Kingdom in this fallen world. We have
authority and power through Christ; we also have a sword beyond
any comparison in the physical world.
The sword used
by the Roman legions was called the Gladius Hispaniensis,
the word gladius is the Latin word for sword, the Romans adopted
the Spanish sword in the 3rd century B.C. The Roman
legions were in constant training with their sword. The sword
was to become an extension of the arm; the legionnaire goal was
for the sword to become 2nd nature. Paul would have
seen the legions training for hours on end, perfecting their
skills in combat. New legions learning the process of sword
fighting, the more experienced and trained legions sparing with
the new recruits getting them ready for the battle.
Paul envisioned the same for the Church at Ephesus in
spiritual warfare. As the legions were proficient in their
handling the sword of steel, Paul wanted the church to
proficient in the Spiritual sword.
which is the word of God; The spiritual sword is none other then the word of God,
Hebrews defines this sword for us. Godís sword is an eternal
weapon, while the earthly sword is very limited in scope. Godís
weapon is living, while the earthly sword has no life.
12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper
than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul
and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the
thoughts and intents of the heart.
The world is subject to Godís sword, Satan and his minions
fear Godís sword, why do you think so many atheistic and Muslim
nations outlaw the Bible? Because the conflict is taking place
in Spiritual realms, Satan understands the power of the word of
God. The word of God has the power to transform and pull down
7 The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; The
testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
8 The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
For this reason, every spiritual warrior need to learn to
become expert in their handling the word of God. In the same
way the legions of Rome trained for physical battle with a
physical battle, the legions of God need to train for battle
against their invisible enemy.