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    Put on the WHOLE Armor of God

    Put on the WHOLE Armor of God

    (A message to the whole church)
    Ephesians 6:11 (AMP)
    Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy- armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil.

    Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV)
    For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

    Ephesians 6:13 (AMP)
    Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place].
    In these three verses, we see that God is calling the church to join in that great battle against the powers of the darkness of this world. They, the demonic powers, are a relentless foe. They have incredible numbers on their side, fully a third of the original complement of angels that God has created. They are organized. They have spiritual power. They HATE us simply because God LOVES us!

    As with any preparation for war, the combatants must undergo extensive training, both physical and mental. They must learn to obey without question. They must be willing to lay down their lives on command. They must learn and become proficient with all the implements of war. They must learn how to survive. They must know their enemy, their mindsets, their tactics, their strategies, their strengths and more importantly, their weaknesses. They must learn to WIN!

    In these verses, God is telling us that our enemy is powerful and dedicated to our destruction but He is also telling us that IF we put on all of God's armor, then we are more than a match for them. In order to defeat them, God is telling us that we are to put on His WHOLE armor. What He did not say is that putting on just one part of this armor is sufficient to fight this war. If we do not put on the whole armor He is providing for us, then the enemy will see OUR weakness and defeat us.

    Here are those pieces of God's armor He is making available to each and every one of us, given in the Amplified for a greater understanding of the scope of each of these pieces:
    Ephesians 6:14-18 (AMP)
    Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God,
    15 And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm- footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace.
    16 Lift up over all the [covering] shield of saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one].
    17 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God.
    18 Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people).
    Without going through a long and specific dissertation of the essential nature and requirement of each of these pieces, let us, for the sake of time and space, soak in what the Amplified version of these verses tell us. I believe God laid out for us ALL the pieces that are of absolute necessity to successfully go into battle with our enemy and defeat them.

    What if WE decide we don't WANT to go through such extensive and exhausting preparations to become proficient in each and every one of these implements of war? What if, WE decide that all we need is just one or two of these pieces of armor? What if WE feel that all we really need is the Helmet of Salvation and the Sword of Truth? Surely these two are sufficiently strong enough to defeat an enemy that Jesus defeated at the cross! THIS is the LIE that our enemy has successfully sold to the church for centuries and as a result, the church is not walking in the power God wants to give her to fight and win the battles of the spirit.

    Do you think the church is okay as she is today? Let's look whether this is true or not. The divorce rates in the church are at the very least equal to the divorce rates in the world. Are we winning this battle? Adultery, unfaithfulness and fornication is at an all time high in the church. Are we winning this battle? Suicide within the church is climbing at a shocking rate. Are we winning this battle? Depression, mental illness and other emotional distresses are tearing down the fabric of the church. Are we winning this crucial spiritual battle? Christians taking Christians to a worldly court. Are we winning this battle? The attrition rate of the number of believers remaining in the church will astound you. Are we winning this battle? The gospel of the kingdom with the teaching of overcoming all the powers of darkness using the spiritual weapons to cast down and destroy all the power and works of the spirits of darkness is NOT being taught with the result that most believers of today do not even believe a Christian CAN have a demon. Are we winning this battle? Cancer and disease is as much a cause of distress and hopelessness in the church as it is in the world. Are we winning this battle?

    In these and far more, the church appears to no longer be a haven of God from a diseased and dying world. The church is living in as much sin and fear as those who are without faith. Many people outside of the church can no longer distinguish and see their need to come to Christ when all of their Christian friends are living the same life they are.

    The church has decided for itself, that it no longer NEEDS the WHOLE and COMPLETE armor of God. For a primary example of this, let's look at the following verses of scripture:
    Ephesians 4:11-12 (NKJV)
    And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ...
    Let us ask ourselves a critical question. How many churches are using all five of these ministries today. Is your church? I tell you, most churches today are being run by a person whose job title is Pastor. This person is being required to do the work of fathering, church building and planting (apostle); exhorter, encourager and inspirer (prophet); nurturer, counselor and peacemaker (pastor); trainer and teacher (teacher); and finally, they are required to do the work of an evangelist. Please note this VERY important truth: God has set five distinctive and separate ministries in the church, each with their own unique gifts and working in concert, to bring the whole church into maturity of the faith. God has NOT given ALL these gift ministries into one person with one exception, Jesus Christ, in whom all the fullness of the Spirit dwelled.

    Many churches are being "pastored" by evangelists. Many churches are being led by prophets or teachers or pastors. But no matter how gifted each of these are, they are waging a warfare without the full armor God intended. Imagine if you will a nation builds a vast army but instead of having generals, colonels, captains, lieutenants and sergeants to handle, train and direct this great army, this nation chooses to have only one of these ranking officers to do the work of the rest. How long do you think an army such as this will last in a war? I tell you the truth, they will all fall at the first battle. The command structure that is needed to effectively direct the strategies for battle cannot be implemented if it is reduced to just one or even two of the many that are required. God has established His own command structure in the church and these ministries are assigned each their own unique areas of responsibility and authority in order to provide for and train their disciples in putting on and using the whole armor of God.

    The church today is in dire need of the full complement of God's plan for training for victory over the powers of darkness. The church is losing the war against the devil and his hordes because we are not utilizing those gift ministries God has set in order for the church to stand and defeat the gates of hell. Instead of the nations trembling before the army of the Lord in the earth, it is WE who tremble at the troubles we see in this world. Today, the church is more focused on escaping this world instead of rising up and defeating the powers of darkness who continue to rule this world.

    The church wants judgment to come but we do not want to BE that instrument of judgment. We want Jesus to come and destroy the world so we can live in peace. This sounds all well and good but where is this same church supposed to be the victorious church, a bride who has made herself ready, wearing the full complement of all spiritual gifts, adorning herself with spiritual gold, spiritual silver and spiritual precious stones that do not perish in the fires of testing nor does it shrink and disappear in fear but are purified by the fires of testing; strengthened for the day of battle.

    The church of today has grown weary of battles and see the giants and strongholds of the world and the nations of the world as being too mighty and too numerous and too strong. We, just like the rebellious children of Israel who God made free from their bondage of Egypt, now refused to enter into this land of inheritance God was leading them into because of the obstacles they were to face. They too wanted nothing else but to escape.

    Fear ruled their hearts. Let the battle be for others but not for us, was their cry and with that cry, none over the age of twenty were allowed to enter that land God promised their fathers. They all perished in the wilderness for forty years while only two of their vast number were allowed to lead the fight to take the land promised them, Joshua and Caleb. These were the only two who were not afraid of the impossible odds they all faced as they remembered the greatness of their God who defeated the mightiest army in the known world.

    The church has failed and continues to build new churches following that same pattern that limits the fullness of what God has designed to ENABLE it to defeat the powers of darkness. Just as the whole armor of God is not being utilized, so we have also ignored the use of the full complement of ministries that GOD has ordained that HE considers NECESSARY to complete the job.

    “When we SETTLE for less, then we GET less!”

    If we are to be that victorious church, that Bride of Christ who is called to walk alongside Jesus, then it is IMPERATIVE we obey ALL that He has given us and use ALL these ministries in every church, every locale, very region, every nation so that the church can be FULLY EQUIPPED to do battle against ALL the powers of darkness and DEFEAT THEM ALL!

    It is TIME that we, the Body of the Living and Powerful Christ, rise up in complete obedience to His Word and do ALL He has commanded and take advantage of ALL the gifts, ALL the gift ministries and the WHOLE armor God has given us and BE that victorious church Jesus is coming for!

    AMEN!

    Jerry Sundberg

    Soon after I received the Lord in 1976, I started receiving prophetic visions and warnings about the future of the church and the United States. I share my visions on my Hidden Manna websites and offer free of charge my two ebooks entitled “Hidden Manna” and “Hidden Manna 2”.

    Website: Hidden Manna

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