This week we looked a the Armor of God (Ephesians 6) from an Old Testamant Jewish viewpont. We specifically looked at the presitly garments as our armor.
Following are my teaching notes...
· How do we fight when the enemy attacks?
· What do we do in the battlefield?
· What do we wear into the battlefield?
Was Paul comparing the armor to a Roman soldier?
The problem with using a Roman soldier to describe a spiritual battle is:
The Roman soldier was going into a physical battle
Our fight is not physical – not with flesh and blood.
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.…the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.
—2 Corinthians 10:3-4
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 6:12
Maybe Paul was not referring to the Roman armor at all.
Overview of who Paul and Roman Soldiers
Paul was a Jew.
Folowed all the rules to a T...circumcised on the eighth day, Israelite of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews, a Pharisee; he knew the Law,
He was trained to know the Torah by Gamaliel – greatest scholar and teacher of the time.
He had become a Jesus follower. Road to Damascus.
Christ followers didn’t like Roman soldiers. They probably feared them.
The Romans did not like the Christians – think beheading, crucifixion, burned to death, and attacked by beasts. Being condemned to the beasts was a particularly grisly end. It meant Christians would be exposed in the arena to a variety of wild animals, such as leopards, boars, and lions. They were required to fight for your lives. And this was entertainments for the Roman citizens.
So why would Paul compare our spiritual armor with a Roman soldier? If you look at the text carefully you will notice that he didn’t.
What Paul knew is what God said about the battle and armor in the Old Testament.
Number 4:30 – Calling of the Priests in the Old Testament
...from thirty years and upward even to fifty years old, you shall number them, everyone who enters the serviceto do the work of the tent of meeting.
When your kids go into the service, what does that mean? Military
“Service” (Hebrew) means a mass of people organized for war.
Law Concerning Warfare
1“When you go out to war against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and an army larger than your own, you shall not be afraid of them, for the LORD your God is with you, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
2And when you draw near to the battle, the priest shall come forwardand speak to the people
3 and shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel, today you are drawing near for battle against your enemies: let not your heart faint. Do not fear or panicor be in dread of them, 4for the LORD your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory.’ – Deuteronomy 20
Priests played a huge role in the battle in the OT. Priest job was to encourage, worship and pray.
Going into battle at Jericho
…priests took up the ark of the Lord. And the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the Lord walked on, and they blew the trumpets continually… and on the 7thday they had victory because they obeyed God
Story about armor in the OT
1 Samuel 17
David didn’t want Samuel’s armor.
38 Then Saul clothed David with his garments and put a bronze helmet on his head, and he clothed him with armor. 39 David girded his sword over his armor and tried to walk,
David said---This isn’t going to work. So he took it off and picked up a stick and 5 stones.
Said to Goliath…. “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down … so that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 47 and that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give you into our hands.”
Another story in 2 Chronicles 20:14-24
Moabites invade Judah
Jehosaphat (King of Judah) prays and fasted
We do not know what to do but our eyes are on you
But it’s the way they are destroyed which is so fascinating….
2 Chronicles 20:14-24
14 Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel
15 And he said, “Listen,
‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude,
for the battle is not yours, but God’s.
17 You will not need to fight in this battle.
Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you,
18 And King Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground,
and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem
bowed before the Lord, worshiping the Lord.
19 Then the priests
stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel with voices loud and high.
singing to the Lord,
and praising the beauty of His holiness,
Lots of praising and singing going on.
the Lord set ambushes
and they were defeated.(the Moabites)
No one had escaped. That’s some mighty warrior priests – but their battle was not against flesh and blood and they won because they were encouraging the Israelites and they were praising and singing.
Who are these priests?
Chosen by God
To serve and glorify God
Descendants from Aaron (the elder brother of Moses), who served in the Tabernacle, Solomon's Temple and Second Temple
Also served on the battlefield
Cool thing in New Testament - We are the priests of God
Revelation 1:6 and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father
Revelation 5:10talks of us being a kingdom and prieststo our God.
Revelation 20:6refers us as being priests of God and Christ and reigning 1,000 years.
1 Peter 2:9says we are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
1 Peter 2:5“you are living stones built up as a spiritual house for a holypriesthoodto offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus the Christ”.
What do we know about Garments of the Priests
· God told Moses exactly what the priests were to wear
· God even told him whowas to make the garments
· And howto make each garment.
GOD speaking to Moses ----- Exodus 28
Bring Aaron your brother, and his sons to Me to minister as priests—
2 You shall make holy garmentsfor Aaron your brother, (WHY?) for glory and for beauty.
3 You (Moses) shall speak to all the skillful persons whom I have endowed with the spirit of wisdom, that they make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him, that he may minister as priestto Me.
4 These are the garments which they shall make: a breastpiece and an ephod and a robe and a tunic of checkered work, a turban and a sash….
Side note about the Fabric - Linen
Belt , tunic, turbin and under garments were made of white linen.
White linen garments are hard to keep clean.
White linen- lots of blood for sacrifice. Imagine the priest killing an animal – shedding the blood for the forgiveness of sins. Preview of Christ’s blood on the cross. The Lamb of God.
If garment was stained, sacrifice would be invalid.
When they were stained, they were repurposed.
Torn into strips.
· John 19:40. Taking Jesus' body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs.
· When Jesus died these he was wrapped in linen strips that had already been stained with the blood of the sacrifice.
Even the angels wear white linen. And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles. Revelation 15:6
Rev 3:5 ‘He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
Nothing Ordinary about these garments
Covering of Chest –Breastplate
Breastplate had precious stones, inscribed with the names of the twelve tribes.
When priest entered the temple he was carrying the sins of entire nation of Israel over his heart.
In the book of Hebrews Christ is our great high priest. He is the fulfillment of the office of high priest – Christ doesn’t carry jewels, he carried over sin so that He can take us into the presence of the Father.
Apron. As part of the high priest's garments, the ephod would be made of fine, twisted linen that was blue, purple, and scarlet colored, and embroidered with gold thread (Exodus 28:4; 29:5; 39:2; Leviticus 8:7).
Isaiah 59:16-17 (BTW Written 700 BC. 600 years before Rome existed.)
He saw that there was no man,
And wondered that there was no intercessor;
Therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him;
And His own righteousness, it sustained Him.
For He put on righteousness as a breastplate,
And a helmet of salvationon His head;
He put on the garments of vengeancefor clothing,
And was clad with zeal as a cloak.
Paul was talking about these words in Ephesians. We are dressed in armor to PRAY. Specifically intercessory prayer (along with worship).
God wants us to be intercessory prayer warriors – not in an army outfit. But clothed with our spiritual armor.
We must put on the righteousness of God as a breastplate
What is righteousness in the sight of God – the breastplate?
Deuteronomy 6:25 - Obedience Then it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to observe all these commandments before the Lord our God, as He has commanded us.
Luke 1:5-6 - Obedience There was in the days of Herod… a certain priest named Zacharias….. His wife …..was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.
But a Roman soldier does not have any righteousness on his breastplate. His work is to intimidate and not to keep the commandments of God! In fact he persecutes the people of God.
The turban is made of fine linen with a gold plate attached. Engraved on the plate were the words “Holy unto the Lord.” Set apart. Sanctified.
Frontal Lobe. The frontal lobe links and integrates all components of behavior at the highest level. Emotion and social adjustment and impulse control are also localized here. The executive functions, planning, abstract reasoning, impulse control, sustained attention and insight are all located here.
The Bible says His name shall be on the foreheads of the righteous saints.
Think about what we learned - We have the Mind of Christ
God sees us as holy
Revelation 14:9 do not to have the mark of the Beast on our forehead.
Also we get a new name written on our forehead (Rev. 3:12), if we are obedient to God and His Laws.
We must continually guard our mind since Satan as a roaring lion seeks to devour/destroy us (1Pet. 5:8).
Feet Fitted with the gospel of peace
Not army boots. No shoes. Peace.
In India and Asia shoes are removed before entering places of worship. (In Indonesia where I live shoes are removed befoe entering the mosque).
It is a way of recognizing one's personal uncleanness in the presence of holiness.
Ex 3:5 Take God told Moses to take off your shoes, you are on holy ground.
Josh 5:13-15 (After crossover Jordan, after circumcision and Passover)
13When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?”
14And he said, “No; but I am the commander of the army of the LORD. Now I have come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped and said to him, “What does my lord say to his servant?”
15And the commander of the LORD’s army said to Joshua, “Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.
Temple was considered as holy ground. Logical that priests would take off their shoes.
What’s in our hands?
What’s in the high priest’s hands?
Paul says in Ephesians we are to have the shield of faith and the sword of the spirit.
Incense. Leviticus 16 – tells us what the High Priest holds
On Day of Atonement the high priest took
two handfuls of finely ground sweet incense, and bring it inside the veil. 13 He shall put the incense on the fire before the Lord, that the cloud of incense may cover the mercy seat that is on the ark of the testimony, otherwise he will die.
When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
2 Corinthians 2:15-17
15 For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; 16 to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life.
Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God
· When Jesus was in the desert 40 forty days and the devil came to tempt him, what weapon did God use? Did He put on army boots and a Roman breastplace and take up a sword to defeat the enemy. No. He quoted scripture.
And the second Jesus mentioned worship, the devil ran like a defeated enemy- which he is!!!
8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”
10 Then Jesus said to him, [b]“Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”
11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.
Belt. Linen sash/girdle
Exodus 39:29: "The sash was of finely twisted linen and blue and purple and scarlet material, the work of the weaver, just as the Lord had commanded Moses."