Shabbat Shalom family,
Qolasim/Colossians 3:8-11 “But now, also put off all these: displeasure, wrath, evil, blasphemy, filthy talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have put off the old man with his practices, 10 and have put on the new one who is renewed in knowledge according to the likeness of Him who created him, 11 where there is not Greek and Yehuḏite, circumcised and uncircumcised, foreigner, Scythian, slave, free, but Messiah is all, and in all.”
These are very clear instructions given by Sha’ul, put off – put on! He clearly instructs that we are to mind the matters above and not those on the earth and we are to put to death all whoring, lusts and evil desires in our members as the wrath of Elohim is coming because of these and so having died to self and having our lives hidden with Messiah in Elohim must make sure that we are indeed doing as instructed – and that is to put off what must be put off and put on what must be put on. Sha’ul further instructs that we are to put on compassion, kindness, humility, patience and above all put on love!!! Put on LOVE – what so many neglect to do today, simply because they have no firm understanding of what True Love for Elohim is. We know that Yoḥanan tells us in his first letter that Love for Elohim is that we guard His commands (Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:3)!
As we sojourn here with eager expectation of the soon return of our Master, we need to make sure that each and every day we are dressed according to His Word, especially as we find ourselves facing circumstances that often seem too hard to bear; for if we are not properly dressed we will not be able to stand firm and faithfully engage in the battles we face and fervently fight the Good fight.
In a message tonight called, “PUT ON THE RIGHT GEAR!”, I want us to go through a well-known passage of Scripture where Sha’ul tells us how to dress and what we must to put on in our daily walk as servants and be strong in the Master! Please turn with me to Eph’siyim/Ephesians 6:10-18 (Read)
I have mentioned a few times in the past that we would look at this passage and go through the ‘Armour of Elohim’, and so tonight I would like us to see from Scripture how Sha’ul is in fact NOT describing how we should dress like a Roman soldier, but rather he is clearly describing for us that we, as a set-apart royal and chosen priesthood, are to be dressed in the complete Torah of Elohim. When we continue in our knowledge and understanding of all Scripture from a true Hebraic perspective, regardless of the language it is written in, we are better equipped to handle the Truth with great joy and stand firm, no matter the circumstances we face. And so tonight I do hope to clear out any erroneous imagery that you may have learned in the past on the topic of the armour of Elohim, as being likened to a Roman soldier and have the true picture of what the Sha’ul is referring to as we allow Scripture to confirm to us exactly what this armour of Elohim is.
You have to just ask yourself this simple question – “Do you think that Elohim would really make us think that we are to look like Roman soldiers?” (that is a rhetorical question by the wayJ)
We need to firstly recognise that when Sha’ul was writing these clear instructions to the set-apart ones, he was clearly pointing his readers back to The Torah and the Prophets, and how we are to dress like our Saviour and NOT like a Roman Soldier; as we read already from Qolasim/Colossians that we are to put on the new man according to the likeness of him who created him! We are to put on Messiah, and as we go through this armour let us start by looking at:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 59:16-17 “And He saw that there was no man, and was astonished that there was no intercessor. So His own arm saved for Him, and His righteousness upheld him. 17 And He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of deliverance on His head. And He put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and wrapped Himself with ardour as a mantle.”
Sha’ul was most certainly pointing back to this text in Yeshayahu and we must recognise that Yeshayahu was clearly speaking about יהושע Messiah, and His garments and dress as our High Priest, not as a Roman soldier – bearing in mind that Yeshayahu would never have known what a Roman soldier looked like as he lived a few hundred years before Rome even came into the picture! And so what we can see straight up here in Sha’ul’s letter to the believers in Ephesos is that they were to dress like Messiah, our High Priest. And in the context of understanding the Armour of Elohim we can see how in a manner of speaking that Yeshayahu is actually describing יהושע Messiah as being the armour of יהוה – that which יהוה has given us of Himself – to put on and be clothed in Him!
I say it again – and I know we all agree to this – and that is we are to put on Messiah and His fullness, yet the mythical picture of a Roman soldier, in regards to this armour, has in actual fact disarmed so many who through a twisted picture taught by blind guides have caused many to not truly understand what is being written here and how this ‘Armour of Elohim’ is actually pointing to our need to be dressed in Him and His Torah in order to faithfully serve in His Tabernacle as a royal priesthood.
Roman soldier imagery of the armour of Elohim only points to a lawless regime that is in for a huge wake-up call! We need to have this imagery restored to its true meaning so that we are well-equipped to stand, and when the Day of יהוה comes we who are dressed in His Torah by walking according to His commands, will be manifested with messiah in esteem!
As we considering the armour of יהוה, which I have often said I will speak on, I must tell you that it was the text in Shemoth/Exodus 28 that got me looking a little deeper into His armour, which says:
Shemoth/Exodus 28:4 “And these are the garments which they make: a breastplate, a shoulder garment, a robe, an embroidered long shirt, a turban, and a girdle. And they shall make set-apart garments for Aharon your brother and his sons, for him to serve as priest to Me.”
This was the instruction given to Mosheh in regards to the garments that the wise of heart, who were filled with a spirit of wisdom, were to make for Aharon the high priest!
What struck me was that there is 6 items here, just as there are 6 items in the list of armour in Eph’siyim/Ephesians, and when recognising the garments required for the High Priest as pointing to our High Priest and King יהושע Messiah, and seeing the words of Yeshayahu, then it is so clear and obvious as to what Sha’ul was referring to in his instructions for set-apart believers!
I would like to briefly run through the armour of Elohim and show how each part points us back to the Torah and the Prophets and instructs us clearly how the Torah is the true set-apart gear for the one who will hear what the Spirit is saying!
Sha’ul tells us to ‘put on’ the ‘armour’ of Elohim so that we have power to stand against the ‘schemes’ of the devil!
The word for ‘put on’ in the Greek is ἐνδύω enduō – Strong’s G1746 meaning, ‘to clothe or be clothed with (in the sense of sinking into a garment)’ and is made up of two words: 1 – ἐν en – Strong’s G1722 which is a primary preposition denoting position and by implying the state of being instrumental meaning, ‘in or on, with, by’; and 2 – δύνω dunō a form of δύω duō – Strong’s G1416 which means, ‘to enter, sink into, setting’. With the idea of ‘setting’ we can see how the 12 stones of the breastplate of the High priest were set into the ephod.
The Greek word for ‘armour’ is πανοπλία panoplia – Strong’s G3833 meaning, ‘full armour’, which is also made up of two words – 1 – πᾶς pas – Strong’s G3956 meaning, ‘all, everything, continually, every kind, everyone’ and 2 – ὅπλον hoplon – Strong’s G3696 meaning, ‘a tool, implement, weapon, instruments, armour’.
The Greek word used for ‘schemes’ is μεθοδεία methodeia – Strong’s G3180 meaning, ‘to employ craft, deceit, scheming, trickery, cunning arts, lie in wait’.
We are to fully put on Messiah or else we will lack the necessary power to stand against the schemes and trickery of the devil. So many people think that they are wearing the armour of Elohim while their disregard for the Torah immediately renders them powerless to the trickery and lies of the devil who has well-crafted various religions and dogmas of man that so easily lure away those who have no armour or are only half dressed due to compromise!
It is the Torah (Mosheh) that washes us and clothes us for true set-apart service:
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 8:6-9 “So Mosheh brought Aharon and his sons and washed them with water, 7 and put the long shirt on him, and girded him with the girdle, and dressed him in the robe, and put the shoulder garment on him, and girded him with the embroidered band of the shoulder garment, and with it tied the shoulder garment on him, 8 and put the breastplate on him, and put the Urim and the Tummim in the breastplate, 9 and put the turban on his head. And on the turban, on its front, he put the golden plate, the set-apart sign of dedication, as יהוה had commanded Mosheh.”
I also believe that Sha’ul was reflecting back to this passage when he was writing his letter to the believers in Ephesos.
Let us now look at the armour that Sha’ul speaks of:
1 – THE BELT OF TRUTH
Often people recite this without recognising what Truth is:
Yoḥanan/John 17:17 “Set them apart in Your truth – Your Word is truth.”
Yoḥanan/John 14:6 “יהושע said to him, “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Sadly many today do not know the Truth, even when it is staring them right in the face – just like Pilate who stood before Messiah – The Truth and asked the question, “What is Truth?” and he walked out!
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:4 “The one who says, “I know Him,” and does not guard His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”
To get a clearer answer to what Truth is we can see what Dawiḏ says in:
Tehillim/Psalm 119:142 “Your righteousness is righteousness forever, and Your Torah is truth.”
You do not get it any clearer than that, yet we can further see in this Psalm:
Tehillim/Psalm 119:151 “You are near, O יהוה, and all Your commands are truth.”
His commands, which is His Torah (instructions) are Truth and this must be our belt as we guard to do his commands for that will be our righteousness – for His righteousness that we clothe ourselves with through obedience is forever!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 11:5 “And righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and trustworthiness the girdle of His waist.”
The word used here for ‘girdle’ is אֵזוֹר ezor – Strong’s H232 meaning, ‘girdle, belt, waistband’ and we see from this that Truth must be a belt for us – strapped around our waist and loins so that we continue to walk in righteousness and not stray!
This word is used in the words of יהוה to Yirmeyahu, in speaking of the those who are supposed to walk in His Truth have disobeyed as the girdle or belt became useless, when they are called to be a set-apart people:
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 13:10-11 “This evil people, who refuse to hear My Words, who walk in the stubbornness of their heart, and walk after other mighty ones to serve them and to bow themselves to them, is like this girdle which is completely useless. 11 ‘For as the girdle clings to the loins of a man, so I have caused all the house of Yisra’ĕl and all the house of Yehuḏah to cling to Me,’ declares יהוה, ‘to become Mine – for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for an adorning. But they did not listen.’”
Those who refuse to listen to and obey the Torah are evil and dysfunctional, as they follow hard after the traditions and dogmas of man that has become a useless belt for them, instead of putting on the belt of Truth!
Let me ask you – are you girded about with Truth – does the Truth cling to your loins as you cling to His word and walk in it – or has your belt become loosened through compromise and sin! Through sin and compromise people become ‘fat’ in their own selfishness and pride and like a person that get fatter and fatter until their belt becomes too small and useless to wear, so do those who continue in sin and lawlessness become fat with pride and arrogance o the point where the belt of Truth no longer fits!
2 – THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 6:25 “And it is righteousness for us when we guard to do all this command before יהוה our Elohim, as He has commanded us.”
The breastplate of the High Priest has what? 12 stones that represent the 12 tribes of Yisra’ĕl, and the full breastplate represents the fullness of all 12 tribes that are gathered together in messiah as each one is set in or grafted in to Righteousness that guards the heart and chest – the heart is where the Torah is to be written upon and righteousness guards our hearts and minds in Messiah!
Shemoth/Exodus 28:15 “And you shall make a breastplate of right-ruling, a work of a skilled workman, like the work of the shoulder garment. Make it of gold, of blue and purple and scarlet material, and fine woven linen.”
A breastplate of ‘right-ruling’ – ‘RIGHT-RULINGS’ – מִשְׁפָּט mishpat – Strong’s H4941 – ‘judgement, ordinance, regulations’ and comes from the word שָׁפַט shaphat – Strong’s H8199 – meaning, ‘to judge, govern, rule, pronounce judgement, give law’.
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 33:22 “for יהוה is our Judge, יהוה is our Lawgiver, יהוה is our Sovereign, He saves us”
There is only One who gives us the Law by which we must live and by which we are governed and these judgements and right-rulings and regulations given by Him we must DO!!!
3 – FEET FITTED WITH THE GOOD NEWS OF PEACE
Here Sha’ul was once again referring back to the High Priest in the service of the Tabernacle:
Shemoth/Exodus 28:35 “And it shall be upon Aharon to attend in, and its sound shall be heard when he goes into the set-apart place before יהוה and when he comes out, so that he does not die.”
Remember that there was no ‘shoes’ in the garments of the High Priest and so we see that His service is in the set-apart presence of the Master, where shoes were taken off! Shoes fitted with the good News is a picture of being completely fitted with pure set-apart garments of Truth and Righteousness, ready to do service and just as Aharon would be heard as he went in and came out, so too do we need to make sure that we do not remain silent in our proclaiming of the Besorah (Good News), lest we die!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 52:7-8 “How pleasant upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings good news, who proclaims deliverance, who says to Tsiyon, “Your Elohim reigns!” 8 The voice of your watchmen! They shall lift up their voices, together they shout for joy, because eye to eye they see the return of יהוה to Tsiyon.”
Feet in the Hebraic mind-set refers to one’s walk and feet fitted with the Good News of Peace speaks of walking in the perfect commands of Elohim as we guard to keep all His Appointed Times and in the picture of the High Priest with no shoes, we can see the picture of not having our feet soiled with man-made customs and designs for fleshly comfort, but rather having feet washed and fitted with that which from Elohim – certainly a different picture than a roman soldier’s sandal or boot!!!
Romiyim/Romans 10:14-15 “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without one proclaiming? 15 And how shall they proclaim if they are not sent? As it has been written, “How pleasant are the feet of those who bring the Good News of peace, who bring the Good News of the good!”
When Messiah washed His disciple’s feet He commissioned them for service toward one another by setting the highest example for us and so his washing of the feet symbolised how we are to make sure that our feet are daily washed in His Word – for this would keep our feet from slipping and we will be able to proclaim with joy the Good News!
4 – THE SHIELD OF FATH
Berěshith/Genesis 15:1 “After these events the word of יהוה came to Aḇram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Aḇram. I am your shield, your reward is exceedingly great.”
Tehillim/Psalm 28:7 “יהוה is my strength, and my shield; my heart has trusted in Him, and I have been helped; Therefore my heart exults, and with my song I thank Him.”
The Greek word for ‘shield’ in Sha’ul’s letter is θυρεός thureos – Strong’s G2375 which means, ‘a shield’ and was typically understood as being a large oblong four cornered shield, and comes from the word θύρα thura – Strong’s G2374 which means, ‘a door, entrance or gate’. This shield would be as large as a door that would cover the whole man like a door, which could also cover the entrance to a cave, and many of the ancient shield were typically made of wood and covered with animals skins. When we think of the picture of this kind of shield, we can immediately see the pointing to יהושע Messiah, who is The door and in reference to the Tabernacle the Set-Apart Place had coverings of animal skins and so when we understand that יהוה is our shield then we can see how we find great refuge in Him and His Name as we serve Him faithfully by shining His Light as the Lampstand in the set-apart place that gives light to the House.
Tehillim/Psalm 33:5 “Our being has longed for יהוה; Our help and our shield is He.”
What we recognize too is that we cannot see the shield of faith; and our shield is יהושע, our High Priest and King, and we place our trust in Him who we do not see and our belief and expectation are in Him.
5 – THE HELMET OF DELIVERANCE
Shemoth/Exodus 28:36-38 “And you shall make a plate of clean gold and engrave on it, like the engraving of a signet: SET-APARTNESS TO יהוה. 37 “And you shall put it on a blue cord, and it shall be on the turban – it is to be on the front of the turban. 38 “And it shall be on the forehead of Aharon, and Aharon shall bear the guilt of the set-apart gifts which the children of Yisra’ĕl set apart in all their set-apart gifts. And it shall always be on his forehead, for acceptance for them before יהוה.”
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 9:3-6 “And the esteem of the Elohim of Yisra’ĕl went up from the kerub, where it had been, to the threshold of the House. And He called to the man clothed with linen, who had the writer’s ink-horn at his side, 4 and יהוה said to him, “Pass on into the midst of the city, into the midst of Yerushalayim, and you shall put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.” 5 And to the others He said in my hearing, “Pass on into the city after him and smite, do not let your eye pardon nor spare. 6 “Slay to destruction old, young men, maidens and children and women, but do not come near anyone upon whom is the mark, and begin at My set-apart place.” So they began with the elders who were in front of the House.”
What marks us for deliverance as we sojourn here? Shemoth/Exodus 13:9 &16 tells us that the keeping of Pěsaḥ and Matzot (Passover and Unleavened Bread) is a sign on our foreheads and hands and Yeḥezqěl 20:20 & 20 tells us that the Sabbath is a sign between us and יהוה forever. Our obedience to his commands and the keeping of His Appointed Times is what marks our deliverance to come and each one must work their own deliverance with fear and trembling as we are transformed daily by the renewing of our minds, as we meditate on the Torah day and night!
6 – SWORD OF THE SPIRIT
Just as we cannot see the shield of faith, the sword of the Spirit we also cannot see – the sword of the Spirit is the Word of יהוה that is written on our hearts and minds as part of the Renewed Covenant in Messiah!
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 33:29 “Blessed are you, O Yisra’ĕl! Who is like you, a people saved by יהוה, the shield of your help, and He who is the sword of your excellency! And your enemies are subdued for you, and you tread down their high places.”
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 4:12 “For the Word of Elohim is living, and working, and sharper than any two-edged sword, cutting through even to the dividing of being and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
We certainly do have hard copies of the Word of Elohim and we must meditate day and night on it, however the sword of the Spirit is more than the letters on the pages we must read and study daily – for it is in us and the light of His truth must be kept burning inside us as we guard to keep our lamps burning continually which is the duty of the set-apart priesthood!
The Sword of the Spirit is our only offensive weapon against the attacks of the devil and if we do not know how to use the Sword then we endanger not only our own lives but also the lives of others! There may come a time when we might have limited access to Scripture copies and so we must ensure that the Word is in us and is alive, so that we are able to yield the sword as a faithful soldier of Messiah.
As discussed last week on the ‘lamp and light’ we know that the Word is a lamp for our feet and a light for our path and so Sha’ul tells us in:
Romiyim/Romans 13:12 “The night is far advanced, the day has come near. So let us put off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”
How are you dressed? Do you ‘put on’ the armour of Elohim or do you forget what to wear? We wear the armour of elohim based on His Covenants of Promise to which we have been brought near by the blood of Messiah, and exchanging armour was an ancient practice as part of Covenant making:
Shemuʼěl Aleph/1 Samuel 18:3-4 “And Yehonathan and Dawiḏ made a covenant, because he loved him as his own being. 4 And Yehonathan took off the robe that was on him and gave it to Dawiḏ, and his garments, even to his sword and his bow and his girdle.”
Messiah in His own Blood, renewed the marriage Covenant and exchanged garments with us as He took our sin in order that we can be clothed in Him and His whole armour:
Qorintiyim Bet/2 Corinthians 5:21 “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of Elohim.”
Now because of the Renewed Covenant we are able to put on His perfect armour, so we who are sons of light and sons of the day, let us daily put on the full armour of Elohim, clothed in the fullness of his Living Word as we faithfully guard to do all He has commanded us
There is much more I could share on the topic, yet I ask you – Have you figured out what the full armour of יהוה looks like as depicted by the Hebrew Scriptures and not by a Roman guard?
In a nutshell, to put on the full armour of יהוה is to put on the garments of the Priesthood as described by the Torah and serve accordingly!
He who has an ear – PUT ON THE RIGHT GEAR!!!
יהוה bless you and guard you, fellow soldier!