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Tag Archives: armor of God

Receiving the Spiritual Weapons

Over the past weeks, I’ve been writing about spiritual warfare.  I’ve talked about it in general and then specifically about the armor of God.  In my last few posts, I’ve explained the anointing, God’s approval process in our Christian walk.

Now I want to try and bring it all together.  There are some practical things that we need to know if we’re going to walk in the power of God.

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Ephesians 6:17-18

I’ve already talked about the helmet and sword.  They’re the pieces of armor that are issued after we’re properly trained and approved.  If you remember, the word, take, actually means to receive or accept.

Now the question is; how do we receive these powerful spiritual weapons?  To answer that, we need to understand the Greek language of these verses.

First, let me say that I’m grateful for the translators who have given us the Holy Bible in the English language.  I’ve met some of them and I know that most of them are sincere in their service to Christ.  The time and dedication that they gave is a wonderful gift to the church.

That being said, there are some inherent challenges when you translate a text from one language to another.  Depending upon your experience and/or your spiritual baggage, sometimes your own thoughts can unknowingly color the translation.

This is especially true when dealing with prayer in the spirit – praying in tongues.  We know that the Apostle Paul had a very rich experience praying in the spirit (1 Corinthians 14:18).  He had an understanding of this discipline more than most believers, even in our generation.

The problem comes in when a translator who has never even experienced the gift tries to figure out what Paul is saying.  They look at the Greek words but have no understanding of how to apply them.  They then make their best guess at how to align the translation in a way that also works with their own personal experience.

On top of all that, the Greek language allows for what we would call some huge run-on sentences.  Sometimes two, or even three, English verses are actually all one sentence in the original Greek text.  In order for the passage to be more understandable to modern readers, the translators have broken them up for us.

This is the case in the above section of Scripture.  The clue to this is when you see verse 18 starting with the word, and.  That should tell you that verses 17 and 18 are actually all one sentence.

In the original text, the word translated, and, is actually the Greek word, diaDia literally means through or by means of.  That one change brings a whole new meaning to this verse.

It literally reads, “Receive the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God by means of prayer and requests, always praying in the Spirit.”  The apostle makes it clear that we receive these weapons through our prayer in the spirit.

I know that there are those in the body of Christ who don’t believe that this gift is still active and available.  Unfortunately, that’s the result of some translation issues that I’ve outlined above.  So, over the next few posts, I’m going to specifically write about prayer in the spirit (tongues) as it relates to spiritual warfare in Scripture.

God’s people need to be spending quality time in the spirit if we’re going to see the end-time harvest in our generation.

Question: How much time do you spend praying in the spirit?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 

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The Path to the Anointing

This is the last post in a series I’m writing to explain what walking in the anointing of God means.  It seems that the church is under the impression that just because we have the Holy Spirit in us, we have the same anointing as Jesus.

Hopefully, based upon my last few posts, you understand why that’s not the case unless you go through the same process He went through.  We need to seek God’s approval to walk in His power.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15

We’re now in a position to understand what Paul was telling Timothy in this verse.  Do your bestbe diligent – to present yourself to God as one anointed.  When you’re approved before God there’s no need to be ashamed.

This is a big problem among God’s people in our generation.  We’re full of boldness when we’re in praise and worship.  But on the job or at school it’s a different story.  We keep our faith inside, not wanting to “offend” anyone.  That’s foolishness since every other group will openly declare what they believe to be true.

It all comes down to power.  I want to say to those I work with, “God loves you.  He’ll change your life.  He’ll heal you and bless you.”  But I worry that if they let me pray with them, nothing will happen.

Furthermore, what if I’m not healed and my life isn’t blessed?  What if they ask me about that?  I’d rather just keep quiet and avoid the embarrassment.

The church needs to be on its knees seeking approval for ministry.  Then, when the anointing is upon us, we’ll not worry about what the world or our friends think.

I believe that the next great revival will involve the church coming to an understanding of this truth.  But we’ll have to attain a certain level of intimacy before the Lord will manifest His anointing in us.  This is probably going to be the hardest move for the church to enter into.

I don’t think it will come as a wave, but as individuals begin paying the price for God’s approval.  Then, they must show up at the place and time of their anointing.  It could be a big or small meeting.  It won’t matter as long as it’s God’s appointed place.

Do what it takes to secure your anointing.  Follow the example of Christ.  Seek intimacy with the Father.  Then, as the Holy Spirit speaks to your heart, walk in obedience to His voice.

Understanding this truth gives us more insight into the spiritual battles we face.  We need this approval in order to wear the helmet and wield the sword.  Too many Christians are entering this struggle with no spiritual weapons.

It’s time for God’s people to submit under the leadership of the Holy Spirit.  We need to allow Him to bring us through His training program.

It’s only when we can correctly handle God’s Word that we’ll be entrusted with true power.  Over the next few posts, I’ll talk about this in more detail.  My desire is to see the church rise to the level God is calling us to.

Question: What could happen if the whole church walked in the anointing of the Lord?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 

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Anointing is Approval

I’ve been posting about David’s anointing as king and how it relates to our spiritual approval process.  It’s surprisingly similar to what we go through in the church today.

So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power.  Samuel then went to Ramah.
1 Samuel 16:13

It’s clear from this verse that the Holy Spirit and power follow the anointing.  That’s what Christ was referring to when He said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me BECAUSE He has anointed me.” (Luke 4:18)

I believe that this is a special move of the Holy Spirit to work with signs and miracles.  It’s not the same as the Holy Spirit simply being in us because of salvation.  It’s the power of God, present to confirm His Word.

If you’ve been following these posts, you may remember I said how little the word “anointing” was used in the New Testament.  If you check it out, except once by Paul, all the usage was Jews writing to Jews.

Paul wrote most of the New Testament to Gentiles.  What would a Greek know about the Hebrew anointing?  Paul wrote to people who had no knowledge of it.  How did he describe it?

To understand it, let’s talk about the priesthood in Israel.  To become a priest, you didn’t just walk up to the temple and say, “I’m a Levite and I want to be a priest.”  ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!

To be anointed as priest, you had to attend and graduate a school of the law taught by a Rabbi.  Then you had to prove that you’ve memorized the Pentateuch (The first five books of the Bible).  You had to show your family records proving priestly lineage.  Then you would strip and every inch of your body would be inspected by a board of priests who were looking for any defect that would disqualify you.

Only when you had passed every test would you be robed in priestly clothes and the oil of the anointing was poured on your head.  Being in the right family was only the beginning.  It wasn’t until you were tested and approved to be a priest that you could be anointed.

In reality, our spiritual anointing involves being approved by God.  That’s the word Paul used throughout his writings to the Gentiles.  They wouldn’t understand anoint but approve they could grasp.

The Greek word that Paul used is translated as approve, commend, chosen, or election depending upon the context.  But these words were used by Paul the same way in which anointing is used in the Old Testament.

What we miss sometimes, is that we can be saved, but not approved to walk in the power of God.  We think that just because we have the Holy Spirit in us, we have the same authority as Christ.  We have to be approved to walk in God’s authority.

It’s that approval which gives us access to the pieces of issued armor.  If you’ve been following my posts then you know I’m referring to the Helmet of Salvation and the Sword of the Spirit.  With these, we receive power and authority.

I believe that this is what’s ahead for God’s people.  The next move of God will be to bring us into the fullness of this work.  When this happens, we’ll see the greatest harvest of souls since the Book of Acts.

That’s the true anointing of power.

Question: What does it take to be approved to walk in the authority of the Holy Spirit?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 

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Jesus Christ – Anointed and Approved

For the past couple of posts, I’ve been talking about the approval needed to use the Helmet of Salvation and the Sword of the Spirit.  Our concern should be, with positioning ourselves to receive it.

At one point in His ministry, Jesus fed a crowd of over 5000 with just a few fish and a couple of pieces of bread.  The people were amazed.  Look at what the Lord said to them.

Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.  On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
John 6:27

Jesus is our example in ministry.  If we see how He positioned Himself for God’s approval, then we can follow His lead.

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Luke 4:18-19

Christ’s ability to walk in the power of God was brought about in three major events.  These were His baptism, temptation, and His announcement of ministry.  This verse shows us His entrance into the public ministry.

After reading this portion of Scripture, the Lord announced that it was being fulfilled in their presence.  I believe that this holds the key to positioning ourselves.  It’s all about the anointing.

We’ve heard a lot of teaching on the anointing over the years.  Unfortunately, some of it has been a little off base.  Where was it wrong?

First, let’s look at where we were right.  The anointing removes burdens and destroys yokes.  That’s a true statement based upon Isaiah 10:27.  Furthermore, that was Jesus’ whole ministry in a nutshell.

Another part is that the word, Christ, encompasses the Anointed One and His anointing.  Since that’s true, it’s also the case that as Christians, that name means little anointed ones.

The final truth that we must embrace is that we all have an anointing from God.  Scripture is clear on that point.

With all of this truth, then where are we off?  My question is this; with this entire teaching being proclaimed, why are burdens NOT being removed and yokes NOT being destroyed in much of the church?  Why are captives NOT being set free?  Why are the gates of Hell NOT being prevailed against?

I’ve also heard it taught that the Holy Spirit is our anointing.  That’s where we’ve misunderstood the Scripture.  Look at the above verse carefully.

Jesus clearly said, “The Spirit…is on me BECAUSE he has anointed me.”  What we’ve missed is that the Spirit follows the anointing.

This is a different work than salvation.  Yes, the Holy Spirit lives in me when I receive Christ as Lord.  But the anointing for the power of the Holy Spirit is a different thing.  That’s why there are so many believers in the body of Christ that live powerless in this generation.

We need to understand exactly what the anointing is and how to receive it.  Then, like Christ, we can walk in the power and approval of the Holy Spirit that this anointing opens up.

After my Christmas post, I’m going to take the next few to try and explain how this works in our Christian walk.  If you haven’t subscribed to this blog yet, you should do it now so that you won’t miss any of these vital messages to the church.

Question: What is the current level of power evidenced in the church today?

© 2019 Nick Zaccardi

 

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Helmet and Sword – A Lethal Combination

Over the past few posts, I’ve talked about the Helmet of Salvation and the Sword of the Spirit.  I looked at them individually in order to understand what they are and how they operate.

But if you remember, when I first talked about them, I said that they were given to us as a set.

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Ephesians 6:17

After we lift up the Shield of Faith, the next step is to receive, accept, the helmet and sword.  As I’ve said, these are the two pieces of armor that God bestows on us once we’re sufficiently trained.

You may not like this teaching.  Most others preach that these are ours to use simply by faith.  However, I think that a quick look at the church today will prove that relatively few believers are victorious over the enemy and his kingdom.

Personally, I want to see results in my Christian walk.  To do that, I need to trust what Scripture says and not a good sounding preacher.

I need to first prepare myself for battle.  I take up the belt, breastplate, shoes, and shield.  I submit myself to the training of the Holy Spirit.  Only then am I in a position to receive the helmet and sword.

To review, the Helmet of Salvation is the authority of God working through me.  The Sword of the Spirit is the power of God.  This is a lethal combination against the enemy’s kingdom.

Authority is the permission you need to carry out your calling effectively.  Power is the ability to see it accomplished.  You can’t complete your assignment without both of these ingredients.

The concept of “issued armor” is not only a spiritual truth.  It works this way in the physical as well.  Think about what it takes to become a Police Officer.

First, they have to undergo classroom training.  They need to learn the law, tactics, and procedures.  Then they need weapons training.  After that, they need to practice their fieldwork.  If they pass all their training, they can graduate from the Police Academy.

However, even then, they can’t hit the streets and start arresting criminals or issuing tickets.  There’s one more important step.  They need to be accepted and hired by a police force.

Let’s say that a graduate from the academy is hired by the NYPD.  Only then are they issued their two most important pieces of equipment.  I’m talking about their badge and their gun.

The badge tells the city they work for, their rank, and the authority they have in the department.  The gun gives them the power to enforce the authority that’s been given to them.

The Scripture teaches that it’s the same way in the spirit.  We need to be issued a helmet and sword.  Unfortunately, because of a lack of teaching about this, there are many believers trying to battle the enemy hand-to-hand.  We were never called to do that.

On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel.  We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts.
1 Thessalonians 2:4

We get into trouble when we ignore verses like this.  Paul clearly taught that God has an approval process before He’ll entrust you with His Word of power.  It’s the Holy Spirit that does the testing.

This concept is found all through the New Testament.  We would do well to understand it and walk in it.  Only then will we see the power and authority of Christ affecting the world around us.  I believe that this is the next step on God’s agenda.  He wants to train His church to live and minister as Christ did.

Over the next few posts, I’m going to talk about this approval process.

Question: How does the spiritual helmet and sword increase the effectiveness of our evangelism?

© 2019 Nick Zaccardi

 

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God’s Armor – Using the Sword of the Spirit

In my last post, I explained that the Sword of the Spirit is a special Word that you’ve received from God.  You get it by spending quality time in His presence.  The Holy Spirit trains you before giving you this gift.

For the word of God is living and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12

This truth is hard for us to accept sometimes.  The true Word of God is alive and active.  It has a life and will of its own.  I can speak it, but I can’t control what it does.

We sometimes think that if God would speak through us, we’ll have such a great time.  That’s not always the case.

Think about Elijah.  He heard from God and then spoke to a king saying that it wouldn’t rain for a few years.  Because of that Word, Elijah had to live by a brook for his water.  Later, the brook dried up and he had to go to a widow for provision.

When God’s Word is invoked over a situation, that Word has its own plan.  Scripture makes it clear that it will accomplish what God ordained it to do. (Isaiah 55:11)

Even more than that, once God’s Word goes forth, nothing can be protected from it.  It can totally change every area of your life.  The writer of Hebrews continues with this thought.

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight.  Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Hebrews 4:13

When this verse says that everything is laid bare, it uses a special Greek word.  It literally means to expose the neck of a victim so that they can be killed.  This is a powerful spiritual weapon.

This is why the Holy Spirit must train us to use it.  God will never entrust it to an infant, the unapproved, or fools.  It can totally destroy the work of the enemy in someone’s life, in a city, or in a region.

As believers, we should desire to enter the spiritual battle.  Our goal should be to set the captives free from the influence and control of the enemy.

In speaking about those with God-given authority, Paul made an interesting observation.

For he is God’s servant to do you good.  But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing.  He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.
Romans 13:4

I know that in its context, this verse is talking about people in authority, such as the Police Department, who are authorized to keep the peace.  But there’s a greater application.

Are you God’s servant?  Do you desire to do good?  If so, then this verse could be applied to you in a spiritual sense.

This verse tells me that there’s a reason why the police carry a gun.  In the same way, the Lord doesn’t issue the Sword of the Spirit for no reason.  If you have no reason to bear the sword, you will not be issued the sword.

What’s the reason that we’re given this sword?  To explain it, I’m going to give a word by word translation of the last sentence of the above verse.  In essence, God’s servant is a punisher, who repeatedly carries out justice against evil, while motivated by a violent passion.

Please remember – I’m ONLY talking about attacking the devil’s kingdom IN THE SPIRIT.  I’m not talking about any physical attack.

With that in mind, if you have no intention of attacking the enemy’s kingdom with a violent passion, then you’ll have no reason to be given the Sword of the Spirit.  To put it another way, God will have no reason to give you a special Word from Him.

We need to allow the Holy Spirit to train us.  Our generation needs more believers who can handle this sword.

Question: How passionate are you about seeing God’s will done on earth?

© 2019 Nick Zaccardi

 

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God’s Armor – The Sword of the Spirit

Today I want to begin looking at the Sword of the Spirit.  It’s the second of the pieces that we receive.

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Ephesians 6:17

It goes without saying that the sword is an offensive weapon.  Everything so far has kept the enemy from hurting you.  This piece actually hurts the enemy and does damage to his kingdom.  If we’re going to walk in the victory that God has ordained for us, then we need to understand what this weapon is and how to use it.

First, we need to know what it’s not.  The Sword of the Spirit is not the Bible.  The Bible does not hurt the enemy.  As a matter of fact, the devil has the Bible memorized and he quotes it when it suits his purposes (Matthew 4:5-6).

The Sword of the Spirit is a rhema-word from God.  It’s a Word I need to receive directly from God.

We serve a God who speaks to His people.  But we need to be in a position to hear what He’s saying to us.  I must spend the time needed to be listening in His presence.

That’s why it’s important that we understand this is a received weapon, along with the helmet.  The fact is that the Holy Spirit has to train us to use this weapon.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15

There are many Scriptures that talk about our need to be approved.  For the most part, we ignore them.  Then we wonder why the church seems to have no power.

The word approved means that there has been an inspection.  More than that, the inspection has been passed and the one tested has been certified.  There needs to be training.

The phrase that’s translated as correctly handles actually means to make a straight cut.  We need to be able to make a straight cut with the Word of truth.  This verse is talking about the logos-word of God.

It’s the logos-word that trains us to use the rhema-word.  For in-depth teaching on the differences between the logos, rhema, and graphe word of God, click here.

The fact is, if you can’t make a straight cut with the logos-word, then you’ll not be given permission to use the rhema-word.  We must be approved to use the sword.  It’s not some spiritual toy that we can take out and play with whenever we want.

The question is, how do I become approved to use this sword?

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.  Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
James 1:19-21

This verse tells us that anger, man’s passion, will never win the war against evil.  It’s the humble acceptance of the Word that rids us of evil.  At least that’s how it’s written in Greek.

James goes on to tell us how to prepare.

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says.
James 1:22

These verses from James are all talking about the logos-word.  If I can’t hear and obey God’s logos-word to me, then I’m not ready for His rhema.

If I want to walk in the greater things of God, then I first need to be faithful in what I’ve already received.  That’s the key to a victorious Christian walk.

Question: What’s the last thing you knew that the Holy Spirit was speaking to you?

© 2019 Nick Zaccardi

 
 

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