Ephesians 6:10-13  10 "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." 

Our strength is not in our selves, but our strength is in the Lord.  Paul wrote of his own personal experiences in 2 Cor. 12:7 "And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

Paul said that when he was weak then he was strong and that was when the power of Christ rested upon him.  The converse is also true: when we are strong in ourselves or our perceived abilities, then are we truly weak to fight to the good fight of faith.   

In this passage of scripture as well as others, Paul compares the disciple of Christ as being a soldier in a warfare.  The warfare he is engaged in is not a natural warfare, but a spiritual warfare.  A soldier has an armor in which he is to wear both for protection and for offensively engaging the enemy.  A good soldier knows the value of his armor and would not consider going to battle without the armor.  Further, he would not put on just a portion of the armor but would put on all the armor.  Likewise, as soldiers of the army of God, we are to put on the whole armor that God has provided us. 

In warfare, it is important to know who our enemy is and be able to recognize him and his devices.  "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil."  The devil is the general in the army we are to oppose.  He is full of sly tricks (wiles).  He is excellent at camouflage.  He and his soldiers often appear to be something they are not:

1.  2 Cor. 11:13 "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works." 

2.  Matt. 7:15 "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them."

Next, he quotes scripture to try to deceive you: Matt. 4:5 "Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, 6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone."  By comparing the scripture, the devil quoted with what is actually written in Ps. 91:11 "For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. 12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone," we find that the devil did the following three things:                  

1.  He changed some words: "concerning thee" vs. "over thee."

2.  He left out a portion of the verse: "to keep thee in all thy ways."

3.  He added some words: "at any time." 

Next, the devil calls in question the word of God: Gen. 3:1 "Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?"  He also denies the word of God: Gen. 3:4 "And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die."  Furthermore, he questions the motives of God: Gen. 3:5 "For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." 

The devil used enticement to entice God's people to sin: James 1:14 "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death."  The desires of the flesh are categorized in 1 John for us: 1 John 2:16 "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."  The devil used these three lusts to entice Eve to transgress in the Garden of Eden: Gen. 3:6 "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat."  The tree was good for food, thus, it appealed to the flesh.  The tree was pleasant to the eyes, thus, it appealed to the eyes.  Third, the tree was a tree to be desired to make one wise, thus, it appealed to the pride of life. 

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."  Our warfare is not a flesh and blood warfare.  We do not take swords against our neighbor nor do we go off to foreign lands to war against others to strive for mastery over them.   

Our warfare is against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual wickedness in high place.  Principalities can be defined as the dominion of princes.  The principalities that we war against are the dominions of the prince of the power of the air.  He has dominion over many things that the children of God often find themselves entangled within.  The Greek word for powers means authorities.  Obviously, the authorities we wrestle against are false authorities.  The true authorities are ordained of God.   

The rulers of the darkness of this world, refers to false devilish world or national rulers.  There are and will always be the Herod's, the Hitler's, and the Stalin's of this world who will try to destroy that which is Godly. 

It is important that we notice where we are engaged in this warfare.  We are engaged in this warfare in high places.  The high places in which this warfare is fought are not what the world would consider high places, but which the Lord teaches us are high places.  There are three great high places where we fight in this warfare.  The first is the high place of the mind.  In the pre-flood world, the accusation against men was that "every imagination of the thoughts of their heart was only evil continually.  They had lost the battle for the mind.  If we continue to feed our mind with evil things, we will also lose the battle in this high place.  It will not matter then if we try to fight in the other high places because we have already lost the battle. 

The second high place is the family.  The Lord established the family in the Garden of Eden.  The world and the devil are fighting against the family.  We are to stand against the wiles of the devil and the spiritual wickedness in the family. 

The third high place is the church.  We are to stand against the wiles of the devil and spiritual wickedness in the church. 

"Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand."  "To withstand" teaches us that the devil, the flesh, and the world make an onslaught against us.   Yet if we have the whole armor of God, we are prepared to withstand this onslaught against us in the mind, the family, and the church.  Further, when we have withstood the onslaughts against us, we are to stand.  To stand is not to just stand against something, but it also teaches us that we are to stand for something.  We do not just stand against evil, but we also stand for the truth.   

A portion of the armor will not be enough for us to withstand and to stand.  We must have the whole armor.  The devil and the world are good at fighting our weakest link.  If we do not have the whole armor, then we have a weak link and the devil will find it.  Let us put on the whole armor of God. 

Ephesians 6:14  "Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;" 

In this dissertation on the "whole armor of God," there are seven pieces of armor.  (Seven is the bible number associated with completion).  The first two are listed for us in verse 14: "loins girt about with truth;" and "breastplate of righteousness."   

The loins are the strength of the body: 

1.  Prov 31:17 "She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms."

2.  Nahum 2:1 "He that dasheth in pieces is come up before thy face: keep the munition, watch the way, make thy loins strong, fortify thy power mightily."         

In ancient warfare, a girdle was placed about the loins so that the soldier would not be hindered by his uniform and it also acted as a binding for the sword: 

1.  2 Sam 20:8 "When they were at the great stone which is in Gibeon, Amasa went before them. And Joab's garment that he had put on was girded unto him, and upon it a girdle with a sword fastened upon his loins in the sheath thereof; and as he went forth it fell out."

          2.  2 Ki 1:8 "And they answered him, He was an hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins. And he said, It is Elijah the Tishbite."         

However, the loins we are to protect are not our natural loins, but the loins of our mind: 1 Pet 1:13 "Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ."  Truth is the protection for the loins of our mind.  We are to have our loins girt about with truth.  The word, truth, appears 235 times in the scriptures in 222 verses.  In John 17, the Lord tells us that the word of God is truth: John 17:17 "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth."  Truly, our strength is found in the knowledge of God's word.  We are to put the word of God into our mind in order for that truth to be the strength of our mind and life.  Therefore, we should study, read, and meditate on the word of God in order that we may apply "thus saith the Lord," to the problems and trials of our life.         

Next, we are to have on the breastplate of righteousness.  The breastplate protects the heart and vital chest area.  The high priest wore as a part of his clothing a breastplate of judgment.  On the breastplate were twelve stones with the names of the twelve tribes of Israel engraven on the twelve stones.  This represented that the high priest had the children of Israel upon his heart when he went into the holy place to make the atoning sacrifice.  The eternal judgment of God that made us righteous should be in our heart to protect us from the arrows of Satan's lies.  This judgment is set forth in 2 Cor. 5:21: "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."  Further, our desire to live an upright life should be proceeding from our heart as well.  Again, the heart we are to protect is not our natural heart, but the spiritual heart we have as a result of the new birth.           

Ephesians 6:15 "And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;" 

The foot is that part of the human body that is used for walking or running or standing.  A soldier in battle must have his feet properly shod.  A soldier who is hindered from walking, running, or standing because of shoddy foot-wear is at a great disadvantage in battle.  Since, as soldiers of Jesus Christ, we are to stand against the wiles of the devil, to walk by faith and not by sight, and to run with patience the race that is set before us, then we need the proper foot-wear for our feet.   

The gospel of peace prepares us for standing against the wiles of the devil.  It prepares us to walk by faith and not by sight.  It also prepares us for running the race of discipleship.  Thus, we should not forsake the assembling of ourselves together: Heb. 10:25 "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."  Preaching the gospel includes preaching the whole counsel of God: Acts 20:26 "Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. 27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God."  Also, the gospel ministry is to "preach the word."   

The scriptures are a thorough furnisher unto all good works: 2 Tim. 3:16 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."  Therefore, taking heed to the gospel of peace provides the proper footwear for us to stand against the wiles of the devil, to walk by faith and not by sight, and to run with patience the race that is set before us.