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The belt of Truth

Truth is of great importance to the Christian who is to be victorious and overcome the evil one. There is a saying that it is all right to tell a white lie, but there is no such thing. Every time we tell a lie, we side with the devil, who is the father of lies. Always being truthful means also that we must never compromise, but always proclaim the uniqueness of Jesus, if possible without giving offence.

Unless a person believes in the uniqueness of the Jesus of the gospels then all we are believing in is one who is just like any other religious leader and founder, all of whom have no power to pay the penalty of their own sin, much less the sin of all mankind for eternity.

Many people are taught a perversion of the true gospel, some receive a gospel of salvation through good works, others are told that it is through a combination of faith and good works that they can obtain salvation. In Ephesians chapter one, St Paul is very clear about the gospel he is preaching. "You are saved through grace, by faith in the Son of God, Jesus the Christ, not through works least any man would boast."

We see the truth of this with Abraham in the book of Genesis (Old Testament) and the book of Hebrews (New Testament) that Abraham believed the word of God and this is what God counted as justifying him. Although it is true that in most cases faith without works is no faith at all, the works referred to are the fruit of our relationship with Jesus Christ and evidence of the work of God in our lives, they do not count towards our salvation, that is through faith in Christ Jesus alone.

Faith is offered to everyone as a free gift from God. A gift is something we have not earned and do not deserve, given us by grace and not as a result of our own merit or it would not be a gift at all, but a reward that had been earned. The word faith originally meant much more than just an acknowledgement of, it referred to something you shaped your life around. Faith is believing God and doing what He tells you to do.

This can only come about through a personal relationship with God, through Jesus Christ so we can hear His voice speaking to us and obey what He is telling us to do. Faith is effective in this way only if we are faithful to the truth of the gospel and continue to believe in our hearts until the end of our lives on earth.

What about someone who is not able to do any work at all because of a severe disability? The answer is very easy and very wonderful. What counts for our salvation is our relationship with God, anyone who has such a genuine relationship, though they are unable to do any work, their relationship with God through Jesus Christ is all they need for salvation.

The shoes of the gospel of peace

Many times man has tried to bring peace to troubled situations, yet has found time and time again that peace does not last very long. The only time there will ever be lasting and true peace anywhere on earth is when people accept the truth of the gospel and commit themselves to a life of worship and obedience to the true Messiah, Jesus Christ, the Son of God. No human being can bring this peace, only the rule and reign of Jesus on earth, eternally.

A priest of God in the days of Moses was anointed with oil on the right ear, the right hand and the right foot. The ear, so that the person does not listen to malicious gossip, things that are completely untrue or that could cause a great deal of harm such as talking about being unfaithful to God, the hand, so that all the works he put his hands to would be for the honour and glory of God, and the foot so that he would go nowhere God had forbidden him to go.

All these things were done on the right side of the body literally as a sign of righteousness. During the days of Moses and the Kings of Israel, when they went into battle against the enemy, there would be stakes in the ground at very low height in order to trip up and bring down the fighting army as they advanced. Similarly, the devil will try to trip you up and get you to go into territory that God has not authorised you to. If you do, then it will be like walking into a trap, and in every case the enemy would be certain to attack you.

The helmet of salvation

Obviously this was intended to protect the head, but in spiritual terms it refers to what we set our minds to, what we watch, what we read and what we think. The enemy will try to fill our minds with things that are harmful to us, even dangerous, but we must learn to distinguish what is of God and what is not. Pornography, astrology, palmistry, reading tea leaves etc. are all the very things we are advised by God to stay away from, as well as many other things such as holistic medicine, acupuncture and some forms of so-called natural remedies and supplements.

St Paul said that "If anyone comes to you with a gospel different from that which we have preached to you, have nothing to do with that person. "Notice it says "have nothing to do with that person" and not "study what he tells you so that you can explain to him where he is wrong". If you understand the true gospel of Jesus Christ properly, you will know at once when someone comes to you with a false one. These studies are designed to teach you the truth so that you will not be led astray by false teaching.

We must be careful that we do not fill our minds with negative things which are the opposite of faith. True faith is thinking positively about God's purpose for your life, and the things He has called you to do. If we do not allow negative thinking to enter our minds then we are less likely to be defeated by negativity. "He who is faithful has called you, He will also bring it about."

The breastplate of righteousness

One of the things that enabled Jesus to perform so many miracles on earth was that He was a man of total integrity. He never lied, never did anything in a wrong motive and did not sin in secret believing He would not be found out. People who do that are always exposed sooner or later, whoever they are.

Because He was careful to walk in the ways set before Him, since there was no sin found in Him, when He spoke, what He said carried great spiritual weight and authority, since there was nothing false in Him. Similarly with us, if we are walking in fellowship with God and honestly trying to avoid doing anything that God would not approve of, then the power and authority available to us would be must greater than it would otherwise have been.

This is why many churches in the world do not see the miracle working power of God in their midst, because they have moved away from the standards and instructions laid down by God for His people to walk the way Jesus did, in total victory. Just as it is true with the church, so it is with individual Christians. The more we stay away from sin, the more we are able to live a life that truly reflects the power and glory of the one and only living God.

The shield of faith

Do you really believe what the bible says about Jesus and the promises He has made through His word to yourself and all who follow Him? Do you believe that in His name you have power over all the power of the enemy and that you can heal the sick and cast out demons in Jesus name? Many people misunderstand what that phrase means, it does not give you the authority to go around doing just as you like, Jesus only did what He saw The Father doing.

The key is to act on command and not out of presumption. This involves constantly listening for God's voice and obeying it, and not acting until you have heard from God what you should do in every situation. If you come up against someone who is demon possessed, if the demonic activity is hampering the preaching of the word, or the worship of God, you have the authority to bind that demon and forbid it to cause a disturbance

Unless the person sincerely ask for it to be cast out and accepts Jesus as Saviour, you do not have that power over it. If the person consents and receives Jesus as Saviour, you do have the authority to cast it out, but you may be challenged by the demon if there is any doubt in your mind about the power and authority you have in Christ Jesus. Hold your ground, be confident in your God-won authority and it has no option but to leave.

As has been mentioned before in this summary of the full armour of God, if you have some deliberate, unconfessed sin in your life, then your power and authority in God will be diminished. In all cases prayer and fasting beforehand is to be recommended. Also, if you know in advance you will be ministering to the sick and the demon possessed over the period of at least the previous week get your church (and yourself) to pray for a spirit of healing and deliverance to be present in power at the meeting. God may not require you to pray for or lay hands on anyone during the meeting, many times people are healed and delievered during times of praise and worship and the preaching of the word without anyone touching or coming near them. That is when you know that God is at work amongst you.

In many other ways your strength will come through your believing and standing on the word of God. Be sure that you continually read the word day by day and you will have confidence in what you can do and what you can say. If you command someone to be healed but doubt in your heart that this will happen, it probably will not.

If God is doing a work of healing in a meeting and you pray for someone and command them to be healed, if you say it with confidence and conviction then they probably will be. Always remember these are guidelines, it depends always on God, not you. He might go ahead and do great things anyway.

The sword of The Spirit

This is the word of God, which is always intended to be used in a strategic way. When you speak out the word of God, whether through a bible reading or a prophecy or a sermon, say it with conviction, because there is much authority and power in the speaking of the word of God.

The entire universe was created by the word of God being spoken forth, it still has the power to change things in people's lives if we use it in the way it is intended to be used. Not acting on presumption but on command from God. Some bibles suggest that "all prayer" or "praying on every possible occasion in The Spirit" is part of the armour of God, but this subject is dealt with in another section.

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