Part 1 : Truth In The Armor Of God.
We are going to begin our series where Paul started in Ephesians 6:14a, “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist.”
Did you ever wonder why Paul starts with the Belt of Truth, instead of starting at the top with the Helmet of Salvation? In Matthew 7:24-27 Yeshua gives us some solid advice. “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts on them, will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and its collapse was great.”
No matter what you do in life, you have to have a firm foundation. How else can you stand firm? The only foundation that will not be moved is upon the Rock, Yeshua. Let’s go back to 1 Corinthians 10:1-4, from the beginning, it tell us this, “For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that our fathers were all under the cloud and they all passed through the sea; and they all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and they all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was the Lord. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased; for their dead bodies were spread out in the wilderness.” Even though they all drank from the Rock, Yeshua, and they all ate from the same spiritual food, Yeshua, they still fell. Why? Because they gave way to the temptations of the evil forces that attacked them, even though they had God all around them. The first thing we are to put on is the
BELT OF TRUTH.
Today believers believe things that just are not true. There are so many teachings out there and many of them do not have a solid foundation in God’s Word. God’s Word is one as He is one, and everything in God’s Word is in agreement. Yeshua said, “ I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
Today many people teach that there are many ways to get to heaven. Yeshua tells us that there is only one way, and that is through Him. But it is not enough to just say, I believe in Yeshua and so now I am saved. How about being born again? (John 3:5-6) To be born again means that you must die and how do you die? By crucifying your flesh as Galatians 5:24 tells us, “And those who belong to Messiah Yeshua have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
Yeshua tells His disciples this in Matthew 16:24, “Then Yeshua told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” If you have not let go of the world, and all of it’s lust and passions, and picked up your cross, the yoke of the kingdom, to follow Messiah in His footsteps, then you are not born again because to be born again you must die first. Yeshua tells us in John 14:15, “ If you love Me then keep My commandments.” The commandments are to be looked upon as the “Laws of the Kingdom.”
There are 613 commandments in the Hebrew Scriptures and 1,050 in the Apostolic Scriptures, both do’s and don’ts. These laws are so that we can fight the evil forces. They are what separates us from the world. To be set apart is the meaning of holiness. By keeping them, we know that we will win against the evil forces, but it all must start with truth. As believers we have authority over the devil. Yeshua tells us in Luke 10:19, “Behold, I have given you authority to walk on snakes and scorpions, and authority over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you.” To begin you must understand that you can win. You have the authority over the devil and not the other way around. You can resist him and he will flee. The armor of God is for the believer to fight and to win, but you must have truth and how you use that truth will determine if you will win. A belt is worn around the middle of a person, their center of gravity. The belt of truth must be worn to keep you in balance, so you do not wander off to the right or to the left. Remember, the road to life is narrow and few only find it. (Matthew 17:13-14)
Now let’s see how the Appointed Times of God work into this spiritual battle. Do not fool yourselves into thinking that just because God gives these Appointed Times to the Israelites in the wilderness, that these times are not for believers. You have to consider the fact that at that time they were the only people who believed in the One True God. Romans 3:1-2 tells us, “What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? Much in every way! First of all, the Jews have been entrusted with the very words of God.”
It makes sense if they were the only people to believe in God, the Creator of heaven and earth, but since they were entrusted with the Word of God then we should be thankful that when the day came for you and I to believe, that the words were kept and made available to us. But no, we call them obsolete. Nothing about God is obsolete. We have been trying for centuries to make our foundation obsolete. You can not stand firm on shifting sand, as the parable by Yeshua told us in Matthew 7:24-27.
Again these times which God designated are His holy days, and these times are all part of the kingdom, even when God rested on the seventh day. It was for all of mankind to follow suit in the manner of our King Yeshua, who is the Lord of the Sabbath. (Matthew 12:8) So let’s start with looking at the high priest in Leviticus, and then we will look at Yeshua, our High Priest.
Yom Kippur and the Holy of Holies
Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement is the holiest day of the year. It is a solemn day of prayer and fasting, a day to humble oneself. It was on this day, the only day of the year, that the high priest could enter into the Holy of Holies. The Holy of Holies is the place where the presence of God resided. After the Tent of Meetings was set up Exodus 40:34-38 says this, “Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Moses could not enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. In all the travels of the Israelites, whenever the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle, they would set out; but if the cloud did not lift, they did not set out—until the day it lifted. So the cloud of the Lord was over the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the Israelites during all their travels.”
Leviticus 16:6-10 “Aaron shall offer the bull as a sin offering for himself and shall make atonement for himself and for his house. Then he shall take the two goats and set them before the Lord at the entrance of the tent of meeting. And Aaron shall cast lots over the two goats, one lot for the Lord and the other lot for Azazel. And Aaron shall present the goat on which the lot fell for the Lord and use it as a sin offering, but the goat on which the lot fell for Azazel shall be presented alive before the Lord to make atonement over it, that it may be sent away into the wilderness to Azazel.”
We see two goats, one will be a sacrifice to the Lord, and the other will be sent away to Azazel. So who was Azazel? It is believed that Azazel was a fallen angel, a demon from the time of Noah, who taught men the art of warfare and taught women the art of deception, a lying, murderous spirit.
Let’s continue. Leviticus 16:11-14 says,
“Aaron shall present the bull as a sin offering for himself, and shall make atonement for himself and for his house. He shall kill the bull as a sin offering for himself. And he shall take a censer full of coals of fire from the altar before the Lord, and two handfuls of sweet incense beaten small, and he shall bring it inside the veil and put the incense on the fire before the Lord, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is over the testimony, so that he does not die. And he shall take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the front of the atonement cover; then he shall sprinkle some of it with his finger seven times before the atonement cover.”
Leviticus 16:29 goes on to say, “This shall be a permanent statute for you: in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall humble yourselves and not do any work, whether the native, or the stranger who resides among you; for it is on this day that atonement shall be made for you to cleanse you; you will be clean from all your sins before the Lord.”
Let’s analyze this. Once a year the high priest entered into the Holy of Holies with the blood of the goat chosen as the sin offering, and he brought coals from the sacrifice of the goat and mixed it with incense, so that a cloud of smoke covered the mercy seat or else he would die. This shows just how holy this place was. The high priest could only enter once a year on Yom Kippur with the blood of the sin offering, and at that, he had to have a covering between him and the presence of God, which we will explain as we go on.
Hebrews 9:11-12 says this , “But when the Messiah came as High Priest of the good things that are now already here, He went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but He entered the Most Holy Place once for all by His own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.”
So what this tells us is that Yeshua, our High Priest is our sin offering, as Romans 8:3-4 tells us, “For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”
We see here that Messiah Yeshua was the goat that was selected as the sin offering in the Yom Kippur service. He entered into the inner sanctuary, but it was with His blood, because He was the sin offering. What about the other goat that was sent away? Levitcus 16:20-22 tells us, “When he finishes atoning for the Holy Place and the tent of meeting and the altar, he shall offer the live goat. Then Aaron shall lay both of his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the wrongdoings of the sons of Israel and all their unlawful acts regarding all their sins; and he shall place them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who stands ready. Then the goat shall carry on itself all their wrongdoings to an isolated territory; he shall release the goat in the wilderness.”
Yeshua was also the goat sent away for He too, carried all of our sins upon Himself as 1 Peter 2:21-24 tells us, “ For you have been called for this purpose, because Messiah also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you would follow in His steps, He who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being abusively insulted, He did not insult in return; while suffering, He did not threaten, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself brought our sins in His body up on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live for righteousness; by His wounds you were healed.”
Remember Azazel, he was the evil spirit who taught man war. Yeshua took the fight to Azazel as Ephesians 4:9 tells us, “(When it says, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth?” And as we see in Colossians 2:15, “And having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” And again in 1Peter 4:6, “For the gospel has for this purpose been preached even to those who are dead, that though they are judged in the flesh as people, they may live in the spirit according to the will of God.”
If the spiritual fight was important for Yeshua to fight, then we should see that it is important for us. We started by looking at the Belt of Truth and now we are looking at the Yom Kippur service. As believers when we keep God’s Appointed Times we walk in truth. You have to walk in truth if you are fighting the spiritual battle. Satan is the accuser of the brethren. (Revelation 12:10) To fight him one needs to speak and live in truth. As we saw in the Yom Kippur service it takes place in the Most Holiest Place on the Most Holiest day. You have to take that into consideration along with the fact that God is truth. Paul started here when telling us about the spiritual battle because it is the most important place to start when fighting the evil forces that want to take us down. In the Holy of Holies sits the ark of the covenant that contained the Ten Commandments, which is and should be our moral compass. The mercy seat sits above the ark. It is here that God dwells as Exodus 25:20-22, “And the cherubim shall have their wings spread upward, covering the atoning cover with their wings and facing one another; the faces of the cherubim are to be turned toward the atoning cover. Then you shall put the atoning cover on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the testimony which I will give to you. There I will meet with you; and from above the atoning cover, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony, I will speak to you about every commandment that I will give you for the sons of Israel.”
After Adam and Eve were told to leave the Garden of Eden, angels stood with drawn swords to protect the Tree of Life. But because of Yeshua’s death, we can now approach God for the wings of the cherubim are held open to receive all who come and we now can once again approach God and eat from the Tree of Life. Yeshua tore down the veil between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place and now, not only can we come into the presence of God, but remember what sits in the Ark of the Covenant? The Tree of Life. Proverbs 3:13-18 says this, “ Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed.”
Also, remember the smoke that was between the high priest and the ark? Now instead of smoke, we are covered with the blood of Yeshua which stands between us and the Presence of God. When God sees us, He sees the blood of the Lamb of God who took away our sins. But we must live by God’s commands, it is the Tree of Life, it is our wisdom, understanding and knowledge. If we love our Savior, then we do not want to be separated from Him because sin separates us from God. It is not good enough that Yeshua died for our sins if we are going to keep walking in sin.
Hebrews 10:26-29 tells us, “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?”
Truth is the beginning of our fight with Satan, who accuses us day and night before the Lord. Consider Job who refused to curse God during his time of testing and Zechariah 3:1-4, “Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right to accuse him. And the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! Indeed, the Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebukes you! Is this not a log snatched from the fire?” Now Joshua was clothed in filthy garments and was standing before the angel. And he responded and said to those who were standing before him, saying, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” Again he said to him, “See, I have taken your guilt away from you and will clothe you with festive robes.”
We must be clean to come before the Lord. Yes, Yeshua died for our sins, and He is our atonement, (1 John 2:2), but we cannot come to Him any old way, we must be clean, and we must walk in truth. When we enter into a holy place and come into the presence of God, we too, must be holy as He is holy (1 Peter 1:16). This is how we begin fighting the spiritual battle, with the Belt of Truth around us to stabilize us and keep us steady, walking in Truth as our foundation, knowing that Yeshua is our Atonement, walking in His ways, keeping His Commands, standing on Holy Ground in the presence of God, then we can say to our accuser, “I rebuke you Satan in the name of Yeshua my Messiah.”