Part 3: The Gospel Shoes.
We have looked at the Belt of Truth and the Breastplate of Righteousness and now Paul goes on to tell us this in Ephesians 6:15, “and having strapped on your feet the preparation of the gospel of peace.”
Feet, how interesting that Paul makes feet part of the armor. He goes on to say that we must strap the preparation of the gospel of peace on our feet. The definition of preparation is, the action or process of making ready, or being made ready. The definition tells us that it is all about being ready, but it is a process. So let’s look at the process.
The process started by putting on the Belt of Truth. We must walk in truth as John writes in 3 John 1:3-4, “I was overjoyed when some of the friends arrived and testified to your faithfulness to the truth, namely how you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than this, to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”
And we know that Yeshua is the way and the truth and the life. (John 14:6)
So to be ready we must walk in the way that leads to life and that life is in Messiah Yeshua who is also the truth. Next we saw that we need to put on the Breastplate of Righteousness. Yeshua is our righteousness, He makes us righteous in Him when we repent of our sins and guard our hearts with truth. (1 John 1:9)
The next step of gospel readiness is given to us in 1 Peter 3:14-17, “ But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, but in your hearts sanctify Messiah as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Messiah may be put to shame. For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.”
You must be ready to be persecuted for your beliefs.
Yeshua said this in John 15:18-21, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me.”
Matthew 10: 16-18 says, “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be as wary as serpents, and as innocent as doves. But be on guard against people, for they will hand you over to the courts and flog you in their synagogues; and you will even be brought before governors and kings on My account, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.”
We will have to endure hardships and persecutions for the sake of the Gospel.
Ephesians 6:13, begins by saying: “Therefore put on the full Armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” This is what Paul was saying when he told us to prepare our feet. When we do, then we can stand on our own two feet, and there is no better place to stand than on the Rock Yeshua. (Psalm 18:46)
Our feet can take us to many places, some good and some bad.
Isaiah 59:7 says this, “Their feet run to evil, and they hurry to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of wrongdoing, devastation and destruction are in their paths.”
Romans 10:14-15 says this, “ How then are they to call on Him in whom they have not believed? How are they to believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher? But how are they to preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!”
Where are your feet taking you?
Matthew 9:35-38 says this, “Yeshua went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. When He saw the crowds, He had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
Titus 2:11-14 tells us, “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Messiah Yeshua, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”
Yeshua went about doing good. He always put the kingdom first in His life.
He is our example and we need to walk in His footsteps.
Romans 1:16-17 says this, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, “The one who is righteous will live by faith.”
Paul knew the power of the gospel and he was not ashamed of it. We can not fight the good fight of faith without the gospel message.
Let’s look at the Appointed Time called First Fruits and see how it coincides with the gospel.
It begins in Genesis and it began with fruit. After Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Good and Evil, God said this to the serpent, in Genesis 3:14-15,
“ Then the Lord God said to the serpent,“Because you have done this, cursed are you more than all the livestock, and more than any animal of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life; and I will make enemies of you and the woman, and of your offspring and her descendant; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise Him on the heel.”
We see here that the battle began between the devil and God’s people. But we also see that one day one would come and that there would be a great battle, where He (Yeshua) would bruise the head of Satan, which He did when He took back the crown that Adam lost, and Satan would bruise his heel. Is this not interesting that God said that Satan would bruise the heel of the Messiah? God is referring to His foot. Remember, Yeshua went about doing good and preaching the kingdom. Now Satan was going to strike His foot, so that He no longer went about doing good or preaching the kingdom. He had Yeshua killed. He thought that he had won the battle, he was the king, until Yeshua descended into hell and took the crown off of his head and rose from the dead. Yeshua had the victory not only over Satan but also over death and the grave. He was the first fruit.
Paul says this in 1 Corinthians 15:55-57 about Yeshua’s victory , “Where, O Death, is your victory? Where, O Death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Messiah Yeshua.”
Feast of First Fruits
So what is the Feast of First Fruits? Leviticus 23:9 speaks of the first fruits, “And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land that I give you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest, and he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, so that you may be accepted. On the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.”
This took place two days after the Passover and it was the waving of the Omer or the first fruit of the harvest, and it was also the beginning countdown to Pentecost.
Paul tells us this in 1 Corinthians 15:20, “But the fact is, the Messiah has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.”
Why did Paul say this? Because it was on the Feast of First Fruits that Yeshua rose from the dead, and just like the priest, who brought the first of the harvest into the temple, so too, Yeshua was the first offering of all who would follow Him, for they too, would have the victory over the grave.
For now we are at the feet of Yeshua bringing the good news to all. We are the harvesters harvesting the fruit. Yeshua won the battle and now we continue the fight till the end, but Yeshua will come back for the final victory and His feet will move mountains as we see in Zachariah 14:3-4,
“Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. On that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west forming a very large valley. Half of the mountain will move toward the north, and the other half toward the south.”
And guess who will be with Him as Zacariah 14:5b tells us, “Then the Lord, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him!
Now how does all of this fit in with the Articles of the Temple?
In the Holy Place we see that the Menorah and the Table of Showbread are across from each other. These are the two feet of the Temple and these two feet have a lot to do with the spiritual battle, as you will see.
The Table of Showbread
In the Holy Place sits a table and it represents the table of the Lord. God wants us to come and feast at his table as Isaiah 55:1-3 tells us
“You there! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and delight yourself in abundance. Incline your ear and come to Me.
Listen, that you may live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
According to the faithful mercies shown to David”.
On the Table of Showbread sat 12 loaves of bread that were baked every week and placed on the table and it sat there all week. On the Sabbath the priests would eat the bread, which was then replaced for the coming week. The miracle of the bread was that it remained fresh and warm the whole week. Bread is called the staff of life. Yeshua was called the Bread of Life, (John 6:35). In the prayer we call “Our Father,” Yeshua prays , “Give us our bread, our daily bread,” (Matthew 6:11) Yeshua, at the last supper , took bread and said, “This is My body.” (1 Corinthians 11:24). Yeshua was the true manna from heaven.(John 6:58).
What was our daily bread? Our daily bread is the Word of God. Yeshua is our bread. John 6 records a powerful dialogue between Yeshua and the crowd. When speaking about the Bread of Life, they asked Him, “Sir,” they said, “Always give us this bread.” Then Yeshua declared, “I am the Bread of life. Whoever comes to Me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in Me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen Me and still you do not believe. All those the Father gives Me will come to Me, and whoever comes to Me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do My will but to do the will of Him who sent me. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that I shall lose none of all those He has given Me, but raise them up at the last day. For My Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day,” (John 6:34-40).
We are to come to the table of the Lord and eat His body and drink His blood.
Yeshua said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. For My flesh is real food and My blood is real drink. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood remains in Me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent Me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever,” (John 5;53-58).
When we come to the table of the Lord and eat His body and drink His blood , we are actually partaking in the Word of God. Yeshua, the Bread of Life and the Well of Salvation.
Isaiah 12:2-4 says this, “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid;
For the Lord God is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation.”
Therefore you will joyously draw water from the springs of salvation. And on that day you will say, “Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name. Make known His deeds among the peoples; Make them remember that His name is exalted.”
Yes, Isaiah was recording a time of victory.
Psalm 16:5 tells us, “The Lord Himself is my inheritance, my prize. He is my food and drink, my highest joy! He guards all that is mine.”
Luke 14:15-24 records this story. “When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Yesua, “Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.” Yeshua replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’ “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’ “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’ “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’ “‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’“Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’”
How about you ? Still not sure if you want to come? This is the spiritual battle that you have to fight and win.
When beginning his message on the Armor of God in Ephesians 6:10, Paul starts out by saying, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.”
We must have our daily bread to give us the strength for the battle. Yeshua is the True Manna that sustained Israel for 40 years. He was also the Rock that gave them the water to drink as 1 Corinthians 10:1-4 tells us,
“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 Messiah.”
Yeshua, our food and our drink is able to keep us strong and keep us in the fight.
This is the first leg we must stand on to go out and preach the Gospel.
Now let’s look at the second leg that we stand on in bringing the gospel.
The Menorah was the seven branched lampstand in the Temple. It was its only source of light. The Menorah was called the “Light to the Nations.” Yeshua said in John 8:12, “I am the Light of the world; the one who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”
In John 6:68, Simon Peter answered Yeshua, “Lord, to whom shall we go?
You have words of eternal life.”
The Gospel is life. Yeshua said I am the way, the truth and the life. (John 14:6)
Everything about the gospel is life, because everything about the gospel is about Yeshua, who is life. Just like everything about the Temple points to Yeshua and everything about God’s Appointed Times points to Yeshua.
Yeshua goes on to say in John 8:12, that the one who follows Him will not walk in darkness. Now Yeshua was not talking about physical darkness, but spiritual darkness. The gospel is all about light and life. 1 Thessalonians 5:4-5 tells us,
“ But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness, so that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then, let’s not sleep as others do, but let’s be alert and sober.”
Matthew 5:14-16 shows us that we have a responsibility as children of light, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Your light must shine before people in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
The Menorah was always to be lit, the light could never go out.
Same with us, we must shine our light day and night, not only by doing good, but by bringing the good news to all we meet. That is why our feet are beautiful as Paul tells us in Romans 10.
Colossians 4:5 tells us, “ Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.”
So to be light we must have the oil to keep our light burning. The oil for the Menorah was from olives and was to be pure, and from the first press of the olive. The crushing of the olives was a picture of Yeshua. Isaiah 53: 5 tells us, “But He was pierced for our offenses, He was crushed for our wrongdoings; the punishment for our well-being was laid upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.”
Olive oil was used to anoint kings, prophets, and the high priest, all of which Yeshua is. The word Messiah means, “The Anointed One.”
In Matthew 25: 1-13, Yeshua tells a parable about ten virgins who were waiting for the bridegroom. Five had enough oil to wait out his coming , while five did not have enough to wait out his coming. When they heard that the bridegroom was coming.
“All the girls jumped up and trimmed their lamps. Then the five who hadn’t any oil begged the others to share with them, for their lamps were going out. “But the others replied, ‘We haven’t enough. Go instead to the shops and buy some for yourselves.’ “But while they were gone, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was locked. “Later, when the other five returned, they stood outside, calling, ‘Sir, open the door for us!’ “But he called back, ‘Go away! It is too late!’ “So stay awake and be prepared, for you do not know the date or moment of my return.”
Our feet take us to bring the Good News, and we must always be prepared. Five of those virgins thought they were prepared and found out the hard way that they were not. They had faith, but it was not in the Truth.
The devil lies and deceives us and that is why we must have every piece of the armour on. Belt of Truth, Breastplate of Righteousness and our feet shod with the gospel. A lifestyle that has to be lived out daily. There is a spiritual battle that has to be fought and so you must keep an abundant supply of oil to keep your lamp from going out.
Ephesians 5:1-21, gives us good advice on how we can continue to walk in the Light and not have our oil run out.
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Messiah also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. But sexual immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be mentioned among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness or foolish talk, or vulgar joking, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know with certainty, that no sexually immoral or impure or greedy person, which amounts to an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Messiah and God. See that no one deceives you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), as you try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Do not participate in the useless deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. For this reason it says,
“Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Messiah will shine on you.” So then, be careful how you walk, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, in which there is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your hearts to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Messiah Yeshua to our God and Father; ]and subject yourselves to one another in the fear of Messiah.”
We see that when we prepare our feet for the battle, the Gospel of Light gives us the food that we need to go about bringing the Good News to all we meet. And that spiritual food and drink strengthens us so that even the gates of hell will not hinder us, (Matthew 16:18).
As disciples of Yeshua we have been called to go out and advance the kingdom as Matthew 28:18-20 tells us,
“ThenYeshua came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
1 Thessalonians 1:2-5 says, “We always give thanks to God for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers; constantly keeping in mind your work of faith and labor of love and perseverance of hope in our Lord Messiah Yeshua in the presence of our God and Father, knowing, brothers and sisters, beloved by God, His choice of you; for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sakes.”
1 Corinthians 12:7-11 tells us. “The Holy Spirit is given to each of us in a special way. That is for the good of all. To some people the Spirit gives a message of wisdom. To others the same Spirit gives a message of knowledge. To others the same Spirit gives faith. To others that one Spirit gives gifts of healing. To others he gives the power to do miracles. To others he gives the ability to prophesy. To others he gives the ability to tell the spirits apart. To others he gives the ability to speak in different kinds of languages they had not known before. And to still others he gives the ability to explain what was said in those languages. All the gifts are produced by one and the same Spirit. He gives gifts to each person, just as he decides.”
We must use the gifts that God has given us and we must advance the kingdom by preaching the Good News, even if it takes us to the gates of hell.
Let’s close by looking at Jude 20-23, “But you, dear friends, must build up your lives ever more strongly upon the foundation of our holy faith, learning to pray in the power and strength of the Holy Spirit. Stay always within the boundaries where God’s love can reach and bless you. Wait patiently for the eternal life that our Lord Messiah Yeshua in His mercy is going to give you. Try to help those who argue against you. Be merciful to those who doubt. Save some by snatching them as from the very flames of hell itself. And as for others, help them to find the Lord by being kind to them, but be careful that you yourselves aren’t pulled along into their sins. Hate every trace of their sin while being merciful to them as sinners.”