Part 4: Shield Of Faith.
The next part of the armor that we are going to look at is faith. Paul had his reasons why he listed the parts of the armor in the order that he did and we will see why.
Ephesian 6:16 tells us, “In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”
We left the last episode fighting at the gates of Hell. Spiritually snatching them from the fire. But now Paul tells us that we too, must protect ourselves from the fire.
As we are doing the work of the kingdom, we will find ourselves fighting the fire that comes from the dragon’s own mouth. All of the Armour of God is for our protection in fighting the spiritual battle, but the Shield of Faith helps keep us in the battle. Let’s look at faith.
Hebrews 11:1 says this, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
We see that many things make up faith, like hope and conviction. Not seeing, but believing. Let’s look at hope.
Romans 8:24-25 says, “For this is the hope of our salvation. But hope means that we must trust and wait for what is still unseen. For why would we need to hope for something we already have? So because our hope is set on what is yet to be seen, we patiently keep on waiting for its fulfillment.”
Psalm 39:7 tells us who and only who, we should put our hope in, “But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in You.”
Again in Psalm 130: 5, “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his Word I put my hope.”
Paul writes to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:10, “ That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.”
Hebrews 6:19 also speaks of this hope, “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and reliable and one which enters within the veil, where Yeshua has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”
Hebrews 6:11-12 tells us, “But, beloved, we are convinced of better things regarding you, and things that accompany salvation, even though we are speaking in this way. For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, by having served and by still serving the saints. And we desire that each one of you demonstrates the same diligence, so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and endurance inherit the promises.”
We begin to see that faith has a lot to do with our “Weapons of Righteousness.’
As if they all hang on by faith. The Belt of Truth is only effective if we have faith in that Truth and our Righteousness, only if we believe in the work of Yeshua on the cross, will we repent of our sins, and by faith are we saved. (Ephesians 2:8-9), Romans 10:10 tells us, “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified (made righteous), and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”
Faith is important in the spiritual battle. By our faith we can move mountains. Many of those mountains are part of the spiritual battle, as we see in
“Afterwards the disciples asked Yeshua privately, “Why couldn’t we cast that demon out?” “Because of your little faith,” Yeshua told them. “For if you had faith even as small as a tiny mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move!’ and it would go far away. Nothing would be impossible.”
Everyone has some faith in them or else they could not live in this world. Paul says this in Romans 12:3,
“For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”
One key opponent to faith is resting in that faith as Psalm 62:1-2 tells us,
“I stand silently before the Lord, waiting for him to rescue me. For salvation comes from him alone. Yes, he alone is my Rock, my rescuer, defense and fortress. Why then should I be tense with fear when troubles come?”
Our faith leads us to trust God, and it is in that trust that we rest upon Him.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says this, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.”
We are to trust God like little children as Psalm 131:1-4,
“Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes arrogant; nor do I involve myself in great matters, or in things too difficult for me. I have certainly soothed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child resting against his mother, my soul within me is like a weaned child. Israel, wait for the Lord from this time on and forever.”
Faith is important when fighting the spiritual battle. We know that We have the authority over the powers of hell as Mark 6:7 tells us, “And He summoned the twelve and began to send them out in pairs, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits.”
But faith without works is dead as James 2:14-17 tells us, “What use is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone says he has faith, but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? In the same way, faith also, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.”
The Shield of Faith protects us from the arrows of the evil one. The devil wants us to live in fear and doubt, not trusting in the power of God, not trusting in the work of the Holy Spirit. But he wants us to live in fear, fear that says God is not with us, God does not know me. God is not able.
We have seen that when the Tent of Meetings was set up before the people in the wilderness, that a cloud of smoke rose upward above the Ark of the Covenant during the day and at night there was a pillar of fire, (Exodus 40:38). Also this same pillar of smoke and fire went before them as they traveled, (Exodus 13:21).
This was so that the people knew that God was always with them.
Philippians 4: 6-7 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Messiah Yeshua.”
We also say that the Altar of Incense sat before the Ark of the Covenant and this represented the prayers of the saints, (Revelations 5:8). Again showing that our prayers are always before the Lord.
Luke 12:22-32 tells us, “And He said to His disciples, “For this reason I tell you, do not worry about your life, as to what you are to eat; nor for your body, as to what you are to wear. For life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. Consider the ravens, that they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! And which of you by worrying can add a day to his life’s span? Therefore if you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about the other things? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither labor nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. For all these things are what the nations of the world eagerly seek; and your Father knows that you need these things. But seek His kingdom, and these things will be provided to you. Do not be afraid, little flock, because your Father has chosen to give you the kingdom.”
Did not God provide for the people in the wilderness for forty years as they ate the manna? But let us consider Deuteronomy 29:5, “And I have led you in the wilderness for forty years; your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandal has not worn out on your foot.”
Psalm 139:1-18 is what you can use as your Shield of Faith, it is nothing less than the love of God. “Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I get up; You understand my thought from far away. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways.Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, Lord, You know it all. You have encircled me behind and in front, And placed Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot comprehend it. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take up the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will take hold of me. If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night,” Even darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You, For You created my innermost parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, because I am awesomely and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You When I was made in secret, And skillfully formed in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my formless substance; And in Your book were written All the days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them. How precious also are Your thoughts for me, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You.”
The veil is what separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place.
We briefly looked at the veil when we discussed Yom Kippur.
What does the veil have to do with faith? Let’s take a closer look.
First, we have to ask, “Why was there a veil between the two sections of the Tabernacle?” Remember Moses when He asked to see God’s glory?
Exodus 33: 18-23 says this, “Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.” And the Lord said, “I will cause all My goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim My name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But,” He said, “you cannot see My face, for no one may see Me and live.” Then the Lord said, “There is a place near Me where you may stand on a rock. When My glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove My hand and you will see My back; but My face must not be seen.”
The Holy of Holies was so holy that only the high priest could enter once a year. And at that only with the blood of the sin offering and coals from that offering to add to the incense from the Altar of Incense to create a cloud of smoke between the Ark of the Covenant and the high priest. Much like God placing Moses in the cleft of the rock. We know that the rock represented Yeshua that covered Moses and Yeshua was the sin offering whose blood was sprinkled on the Ark. But how interesting it is that the coals from that offering was mixed with the incense which represented the prayers of the saint, (Revelation 5:8-10). And the Altar of Incense sat before the very presence of God, but God is so holy that the Ark of His Presence sat behind the veil. But we know that Yeshua when He died, the veil was torn in two,(Matthew 27:51).
Hebrews 10: 19-22 tells us, “Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence (assurance) to enter the holy place by the blood of Yeshua by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, through His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let’s approach God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”
Also Hebrews 4:16 says this, “So let us come boldly (conviction) to the very throne of God and stay there to receive his mercy and to find grace to help us in our times of need.”
So let’s look at the definition of faith as Hebrews 11:1 tells us, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” So we can look at Hebrews 10 and Hebrews 4 and replace confidence with assurance and boldness with conviction. This is how we are to enter into God’s presence, with faith. The high Priest entered beyond the veil, by faith. He rested in the assurance that the blood of the sin sacrifice would protect Him. His faith in God gave him His conviction to believe and so it became a shield in protecting him.
When it comes to the spiritual battle our faith is crucial. When we know that we know that God is for us, then we know that no one can separate us from Him. Romans 8:31-39 tells us, “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Messiah Yeshua who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Messiah Yeshua our Lord.”
Again Ephesians 3:8-12 says, “To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Messiah, and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Yeshua the Messiah, to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Messiah Yeshua our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.”
There is a veil, for no man may see God, but one day as 1 John 3: 2 tells us, “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.”
So let us have faith, and let us use that faith to fight the spiritual battle, trusting God and resting in His faithfulness as Romans 8: 28 tells us, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
One thing God does not keep behind the veil and that is His love and His faithfulness to His people.
Faith tells us to rest in God’s love for us and His ability to care for us. This is the message of the sabbath rest.
The Sabbath is one of God’s Appointed Times. It was created at the time of creation as Genesis 2:1-3 tells us,
“And so the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their heavenly lights. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because on it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.”
Hebrews 11:3 tells us, “By faith we understand that the world has been created by the word of God so that what is seen has not been made out of things that are visible.”
Even God had faith and when He rested on the seventh day He was exercising that faith, for He trusted in His own ability when He saw that all was good.
Believers today say that the Sabbath was for the Jews only and yet Yeshua tells us that He is the Lord of the Sabbath, (Matthew 12:8). Believers kept the seventh day Sabbath and they have found that they kept it all the way to the 5th Century. Over the last 50 years, people are returning to the seventh day sabbath because if we are to be the true light then we must follow in Yeshua’s footsteps for He is the Lord of the Sabbath, and we give witness that our Heavenly Father is the Creator of all things. For this the devil would love for us to give a false witness.
When we keep the sabbath and we rest from our works, we show not only God but man that we trust in God’s ability to care for us.
Hebrews 4:1-11says this , “ Therefore, we must fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also did; but the word they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united with those who listened with faith. For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, “As I swore in My anger, they certainly shall not enter My rest,” although His works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh day: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; and again in this passage, “They certainly shall not enter My rest.” Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who previously had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience, He again sets a certain day, “Today,” saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before, “Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that. Consequently, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Therefore let’s make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following the same example of disobedience.”
How important it is for us to rest in the Lord. The devil will do everything in his power to get us to not trust in God, not to put our trust in Him, but in the things of this world. When we lift up our Shield of Faith we block those lies of the devil, those fiery darts, and we are protected in God’s love . He is our Father, and He is our Creator and He is the lover of our souls. No man, no object of this world, can love us more than the one who created us. Today, if you are a child of the One True God, the Creator of all things, then we must testify to that fact by resting also in Him, not only in our everyday lives, not only in all of our trials, but we must give witness to the God whom we serve. He rested on the seventh day. Did He have to? Was He so tired that he had to rest? No! He rested because one, He is our example, and two, he has faith in all he did. So, we too, must rest, not on the first day, or the sixth day, as many other religions do, but on the seventh day. For the number seven is the number of completion and we are complete when we rest on the seventh day. This is a spiritual battle that the believers have lost for many years, and we need to return, for even the commandment tells us to keep the Sabbath.
We have seen that the spiritual battle consists of the Armor of God, the Appointed Times of God and the Articles in the Temple. In this recording we have seen The Shield of Faith, the Veil and now the Sabbath. All three speak to us about the spiritual battle and what we need to win the war.