Come To The Armory
Updated: Nov 23, 2022
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
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. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people." Ephesians 6:10-18
God is going to allow his church to go through intense persecution, in order to weed out and expose false Christians and to test, prove, refine and reveal the remnant.
There is a war escalating in the heavens, as the return of the Lord draws nearer. The Lord has been pulling me into the front lines to show me that we need to wake up and wage against it, behind him. As I've been studying the full armor of God in Ephesians 6, the Lord has been showing me how we compromise the protective integrity of our armor. Some don't even bother to put it on, but God instructs us to.
This is a word for me, too. We must come to the Lord for grace to help us have greater reverence for his name and his word. We are in a time of great deception. We must turn towards the Lord and abide in his promises, through faithful obedience. We must spend time with him, learning his voice, listening, and drawing close. Knowing him deeply means that we know also grow in our identity in Christ. Doubts and fears fall away in the presence of the Lord, and we will be ready to face the battle with vision, discernment, and peace.
We are justified by faith alone in Christ's righteousness, not by our own righteous works, because we all fall short. Sin means to "miss the mark", which is why God sent his Son, Jesus, to fulfill God's law perfectly and die the death that we deserve for violating it. Those who believe receive the perfect righteousness of Christ and are forgiven and reconciled to God. That's the good news of the gospel. It's by grace alone. We can't earn it.
We also need God's grace as power not to be cavalier about his holiness. About obedience. He said that those who love him keep his commandments and that he will manifest himself to them (John 14:21). In John chapter 8, Jesus addresses a group of people who "believed on him", yet were not actually even saved. Jesus goes on to explain that these people who "believed on him" were still "of their father the devil" because the word had not taken root in their hearts to produce new life.
We are under grace because of the new covenant, when Jesus came to fulfill the law in himself and offer us his righteousness. The grace of the new covenant means that he empowers us with his spirit to love and delight in his law-- to write it on our hearts -- and to put sin to death. (1 Thessalonians 5:19)
Genuine faith produces the fruit of holiness and transforms our hearts to delight in God's law, as we put off the old self and put on the new through the Holy Spirit. The evidence of this new life within us is a love of God's Word and a desire to walk in his precepts.
When I asked the Lord how I can write this in a way that inspires holy fear in the Lord, and not the devilish fear that heaps a heavy yoke of condemnation that he came to set us free from, he provided me with this verse as an anchor for our hearts:
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? Romans 8:32
At the root of disloyalty to God is a lack of faith. A compromised heart. A heart that doesn't truly know him. How good he is. How loving he is. His plans or his intentions. A heart that sees God's commands as burdensome, and his word, uninteresting, is a heart that does not know him.
We must know him, to know his voice, so that we can follow him on the narrow path. Otherwise, we will be on the wide path that leads to destruction, with the rest of the world. King David (1 and 2 Chronicles) ignored God's warning when he was facing war.
God warned him, through a messenger, not to go with the consensus, which was to take risk inventory. David counted his people and relied on his own efforts and understanding, instead of trusting in only God for provision and deliverance. He relied on his eyes and his opinions and desires, rather than on the Lord's.
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end only leads to death. -- Proverbs 14:12
It seems like a good and reasonable thing to do, to try and "figure it out" when facing trouble. David was warned through a messenger from God not to rely on his problem-solving. He was warned to resist the consensus, but David plowed through anyway with his own ideas and the ideas of others, and there were consequences, as there are when we don't seek and obey the counsel of the Lord, against all understanding.
Many of us (myself not withstanding) can be too distracted or impatient -- faithless, really, to wait on the Lord for direction. When the walls of our problems begin to close in, we fret, which scripture tells us only leads to harm (Psalm 37). We end up compromising and making excuses for it.
After I had finished studying, I was stirred to enter into worship and was overcome by the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit. I began to pray in tongues as I was prompted - with some understanding in my mind. It was a prayer of anguish about the blindness of the world that is being put over many and the neglect of our attention on the Lord.
I also was shown that there is an even greater deception on the close horizon that many will not see, including many the church, because we have allowed the world to enter our temples and set up shop. Because we are walking in the flesh and not in the spirit.
When I asked how we can prepare for the coming hardships and persecution, he revealed to me that renewing our minds in his word and active resting in his presence and in his promises is the preparation -- with a humble posture of reverence. Here, he will minister to us, convict us, and deliver us. We need his word and we need the secret place.
Then, three times I prayed:
‘Aaliyah shin oya!” I was lead to looked up what that means, because it was so clear.
Aaliyah - Going up, ascend, rise, upper room. It is used 20 times in the Bible, specifically throughout 1 and 2 Chronicles when referring to the ark of the covenant. It is also used to refer to the eventual restoration of Israel. It is used in chapter 13, specifically. Boiled down, it's a word for God's law, as in, his Word -- Himself. And of course, Jesus is the Word incarnate who came not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it, so that we may be released from the condemnation of our sin and inherit eternal life and not death.
Shin - return/change/repent/judgement/falsehood
Oya: WOE - used once in Psalm 20 - which is a plea of relief from bitter foes, which is what I was praying about when I felt the anguish of the Lord. This word is used in the Psalm, titled a song of ascents:
God's love for us - his created beings - is so huge. Our neglect of him, through what we perceive as the meritorious works of our hands, incites his jealousy. He is anguished and grieved at the "church's" compromise with the world and the lusts of our flesh, or the "form of godliness" in 2 Timothy 3 that is devoid of his power. At the heart of the Lord's grief is that we don't trust his Word with self-denying abandon. Too many are serving fear, relying on their own wisdom and are trusting in man. Self-preservation is an enemy of sainthood.
Do not fear for I am with You. Do not look anxiously about you for I am your God. Surely I will strengthen you. I will uphold you with my mighty right hand. Isaiah 41:10
I believe that God is saying that we must return (shin) from the world to the Lord with our mind and heart and seek him in the upper room with obedience in what his word prescribes (Aaliyah). The Oya (woe) is to those who do not come. They will be judged.
We are called to ascend from trust in man into the throne room of God to receive his thoughts and will. We do that by lowering ourselves, humbly, waiting patiently in silence to encounter the Lord, with obedient confession about our lack and utter desperation for him to help us discern truth from deception -- and by submitting all to him -- especially our understanding. Especially our understanding right now.
Remember the fate of Uzza, who, in a moment of startling, did not correctly handle the ark of the covenant as God instructed. I believe that God is discerning the hearts of man by similar means in this time of fear that has come upon the world. We have to seek the Lord so that we are not reactively disobedient in a moment of fear and self-reliance. God does not care about our "good" intentions or works if it goes against his instruction. He cares about our love for him, demonstrated by coming to him in self-abandoning obedience.
That's the fruit of real faith. A heart regenerated by faith in Christ produces righteous living by delighting in the Lord, above all. Faith doesn't produce a cavalier attitude about holiness, in the name of grace. It's his grace that produces holiness in us - which, by its very definition, means to be set apart from the world.
There was a "woe" in this prayer to the lying lips of the world and those who trust in them. In man. In self. In anything of this world at all. The great falling away from the church, from faith, that the Bible tells us will happen to many believers will happen because of worldly pressure, which will produce fearful disobedience and reprobate minds that can't see the truth. When we fear, we are vulnerable to disloyalty to the Lord. Or, when we love the world and its ways.
We overcome fear by knowing God, intimately, and by seeking his wisdom in all matters. We are deceived when we aren't obeying the Lord. Disobedience gives way to more deception. We are commanded to delight in God's law and worship him in both spirit and truth (John 4). We need both. He makes known to us his thoughts when we return. This is his mercy. We are commanded to humble ourselves and wait on him to ignite us with his spirit and empower us with his strength, love and truth in all things. To read his word and obey what it says. He is testing if our hearts say that he's worthy -- or not.
In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
When the disciples entered the upper room with Jesus in the book of Acts, he said that he will no longer call them disciples -- but friends. Onlookers thought they were drunk when the Holy Spirit began to move on them, but God calls us to lay down "religion" and completely untether ourselves from our will to pursue himself. Scripture promises that God will manifest himself to the obedient. (John 14:21, Matt 5:8)
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. - Matthew 5:8
God's word tells us how the Ecclesia (church gathering) is to operate in both structure and power. But, many pick and choose and make concessions based on man's preferences and ideas. Many churches morph into a place that looks like the world, in order to attract the world. It produces no real followers of Christ and no salvation, but a false sense of security. People need the gospel. And, not with a spoonful of sugar, but the sobering truth of the wrath that is upon us without Christ because of sin, and the love that makes a very narrow way back to him.
God is calling us to set aside our personal faculties and inventions and yield while he leads. We need a reformation of the heart, back to his Word, and to be disciples that aren't fearful or squeamish of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Or of the confession of sin for the sake of healing and freedom (James 5:16). The resistance of our pride and our divided hearts grieves the Holy Spirit. The Lord wants his children gathered around him, laying all at his feet, to receive what he has for us. It's so much better than the limited store that we can accumulate for ourselves.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
What happens when we don't delight in God's law, is that we begin to delight in our own imaginations or the world's definition of righteousness. We can't help it. Look at Jeremiah. Look at Exodus. Look all throughout the Bible. What is happening is not new. Many churches and professing followers of Christ are working and speaking what they think is right -- what they think is God's will and way of loving and extending grace to the world, but it's not the narrow way of Christ. The God that many are worshipping is not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It's a warped God invented by the faculties of man. This god has wormed its way into many pews and God will not share the space where we place his Son beside the throne of our works and man's ideologies. Our opinions. Our preferences. And our feelings. We are crucifying Christ all over again when we disregard his very explicit instructions to the church.
In our obedience, we must also be aware of the legalist twist that wants to put us back under the bondage of the law. As if God's commandments are not for our joy and a demonstration of our heart-devotion to God, but something we do to "merit" his grace. This is relying on the wrong cross. We must rely on Jesus' cross, not ours, although we should pick up our crosses, because he tells us to.
So, when we receive this exhortation to fix our eyes on Jesus, like we never have before, we must not mistake it for earned or lost grace through works, but instead "examine yourselves to see if you are in the faith." (2 Cor 13:5) What or Who our trust is in will produce an effect in our lives. Following the way of the suffering servant, Christ, will produce grateful obedience and the fruits of the spirit. It will produce self-sacrifice and the putting to death of our flesh to walk in the Spirit. It will also produce discernment.
There is no "back to normal". That's not what the Bible prophesies. Our hope is greater than back to normal. Our hope is in Christ and his quickly coming kingdom. Intimacy with God through his word and seeking his face is the armor we need in this war against our minds, spirits, and bodies (Eph 6). It's the armory, because personal, intimate knowledge of him ignites our faith so we use his sword - his Word - with confident authority. Are we choosing to stay naked/lukewarm/comfy in the world? Or are we willing to receive what he really has for us, no matter the cost?
See 📖 1 Cor. 5, 1-2 Chron. lessons from David, Hosea 14:3-5
I believe that God is humbling us to show us that deception can only be discerned by his Spirit and through his word together, not by our own intelligence nor efforts. And not by thinking with only our minds or feeling with our hearts. Our worldliness blinds us to his leading. All wisdom is a gift from God. He chooses to withhold it or bestow it. This happened all the time throughout the Bible, and it is written that it will happen again -- that God will hand people who do not love the truth over to delusion. (2 Thess 2)
Many are choosing not to lie upon the sanctifying alter of obedience, because it's too hot. Are we choosing to sleep, like the disciples did when Jesus was sweating blood in the garden of gethsemane? Our neglect is bringing pain to the heart of Christ who died for us!
God resists the proud but he gives grace to the humble (Prov 3:34). Charles Spurgeon said that spiritual discernment isn't knowing good from evil, but knowing good from best. The best thing we can do is pursue the Lord diligently. And that means laying aside reliance on our own understanding and receiving the mind of Christ through studying his word and praying in the spirit.
If the door we enter into salvation through is narrow, but we find ourselves on the wide path thereafter, we must examine our hearts before the Lord and return to the narrow path or the destruction that will befall the world will be allowed to befall us. In the Old Testament, God and his prophets are constantly calling Israel out of its fornication with an ungodly culture and society. There were consequences when they didn't listen. This is why God is calling us closer. Because he's good, even when we aren't.
We are sheep fallen into the ditch without our Shepherd, because we live in a world who serves the god of lies, and does not have our best interest in mind, but rather our destruction. (2 Cor. 4:4) Praise God that his thoughts are higher than our thoughts and his ways are higher than our ways! He says, "Repent at my rebuke and I will make known to you my thoughts." (Prov. 1:23) I pray we each receive this humbling and loving mercy from God Almighty.
Let's bow the knee of our hearts and minds and efforts, in reverence to his higher wisdom and knowledge, so that we may receive it by grace without impediment. He is generous in his impartations to us when we acknowledge that we are empty and poor and want him more than our own will and human understanding.
God wrote his law in our hearts. Even the letter, "shin" resembles a heart. We cannot properly love or see except from the innermost chambers of God's heart. Let us not stagnate, but be tenacious in our pilgrimage through his written word and prayer. He wants to love on us.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Prov 9:10). The bible says that even the demons believe and tremble (James 2:19) And, they aren't saved. Do we tremble? As it states in Daniel 5, will we be found wanting when the Lord returns? Let's not be too prideful to assume that any of us is immune to the warfare of the satanic lullaby. Satan comes for believers with carefully cultivated aggression and so many can't see how sleepy he's made them.
"You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God." James 4:4
See Isaiah 30, "Woe to an obstinate nation":
I pray that this message lands on hearts from the passionate love and jealousy of a just God for his church -- with the gift of conviction and not condemnation. May God give us grace to heed his calling by purifying our hearts through the resurrection power of Jesus -- which is grace not to continue on sinning, but grace to remove the power of sin off us. (Romans 6:1-2) Let this message be a part of that grace.h
It's time to gather and pray. These are powerful weapons... our praise, God's word, prayer and numbers. Let's gather together, in agreement with the Lord. It's the place of certain victory.
The armory is also when we hide ourselves in God with our attention. Being in his word and in the secret place, developing intimacy with God, strengthens and sends us. It's all about drinking deeply in, the life of Jesus.
We battle, because God has gone before us. If he goes before us, then we must follow after. And, with faith that we have the victory, because of Him.
We do not fight in our own strength. We fight, with the weapons of our warfare, because we are weak and he is strong.
"For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst." Matthew 18:10
Torah Observance/law, its place, and a warning about how it gets twisted to re-enslave followers of Christ
How Christ changes our relationship with the law
Art Katz and the Hebraic Roots of the Faith, addressing church function and our departing
And, A.W. Tozer on How to Cultivate the Holy Spirit's Companionship
A.W. Tozer on The Withdrawal of The Spirit of God from the Church
Hebrew and Biblical Interpretation Resources regarding Aaliyah Shin Oya
*This is a Jewish resource - but not messianic Jewish, so I wouldn't use it as a theological resource but it is helpful literal interpretation of the Hebrew language and historical information.