Holy War
Message by: Leroy Surface

America is at war.  It is a war unlike any that our nation has ever faced, because it is a “holy war,” so called.  It is a “holy war” because an extremely religious group initiated it for religious purposes.  It is also a very “unholy war” because any war initiated for the sole purpose of terrorizing and slaughtering the masses of people is by nature “unholy.”  It is a war that we cannot win through our superior military power alone, because there is no single nation or alliance of nations that we could conquer and bring an end to the conflict.  By the very nature of the war we know that it can only escalate until the day we clearly understand that we as a nation have no defense to keep us, and no weapon to conquer the enemy.  It is also a war that the cost of losing is beyond the imagination of man to comprehend.  It is the very soul of the human race that is at stake.  There is an answer, but America is not ready to receive it.  Unless we, as a nation, do receive the answer, and soon, America will be brought to shame before her enemies.  The overriding text for this message is Ephesians 6:10-20

An Evil Day

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.  Ephesians 6:10

Paul begins this admonition to the church with the words “finally, my brethren.”  After five chapters of gospel truth the Apostle begins to speak to them of an “evil day” to come.  The great “Nero” persecution of the church was about to begin.  Tens of thousands of believers would confirm their faith with the martyr’s death, yet the church must and will be victorious.  The Greek word translated “finally” literally means, “time remaining,” and the admonition is to “be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.”  This is not an exhortation to human bravery or to exercise a strong “backbone:” rather, our “strength” is in our Lord Jesus Christ.  In the midst of the Jewish persecution against the Apostle Paul, Jesus told him, “my grace is sufficient for thee, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”   Paul was “strong in the Lord.”  He “fought the good fight,” he “finished his course” and he “kept the faith, (I Timothy 4:7).”  There was an “evil day” coming to this church in Ephesus.  Paul, however, had preached a gospel and a faith that would keep them through all things if they would only “keep the faith.”

And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!  Revelation 8:13

We are facing an “evil day” in the world today.  It may be hard for many to accept what I am going to say because of our “traditional theology,” but we are seeing the beginning of the “three woes” prophesied in the ninth chapter of Revelation.  The first “woe” begins with the opening of the bottomless pit.  The pit has been opened.  The Locusts are swarming out of the pit.  They have come to “torment” both Israel and the western world.  America has been caught in the middle of a “holy war.”  It is a war we cannot win with conventional weapons.  We have no walls to keep the enemy out.  We have no defenses to keep us.  We have no weapons to destroy the enemy.  America does not even know who the enemy is.  We as a nation are fighting as though the enemy were flesh and blood.  It is, instead, a “demonic” army that we face.  The scripture says they have a “king” over them.  Their “king” is the “angel of the bottomless pit (Revelation 9:11).”  In the Greek tongue his name is “Apollyon,” meaning “the destroyer,” or “Satan.”

It is amazing to discover that the “angel flying through the midst of heaven,” is actually “an eagle flying in the midst of the sky.”  The Greek word translated “angel” in this one instance is translated “eagle” in every other usage in the Bible, and that is the correct meaning of the Greek word.  For over six months the American “eagle” has flown her immisaries to almost every nation on earth, warning them of the horrible things, the “woes” that are coming on the earth if we cannot destroy the “evil” that has manifest itself through terrorism.  During this same time, the “eagle” has sought to destroy the terrorist from the skies: she has also brought food and clothing to millions around the world seeking to alleviate their suffering and pain.  The “eagle” dominates the skys at this present time.

In the seventeenth chapter of I Samuel, Israel was at war with the Philistines.  The Philistines had a “champion” named “Goliath.”  Goliath was a giant of a man who stood approximately nine feet, ten inches tall.  He was a mighty man of war who wore a “coat of mail” that weighed one hundred, fifty-six pounds.  Even the head of his spear weighed over eighteen pounds.  Every day Goliath would come out and challenge the warriors of Israel to face him man to man.  If Israel produced a champion to defeat Goliath, the Philistines would be servants to Israel, but if Goliath was victorious, Israel would be servants to the Philistines.  This one man “terrorized” the armies of Israel.  The scripture said they “fled from him and were sore afraid (I Samuel 17:24).”  

Our adversary in this present day “holy war” has a “giant” for their champion.  He has struck fear to the nations of the world.  No one has been able to stop him, nor will they as long as we trust in “carnal” weapons.  The “giant” that I speak of is not “Osama Ben Laden.”  It is not “Yasser Arafat,” nor is it “Saddam Hussein.” The “champion” of our adversary is the “suicide bomber.”  Incredibly, the prophet Joel, speaking of the “locust army,” said “and when they fall on the sword, they shall not be wounded (Joel 2:8).”  To “fall upon the sword” has forever been a common term for taking your own life.  The phrase “…they shall not be wounded” would be better translated from the Hebrew as “…they shall not be stopped.”  What a perfect description of the “suicide bomber” of today, given by the prophet Joel almost three thousand years ago.  Most certainly, the “suicide bomber” is the “Goliath” that terrorizes Israel and the entire western world today.

There was no man found in the armies of Israel that would take up the challenge against Goliath.  Day after day they fled before the giant and trembled in fear of his awesome might.  Then came the day that the young man David came into the camp, bringing food to his three elder brothers.  As he visited with them, Goliath came forward to challenge the armies of Israel once again.  David’s spontaneous reaction was to declare, “who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he dares to defy the armies of the living God?”  It was outrageous to David that there was no man to stand against this ungodly Philistine.  “Is there not a cause?” he cried to everyone that would hear him until his words came to King Saul.  “Let no man’s heart fail because of him,” David said to King Saul, “thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.”  Saul sought to dissuade David, saying “you are but a youth, and Goliath, a man of war from his youth.”  David told of how he defended his father’s sheep.  “I slew a lion, and I slew a bear.  The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, He will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.”  Thus it was determined that David would be the one to face the giant, Goliath.

The mental picture most often given of David and Goliath is that David was just a young shepherd lad of about fifteen or sixteen years of age.  In reality, David was probably about twenty-two or twenty-three at this time.  In reading the previous (sixteenth) chapter of I Samuel, we find that David, unknown to Saul, had already been anointed to be King over all of Israel (I Samuel 16:13).  The scripture says “…and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward.”  At that exact moment, the Spirit of the Lord departed from King Saul, and an evil spirit troubled him.  Next we find Saul seeking for a man that could play beautiful music on the harp to comfort him when the evil spirit troubled him.  In I Samuel 16:18, David was recommended to King Saul as “…a son of Jesse…that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the Lord is with him.”  David was brought to the palace and immediately became Saul’s armour-bearer (verse 21). 

Saul’s Armour

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.   Ephesians 6:11

The words “put on” in this text come from a Greek word meaning “to invest with clothing,” or “to be clothed.”  It is the same word that was translated as “endued” in Luke 24:49 where Jesus said “…but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued (clothed) with power from on high.”  This is the same “clothing” of power Jesus spoke of in Acts 1:8 when He said “…but ye shall receive power, after that the holy Ghost is come upon you.”  David was clothed with the power and armour of God when the Spirit of the Lord came upon him.  David knew who he was before anyone else did.  He was the anointed King of Israel, even though it would be almost ten years before he sat upon the throne.  Certainly he could stand against Goliath, because God was with him.

The word “wiles” in the phrase “wiles of the devil,” comes from the Greek word “methodea” from which our English word “method” is derived.  The word literally translated from the Greek, however, means “traveling over.”  If we are not “clothed” with the whole armour of God and if we do not “stand against” the “methodea” of the devil, he will “travel over” or “over run” the church.  Had it not been for David, the Philistines would have overrun Israel and made slaves of them.  The word “against” as in “stand against” is a preposition of direction.  We must face the enemy, clothed with the whole armour of God, and we will be victorious.  Be aware, however, that you will be moving against the current of almost everything that moves today.  Almost twenty years ago I heard a pastor of one of the largest congregations in America say, “I used to try to go against the current, but I learned to ‘flow with anything that will flow’.”  That is the philosophy that has filled the America churches with “methods” that come from very pit of Hell.  Very few men of God “stand against” the “methodea of the devil” and we have been “overrun” by the enemy.  When you become, as the Apostle Paul, a “keeper (defender)” of the faith, even your friends will deny what you believe, and misinterpret your stand, but we must stand, for their sakes.

In preparation to meet Goliath, David had a choice to make.  Would he accept Saul’s armour, or would he trust only in the Lord God of Israel?  King Saul had “clothed” David in his own armour, but David refused it, saying “I cannot go with these, for I have not proved them.”  Instead, he took his staff, his shepherd’s bag with five smooth stones, and his sling.  When he met Goliath on the field of battle, he said “thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.”  God had prepared David for this day from the time he was anointed by Samuel and the Spirit of God came upon him.  He would trust in the armour God had clothed him with.

America has chosen Saul’s armour to do battle with a “spiritual Goliath.”  As a nation we have refused the only weapon that will destroy the giant.  That weapon is the name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.  When Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, died on the cross at Calvary (our spiritual adversary denies that Jesus is either the Son of God, or that He died on the cross), God raised Him from the dead on the third day, and “highly exalted Him.”  Paul expresses it this way in Philippians 2:9-11: “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”  Every knee must bow at the name of Jesus, whether of things in heaven, things in earth, or things under the earth.  In that our warfare is not with flesh and blood, we cannot command any man or woman to bow and confess Jesus Christ.  We cannot use man’s methods, whether religious or military to bring them to the feet of Jesus.  Every knee of man will bow and every tongue of man will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord in that great day of judgment.  It is in this day that principalities, and powers, even Satan himself, and every demonic spirit from the pit must bow at the name of Jesus and before the child of God if we stand against them in the name of the Lord.  Whether it be flesh and blood, it shall bow, but if it be principalities and powers, or the ruler of the darkness of this world himself, they must and will bow at the name of Jesus Christ.  Strangely, “Jesus Christ” seems to be the only name given among men that our nation seeks to outlaw and keep out of the mouths of the believer and the ears of the nation.

Jesus, The Cornerstone

This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.  Acts 4:11-12

Peter quotes Isaiah in this prophecy of Jesus.  The analogy is based on the Jewish tradition that there was a particular stone that was cast aside at the quarry when they prepared the stones for Solomon’s temple.  Later, when all things were ready to begin construction of the temple, the corner stone was not to be found.  They had to go back to the quarry and retrieve the stone they had cast aside as “unfit,” because it was the “chief corner stone” of the building.  The analogy is first applied to the leaders of Israel for their rejection of their Messiah, Jesus Christ.  Just before His death on the cross, Jesus wept over Jerusalem in Matthew 23:37-39, saying, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.”  

The end of the age has come upon us.  As Israel rejected Jesus Christ in His generation, America has rejected Him in this generation.  There is only one answer for either nation, or for any nation for that matter, and that is Jesus Christ.  The first “woe” of the ninth chapter of Revelation has begun, and the second woe could begin at any time.  The second woe is an “army” of two hundred million that will have the power to kill the third part of men.  If this is world wide or regional, we do not really know.  We do know that Zechariah told us of a war in which two thirds of Israel will be cut off and die (Zechariah 13:8-9).  Comparing Zechariah 14:1-4 with Revelation 11:1-14 we find that this horrible war will last for three and a half years, and will end with the third woe which is the return of Jesus Christ to this earth to rule and reign forever (Revelation 11:14-15).  We also know, according to Zechariah 12:9-10 that Israel will turn to Jesus in the day of her great distress.  Prophetically, it is Jesus that speaks in the tenth verse saying, “…they shall look upon me whom they have pierced…”  Again, it is Jesus in Zechariah 13:9 saying of the remnant of Israel, “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.”  Let the enemies of Israel be warned, when Jesus returns, He will fight against and destroy all those nations that come against Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:9, 14:2).  “And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth (Zechariah 14:12).”  This will be the third woe.

We know that Israel will turn to Jesus before the end, but what about America?  There is no such prophetic promise for our nation.  Will we as a nation return to Jesus?  Shortly after 9-11 our President said that our warfare was between “good” and “evil.”  He said our mission is to destroy “evil” from the face of the earth.  There is something we must understand about the nature of “evil,” it thrives on human resistance.  It is for this reason that Jesus tells us as individuals to “…resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also (Matthew 5:39).”  Again, Paul tells us in Romans 12:19-21: “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.  Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”  Let me quickly add that I pray for and support our President and our nation in our military war against the terrorist, but we, as a nation, have rejected the stone, which is the head of the corner.  George W. Bush took up the name of Jesus Christ on several occasions during the presidential campaign.  He professed Jesus to be his saviour, and that it was Jesus that changed his heart.  At his inauguration, prayer was made in the name of Jesus.  For the first nine months of his presidency it was wonderful to hear those around him, even some congressmen, speak of and pray in the name of Jesus Christ.  Numerous times I was brought to tears of joy as I heard Jesus Christ honored in both word and prayer by our president and those he had surrounded himself with.  Then came September 11, 2001.  On that infamous day a group of devout worshippers of “Allah,” who deny that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, attacked our nation.  Three thousand men, women and children perished in the initial attack; people who, regardless of their race or creed, had done no harm to the attackers.  The attack was made in the name of Allah!  You have only to listen to the last words coming from the cockpits of the planes to know this is true.  Yet, since that day, Allah has been exalted in America, while our president, our “spirit filled” attorney general, and our various “Christian” congressmen, have been careful never to utter the name of “Jesus” in public since that day.  The terrorists have already won, because we do not fear offending the nations with our bombs, but we do fear offending them with the name of Jesus.  I tell you, our nation has rejected Jesus Christ even more than ever since 9-11, and we will suffer untold shame and misery because of it.

The second woe is prepared.  I believe it is even now being “loosened (Revelation 9:12-16).”  The very fact that we, as a nation, thought we could “destroy evil” with carnal weapons while at the same time we were ashamed of Jesus has made Him ashamed of us (Mark 8:38)  He has hidden His face from us while an army of two hundred million souls, possessed by the spirit of Apollyon is prepared to march across our land and the western world.  This army will have no uniforms, will need no airplanes, or smart bombs.  They have no “defense budget,” yet we, with our hundreds of billions of dollars in defense, with the greatest military in the world today, will not be able to stop them, because we don’t even know who they are.  It has already begun in Israel with two or three suicide bombers a day.  Orders have even now been given to begin attacking Americans anywhere they are found around the world.  These things will continue and reach the prophetic proportions unless America quickly turns back to Jesus Christ.  We must seek His face that is turned away from us.

The only promise for America is given to the church: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land (II Chronicles 7:14).”  There will come a day, if America continues to reject Jesus Christ, that our nation will be brought to shame before our enemies, yet God has said repeatedly through the prophets, that, “…my people shall never be ashamed (Joel 2:26-27).”  This speaks of those who have “turned to the Lord with all their hearts (Joel 2:12).”  They have “torn their hearts before God (verse 13).”  They have “wept between the porch and the altar, crying Spare thy people, O God…(verse 17).”  These “shall never be ashamed,” because God will never be ashamed of them (Hebrews 11:16).  Can you imagine “suicide bombers” in all the cities of America?  An army of two hundred million men and women possessed by “Apollyon” the destroyer, swarming like locusts across the western world, ready to fall on their swords to destroy millions of innocent men, women, and children?  If we continue to trust in “Saul’s armour,” this is the “Goliath” we will face.  When Israel turns to Jesus, however, Zechariah 12:8 says, “…he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them(the enemy).”  So it will be with every “child of God” who puts his trust in the Lord.

The Nature of Our Warfare

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  Ephesians 6:12

The word wrestle in this text comes from two different Greek words, the first meaning “I exist,” and the second, “to wrestle.”  This first phrase then is correctly translated “For we exist to wrestle…”  Two many Christians read this to say, “for we wrestle not…period.”  God has equipped His children to wrestle, but not to wrestle with flesh and blood.  All the human programs of the modern church must fail.  All the political action committees of the church must fail.  All these are Saul’s armour, and are not to be trusted in.  Every tradition and doctrine of man will fail.  Every “rudiment of the world” that the church places her trust in will fail.  All these things are simply methods of “wrestling with flesh and blood.”  That is not what we are equipped to do.  Our wrestling is against principalities and powers, and we “exist” and are equipped to wrestle and win if we bear the “armour of righteousness (II Corinthians 6:7).”  We wrestle against, as the Greek text says, the “world ruler of the darkness of this world (Satan himself), and against spiritual depravity in high places.”  In every case in this text the word “against” is a “preposition of direction,” and means “forward to,” or “toward.”  We face the enemy.  We move against that which is coming against us, but never with the armour of this world.  Our weapons are not carnal, but “mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds…(II Corinthians 10:4).”

Two weeks before the terrorist attacks on 9-11, Keith Surface received a night vision from the Lord.  In the vision, president Bush had expressed a need for a place of rest.  Keith told him of a man he knew that had a beautiful vacation home, a place of solitude where a man could get away from everything.  The president said, “I am surrounded by thousands of men like your friend, but what I desperately need is a man with the presence of God.”  I believe the vision was prophetic.  I believe our president will “wake up” and find himself overwhelmed and trapped by the prophetic events taking place in the world today.  God gave us this president.  He would have been our “David” to destroy the giant if he had taken up the name of the Lord Jesus Christ instead of trusting is “Saul’s armour.”  Yet, I believe the hour will come that he will turn to the “church” of Jesus Christ for rest.  It will not be the “political” church, or the “philosophical” church, or the “super” church.  His desperate need will be for a people with the presence of God.  He will long to find that man or woman, that “people” in whom God dwells, those who have wept in the altars of God for our land.  O, that there will be such a people in America in that day.  If so, God will place the future of America into their hands.

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Ephesians 6:13

Due to the fact that “we exist to wrestle,” and our wrestling is with demonical powers out of the pit, we must take up the full armour of God, in order that we will be able to “stand against” in the evil day.  The last phrase, “…and having done all, to stand,” expresses the certainty that when we have taken up all of God’s armour (the Greek says “every weapon, every instrument, and every armour of God”), we will be able to stand.

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;  Ephesians 6:14

The Greek word translated “having” in both places in this text speaks of being “endued” or “clothed” from heaven by God Himself.  The same Greek word is used in Romans 13:14 saying, “…put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ…”  Be “clothed” with truth, be “clothed” with righteousness, be “clothed” with the Lord Jesus Christ, and in Luke 24:49, be “clothed” with power from on high.  It is a running theme throughout the gospel.  According to the Greek, our “loins” are our “hips,” but being “girt about with truth,” it is our “procreation” that is protected.  We will be barren and unfruitful if we are not clothed with the armour of truth.  Our breastplate is the righteousness of Jesus Christ, given unto us by God Himself, protecting our vital organs.  It is a real righteousness that the world can see, and it brings terror to our adversary, for it is the very righteousness of God Himself. 

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;  Ephesians 6:15

Literally, “having your feet shod in preparation of the gospel of peace.”  Jesus, when telling us of His second return, never told us to “get ready,” He always said “be ye also ready,” because you do not know the time of His coming.  Neither does He tell us in this message to “get prepared,” but “be prepared,” because you do not know when your “evil day” will come.  In Exodus 12:1-12, in the night the death angel would pass through Egypt, Israel was to sprinkle the blood of a spotless lamb over the door-posts of their houses.  Throughout the night they were to eat the flesh of the lamb with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs.  In the eleventh verse God said, “and thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the Lord’s Passover.”  They were leaving Egypt in the morning, and they were to be prepared during the night, their loins girded, and their shoes on their feet in preparation for the morning flight from Egypt.  This is the meaning of our text, “your feet shod (in) preparation of the gospel of peace.”  Right now there are many people humbling themselves before God and praying.  They are seeking His face and turning from their ways.  They are weeping between the porch and the altar.  They are crying, “spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?” (Joel 2:17)  God is hearing and preparing them.  He is clothing them in His armour, girding them with truth and righteousness.  He will send these men and women with the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ to stand against every lie of the devil.  They will cross America once more, pulling down strongholds and casting down every “imagination” and delusion that has destroyed the American church.  God will be with them, for they will be clothed from above.  His Spirit will be upon them, and they will go in His name.  Nothing will be able to stand against them, nor will any weapon formed against them prosper.  God is speaking to these that seek His face, “have your shoes on, be prepared, for the time is near.”

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.  Ephesians 6:16

The word “above” is wrongly translated from the Greek word “en,” meaning simply “in.”  “In all things,” or “in everything take up the large shield, the faith in which (or, in whom) ye shall be able to quench every fiery dart of the wicked.”  Our “large shield,” literally translated from the Greek, is not “faith,” but “the faith,” and it is “the faith in which we are able to extinguish every fiery dart of the enemy.”  “Faith” is our ability to believe: “the faith” is what we believe.  It is “the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ” by which we are saved (Galatians 2:16, KJV): it is that same faith that keeps us, and it is “the faith,” our large shield, in which we are able to quench the fiery darts of the enemy.

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:  Ephesians 6:17

Again, the word “salvation” is taken from the Greek word “soterion” which means “a defender.”  The word “take” in this verse alone comes from the Greek word “dechomai,” which means “to receive.”  Literally translated this first phrase would read, “and receive the helmet of a defender…”  In Philippians 1:17, Paul tells us he was “set for the defense of the gospel.”  He was a “defender of the faith:” a “defender of truth,” and a “defender of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Not only are we to “receive” the helmet of a defender, we are also to receive “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”  These are the final endowment of the Spirit upon the man of God.  What an honor it was for the warrior in ancient times to receive his helmet and sword.  For months and perhaps years he was prepared for this day when the king would receive him as a defender of the kingdom.  It is noteworthy that the “knights of the round table” were also called “defenders of the faith.”  These all trusted in “Saul’s armour,” their own abilities with human weapons.  The one who has called us is God Almighty.  He has clothed us with His armour of truth and righteousness.  Those who have come to Him He has sanctified and prepared unto every good work (II Timothy 2:21).  As we seek His face He clothes us with all His armour, and prepares us to stand against the wiles of the devil.  The final endowment of the Spirit to man is the “helmet” and the “sword.”  What an honor when God’s Spirit comes upon man to bestow upon him the “helmet of a defender” and the “sword of the Spirit.”  I believe this is the “glory and honour” God has for His people.  Will you receive it?  Will you seek it?  Will you be a “defender of the faith?”  God will use you, if you can but receive it.

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;  Ephesians 6:18

This verse very much explains itself.  It is the first duty of every man or woman of God who has received the “helmet of a defender” and the “sword of the Spirit,” to pray always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.  The making of a man or woman of God always begins at the altar, weeping over their own sins and backslidings, and ends at the altar weeping for the sins and backslidings of the nation.  Battles are fought at the altar.  Victories are won at the altar.  God gives open rewards for secret prayer.  He always causeth us to triumph in Christ Jesus (II Corinthians 2:14).  He will send revival once again as we stay in the altars of prayer and intercession.

Conclusion

The cover picture for this message is a picture of “ground zero” in New York City superimposed on the background of a picture of the desert war in Afghanistan.  What could be more desolate?  I think of the words of Jesus as He wept over Jerusalem just before going to the cross;  “Now is your house left unto you desolate.”  First, they were left desolate because His presence was departed, and finally, the desolation that came to them in seventy AD through “Holy War.”  My heart breaks within me as I look upon this picture, for it has been repeated thousands of times throughout history in the name of holy war.  Don’t be deceived, the “crusades” of the Roman Catholic Church in the first millennial AD were just as damnable as the “crusades” of Islam in this twenty first century.  Look at the picture again.  What is it that we really see?  Do we dare think it is the end of Islam?  Islam flourishes in scenes such as these.  Could it be the end of America as we have known her and loved her for over two hundred years?  Or is it the end of “Jerusalem that now is?” (Galatians 4:25)  It is most certainly the depiction of the end of all those who trust in “Saul’s armour” rather than the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Child of God, don’t be deceived.  Our warfare is not carnal.  Our arena is revival.  Our battleground is the altar of prayer.  If we weep at the altar, we will also rejoice in victory.  The warfare you see depicted in our cover picture is for the very soul of humanity.  We must win that battle at the altar of God.  Clothed with the armour of God, crowned with the glory of God’s presence, and wielding the word of God, we will win.  Our victory will not be because we are many, for we are few.  It will be because our God is God.  Stay at the altar.  Weep for the lost souls of humanity.  Continue until the heavens open and God rains upon us once again.  We will have revival.  Our nation will be spared.  The harvest will come.  The souls of men, and women, American, Jew, and Arab, along with every other tribe and nation, will be gathered to Jesus Christ.  Every knee will bow to Him, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God, His, and our, Father.