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The Whole Armor of GodBy: David Deschesne
The Ebola virus was a very serious concern for health officials in the late 1980’s.
Ebola originated in Kenya, near Kitum Cave in Mount Elgon.1 One of the world’s most deadliest strains of virus, Ebola causes massive internal hemorrhaging as all connective tissue and flesh deteriorate into a mush within several days after infection. Ebola is an airborne virus, but hasn’t been known to have resurfaced in the U.S. for nearly twenty years.
Scientists who study such dangerous viruses do so in what is called a “Level 4” biological containment lab.
In order to get into Level 4, one must first start in a locker room where all clothing, including underwear, is removed and a surgical scrub suit put on, that is Level 1.
Level 2 is a room which features Ultraviolet (UV) light, which kills viruses, and a negative air pressure to keep air from leaving the room. Once in Level 2, the lab worker puts on a set of socks and proceeds to the staging area in Level 3
In Level 3, rubber latex gloves are put on and the scrub suit is taped to both the gloves and socks to create a seal. Then, a pressurized “space suit” with integral gloves and boots is put on, complete with helmet, and attached to an external air supply system to inflate it.
In order to get to Level 4, an air lock is entered, pressure changed, and the worker then opens the door to enter the main lab where he then puts on another set of gloves (now three layers) and another set of boots before beginning work with infectious agents, or infected animals.
For as much precaution as is taken to protect oneself from a potentially fatal viral infection, from standard vaccinations all the way to Level 4 bio-containment, it is surprising so few take similar measures to safeguard their soul - the source of their eternal life in the Everlasting.
In his letter to the Ephesians, the Apostle Paul describes Ebola-like viruses that affect the soul, rather than the flesh; “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”2
“High places” is translated from the Greek, ¦B@<D"<Æ@4H (epooraneous), which means “above the sky” or “heavenly”3 Heaven is not necessarily out in space, but exists outside of our physical, human realm. Our souls exist in a separate plane of existence, too and it is in that plane that the epooraneous seems to imply.
Those “principalities,” “powers,” and “rulers of the darkness” referred to by Paul are from Greek words meaning, “chief/magistrate,” “top military ranks” and “world ruler.”
These dark, powerful entities referred to by Paul have mastery over the world and are figuratively “in the air” around our souls every bit as much as dangerous viruses are literally in the air around our physical bodies. The former can destroy our reunification with the source of everlasting life, while the latter can only potentially destroy our physical body.
While we take great measures to protect our bodies from the viruses that can negatively affect our bodies, Paul warns us to also take equally protective measures for our metaphysical bodies, as well - our souls - by putting on the “whole armor of God.”
The Level 4 biological suit is a beautiful analogy to the armor of God. It features multiple layers of protection against potentially devastating viruses. But, the evil, wicked powers that can adversely affect our souls permeate physical boundaries, therefore a non-physical defense must be employed.
Rather than surgical gloves and a pressurized space suit, Paul describes a defense system consisting of; truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace and above all a “shield of faith” to protect us from the onslaught of the wicked demons.
When we exercise Faith in our Heavenly Father by trusting in His word as the Truth, by trusting He alone is righteous and He is the Lord of Peace, we protect our souls from the devastating effects of the forces of evil. Those forces of evil are attempting to draw us away from the source of our life - Yahweh - and into perpetual darkness, a darkness they rule over.
Our focus is to be on God as the First Source and Center of all that is. When we place Him first in our lives, focus directly on His will for us and move forward in Faith in His word, He becomes our Almighty Shield, a Faith shield that protects us from all that seek to destroy our souls.
1. The Hot Zone,1995 Richard Preston, pp. 3-24
2. Ephesians 6:12
3. Strong’s #2032