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Awards, Standards and Appearances
In addition to the character traits discussed in the previous chapter, there are three facets involved in the life of every Warrior that add some perspective to the way the world was viewed by the Warriors of long ago. These three facets helped to further identify and clarify the character and purpose of a Warrior. This was accomplished by showing the Warrior the rewards he was assured of for correct action and devoted service by his Lord’s promise, and were represented by the symbols with which he identified himself. They served in some respects as guideposts to aid the Warrior in the approach he took to the way he lived.
Although they have changed somewhat from what they used to be and how they were represented, they are just as present and serve the Warriors of today in much the same way. These three aspects are Awards, Standards, and Appearances.
The text then goes on to describe the use of awards and standards in use during the days of Roman conquest. These practices are shown to be the roots of many of the traditions we honor in our military today. While rooted in the distant past, many of the symbols have changed in the way we perceive them.
Ps. 58:11 The upright does have a reward; there is a God to dispense justice on earth.
Matt. 6:4 . . . and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you.
A description of the Seven Heavenly Crowns promised as rewards for action is scriptural laid out.
Standards are considered first in the historical application and then in the way we express them today. The loss of Standards militarily is compared to the loss of our Standards today. An eye is cast on the types of role models today.
Standards have eroded from a very real external symbol which represented the spirit of those bearing it and serving a very real purpose as a symbolic model, to the internal and personal standards to which we commonly refer in regards to those principles which are supposed to shape and direct our actions. In the past, during times of war and conflict, it was traditional to “raise the standard” to lead an attack and serve as a point of rally if disarray were to occur. In the same sense today, in waging this new war, it is time to “raise our standards” again not to just lead in the attack against the many destructive influences in our world today, but to form that much needed rally point to come together and unite our efforts once again under a common standard. 27Set ye up a standard in the land, blow the trumpet among the nations, prepare the nations against her, call together against her the kingdoms . . .. Jer. 51:27.
What standard are you flying today? Are you willing to take a stand under and for a True Standard? When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. Isa. 59:19. This takes courage and a noble fighting spirit in today’s world. To be willing to share a standard, be an example, or better yet, take part in instilling values and standards in the lives of our children today, is a wonderful way to pinpoint any weaknesses you may have. Your own standards become clear as you begin sharing them with others. To be able to impart such knowledge means you have to know, without a doubt, where you stand under that same standard. . . . every man in his place by their standards. Num. 2:17. This can be a painful, or difficult experience, but always a strengthening one. Start small, working on faith, until you build up your wings and soon you will fly on the wings of an eagle.
The last topic discussed involves appearances- and how vigilance and wisdom afford protection. The art of modern day deception and the historical use of disguise are discussed.
We are told later in Revelation the “Mark of the Beast” will be imposed on all- the great and small, rich and poor, slave and free alike. We are cautioned that shrewdness and discernment will be required to see it for what it is, and that many will be deceived. Rev. 13:16-18. I think it unlikely that any of us would accept the mark knowing before hand what it was. If our government were to implement and support this mark as a means of grand social reform, how many true Christian Warriors would be wary enough to see it for what it was, and stand against it?
Scriptures tell us that in the final days many believers will be deceived. This is clearly a warning that appearances will be deceiving. If this weren't so, then why would any God fearing intelligent Christian be deceived? What do you expect? Is the TRUE BEAST going to announce to the world having performed all his “miracles and divine deeds,” “Oh. . . By the Way. . . I happen to be the BEAST you have all been warned about!?" Give me a break. Get with the program! The scriptures themselves tell us all that wisdom and discernment will be required to see this monster for what it is. The characteristics of the Warrior would keep us ever vigilant and alert to this form of deception. Let us see what the scriptures say about deception and appearances a little closer: . . .
Now that we have a better understanding of a Warrior’s character, his mettle, we can delve into the spiritual principles of his armor, his metal. These two aspects of a Warrior serve to bolster and add definition to each other.
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