Dr. Richard Ing
The following is a synopsis
of God’s Armorbearer, written by Terry Nance. Brother Terry was a gifted Christian with a
big vision of traveling to many countries to minister. But, one night God told him that He would not
fulfill Terry’s prophecies until he first became an armorbearer to his pastor
and help fulfill the vision God placed in his pastor’s heart. Terry began to study about armorbearers. He was a faithful, loyal servant and
companion to his pastor for many years.
In the end, God did indeed fulfill all His promises to Terry Nance. He
has traveled to many countries in the last decade. The following are some of his comments:
1 Sa. 16:21. “And David came to Saul, and stood before
him: and he loved him greatly; and he became his armourbearer.”
The armor bearer is the one
responsible for carrying his master’s shield into battle. He had the awesome responsibility of seeing
to the safety of his officer.
It has to do with laying down
one’s life for another. “Greater love
hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Jn. 15:13.
You and I will never flow in
the anointing of Elisha until we have learned to serve an Elijah.
If you work at fulfilling the
dreams and desires of another, God will see to it that your dreams and desires
would be fulfilled.
Most pastors know the calling
and anointing of the sheep in his flock and desire that those callings and
anointings be fulfilled.
One of the desires of every
pastor is to have someone who can carry on his vision and mission when he is
The word “armourbearer” is
mentioned 16 times in the Old Testament, but none in the New Testament.
The Hebrew word for
armourbearer comes from two Hebrew words.
“Nasa” or “Nacah”, which means “to lift,” or to “accept, advance, bear,
bear up, carry away, cast, desire, furnish, further, give, help, hold up, lift,
pardon, raise, regard, respect, stir up, yield.”
The second word is “keliy,”
which means “to end, to complete, consume, destroy utterly, be done, finish,
fulfill, long, bring to pass, wholly reap, make clean riddance.”
Therefore, the duty of the
armor bearer is to stand beside his leader to assist him, to lift him up, and
to protect him against any enemy that might attack him.
You will never arrive at a
place where you do not have to submit to anyone. The spirit of an armor bearer is the spirit
of Christ. It is the heart of a true
OF AN ARMOR BEARER
To have the spirit of an
armor bearer, is to be rid of any trace of rebellion, strife, contention,
competitiveness and unforgiveness; determining to faithfully fulfill your
rightful place in the Body of Christ.
The main function of an armor bearer is that of service to another.
OF AN ARMOR BEARER
- Must provide strength to his leader. Always display and produce an attitude
of faith and peace and not be a burden to the leader because of your own
- Must have a deep down sense of respect for his
leader and acceptance for, and tolerance of, his leader’s personality and
his way of doing things and not argue with him or challenge his
decisions. Everyone has a different
method but the goals are the same.
- Must instinctively understand his leader’s
thoughts. Learn to flow with him. After a while, your pastor’s spirit will
come upon you and you two will become like-minded.
- Must walk in agreement with and submission to his
leader. You must make up your mind
to submit to your pastor in the same way that you would submit to Jesus. To refuse to submit to God’s delegated
authority is to refuse to submit to God.
Do not look to the person, but at the office he occupies. We obey, not the individual himself, but
God’s authority in him. Rebellion
is the principle upon which Satan’s kingdom operates. You are justified in disobeying only
when the person giving directions is in direct violation of
scriptures. God will never
establish you as authority until you have first learned to submit to
- Must make the advancement of his leader his most
- Must possess endless strength so as to thrust,
press and force his way onward without giving way under harsh
treatment. 1 Pet. 2:20. “For what glory is it, if, when ye be
buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do
well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with
God.” Learn to give the
situation over to the Lord and endure what comes patiently. It will develop character in you, if you
walk in love.
- Must follow orders immediately and correctly.
- Must be a support to his leader. Every pastor needs a group of faithful
supporters. He cannot do it
alone. There are too many saints
who have only their self interests in mind. But when war breaks out, they suddenly
jump behind their pastor. You will
never make any real progress toward leadership until you have first
mastered the art of supporting your spiritual leader.
- Must be an excellent communicator. Never hide anything from your
pastor. The bottom line is
communication. Secrecy is a trap
Satan lays for the unsuspecting.
- Have a disposition that will eagerly gain
victories for his leader. Do not do
anything that will be a reproach to him or the church you serve. Trust God every day with a spirit of
humility, meekness, forgiveness, purity and a clear conscience.
- Must have the ability to minister strength and
courage to his leader. Whenever God
speaks to your Moses, be a Joshua and a Caleb. Don’t be negative like the spies sent
out to survey the land. In Numbers
14:4, the faithless, fearful children of Israel
said, “Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.” Rebellious people will usually choose
the assistant pastor or armorbearer to take them into rebellion against
the pastor. Look out! God is never
in such a movement. Beware of
another lie of Satan: “The pastor will go to any limits to accomplish his
own goal, but will not go out of his way to help meet the goals of those
who work with him.” Remember, the
vision the pastor has is God’s vision. Supporting that vision is
supporting God, not just the pastor.
Not supporting that vision is not supporting God.
An armorbearer was a person
who undoubtedly spent many years, if not his entire life, in his officer’s
service. Servant, bodyguard, friend,
companion, butler, cook and confidant are just some of the many roles the
armorbearer filled in the life of his officer.
Dedication and devotion unto death was the order of each day for the
biblical armorbearer. It was obviously a
position of heartfelt loyalty.
ARMOR BEARERS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT
Judges 9:45:55. King Abimelech was laying siege to a city and
was succeeding. The people fled into a
high tower. He was at the foot of the
tower at the front gate when a woman in the top threw down a piece of millstone
that struck the king and cracked his skull.
He ordered his young armorbearer, “. . . draw thy sword, and slay me,
that men say not of me, A woman slew him. . . And his young man thrust
him through, and he died.” V.
54. The armor bearer was loyal and
faithful and was just as concerned that his leader’s reputation not be tainted
by being known as one who was killed by a woman. Otherwise, an armor bearer would never think
of harming his leader. It was an act of
love for his master and his master’s reputation, at the request of his
master. Although Abimelech was an evil
king, the story shows the devotion of an armor bearer.
SAUL’S ARMOR BEARER
In contrast, Saul’s army
started to flee the Philistines and Saul and his armor bearer were
surrounded. He ordered his armor bearer, “.
. . Draw thy sword, and thrust me
through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through and
abuse me.” 1 Sa. 31:4. But unlike Abimelech’s armor bearer, he did
not, so Saul fell on his own sword and died.
“And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise
upon his sword, and died with him.” 1
Sa. 31:5. Why didn’t Saul’s armor bearer
kill Saul to begin with?
The Bible says, “. . . his
armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. . . .” v. 4. Note that the armor bearer had been
with Saul through thick and thin, dodging arrows and fighting alongside
Saul. He had been chosen because of his
bravery and fighting skills. He was no
coward. Then why would he be
afraid? A closer look at the definition
of the Hebrew word for “afraid” used in this verse reveals that it means to
“fear out of reverence, to sorely respect and honor.” So the armor bearer was not afraid in the
conventional sense. He just had too much
respect and honor for Saul to kill him, so he hesitated. He just could not bring himself to destroy
the one he had spent his life preserving and protecting.
The difference with
Abimelech’s armor bearer was that Abimelech was already dying from a crushed
skull, while Saul was not. Perhaps
Saul’s armor bearer felt that they could fight their way out or that there were
other ways. But, when Saul chose to die,
Saul’s armor bearer’s fell on his own sword too.
Armor bearers were known for their bravery and loyalty.
JONATHAN’S ARMOR BEARER
In 1 Sa. 14:1-23, Jonathan
was alone with his armor bearer against the entire army of the Philistines. In verse 6, Jonathan says, “Come, and let
us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the Lord will
work for us: for there is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by
few.” His young and fearless
armorbearer answered, “Do all that is in thine heart: turn thee; behold, I
am with thee according to thy heart.”
He was faithful and obedient, even in the face of probable death at the
whim of his master. Jonathan’s
armorbearer followed after Jonathan. He
is the one who wins victories and slays enemies while his leader gets the glory
. . . one who trusts his officer, even in what may appear to be a lark . . .
one who takes his place behind the man he serves, not striving to get out in
front, one who supports his leader even when the leader is asking him to do
something that may cost his life.
DAVID - THE ARMOR BEARER
In 1 Sa. 16:18, Saul was
tormented by an evil spirit and someone recommended David: “Behold, I have
seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, 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 (1)
skillful in playing; (2) a mighty man of valor; (3) a man of war; (4) prudent
in speech; (5) handsome in appearance; (6) one whom the Lord was with. David was a person of courage and abilities,
anointed of God. Good armor bearers
usually are like that - potential leaders themselves.
The fact that David was once
Saul’s armor bearer further explains why David could not “touch the Lord’s
anointed.” David had once sworn to
preserve and defend Saul’s life. He could
not break that vow no matter how hard Saul tried to kill David and how many
opportunities he had to destroy Saul.
David was a true armor bearer who held no grudges and who faithfully and
obediently withstood his captain’s harsh treatment. He was loyal to Saul until the end. [My
comments: David wept at the news that Saul had died. “Then David took hold on his clothes, and
rent them; and likewise all the men that were with him: and they mourned, and
wept, and fasted until even, for Saul, and for Jonathan his son, . . . .” 2 Sa. 1:11,12. David exclaimed, “The beauty of Israel is slain
upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen!” Verse 19. His love for his former master was
real and never faded, despite all the mistreatment he received from Saul. David was a true armor bearer. In the end, the armor bearer became king. End.
The New Testament doesn’t use
the word “armor bearer” but it is everywhere in the hearts of all true
followers. Jesus is an armor bearer who
is and was faithful to the Father even unto death. It remains a position of devotion and
heartfelt loyalty. The Savior served the
Father as an armor bearer would his king.
Whatever the Father said to do, Jesus did. He never sought self-promotion, only
obedience. Today, we do not have the
position or title of armor bearer in the church, but the spirit and attitude of
an armor bearer lives on through the Holy Spirit. To be like Jesus is to have the spirit of an
Sadly, most Christians today
only seek self-promotion and not the promotion of their leader. If a person feels that the only reason God
has him where he is now is so he can be promoted to “something bigger and
better,” then it’s sad to say but that individual is operating in the world’s
As armor bearers we must prove
ourselves faithful where God has planted us.
There have been people who served others an entire lifetime, knowing
that the reward of the leader will be the reward of his armor bearers.
[My own thoughts: In the story of David, Zadok was not an
armor bearer in the classical sense. He
was just a junior priest among many, but he stood by David and risked his life
for his leader. He never wandered from
David’s side and when David was on his deathbed, Zadok was at his side until
the end, while most of David’s men had already left to go first with Absalom,
and then with Adonijah, both of whom they perceived would be the next
king. Their loyalty was false, based on
self-promotion and opportunity. When God
chose Solomon to be the next king, Zadok and those who were loyal until the end
were greatly rewarded while those who were disloyal perished or were
exiled. Zadok became head priest of all
of Israel. God says that the sons of Zadok (those who
are loyal to their leader to the end), will be given the same reward as their
master, David. Eze. 44:15,16.
God looks to our hearts and
not our works. After all, everything we
accomplish is by His power and grace, not ours.
Love, devotion, obedience, loyalty, submission and humility count for
much in the kingdom
of God. God rewards those who diligently and lovingly
serve others. The greatest among us will
be the slave of all. Mt. 20:26,27. How rare it is to find undying loyalty
between two persons on earth today, much less to find a pastor who has an true
armor bearer. End.]
In the story of Moses, Joshua
was never called Moses’ armor bearer. He
was referred to as Moses’ “minister” in Jos. 1:1. To minister means to attend, to contribute
to, to minister to, to wait on, and to serve.
He didn’t have the title of armor bearer, but he had the heart of
one. Because of Joshua’s devotion and
love for Moses, Moses was willing to invest everything he had in Joshua - his
anointing, his title and position and turn the nation of Israel over to
Joshua. The same is true with most
pastors who have a say (some churches vote for the next pastor or the
headquarters decides who the next pastor will be) as to who their successor
will be. They are willing to pour out
everything on those they trust and have confidence in, having experienced their
faithful and loyal service towards them.
Sadly, many saints think that they are on the same level as their pastor
or higher and are not required to submit or obey him.
[My own thoughts. A pastor would never choose as his successor
someone who has argued with him and resisted his instructions for years, or who
has not shown any desire to serve him, submit to him or be loyal to him, or
someone who has not promoted the leader’s success and who has demonstrated no
heartfelt devotion through thick or thin, or someone who has shown only selfish
attitudes. Yet, many such people are
upset because they are not promoted into leadership. Many saints serve only because they want
promotion. When they are denied, they
criticize, move to another church or stop serving. Praise God, there are a few
devoted, loyal and loving servants. End.]
My thoughts (in
parentheses) and Nance’s thoughts. The flesh is proud and desires title and
position without paying the price.
Elisha served Elijah for over twenty years, according to some Bible
scholars. (Zadok served David for over
forty years. Joseph was a faithful slave
and prisoner/servant for almost 20 years.) They became the next leaders. The armor bearers of today will become the
leaders of tomorrow.