News and Events
Our Vision and Mission
Pastor Ing's Books
Statement Of Faith
What We Do
Fasting and Praying
Teaching Manuals
Newsletter List
Contact Us
Meaning of Christmas
Photo Player Flash


Armor Bearer


By Dr. Richard Ing     

July 10, 2002

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 gone.

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 servant.


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.


  1. 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 personal problems.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 authority.
  5. Must make the advancement of his leader his most important goal.
  6. 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.
  7. Must follow orders immediately and correctly.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.


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.


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.


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.


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 armor bearer.

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 system.

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.

[ First ] [ Prev ] [ Next ] [ Last ]