Christian Churches of God
Sword of the Spirit of God
(Edition 1.0 20080728-20080728)
Ephesians 6 is interesting since it seems to indicate the sword of the Spirit as if the Spirit can use a sword. In this lesson we will take a closer look at the concepts of the swords, the Spirit and the Word of God.
Sword of the Spirit of God
Ephesians 6:16-17 states:
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked, and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (KJV)
The Contemporary English version makes things a bit plainer.
Ephesians 6:16-17 Let your faith be like a shield, and you will be able to stop all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Let God's saving power be like a helmet, and for a sword use God's message that comes from the Spirit. (CEV)
From Ephesians 6:17 we see a lot of concepts developed, the first being that of a sword, which is the word of God. Therefore, let us also look at the concepts of the sword and then the word of God.
The sword is described as:
The word of God (Eph. 6:17; Heb. 4:12); the justice of God (Deut. 32:41; Zech. 13:7); and God’s protection (Deut. 33:29). The sword is also explained as the word of Christ (Isa. 49:2; Rev. 1:16).
The sword also relates to war and fighting (Mat. 10:34); and major and heavy problems and losses (Ezek. 5:2,17; 14:17; 21:9).
It can refer to the wicked (Ps. 17:13); of the tongue of the wicked (Ps. 57:4; 64:3; Pro. 12:18); of the persecuting spirit of the wicked (Ps. 37:14); or a false witness (Pro. 25:18).
Or it can be seen in a positive light (of putting into its sheath) of peace and friendship (Jer. 47:6), and of judicial authority (Rom. 13:4).
In times of peace the sword can be made into a ploughshare (Isa. 2:4; Mic. 4:3), which is a farm instrument; and in times of war people will fashion their ploughshares into swords (Joel 3:10).
We saw earlier on in the Plan of Eloah, a sword was used.
Genesis 3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
Here we again see Eloah protecting man from making even worse choices than he did when he chose to sin.
Without God’s Holy Spirit people typically do what is right in their own mind. Yet, scripture tells us the way of God they do not know (Rom. 8:7; Jas. 4:4), and the human mind is enmity or an enemy against God and His Law (Rom. 8:7).
With the sword of the Spirit we now see pieces of the armour of Eloah that we hold and control in our hands; a sword will not be effective if we just keep it strapped or attached to our body.
Hebrews 4 tells us what the word of God/the sword of the Spirit of God can do.
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (KJV)
Clearly, Eloah knows all our thoughts and what actions those thoughts will lead to. The sword of the Spirit helps us to look at ourselves and with God’s help know what personal problems need to be corrected.
God says He will direct our thoughts (Pro. 16:3) and words (Eph. 6:19). All our words should be without guile or deceit/lies as we learned in the lesson The Helmet of Salvation (No. CB124).
Remember from the study Loins gird with Truth (No. CB126), it is this band or belt of Truth that tightly hugs our waist. It is this belt that the sword of the Spirit is firmly attached to. Therefore, it makes logical sense why the sword can discern or understand our thoughts since the sword is related to truth and truth is the foundation of our very Christian being.
We also have a responsibility to protect the Church with the sword of the word of God against any heresy or lies about the word of God.
All the saints in the army of God need to be able to give an answer of the hope that lies within them (1Pet. 3:15). We all need to be well versed and knowledgeable about God’s word to fend off and deal with attacks people and the fallen Host make against us as individuals or the Church.
Revelation 19:5 tells us Messiah returns with a sharp sword that he will use to deal with the nations. It is only when the nations know who the One True God is, what His Laws are and when to worship Him that the planet can be brought into the period known as the ‘time of Just Rule’.
We see the word of God is a sword that God uses to help us all learn about God, His Law and our responsibilities to God as his sons. Let us spend more time looking in detail at the concept of the word of God.
The word of God is likened also to a sword (Heb. 4:12; Eph. 6:17; Rev. 1:16).
From Luke we learn that we are to keep the word of God, which of course also implies doing what the word of God instructs.
Luke 11:28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed [are] they that hear the word of God, and keep it.
The Spirit is not given by measure (Jn. 3:34). The NIV translation of the Bible states that God gives the Spirit without limit. The Spirit is given for the common good. 1Corinthians 12:4-11 shows the nine aspects of the sevenfold gifts of the Spirit are: wisdom/knowledge, faith, healing, power or miracles, prophecy, discernment of spirits and speaking and interpreting tongues. For more information see also the paper Consubstantial with the Father (No. 81).
For more information on the Holy Spirit see the papers What is the Holy Spirit? (No. CB3) and Lesson: Being Filled with the Holy Spirit (No. CB85).
We will now look at the concept of the word of God in more detail and see what we can learn about the word of God.
Meaning of the Word of God
When we started our study we read Ephesians 6. Let us look at verse 17 again with a different focus.
Ephesians 6:17 states:
Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (KJV)
We have reviewed ideas that relate to the sword and the Spirit, yet what is the meaning of the Word of God?
Word is rhema (SGD 4487) and means: "that which is spoken, what is uttered in speech or writing;"
In Hebrews 11 we see an example of the use of word (rhema).
Hebrews 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word [rhema] of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
The significance of rhema (as distinct or different from logos) is exemplified in the verse to “take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph 6:17). Here the reference is not to the whole Bible as such, but to the individual scripture that the Spirit brings to our remembrance for use in time of need, a prerequisite or beginning stage, being the regular filling of the mind with scripture.
As we have seen in Ephesians 6:17 and Hebrews 11:3, the meaning of word is a spoken word of God giving us education or direction.
Yet many people will attempt to quote John 1:1 as part of their proof there is a trinity. Eloah is singular; He is the One and only True God (1Tim. 6:16)
There is no doubt that God is singular and sovereign. Proverbs 30:4-5 shows the name of God and that He has a son.
Who hath gone up to heaven, and come down?
Who hath gathered up the wind in the hollow of His hands?
Who hath wrapped up the waters in His cloak?
Who hath established all the ends of the earth?
What is His name and the name of His son? Tell me if you know.
Every word of God [ELOAH] is flawless: He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.
Do not add to His words, or He will rebuke you and prove you a liar.
Messiah is a son; he did come to Earth and was made flesh. He was given life (Jn. 5:26). He is the Word / Logos referred to in John 1:1.
John. 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Word, The from Easton’s comments:
(Gr. Logos), one of the titles of our Lord, found only in the writings of John (Jhn. 1:1-14; 1Jo. 1:1; Rev. 19:13). As such, Christ is the revealer of God. His office is to make God known. "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him" (Jhn. 1:18). This title designates the divine nature of Christ. As the Word, he "was in the beginning" and "became flesh." "The Word was with God " and "was God," and was the Creator of all things (Psa 33:6; 107:20; 119:89; 147:18; Isa 40:8).
For a more detailed explanation of John 1:1 see the paper On Immorality (No. 165).
What are God’s people supposed to do regarding the Word of God?
We are to keep and treasure the word of God. Those who treasure the word of God and have the Holy Spirit will be part of the Bride of Christ (Prov. 21:20). For more information see Summary: Significance of the Wedding in Cana of Galilee (No. P50z).
We are sanctified or set apart in the truth in love. For our sakes Christ sanctified himself, and so we are to sanctify ourselves in the truth, which is the word of God (Jn. 17:17). For more information see Sanctification of the Temple of God (No. 241). Again this scripture ties the sword to the word of God, which is hung or suspended on the belt of truth. The emphasis to truth being central to the faith cannot be overestimated.
We are God’s elect, and called-out ones and have an obligation or duty to keep the word of God, as Luke 4:4 and Matthew 4:4 indicate.
Luke 4:4 And Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God”.
We as God’s people keep the word of God no matter what the cost, as Revelation 20:4 tells us.
Revelation 20:4 Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony to Jesus and for the word (Logos) of God, and who had not worshiped the beast or its image.
Our reward for keeping the word of God is nothing compared to what we may endure during this life (Rom. 8:18), as Isaiah 64 and 1Corinthians 2:9 indicate.
Romans 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Isaiah 64:4 For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him. (KJV)
1Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. (KJV)
As we see from the texts, our minds cannot imagine or comprehend the things Eloah has prepared for us if we love and obey Him.
Let us all use the gifts and talents that have been so freely given to us and bring the Word of God to the world.
In closing …
Let us pray diligently for the day the Gospel is taken to the entire world, Messiah has returned, the period of Just Rule has started and the times will be as in Isaiah 2:4 and Micah 4:3 when nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. We will see the time coming in Isaiah 11 and Habakkuk 2 and what a blessing it will be for the planet and all the people.
Isaiah 11: 9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
Habakkuk 2:14 For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
Till then, we should work non-stop to get the Gospel out to the people and continue to pray for the sick, the lame, the old, the little ones and all the innocent ones to be protected as the world crumbles because the people will not obey God.