Part 6: Sword Of The Spirit .
Ephesians 6:17b, gives us our last piece of the Armor of God , “and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
While we have seen that the armor has been for protection, the sword seems to be the only combat weapon. It is designed to give the enemy a fatal blow. We see that there are two parts to the sword, the Spirit and the Word, just like there are two feet to the gospel, the Light of Life and the Bread of Life.
Hebrews 4:12 tells us, “For the word of God is living and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, even penetrating as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
A two edged sword brings a double blow, one going in and one coming out.
Why so severe? And if we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, why does it seem that this is for man and not the devil? Let’s take a closer look to answer the questions.
First let us look at the first edge of this sword. It is called the Sword of the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit
So we see here that this has to do with the work of the Holy Spirit.
Yeshua told His disciples before He rose to heaven to wait for the Holy Spirit and they would receive power. (Acts 1:8).
John 14:16-17 says, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, so that He may be with you forever; the Helper is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him; but you know Him because He remains with you and will be in you.”
John 14:26 continues to say, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and remind you of all that I said to you.”
We see that the Holy Spirit is one who walks with us and helps us on life’s journey. He also is a teacher to us and as we so often do, forget those things that we need to do to fight the spiritual battle, He is there to remind us.
John 16:8-11 also tells us, “And He, when He comes, will convict the world regarding sin, and righteousness, and judgment: regarding sin, because they do not believe in Me ; and regarding righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you no longer are going to see Me; and regarding judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.”
Again we see that the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sins, so that we can walk in righteousness. We can not fight the accuser of the brethren if we have
1 Peter 1: 10-12, “As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Messiah within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Messiah and the glories to follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look.”
We can see that the Holy Spirit helps us in our lives regarding every part of the Armor of God.
2 Timothy 1: 13-14 also tells us,
“Hold on to the example of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Messiah Yeshua. Protect, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.”
The Holy Spirit is our Helper and Counselor and Teacher. He is there to help us grow and mature. He also is there to draw us closer to God and He has called those to help us along the way as Ephsians 4:11-16 tells us,
“And He gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the building up of the body of Messiah; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Messiah. As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of people, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, that is,Messiah, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”
Romans 8: 26-27 says, “Now in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”
Friendship with the world makes us an enemy to God, (James 4:4).
Romans 12:2 says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Galatians 5:16-21 says, “ What I am saying is this: run your lives by the Spirit. Then you will not do what your old nature wants. For the old nature wants what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit wants what is contrary to the old nature. These oppose each other, so that you find yourselves unable to carry out your good intentions. But if you are led by the Spirit, then you are not in subjection to the system that results from perverting the Torah into legalism. And it is perfectly evident what the old nature does. It expresses itself in sexual immorality, impurity and indecency; involvement with the occult and with drugs; in feuding, fighting, becoming jealous and getting angry; in selfish ambition, factionalism, intrigue and envy; in drunkenness, orgies and things like these. I warn you now as I have warned you before: those who do such things will have no share in the Kingdom of God!”
Titus 3:1-7 tells us how that is done. “Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men. For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Messiah Yeshua our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
The Holy Spirit not only helps us in our weakness, but to live a godly life. If we are going to win the battle against the enemy of our soul, then we must be godly.
2 Peter 1:1-11 says, “To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Messiah Yeshua : Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Yeshua our Lord, for His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. Through these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world on account of lust. Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they do not make you useless nor unproductive in the true knowledge of our LordMessiah Yeshua. For the one who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. Therefore, brothers and sisters, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choice of you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Messiah Yeshua will be abundantly supplied to you.”
We can now see what the Sword of the Spirit has to do with us. We need to walk in truth and righteousness before we can fight the spiritual battle. Maybe this is why Paul started where he spoke about the armor and started with the Belt of Truth
The Holy Spirit also causes us to bear fruit in our lives as Galatians 5:22-25
“ But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Messiah Yeshua crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let’s follow the Spirit as well.”
Now that we have looked at the Holy Spirit, let’s look at the second edge of the sword, The Word of God.
The Word of God
The Word of God or Sophia in Greek, is the wisdom of God. It is by God’s wisdom that He created the heavens and the earth. Here is an awesome insight into God’s Word, as it speaks about His wisdom in Proverbs 8:22-31, shows the relationship between God and His Word.
“The Lord possessed me (wisdom) in the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: while as yet He had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When He prepared the heavens, I was there: when He set a compass upon the face of the depth: when He established the clouds above: when He strengthened the fountains of the deep: when He gave to the sea His decree, that the waters should not pass His commandment: when He appointed the foundations of the earth: then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him: and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him; rejoicing in the habitable part of His earth; and My delights were with the sons of men.”
Wisdom, God’s Word was with God from before the foundation of the earth.
God’s wisdom, His Word, is Yeshua, for He is the Word made flesh, (John 1:14).
God is One and yet, we see at creation that God spoke in the plural,
Genesis 1:26 says, “ Let us make man.” It is a mystery and yet it is not, for God is a Spirit, and His Word is who He is. There are many parts to the body and yet it is one, so too, with God.”
1 Corinthians 12:12-13 says, “ For just as the body is one and yet has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Messiah . For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.”
There is power in the spoken Word of God, as we know, that God spoke His creation into being. So we know that we too, when we fight the spiritual battle that we can follow in our Messiah’s footsteps. Yeshua, when fighting the battle with Satan in the wilderness for forty days, used the spoken Word to fight the devil.
Matthew 4:1-10 tells us this, “Then Yeshua was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after He had fasted for forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes out of the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took Him along into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and he said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written: ‘He will give His angels orders concerning You’; and ‘On their hands they will lift You up, So that You do not strike Your foot against a stone.’” Yeshua said to him, “On the other hand, it is written: ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took Him along to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” Then Yeshua said to him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written: ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’”
When the devil tempts us we must fight back with the Word of God. Yeshua tells us in Mark 11:23, “Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted to him.”
Nothing can stand in our way. The devil can place any road block or hindrance in front of us, but we can have the victory if we believe, and we stand on the Word of God.
But we can hinder ourselves because we do not work out our salvation with fear and trembling, (Philippians 2:12).
Yeshua gives us the parable of the sower of the seed. In Matthew 13:20-21 we read this, “The one sown with seed on the rocky places, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution occurs because of the word, immediately he falls away.”
We can receive the Word with joy, but if we do not live the Word, and practice the Word, and follow in the footsteps of our Messiah, when the trials and tribulations of life come, we will walk away. This is why we need to have a lifestyle of the armour. We must put it on, and live it out, and fight the spiritual battle. We must teach our children, and we must teach our new babes in Messiah, because the wolves will come and destroy the sheep, (Mathew 7:15).
The Ten Commandments
When we look at the Tabernacle in the wilderness, the Ark of the Covenant contained none other than God’s covenant. And you ask what was His covenant? It was His Torah. In the Ark was placed the Ten Commandments, which is also called the Ten Words. From these Ten Words, the whole of the Torah exists. We want to look at this closer, because as we saw, the Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God.
Hebrews 9:4 tells us, “Behind the second veil there was a tabernacle which is called the Most Holy Place, having a golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden jar holding the manna, Aaron’s staff which budded, and the tablets of the covenant; and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the atoning cover; but about these things we cannot now speak in detail.”
Exodus 4;13-14 says, “ So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, that is, the Ten Commandments; and He wrote them on two tablets of stone. The Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, so that you would perform them in the land where you are going over to take possession of it.”
Many people think that God’s commandments are obsolete. They think that if they keep them then they are keeping the “Law” and if they break just one of them then they have broken them all, (James 2:10). But I ask you, should we have other gods before the One True God? Should we take the name of the Lord in cursing or use His name lightly? Should we steal or kill? Should we take what is not ours? If we were not to keep God’s commands then why did Yeshua expound on them?
Matthew 5:21-30 tells us, “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not murder,’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be answerable to the court.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be answerable to the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be answerable to the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. Therefore, if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. Come to good terms with your accuser quickly, while you are with him on the way to court, so that your accuser will not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you will not be thrown into prison. Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last quadrans. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Now if your right eye is causing you to sin, tear it out and throw it away from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand is causing you to sin, cut it off and throw it away from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.”
Yeshua also tells us that He did not come to do away with the Torah, but to teach it correctly, (Matthew 5:17). That is what the Hebrew word means, but we translate it “complete”. It is a Hebrew idiom that is not translated correctly.
Yeshua said in Matthew 5:18-20, “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke of a letter shall pass from the Law, until all is accomplished! Therefore, whoever nullifies one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. “For I say to you that unless your righteousness far surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Yeshua warned us against false teachers, wolves in sheep’s clothing, people who subtract from the Word, so that you do not have a leg to stand on, so you do not have your sword to defend you. Yeshua is the Word and He is the same yesterday, today and forever, ( Hebrews 13:8). He was before the foundation of the world and He will be for eternity. Do not let the devil deceive you. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us clearly,
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
If the most Holiest Place, the place where the presence of God was, that no one could enter but once a year, and at that, only with the blood of the sin offering, and the smoke from the incense, this place, which housed the Ark of the Covenant, and the Mercy Seat, could only have the most holiest items to God.
Yeshua said, “ If you love me then keep My commands”, (John 14:15).
This is why the Commandments are part of the Sword of the Spirit. The devil does not want you holy, righteous, or godly. He does not want you to be obedient to God. He does not want you to be a God fearer. He does not want you close to God at all, because he wants to deceive you, corrupt you, and bring you down. He is the accuser of the brethren, (Revelations 12:10). Fight the good fight, put on the lifestyle of the armor. Be a true witness of the One True God, speak the Word of God in season and out of season, (2 Timothy 4:2) and take your God given authority over the devil. Use your sword and every other “Weapon of Righteousness” and contend for the faith, stand firm and keep standing, praying with your most holy faith, and take God’s word and hide it in your heart and fight the spiritual battle unto victory. So this brings us to our last point.
The Sword of the Spirit is in the Feast of Pentecost.
We see the old and new covenant come together at Pentecost. The Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God unites the two, along with this Appointed Time of God. Let’s look at the old first. Fifty days after the Israelites fled Egypt, they were at Mt Sinai. It was here that God spoke to Moses the Torah as Exodus 19:16-23 records.“On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled violently. As the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him. The Lord descended to the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses to the top of the mountain. So Moses went up and the Lord said to him, “Go down and warn the people so they do not force their way through to see the Lord and many of them perish. Even the priests, who approach the Lord, must consecrate themselves, or the Lord will break out against them.” Moses said to the Lord,
“The people cannot come up Mount Sinai, because You Yourself warned us, ‘Put limits around the mountain and set it apart as holy.’”
The next several chapters record the Ten Commandments and all the commands that make up those 10 Commandments.
Leviticus 23 gives the instructions about God’s Appointed Times. This is what it says about Pentecost, Shavuot in Hebrew.
“‘From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks. Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the Lord. From wherever you live, bring two loaves made of two-tenths of an ephah of the finest flour, baked with yeast, as a wave offering of firstfruits to the Lord. Present with this bread seven male lambs, each a year old and without defect, one young bull and two rams. They will be a burnt offering to the Lord, together with their grain offerings and drink offerings—a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the Lord. Then sacrifice one male goat for a sin offering and two lambs, each a year old, for a fellowship offering. The priest is to wave the two lambs before the Lord as a wave offering, together with the bread of the firstfruits. They are a sacred offering to the Lord for the priest. On that same day you are to proclaim a sacred assembly and do no regular work. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live. “‘When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you. I am the Lord your God.’”
So at Pentecost the Word of God was given to His people. This is the same Word, the Torah that dwelt with God before the foundation of the world. Paul says this in Romans 9:4b-5, “Who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons and daughters, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the Law, the temple service, and the promises; whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Messiah according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.”
There were no other people who believed in the One True God, except the Jewish people, and so naturally they became the keepers of everything that pertained to God. But when God sent forth His Word at Mt. Sinai, He sent it out to accomplish what He intended to accomplish as Isaiah 55:10-11 says,“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is My Word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
On that first Pentecost Day God gave His Word to the world. It is said that God spoke His Torah, His Commandments, in the seventy known languages. Forty days after Yeshua rose from the dead, He ascended back to heaven, ( Acts 1:1-11).
Ten days after the Ascension, what would have been the fiftieth day after the Resurrection, this is what took place. Acts 2:1-12 says, “When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a noise like a violent rushing wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And tongues that looked like fire appeared to them, distributing themselves, and a tongue rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with different tongues, as the Spirit was giving them the ability to speak out. Now there were Jews residing in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together and they were bewildered, because each one of them was hearing them speak in their own language. They were amazed and astonished, saying, “Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born? Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues of the mighty deeds of God.” And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, “What does this mean?””
We see the similarities between the first Pentecost in Exodus, and the Pentecost in Acts. The fire, the noise, the wind and God’s presence. We see here also all the languages spoken, but this time it was because they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, the Sword, the Commandments, all of this and more. Peter addresses the crowd in Acts 2: 17-18 and he tells them that this is the fulfilment of the prophet Joel (2:28-29).“In the last days, God says, I will pour out My Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out My Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.”
When you wield the Sword of the Spirit you are standing on truth, righteousness, salvation and faith and all the Articles of the Tabernacle and all of God’s Appointed Times. God’s Word will accomplish what it needs to accomplish. Victory!