The Sword of the Spirit
I have never taught on the sword of the spirit before. After listening to hundreds of live and recorded teachings on the subject, and writing up voluminous notes, in my heart I knew I still had no idea what this verse was talking about. How does the sword of the spirit apply to real life?
In the past, if there was no way to avoid reading this verse during a teaching, I would quickly skim past it and move on. I don't think I've even mentioned the sword of the spirit in my two previous classes, Walking by the Spirit and Teachings in the Key of Life. If I do not understand something, I will not teach it. If you want to listen to mindless sermons by men who don't understand the bible, go to church.
One point of view that came up during all those teachings I listened to was that this sword of the spirit wasn't really a sword at all, it was a javelin, and that this section of Ephesians is allegorical and illustrates competition rather than warfare. Is that so? Devil spirits don't regard this as a game.
This flood, which refers to the flood of Noah's day, almost destroyed the human race. It was the devil who declared war on us and it was the devil who flooded the earth to try to exterminate men.
Today, everyone knows that many ancient civilisations simply disappeared off the face of the earth around the same time. They scratch their heads and come up theory after theory about where they all went, but it's really no mystery, they all drowned. Only Noah and his family survived. That's the truth.
When the earth was flooded, there was just one huge ocean with no land anywhere. The waters were 15 cubits higher than the top of the highest mountain. So where did all that water go? If there is land now, all that water had to go somewhere. The word says the earth opened her mouth and swallowed it.
This reference to the earth opening its mouth and swallowing all that water indicates a crack in the earth's crust down which all that water drained. By the way, according to the bible, it was after this event that Pangaea broke apart. Yes. I know that contradicts the world, but I don't give a fuck, the bible is truth and the world is full of shit. You make up your own mind on what truth is.
This is not a game, we are at war. The sword of the spirit is not a javelin, it is a sword. A sword is a weapon. Anyone who contradicts the bible and inserts their private interpretations of it, and then teaches their doctrines of men as truth can go and fuck themselves. Do you think Jesus Christ thought he was playing games during the two days he was tortured and beaten to a pulp before being crucified?
I often see scriptures posted on Facebook, Twitter, forums and other places, and for some reason they are always nice scriptures about nice things. You know, God is wonderful and loves us kind of stuff, with pretty flowers, nice scenery and cute animals. Hey, if your life is under attack, you're going to need something a bit more substantial than pretty flowers, nice scenery and cute animals to keep you alive.
People carried swords for two reasons. The obvious one was when going into battle, but they also carried swords in civilian life for self defence. We can see this in the gospels. Peter was carrying a sword when Jesus Christ was arrested.
In Jesus Christ's day and in Paul's day, it was normal for people to carry swords for self defence. Therefore, this figurative reference in Ephesians to the word of God being a sword tells us that the word of God can be used either as an offensive weapon or as a weapon of self defence. Romans shows us how the word of God can be used as an offensive weapon.
In the book of Acts, we can see Peter and Paul using the word as an offensive weapon to fight against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness from on high. Here is Peter in action.
Still think this is a game we're playing? Here is Paul wielding the sword of the spirit as an offensive weapon.
There are many records where men of God used the sword of the spirit as an offensive weapon to destroy the works of the devil, but there are also records where we can see the sword being used in self defence. When the devil tempted Jesus Christ with the world and all its glory, Jesus Christ responded with it is written. He fought for his life by quoting scripture.
Jesus Christ didn't carry a bible and a concordance around with him. He had the word in his head. He had memorised so many scriptures that no matter what came his way he could use the sword of the spirit to defend himself and attack his enemies. He knew how to defend himself with the sword of the spirit, and he knew how to fight back. In the following example, the church leaders accused him of breaking the laws of men as if they were the laws of God.
Jesus Christ did not know ahead of time this attack would be coming. When these religious men marched up and publicly accused him of what they considered to be evil, he had the right scriptures memorised to counter their attack. Did he throw pretty flowers at them? Did he look at them and say, well, God loves me, and walk away with his head down? Those religious bastards didn't regard what they were doing as a game. They were looking for an excuse to kill him.
On another occasion, the religious leaders actually managed to conjure up a situation where they knew there were no scriptures Jesus Christ could use.
It is likely these religious leaders set this woman up and arranged to have her dragged before Jesus Christ so they could catch him out in his words. This time they knew there were no scriptures he could use to counter their attack. Moses does state very clearly in the law that women taken in adultery should be stoned. They knew he couldn't possibly contradict Moses, so they knew he couldn't wield a scripture at them this time. If he contradicted Moses, they would have been able to level the crime of blasphemy at him, a charge that carried the death penalty.
Jesus Christ's response is staggering. He doodled in the dust on the ground. There were no scriptures, he knew that, so attempting to respond with it is written would have put his life at risk. He wanted to help that woman, but he had no idea what to say. So, he doodled in the dust on the ground while he thought things through and waited for an answer from God on how best to deal with the situation.
Forgiveness was the issue. God's forgiveness has always been available, and it is still available to everyone to this day. Forgiveness was available to that woman, but Moses does state that adulterers were to be stoned and he couldn't possibly contradict that. The word is quick and powerful and sharper than any two edged sword only when we wield it with precision.
Go and sin no more. See, she was given another chance. God's forgiveness is always available to us. That's what the religious leaders didn't understand. Religion turns people into cold, heartless, self righteous horrid creatures. How do I know? Been there, done that. You think you're so right about everything, and all you can find is fault in everyone. Religion is a disease. Thankfully, it's curable. Remove the cause and the symptoms will gradually disappear. If you leave your horseshit churches, religions, and ministries constructed by men, and stay well away from all your religious friends who think they are so right about everything, your heart will eventually heal. If you want a relationship with God, get out of religion, avoid all forms of religious organisations constructed by men, and steer well clear of religious men like those scribes and Pharisees so you don't catch their foul diseases.
Let's now read the section in Ephesians where it talks about the armour of God and the sword of the spirit.
Ephesians does not say we are strong in ourselves. The devil isn't intimidated by cruise missiles, tanks, or the latest fighter aircraft. You can throw stones at him, fire missiles and bullets at him, shake your fists and scream at the sky as much as you like, all it will do is make him laugh.
If you wander through life with an inane smile plastered to your face with nothing but nice scriptures about nice things in your head, and think that's wielding the sword of the spirit, you are clueless about the spiritual nature of the world you live in.
To defeat spiritual wickedness from on high, we have to be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. Jesus Christ is our Lord and we have Christ in us, so to be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might is to walk by the spirit with Christ as our head and energise the Christ in us.
Ephesians then tells us we are to put on the armour of God.
Our fight isn't against flesh and blood, it is against the principalities, the powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world, the spiritual wickedness from on high. The devil and his spirits hate us. They have declared war on us. They want us dead. Jesus Christ made it very clear what the devil's will is.
If we want protection from all this stealing, killing and destroying, we must put on the armour of God to protect ourselves. The only way we can prevail in life as children of God is to be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might, and to have on the armour of God.
Putting on armour doesn't stop attacks, it protects us from them. Armour protects different parts of the body, so we have to put it all on to be fully protected.
Our loins is our midriff, where our legs join our body, and includes the groin area. The loins is where the strength and vigour of our bodies resides. We are to gird our loins with truth. This obviously doesn't mean we strap bibles around our bodies, it's a figurative reference to our thoughts. We put the word on in our minds until our thoughts are armour plated. Our wills and our commitments are to be girded with truth.
The breastplate protects our chest, where our hearts beat. The breastplate of righteousness protects our heart. Everything we believe comes from our heart, and how we build believing hearts is with armour plated thoughts.
The word keep is the word guard. It's a military term. How we guard our hearts is by having our thoughts armour plated with truth and having on the breastplate of righteousness. It is from our hearts that life issues, that life flows from. Believing flows from our hearts, and our believing determines our lives. We must protect our hearts with the breastplate of righteousness. No matter what the devil tries to condemn us with, no matter what he throws at us from our past, we hold onto the righteousness of God. I am righteous, not because of anything I've ever done, but because God through Jesus Christ made me righteous.
This teaching is for me as well as you. My past causes me all sorts of anguish when I don't have on the breastplate of righteousness. These last few weeks while working this teaching have been particularly difficult because of things in my past that kept coming to my mind. Sometimes it isn't easy to drag your thoughts out of your past. I've been struggling so badly recently, that last night Father suggested I watch a movie. The Railway Man is a movie about a man who had been tortured as a prisoner by a particular Japanese soldier during World War 2, and who went back after the war to kill him. Powerful story, but the movie also shows you how much that Japanese soldier suffered with guilt after the war because of the things he had done. I've never done anything even remotely as bad as that Japanese soldier did. In comparison, what do I have to feel guilty about? The movie helped me to overcome remorse and guilt. And what about the Apostle Paul? Look at the things he did to people before he was born again. If he can put his past behind him, anyone can.
Paul tortured people in prison, even women, and had them put to death. What do you think that must have done to him at times? Only the breastplate of righteousness can protect our hearts from our pasts. Paul put his past behind him. We all have to put our pasts behind us. That's putting on the breastplate of righteousness. Here's how Paul put it in Corinthians. Here is a man wearing the breastplate of righteousness.
What's next in Ephesians?
This means that our actions, our feet, where we go in life, must track with the word. That takes preparation. No one can learn the word without preparation, it's impossible. I was trained as a TA soldier by the Parachute Regiment. Have you any idea how much I had to prepare both physically and mentally before I was awarded a red beret? It's the same with the word, we have to prepare.
It isn't the absence of sin that floods our lives with the things of God, it is diligently and faithfully hiding the word in our hearts so that eventually we don't sin. That takes preparation, it takes work, it takes commitment, and it takes time. We are to prepare our thoughts until everything we think and do tracks with the word.
The bible does not tell us to be obedient to religious ministries, organisations and churches constructed by men, but that is what they will tell you the bible says to do. They will tell you that their leader gets revelation from God and so following their leader is being obedient to Christ. We bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ by being obedient to the Christ in us. We learn to walk by the spirit with Christ as our head.
A shield is a defence against attack. Warriors of old used shields to deflect arrow, sword, axe, and lance strikes. A shield protects us from weapon strikes that mean to kill us or cause us serious harm. The shield of believing protects us from the fiery darts that come at us from the spirit realm.
The devil has declared war on us and he wants us dead. If he can't kill us, he does everything he can to break our hearts and make our lives as miserable as possible. Those fiery darts are very real. This is no game we are playing. The devil doesn't come to play games.
The last piece of armour we must put on is the helmet.
A helmet protects our head. Salvation is what we received at the time of the new birth. We have eternal life, and nothing in the spiritual realm or in the physical realm can take that away from us. Being fully persuaded of this is having on the helmet of salvation. Even death itself cannot defeat us.
Understanding this protects our heads and because of that protection we can live with no fear of death. We have the victory.
I'm not afraid of death, not in the slightest. Get the helmet of salvation onto your head and you won't be afraid of it either. When Jesus Christ comes back, we will be there.
We absolutely need this armour of God for protection, we need the shield of believing to deflect those fiery darts, and we need the sword of the spirit so we can strike back.
Fighting against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness from on high is something we do, not something God does for us. Armour plating our thoughts is something we do, God doesn't do it for us. He went to a lot of trouble to have the bible written so we could know these things. Clothed with the armour of God, having the shield of believing, and with the sword of the spirit in our grasp, we can soundly defeat every challenge that comes our way.