CROSSING SWORDS, EPHESIANS 5:17, ENJOY GOD 57

CROSSING SWORDS

PREPERATION & PROCLAMATION

 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 5:17)

Let me begin by saying that FloodGate isn’t a church or a club you join, FloodGate is something that you find out you are. There is something really cool about the movements of holy Spirit as He draws people to Jesus. As more prodigals return and pockets of revival spread throughout the house of God, the fire of revival reaches a flash point. A revived and healthy church will have four characteristics: house, hospital, school and an army. Here is something we all need to know and to walk in, experiencing the fullness and flow of Holy Spirit is the only guarantee of spiritual power for that army aspect, And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 5:17).  The difference between power and authority is like you are at a green light but you are out of gas, you have the authority but not the power.

No word of God is void of power. When God speaks something, all that’s necessary to fulfill it is present in the Word, For the word (Rhema) of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). A good Old Testament example of this is Creation. When God said, Let there be light, He didn’t flex His creative muscle to bring light about; the light came because the words were spoken for it to become.

We employ different weapons that have “divine power to demolish strongholds,” and we fight our battles on a different kind of battlefield.  Scripture will never mislead us, never lead us off course. It is entirely dependable and completely unfailing.  This is why we are to be students of the Word, as it helps to be correct when we speak the word to others as teachers and as prophetic voices.  The Word gives us the basis for ours words from God, which combine to be the sword of the Spirit that fights against false doctrine and false beliefs when it is correctly released. We have a sword, it is the spoken word of God. Paul and the author of Hebrews both agree with its dangerous potential.

SPIRIT/SWORD

The sword (machaira) was the typical Roman short sword, about 12-14 inches in length, with a pinpoint end, that cut slice and dice in any direction. The unique thing about Paul’s referral to the sword is that it is the first part of weaponry that wasn’t used exclusively for the purpose of defense. If we do not have it in our possession, we are devoid of an ability to drive away the devil, or to keep darkness from wounding us.  The only thing that does this is the word.

Paul isn’t using the same word as in John 1:1 (The Logos).  This isn’t a direct reference to Jesus Christ as person.  Instead it addresses what Jesus spoke or still speaks through us (Rhema).  Rhema usually only refers to the spoken word, but the two words are used interchangeably. Our Word/words are supposed to be used and activated as we, proclaim the word like Jesus did (Revelation 12); pray the word (Ephesians 6:18-19; Acts 6:4; John 15:7); and praise with the word.

The POWER OF THE WORD BRINGS SALVATION (SOTERIOS)

When Peter stood and spoke in Acts 2, we have the record of 22 verses in his message, and 11 of them (50 percent) were Scriptures! His message underscores how Holy Spirit wants to take the Word of God as a sword and pierce the hearts (as Phillip did with the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:30–35). The Spirit anointed Peter’s message, and those listening were “cut to the heart” (2:37). Great leaders of the church have always been conservators and purveyors of God’s Word.  Holy Spirit is moving upon people today just waiting for someone to speak the Word like at Cornelius’s house, While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message (Acts 10:44). That’s why we are to read to obey. If we only learn about God but never act on what he says and who he is, we risk coming under Jesus’ judgment of the Pharisees.

Prophetic proclamation means we must speak the truth as we communicate the Gospel, which is the most important message mankind has ever had the privilege to hear and connect with. The implications are relevant, the lost need to both see and hear the truth, proclamation and righteousness enacted. This is where lifestyle, signs and wonders, and message based ministry all collide into a wonderful, messy joy-filled explosion. We do this through witnessing to our friends, participating in outreaches, and by going (sending or serving on the mission field).

We have our path in life (feet) protected by the preparation and  proclamation of the Gospel’s message, and our feet have been bound to the path of righteousness. This simply means that we should always live our lives as a living testimony that makes Jesus known through us, so that others can see their need for Him. Some have said we are to live our live our lives in such a way that we preach at all times, with words if necessary. There is an element of truth in this statement by St. Francis of Assisi, however it misses an important Scriptural dynamic, living words need to be heard and seen.

There is a battle raging for the hearts and minds of men & women, and satan knows that if we believe his lies we will fail to love and serve God. Satan has three devices to keep you from the truth of the Scriptures:

  • Ignorance Jesus replied, You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God (Matt. 22:29) the enemy tries to hide the truth with a veil of ignorance, (2 Cor. 3:14). God counters ignorance with knowledge diffusers (major calling for you and me), Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place (2 Corinthians 2:14).

Speculations/arguments Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly… Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels (2 Timothy 2:16, 23). The enemy loves to get us involved in endless arguments and theories that have no scriptural backing or scriptural validity. Strongholds are “arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God.”

 Traditions having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them… Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that (2 Tim. 3:5; Mark 7:13). The enemy uses traditions of men to rob faith of its powerful force, to invalidate the spiritual “contract” we have with God (naturally supernatural). We need discernment to avoid being captivated by deceptive philosophy that is based on worldly traditions and elementary spirits.

 Religion is “awe at the divine.” Bells, beads, candles, buildings, robes, rocks, and music, however, can’t substitute for a personal relationship and commitment to Jesus Himself. Religion denies the power of the Word to change people. Instead, it captures people through forms, guilt, events, sacred places, and rituals.  Pharaoh was religious and had his court magicians who could do magic, but they didn’t have the true Word. Witches, sorcerers, and palm readers are all religious, but “if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:19–20 KJV). God’ people who aren’t advocating Spirit submission are described as having a form of godliness but denying its power. Paul warns to Have nothing to do with them (2 Timothy 3:5).

STREAMS OF THE SPIRIT

An Old Testament example is seen in the flood of Noah (Isaiah 59:19). The flood came from the breaking up of fountains of the deep and rain from the sky.  Jesus told us that one of the last days’ manifestation of Holy Spirit would be a new fountain of the deep flowing that would be greater than Noah’s fountains of the deep, as this new fountain is from the inner beings of believers, where a well will be broken open and a new surge of Holy Spirit will manifest that will change the face of the spiritual topography of society, On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified (John 7:37-39).

Holy Spirit empowers for purpose, not just an experience. The new wine of the Spirit is not simply about a feeling, but a boldness to demonstrate and communicate the Gospel as a sign and wonder carrier or battleship. Holy Spirit has come to give believers fire on their heads and the water of the Word in their mouths and the wine of refreshing flowing from our hearts. The new wine is the Word of God, and you are the new wineskin. God wants to transform your old, fearful, timid personality into one that is powerful, flexible, and fearless.

If Holy Spirit makes a Word of God come alive to you, a major kingdom key is recognizing that the Word has the power to bring about the fulfillment of what has been prophetically activated.  The Word as Scripture and as a word rightly spoken, has seed waiting to spring to life.  This is how we cross swords.  When you receive the Word of God that’s taught and desire to see it worked into you; or to see that promise fulfilled in your own circumstances, it is not your burden to make it happen.  Your part is to build the platform for it to be showcased, as power is in the Word. Our responsibility is to stand in faith before the Lord and to hold onto His Word. To be authentic all “words” must be in accordance with the written word; (Bible), and all must glorify the living Word; Jesus. Jesus is the truth, the living Word of God; He is light and there is no darkness in him (1 John 1:5).

Knowing the Word (Logos and Rhema) is of primary importance. The Word is sharp and strong, it can separate bone from the marrow that is contained within the structural substance of bone, for the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). A living Word is important, as it is a living (Spirit/breathed) revelation. Words give us the means of living the victorious life in an ongoing way, providing us with marching orders, at times.

Part of this element of victory as an expansive means of conducting our life in the midst of war happens as we cover our mind and its ability to deliberate about salvations (soterios, not sodzo) importance (Helmet). This is why we need to know what we know and speak what we know. This is why it is important to attend a church where you are challenged to go deep in the Word, and not just skim it in a superficial or casual way. When we are assured of our belief system, we have assurance that we win and that we are capable of enforcing the mandates of the Kingdom as people who have been deputized.

CONCLUSION

We are to never neglect the Word, as inactivity is a very precarious proposal when it comes to God’s revelation. Also, be careful to keep within the lines of Scripture’s revelation. In other words: don’t make it say what it doesn’t. Scripture should never be stretched or distorted.  Nor should Scripture be diminished through changing its relevance to impact the ‘here and now.’ God is the same yesterday, today and forever. So is His Word! Its application doesn’t change dispensationally.

If change is to take place in our world, it is not going to be accomplished by economic calculations, military advances, diplomatic wisdom or political recourse; not even by ecclesiastical activity, but by the power of the Spirit, So he answered and said to me: This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts (Zechariah 4:6).

 

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