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Thursday, May 23 2013

The Sword Of Truth

"For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged 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"

The famous "swords into plowshares" prophecy is one of the most well-known verses of the Holy Bible.

"2:2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. 2:3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 2:4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." (Isaiah 2:2-4 KJV)

The verse is so well-known that even political institutions have used it for their agenda e.g. the statue at the United Nations (ironically, they use a quote of the Hebrew Scriptures while spewing a constant hatred toward the Hebrew people). But the world is still a long way from any sort of genuine peace. Consider what the Messiah said about His effect with a particular kind of "sword." Was He talking about something that divides flesh, or was He talking about something that divides people? It's obvious that the answer is the latter: "I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household."

Swords Into Plowshares

"10:32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 10:33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 10:35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 10:36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.

10:37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 10:38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 10:39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

10:40 He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. 10:41 He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward. 10:42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward." (Matthew 10:32-42 KJV)

Notice also that the servants of the Messiah are armed with a "sword" - that divides right from wrong, good from evil.

"13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 13:2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 13:3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 13:4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil." (Romans 13:1-4 KJV)

Further, to explain what that "sword" is that divides people: "the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God."

"6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

6:19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 6:20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak." (Ephesians 6:11-20 KJV)

So, "the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged 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."

The Holy Scriptures

"4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. 4:2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. 4:3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

4:4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. 4:5 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.

4:6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: 4:7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

4:8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. 4:9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. 4:10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. 4:11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged 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. 4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:1-16 KJV)

As he was commanded to record the Book of Revelation, the apostle John was given to see what the Messiah looks and sounds like as He awaits His return, including "out of His mouth went a sharp twoedged sword."

Patmos

"1:12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; 1:13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. 1:14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; 1:15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. 1:16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength." (Revelation 1:12-16 KJV)

The Book of Revelation was actually an epistle (see The Epistles: Revelation), a letter, written to the "seven churches" (see Where Are The Seven Churches Of Revelation Today?) by the Word of God (see the Fact Finder question below). Those who oppose Him will find that He is going to "fight against them with the sword of my mouth." If you happen to be wondering about how much power there can be in the Word of the LORD, consider what He did just with "Let there be light" at the Creation.

"2:12 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges; 2:13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

2:14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. 2:15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. 2:16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth." (Revelation 2:12-16 KJV)

On the day of Christ's return, the Power of Truth will destroy all that opposes it, and "the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth" (see What Happens After The Messiah Returns?).

"19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 19:12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 19:16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

19:17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; 19:18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.

19:19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. 19:21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh." (Revelation 19:11-21 KJV)

Fact Finder: How does "Word of God" refer to the Messiah Himself?
See What Does Word of God Mean To You? and The Kingdom Of The LORD God


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This Day In History, May 23

1498: Girolamo Savonarola, Italian religious and political reformer, was hanged and burned at the stake by the order of Pope Alexander VI.

1533: Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer declared Henry VIII's marriage to Catherine of Aragon void, and his marriage to Anne Boleyn in January legal, a judgment that was condemned by the Vatican.

1568: The Netherlands declared independence from Spain.

Bonnie and Clyde 1568: Dutch rebels under the command of Louis of Nassau (brother of William I of Orange) defeated Jean de Ligne, the Duke of Aremberg and his troops at the Battle of Heiligerlee, beginning the Eighty Years' War.

1618: The Thirty Years War began when, during a Bohemian revolt against the Hapsburg Emperor, three opponents of the Reformation are thrown through a window. The incident became known as the Defenestration of Prague.

1633: Samuel de Champlain was made the first governor of New France (North America).

1701: Scottish pirate William Kidd ("Captain Kidd") was hanged at London's Execution Dock after being convicted of piracy and murder.

1706: The Battle of Ramillies; the British army under John Churchill (of the same family from which future British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was born 2 centuries later), the 1st Duke of Marlborough, defeated a French army under Marshal Villeroi.

1805: In the Cathedral of Milan, French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned King of Italy.

1873: The Canadian North West Mounted Police were established. They formed part of what is known today as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (the "Mounties").

1934: The outlaws "Bonnie and Clyde" (Bonnie Parker, 24 and Clyde Barrow, 25) were killed (shot at least 25 times each) by police in Louisiana. Their crime spree included robberies (gas stations, stores and banks), kidnappings and the murders of numerous people, including police officers.

1939: The U.S. Navy submarine USS Squalus sank off the coast of New Hampshire. 26 sailors were killed; 33 others were rescued.

1945: Heinrich Himmler, the head of the Nazi Gestapo ("Gestapo" was the abbreviation for "The State Police"), committed suicide after being captured by Allied forces.

1960: Fugitive Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann was captured by Israeli agents in Argentina. He was returned to Israel for trial where he was found guilty and hanged. His body was incinerated and the ashes dumped far out into the Mediterranean Sea.

1967: Prior to the Six Day War, Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran and blockaded Eilat at the northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba.

1983: The first heart-lung transplant in Canada was performed, at University Hospital in London, Ontario.

1991: Israel began "Operation Solomon" - a 2 day airlift of 14,400 Ethiopian Jews out of Addis Ababa.

2006: The Alaskan volcano Mount Cleveland erupted.


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