The Sword of the Spirit (sample)
An excerpt from the iTi Level Two, Session Three course "The Sword of the Spirit." All Scriptures are taken from the King James Version of the Holy Bible. All other material is ©Copyright 1994, Dove Ministries International.
Hebrews 4:12 (KJV) 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.
Ephesians 6:17 (KJV) And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Spiritual battles are like natural battles. Nations do not engage in warfare without being properly armed. Proper armanent consists of the weapons that soldiers can handle in the itme of crisis and pressure that will enable them to be victorious.
God had done the same thing. God has equipped His army with the proper weapons for war, and when used properly, all of His weapons work. We are focusing on the Sword of the Spirit because it is the most important, and the only offensive weapon.
II Corinthians 10:4 (KJV) (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
Last Days believers understand that neither our weapons nor our enemy can be seen in the natural. Both are spiritual, and both are dealt with by faith and in the spirit.
Battles will come every day because we are in the Last Days.
II Timothy 3:1 (KJV) This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
Because we are living in the Last Days, our understanding must be sharpened to be aware of WAR. Most Christians are not walking in the spirit to the degree that they can effectively comprehend the spiritual nature of the forces that are at work in and over their lives. When we become aware, we must use the only means of deliverance and victory.
When the Apostle Paul wrote to the Church at Ephesus and spoke of the "Sword of the Spirit," he was dealing with people who were very well aware of the five types of swords used by the Roman soldiers. As he taught them to use the "Sword of the Spriit" they saw much more than we might see today.
The swords of the Roman soldier were: First, the gladius sword. This was an extremely heavy, broad-shouldered sword (the handguard is also called the "shoulders" of a sword), with a very long blade. Of all of the five swords, the gladius was the most esthetically beautiful, but, because of its weight, it was also the most cumbersome and awkward to use.
The gladius sword was so massive that it was referred to as a two-handed sword. It was so heavy that the soldier had to use all of his strength and both hands to lift it over his head to bring down a fatal blow. This powerful, heavy tool had to be swung with all of the soldier's might. It was sharpened only on one side. The other side of the sword was blunt and dull. After the Roman soldier used this sword in an intense battle it was abandoned(rather than carry it out), and another gladius sword was carried into the next conflict.
The second sword was shorter and narrower. It was approximately seventeen inches long and about two and one-half inches in width. This lighter sword grew quickly in popularity over the gladius sword because it was easier both to carry and to use.
The third sword used by the Roman soldiers was even shorter than the second. It was so short it looked more like a dagger than a sword. This dagger-like sword was carried in a small, hidden scabbard beneath the soldier's coat. It was used to inflict a mortal wound into the heart of an enemy or an aggressor.
The fourth sword used was a long and very slender sword. This sword was primarily used by the infantry, as opposed to the more durable swords that were carried by those on horse back. This long, slender sword was also used in a sport that was similar to modern day fencing. No soldier would have wanted to enter into combat armed only with this sword. This was not the kind of sword that you would use often in battle.
The fifth sword was the type of sword that Paul had in mind when he wrote about spiritual armor in the sixth chapter of the book of Ephesians. The word for "sword" used in this text is taken from the Greek word machaira. This was a brutal weapon of murder and was approximately nineteen inches long and was razor-sharp on both sides of the blade. Because both sides of the sword were sharp, it was much more dangerous than the other swords. The ends of either side of the sword turned upward, causing the point of the blade to be extremely sharp and deadly.
This two-edged blade inflicted a wound far worse than the other swords. Before the Roman soldier withdrew this particular sword from the gut of his enemy, he held his sword very tightly with both hands, gave that sword a wrenching twist inside his enemy's stomach, and withdrew the man's entrails as he pulled the sword from his enemy's body.
Of all of the swords available, this was the most dangerous one. While the other swords were deadly, this one was a terror to the imagination. This sword not only was intended to kill, but to completely rip an enemy's insides to shreds. It was the weapon of muder with vengeance.
The Apostle Paul uses the word machaira to describe the believer's sword. By doing so he declares that God has givben us a weapon that is just as brutal. God has given The Church a weapon that has the potential to rip our foe to shreds.