The Sword of the Spirit
The false claim is that the Sword of the Spirit is swung by the personal Holy Spirit as a person. This is Calvinism deeply feeding the roots of the Restoration Movement. It seems clear, however, from the context that the Sword or Word has been supplied by Christ the Spirit teaching and guiding the apostles into all truth. Rubel Shelly, author of Faith Matters from Woodmont Hills, in In Step with the Spirit, p. 11, and a growing number hint that the Word must be empowered by the personal work of the Holy Spirit separated from full Deity.
This may lead to an increasing demand for more exhilaration in worship services where sermons seem strangely alienated from the Word "as it has been delivered."
The proof text shows that the sword has been prepared by God the Spirit and then given to us to swing:
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 6:10
And (you v. 13) take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Ep.6:17
The Sword is:
machaira (g3162) makh'-ahee-rah; prob. fem. of a presumed der. of 3163; a knife, i.e. dirk; fig. war, judicial punishment: - sword.
mache (g3163) makh'-ay; from 3164; a battle, i.e. (fig.) controversy: - fighting, strive, striving.
Machomai (g3164) makh'-om-ahee; mid. of an appar. prim. verb; to war, i.e. (fig.) to quarrel, dispute: - fight, strive.
If the Holy Spirit is the Warrior, and if the Word is the Truth revealed in the Bible, and if the Holy Spirit uses the Sword then this teaches a direct operation of the Spirit in bringing spiritual life.
As a mark of semi-pentecostialism we should look for the comment that it takes both the Word and the Holy Spirit as a person to convert the world. Or, we should confirm from the Bible what the Holy Spirit is confirming to us directly.
Musical Instruments are Lifeless Instruments or Carnal Weapons
Spiritual warfare has always stood between God's power to speak in order create physical and spiritual life, and the Babylonian attempt to convert through the literal sword and musical "worship teams" controlling the masses. Paul wrote:
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 2Co.10:3
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; 2Co 10:4
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2 Co 10:5
And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? 1Co 14:7
Apuschos (g895) ap'-soo-khos; from 1 (as a neg. particle) and 5590; lifeless, i.e. inanimate (mechanical): - without life.
A carnal, or lifeless musical instrument or weapon is from the Greek words:
Sarkikos (g4559) sar-kee-kos'; from 4561; pertaining to flesh, i.e. (by extens.) bodily, temporal, or (by impl.) animal, unregenerate: - carnal, fleshly.
Hoplon ( g3696) hop'-lon; (to be busy about); an implement or utensil or tool (lit. or fig., espec. offensive for war): - armour, instrument, weapon.
"the watchmen, who patrolled the streets for the repression of common crime, were charged with the additional duty of exorcizing the dreaded powers of the air and of darkness, which went about like roaring lions seeking what they might devour.
To accomplish this object the night watchman wielded spiritual weapons of two different sorts but of equal power; he range a bell, and he chanted a blessing." (Frazer, James George, Folk-Lore in the Old Testament, Macmillian, p. 423, 1923)
The same meaning in Hebrew is conveyed by the word:
Keliy (h3627) kel-ee'; any apparatus as an implement, utensil, dress, vessel or weapon instrument, jewel, psaltery...
And his brethren, Shemaiah, and Azarael, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethaneel, and Judah, Hanani, with the musical instruments of David the man of God, and Ezra the scribe before them. Neh 12:36
"Then to all mankind He calls out, 'Let every spirit praise the Lord,' because He rules over every spirit He has made. In reality, man is an instrument for peace,
but these other things, if anyone concerns himself overmuch with them, become instruments of conflict, for inflaming the passions. The Etruscans, for example, use the trumpet for war; the Arcadians, the horn; the Sicels, the flute; the Cretans, the lyre; the Lacedemonians, the pipe; the Thracians, the bugle; the Egyptians, the drum; and the Arabs, the cymbal. But as for us, we make use of one instrument alone: only the Word of peace by whom we a homage to God,
no longer with ancient harp or trumpet or drum or flute
which those trained for war employ." (Clement of Alexandria, 190AD The instructor, Fathers of the church, p. 130)
This is why Paul equated speaking in tongues to the musical instruments of warfare which do not have life and therefore do not speak clearly:
Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.1 Cor 14:11
The harp of the Barbarians was called the barbatos. Some images have him on a bed like ivory!
In Numbers 10:7 God gave the silver trumpets as instruments or tools to sound or signal an action by the Israelites. It could be used to send "clear" signals in time of War (1Co 14). However,
But when the congregation is to be gathered together, ye shall blow, but ye shall not sound an alarm. Nu10:7 (Alarm means to triumph over the enemy by creating panic music)
Judas Bag for His Musical Instruments
Beyond the scope of this short file is the proof that Judas, who carried the bag (wineskin) prepared "to carry the mouthpieces of wind instruments" would attempt to ruwa Jesus but would totally fail. This is why Jesus called the Jewish clergy "children playing musical games" of fertility rituals. This fulfilled the prophecy that the musical worship teams of the Jews would not panic Jesus into performing miracles or even jumping off tall buildings:
By this I know that thou favourest me, because mine enemy doth not triumph over me. Ps.41:11
When the Jews (and the first century Jews) gathered for instruction they were to assemble and then come before God in silence, awe and due respect. On the other hand, when the tribes went into war to scatter the enemy with a panic noise they concentrated on noise. When they came singing beautiful songs with instrumental music God told Ezekiel that they had no intention of listening to God.
The thing totally outlawed for the assembly, and observed in the synagogues and early churches (with or without instruments), was:
Ruwa (h7321) roo-ah'; a prim. root; to mar (espec. by breaking); fig. to split the ears (with sound, i. e. shout for alarm or joy: - blow an alarm, cry (alarm, aloud, out), destroy, make a joyful noise, smart, shout (for joy), sound an alarm, triumph.
Foolish and unlearned warfare over the Holy Spirit is a "house" built upon a man-made foundation. It is the foundation that the Holy Spirit is a person (meaning a people) separate and derived from the One God and yet co-equal and co-eternal with the Father from whom He was derived as "kinfolks." James used the second word for "sword" and wrote:
But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. 2Ti.2:23
But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. Tit.3:9
FROM whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ja.4:1
Any weapon which attacks the physical being is a carnal weapon or instrument. Science knows that loud speaking, loud singing with or without instruments attacks the flesh and is therefore carnal. On the other hand, spiritual instruments or swords act upon the human spirit. Therefore, the spiritual battle is connected to the Word spoken through the mouth or weapon of the word.
Jesus said that His words were both Spirit and Life. Paul restated the same concept to the Hebrews and called the Word (translate Bible) a Him but this does not mean that the word is a person:
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. Heb.4:12
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. Heb 4:13
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. Heb 4:14
God's mouth is His Double Edged Sword
Peh (h6310) peh; from 6284; the mouth (as the means of blowing), command, two-edged, wish, word. Click here for more details.
His mouth was the double edged instrument by which God created the earth. When the word came out of His "mouth" it was by the spirit or breath. Psa 33:9 says that this means that God spoke and commanded and it stood forth:
By the word of the LORD (Jehovah is I Am not We are) the heavens were made, and all their host by the breath (h7307 spirit) of his mouth (means of blowing wind). Ps.33:6
He gathered the waters of the sea as in a bottle; he put the deeps in storehouses. Psa 33:7
Let all the earth fear the LORD, let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him! Ps 33:8
For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood forth. Ps 33:9
When Jesus promised "another" (more of the same kind) Comforter, He was to guide the apostles into all truth. Then He said: "I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you." Christ in Spirit form returned to guarantee what He had begun in the flesh so that He could personify and "inspirit" His Words which He said are Spirit and Life:
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. 6:63
Words in our spirit do God's will.
No, the Bible is not the person of the Holy Spirit. That is nowhere hinted at. However, the Words of Christ are spirit and life because they are the incarnated Mind or Spirit of Christ.
When God (Father Son Spirit or Lord Jesus Christ) lives with and walks among His temple, it is not through the Spirit as their agent. I again call your attention to the invisible verse spoken by Jesus in the flesh:
Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. Jn 14:17
I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Jn 14:18
If Jesus did not come to live with and reveal His word and live within the human heart then He did leave the apostles "orphanos" and without a Father and therefore broke His promise. He Who walked and lived with them as Father-Son would be in them in Sipirt living within the human spirit. If He sent someone else to be their father then He did not adopt them and He broke His promise.
Christ Indwells His Body the Church
Paul told the Ephesians that the foundation is laid by the apostles and prophets but it is built upon Jesus Christ Himself. The church rests upon Christ. Not only so, but He is the Head of the Church and the Body or the church. The "spirit" or mind dwells fully in the Head. Therefore, the sum total of the church is the spiritual body of Christ. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that the full Deity (Father-Son) lives within our own body in the Spirit realm:
And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; Eph 2:20
In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: Eph 2:21
In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. Eph 2:22
In Jesus Christ the church is builded as a temple for God Who lives as His Spirit (Whole Spirit Being) lives in the hearts and minds of believers. He lives by or through Spirit means and He does not live in us in a representative way by His designated agent the Holy Spirit.
If God cannot inhabit His Own Body except through a junior member of the "god family" then surely we have limited God beyond redemption. Being totally blind we may look at the verse but not be spiritually able to see the context.
The word is personified because the Words of Christ are Spirit and Life. Hebrews speaks of the Living Word activated by the Written words of Christ:
This is the same Word Who created the universe without any one beside Him:
Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. Heb.11:3
The Father and the Word did not create a "holy mess" and have to depend upon the Holy Spirit as a junior member of the god family (re Boles) to clean it up, organize it and make laws to keep it going. Paul said that the Word framed the worlds and this means:
Katartizo (g2675) kat-ar-tid'-zo; from 2596 and a der. of 739; to complete thoroughly, i.e. repair (lit. or fig.) or adjust: - fit, frame, mend, (make) perfect (-ly join together), prepare, restore.
Therefore, what the Word as God began as bara as the original creation out of nothing, He completed as He made, formed, and shaped the fruitful places by "planting and seeing that they could reproduce after their kind."
A similar personification of the word or wisdom shows that pouring out of Spirit is to make known the words of Wisdom--
Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: Pr 1:20
She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, Pr 1:21
How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? Pr 1:22
God created this Wisdom so we know that "she" is not a divine person. Rather, God has always had His "voice, breath or spirit, word, wisdom, intelligence" with Him.
Solomon understood this when he showed how she is poured out as Spirit:
- Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you,
- I will make known my words unto you. Pr 1:23
This is not a charismatic spirit. Nor is it a spirit which enables anyone to compose their own message or song in the belief that their cut-and-spliced biblical tidbit can fill up the "pews disguised as empty seats." We must not ask more than was promised the Branch or Messiah:
And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; Isa 11:2
Consistent with the meaning of Spirit or Mind in both Hebrew and Greek, this is a neuter spirit of the Lord. It is His Mind or mental disposition revealed through Christ, the Apostles and now in written form in the Bible. If it had been otherwise God would have used a word not understood to be the mind or spirit. The words are still hidden partially until we turn from a God made in our own image and turn to Christ.
If the spoken Word of God could create and then form the universe, we dare not ask whether the Word can do anything in a childish attempt to insist upon a special, bodily, literal indwelling in our literal body by the Spirit as a junior member of the God clan working as agent for the retired Father and Son.
Jesus of Nazareth or the Mind of Christ was the Holy Spirit to Paul
When the Spirit spoke directly to the apostles after Jesus Christ returned as He promised in John 14:18, it was the Spirit or the invisible Jesus. When Paul was confronted by the Lord, it was Jesus speaking to Him:
I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, 'Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?' Ac 22:7
And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest. Ac 22:8
Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him. Ac 22:13
Christ promised to return as the Comforting Spirit to guide the apostles into all truth (Jn 14:18). Indeed, it was Christ Who appeared to Paul to do exactly what the Holy Spirit was to do. This was Lord Jesus Christ (full Deity) in Spirit form:
But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of
these things which thou hast seen, and
of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Ac.26:16
When Paul tried to go into Bithynia it was the invisible or Spirit Jesus who prevented him:
Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, Ac 16:6
and when they had come to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them; Ac 16:7NIV, NAS, RSV, LIV
The Sword of the Spirit is the Words of Spirit and Life spoken by Jesus, confirmed by the Apostles, validated by supernatural signs and written in a book. If we have power to change the world with our book or sermon never question God's ability to do the same thing if we handle it with integrity and honesty. It is about time we give it a try.
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