Brief Notes

A
“Double-Edged
Sword,” Until….

29 April 2024

The sword of the Lord
must first do its work upon
His believers, but then
it will be turned against
the world as a whole

The word of God is living and energized and sharper than any double-edged sword, and piercing even unto the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart.
— Hebrews 4:12

In the verse above the Lord’s word is likened to a “double-edged sword,” because it must first cut us before it can cut others; if we do not allow the Lord to deal with us through His word, how can we expect to have power in our preaching to others?

This relates to our own personal dealings with the Lord. In a larger sense, we see this principle of the “double-edged sword,” that is, of Lord dealing first with His own people and then with the world, carried out in the book of Revelation.

In the vision of Christ at the beginning of that book, John tells us the Lord had a “sharp, double-edged sword coming out of His mouth” (Rev. 1:16). Then, in chapters 2-3, the Lord deals first with the seven churches, which prophetically represent the entire church in the seven stages of its history before He returns. (As an example of this, see the most recent edition of my podcast, “The Seven Churches (4): Thyatira, the Apostate, Pagan, Roman Catholic Church.”) And He specifically identifies Himself to the church in Pergamos as the one with “the sharp, double-edged sword,” and warns her that He may need to make war with some there by means of that sword (2:12, 16).

At the end of Revelation, however, when the Lord is descending to make war against the Antichrist and deal with the rebellious nations, the sword coming out of His mouth is spoken of in a different way:

And from His mouth
Comes forth a sharp sword,
That with it He might
Strike the nations;
And He will shepherd them
With a rod of iron.
And He treads the winepress
Of the wine
Of the fury of the wrath
Of God the Almighty.
— Revelation 19:15

At this point, all the Lord’s dealings with the church in this age have been completed, and so His judgment now turns to the world; thus, the sword here is no longer “double-edged,” but is only referred to as “sharp sword,” which will be used to “strike the nations.”

Today, in a very real sense, those of us who follow the Lord are under His judgment, which is the discipline of the “double-edged sword”; this is to prepare us to meet Him (cf. Heb. 12:6). How we need to allow the Lord to deal with us, to really submit to the cross He gives us, to put to death so many negative things in our being, and all that is not of Him! Only in this way can we truly bear His testimony to the fallen world in this present evil age, and only in this way can we be prepared to reign with the Lord at His return.

But the day is coming when the time for our judgment will be past. (That is, as far as this age is concerned; we will still need to stand before the judgment seat of Christ; 2 Corinthians 5:10.) Then the Lord will finally descend from heaven to deal with all who have rebelled against Him, by turning His sword against them, and after that He will establish His kingdom upon the earth.

May that day come soon!

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