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Sharper Than A Two-Edged Sword—The Book of Revelation
Week 13, 2016
Last week we studied Revelation 1:12-16, the description John gave of one of the most spectacular visions of the Lord that a man was given to see. Jesus stood in the midst of the seven lampstands that verse 20 says are the seven churches. Here we will focus on the last part:
and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.
The sword coming out of the Lord’s mouth is His word. As Hebrews 4:12 tells us:
“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit,
both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
No power on earth is like the word of God. When He spoke, creation came forth. When He speaks to us, His new creation comes forth in us.
His word not only exposes, but it separates, divides, and judges. His word goes deeper into our hearts than we can go ourselves. To be delivered from the root of sin and death of the fallen nature we were born with, this is necessary. His word does surgery on the depths of our thoughts and intentions. Have you learned to love His word this way? It hurts, but it hurts good. Such is the nature of the true word of God that comes forth from Christ in the midst of His churches.
Where is His word found like this today? Where is the preaching that cuts deeply, exposing our deepest sin and then leads us to the only remedy—the cross. Is it rare? It is rare and the reason why many claiming to follow Christ and become the spotless bride that He deserves are more married to the spirit of the world than to Him.
As we will see later, a counterfeit church exists—a harlot that marries the spirit of the world and persecutes the true church. However, God allows this and uses it to bring forth the pure bride that He seeks. The false church feeds the lusts of the flesh, and being part of the true church can be painful. Yet true disciples endure the pain of His word so that they can partake of His nature.
Although painful at times, His word is the source of the greatest love, peace, joy, and freedom that we can know in this life. Again, it hurts good. His word brings us to the greatest humility through seeing the depths of our corruption. Yet His word also heals us and restores His nature in us.
When did you last hear a message about sin? Or one that laid you open, exposing the depth of corruption in your heart? It may have been the last time you visited a true church, one with the Lord in their midst. The word of the Lord is not only about exposing sin, but it is about that too. When there is none of this, we will not find “the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord” (see Hebrews 12:14). As 2 Timothy 4:1-4 warns us:
I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus,
who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:
preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled,
they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,
and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.
Much of the church today will only hear messages that make them feel good, resulting in some bizarre and unbiblical doctrines. Some even teach that judgment is not part of the New Covenant. A large part of the New Testament has to be avoided to embrace such foolishness, but this has been done. You can find a lot of entertainment, excitement, and constant encouragement in those churches, but you will not find the Lord.
Many parts of the New Testament you will not hear in many churches today. Here is just one that should get our attention:
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh;
for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.
But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.
Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality,
idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,
envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you,
that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:16-21).
If we seek only bliss and self-gratification now, we are in danger of having pain for eternity. If we will embrace the necessary pain of correction today we will have the greatest joy for eternity.
next week 14