The Armor of God – Sword of the Spirit

M16 bayonet 2

William Wallace: And if this is your army, why does it go?

Veteran: We didn’t come here to fight for them!

Young Soldier: Home! The English are too many!

William Wallace: Sons of Scotland! I am William Wallace.

Young Soldier: William Wallace is seven feet tall!

William Wallace: Yes, I’ve heard. Kills men by the hundreds. And if HE were here, he’d consume the English with fireballs from his eyes, and bolts of lightning from his arse.

William Wallace: I *am* William Wallace! And I see a whole army of my countrymen, here in defiance of tyranny. You’ve come to fight as free men… and free men you are. What will you do with that freedom? Will you fight?

Veteran: Fight? Against that? No! We will run. And we will live.

William Wallace: Aye, fight and you may die. Run, and you’ll live… at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin’ to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take… OUR FREEDOM!

The sword William Wallace had was a Claymore broadsword, about 44 inches in length, and with it he led the Scottish to win the war against England. The sword used to describe the sword of the Spirit is less than half that length but is far more deadly.

. . . and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:17)

There were five different swords the Roman soldiers used in their confrontations with enemy forces.

  • The sword Paul referenced in this verse was approximately 19 inches long. Both sides of the sword’s blade were razor sharp, and the tip of the blade turned up, making it the most dangerous sword in the Romans inventory.
  • When this sword was used the Roman soldier would give it a wrenching twist inside the enemy before removing it.
  • It was a weapon of murder! And that is how brutal our weapon is against our enemy.

The word of God is referenced throughout the New Testament, as a two-edged sword.

For the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Heb. 4:12)

In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength. (Rev. 1:16)

And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: The One who has the sharp two-edged sword says this: (Rev. 2:12)

The phrase “two-edged” is taken from the Greek word distomos, which literally means two-mouthed. Why does the original Greek text actually say that the word of God is a “two-mouthed sword”?

  • First, the powerful word of God passed through the mouth of God, giving it one sharp edge.
  • Second, this same powerful word rises up from our spirit; it invades our understanding, and then proceeds out of our mouth. As it comes out of our mouth, a second sharp edge is added to that sword, making it a lethal weapon to wield against the enemy.

When we take the word of God into our lives and allow it to do its work in us that word acts like a divine blade slicing right to the heart of the matter.

  • It does what no spouse, friend, pastor, teacher, psychologist, or psychiatrist could ever do. It correctly discerns the thoughts, and intents, of our heart.
  • Once that Word is in our heart, and our mind and emotions have been changed by its power, we are in the position to speak the Word of God from deep within us.
  • It is as though God is speaking directly to and through us.

It is good to meditate on the word of God and we should, as much as possible – that is how our mind is renewed, but . . .

  • If that is all we do, we would only have a single-edged sword. Because the word has only passed from the mouth of God into our hearts, it is like a blade sharpened only on one edge.
  • It will never release its full power until it comes out of our mouth, adding that second fatal edge to the sword.

In most of the New Testament, the word used for the word of God is logos. But, in this verse, the word used is rhema.

  • Rhema is a quickened and very specific word or message supernaturally given to us by the Holy Spirit to do hand-to-hand combat against the lies and deception of the enemy.
  • Rhema is given to our hearts and minds at a specific time and for a specific purpose. When the Holy Spirit gives us such a word we know we heard from the Lord.
  • The difference between logos and rhema is like the difference between a stockpile of weapons and, a sword in a highly skilled hand. One is a complete arsenal; the other is what is in the hand of a trained soldier.

Here are examples of God’s word being given supernaturally:

  • Noah received a word from God that saved him and his family from destruction (Gen. 6:13 – 7:4).
  • Abraham received a word from God and started his walk of faith (Gen. 12:1-3).
  • Joseph received a word from God in his dreams that revealed his future (Gen. 37-6-9).
  • Moses received a word from God from a burning bush to lead Israel out of captivity (Exod. 3 and 4).
  • Mary received a word from God from Gabriel that she would give birth to Jesus (Luke 1:28, 30-33, 35-37).

These were specific words, given at a specific time, for a specific purpose and because they were received and acted upon, God changed the history of mankind.

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Mat. 4:1-4)

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.  (Mat. 4:8-11)

When Jesus was in the wilderness and was up against the enemy he responded with “it is written”, the Greek word used here is rhema. Jesus knew the written word, and its discerning power was continually at work in Him. This is the key that kept Him on course, when dealing with the devils temptations.

We will also be tested in our wilderness:

  • When we begin to take new territory for the Kingdom of God, the devil will try to stop us.
  • As soon as we begin to grow in our knowledge of God’s Word, and make spiritual progress, Satan will do everything he can to stop us.

The devil may try to use lies, accusations, and allegations against us, but when the word of God is working in our spirit, and mind, it will give us the very words, and direction, we need to overcome the devil’s attacks at that precise moment.

Some believers just sit back and let the devil continue to taunt them. They forget about the defensive and offensive weapons we have to destroy every strategy the enemy throws at us.

We must refuse to allow the devil to beat us down in defeat any longer. Instead allow the Holy Spirit to wield powerful faith-filled words through our mouth. Satan will then be the one to flee in defeat as we keep walking victoriously in the light of God’s Word.


Lord, I know that Your Spirit has the very answer I need for any situation I may confront in life. When He speaks to my heart, it places a razor-sharp sword in my hands that I can use against my spiritual enemies. Help me keep a sensitive ear to the Holy Spirit so I can recognize those moments when He is trying to give me a rhema that will put the devil on the run! I pray this in Jesus’ name!

I confess that I can hear the Holy Spirit’s voice when He drops a word into my heart at the exact moment I need it. Those quickened words impart special power and authority to me. They are so powerful that it is as if a sword has been placed in my hands! When I receive that kind of word from the Lord, I insert it, twist it, and do as much damage as possible to the devil until he’s sorry he ever messed with me! I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

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With My Whole Heart

Spiritual Warfare

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