Friday, March 18, 2016

Twoedged Sword - Revelation 1:16

Last week, we left off talking about the sword mentioned in Revelation 1:16 where it says, “And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.” If you study the history of the two edged sword, you will find that it was developed and mastered by the Romans. As a matter of fact, it is credited with the rapid rise of the Roman Empire. 

While Rome had many strengths, it is no doubt that the two edged was one of its greatest. When other nations were still using a single edged sword that could only cut one direction in combat, the Romans had mastered the two edged sword that could cut in both. Therefore, the Roman solder was twice as lethal as their enemy on the battlefield. Their sword definitely gave them a great advantage.

Another interesting note is that the Word of God is compared to a two edged sword as we mentioned last week. As a two edged sword it represents the Word of God.  Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” This verse shows us both the truth and the severity of the Word of God. If it is allowed to cut one way, it can be a surgical scalpel that the Master Physician uses to repair heal, remove, and restore. Ephesians 5:27 speaks of this process when it says, “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.” 

However, the Word of God may also cut another way and be an instrument of judgment. The Bible says that when Jesus returns for the second time in Revelation 19:15 that “…out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” So, the Word of God can be both an instrument of healing and an instrument of judgment. It’s entirely up to us which way it will cut in our lives. Which way is it cutting in your life?

Notice also in this verse that "his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.” I am reminded of Exodus 33:18-22 when Moses asked the Lord if he could see Him. God’s response was, “I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.  And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.” 

Can you imagine the brilliance of God? He told Moses that no man could look upon Him and live to tell about it. John 1:18 says, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” In the end, Moses was only allowed to see God’s “back parts” (Ex 33:23), and yet we’re told in Exodus 34:29-35 that Moses’ skin was so bright after being exposed to God’s “back parts” that the people couldn’t even look at him. We are future told that Moses had to cover his face with a veil so that the people could even be in his presence. Can you imagine what would have happened if Moses had seen God’s face? He probably would have been vaporized!

You know that’s the way it should be. People should know when we’ve been in the presence of God. Acts 4:13 says, “And they realized that they had been with Jesus.” I’ll be honest, some of the nastiest, bitterest, and meanest people I know, claim to be Christians. They look like they’ve been baptized in lemon juice every time I see them! They are always mad about something or someone. If they really are the Christians they claim to be, it’s obvious that they have not been in God’s presence for quite some time. They are not giving off any glow that I can see. How about you? Do people know that you’re a Christian by your glow?    

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