Written on October 16th, 2004 - 2:57AM Last Updated: February 10th, 2005 - 8:53PM
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the spoken word of God; (Ephesians 6:17)
A simple study of the Greek text in Eph. 6:17, God's prophecy in Isaiah, and other imagery used throughout the Bible, will reveal that the HolySpirit is the sword of the Spirit.
The Greek of Ephesians 6:17
According to a rule of Greek grammar, the personal pronoun agrees with its antecedent in number and gender.
In the Greek original of Eph. 6:17:
"...και την μαχαιραν του πνευματος ο εστιν ρημα θεου."
"...and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."
The Greek word, ο ("which"), grammatically agrees with πνευματος ("Spirit") requiring that ρημα θεου ("the word of God") is describing "Spirit" and not "sword."
Paul is telling the Ephesians, and us as well, that the Spirit is the Word of God. Looking more closely at the text, one finds the Greek word translated "word" is ρημα, which carries a more detailed meaning of "spoken word" or "saying." ρημα is primarily used for the breath, a spoken word or saying, or voice (utterance); man lives not on earthly bread, but on spiritual bread—every spoken word which proceeds from the mouth of Father Yahweh (Matthew 4:4), (Matthew 6:11).
The HolySpirit is "the spoken Word of God," or "God's Saying."
To further determine the identity of the sword one must turn again to the Greek language: "the sword of the Spirit" is a genitive construction. Considering the context and construction of the verse, it is most likely a "genitive of apposition."
This same grammar construct is used in John 2. Jesus spoke of "destroying the temple," and in three days he "would raise it up." The Jews were offended at this seemingly impossible feat. The HolySpirit explains further, through John's writing.
But he spoke of the temple of his body. (John 2:21)
It is clearly seen that in this verse that "the temple" and "his body" are one and the same. This is a "genitive of apposition."
In Ephesians 6:17 the same form of grammar is used.
In the same way, it can clearly be seen that "the sword" and "the Spirit" are one and the same. This further identifies the Spirit, now knowing that "which" agrees with "Spirit" and not "sword." God's HolySpirit is His Spoken Word on our behalf, acting as a Sword.
The HolySpirit is the breath of God, the voice of God, the spoken word of God, the saying of God: giving life to the lifeless, delivering a nation, rebuking the devil, and raising the dead! God's Spirit is life, and power. Jesus told us this very thing!
It is the spirit who gives life. The flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and are life. (John 6:63)
The flesh profits nothing. And, as the apostle tells us elsewhere, our warfare is not according to the flesh. It is a spiritual warfare.
For though we walk in the flesh, we don't wage war according to the flesh; for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the throwing down of strongholds, (2 Corinthians 10:3, 4)
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world's rulers of the darkness of this age, and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:11, 12)
Receiving the Sword
The apostle tells us how to receive the sword of the Spirit in his next thought:
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the spoken word of God; with all prayer and requests, praying at all times in the Spirit, and being watchful to this end in all perseverance and requests for all the saints: (Ephesians 6:17, 18)
We receive the sword "by means of all prayer and supplication, praying in every season, in the Spirit."
Praying in the Spirit is defined elsewhere by Paul:
For if I pray in another language, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also. I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. (1 Corinthians 14:14, 15)
Remember, Paul wrote that our warfare was a matter of wrestling against the spiritual forces in high places. Thus we see this lived out, through taking up the sword of the Spirit through prayer in the Spirit.
We are to be steadfastly continuing in the prayer, without ceasing.
Continue steadfastly in prayer, watching therein with thanksgiving; (Colossians 4:2)
Paul entreated the Romans to strive together with him in the prayers that he may be released from bondage in Judea to doing work of the ministry.
Now I beg you, brothers, by our Lord JesusChrist, and by the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in your prayers to God for me, (Romans 15:30)
We also see this teaching of Paul lived out during his days, through a fellow-Christian of the Colossian church, and student of Paul, Epaphras; he struggled in the prayers for the saints so they were able to become united, matured and completed in the will of God.
Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, salutes you, always striving for you in his prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. (Colossians 4:12)
Indeed, prayer in the spirit is a matter of wrestling, struggling, striving and fighting against of the enemy of God and our souls, for the kingdom of God!
Killing fleshly deeds with the Sword
In the same way, we can use this sword to put to death the deeds of the flesh: namely, the sinful desires and thoughts, through prayer in the Spirit. This will cause us to be built up, once sin is put away from us, and we shall unite with other members of the Body of Christ in one!
For if you live after the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. (Romans 8:13)
According to Paul here, we can live above sin through the Spirit! What can do we, through the Spirit, that will "kill" things? Use our Sword, which is the Spirit! How? Pray in the Spirit!
This practice will ultimately bring us closer to the perfect image of Christ, who had no sin, neither in thought nor deed. Through weilding our sword in prayer, we become more and more like Him!
But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord, the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18)
21if indeed you heard him, and were taught in him, even as truth is in Jesus: 22that you put away, as concerning your former way of life, the old man, that grows corrupt after the lusts of deceit; 23and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24and put on the new man, who in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of truth. (Ephesians 4:21-24)
This idea is confirmed at the end of Isaiah's prophecy about Yahweh Himself coming down to fight the battle for us, with the armor previously mentioned — a prophecy made hundreds of years before Paul wrote to the Ephesians.
So shall they fear the name of Yahweh from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun; for he will come as a rushing stream, which the breath of Yahweh drives. As for me, this is my covenant with them, says Yahweh: my Spirit who is on you, and my words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, nor out of the mouth of your seed, nor out of the mouth of your seed's seed, says Yahweh, from henceforth and forever. (Isaiah 59:19, 21)
"His words": applied to the fulfillment of this prophecy, seen in Paul's teachings, they are the words spoken in other languages by the inspiration of the Spirit. Yahweh's Words "will not be removed from our mouths" — we may speak His words whenever we wish (praying in other languages), because "His Spirit is on us" at all times, never to be removed, to do the inspiring of the very words! Praise Him forever!
As you read this site, you will hopefully come to know Yahweh more fully.
But all of this continuing knowledge is useless unless and until you come into union with Him. I use the word union because it is truly a marriage. It is that deep connection we all seek, for which we most often look in other people. However, the truth is that our hearts will only be fulfilled when we enter that union in fullness with the One Who made us.
This is the grace of God, that He has not stayed distant for us only to worship as Creator. But He has come unto us, even become one of us—in His Son, ChristJesus—in order to share an intimate union with us. He desires such closeness that it truly will envelope our entire life, transforming us into something new and wonderful.
You may have already entered this union with Him and only seek to know Him better through reading here. But if you have not, as you do read, let this Gospel sink into your heart as you read it now.
God loves you, and has cast your sins into the sea. He has sent His only Son as the Savior of the world—that includes you.
That Son, JesusChrist, was born as a man through a virgin who had given her life to Yahweh; He lived without sin, reflected the glory of His Father, God, in all His words and deeds, and was persecuted even unto death because of it.
His death upon a cross was the powerful explosion that separated you from your life of death. It remains for you, now, to enter into that death with Him. As you die to the one you are now, a person separated from God from your many sins, you will be born anew, with a nature predisposed to live rightly. This gift is free to you, with nothing you can do to earn it. It is the mercy of God to offer it to you, as He loves you so much! All you must do is receive it by trusting Him to have delivered you. Simply place your life in His hands and embrace the freedom that came through that death on the cross.
The Gospel is that Jesus did not remain dead, but rose again on the third day after His crucifixion! Death could not hold Him, as He was without sin. And so death will not be able to hold you, as you identify with Him fully through your trust in Him. Let go of yourself and confess Him as Lord of your life. The power of His death and resurrection will work in you all that your Creator has destined for you. You will truly enter a new life and experience that intimate union you have been seeking all of your life.
So ponder these words as you read here of this great God—Yahweh—and all that He has revealed to His creation. Let His Spirit testify to your heart that these words are true, that God is Love, and that He sent His Son so that you might receive the life that is unbound by time and space. As you feel that witness in your heart, simply believe and receive what He is offering to you, even now, and begin your new life as a child of God.
Please write to me and let me know when you take this step, as I will be your brother in Christ—we will be one in Him!
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17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the spoken word of God; 18with all prayer and requests, praying at all times in the Spirit, and being watchful to this end in all perseverance and requests for all the saints: (Ephesians 6:17-18)