Ephesians 6:17b-18 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all saints—
In our last study, our focus was on “the sword of the Spirit.” We did not have time to complete the lesson so today we will finish a thought about the “Word of God” and then move into “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.”
In the last lesson, we considered the metaphor of a sword for “the word of God. We saw that 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 joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
We learned that we are to take the sword of the Spirit and use it to first discern our own heart and then to use it to deal with the heart of others that is the heart of their mind were imaginations and arguments against God are fortified by the enemy through the systems of the world. We also learned we can discern every thought and intent of our own heart, by asking, do my thoughts and my intent align with God’s thoughts and intents. How could I know, except by the teaching of God’s Word? Through the discipline of memorizing and meditating on God’s word, His word becomes established in my heart.
We learned of three expressions of scripture or the “word of God. They are: THE WRITTEN WORD OF GOD (RECORDED)
The phrase “the word of the Lord,” i. e., the revealed will of God (very frequent in the OT), is used of a direct revelation given by Christ, in this respect, it is the message from the Lord, delivered with His authority and made effective by His power. Jesus is the Logos!
The personal Word of God. This denotes “that which is spoken, what is uttered in speech or writing”; in the singular, “a word.” The significance of Rhema (as distinct from Logos) is exemplified in the injunction to take “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
LASTLY, WE LEARNED OF THE PROPHETIC SIDE
Revelation 1:16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. In Revelation 19:10 we discover that “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” The word of God is prophetic. God spoke to Adam and Eve that her seed would crush the head of the serpent. There are over 800 scriptures in the Old Testament that speak of Jesus coming and of His kingdom that He would establish here on earth. Prophesy’s that speak of the time of His birth, the place of His birth, being rejected by His people, His death, His burial, and His resurrection. There is prophecy speaking of the coming of the Holy Spirit, the redeemed people of Israel and the adding of the Gentiles and so much more. It is a very large sword that is coming out of His mouth. That sword cuts the captives free, but also brings judgment to those who reject His word.
In Revelation, the sword represents Christ’s word to the seven churches to repent or suffer judgment. That sword honored the faithful believers but warned the unfaithful members of the body. It also represented the judgment soon to happen to Israel and Jerusalem, in fact, judgment on the whole Jewish system. Judgment because they rejected God’s Anointed one who now reigns from heaven. All this was what Jesus spoke in Matthew 24 and was now soon to come to pass.
“Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness, He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His heads were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called the Word of God. And the Armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horse. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
Remember, this is the prophetic side of the “Sword of the Spirit. Do not try to figure this out through “natural means,” such as your natural reasoning or interpretation of scripture. Remember, “It Is The Sword of the Spirit!” It is only the Holy Spirit that can bring true revelation of the “prophetic.”
The world or nations face this same word of judgment today. As God judged the holy nation in the first century and as God has judged the churches down through the ages, as God judged Roman, He is presently pouring out His Spirit on the church and in the world offering salvation to those who will believe. The Lord is also getting ready to judge the world’s system that has rejected His Anointed King.
There were many things John could have said about Jesus, but
the bottom-line was that He would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. Think of it friends, the whole world is going to be baptized by Jesus, either by the Holy Spirit, who will baptize us into Christ or with the fire of judgment, which is the righteous result of the governmental prayers and prophetic decrees of the Lord’s apostles and saints (see Matthew 16:19, Acts 2:16-20, Revelation 8:3-5 and 18:20).
Verse 17 and 18 go together. Part of taking the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God and the next admonition, is praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all saints—
Praying always, “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) In this passage, Paul joins together several admonitions in his encouragement to the Thessalonica believers; rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks, (God’s will), don’t quench the Spirit, don’t despise prophecies, test everything and then hold fast to what is good, abstain from all evil.
Next, Paul joins together prayer and supplication. Although it is a noun, supplication comes from the Latin verb supplicare, which means “to plead humbly.” While a supplication is often thought of as a religious prayer (it is used 60 times in the Bible), it can logically be applied to any situation in which you must entreat someone in power for help or a favor.
Most people regard both as terms describing prayers with no difference between them. Supplication is a form of prayer but considered as kneeling and bending down in which someone makes a humble petition or an entreaty to God. Prayer, however, can be defined as sincere thanksgiving or requests made to God.
Paul is not speaking about formal religious prayer, but a humble petition by the unction of the Holy Spirit that is “Spirit lead prayer.” This can include what Paul describes as praying in the spirit in 1 Corinthians 12:13-14 when he says, “Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret, for if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.”
Prayer also includes being watchful. Watchful means “perseverance and supplication for all saints.” What we see once again in Ephesians is “a lifestyle,” a lifestyle of prayer, a lifestyle of gratitude, and lifestyle of watching and evaluating what is happening through the prisms of the “Word of God.”
One of the most significant changes that take place when we truly become a kingdom man and women is our concern for other saints. No longer is it, me, myself, and I. Nor is it just my household. It is all saints. Practically speaking, all those within my sphere of influence, but also those that are leaders within our city, State, and Nation. Most importantly is praying for the persecuted church. Praying for all those sent out on a mission to the nations. In other words, as Paul said, “all saints.”
Can you see how the armor of God is coming together and how important it is as “Soldiers of the Cross of Jesus?