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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

The Sword of the Spirit

By Ken Horn
Mar. 25, 2012

“Devil” was brought down by the sword of the Spirit.

Devil was the name fearful neighbors gave Armen in his hometown in Armenia. He was a barrel-chested bull of a man, dark and imposing, with a past laced with ghastly deeds. A drug addict, his life had been filled with pot, alcohol and crime. He struck fear into anyone unfortunate enough to cross his path.

But he was on a collision course with a power far greater than his own.

We will come back to Armen’s story, but first, let’s take a look at the weapon that felled him — the sword of the Spirit.

The sword of the Spirit is the final piece of armor mentioned by the apostle Paul in his classic description of “the whole armor of God” given to the Ephesian believers (Ephesians 6:11-17, NKJV). And it is the only offensive weapon listed!

Hebrews 4:12 adds, “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.”

A.W. Tozer said, “God did not write a book and send it by messenger to be read at a distance by unaided minds. He spoke a Book and lives in His spoken words, constantly speaking His words and causing the power of them to persist across the years.”

How powerful is it?

More powerful than the most fearsome sinner. The Bible spoke to Armen, the former “Devil” in his village in Armenia.

“I had a wife and two kids,” he told me. “I was their worst nightmare. I was never sober. I enjoyed beating people.”

One night he beat his wife severely and threatened to kill her. She ran away, never to return. In a drug-induced stupor, he disdainfully picked up a Bible, intending to mock the words inside. But, instead, God broke through the haze. Armen felt a sudden desperation and quickly sought out the only Christian he knew. With that Christian’s help, Armen gave his life to the Lord.

Today there is no vestige left of the old villain. The new, mild-mannered Armen is an assistant pastor and the planter of a number of churches.

More powerful than the grip of despair. Buck Knives has a long history of crafting some of the world’s best knives … and presenting the gospel. Charles Buck, third-generation chairman of the company, began including the words of John 3:16 and a message about God with each of the millions of knives Buck sends out.

“I got a letter from a lady who was going to commit suicide,” he related in an interview with the Pentecostal Evangel. “She went to the hardware store to buy a pocketknife to cut her wrists with, and she was attracted to one of our knives. She took it home and read the message.”

The lady gave her life to Christ. “Don’t ever quit putting that message in,” she wrote to Buck.

More powerful than man’s attempts to restrict it. In the 1980s, the Soviet Union did its best to keep Bibles out of the Eastern Bloc. Government officials feared its power to undermine their enforced atheistic philosophy.

My wife, Peggy, and I had the privilege of going into Iron Curtain countries, delivering Bibles to people who had never had them. When we handed God’s Word to a person who had never even held a Bible, the effect was consistent — there were tears and joy. Our tears always mingled with those of the recipients.

We met with groups of believers who had been sustained spiritually by small Scripture portions or handwritten Bibles. We saw Bibles that were made up of faint carbon copies of typed or handwritten versions, coarsely bound together. A friend of ours in this ministry even encountered an entire small village that was serving God; they had only one page of the Bible.

When the Soviet Union crumbled and the Iron Curtain fell, Bibles began to flow freely into many of those countries. What rejoicing that brought.

Such is the power of God’s Word, the sword of the Spirit!

Adapted from Theology in a Nutshell: Biblical Truths in Plain Language by Ken Horn (Springfield, Mo.: Onward Books, Inc., 2008). Used with permission.

Illustration by Ron DiCianni.

KEN HORN is editor of the Pentecostal Evangel.

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