Psalm 45:3 Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty.

Isaiah 30:30 And the LORD shall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and shall shew the lighting down of his arm, with the indignation of his anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones.

31 For through the voice of the LORD shall the Assyrian be beaten down, which smote with a rod. (Also Isaiah 66:16).

Ezekiel 12:25 For I am the LORD: I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall come to pass; it shall be no more prolonged: for in your days, O rebellious house, will I say the word, and will perform it, saith the Lord GOD.

Joel 2:11 And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

MEMORY VERSE: And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. —Ephesians 6:17

CENTRAL THOUGHT: God’s word—His voice, His command, His law, His gospel—is the powerful weapon the Holy Spirit uses to execute His judgments; to discern the heart’s thoughts and intents, to perform and accomplish His will and to smite and have dominion over the nations of men who oppose Him. We are commanded to take it and through the Holy Spirit use it against the adversary.


Isaiah 30:30 “Lighting down”: a phrase “taken from the gesture of a man who is about to smite another, who first lifts up his hand, and then lets it fall with great force upon him whom he designs to strike” (Matthew Poole’s Commentary).

Hebrews 4:12 “Quick”: living; with vital power; active; not lifeless or dead. “Powerful”: at work; full of energy; energized; effective; mighty in operation. “Piercing”: penetrating; coming through, so as to divide. “Soul”: the sphere of that life which makes a man carnal, or unspiritual; he possesses this element of life (anima) in common with the beasts (Cambridge Bible For Schools and Colleges; Barnes’ Notes on the Bible). “Spirit”: the immaterial and immortal part. “Joints and marrow”: figurative of the innermost recesses of our spiritual being. “Discerner of the thoughts”: capable of judging the purposes, mind and feelings. “Intents”: the intellect. “It discovers the most inward, close, secret, and constant motions, both speculative and practical, of the soul of man inseparably united to the heart; and one with another, whether they are opinions, conceptions, resolutions, or decrees, so subtile and so secret, as who can know them, but he who made the heart?” (Matthew Poole’s Commentary). “Is a critic of the propensities and suggestions of the heart” (Clarke’s Commentary).

Hebrews 4:13 “Manifest”: to become clear; to bring to light. “Naked and opened”: uncovered and laid bare. “With whom we have to do”: to whom we must give an account.


Today’s lesson takes us again to the inspiring scene of Christ, the mighty warrior, going forth conquering and accomplishing redemption and salvation. It is a familiar Old Testament picture. David paints the scene in Psalm 45, and speaks of Christ girding on his sword. Isaiah writes of it in chapters 30, 49, and 66. In the prophetic announcement in Isaiah 49, the Messiah proclaims “He hath made my mouth like a sharp sword.” We have also mentioned passages describing the power of the voice or word of the Lord from Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Joel. When we combine these descriptions with the New Testament vision in Revelation, of Christ with the sharp, two-edged sword coming out of His mouth, and that “with it he should smite the nations” (Revelation 1:16; 2:12 and 16; 19:15), we rejoice with the truth of Him leading His army with the shout of triumph and His powerful Word.

The passage from Hebrews speaks of the power of God’s word to penetrate the innermost recesses of the heart, and to discern the thoughts and intents there. In the heart is where the real battle takes place; here is where He smites and rules the nations (Revelation 19:15); and as Isaiah 42:3 says, here is where He brings forth judgment unto truth (victory in Matthew 12:20).

—Angela Gellenbeck


  1. The sword is the ___________ of ___________.
  2. The Word is ___________ and ______________.
  3. The Word is ______________ than any ___________  ________.
  4. The sword is administered by the ________ __________.
  5. The Word penetrates __________ and _____________, ___________ and ____________,

and is a discerner of the ___________ and __________ of the heart.


The entertainment world offers the thrill of imaginary “superheroes” who defend and rescue the helpless and blow up buildings and capture villains. But there has never been a superhero like Christ, with eyes gleaming fire and a two-edged sword coming from His mouth. The sword is His living, powerful gospel sent forth to the nations, executing judgment upon sin, discerning the hidden evils of every heart, and righteously making war against unclean spirits, false religion, and every stronghold of the enemy in the hearts of mankind.

The admonition of this lesson is: YOU take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God! But what does that mean? As we have learned, the battle wages inside the heart. We need the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts, so that He may apply the sword of God’s Word to every impression, idea, emotion, temptation, intellectual notion, philosophy, or doctrine we may imagine or encounter. Jesus said the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth. He will help us know how to pray. He will give gifts of discernment.

We also need to know how to rightly divide the Word of truth as we administer the gospel sword to the world around us. In this passage it is described as a surgical tool. When we’re dealing with something as valuable and delicate as a human soul, we need to use utmost care and precision.

In other applications it serves as a machete chopping down the forest, clearing the way for progress. It valiantly engages the heart’s enemies, as described by John Bunyan in the scene in Pilgrim’s Progress where Valiant-for-Truth fought his enemy : “I fought till my sword did cleave to my hand; and when they were joined together, as if a sword grew out of my arm, and when the blood ran through my fingers, then I fought with most courage.”

God, give us courage to take Your mighty sword, and give us wisdom to know how to use it!

—Angela Gellenbeck


by Audrey Whittaker, TX

I remember a time when I was dealing with a spirit of infirmity. It had its grip upon me to the point where I was not sleeping well, I was barely eating, and it was robbing me of my peace. I remembered praying and praying but only getting temporary relief.

One Wednesday night, while at prayer service, a sister requested me to sing “On the Winning Side with Jesus.” A verse of the song says, “The battle may be long and hard to win, and satan’s host may press me sore; but though I may be tried, I’m on the winning side, I shall triumph ever more.” I sang that song for her, not knowing it was what I needed to hear.

That song gave me strength and courage. The next time the spirit of infirmity came against me, I applied the Word of God, and immediately I was set free. The sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, broke the power that the spirit of infirmity had over me.