Thank you for sharing, Brother Ed. There is a blessing when we share, when we testify, when we declare things, when we open up our mouth, it is a blessing. I think it is in line with today’s message. Let’s pray.
Father, first of all, we lift up our brother Ed to you. We loose the healing of heaven upon him. We plead your blood Lord Jesus because by Your wounds we are healed. We plead it over his body, soul, spirit, mind, will and emotions.
We pray that you cover, cleanse and sanctify him. We pray if there’s any herniated disc that you would realign it now in Jesus Name. We pray for all the pain to cease. We thank you Lord that you’re teaching us to use our mouths as weapons of warfare. So thank you Lord. We pray that you would speak now the message you have for us. In Jesus Name, Amen
Let me read from Hebrews Hebrews 4 verse 12.
12 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.
It also says in Proverbs 18:21 that death and life are in the power of the tongue. And so as I stated at the outset, there is a blessing when you speak life. Or conversely, if you speak death, it has an effect on us.
And the word of God, it’s interesting that it’s a “sword,” but the actual word is a dagger. And so dagger implies close hand to hand battle. It is not a drone and firing a missile from far away from the comfort of a headquarters, but it is a hand to hand combat.
And did you ever wonder why it’s a two-edged sword? In the context here in Hebrews 4, it describes a surgeon. And Jesus is a surgeon. He’s a Great Physician. One edge is like a scalpel. And He is taking out very precisely a sin that is in us, a cancer-like growth that is in us.
And He is trying His best not to injure us or hurt us. He just wants to remove the sin. And so that’s one edge of the sword. It is a dagger and one edge is a sword with scalpel-like precision to remove sin in order to heal us.
Also, if you read Ephesians 6, there’s the other edge of the sword that we begin to see. Ephesians 6 verse 11, put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil, for we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all to stand.
And verse 17, and take the helmet of salvation and it’s the same sword, the dagger of the spirit, which is the word of God. And this “word” is rhema. It is the spoken word of God.
And so that’s why I say it is a blessing for you, it’s a blessing for all of us when you proclaim God’s truth, when you testify, when you give thanks with your mouth, you’re wielding the sword. It’s the only offensive weapon.
And so the battle is not against a person, it’s not against a President, it’s not against a faction or group. The battle is against the devil and against his principalities, against his powers, against his rulers, and spiritual hosts of wickedness in this age, in the heavenly places. So that’s the spiritual battle that we’re engaged in. And we wield this dagger, this sword of the Spirit by speaking the word of God.
And so if one edge is Jesus as our Great Physician with scalpel-like precision taking out sin, the other edge is the sword that destroying the works of the devil, as it says in 1 John chapter 3. And this sword is a sword of judgment, a sword that destroys.
And so that’s why I think it mentions two edges. The other place, interestingly, where it mentions two edges is Revelation chapter 1, chapter 2. It describes Jesus with a sword coming out of His mouth, and this sword has two edges. And we know that in the book of Revelation, this is Jesus coming to destroy Satan and the works of the devil and to judge the world.
So how do we wield these two swords? The first sword is a sword that saves us, a sword that heals us, and we wield it by confession. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and so we wield the first sword through confession.
And so today I want to talk about the power of confession and the power of declaration. The power of confession, it says in Romans chapter 10, verse 16, but they have not obeyed the gospel, for Isaiah says, Lord who has believed our report, so then faith comes by hearing verse 17, and hearing by the “word” which is the rhema of God.
Can you raise your hand if Jesus saved you by the preaching of God’s word in a public setting? Raise your hand if that’s your testimony. For the rest of you, did Jesus meet you when you were by yourself in your room reading the Bible? Raise your hand. So nobody. It can happen, but I think for the vast majority of us, it is through the preaching of God’s word when you heard the spoken word as it was preached. Faith comes from hearing.
So the Bible should never become an academic exercise. We’re not at a lecture. The fact that you’re hearing something, faith comes from hearing. That’s where faith is birthed. And so I think it’s most people’s salvation testimony. You were in a church setting. You were in some kind of a public setting. Somebody preached the word of God. You heard it.
Faith comes from hearing. And through hearing the word, faith was given, it was birthed in you. Faith is a gift. It was birthed in your heart in that moment of the public preaching of God’s word when you heard the rhema of God.
And so when you do your personal Bible reading, I hope it’s not silent. I hope it’s not quiet. Even when we close our service, I’m hoping at some point it becomes louder. Because we are declaring things. We’re confessing things.
And it goes on to say in Romans 10, verse 8, The word [rhema] is near you in your mouth and in your heart. That is the word [rhema] of faith which we preach. That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
So when you heard the rhema of God, and you responded by confessing Jesus as Lord. And you got baptized and before you got baptized, you declared publicly, you confessed with your mouth and there are witnesses there. It is that combination that saves you. It is Jesus saving you. It is internal. It is in some sense private and personal. But we respond to that through confession. It is something audible. You can hear it and hopefully you professed it to the world by sharing your testimony. You got baptized and that whole thing is what saves a believer.
It is never private. It is not just you quietly thinking certain things in your bedroom and saying, oh, I’m saved now. It is through the confession of your mouth. And then it says in Romans 10 verse 13, whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. It doesn’t say whoever thinks that Jesus is my Savior will be saved. No, someone who calls aloud with his mouth or her mouth, that person will be saved.
And then at Pentecost right afterward, Peter preached his first sermon and he connected everything in the Old Testament and he is speaking to a crowd of people. And his basic message is because of your sins, you crucified the Lord Jesus. And it says in verse 36, verse 37, now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and asked, what shall we do? Then Peter said to them, repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
And so this is the first cutting. It’s the sword of healing. It’s the surgeon who is exposing the sin and they did this by responding, what shall we do? They used their mouth to repent and they got baptized and they proclaimed with their mouth to the world that they are a follower of Jesus and therefore they were saved.
James chapter 5 verse 13, is any among you suffering? Let them pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let them sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call for the elders of the church and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick and the Lord will raise him up and if he has committed sins, he’ll be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
It is a blessing when you confess with your mouth rather than just thinking about repenting silently. It is different when you confess with your mouth. It is an even greater blessing when you confess to somebody else.
Here it implies that there are some sicknesses that arise from sin. So part of the prayer for healing is the elder asking you, have you sinned? Is there anything you need to repent of? And that is part of the healing process. Not only are you forgiven of sins, there’s a physical healing that can come as a result. But this all happens because of confession.
So when we gather on a Sunday, I hope that we have something to share. It is not just one person, two people. I hope all of us, as it says in Hebrews chapter 10, that we consider before we gather how we can stir one another up to love and good deeds. So Saturday night, I would encourage you to pray and to prepare your heart and say, how can I edify Hill Community Church tomorrow?
You need to prepare. You need to pray in advance. The same way that I am preparing, or Brother Abraham prepares in advance to have a message to preach, or Matthew prepares in advance for worship, we want to be prepared in advance to be a blessing. We want to use our mouth primarily to encourage, to stir one another up.
And it says in James chapter 5 that if you’re cheerful, then you sing a song. So it is appropriate to have a special music, to sing a song of worship to the Lord. It is, if you’re suffering, it is okay to come forward and say, I need prayer as Brother Ed did. This is what we’re supposed to do.
This is a house of prayer. We’re supposed to gather for prayer. We’re supposed to use our mouth. It is not an information gathering session or lecture. All of us are engaged to spur one another on with our lips. That is the first edge of the sword. It is Jesus as a scalpel taking out sin, but we wield this sword by confession. We confess.
And then there’s a second edge, a sword that destroys and judges. Revelation 1 verse 16, this is talking about Jesus. He had in his right hand seven stars out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword.
Whenever Jesus speaks out of his mouth, metaphorically, symbolically, is a two-edged sword. It is a sword that cuts out sin. Also, it is a sword that destroys Satan and the works of the devil.
And then Revelation 2, now He wields the sword of judgment upon a church. Revelation 2 verse 12, and to the angel of the church in Pergamos, it says He who has the sharp two-edged sword, I know your works and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is, and you hold fast to my name and did not deny my faith, even in the days in which Antipas was my faithful martyr who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. But I have a few things against you because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit sexual immorality. Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate, repent or else I come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
Here it talks about the doctrine of Balaam and the Nicolaitans. Balaam was a prophet who had an audience with a king of Moab. Balak wanted to find a way to destroy the nation of Israel. And Balaam was tempted by money. Balak kept throwing money at him, and Balaam was seduced by his greed and was trying to find ways to curse the people of God.
And when he realized that God would not curse His own people, Balaam said, okay, Balak, why don’t you try this? Why don’t you cause the people to fall into sexual immorality? Why don’t you tempt them with Moabite women and Midianite women and let them have relations with these women so that they can fall into pagan worship.
And it actually happened, and Balaam and Balak became a stumbling block to the people of God, and this is because of greed, and the Israelites fell into sexual sin and spiritual pagan worship.
And so when it says that Jesus comes with a two-edged sword and He’s going to fight them, who is He fighting? I don’t think primarily He’s fighting people. As we read in Ephesians 6, primarily He’s fighting against the false doctrines and the spirits that seduce people through these false doctrines. And so first He’s primarily fighting against Satan, unclean spirits, demons, satanic forces. And then He’s coming, if the people do not repent, then the sword of judgment will fall upon people who hold these false doctrines.
And so when we encounter people who are seduced by false doctrine, how should we pray for them? We don’t judge them because, like us, weren’t we at some point blinded by things? Weren’t we at some point deaf to the things of God? Weren’t we lost spiritually many years in our journey where we didn’t quite connect well with Jesus and we didn’t even know we were supposed to abide in Jesus?
And so we should remember when we were in that situation of being blind and deaf, didn’t we wish people had compassion on us? Didn’t we wish people prayed for us? And so when you see people who are falling into false doctrine, who are justifying their sins because there’s some unclean spirit that has seduced them through a false teaching, and now they’ve taken verses out of context and they are saying, I’m okay and there’s grace for me, the same way that the people at the church at Pergamos must have justified their sin.
How do we pray for people who are lost in this kind of deception? We bind and rebuke Satan, and we cast every unclean spirit into the abyss, and we plead for Jesus to set our brothers and sisters free. That is the heart of God. That is how we should pray for other people.
As it says in Revelation 2 verse 17, that same church at Pergamos, he who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna to eat, and I will give a white stone and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.
And for those of us who have ears to hear, how should we pray for those in the body of Christ who do not have ears to hear? We pray against Satan. We pray against the works of the devil. We pray for ears to hear, eyes to see, hearts to understand. We pray against the thing that is blocking the people of God from seeing clearly, hearing clearly, understanding clearly.
Revelation 12 verse 10, then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now salvation and strength in the kingdom of our God and the power of his Christ have come for the accuser of our brethren who accuse them before our God day and night has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.
So we understand the spiritual battle that we’re in. Satan accuses us day and night. And there are some of us who feel condemned constantly, who feel guilty constantly, who never feel worthy to approach the throne of God. There is no confidence. Am I good enough? Am I worthy? Can I have an audience with God? I’m not sure. I’m not feeling very good about myself. I’m sinning left and right. And so I’m not sure how God feels about me. Am I a beloved child of God or not?
And there’s this waffling, this lack of confidence. And we have to understand it’s because Satan is coming after all of us. And when this happens, how do we combat this accusation, which is a lie from the pits of hell? We combat it by declaring the truth.
We wield the sword of the Spirit by declaring the truth. Satan, you’re a liar. You’re a father of lies. What you’re saying about me is not true. I declare that I am a child of God because of what God did by sending Jesus who conquered sin and death and Satan on the cross. Satan, you’ve lost. I’m a winner. I’m a victor. And you declare this.
When the accusation, the condemnation, the guilt comes, you use your mouth to wield the sword of the Spirit. You’re declaring the truth against the accusation, which is a lie. We wield the sword of judgment against Satan and his minions by declaring the truth of what Jesus did for us on the cross.
We bind and rebuke Satanic forces. As it says in 1 John 3 verse 7, little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as he is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose, the Son of God was manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil.
If there is a chain, if there is a pattern of sinning, as we’ve been talking about from 1 John, the first three chapters, the reason why Jesus came is to demolish chains and strongholds. And so we declare what Jesus did, and we wield the sword of the Spirit, and we break down these strongholds, we tear them down, and we use our mouth to do it. We use our mouth to destroy the works of the devil.
Mark chapter 3 describes the condition that we were in before we met Jesus, and there was a strong man, and he had control of all the goods in his house, and the goods were all of us. We were the spoils of war, and Satan had control of all of us, and we were bound by Satan. We were a slave of sin. That was our condition.
But Jesus is stronger. 1 John 4, greater is he that is in us than he who is in the world. Jesus is stronger than the strong man, Satan. And so what Jesus did is He bound Satan, and He set captives free. All of us who were spoils of war, we now got rescued, and we were brought into the kingdom of light from darkness.
And that is what Jesus did. How did He do it? By binding the strong man. And so how do we get released from Satan? We bind Satan, we bind and rebuke unclean spirits and demons, and we get released by the power and authority of Jesus Christ.
And where do we send these unclean spirits? Luke 8 tells us we send them to the Abyss. There is this demon-possessed person, in the Gadarenes, and Jesus goes to visit him, and Jesus asks, What is the name of this unclean spirit? And the unclean spirit says, My name is Legion. And this unclean spirit answers Legion because many demons have entered into this man.
The demons know Jesus. So it’s not enough that you know theology, because the demons know theology. James 2 says, The demons believe they shudder. What the demons do not do is they don’t confess Jesus as Lord. They know it in their head. When they see Jesus, they tremble. But they never confess with their mouth, Jesus, you’re Lord. They are just afraid. And they know the truth, and they just tremble because of it. And that’s what these demons did when they saw Jesus. They trembled.
They are weaker than Jesus. And they say, Don’t cast us into the Abyss. That tells us where we send unclean spirits? We don’t just cast them into the air. If you cast them into the air, then they will grab seven more unclean spirits, more evil and wicked than himself, and they will eventually go back into the person they were cast out from.
So when we cast them out, we don’t cast them out into the air. We cast them into the Abyss. And so Jesus outsmarted these demons because they said, Let us just go into the swine. And they thought they can just hang out and enjoy the mud for a season while inhabiting the swine. Eventually they must have thought that they’re going to end up in the original person again.
But what happened is Jesus cast them into the swine. The swine rushed off a cliff. They got drowned. And so not only did the pigs die, but these unclean spirits ended up in the Abyss, which is a bottomless pit at the bottom of the ocean.
How can we bind and rebuke unclean spirits and demons and cast them into the Abyss? Matthew 28 verse 18 through 20 tells us that we have the power and authority of Jesus because Jesus says all authority, which is a power to act on his behalf, has been given to me. And now this authority, this power to act has been given to his church. And Jesus says, Go and make disciples of all nations with this power and authority of Jesus Christ.
And so is this just merely teaching a Bible study? A Baptist would love to just quote Matthew 28 and say, That’s all we do. We’re just teachers. We just go and teach Bible studies. That’s what we’re supposed to do. But how can we do a Bible study when somebody in the audience has a demon spirit in them?
We can’t do anything about a demonic spirit except bind and rebuke by the authority of Jesus and cast it out and into the Abyss. You can’t teach it away. You can’t convince it away. You need to come with a sword and cast it out.
Mark 16 is a different flavor of the Great Commission. It says in Mark 16 verse 15. And he said to them, Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe in my name. They will cast out demons. They will speak with new tongues. They will take up serpents. And if they drink and they will recover.
It’s the same preaching and making disciples of all nations. But this version of the Great Commission shows us the full ministry of Jesus Christ that He expects the church to do. And it includes speaking in tongues, casting out demons, taking up serpents, being supernaturally protected, being bold, being courageous. It is not merely teaching a Bible study.
It is hand to hand combat with the gates of Hades. Matthew 16. Jesus gives Peter the keys of the kingdom because Peter says, You are the Christ, the Son, the living God. And Jesus says, Whatever you bind on earth will be bound. Whatever you loose on earth will be loosed.
If the only thing you know is theology, then you will say this has nothing to do with demons. But if you are a careful student of the Bible, you see part of our ministry is doing battle, hand to hand combat with people who are demonized. In Matthew 16, the Church is called to battle the gates of Hades. We are going out into this world where Satan is a ruler and he has all the spoils of war and we’re taking back territory for Christ. It is an offensive military command to go out into this world and to bind and to loose people in Jesus’ name.
It is a rescue mission and I pray that our church would get equipped for a Mark 16 kind of a ministry. Not just teaching Matthew 28 and making disciples who might still be bound, who might still be addicted, who might still have patterns of sinning, but victorious Christians who know how to wield the sword of the Spirit, who know confession, who know how to speak the truth and declare the truth, and to bind Satan by wielding the sword of the Spirit.
I pray that our church would get equipped in God’s time to do a Mark 16 kind of a ministry. Let’s pray.
Father, we understand that death and life are in the power of the tongue and the word of God is a two-edged sword. Holy Spirit, we pray that you convict us of all of our sins and that we would declare and confess with our mouth and repent aloud.
It is different than thinking repentance in our head silently. It is different to declare it aloud. We pray that we would wield that edge of the sword that cuts out precisely like a scalpel, the areas of sin, even the deep areas, the intentions and the thoughts of the heart. The motives, the why behind all that we do.
Holy Spirit, please show it to us. Please show it to us that we would wield the sword of the Spirit through confession.
We understand the other edge of the sword is an edge of judgment that destroys the works of the devil, that silences and rebukes the accuser of the brethren. So we want to also use our mouth in this time to declare the truth of who we are in Christ.
We want to demolish strongholds and chains that have bound us for years, maybe even decades, or our whole lives. We want to be set free in Jesus by declaring what Jesus has done for us, that we are victors, that we are free in Christ. We’re not condemned. We’re set free. We’re beloved children of God. We’re going to wield the sword of the Spirit.
If there’s any unclean spirit that is deceiving us, we come in the power and authority of Jesus Christ. We bind and rebuke every unclean spirit that has caused the people of God to grow deaf and blind. That even while being poor, naked, pitiful and blind, we may not even understand what state that we’re in.
We bind and rebuke every unclean spirit that allows false teaching to creep in, that justifies our sinning and our deafness. We bind and rebuke all unclean spirits. We cast them all into the abyss so that they would no longer torment the people of God.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for dying on a cross, for allowing Your body to be pierced and Your blood to be shed. We declare what You did every single Sunday. It is our declaration of victory, that we are victors even now until You return. That we are victors from beginning to end. There is never a day that we should be defeated because of what Christ has done on the cross and being raised from the dead.
Father, we declare your victory over Satan, over all his defeated generals and principalities and powers of darkness who were all prisoners of war at Calvary. We declare that you’ve lost and we’ve won.
We pray, O Lord, that we can use our mouth not only to be forgiven of sin, but to grow in the reality of our victory in Christ. Set us free in this time, Lord Jesus. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen