“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.” – Heb 4:12
No one can hear the Word of God and not be affected. First aid instructions tell us not to remove certain objects such as knives that have pierced us because our bodies have already started to try to heal around the place of impact. When we withdraw the blade, the blood comes out more because the blade is no longer forming a seal at the place of injury. The Word of God cuts on both sides going in and cuts on both sides going out. It’s going to have an impact whether we see the immediate results or not! The Bible also tells us it purifies and washes us. This will happen when it is done repeatedly and we bathe in it.
“1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” – 2 Tim 4:1-4
While the Bible doesn’t tell us to be cruel/spiteful with our deliveries or try to beat people with the Word, it also doesn’t say we are to attempt to run from those times it is necessary to speak it or try to make excuses for God to try to make people feel better about why God said something. God can defend Himself.
I say this for a couple reasons:
1) We need to be able to give people the Word of God the way He tells us at the time He tells us.
2) We need to have the Word of God in our hearts to stand against the devil (stand against, fight as necessary – not demon-hunting).
“20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” – Rom 1:20-21
The Bible tells us that anyone who does not acknowledge the Lord is completely and utterly without excuse. They have no right whatsoever to claim that they never had any knowledge of Him. From the time of CREATION, the world has known of God. Creation, itself, points to God. We often wonder if the people we have invested time to warning about God’s wrath and His ways have heard or listen, particularly our corrupt rulers. As I was thinking about the Book of Daniel, I noticed something. Every ruler I could immediately remember in the Bible was forewarned and saw God do what was prophesied. This is not exhaustive, but it was good for me to see.
1) Pharoah was told to let the children of Israel go to worship their God or suffer as the Lord brought judgment. He watched God work miracles and watched Him destroy his kingdom in front of his eyes.
2) Israel’s enemies knew about the Lord and how He would save His people, yet they always seemed surprised when they were the ones defeated but knew Who was behind the victory.
3) Israelite kings were God’s chosen people, so they knew Who God was from family discussion. King Saul was told what to do and even prophesied after his anointing, yet he allowed his ego to dictate his actions and had the kingdom ripped from him. Samuel told him why.
4) King David knew the Lord. Nathan told him his punishment for disobedience, but David repented and would seek the Lord with his whole heart after each error.
5) Ahab & Jezebel were warned time & time again and even saw miracles of God. Elijah prophesied their destruction, so there was no surprise – especially since there was no repentance.
6) Hezekiah was told by Isaiah that he needed to prepare to die. Hezekiah acted immediately and prayed, and Isaiah turned around and told him God gave him 15 more years.
7) King Herod (the Great) heard preaching while ruling Judea and was told by the wise men that the Messiah had been born. He decided Jesus needed to die. He pretended to want to worship Him but sought to destroy Him, so his destruction came soon after.
8) Herod the Tetrarch (Antipas) heard preaching from John the Baptist but chose to kill the man of God instead of repenting.
9) King Herod (Agrippa I) persecuted the early Church. He knew what they were preaching and chose to kill them starting with the Apostles. He had the opportunity to turn to Christ, but he chose to receive worship as a god and was struck with deadly worms the moment he accepted the praise of the people.
So back to Daniel…
– Nebuchadnezzar saw the men in the fiery furnace and the Fourth with them. Daniel interpreted his dreams including the warning from God. His pride swelled, and God drove him to behave like a beast for 7 years. At the end of that time, we see Nebuchadnezzar write a psalm of praise at the end of chapter 4.
– Belshazzar knows of the happenings and history of Babylon and chose to ignore it. When he sees the Hand write on the wall, Daniel interprets it after preaching to Belshazzar that the king knew of the True God but would not honor Him. He tells the king his life is shortened and will lose his kingdom. The king dies unrepentant. (ch 5)
– Darius learns of the history of Babylon and sees the Lord deliver Daniel from the lions’ den. Darius chooses to acknowledge the One True Living God. (ch 6)
Do I think that preaching to our leaders will change their course? For a few, I think it will. What I see is that as prophets such as Jeremiah delivered the Word of God, it was often not well received. When conspirators wanted to destroy the people of God, it didn’t matter if they preached or didn’t. If they’re after us, we might as well say what needs to be said and trust God to strengthen us until the end. Each person that spoke the Word of God, did so as directed by the Lord. Not only does the person see God in creation, but at some point in each person’s life, he will have the opportunity to repent when we carry out our commission to speak the truth in love. Whether that person turns or not is out of our hands, but each person will be without excuse.
“8 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. 9 Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.” – Eze 33:8-9
If you are concerned for consequences or what may happen when you speak to your assigned person, consider this passage from Mordecai to Esther:
“13 Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews. 14 For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” – Esther 4:13-14
We are to encourage ourselves in the Lord. What happens when the devil comes to attack our minds?
“7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” – James 4:7
First instruction is to SUBMIT to God. Why do we keep hearing people say the second half of the verse? The first part is what makes the second part work! We submit to the Lord, repent for our offenses against Him, and make sure we’re in right-standing with Him. We don’t want to be punished by God. We ask God to lead us in how to respond so we don’t run off half-cocked punching at air and wondering why we’re tired with no results. We don’t attempt to out-talk the devil or rationalize with him. We use the Word of God and give it to him. He can’t argue with the Word, but he will wear us down if we try to use anything but the Word against Him!
The Bible is our weapon of attack, and the Holy Spirit is our guide (our senses in the spirit realm). This year, I hope to get closer to this level of precision in knowing how to use the Word of God and when.