The Bible Sword Has Two Edges
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For some time the Lord's been impressing me with the subject of the two edges of the sword. When Christ appeared to John to give him the book of Revelation to be delivered to the Church, a sharp two-edged sword came out of His mouth. Rev. 1:16.

When Jesus had ended all the revelation of His will to the church, He added this solemn warning:

“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And If any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book” Rev. 22:18-19.

Here we have the two edges of the sword. God’s written Word's the standard of faith and practice in the Church to the end of time, both for doctrine and discipline. Everything that falls short of the written Word is cut off by one edge of the sword, and everything that goes beyond the Word is cut off by the other edge. To stand on the whole Word and nothing but the Word is the only place to escape the sword, for on either side of the line we're exposed to one of its sharp edges. I'm convinced that the organic/physical church in many places is in more danger from going beyond than falling short of the Word. First, every honest soul who hears the whole Word taught knows that it's of little use to try to hang on with those who're in the evening light, unless they accept the whole Word. Therefore comparatively few start who're not determined to pay the full price. But going beyond the Word of God is more dangerous in some respects than falling short of it: because if anyone draws back from the plainly revealed will of God by the Word, he knows just where he's lacking, and if he should repent and turn to God he knows just what the will of God is, and just what he'll have to do to get right. But if one leaves the plain Word of God and goes rushing forward after his own notions and convictions in matters, the whims of his own mind become the standard by which he determined the will of God, and he's gotten where the Lord can't teach him till he forsake his own thoughts and return to the Word of God. A brother once said, “I'd rather be a little ahead of the Lord than behind Him.”

Jesus says,
“And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice” Jn. 10:4. Beloved, let none of us stay so far behind as to fail to follow when the voice of Christ (Word of God) is made plain to us. Death will be the sure result if we do. But let's be slow enough to not move till we have the Word of God to move on. To get ahead of Christ and His Word is to get where we can neither follow Him nor know His will.

God says,
“Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me” Ezek. 3:17.

Sometimes one will see a brother or sister doing something which they don't esteem to be just right, and they'll hasten to warn and admonish them; but when they approach the supposed offender, behold, they can bring him no word from the mouth of God concerning his ignorance. A zeal without knowledge is often put a block of stumbling in the way of souls, which nothing could ever afterward remove. May the Lord deliver His people from allowing their zeal to run ahead of their knowledge.

There's no need of our making any laws or judgments; there's enough of them already written to meet every want of the church.

With Paul it was a light matter that he be judged of man’s judgment, but when the written judgments begin to fall it's a serous matter. The written judgments bind on earth and in heaven. Matt. 18:15

Our personal convictions however earnest, bind nothing on anyone. Beloved, in the name of Jesus, let's be free from binding upon the church some matter of conscience of our own. If we have faith, let's have it to ourselves before God. Rom. 14:22.

But if we have the Word of God, then bind it upon all. Again, we've met some who teach that all the saints should dress alike, teaching the sisters that they should all wear their hair twisted up on the back of their head. There's not the slightest foundation in the Word of God for laying down such rules for the Church, and all who do so expose themselves to one edge of the sword. If some feel that this's a personal conviction, let them do so, but don't make it a Biblical law. If a man flee from a lion and rush into the jaws of a bear, what does it profit him? So if in order to escape condemnation for being conformed to the world, we rush to the opposite extreme and fall under condemnation for adding to the Word, how much will we better our condition? This's a serious matter. Remember that adding to the Word is as severely condemned as taking from it.

Beloved, if we can't handle a brother or sister with the Word for superfluity or immodesty in dress, we'd best keep still. We visited a place where some were fearful lest the saints should fall into fashion worship. So they would object if two sisters got a dress each from the same piece of goods. This is also vanity. They carried this to such a pitch that if a sister had worn her hair on the top of her head before she was saved, she must continue to do so, while one who had worn her hair on the back of her head must still wear it so. Likewise if a brother had worn full beard when a sinner he must still wear full beard; while one who had been used to shaving clean must still shave so.

OH FOR CONSISTENCY WHICH BECOMES GODLINESS! BRETHREN, FANATICISM IS OF THE DEVIL, FOR THE PURPOSE OF DESTROYING THE UNITY OF THE SAINTS. If we allow anything bound on the church simply because some earnest soul has strong convictions that war, it'll be utterly impossible to attain or keep perfect UNITY.



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