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Sixth Edition, 1915
By Dr. John Thomas (first edition written 1861)



Chapter 1

Section 5


12. "Out of His Mouth a Sharp Two-Edged Sword."


Aword proceeding out of the mouth of a symbol indicates that the community represented is prepared for military operations. "YAHWEH," saith Moses, "is a Man of War;" and that warrior is before us in John's similitude of the Son of man.

The Mouth of such a similitude, with a sword affirmed to be proceeding out of it, is representative of the Commander-in-Chief. "Joseph gave them wagons, according to the mouth of Pharaoh;" that is, "according to the command of Pharaoh." When the word of command passes out of the mouth of a general, it moves armies, and causes them to draw the sword, and to smite their enemies with great slaughter. His word that goes out of his mouth causes blood to flow; and, as the sword is the instrument of blood-shedding, the idea is fitly symbolized by placing a sword in apposition with the mouth, and

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affirming that it is going forth. If the Son of Man were in an attitude of speaking peace to the nations, his eyes would not be as a flame of fire, and his feet would not glow incandescently, nor would his countenance be as sun-smiting heat; but all this would be modified and changed, and instead of "a sharp double-edged long sword," an Olive Branch would stand related to the Mouth. According to the tenor of the words is the character of the symbol.

The sword directed by the mouth of the similitude is said to be sharp and two-edged. It is sharp for cut and thrust -- the sword of a Mighty Man ready for execution, and whichever way directed is sure to smite effectively. The voice of the words of the great multitude symbolized by this sword, is the voice of the Eternal Spirit speaking through them as the ministers of his vengeance. Hence the sword is symbolical of what Paul styles, "the Spirit of his Mouth," which is the Lord Jesus Anointed, the Mouth of the Body. Thus, though represented by this cutting instrument, Paul says, "The Word of Deity is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged 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". The word is sharper now, for it can penetrate in argument where a sword cannot reach; but, how much sharper will it be when the word of command shall find expression through a two-edged sword in the hands of the Saints. But while Jesus is mouth in a personal sense, He and the Saints are the Mouth of the Son of Man in a corporate sense. This personal and corporate sense, in its conjoint signification, must not be lost sight of in the prophetic and symbolic scriptures; or we shall fail to perceive their meaning in the full extent. Thus, Isaiah speaking of the One Body in its Alpha and Omega manifestation, says, in ch 11:4, that "the Rod of Jesse's stem shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked ... and the earth shall be full of the knowledge of YAHWEH as the waters cover the sea:" and in ch. 49:2, "He hath made my mouth like a sharp sword;" so that the enemy is "slain by the words of his mouth" (Hos. 6:5). By reading Isai. 49 it will be seen what is to be effected by this sword of the Spirit wielded by David's house -- it effects the restoration of Israel, and the salvation of the nations from the superstition, and misgovernment that destroys them on every side.

The similitude of the Son of man is introduced in Apoc. 19:11-16, where it is resolved into an army, consisting of the Commander-in-Chief, his staff, and the troops they command; or the Lord Jesus, the Saints, and the horses they ride, which are the armies of Israel. In

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this scene the Son of man has many crowns upon his head, which represents a multitude of Kings under one Chief. "His vesture is dipped in blood," as he had just come from the sacrifice at Botzra; while his bodyguards, or officers of his hosts, are "clothed in fine linen, white and clean," to indicate their righteousness, in peace or war; for "in righteousness he doth judge and make war." Thus prepared, they are ready for the conquest of the world; which is indicated by the testimony that, "out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of the Deity who is Almighty. And he hath on the vesture and on his thigh a name written, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords;" who, being joint-heirs with their imperial chief, have a common destiny and inheritance with him (Apoc. 2:26; 3:21).

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