The Man with the Drawn Sword

The following passages from Joshua are very important. They reveal the means by which we attain every new level that God opens for us.

Joshua 5
1 ¶  Now it came about when all the kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan to the west, and all the kings of the Canaanites who were by the sea, heard how the LORD had dried up the waters of the Jordan before the sons of Israel until they had crossed, that their hearts melted, and there was no spirit in them any longer because of the sons of Israel.
2  At that time the LORD said to Joshua, “Make for yourself flint knives and circumcise again the sons of Israel the second time.”
3  So Joshua made himself flint knives and circumcised the sons of Israel at Gibeath-haaraloth.
4  This is the reason why Joshua circumcised them: all the people who came out of Egypt who were males, all the men of war, died in the wilderness along the way after they came out of Egypt.
5  For all the people who came out were circumcised, but all the people who were born in the wilderness along the way as they came out of Egypt had not been circumcised.
6  For the sons of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, until all the nation, that is, the men of war who came out of Egypt, perished because they did not listen to the voice of the LORD, to whom the LORD had sworn that He would not let them see the land which the LORD had sworn to their fathers to give us, a land flowing with milk and honey.
7  Their children whom He raised up in their place, Joshua circumcised; for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them along the way.
8  Now when they had finished circumcising all the nation, they remained in their places in the camp until they were healed.
9  Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” So the name of that place is called Gilgal to this day.
10 ¶  While the sons of Israel camped at Gilgal they observed the Passover on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month on the desert plains of Jericho.
11  On the day after the Passover, on that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain.
12  The manna ceased on the day after they had eaten some of the produce of the land, so that the sons of Israel no longer had manna, but they ate some of the yield of the land of Canaan during that year.
13 ¶  Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us or for our adversaries?”
14  He said, “No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the LORD.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, “What has my lord to say to his servant?”
15  The captain of the LORD’S host said to Joshua, “Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.

Israel spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness until all the men of war who originally came out of Egypt died. After crossing the Jordan, all those born along the way were circumcised. This is indicative of how we can enter into a measure of fulfillment, but ultimately a thorough work must be done in us if we are to receive our full inheritance. After the circumcision, Israel celebrated the Passover on the plains of Gilgal. God spoke to Joshua that He had rolled away the reproach of Egypt from Israel. This was symbolized through the circumcision. The very next day after celebrating the Passover, they began to eat some of the produce of the land. The manna ceased. They had begun to partake of the Promised Land. But there was one more encounter with the Lord that was needed before they could take Jericho.

Joshua lifted up his eyes and beheld a man standing opposite him with his sword drawn. Joshua approached him and asked if he was for them or their adversaries. The man replied, “No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the LORD.” It’s significant that in this manifestation of the Lord to Joshua, the question of who the man was for, was not answered. Before we can possess the new realms that God sets before us, He always comes with a drawn sword in His hand. This is not a one time occurrence, but happens perpetually with every new step we take in God. The question of who the man was for was not answered, because in a true sense, God is not for, or against us. He stands before us as a door into a greater realm. How we respond to Him determines whether He is for us or against us. Verse 14 of our text says Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down. Joshua then said, “What has my lord to say to his servant?” Joshua was then told to remove his sandals from his feet because the place where he was standing was holy. What was happening in this encounter was the establishing of God’s Lordship over His people. It was understood by Joshua there was to be an absolute submission to the Lord’s authority over him. This cannot be overstated. We can look back through the days of Joshua growing under Moses’ ministry and see that Joshua was intimately acquainted with the presence of the Lord. Exodus 33 records how Moses would enter the Tent of Meeting and speak face to face with God. When Moses left the tent, Joshua would not depart from it. At other times Moses took Joshua with him upon the mountain to meet God. The point being made here is that while Joshua was acquainted with the presence of the Lord, he did not recognize the man holding the drawn sword as being the Lord. Why was this? It was because God was bringing Joshua into a new revelation of Himself, and Joshua did not perceive the Lord in the higher realm that was before him. And so it is with us. We will not enter into new realms in God without first facing “the man with the drawn sword.” There must be the establishing of Christ’s Lordship over us with each new step we take. As we submit to Him afresh, an open door is set before us. If we kick and squirm under the demands of the cross, we will find our entrance into the next realm blocked.

We have this same truth presented to us in Genesis 3.

21 ¶  The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.
22 ¶  Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”—
23  therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken.
24  So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.

Adam was driven from the garden of Eden. The cherubim and the flaming sword which turns in every direction was stationed to guard the way to the tree of life. To put it bluntly, Adam will never be allowed to partake of the tree of life. The Adamic nature in us will never be allowed to enter the higher realms of Christ’s kingdom. Thus, with every new level we come to, we find “a man with a drawn sword,” standing in our way. The Lordship of Jesus Christ is established deeper and deeper in us with each new realm in God. Nothing of Adam is going to walk in the realm of Zion. Our ascension into Zion is only limited by how thoroughly we submit to Christ’s Lordship at each new level we come to.

The wisdom of God tells us we are to sacrifice the good things for the better, and the better for the best. Many things seemingly born of God die along the way in our pilgrimage into Zion. The cross removes from us the mixture of Adamic and Godly thinking.

This brings us to the next great realization of Zion. How do we define a living word at this level? Quite simply, a living word is defined as an expression of Christ’s Lordship over us. The term “living word” is tossed around very casually in Christianity. It is the latest “kingdom” buzz word. Having revelation does not constitute a living word. Teaching or sharing certain revelation does not necessarily translate into a living word. In the level of the kingdom of God now opening, a living word is synonymous with the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The only word spoken with authority is the one expressing His Lordship. Christ’s Lordship is conveyed in the utterance of His sons. We only move into higher expressions of His word in us as we are continually confronted by the “man with the drawn sword.” There is no substitute. The satanic realm can mimic many of the works of God such as the magicians did in the days of the Exodus. Miracles and such can be counterfeited. But there can be no counterfeiting the Lordship of Jesus Christ over a person. The work of the cross cannot be counterfeited. Thus, we have the basis of the true and the false.

The “man with the drawn sword,” the Cherubim with the flaming sword, are not one-time encounters. We will meet them again and again as we move forward. Each step we take into a new level is purified before our foot ever hits the ground. Thus is the fulfillment of “Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.”

6 thoughts on “The Man with the Drawn Sword

  1. Drawn or wielded Roger as in ready for use ..govern subdue direct (as in power and influence as rightly handle the word of Truth…over and over ready in season (4 seasons) 4 as in compass 4 all ends of the earth in us. …

  2. I would say, Kim, that the heart of the message is how we submit to Christ’s Lordship over us, and thus move into higher realms in God. I would view the sword in the context of the encounter Joshua had with the captain of the hosts of the Lord. It becomes an instrument of our destruction if we refuse to bow Him. Yes, the word is alive and sharper than any two-edged sword, and it can bring life or death, depending upon how we receive it.

    • Would that be that”he that is not againt us is for us” …..the sword working on both those for and against the Lord…
      But those that have surrendered to the Word can enter in

      • The Lord stands above the question of whether He is against us or for us. This is why the man with the drawn sword did not answer Joshua when he asked him, “Are you for us or for our adversaries?” It is we that answer that question. We answer that question each time we submit to His Lordship in our lives. When we hedge and attempt to dodge the cross, we find the “sword” refusing us entrance into the next level in God. Many, many people in Christianity have crossed over the Jordan. They have eaten some of the fruit of the Promised Land, i.e. they have received revelation about the realms before us in God. BUT, how many have faced the Captain of the hosts of the Lord, standing with the drawn sword? Joshua’s response was one of humility and submission. This message is about the Lordship of Jesus Christ over us. His Lordship is absolute, without compromise. This is why the book of Revelation speaks of the Lord ruling the nations with a rod of iron.

        Too much of Christianity rejoices over crossing the Jordan, but it never goes in to confront Jericho, and the rest of the nations that must be conquered. The true possessing of our heritage can only come through our submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. If we bypass this, we will NOT be allowed access into experientially possessing our heritage. We can only “rejoice” in what we see, but that is not the same thing as possessing. Nothing of the Adamic nature is going to walk in Zion. Paul states this in 1st Cor. 15. “Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.”

        The man with a drawn sword, standing as the captain of the hosts of the Lord, should not be a metaphor. He is the Lord of lords and the King of kings, and we are to know Him as such.

  3. As Israel sojourned from Egypt to Canaan there were markers along the way, the Red Sea, and the Jordan River are examples. They are types for us to learn from, a moving from one level of understanding to a higher level. What was permissible is moved higher to the acceptable, and this moves on to the perfect.

    As the process moves forward there is a common theme, the death of Adam, and life through the Lordship of Christ.

    The work of the cross allows us to move into His rest more fully.

    “For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, “AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH, THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST,” although His works were finished from the foundation of the world.
    For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh day: “AND GOD RESTED ON THE SEVENTH DAY FROM ALL HIS WORKS”;
    and again in this passage, “THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST.”
    Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience,
    He again fixes a certain day, “Today,” saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before, “TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS.”
    For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that.
    So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.
    For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.
    Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.
    For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” ~ Hebrews 4:3~12

    Entering is rest is where the activity of His work is best accomplished.

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