The Civil Authorities have the Power of the Sword
The sword represents the power of coercion. The civil authoritiescan force a citizen to do things against their will.
A sword can hurt and even kill a person, so this power is very dangerous. It must be used rarely and carely. If coercive power is used unwisely, terrible damage can be done.
The role of the civil authorities is limited to:
- Defence from attack
- Quarantine sickness (a form of defence)
- Punishment of crime
- Reparation to victims.
The trumpet represents the power of the truth. A trumpet does not have coercive power, as you can ignore its sound. You might get tired of the noise and move away from the sound, but it cannot hurt you. The trumpet represents the power of persuasion. The church cannot force people to do things, it can only persuade them to do what is right.
The role of the Church:
- Preach the Gospel
- Teach the word
- Build the body
- Speak prophetically to the civil authorities.
The Church has always been tempted to seize the power of the sword, so it can force people to do the right thing. The problem is that the church that uses force loses credibility. We must resist the temptation to take up the sword, because it chokes the power of the trumpet.
The church does not need the sword, because the trumpet is annointed by the Holy Spirit. The Sprit more powerful than the sword. The word of God spoken in the power of the Spirit is sharper than a two-edged sword.