KEEPING THE SWORD DRAWN: OUR CALLING AS THE CHURCH OF THE MILITANT CHRIST
Rev. Brian Huizinga
2017 Evangelism Committee
Southwest Protestant Reformed Church
Printed in the United States of America
Additional copies of this pamphlet and other literature
can be obtained by writing, calling, or emailing.
The Evangelism Committee of Southwest Protestant Reformed Church
4875 Ivanrest Ave SW
Wyoming MI 49418
Publisher’s Foreword. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
KEEPING THE SWORD DRAWN: THE IDEA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
KEEPING THE SWORD DRAWN: THE URGENCY.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
KEEPING THE SWORD DRAWN: THE COMMAND. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Conclusion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
Answers to Questions Generated by the Lecture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
This booklet is published by the evangelism committee of Southwest
Protestant Reformed Church. One of the tasks of this committee is to
sponsor lectures on behalf of the council and congregation of Southwest
church. In 2016 the committee invited Rev. Brian Huizinga, pastor of
Hope Protestant Reformed Church in Redlands, California, to present a
lecture at a venue in the Grand Rapids, Michigan, area. Building upon a
topic suggested by the committee, Rev. Huizinga prepared the lecture
“Keeping the Sword Drawn: Our Calling as the Church of the Militant
Christ.” This lecture was delivered on September 30, 2016. Following the
lecture, Rev. Huizinga received questions from the audience. Some of
the questions were answered that evening, and the rest were answered
on the website dedicated to this lecture.
The committee is also charged with the task of publishing and
distributing Reformed materials. This is done by using various
forms of media, including the printed page, the church’s website
(www.southwestprc.org), as well as CDs and DVDs. After Rev. Huizinga
presented the lecture, the committee decided that it needed wider
distribution in the form of a booklet. Rev. Huizinga agreed to provide
a written the manuscript of his lecture, slightly expanded and including
the questions and answers that followed the lecture.
The committee is thankful to God for the spiritual and intellectual gifts he
has given to Rev. Huizinga and for his willing, faithful service in God’s church.
These two tasks, sponsoring lectures and publishing materials, are
assigned to the committee with two aims: first, that the truth of God’s
word as it is taught in the Protestant Reformed Churches might be
disseminated widely; and second, that Southwest Protestant Reformed
Church might become known in the local community. It is our prayer
and confidence that Christ will use this booklet to accomplish his will in
gathering, defending, and preserving his church.
Additional copies of this booklet, a CD or DVD of the lecture, and other
Reformed materials can be requested by using the “contact” form at
by mail to Southwest Protestant Reformed Evangelism, 4875 Ivanrest
Ave. SW, Wyoming, MI 49418. A video recording of the lecture is
available at the website, as well as some associated reading materials.
For the King, the militant Christ,
The Evangelism Committee of Southwest Protestant Reformed Church
OUR MILITANT CHRIST
We must believe and confess the whole revelation of scripture; therefore,
we must believe and confess that the Christ of the church is a militant
Christ. In his tender mercy to his beloved church, and in his zealous
devotion to his beloved Father, Jesus is a militant Christ toward his
enemies, his Father’s enemies, and his church’s enemies.
Who can forget the story of wicked Balaam riding his donkey to go
curse God’s Israel? The donkey saw something Balaam did not see, and
in fear the donkey went off the path into the field. Balaam smote her.
There in the vineyard the donkey saw the same terrifying sight and
thrust herself against the wall, crushing Balaam’s foot. Again, Balaam
smote her. The donkey kept walking through a very narrow place, and
she saw the fearful sight yet again and fell down under Balaam. Again,
Balaam smote her. Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey
and she demanded of Balaam an explanation for those three beatings.
Finally, the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam so that he could see the
terrifying sight that the donkey had seen: “he saw the angel of the LORD
standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed
down his head, and fell flat on his face. And the angel of the LORD said
unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times?
behold, I went out to withstand thee [or literally, “to be an adversary
unto thee”], because thy way is perverse before me” (Num. 22:31–32).
The angel of Jehovah whom Balaam encountered was not a common
angel, but Jesus Christ in his Old Testament, preincarnate manifestation.
Walking in a perverse way, Balaam and his donkey saw the Christ of
Israel—a militant adversary standing in the way with his sword drawn. The
New Testament Christ who is the Son of God incarnate is not essentially
different than the sword-bearing angel of Jehovah in the Old Testament;
therefore, the enemies of the church today see a militant Christ as they
walk in their perverse ways. When the buyers and sellers of Jerusalem
made the Father’s house of prayer a house of merchandise, they saw a
whip-brandishing militant Christ (John 2:15). When the Jewish leaders
corrupted true religion and killed the prophets, they were confronted
by the militant Christ deftly wielding the sword of his effectual word and
thrusting them through with denouncements: “Woe unto you, scribes
and Pharisees, hypocrites! Ye fools and blind! Ye serpents, ye generation
of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” (Matt. 23).
After the false prophets bring their “damnable heresies” into the
church (2 Pet. 2:1), it is said that they “have forsaken the right way, and
are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who
loved the wages of unrighteousness” (v. 15). Therefore they must see
what Balaam saw—the militant Christ with his sword drawn.
When the enemies of the church in the final manifestation of the
kingdom of antichrist see Christ returning on the clouds of glory, they
will see a militant Christ, for “when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed
from heaven with his mighty angels,” he will come “in flaming fire taking
vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel
of our Lord Jesus Christ,” and they will “be punished with everlasting
destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his
power” (2 Thess. 1:7–9).
Moreover, on that last day the enemies of Christ will hide “themselves
in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains” and say to the rocks and
mountains, “Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on
the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of his
wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” (Rev. 6:15–17).
To the eyes of faith, no clearer revelation of the militancy of the Christ
can be found than in his death on the cross and subsequent resurrection.
It is exactly there at the cross that we see not only the supreme
manifestation of his tender mercy to his church and his zealous devotion
to his Father, but also his militancy toward his enemies. For when he
was nailed to the cross to blot out the “handwriting of ordinances that
was against us,” he was actively spoiling the “principalities and powers,”
which are Satan and his hordes of demons, making a “shew of them
openly [and] triumphing over them” (Col. 2:14–15). The cross was war.
The cross was victory.
When the aged and persecuted apostle John was on the isle of
Patmos and “in the Spirit on the Lord’s day,” he beheld Jesus and fell
to the ground as a dead man (Rev. 1:9–10, 17). John fell down. John—
the beloved disciple, who at the last passover so tenderly and intimately
reclined in the bosom of Jesus (John 13:23)—fell to the ground in fear
and awe. John saw the glorified Christ of heaven. Not only were Jesus’
head and hairs “white like wool,” his eyes ”as a flame of fire, . . . his feet
like unto fine brass, . . . his voice as the sound of many waters,” and his
face as bright as the noon-day sun, but “out of his mouth went a sharp
two-edged sword” (Rev. 1:14–16). Right now in heaven, the glorified
Christ is a militant Christ.
Was not Christ the one who said, when sending out his apostles,
“Think not that I am come to send peace on the earth: I came not to
send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against
his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in
law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own
household” (Matt. 10:34–36)?
I say again, we must believe and confess the whole revelation of
scripture; therefore, we must believe and confess that the Christ of the
church is a militant Christ. If Christ, the head of the church, is a militant
Christ, who stands in the way of his enemies with his sword drawn, it
stands to reason that we Reformed believers confess that the church of
Christ on earth is to be identified as the church militant. It is our solemn
duty then, in love for the church, in faithfulness to Christ, and in zealous
devotion to our great God, to be militant and keep the sword drawn.
[To continue reading this pamphlet, download and open the attached pdf of the full copy.]
Prof. Brian Huizinga (Wife: Michelle)
Ordained: September 2011
Pastorates: Hope, Redlands, CA - Sept.2011
Appointed professor of theology in the PRC Seminary, Sept.2019Website: https://www.prcts.org/about-us
Address1307 E.Brockton Ave.
State or ProvinceCA