"For the word of God is quick, 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." - Hebrews 4:12
God's Word is not just a book. It's a sword.
Look now to the words of Jesus: "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." (Matthew 10:34) Think not that I come to send peace! Could you imagine preaching this from the pulpit today, in our tolerant and peace-seeking society? How many sermons have you heard that tells you otherwise? What does Jesus mean by this?
God's Word divides. And rightfully so, for this is it's very purpose. No one uses a sword to patch a body back together, rather, a sword swung delivers sever results. A two-edged sword will double your effect. God's Word cuts through soul and spirit, joint and marrow, leaving everything bare.
I submit that if there were no Bible there would be no denominations. In fact, if it is unity you seek, and at any cost, I would suggest discarding the Bible, for it will only serve to divide and hinder your best endeavors. Should denominations concern us? No. Paul says to the Corinthians: "For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part, for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized." (1 Corinthians 11:18-19)
Let us apply this story of Solomon: Two women come before King Solomon claiming the same right to own a little male child. Both accuse the other of fraudulence. Solomon orders the child to be cut asunder and one half given to each woman. By this the true mother is revealed, exposing the indifferent woman to be a deceiver. (1 Kings 3:16-28)
I find this fascinating in light of what Paul has stated to those in Corinth and in light of Hebrews 4:12 above. We have two passages of Scripture, both stating that the dividing sword of God's Word reveals the intentions of the heart, exposing falsehood and verifying genuiness. A powerful weapon indeed! God's Word is given to us by God's wisdom, just as we find it said verse 28: "And all Israel heard of the judgment that the king had rendered, and they stood in awe of the king, because they perceived that the wisdom of God was in him to do justice."
Jesus came to bring a sword. Even as a baby it was spoken over Him that Jesus would yield this dividing sword: "And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." If even Mary would not escape this sword that reveals the thoughts of the heart, do we think that we shall escape it?
When the Lord returns He will come with the two-edged sword in His mouth and divide the sheep from the goats. It is by the Word that the fate of all mankind will be decided. It is time for the people of truth to wield the sword and begin dividing before dividing comes upon us, "for the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God." It is time to brandish the sword of the Spirit against all things, dividing what is clean and what is unclean, what is true and what is false, what is of Christ and what is of the devil. We must no longer use denominations as an excuse for the poor condition of the Church. The poor condition of the Church is because of the backslidden conditions of our hearts towards Jesus and His Word. It's time for the Church to awake and be "sanctified (separated) by the truth. Thy Word is truth." (John 17:17)