When Jesus described Himself to the believers in Pergamum in verse 12, He revealed Himself this way,
“And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: ‘The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword.”
Jesus has the sharp two-edged sword, He is the sharp two-edged sword, and He wields it better than any other, He wields it perfectly. What is the sword He has and uses? Scriptures refer to it several times. Hebrews 4:12-13 read,
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”
It is the living word of God and it is powerful. It cuts deep, perfectly dividing soul and spirit and getting straight the core of the matter. Have you ever worked with bones, soup bones, left over chicken bones, ox tails or whatever? Have you seen the substance, the marrow on the inside of the bone? It is not easily removed. The marrow which makes the blood cells for the body and flavors the broth it is cooked in is within the bone, protected by it. When the bone is cut, the marrow may be exposed but it is still difficult to pull out. This is the picture I want you to envision in order to understand how exact and sharp the double edged sword is.
When used in conjunction with the Holy Spirit, the Word of God gets right to the matter. It does not miss. When we use it without the Holy Spirit, we may misquote, misinterpret, or miss the mark. Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and The Spirit tells you, tell them this verse, tell them that phrase. And you think but what does that have to do with their situation? But you obey, and the person immediately has let her walls down, or she breaks down crying, or smiles with relief and joy. That is the living and active word of God dividing heart and soul, joint and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Go back and read Hebrews 4:12-13. Verse 13 describes the word, not as it but him. “And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” The Word of God, the sharp and two-edged sword is not only the scriptures and spoken words of God, it is God, it is His manifested will, Jesus Christ. John 1:1-5 reads,
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
And 1 John 1:1-4 says,
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— 2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.”
Jesus is the Word of God, which is God’s will revealed and made tangible. Jesus not only is the two edged sword but He exerts it so perfectly that it is a part of Him. Revelation 1:16 describes Jesus this way,
“In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.”
The sword, God’s Word comes from Jesus’ mouth. Jesus words are the word of God. Jesus spoken words are the manifested will of God, because remember Jesus is God. (see John 1:1-5). Revelation 19:11-16 describe Jesus as He uses the sword to lead the vast Heavenly Army.
“Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. 13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. 14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. 15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.”
Jesus didn’t use the Word of God as a cookie cutter, taking cute, nice little sayings out of the scriptures and saying, “There there there, God won’t give you more than you can handle…” He used the scriptures truthfully with God’s purpose. He fought the enemy and wouldn’t give into temptation. (Matthew 4:4). He showed the world, who He was. (Luke 4:17-19). He taught and exhorted. (Matthew 5). He confronted and convicted. (Matthew 15:7-9). He comforted and encouraged. (Mark 12:35-37).
And you and I, Believer have the two edged word as well, and we can use it Psalm 149 describes what we can do with that sword. It reads,
“Praise the Lord!
Sing to the Lord a new song,
his praise in the assembly of the godly!
2 Let Israel be glad in his Maker;
let the children of Zion rejoice in their King!
3 Let them praise his name with dancing,
making melody to him with tambourine and lyre!
4 For the Lord takes pleasure in his people;
he adorns the humble with salvation.
5 Let the godly exult in glory;
let them sing for joy on their beds.
6 Let the high praises of God be in their throats
and two-edged swords in their hands,
7 to execute vengeance on the nations
and punishments on the peoples,
8 to bind their kings with chains
and their nobles with fetters of iron,
9 to execute on them the judgment written!
This is honor for all his godly ones.
Praise the Lord!”
What did Jesus, the Word of God have to say to the church in Pergamum and for us? Let’s read. Verse 13 says,
“‘I know where you dwell, where Satan's throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.”
Jesus called the city, the throne of Satan. It was a center of worship of many gods throughout its history, including Greek gods like Asclepium, and many Egyptian gods such as Serapeum, and Trajan. Yet, despite the many gods worshipped there, despite being the seat of Satanic power the church thrived there. They were faithful. They held fast to Jesus’ name even under persecution, torture and death. They took so seriously the words written to them in Revelation that they erected a monument inscribed with Jesus words to remember them.
But not everyone in the church was so diligent to the Word of God. Verses 14-15 read,
“But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality. 15 So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans.”
Balaam was a prophet of God who used the word for selfish purposes, He used the Word of God for King Balak to weaken Israel for his own profit. (Numbers 22, 23, & 24). Ask yourself, examine your heart, ask the Lord to reveal to you if you have ever done this. Have you like some in the Pergamum taken God’s Word and used it to lift yourself up, push your own agenda, or gain what you wanted? God can give anyone His Word, He gave it to a donkey. (Numbers 22:22-35). He chose to give to you and me. It is for His glory and His will that we are given this extraordinary gift.
Remember from our previous study the Nicolaitans allowed the teaching of multiple religions and occult beliefs into the church. They like many today believed in a “coexisting and intermingling of religions. This is something we have to be assiduous about. We have to keep our motives and the Truth we proclaim pure. We have to guard the Gospel of Christ. Jude 1:3-4 reads,
“Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”
Verse 16 reads,
“Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth.”
Notice Jesus tells the whole church to repent. He tells the faithful church, who allowed some to use God’s Word for their own causes and to intermingle beliefs to repent. And the consequences He promises are for those who held Balaam’s and the Nicolaitian teachings. As the body of Christ, we understand the importance of each and every one of us. We contend for the faith as a whole, not just mine or even ours, but the Faith.
Verse 17 reads,
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.”
If we pay attention to this warning, if we conquer the enemy and hold fast to the Word of God and keep it pure in our hearts, minds, and lives Jesus will give us the hidden manna. His deeper word, the mytery of the Gospel, not obvious to the world. Manna was the bread of God given to Israel in the desert. God gives us bread today as well. John 6:28-34 describes it.
“Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” 30 So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”
Later in John 6:47-51 Jesus said,
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
Jesus is the bread of Life, He is the hidden manna. He is Salvation. We honor Jesus, the Author of Salvation, the Giver of Life, and our Redeemer when we take the Lord’s Supper. 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 says,
“For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.”
He will also give us a new name on a white stone, one only we will know. His Word just for us. Names signify identity. God gave many people new names as He gave them new identities. Abram and Sarai became Abraham and Sarah, Jacob was renamed Israel, Simon was called Peter, and Saul became Paul. But the new name we will receive in Heaven is more significant it declares our innocence and will represent our completion, our perfection, and our absolute unity with God, The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Believer, remember Jesus is the Word of God, the two-edged sword. The sword comes from His mouth, it does us no good if we do not speak it or use it and only keep it sheathed within our hearts. It does us no good and in fact harm if we use it wrongly with wrong intentions, twisted for our own desires, or sullied by words from Satan disguised as other religions.