1. The sharp sword with two edges

Does Jesus go around wielding a sharp sword with two edges?  Who does He fight with it? Let’s find out before we take up arms.  Jesus used these rather frightening and aggressive words to introduce His letter to the Church of Pergamos.  He came in fighting –  Lord of War:

And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write;

These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges (Revelation 2: 12).

2. How should we interpret Jesus’ Words?

a.  Jesus was speaking to a church that dwelt in the place of satan’s seat – the very place where satan dwelt.   He was reassuring His people that He was the Mighty God and Conqueror. By His careful use of the language, He shows us that He fights on behalf of His people.

b.  The sharp sword in other scriptures

I love to compare this text with Revelation 19: 11 – 15. This text reveals how Jesus rides out in all ages with the armies of heaven to war on behalf of His church.  The sword refers to His Word  which He uses to bring satan under subjection. This is the sword of the Spirit:

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him [was] called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

His eyes [were] as a flame of fire, and on his head [were] many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.

And he [was] clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

And the armies [which were] in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

c.  David prophesied in Psalm 2 about Jesus in this role of  avenger of His people

The revelation reveals that Jesus uses His word like a rod of iron to smite the unbelieving nations .   The Lord does this in all ages and not just at the end of  an age as some would like to believe.

Our understanding will be further enlightened when we compare the  imagery of  the Word of God or  the rod of iron to the Old Testament scriptures where the term was commomly used.

For example,  God used the Moses’ rod in  Egypt to symbolize  the power of  His  Prophetic Word as a weapon of judgement. Mind you, every word that God speaks is prophetic.

The rod in Moses’ hand was the literal picture of  God using His Word like a rod of iron to correct Pharaoh and his nation.  Egypt went into distress every time Moses wielded that rod because God sent His servant to judge Egypt with His Word.

The prophet David spoke   in Psalm 2 about God’s   harsh and aggressive response to the anti – God rebellion of  unbelieving nations.  History reveals His judgment of the rebellius:

He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.

Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure

Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion

I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou [art] my Son; this day have I begotten thee.

Ask of me, and I shall give [thee] the heathen [for] thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth [for] thy possession.

Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.

Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.

Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling (Psalm 2: 4-11)

3. The meaning of the word “rod”  in the Hebrew

Shebet is the  Hebrew word for rod.  It was used in the context of:

  • the sceptre held in the hand of a ruler or a king
  • captains and rulers of the tribes of Israel
  • weapon of war (2 Sam 23: 21)
  • a rod used to beat the disobedient (Psalm 89: 32)

This is the power of the  Prophetic Word of God – remember Egypt!

4. The believer has the authority to use this Sword or Rod to wage war against the forces of darkness

The saint of God can wage war against hell in the most unusual place – from his or her bed. Our weapons are high praises and the word of God which will execute vengeance against the heathen. God made this clear to us in Egypt:

Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.

[Let] the high [praises] of God [be] in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand;

To execute vengeance upon the heathen, [and] punishments upon the people;

To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron;

To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD (PSalm 149: 5-9)

5. Did Jesus avenge the church of Pergamos?

Yes He did. History reveals the ignominy and eventual fall  of the Roman Empire. There were :

  • coups
  • counter coups
  • rapid fall of  their rulers
  • murders of their rulers
  • and eventual destruction of this terrible beast – a beast so terrible that Daniel the Prophet could not describe.

It would be even more instructive to match the time of  Apostle John’s writing to historical events in order to determine just how the Lord judged the immediate rulers of  time.

Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. He still wars for His church.  Keep the faith.  All anti – God rebellion in the earth will end. The great beast of communism was no exception.  It fell because of the  underground activities of the saints, just as Rome fell to the underground and militant activities of the Church of the Lord Jesus.

We will see the destruction of other anti -God systems. The Word declares that “the  kingdoms of this world are become [the kingdoms] of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever” (Rev 11: 15).