The Double-Edged Sword Comes Forth
A double-edged sword is a description given to the speaking of the word of God from the mouth of Jesus Christ (“The First and the Last …he who lives, and was dead, and… am alive forevermore” – 1:17-18). When Jesus speaks, there will be a separation, an action–an attack against all that is unholy, and protection for all that is holy. He will speak to the messengers (angels) of the churches, and His words will divide, instruct, rebuke, correct, admonish, and commend.
To Ephesus: An “assembly” (church) that labored, endured, and couldn’t stand evil just like their Heavenly Father. They held to sound doctrine and true apostolic authority. They had fought without giving up… but, they had lost the most important thing, the reason for doing it all. Their first love–the Father. They needed to repent, to return to the first works of Christianity, to return to the love of God (but not cease their other labors.)
Promise: To the overcomer – eternal food (cf. John 4:10, 13).
To Smyrna: An assembly of the poor, but rich in spiritual things. The “poor church” is defenseless, but God defends them. The “poor church” will suffer, but God will not fail to notice their persecution. The “poor church” will be thrown in prison, and some will die, but God has their reward waiting.
Promise: To the overcomer – no second death (cf. 1:18; 2:8).
To Pergamos: An assembly dwelling in the stronghold of Satan, in the bowels of persecution, who had already lost one Christian to death. They were holding fast the name of Christ, and the faith of Christ, but sin was in their presence, and they weren’t dealing with it. The one who has the sharp two-edged sword was giving them time to repent before He declared war on them.
Promise: To the overcomer – manna to eat (food that never runs out), and a white stone with a new name.
To Thyatira: An assembly described by love, service, faith, and endurance, but they were allowing a teacher to promote sexual immorality and idolatry. Jesus warns them that He has already given Jezebel all the time she would get, her time is up. He searches hearts and minds and rewards each person for their works. But to those who were still faithful, He places no further burden but to stay strong.
Promise: To the overcomer – rule together with Christ, and the morning star.
Next week: The Dead, The Faithful, the Sickening.