And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things said he which has the sharp sword with two edges;…
He "that hath the sharp two-edged sword" bears it not in vain. It is a keen weapon of judgment against all adversaries, and may be a true and effectual warning to faithless ones within the Church and threatening ones without. The adversary has his seat in the city where this Church finds its centre. With persecuting violence assailing it, this Church has maintained its faithfulness to its Lord. External opposition was met by a noble fidelity: "Thou holdest fast my Name, and didst not deny my faith." Yet did evil lurk - errors in "teaching," corruption in worship and in manners. Heretical departures within the sacred enclosure were more to be feared, because more truly a source of danger, than outward foes. The call of the Lord to the Church is clear as a clarion cry. It is in the one watchword of the epistle, "Repent." This is the one immediate and imperative duty, and it is urged by the following motives.
I. IT IS THE IMPERATIVE DEMAND OF THE RIGHTEOUS LORD. That he should utter the word of warning and admonition is sufficient. No one ought to wait to find other motive for obedience; every motive is folded up within this one. It is the Lord's cry to repentance. His word only has authority within his Church.
II. IT IS THE JUST AND NECESSARY STEP IN THE PROCESS OF RECOVERY. Repentance alone can save them. Without it judgment must come. The "therefore" throws the Church back upon the consideration why it should repent. The error, the wrong, the departure, demand the lowly penitence, the humble confession, the renewed devotion.
III. BY THE TERRIBLE ALTERNATIVE OF THE DIVINE INVITATION. "Or I come to thee quickly." The Lord comes to his needy Church to supply its wants; to his Church in sorrow to comfort it; but in judgment if it be unfaithful.
IV. BY THE HEAVY JUDGMENTS WHICH ARE THREATENED IF REPENTANCE BE WITHHELD. "I will make war against them with the sword of my mouth." That sword pierces to the depths of the sensitive soul. Of all judgments the Lord's sword is the heaviest. It is the sword of his mouth, his word of condemnation, in which, as in a kernel, all judgment lies hidden.
V. Repentance is further urged BY THE GRACIOUS WORD OF PROMISE, which also is a word of encouragement to the faithful and incorrupt.
1. To him that overcometh will I" - the righteous Judge - "give of the hidden manna" - the secret nourishment of his spiritual life. "Instead of feasting on things offered to idols, I will satisfy him with the true Bread - that which cometh down from heaven. I am that Bread. I will myself be his daily satisfying Portion. He shall feed on that which was sacrificed to God." Christ is the soul's Bread, the soul's Portion, and in him the soul has everything.
2. To him also shall be given "a white stone" - if of acquittal, how precious! To be acquitted at his bar is not merely to be acquitted, but to be received into favour and to be enriched in the highest degree.
3. "And in the stone a new name." Is this a revelation of his own ineffable Name? The greatest bliss of heaven will be in knowing the Divine Name. Truly to know him is life eternal. But it shall be special to each, each having his own position and his own special vision, "which no one knoweth but he that receiveth it." - R.G.
Parallel VersesKJV: And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;
WEB: "To the angel of the assembly in Pergamum write: "He who has the sharp two-edged sword says these things: