To the Church at Pergamos holding the doctrine of Balaam and dwelling where Satan’s throne is – the presentation of the Lord is quite different. This is no persecuted suffering assembly, but one that has linked up with the world and carnal things predominate and so the picture drawn for us is simply of One Who has the Sword. There was a time (Zech 13. 7) when the sword awoke against Him and who shall estimate what that meant to His spotless soul when He became surety for the stranger and smarted for it; but now, in virtue of that very hour, He has won the right to take the Sword – for remember all judgment has been committed to the Son (John 5. 22). It is not against persons that this sword is directed but against evil and, says the Word, it is sharp. How much there is today of compromise with sin as a matter of expediency. We may call it modern methods if we like, but for all that the Lord has for it only the sharpness of that Divine Blade and nowhere can we find Him dealing in grace with unjudged sin.
Then note, please, that the sword is two-edged, and we may perceive from this that it is not only the outward evil which only too often is evident as the result of the linking up with Moab (Balaam’s great plan), but also the inward declension and departure from the path of obedience – whether it be the assembly or individual. Does the heart shrink from these thoughts? – then remember, –
“He spared not His Son,
‘Tis this that silences each rising fear,
‘Tis this that bids the hard thought disappear,
He spared not His Son.”