There is a beauty in the Lord often misunderstood and that is His kindness and His severity. The horror comes in with our understanding of the word “severity.” Romans 11.22
The English definition of severity is to be harsh, very bad, serious, and unpleasant. Now, if you think of God that way when you make a mistake or sin, then you will immediately get an impression that God is angry with you and is going to punish you in some form or another. But nothing could be further from the truth!
The Greek word for severe in this passage means to be decisive which is to have the power or quality to make a decision, to be resolute and determined. Jesus is about to reveal the things that He has issues with to the church in Pergamum. He has commended them for their faith in Him and for not letting go even though they were facing such severe (harsh, unpleasant, serious) circumstances at the hand of the devil.
When Jesus introduces Himself to you, like He did to the saints in Pergamum, His Words will begin to pierce your heart. And His Word is as sharp as a two-edged sword, meaning there are two sides to what He says, and both sides are very sharp and will stir up your thoughts and emotions. Remember, words live in the arena of your soul!
But, in both cases, Jesus reveals the LOVE of GOD towards you. Paul describes Him so well in 1 Corinthians 13. Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit are always patient and kind towards you. They are not easily angered, and they keep no record of wrong! They are always protective over you, always have faith in you, always believe the best of you and will always persevere with you. Their LOVE never fails!
Keep this in mind whenever you think about God and how He handles things. This is His character and nothing in the above description of love has to do with being harsh, critical, angry, violent, hurtful, condemning, or fault finding. If God is ever introduced to you like an evil man, then you know you have been introduced to the devil and not to Jesus! And religion, called the false prophet in Revelation, hates Jesus Christ. Religion – the false prophet – wants people condemned for their sins and sent to hell!
What Jesus wants you to know is that He loves you and nothing will ever change that. But in His love, He is also protective over you, and like a Father will come and correct you when you are going off track. He does this by revealing Himself and the power of His word to you and that His Word is decisive! He has made up His mind and He will not change it. Because He is decisive you can trust Him. He is not going to fail you.
Also, remember, He comes to you from heaven and calls you up to where He is. He does this by calling you to think His thoughts and follow His ways, which He shows you in your mind and imagination. All your activity with the Lord is going to take place in your inner being, not through external circumstances. His VOICE, which comes to you in the form of words, thoughts, and images, will pierce (or prick) your conscience (your own thoughts and ways) until you pick them up and make them your own. Once His thoughts have become yours your own words will become as sharp as a two-edged sword that brings swift destruction to any voice of darkness. These voices of darkness that come against you come from demonic powers Jesus reveals as the dragon, the beast, the false prophet, the woman who rides the beast, etc., in the Book of Revelation.
Jesus is now going to reveal these forces of darkness that have come against the saints in Pergamum. The problem Jesus has with them, and us, is that they have sided with these demonic forces!
Jesus reveals some of the things that He has against them. The word “against,” which comes up in other letters to the Church as well, means to oppose or in opposition to. He is not opposed to them; He is opposed to the one who holds them captive – the devil. When Satan has the saint’s captive, he sets up his kingdom within their minds and this causes opposition to the desire and will of God.
Jesus is decisive in His Words and Actions because they are the only things that will give you victory over your enemy.
The enemy is, and always will be, the devil! You are never, and never will be God’s enemy. Jesus died to save the whole world and He loves (is not angry nor keeps any record of wrong) humanity, even though they choose to oppose Him. This is exactly what He taught us to do in His sermon on the Mount. If we are commanded (expected) to love our enemies then you can be sure that God’s decision to love them is also full and final!
God’s WORD is love – always!
And love is the greatest, and only weapon, that is destructive to the works of darkness. Throughout the Book of Revelation Jesus will be revealing Himself to you, who you are in Him, who the devil is, and how to defeat Him. This battle takes place in your mind, your inner, secret world where your own worldly beliefs and philosophies dwell.
Please stop and think about what you believe concerning the kindness and severity of God. Do you see Him as harsh and critical or as decisive in His dealings with you? Your understanding of His love for you should be the foundation upon which you build your whole life in Him.
In His love, 💖
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